Power Rankings: The Sharks are playing out of their minds

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, 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: 25)

30. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 29)

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29. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 27)

It’s one of those things, at this point, where you’re like, “Okay, I get it, you say you don’t want to fire the coach and you kinda can’t blow up the roster because of all the NMCs.” That makes sense. But you just gave up NINE goals, right? And you’re angling to re-sign a 28-year-old who’s good but not, like, a huge difference-maker who definitely won’t be moving the needle for you when you’re ready to compete again four years from now?

Forget firing Randy Carlyle, forget blowing up the roster. You gotta fire Bob Murray. This guy is in way over his head, having seen a bunch of very bad contracts catch up with him in a hurry. If he legitimately thinks this team is a healthy Corey Perry or Ryan Kesler away from not being on pace for 80 points, he’s out of his mind. Look how well John Gibson played before his last two disastrous starts brought his save percentage down to .916.

This team is horrible and only going to get worse as The Core ages; Getzlaf and Perry are 33 and they don’t have anyone who could reasonably score more than, say, 55 points in a full season. So what are we talking about?

28. New York Rangers (LW: 30)

27. Chicago (LW: 28)

Here’s how bad everyone wants this team to still be good: They won four games in a row, two each on either side of the All-Star break, so there was an article yesterday on the Athletic saying, “Think where they’d be if Jeremy Colliton had coached all year.”

Which like, okay, maybe not dead last in their division, but saying “They’re five points out!” ignores so many things.

Games in hand — Chicago has at least one more played than every team in the wild card hunt.

The points system — five points is really tough to make up even if you get hot.

How many teams are between them —they’re still worse than Anaheim, Edmonton, Arizona, St. Louis, and Colorado (none of which anyone thinks is a particularly good team) in the standings before they even claim Vancouver’s playoff spot.

Slightly-less-than-recent history — before this four-game winning streak, they lost five in a row.

They had a better coach who they fired — Quenneville was 6-6-3 this year, which isn’t good, but Colliton is 14-18-6, and even if we’re giving him a whole month of leeway, they’re 11-8-4 (a pace for less than 93 points) with a plus-1 goal difference.

Reality — they may be “five points out” but they’re also “five points above dead last in the West.”

So: Who cares?

26. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 26)

25. New Jersey Devils (LW: 24)

24. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 31)

I almost wrote about the seven-game winning streak for 31 Takes yesterday but I didn’t really want to hammer the fact that they’re still seven points out of a playoff spot that much. Like, it’s nice to win I guess but no one’s opinion of this team should have changed that much.

The time to make Carter Hart the No. 1 goalie was Oct. 1, and doing it now is only hurting their draft position. Maybe they don’t care about that, but it feels like they should because as good as Hart is and will be, sneaking into the playoffs isn’t going to accomplish anything (more on that tomorrow).

23. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 18)

A thing that’s great about the Oilers is every time they do something cool where you’re like, “Well at least they still have McDavid and Draisaitl, and maybe that’s all you need,” all the no-talents on the roster pull the rug out from under you and remind you that nothing in that city is ever going to change.

That game against the Flyers was so funny, man. They should have won it in a walk but they Oilersed their way to an OT loss instead. It was so bad even the local media couldn’t say “At least they got a point.”

22. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 22)

21. Florida Panthers (LW: 23)

20. St. Louis Blues (LW: 21)

Much like the Flyers, these guys are winning a lot lately but to what end? They’re three points out of the playoffs with a game in hand, but if they pulled the chute in the last two seasons by trading Kevin Shattenkirk and Paul Stastny, how are they gonna not-do that this time around?

Maybe you can say this is their go-for-it year given how much they added in the summer, but if they overtake Vancouver or Minnesota, what’s it get them? A first-round bounce-out, and at best that goes seven games against Winnipeg, San Jose, or Calgary.

This will also be discussed tomorrow.

19. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 20)

18. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 13)

If you want a good laugh, look at the Sabres’ practice lines from yesterday.

People thought this team could be top-three in the Atlantic! Kyle Okposo, man.

17. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 17)

16. Minnesota Wild (LW: 14)

Not trying to read tooooooooo much into five-game samples, but: That Rask-for-Niederreiter trade really doesn’t seem to be working out well for the Wild. You didn’t have to be a genius to see that coming. It’s one of those things where Niederreiter never got a huge chance to be a bigger contributor offensively with Boudreau, and Rask isn’t either.

But it seems to me that this is mainly because Rask is going to show you he shouldn’t get one, whereas with Niederreiter it was because he just wasn’t a Coach’s Favorite.

15. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 16)

14. Dallas Stars (LW: 19)

I wonder if anyone in the world can figure these guys out. They have star power (ha ha ha) up front and on the blue line to be competitive in the middle of the playoff group — something like the fifth- to seventh-best team in the West seems plausible in theory — plus Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin have very quietly put together a very good season (.925 and .926, respectively).

AND YET: This four-game winning streak follows a four-game losing streak, and that’s not out of the ordinary for them. They’ve had two four-game winning streaks, two four-game losing streaks, and one each of winning or losing three games straight as well.

They have a plus-3 goal difference, the depth stinks, their CEO carpet-bombed the biggest names on the team, and they’ve had .920-plus goaltending all year with a new coach. Impossible to figure out.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 9)

12. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 12)

I was all set to go in on Brian Burke for grumbling his way through another boring-ass Fun Isn’t Fun take but I don’t have the energy at this point. Like, these boring old clowns who get to be The Voice of this sport aren’t gonna go anywhere and you get the feeling that the next generation of TV personalities is only going to age into the same level of being insufferable.

It’s the same stuff with boomers just getting pissed off about stuff they don’t understand (“SELFIES? IN MY DAY WE HAD TO SIT STILL FOR 90 SECONDS AND EVERYONE IN YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY HAD TO BE IN THE PICTURE!”) because it’s different from how it was In Their Day, when everything had to be serious because everyone you knew died at 48 from black lung if you lived within 50 miles of a city with more than 250,000 people in it.

So whatever. Just like the Storm Surge thing isn’t for Brian Burke’s planet-wrecking, closed-the-door-behind-them generation, his tired hockey’s-only-good-if-someone-is-getting-incurable-brain-trauma schtick isn’t for anyone who doesn’t remember where they were when they heard Groucho Marx died.

Peace and love, peace and love.

11. New York Islanders (LW: 15)

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 10)

9. Boston Bruins (LW: 8)

If you’re gonna lose, as the Bruins did in two of their three games this week, you might as well lose in OT or the shootout, as the Bruins did in both of their losses.

But beating Washington is the Bruins equivalent of the Capitals beating Pittsburgh in the playoffs. This unlocks a world of possibilities for them, as long as everyone can stay healthy, which… eh.

8. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 11)

7. Washington Capitals (LW: 6)

6. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 4)

It’s a little easier to swallow losing four straight, in which you only score six goals, if that’s the first time you lost two in a row in regulation since early November.

At this point, they’re up eight points on Vancouver, though the Canucks have two games in hand. They’re basically locked into the third spot in that division regardless of what happens (within reason) the rest of the way.

They’ve got it figured out for the most part but you gotta get back on track, which should be possible tonight when they play………..…. at Tampa? Okay, well, maybe the game after that then.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 7)

Very excited for 30 more games of everyone freaking out about how many right-shot defenders the Leafs have even as they pummel three-quarters of the teams they play over that stretch.

4. Nashville Predators (LW: 5)

3. Calgary Flames (LW: 2)

2. San Jose Sharks (LW: 3)

This is what the San Jose Sharks had in mind when they added Erik Karlsson to this defense over the summer.
This is what the San Jose Sharks had in mind when they added Erik Karlsson to this defense over the summer.

It’s not so much that the Flames took a step back (though that inexplicable Mike Smith start in Washington doesn’t help) but rather that the Sharks are just playing out of their minds.

Three losses, all in a row, in the last 12 games, and only seven in regulation since the start of December. You also get the feeling that they’re not even at their full operational capacity yet. These next four months are gonna be so fun.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

Still on pace for 126 points. You gotta be kidding me.

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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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