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. Vancouver Canucks (Last week: 29)
As so often happens at the bottom of these Power Feelings, it’s not so much what teams do on the ice so much as what happens off it. Because to be as bad as the worst teams in the league are, you’re probably going to be more than a little mismanaged.
In both Vancouver and Ottawa, front-office dysfunction really dinged teams that had otherwise perfectly okay (for them) weeks. Hell, the Canucks beat the crap out of the Bruins, who — spoiler alert — moved up to No. 1 in the Power Feelings despite the big W because they not only extended Jim Benning, but they also declared themselves…………. deadline buyers?
Benning, as I’ve said before, is a defensible extension if you’re truly committing to the rebuild because he has a pretty good drafting record. Not great or anything, but it’s pretty good. But now he’s out here saying he not only wants to get a player at the deadline, but also make sure it’s a size-y player. Freaking excuse me? Know who’s size-y? Connor McDavid. And even if you acquire him today, he’s not going to make a big enough impact on your expected wins and losses to get you into the playoffs.
But Benning is probably thinking more like trading for another Gudbranson (who, P.S., they’re currently trying to re-sign) anyway. It’s amazing that this is happening.
Meanwhile, the new CEO of the Ottawa Senators is Eugene Melnyk and ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. What a mess.
29. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 30)
28. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 27)
26. Florida Panthers (LW: 26)
25. New York Rangers (LW: 22)
I’ve had pretty much the same bottom-six all season and that makes plenty of sense to me because they’re pretty clearly the six worst teams in the league. The Rangers, however, may be about to make a push for that level.
The announcement that they’re gonna rebuild seems to have invested in this club a case of serious senioritis. Most of the useful contributors aren’t gonna survive this rebuild, so unless they’re pending UFAs, they’ve mentally checked out, and who can blame them?
The only motivation for maybe trying a little bit is so Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t pay a hitman to murder you. He’s got the money!
24. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 23)
Much like the Rangers, the Habs went 0-fer on the week but they’re a team that doesn’t seem particularly interested in announcing a rebuild. So, uh, why does everyone on this team also seem to have senioritis?
23. Chicago (LW: 25)
21. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 21)
In large part due to the utter collapse of the Metro Division as one that was likely to produce multiple Stanley Cup contenders again this year, the Hurricanes are still (after Sunday night’s games) lingering on the very cusp of the playoff picture in the East, tied with the Islanders but missing out on the wins tiebreaker.
They could very easily make something happen. But also they might not.
20. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 20)
19. New York Islanders (LW: 18)
Here’s a stat for ya: The Islanders went 2-1 this week, but got outshot by 58. Fifty-eight. In three games. In my opinion? That’s getting outshot by nearly 20 a game.
But the goalies stopped 142 of 146, so as long as they can keep getting .973 save percentages, they’ll be in great shape!
18.Anaheim Ducks (LW: 17)
17. New Jersey Devils (LW: 19)
The Devils went 4-0 in the last week despite getting outshot by 50 (not as bad as the Islanders!) but they won by shooting 15 percent as a team. Also extremely sustainable.
15. Calgary Flames (LW:15)
The kind of genius-level coaching this team gets from Glen Gulutzan? Yeah, well, their power play was an embarrassment pretty much all season, and it only occurred to him on Saturday to finally say, “Oh hey maybe I should put Dougie Hamilton, who’s one of the best offensive defenseman on the face of the planet, on the first power play unit.”
And they still got clubbed by the Panthers at home. I dunno about these guys!
14. Minnesota Wild (LW: 13)
13. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 14)
12. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 11)
I’m gonna be honest with you here. I’m extremely ready to give up on these guys. I have them 12th here because I think it should really take a lot for you to move into or drop out of a “category” of team quality in the spreadsheet I put together for the Power Feelings.
(For the record, I currently have four in the “elite” category, six in “very good,” three in “good,” four in “mediocre,” three in “not that good,” six in “bad,” and six in “awful.” Those numbers are not fixed and can change; in fact, I bumped a team from “good” to “very good” this week.)
Columbus is now on the cusp of “mediocre,” in large part because their special teams are humiliatingly ineffective. And if I had more emotional courage, I would put them there. I believe so much in the talent on this team, and now it looks like I was right all along to not believe in its coaching. John Tortorella doesn’t have answers to help a very good group. It’s bumming me out.
11. St. Louis Blues (LW: 12)
10. Dallas Stars (LW: 10)
9.Washington Capitals (LW: 6)
Not normally being one to know or care what people think of how I ranked their favorite teams in these things, I did get some feedback from Caps fans I actually respect who were like “You are being too generous with these guys.”
So I looked into it, and yeah I probably was. I guess I’m just a really generous, nice guy who has only the best of intentions.
But also, the Caps are still only a point behind the molten Penguins in their division, with three fewer games played. There are, I’ll concede a lot of reasons to be skeptical of this team, especially given their so-so record over the last little while. But also, they still have the seventh-best points percentage in the league.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 9)
The Leafs are sixth in points percentage, by the way, but unlike the Caps, they did it by going 13-5-3 since the calendar flipped to 2018. In fact, they have two losses since Jan. 24 (those to the Pens and Bruins, so totally forgivable). That was 12 games ago. So yeah, the Leafs look very good all of a sudden, but they’re still giving up too many shots!
7. San Jose Sharks (LW: 5)
6. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 8)
Undefeated this week. I moved them up. You’re welcome.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 7)
If you think about how badly this team started the season, the fact that they now lead the division is truly wild. They were 19-18-3 on New Year’s Eve, and they’re now 35-22-4. For me? Going 16-4-1 is…. good.
4. Nashville Predators (LW: 3)
3. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 4)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)
These guys stink!!! They’re only 8-5-0 since Jan. 20.
And sure, all but four of those games were on the road. And yeah, they still outchanced opponents by a margin of about one a game.
But these guys? They’re terrible! I am embarrassed for them!!!
1. Boston Bruins (LW: 2)
They made the leap despite getting absolutely crushed by the Canucks. I love hockey.