(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. Arizona Coyotes (Last week: -1)
30. Ottawa Senators (-4)
One of the things people — myself included — didn’t really talk about when they all said the Senators were bad last year was that Craig Anderson is and has been a good goalie for a very long time. Pretty much always above-average.
Except, hey, he was 35 last season, which makes him 36 this season. That’s just some quick math from me to you. Anyways, when you’re 30-plus, a thing that happens to a lot of goalies is that they go from “having it” to “not having it” in pretty short order. And so here we are, with Anderson sitting sub-.900 and no longer able to prop up a team that still had a negative goal difference last season even when he was .926 in 40 appearances.
Could be a long season.
29. Buffalo Sabres (+2)
I couldn’t in good conscience put the Sabres dead last in the league again this week, even though I think they’re the worst team in it. They won just one of their three games, but their two losses weren’t in regulation.
That’s four points, baby! And sadly, that’s 25 percent of their season total entering the week.
28. Detroit Red Wings (-1)
27. Florida Panthers (+1)
26. Philadelphia Flyers (+3)
They won all three of their games since the last Power Feelings published, allowed five goals, and scored 13. It’s nice to have a plus-8 goal margin in three games. But also, uhh, they still recently lost 10 in a row. Which is a problem.
25. Colorado Avalanche (+/- 0)
24. Anaheim Ducks (-1)
Some of the big forwards who have been out forever, like Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Getzlaf, are back. That helps! But one wonders how much that helps, and how much whatever that amount of help helps. This is a team that’s not too far out of a playoff spot despite their tough go of things, but there are also about 600 teams between them and the other spot available (rough estimate).
23. Carolina Hurricanes (-2)
22. Vancouver Canucks (-5)
Bo Horvat being out another month-plus? Yeah that’ll just about do it for the Canucks as a team anyone should pay much attention to in the Pacific. Brock Boeser still rules and all that kinda stuff, but the sun is setting on these guys and that’s fine. That’s expected.
21. Edmonton Oilers (+2)
I love the Oilers, man. Any time everyone says, “This team is done!” they win five of eight and everyone says, “Oh maybe not” but then they lose again in frustrating fashion (like not scoring on 40 shots).
I think this team is still pretty good because of you-know-who, but it’s just a funny thing Edmonton alone seems to have a unique capacity to achieve.
20. Montreal Canadiens (-2)
19. Calgary Flames (+3)
I feel like I am mostly writing stuff about teams in the Pacific right now but the Flames are playing well. In the past week they went 2-0-1 and the loss was in a shootout to Toronto, which is one of the hottest teams in the league right now. Can’t be mad at ’em!
There’s so much to like about this team, but there still seems to be something missing. Probably it’s “depth.” Yeah.
18. Chicago Blackhawks (+1)
Not talked about as much as I might have expected, but only three guys on this team have more than 20 points. I don’t think anyone saw that coming, even the doomsayingest of doomsayers would have probably given them more credit than that.
But anyway, two wins in a row to snap a five-game losing streak. Of course, those two wins were against Buffalo and Arizona at home, and they have Florida up next, so these are all games they should win. But still, not excited about that.
17. Boston Bruins (+5)
The Bruins don’t have the very best record in the last week, per se, but in three weeks? Folks, they’re 8-2! Not bad!
You can put a lot of this on Tuukka Rask, who is suddenly playing like he won a Vezina before. In the time since this neat little run started, he’s .946. That’ll put you ahead of the game.
16. New York Rangers (+/- 0)
15. Minnesota Wild (-1)
14. New Jersey Devils (-3)
The Devs have lost two in a row, three of the last four, and four of the last six. That feels pretty “right” to me in terms of where this team should have been all along.
I’m real glad Cory Schneider and Taylor Hall are playing well, but that defensive depth seems to be catching up with them. They haven’t outshot someone since Nov. 24, and that was the Canucks, so…
13. Dallas Stars (-3)
12. Pittsburgh Penguins (+/- 0)
The Penguins gave away five of a possible six points this week, which isn’t good, especially because two of those opponents were in the division. But the reason I kept them in place is that they really don’t have much to prove to me.
The fact that this team is a point out of a top-three spot in the Metro (with the sliding Devils and the floundering Islanders ahead of them) with all its problems tells you a lot about its quality.
11. San Jose Sharks (+3)
10. New York Islanders (-2)
Three losses this week for the Isles, and well, it was always going to happen.
9. Vegas Golden Knights (+/- 0)
Four wins in a row for Vegas. That’s what they’ll keep telling you. But that doesn’t tell you it’s after three losses in a row. Or that Vegas won three of those games either in a shootout or overtime.
Their record in one-goal games (or one-goal games with empty-netters) is 13-4-1. I bet they keep that up forever!
8. Washington Capitals (+4)
7. St. Louis Blues (-1)
It’s tough at the top, man. I can’t believe this is true, but here goes: Basically every team in the top nine has won a bunch of games recently. Strange situation. The Blues have won four in a row and I’m still like, “I dunno, man, they’re the Blues.”
Like, I think they’re really good! But are they better than the following six teams in front of them? Certainly not all six of them. I can be talked into thinking they’re better than L.A.
6. Los Angeles Kings (-1)
5. Columbus Blue Jackets (-1)
4. Nashville Predators (-1)
The Preds are 3-0-1 in the last four games, and they take a step back in the rankings because I think it’s embarrassing to lose to Vegas.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs (+5)
The Leafs won all three games in the last week and have 12 points in their last eight games, which is a good number. They’re scoring enough, not giving up a ton of goals, pretty much everything you’d like (except they’ve given up 36-plus shots on goal in four of the last five games).
Anyway, I think the Leafs are probably gonna be one of those teams that looks really good or kinda bad most nights.
2. Winnipeg Jets (+/- 0)
Dustin Byfuglien being “week-to-week” strikes me as being, uh, bad. But it didn’t happen last week so hooray for the Jets continuing to be good.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (+/- 0)
Nonetheless, it seems like these are still the two best teams in the league, as evidenced by their head-to-head result. It’s hard to get points out of Tampa, man.
(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)