NHL Power Rankings Week 12: The West Shuffles

In this week's power rankings, the East stays largely the same while the West gets shuffled. The Canucks grab the top spot in the West while the Kings, Blackhawks, and Blues jump up 2 spots each.

Just a refresher, the rankings are kind of like the BCS, since teams are ranked according to a mathematical formula. But it's not a very difficult formula, as it is simply a team's 5-on-5 goal ratio multiplied by their adjusted points per game. With the story published on Behind the Net today showing that shootouts are essentially a coin flip, there's even more reason to discount shootout wins.

Eastern Conference


This Week Last Week Rationale
Rating
Flyers_medium

1 1
The Flyers have now lost two straight games by a combined score of 11-2. They're still in first due to the large lead they had last week, but Pittsburgh is close behind.  If they don't turn it around, they should drop next week.
1.893
Penguins_medium

2
2
The gap between the Penguins and Flyers has closed thanks to a week that saw the Penguins go 2-1-1 (remember, shootout wins don't count here.) In just one week, the Penguins cut their deficit in half.
1.702
Bruins_medium

3
3
A 2-0-1 week against the Southeast propelled the Bruins to the top of the Northeast, where they belonged. Now, they just need to find some goals. 1.671
Canadiens_medium

4
4
Getting outscored 7-1 in their last two games dropped the Canadiens into a fight with the Rangers instead of trying to catch the Bruins. There's not a clear division among the top-3. 1.283

Rangers_medium
5
6
The only team to move up this week, and it was largely due to their 7-2 drubbing of the Islanders. Well, the Thrashers certainly helped them too. 1.271
Thrashers_medium

6
5
Not a good week in Atlanta, as the Thrashers went 0-2-1 while getting outscored 10-4 in their two losses. It's not that the Thrashers are bad, it's that they played the Bruins and Penguins. 1.235

Capitals_medium
7
7
The Caps are sitting atop the Southeast division, but don't let that fool you. The only three teams currently in playoff position to allow more than 97 goals against all come from the Southeast. If Washington can stop giving up goals, they'll start being the team everyone expected. 1.205

Panthers_medium
8
8
The Panthers may be sitting in 12th in the standings, but they should be a playoff bubble team. The problem is their league-worst power play, which is converting at a miserable 9.4%. If they could fix that, the Panthers would shoot up the standings.
1.021

Lightning_medium
9
9
Going 1-1-2 isn't going to help your cause, but keeping every game to within one goal will help you tread water. The Lightning are the only team in the top-8 to give up more goals than they score, however. 0.997

Sabres_medium
10
10
You might not understand why Buffalo is above Carolina, but the main reason is their ability to win the battle at 5-on-5. Even if it's just barely.
0.855

Hurricanes_medium
11
11
For a team currently in 9th place, there isn't much to be happy about in Carolina. Losing the 5-on-5 battle, giving up 34 shots a game, a 27th-ranked PK unit, and a 24th ranked power play.
0.820

Senators_medium
12
12
Ottawa is closing in on joining the bottom-3 in the East, which is quite impressive. A minus-22 goal differential combined with a terrible 5-on-5 ratio equals a subpar hockey team. It's only their special teams that are keeping them in the playoff picture.
0.788

Maple_leafs_medium
13
13
What can you say about the Maple Leafs? They beat up on the Devils and barely lost to the Hurricanes. Last week was basically a good reflection of them. 0.608
Islanders_medium

14
14
A brutal loss to cross-town rivals cannot be good, but they did go 3-0 before then, beating the Canadiens 4-1 and the Lightning in overtime. Yes, they too beat up on the Devils. 0.473

Devils_medium
15 15
Things just keep getting better for Flyers fans. The Devils faced the two worst teams in the league not playing in New Jersey, and got outscored 9-2. Sadly, the depths of their terribleness may have just hit bottom. 0.221

 

Western Conference


This Week Last Week Rationale
Rating
Canucks_medium

1 2
Going 3-0-1 with big wins over Columbus and Philadelphia were enough to propel the Canucks to the top spot in the West. They now have the largest goal differential in the West. Oh, they're also 7-0-3 in their last ten games
1.701
Red_wings_medium

2
1
Detroit went 3-1 last week, playing three one-goal games. They didn't do much to fall out of the top spot, but Vancouver did enough to jump in.
1.667
Kings_medium

3
5
Winning the Battle of California by a combined 8-1 score (Anaheim and San Jose) was enough to take their 2-0-1 week up two spots in the West. They're still not leading the Pacific Division, but with two games in hand, they're in a good position. 1.523
Avalanche_medium

4
3
Going 0-1-1 dropped the Avalanche back, but with games against Edmonton, Calgary, and Buffalo, the Avs should be in a better position next week. 1.435

Stars_medium
5
4
The Stars let points slip away last week, going 1-1-1- against Calgary, Phoenix, and Nashville. A shootout loss to Calgary and a shutout loss to Phoenix kept the Stars close, but those are 3 points the Stars could use. 1.320
Blackhawks_medium

6
8
Don't look now, but the Blackhawks are starting to shore up their defense. Three straight games only allowing one goal? Five straight allowing two or fewer? They're still in 8th place, but that's because they have played two additional games. Time to make a run. 1.219

Sharks_medium
7
7
The Sharks traded comfortable wins last week, beating the Coyotes and ceding one to the Kings. It doesn't get easier next week against Minnesota, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Vancouver. 1.111

Coyotes_medium
8
9
The Coyotes went 1-2 last week despite getting outscored 7-3. That 1-0 win over the Stars salvaged the week, but with L.A., St. Louis, Minnesota, and Columbus on the horizon, the Coyotes could have a good week.
1.057

Blues_medium
9
11
The only team in playoff positioning in the West with a negative goal differential, the Blues had a great week. They went 3-0 while outscoring the Red Wings, Predators, and Blackhawks 9-4. 1.048

Predators_medium
10
6
The biggest loser of the week, the Predators fell 4 spots, but they aren't far behind 8th place. Nashville went 0-4 last week, only scoring 4 goals. In the super close West, that's just not going to be good enough.
1.040

Blue_jackets_medium
11
10
An 0-2-1 week drops the Blue Jackets down, but the blowout losses to Vancouver and Chicago didn't help. Luckily for Columbus, they get to play Toronto and Ottawa before heading on the road to play Nashville and Phoenix.
0.950

Wild_medium
12
12
Typical for the West, Minnesota went 1-1-1, beating Colorado but losing to Detroit. A tough game against San Jose, then two close games against Nashville and Phoenix can be lessened with their game against the Devils.
0.846

Flames_medium
13
14
The Flames follow up a 1-0-1 week with games against the Oilers and Islanders. But they have to play the Avalanche and Canucks too. 0.813
  Ducks_medium


14
13
The Ducks are barely behind the Flames, thanks largely to a 4-1 loss to the Kings. It doesn't get any easier this week with games against the Flyers, Blackhawks, and Predators. 0.810

  Oilers_medium

15 15
An 0-2-1 week looks bad, but the Oilers are playing teams close. Besides, they're better than the Leafs, Islanders, and Devils. 0.688

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