Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Capitals climbing to top
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. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 31)
This team got bounced to 31 last week because their owner is the worst, but then the team lost three games in a row, including getting shut out by the Panthers, so they get to stay in 31st. What a mess.
30. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 30)
Arizona didn’t get to move this week because while they’re doing a lot worse — one win since Dec. 3 — they at least beat the Capitals this week, which, haha.
29. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 29)
Two points on the three-game road trip they went on last week. Not great, which seems like it’s par for the course.
28. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 25)
Losers of four straight now, it really looks like any optimism people might have had around this team is and should be extremely out the window.
27. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 27)
26. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 26)
25. Florida Panthers (LW: 28)
Credit where it’s due: This bad team had three wins in the past week. And sure, they were against Arizona, Minnesota, and Ottawa, but hey, three regulation wins, right? They only had three regulation wins over their previous 11 games.
24. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 21)
23. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 20)
Dropping three spots here isn’t so much an indictment of the Ducks, but all the teams behind them playing really well in the last little while, and generally having had better seasons than Anaheim so far. I think they’re probably Better Than This overall but the hole they dug themselves with all those injuries is still there, y’know?
22. Calgary Flames (LW: 22)
21. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 19)
Remember how the Flyers won six in a row? Yeah, they’re 1-2-1 in the four games since then. Feels right.
20. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 23)
How ’bout those Hurricanes, with points in five of their last six, and eight of their last nine, and nine of their last 11, and 11 of their last 14? That ain’t bad, folks, and they’re doing this mostly with not-good goaltending. Man, this poor team. When’s the last time they had good goaltending AND a good group of outfield players at the same time?
19. Minnesota Wild (LW: 16)
18. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 24)
Four straight wins and five in their last six. And hey, they scored 22 in those six games, which is a good number from a team that couldn’t score when Connor McDavid was off the ice. McDavid only had points on eight of those 22 goals. That’s actually a huge improvement for the depth scoring. Sad.
17. New York Rangers (LW: 17)
Here are the real shot totals the Rangers have conceded for every game they played in December: 33, 44, 40, 28, 45, 30, 35, 35, 40, 48, 37. I ran the numbers real quick and that’s approximately roughly about a trillion shots against per game.
That seems like a lot! Remember when getting rid of Dan Girardi was gonna fix their defensive problems? Woops! Anyway, the fact that they’re 6-3-2 this month despite that whole thing is wild.
16. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 13)
15. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 15)
14. Dallas Stars (LW: 12)
Points in four straight, but no one can seem to figure out how to make them score the three goals per game they should be scoring on a regular basis. Very weird team. Hard to figure them out.
13. New York Islanders (LW: 11)
12. Boston Bruins (LW: 18)
Four wins in a row for your friends the Bruins who, as I said in WWL, are playing great hockey overall these days. Giving up just four goals in those four games is a nice way to get some Ws together.
11. New Jersey Devils (LW: 14)
10. San Jose Sharks (LW: 9)
9. St. Louis Blues (LW: 7)
8. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 8)
The Kings have lost four of their last six, but that doesn’t wipe out the eight-game winning streak all the way, so here they are. They’re another team that’ve given up 31-plus shots in a ton of their recent games.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 6)
6. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 10)
I would like to use this space to say to all the Vegas Golden Knights fans who will email me about this not to bother because you’re not allowed to criticize this because it’s my feelings. It’s in the Geneva Convention.
Look, I get it. The last time they lost in regulation was on Dec. 1, and that’s a great streak. But hey remember when Columbus won like 16 straight last year? Of course not. Very few of you watched the NHL last year.
Anyway, they’re going to get better results more reliably with Marc-Andre Fleury in net, but like I said last week in Trending Topics, I continue to get a very Columbus-last-year vibe off these guys.
And frankly that’s a huge indictment of the rest of the NHL for giving away all these perfectly useful — or better — players for nothing. Because remember, Vegas left a lot of talent on the table in the name of 2018-19 cap flexibility; all those expiring contracts, etc.
Honestly, I don’t care if Vegas has the best record in the league at the trade deadline: It is George McPhee’s obligation as steward of this franchise to trade anyone on an expiring UFA contract with any value at all to the highest bidder. And because they’re doing all this winning, there should be plenty of bidders. It’ll piss off a lot of dumb people who don’t understand anything about what’s going on here, but it’s the only responsible thing to do for a Year 1 Franchise.
5. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 5)
One of these days this team will get its act together, and I’m extremely ready for that to happen, emotionally.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 3)
3. Nashville Predators (LW: 2)
2. Washington Capitals (LW: 4)
Their only regulation loss since Dec. 12 was in Vegas right before Christmas and that was the second half of an all-road back-to-back. Wonder how many of those Vegas has caught opponents on this year. That’s something for someone with more internetting skills than me to look up.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)
Them still good.
Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.
(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)