NHL Power Rankings: Calgary looks like the real deal

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo Sports 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. Philadelphia Flyers (Last week: 30)

I thought for sure that it was gonna be Dave Hakstol who got canned and I was all set to go on a big thing about how it’s another GM who didn’t do a good enough job firing his coach to stay safe himself. Personally, I think they’re both problems.

But the old kooks above Ron Hextall clearly thought the fact that the Flyers didn’t try to garrote anyone in that ugly Saturday night loss to the Leafs was a team construction issue that they couldn’t abide. Maybe Hakstol wants them all just clubbing guys over the head with big rocks the second they get down to goals, but they were all soft weak millennials who refuse to entertain the idea of committing second-degree assault.

Like I said, I’d have canned both of them. Or at least Hextall and Ian Laperriere, whose PK work has been beyond horrible two years straight.

People wanna defend Hextall because he did a pretty good job at the draft and always tried to be competitive even when he probably shouldn’t have, but the team’s depth is a mess and stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the goaltending sucks. He’s been in the job five years. That’s on him.

Can’t feel bad for anyone here but this team stinks, and if that stuff about adding more fighting is true it’s gonna stink for a long time.

30. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 28)

29. Ottawa Senators (LW: 23)

This has less to do with on-ice performance and more to do with the fact that they are still, inexplicably, owned by Eugene Melnyk. That’s a Robert Durst-level jinx, man. You’re just never gonna come out of it with that guy in charge.

28. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 31)

27. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 29)

26. St. Louis Blues (LW: 25)

Since the coaching change, these guys are 1-2-0 having conceded 16 goals and scored 11. Scoring 11 should win you plenty of games. But when you give up 16 on 98 shots you’re dead before you got to the rink.

A guy on Twitter got mad at me for always saying Jake Allen (.896 this year) is bad, but: He’s real bad.

25. New York Rangers (LW: 27)

Congrats to these guys on moving up after a bunch of freaks emailed me screaming that they were insanely good and I was a fool for having them 27th in the league last week. Guess what: They’re probably the best of the bad teams in the league. Doesn’t mean they’re good.

24. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 26)

23. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 24)

This is gonna shock you, but Ken Hitchcock hasn’t turned this team into a defensive juggernaut.

22. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 19)

I swear to god I almost put these guys 31st for giving up what I’m sure has become an infamous shorthanded goal to Mark Jankowski of all the guys in the entire league.

If you haven’t seen it, just look at this nonsense:

I’ve seen thousands of hockey games in my day. Easily 10,000 goals. This is by far the worst one I have ever seen in my entire life. How a fourth-line forward on a partial breakaway draws four guys below the goal line on the PK isn’t a question. How he escapes three of them with ease and scores on a backhand like that very much is. It defies explanation.

And like, I know it was an avalanche of goals and they got shut out but that’s just “throw in the towel” stuff. I mean, I’d resign as coach on the spot. Just hand my clipboard to an assistant, put a ficus in a cardboard box, and walk right out of the building.

All these power-play guys should be on waivers. Every one of them.

If this happened in the ’90s it would be on a Faces of Death video between a guy eating monkey brains and a train hitting a gas truck at 80 miles an hour.

The number of things that had to go wrong for that goal to happen is incredibly high, and not only did all of them happen, but some other bad stuff ALSO HAPPENED.

Good lord. Good lord.

21. Florida Panthers (LW: 21)

20. Chicago (LW: 20)

I mean I guess I get the trade from Chicago’s point of view because it’s like, “Okay we stink and we can get a high-ceiling guy and another former first-rounder for a more proven player, and it’s not like we’re any good anyway,” but also: Uhhhhh.

You might as well swing for the fences because Toews, Kane, Keith, and Seabrook aren’t going anywhere and you gotta be bold if you’re trying to wring one last gasp out of their core. I get it. And you have to give up talent to acquire it even if you’re not totally sold on what’s coming back.

But if you’re gonna blow it up to the extent that you reasonably can, this is a weird place to start.

19. New York Islanders (LW: 22)

18. Dallas Stars (LW: 14)

17. New Jersey Devils (LW: 17)

Saw a headline yesterday that was like “Cory Schneider continues to struggle” and it’s like “Yeah I know.”

You really wonder what happened to him. He turned 30 and his career as a legitimate NHL goaltender basically ended.

Since the start of 2016-17, his save percentage is, I kid you not, just .906. In the 270 games he played before that? It was .925.

He just fell off the face of the earth. It’s incredible. Anyway, he’s signed for another four seasons. Have a good one.

16. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 10)

Speaking of which, Karl Alzner went on waivers yesterday and he’s signed through 2022 as well. Hey and the Habs went 0-2-2 this week. Doesn’t that feel More Right for these guys? They’re not good. We all knew it!

15. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 18)

I mean I’m not expecting the McElhinney Magic to last much longer, but if this team can get any kind of goaltending hoo boy look all the way out. Easy to root for, too, since every goober on Hockey Night in Canada is somehow still screaming about the celebration.

The clap thing is the AOC of hockey stuff this season. Old freaks can’t stop screaming about it. You gotta respect the ‘Canes for that.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 16)

13. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 15)

They went 3-1 this week and smoked the Sharks most recently. Funny thing about it: Their shooting advantage has vanished.

Still think they’re a threat for No. 1 in the Pacific. But maybe you say that’s damning them with faint praise. I guess you’re right.

12. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 12)

11. Washington Capitals (LW: 13)

Get outshot by 36 in four games and still win all four of ’em? Sure, they’re gonna be able to do that every once in a while. Why not?

10. Minnesota Wild (LW: 9)

These guys just keep winning, I dunno. It’s that classic Bruce Boudreau “100 points in the regular season” thing.

9. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 8)

8. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 11)

Gotta hand it to ’em. Just a great run. Might get ’em into the playoffs singlehanded. Still not sold on them as a long-term commodity, but they’re a point out of first in the league so good for them.

Probably not a coincidence that they have the most Lowell guys in the league. It worked for the Pens, right?

7. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 5)

6. San Jose Sharks (LW: 4)

5. Boston Bruins (LW: 7)

It’s kind of amazing what this team is doing with all these guys on the shelf. Even David Backes looks good. Both goalies look like they can’t be beaten all of a sudden. Portends good things, that’s for sure.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 3)

3. Calgary Flames (LW: 6)

No one was betting on the Calgary Flames to make much noise this season, but here they are. (AP)
No one was betting on the Calgary Flames to make much noise this season, but here they are. (AP)

I can honestly say I didn’t see this one coming at the start of the season.

They lost the Dougie Hamilton trade, for sure, but right now it doesn’t look that way. Bill Peters is getting saves for the first time in forever, they’re putting up a ton of shots (and giving up too many, but y’know) and they look like they have actual talent throughout the lineup.

I’m not counting on them to keep it up all year just because of who’s immediately behind them in the division (San Jose and Vegas, both more talented on paper, but not yet playing that way) but they look good, man.

As a team they’re shooting 10 percent and that’s a smidge too high, but there miiiiight be something here. Especially if Mike Smith only starts occasionally.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

1. Nashville Predators (LW: 2)

There’s still so little to dislike with these guys. On the ice, at least… off the ice, well, they’re still playing Austin Watson, so.

Anyway, they just look great, and Pekka Rinne has been shockingly Vezina-worthy again. Nothing more to say.

They and the Lightning have the same record (17-6-1), and almost the same goal difference (plus-24 for Nashville, plus-23 for Tampa). Great.

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)