NHL Power Rankings: The NHL isn't short on great teams

Ryan Lambert

NHL Power Rankings

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. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 30)

I would have put a pretty decent amount of money on Detroit being the team I thought was the worst in the league for basically the entire season, but now I think it’s LA.

The Kings have elite talent in Doughty and Kopitar, yeah, while Detroit has no elite talent to speak of, or anything even particularly close to it. But at least the Red Wings have a clarity of vision. Rob Blake is out here saying stuff about how the team isn’t Emotionally Engaged enough and that’s why the coaching change needed to happen and it’s like, “Buddy, if you took any 20 random guys off Twitter they’d be real fired up to play for the Kings in their next game, and they’d only lose slightly more than the Kings have.” The roster sucks! Full stop! Trade everyone if you want it to change.

30. Detroit Red Wings (Last week: 31)

Congrats to Ken Holland. There’s a GM with less of a clue than you now.

29. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 28)

Ah, well, Ron Hextall’s right there too I guess.

28. New York Rangers (LW: 29)

27. Florida Panthers (LW: 27)

This team’s start serves as a nice reminder that you should never believe any of the hype around the Panthers no matter how much you spend all summer selling it to yourself. One of the rare instances where I got a take wrong; these guys need to play at a 100-point pace for the rest of the season to get to 95 points.

It’s possible but every loss is another hurdle they’ll need to overcome later. Their underlyings (48.2 xGF%, for instance) don’t inspire much confidence either.

26. St. Louis Blues (LW: 26)

25. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 24)

24. Ottawa Senators (LW: 23)

The Sens are on pace to allow more shot attempts per hour at 5-on-5 than any team since we started keeping track of that stat. Worse than the tanking Sabres.

I’m willing to chalk at least some of that up to the increased pace of the game over the last two years or whatever, but also this team is horrible and only going to get worse once Thomas Chabot’s on-ice Sh% drops from its current 15.1.

23. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 25)

Already saw one Vancouver writer write, maybe tongue in cheek but you never know with Vancouver: “Elusive playoff berth may rest on Elias Pettersson’s shoulders.” Which isn’t strictly untrue because if Pettersson scores 80-something goals this year probably all things are possible.

But hell, man, the top three in the Pacific right now are Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. It’s not gonna last, just like it didn’t last when an Ottawa paper asked like a week ago if it was too early to start talking about the playoffs.

This is one of the worst possession teams in the league. Come on.

22. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 22)

21. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 16)

Vegas and Carolina are two peas in the same pod: They look great and can’t win. It’s kind of a Florida situation, but also like at least the numbers undergirding the results say things should be going better than they are.

20. Chicago (LW: 13)

19. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 17)

18. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 15)

I truly don’t know what to make of these guys. They’re hanging around in a surprisingly bad division but here too, you’re like, “Uhh, shouldn’t these guys be better than middle-of-the-road?” Maybe it’s a Torts thing. It’s probably a Torts thing.

17. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 19)

The Coyotes are winning a lot, but they’re actually a shade worse than Columbus at 5-on-5. They can thank Antti Raanta for making them relevant in the division right now. We’ll see how long it lasts.

16. Washington Capitals (LW: 14)

Hey remember last year when the Caps won a Cup despite really bad underlying numbers and everyone was like, “That’s weird, but oh well.” Ah, at least they get to keep the banner and stuff because these guys just plain don’t look good.

Maybe getting Tom Wilson back will fix everything ha ha ha.

15. New Jersey Devils (LW: 7)

14. Dallas Stars (LW: 22)

13. New York Islanders (LW: 18)

This is some Wile E. Coyote stuff: If the Islanders look at their PDO they’re gonna realize it’s way too high and plummet to their deaths.

12. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 9)

The only reason I can credibly have them this high right now is that I trust Connor McDavid to keep scoring like this a lot more than I trust some of the teams behind them to stay mediocre.

11. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 12)

10. Boston Bruins (LW: 11)

This is where I get the chance to say the “digital-only” jerseys the Original Six teams designed and put into NHL19 are uniformly (haha) horrible. But Boston’s is the worst both visually and morally, so that’s cool.

Enjoy your goaltending controversy!

9. Calgary Flames (LW: 21)

Obviously goaltender wins are a borderline-meaningless stat — WITH ALL APOLOGIES TO GENIUS-BRAINED UNIVERSITY OF MAINE GRADUATE BEN BISHOP — but here’s something for ya: The Flames are 5-4-1 when starting Mike Smith (.871) and 4-1-0 when starting David Rittich (.927).

You may wonder why the guy who sucks has twice as many starts as Big Save Dave but that’s why Bill Peters is an NHL coach and you’re just some dumbass with a weekly power feelings column.

8. Minnesota Wild (LW: 6)

7. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 8)

6. San Jose Sharks (LW: 10)

Ah I see we’ve reached the part of the season where we say Erik Karlsson isn’t as good as everyone thinks.

5. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 5)

I hate that I have to keep putting them this high, but here we are.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 1)

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 4)

The Toronto media has officially begun criticizing John Tavares (8-8-16 in 14 games) for not generating enough offense. He’s shooting the puck almost four times a game.

Maybe he can demand a trade or something.

2. Nashville Predators (LW: 3)

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 2)

The Lightning have had a lot to celebrate of late.(Adrian Wyld/CP)
The Lightning have had a lot to celebrate of late.(Adrian Wyld/CP)

Saw someone on Twitter pull the old, “There are more great players in the NHL than ever before, but are there any great TEAMS?”

And first of all it’s like “Grow up dude who cares?” and second it’s like “Yeah dude have you seen Tampa and Nashville play the last two years?”

The top two teams here went a combined 6-1-0 this week, but Tampa outshot its opponents by 54 in four games, and averaged 42 shots a night.

These teams kick ass. Hockey kicks ass. Stop complaining about good fun teams.

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

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)