NHL Power Rankings: Oilers' recent surge 'hilariously late'

Yahoo Sports

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 and their chances to win the Cup, 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. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 31)

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It’s pretty funny that I can now look at the Senators go 0-2-1 in a week where their coach says they never play hard and are generally really bad (giving up 100 shots and 11 goals three games) and get to say, “At least the owner didn’t burn down the rink for insurance money or something.”

Very normal, good franchise. Things are going well over there.

30. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 27)

29. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 30)

28. New Jersey Devils (LW: 26)

Now these guys know how to tank: They’re in the midst of a six-game losing streak, with five of those losses in regulation, and they’re 10-19-2 in the new year. They’re only fourth-bottom in the league, though.

Wow, those other teams must be really bad.

27. New York Rangers (LW: 28)

26. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 29)

They’re 6-8-0 under Bob Murray. Which is a 70-point pace. Which isn’t good.

But they were 21-26-9 under Randy Carlyle. Which is a 75-point pace. But that was before they traded everyone and John Gibson slowed down.

25. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 24)

Normally I would be saying a team like the Canucks shouldn’t be getting its hopes up about a prospect but Quinn Hughes, down year and all, is worth the hype.

That said, this team has bigger problems than whoever’s gonna be their No. 2 defenseman next year, so…

24. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 22)

23. Chicago (LW: 25)

22. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 23)

File their recent surge (points in eight of their last 10) under “tragically little, hilariously late.”

Here come the Oilers. (Getty)
Here come the Oilers. (Getty)

21. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 20)

If you have the misfortune of following a lot of Sabres fans on Twitter, you have likely learned to your horror that Phil Housley now seems to be completely randomizing his roster every morning to make lines. Unlike years past, you’ve at least heard of the majority of these guys, but I’m not even sure he’s playing guys on the proper wings anymore.

Just way out of ideas there.

20. Florida Panthers (LW: 21)

19. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 18)

How dependent are the Avs on Nathan MacKinnon to win? In games where he doesn’t have a point, they’re 2-13-4. I honestly can’t believe that.

18. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 17)

This team would probably be pretty good if they could get a stop. Save percentage since the All-Star break: .892. And they’re 8-8-2 anyway. Jeez who could have seen that Carey Price contract backfiring…?

17. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 19)

I know I’m supposed to have some grand take on the Coyotes’ late-season run here but they’re barely above fine over their last 15 games or so and if that’s all you need to worm your way back into the playoff convo out West, then have fun with it. You can’t make me care, though.

16. Minnesota Wild (LW: 15)

15. Dallas Stars (LW: 16)

14. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 14)

Big week for the Jackets. The Athletic figures their playoff chances improved almost 11 percent just by beating the Devils (not in regulation, of course) and splitting with the Penguins. If they’d swept the Penguins? Man.

I think they’d probably have to screw up pretty bad to miss now, and well…

13. New York Islanders (LW: 13)

12. St. Louis Blues (LW: 12)

11. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 10)

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 11)

These guys are 5-1-1 in the last seven games, scoring a whopping 24 goals, and only allowing 15. Now’s the time for them to get their asses in gear, though, because honestly they probably only have two or three more legit kicks at the can before Letang, Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel die of old age and being overworked.

9. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 9)

8. Nashville Predators (LW: 6)

7. Washington Capitals (LW: 8)

Really doubt these guys end up losing the division. They’re up four points (with an extra game played) on the Islanders but the more interesting question to me is whether they overcome that Islanders goal difference. They’re only five goals back on it. Think it’s doable.

6. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 7)

5. Calgary Flames (LW: 2)

The goaltending has dried up. Seventeen goals against on the last 146 shots faced, and this time it’s not just Mike Smith. If these guys can’t get Rittich going again, their playoff-run aspirations suddenly dry up too.

4. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 5)

Since acquiring Mark Stone seven games ago, the Knights are:

  • 6-1-0

  • Plus-12 in goals

  • Plus-61 in shots

  • 57 percent CF

  • 55 percent power plays drawn percentage

Pretty good, for me.

3. San Jose Sharks (LW: 3)

2. Boston Bruins (LW: 4)

That no-regulation-losses streak ended up being 19 games before they lost the second game of a home/road back-to-back to a decent Penguins team. It happens.

So let’s do some housekeeping: They finished those 19 games plus-21 in goals. Brad Marchand led the team in points with 28 in 19 games. Patrice Bergeron led in goals, with 11. They did a big chunk of it without David Pastrnak; he had 4-6-10 in just seven games over this stretch. Tuukka Rask was .923 and had 10 wins in 12 appearances. Backup Jaro Halak went 5-0-2 with a .941 save percentage.

I think you take that. Even if you’re not gonna beat the Lightning.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

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

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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