NHL Power Rankings Week 14: Teams Plummet in West, East Holds Steady

This week, there is some minor shuffling in the East, while the West continues to shuffle.  The top 5 in the East maintain the same, while the top 2 in the West stay the same.

At this point, the Stars are deserving of attention. No longer can Los Angeles be considered the favorites for the Pacific due to their recent slide. Instead, the Stars and Avalanche appear to be fighting each other for third-best team in the West. Nashville made a recent surge and they could join the conversation soon, but the longer the season goes, the less shuffling we can expect at the top. At least in the East.

 

 

Eastern Conference


This Week Last Week Rationale
Rating
Flyers_medium 1 1
The Flyers stay atop the Power Rankings for another week, and their lead looks especially comfortable. They are tied for second in the league in points, tied for second in goal differential, second in adjusted points per game, and first in 5-on-5 goal differential. Vancouver isn't far behind though.
1.961
 Bruins_medium
2
2
The Bruins maintain second place in the Conference, though they are close with Pittsburgh. The difference between the two is largely due to their two games in hand. Games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh this week will be good tests.
1.684
 Penguins_medium
3
3
The Penguins stay in third place, and they have a tough week ahead of them. Games in Montreal and Boston, then a home game against Detroit. They're coming off two losses to Minnesota and Boston by a combined 8-2 score, so they will need to rebound.
1.578
Capitals_medium
4
4
Washington is clinging to the 4th spot over the Rangers after two close games against the Panthers, one win and one loss. They still have to improve their 5-on-5 play, but games against Vancouver and Philadelphia this week will be tests. Tampa Bay and Ottawa present opportunities to move up.
1.282
Rangers_medium
5
5
Four straight one-goal games 2-1-1 kept the Rangers close, but they still trail the bigger names in the East in adjusted points per game. A tough week lies ahead as the Rangers play the Canucks, Canadiens and Flyers.
1.261
Canadiens_medium 6
8
The Canadiens move up two spots with big wins over the Bruins and Rangers (plus a shootout win over the Penguins), but they are still a bubble team in the East. Their tough road continues with a game against the Penguins tonight and the Rangers Saturday, but will give way when they face Calgary and Buffalo.
1.140
Thrashers_medium
7
6
The Thrashers let points slip away last week, losing to the Hurricanes in overtime and getting blown out by Toronto. They're now in 8th place in the standings, with tough games against Philadelphia, Dallas, and Florida this week. 1.132
Panthers_medium 8
7
The Panthers are still floundering in 11th place, 11 points out of the playoffs. But they have four games in hand, a better 5-on-5 ratio, and a better goal differential. The problem is that they just can't get points. They're tied for 22nd in the league in adjusted points per game. A big week against Nashville, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Columbus will go a long way to catching Atlanta.
1.047
Lightning_medium
9
9
How can the 2nd place team in the East be in 9th place?? Well, do you want their minus-9 goal differential, their 0.82 five-on-five ratio, their 8-1 loss to Pittsburgh last week, or their 6-3 loss to New Jersey last week? So much promise with Roloson, so poor execution.
1.011
Hurricanes_medium
10
11
The Hurricanes are going on a bit of a run (6-2-2 in their last 10), but they haven't exactly been tested or impressive. A home-and-home with Boston this week will be a good barometer.
1.006
Sabres_medium
11
10
Two good games against the West was squandered when they let the Flyers come back from down 2-0 last night. They have a good 5-on-5 ratio, but a poor goal differential. They also benefit from Ryan Miller getting them Bettman Points.
0.916
Maple_leafs_medium
12
13
The Leafs moved up! Going 3-0-1 last week certainly helped, but they deserve to be above the Senators anyway. They went on the road and outscored Atlanta, San Jose, and Los Angeles by a combined 16-7 score. Good job, Toronto.
0.749
Senators_medium 13
12
They are finally in the bottom-three where they belong. They have a worse goal differential than any team not playing in New Jersey, and they have a worse 5-on-5 ratio than Edmonton. They are not good at all.
0.636
Islanders_medium
14
14
The Islanders did not have an easy week - games against Edmonton, Colorado, Chicago, and Vancouver - and yet still got 3 points out of it. They should have beat Edmonton, but for the Islanders, that's not so bad. 0.492
Devils_medium 
15 15
Somehow, the Devils beat the Lightning 6-3. Seriously. This is why the Lightning are not very good, but the Devils still suck. They get outscored 2-1 at five-on-five.  0.267

 

Western Conference


This Week Last Week Rationale
Rating
Canucks_medium
1 1
Quite possibly the best team in the league, the Canucks head on the road to face the Rangers, Washington, Minnesota, and Colorado. They'll probably want at least six points. They are that good.
1.914
Red_wings_medium
2
2
Detroit gets a home-and-home with the slumping Blue Jackets this weekend, which should help them maintain 2nd place. Moving up? They'll need Vancouver to fold. Which likely won't happen this week.
1.511
Stars_medium
3
4
A 3-0-1 week, with a win over Chicago is very solid. The teams weren't especially challenging, but Dallas just keeps winning. I'm now on board with them as Pacific Division winners. For now at least. 1.409
 Avalanche_medium 4
3
Colorado went 1-1-1, but losses to Phoenix and the Islanders do not sit well. They face the Blackhawks tonight, then the Wild and Canucks. 1.366
Coyotes_medium 5
6
The Coyotes move up thanks to a 3-0-1 week, and they get to continue their run with 4 home games this week. They are the highest ranked team to have a negative goal differential, which suggests that when they lose, they lose big. The big test will be next Tuesday against Nashville. 1.253
Predators_medium 6
9
Another big mover this week, Nashville went 4-0 with a combined score of 16-5. They will have a home-and-home with Chicago this week.
1.246
Blackhawks_medium
7
7
The Blackhawks were taken to a shootout by the Senators on home ice, which shouldn't happen. The home-and-home with Nashville is a good opportunity to gain some ground.
1.213
Kings_medium 8
5
The Kings just keep falling. They need to turn it around fast, and two games against St. Louis is a good time to do it. With Edmonton and Dallas also upcoming this week, it's a good time for the Kings to snap out of their funk.
1.116
Ducks_medium 9
12
I'm still not sold on Anaheim - but they benefited from the Sharks poor play. With games against the Oilers and Senators, I imagine this statement will come up again next week.
0.971
Blues_medium 10
10
The one thing the Blues have on their side is games in hand. No team has played fewer (though Florida, Edmonton, and NYI have played the same) games so far, but the Blues have been fairly average so far. When they get healthy, they may sneak in the playoffs.
0.954
Sharks_medium 11
8
These aren't the Sharks everyone is used to. They sit in 11th place in the West, but what's troubling is they look like a below-average team in goal differential and five-on-five play.
0.941
Wild_medium  12
11
Minnesota somehow sits 10th in the West, and this week will see them face the Avalanche, Canucks, Oilers, and Flames. Two difficult, two winnable. Maybe we'll know who the Wild are after this?
0.929
Flames_medium 13
14
Despite going 0-1-2 last week, Calgary moves up. That's largely because Columbus fell, but at least the Flames have a 0.99 five-on-five ratio. After a three-game swing through eastern Canada, the Flames return home to face the Wild. Four winnable games. 0.852
Blue_jackets_medium 14
13
The Blue Jackets started off the year 14-6-0, but have only gone 6-14-3 since. Despite relatively decent 5-on-5 play, the Jackets just can't get it together. A home-and-home with Detroit won't help. 0.837
Oilers_medium
15 15
The Oilers will head through California this week for three games before returning home to face the Wild. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this is the week they jump over the Senators.
0.609

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