NHL Power Rankings: Oilers suffer another setback

It might not be happening this season for the Edmonton Oilers. (Getty)
It might not be happening this season for the Edmonton Oilers. (Getty)

Hey everyone, we here at Puck Daddy are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Vancouver Canucks (Last week: 28)

No wins in the last week, and everyone else near the bottom of these here rankings actually had surprisingly decent, or at least decent-for-them weeks.

Over the last week or so, there have started to be some rumblings about the possibility (perhaps probability) that Jim Benning gets a new contract outta management. This doesn’t strike me as a particularly great idea, but if the referendum is going to be “Look how he’s finding talent at the draft,” then Brock Boeser’s pretty much gonna get him that extension by himself. And I would say Benning has to return the favor in that case, but it’s starting to look like Boeser’s first non-ELC contract is gonna have a lot of zeroes on it.

30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 26)

You gotta call it at this point. They’re not the worst team in the league but they can’t win under any circumstances. You gotta be able to find one (1) top-four defenseman this summer, right?

29. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 30)

28. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 29)

The Wings’ only loss in the past week was to Tampa, and man they played pretty damn well in that game. Just ran into a brick wall named…. Louis Domingue?

Domingue made 34 saves but wouldn’t you know it, the Wings bled scoring chances and really only got the offense looking good on the power play.

Also, their two wins were against Ottawa and Florida, so who cares.

27. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 21)

Saw this weekend where Marc Bergevin says the Habs haven’t thrown in the towel. They’re 12 points back of a divisional playoff spot, and seven back of the last wild card spot.

Even if you haven’t thrown in the towel, you might wanna get a bullpen session in sometime this week, just to get the arm warmed up.

26. Ottawa Senators (LW: 31)

The Sens scored 12 goals against the Sharks and Lightning in the past week. But also lost 2-1, to Detroit, in overtime. Oops.

25. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 20)

Peter Chiarelli’s “This is all part of the plan!” interview yesterday was all too reminiscent of a certain cartoon dog and a cup of coffee and a room that’s on fire and the dog melts at the end.

What’s pretty cool, though, is that the knives from local media are coming out and pointed at Chiarelli. Would have thought they’d back coaching change over regime change, as is their wont, but maybe the fact that Eberle rules and Ryan Strome does not was the tipping point.

24. Calgary Flames (LW: 24)

23. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 21)

22. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 24)

The Avs are on a bit of a tear here lately, which is really encouraging for someone who had a couple “Jared Bednar is a good coach” takes last summer. I love Nathan MacKinnon like he is my son and to see him so high in the league scoring stats is, to me, a gift.

But they’re still the Avs, y’know, so while they won a bunch of games in the past week, they also had the worst CF% number in the league over that stretch. Win some, lose some.

21. Florida Panthers (LW: 17)

Hey remember how the Panthers had that nice little winning streak headed into the new year? They got their 2018 off to a 0-2-1 start, and boy if that doesn’t sound just about right.

20. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 20)

19. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 22)

18. Minnesota Wild (LW: 21)

It’s weird. This team keeps winning at an okay rate despite having the actual worst possession number in the league over the course of the whole season.

Like, what goes on? It can’t all be the injuries thing, right? How is this team virtually tied for a playoff spot right now? How are the teams it’s tied with Colorado and Anaheim? Man, what a weird year.

17. New York Rangers (LW: 19)

16. New York Islanders (LW: 13)

Is anyone surprised this team is 1-3-0 since New Year’s Day? Their only win in six games since Dec. 29 was in a shootout to a sliding New Jersey team. Yikes.

15. Chicago (LW: 15)

Corey Crawford is basically the only reason this team is any good at this point in the year. So let’s see where him being out INDEFINITELY gets them!

14. New Jersey Devils (LW: 12)

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 16)

I don’t want to get too far out in front of anything here so I’m keeping the Pens relatively low here, but the Pens are now: a) in a playoff spot, b) regularly blowing out bad teams, and c) beating good ones.

Of course, they also got shut out 4-0 by the Hurricanes, so stuff happens I guess, but if the offense is coming alive at this point in the year — they have 15 goals in the last four games — and Matt Murray can keep things under control for once, I gotta say: Uh oh, the Pens might be back.

12. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 11)

11. St. Louis Blues (LW: 10)

Y’know I’m just not sure relying on a career backup to be The Guy while Goalie Of The Future Jake Allen only gets spot starts is a recipe for success going forward. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

10. Dallas Stars (LW: 12)

No matter what you think of the Stars, their blowout win over the Oilers seems to be the thing that made even the staunchest Organization Defenders in the Edmonton media go in on Chiarelli, so that’s funny and deserves a lot of credit.

Plus they have a comfortable hold on the first wild card spot in the West, so that’s nice.

9. San Jose Sharks (LW: 8)

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 9)

The Leafs have problems and everyone freaking knows that about them but it took a white-hot run from the Bruins to even pull into Toronto’s neighborhood as far as the playoff race goes. So yeah they shouldn’t be giving away as many points as they do (eight in the last five games) but for now they still control their own destiny.

If only someone would get them some help though…

7. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 6)

6. Boston Bruins (LW: 7)

Tuukka Rask didn’t have a great night against the Pens as the team in front of him played a back-to-back and I guarantee that was more than enough for some dummies out there to be like, “Sure he went .950-something in December but the Penguins are the reigning Cup champs so if he can’t perform in these big-game situations you gotta trade him.”

Rask isn’t exactly a Vezina guy right now (for my money it’s Vasilevskiy and no one else is close) but this team is in a playoff spot because he’s .920 on the year, full stop.

5. Nashville Predators (LW: 2)

4. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 5)

3. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 4)

Man I forgot they signed Steve Mason at $4.1 million AAV for two years to sort out their goaltending situation. Connor Hellebuyck is playing insanely high-end hockey in a contract year, and this is a budget team. Are they gonna have to spend like $9 million on goalies next year? That’d be funny.

Anyway the team is good. Bless ’em.

2. Washington Capitals (LW: 3)

It is truly wild to me that this team leads the Metro again. Especially because their best defenseman missed 14 games.

And Holtby hasn’t even been that good this year! Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Kuznetsov are true wonders. Bless them too.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

The Bolts lost two games in a row then got outplayed in a win against Detroit. And yet, if you don’t think this is the best team in the league, you’re gonna want to consult a doctor.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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