*This is not Stanley cup predictions or favorites*. This is solely based on performances since the last edition of power rankings (week 9).
Performance, Wins/Losses, schedule, number of games, and other statistics all are taken into consideration. (Records in parentheses display teams performance since last power rankings)
- Washington Capitals (6-1)
Tied for first in the NHL with Tampa at 50 points in 34 games. A complete turnaround from where they found themselves towards the beginning of the year when they were on the outside looking in while struggling to piece wins together. Now they are the best team in the Metropolitan division and one of the best in the league. Perhaps, they’re projected number one goalie Ilya Samsonov has a lot to do with the Caps success. The young Russian netminder has lost just once in eight games since his long awaited return. Not to mention, if you disregard March 20th, Alex Ovechkin will have scored at least one goal in eight straight games with 10 goals and 12 points during that stretch.
Don't look now, but Alex Ovechkin is now four goals off the League lead in goals — Matthews and McDavid have 21.
He was 12 goals off the League lead on March 12 (two weeks ago)
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) March 27, 2021
2. Nashville Predators (7-1)
It wasn’t long ago the Predators were written off from a playoff appearance. Thanks to this run however, they’re back in contention. After a slow start and brief injury, Predators captain Roman Josi is back and leading his Preds to a potential playoff berth. Furthermore, Nashville is finally getting some better goaltending and consistency out of Juuse Saros who has a .950 save percentage in each of his last five games. Whether or not the Predators will be able to build off this streak could ultimately determine their playoff potential. It will also be very intriguing to see if the Predators still look to be sellers at the deadline with Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis and Filip Forsberg being amongst the most popular names at the deadline.
3. Colorado Avalanche (5-0-2)
The only undefeated team in regulation on the list. I believe this is the Avalanche many of us have been waiting for and expecting. During this stretch they have scored 35 goals in their last 7 games averaging 5 goals per game. That is the offensive Avalanche we expected. Suddenly, Vegas now has the Avalanche on their heels for the West division.
4. Vegas Golden Knights (5-2)
Like I said in the last power rankings, they will be on the list. This time, two spots up. Like Tampa, Colorado, and probably Carolina, Vegas should remain in the top 10 for the rest of the season. After a huge 5-1 loss to Colorado, the Knights bounced back to remain atop the West division. Outside of the Lightning as probably the Avalanche I don’t think you are going to find a deeper and more well-constructed team. The depth scoring and offensive from the back-end is truly second to none.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2)
Undefeated until their last two games, yet still remain at the top of the NHL. They also hold the best differential in the league at +41. Tampa is also one of very few teams to have a defenseman lead the team in assists and points as Victor Hedman is averaging just under a point-per-game with 27 assists and 33 points in 34 games. However, I think more importantly to Tampa fans, Steven Stamkos is still healthy and Nikita Kucherov is on track to return. Just when they couldn’t get better…
Atta boy, Stammer! 👏 pic.twitter.com/gIUOyOsTgZ
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 24, 2021
6. Minnesota Wild (5-2)
They’ve cooled off quite a bit from their 8-2-1 run we saw in the last power rankings but not by much. In fact, if they hadn’t met with the red hot Avalanche they could very well be undefeated. Goaltending continues to lead the way along with rookie Kirill Kaprizov. They’ll need to keep up their good play as they will see the Knights, Avalanche, and Blues after briefly meeting in San Jose for two games with the Sharks. Nevertheless, it looks like the Wild are a good bet to be on of the top 3 teams in the West.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2-1)
Like the Wild, the Penguins are another team that seems to be getting better as the season goes on. The schedules been a bit easy recently with Buffalo and New Jersey taking up a majority of their last few games. Nevertheless, the Penguins continue to get it done. Ultimately, they are getting contribution all throughout the lineup, from the blue paint to the forward group.
8. Arizona Coyotes (4-1-1)
Another team that was seemingly written off, the Coyotes trail the Blues by just a point to earn the final playoff spot in the west. Phil Kessel has five goals in his last three games while Jakob Chychrun has been having possibly his best season so far. However, more impressive is the fact all three Coyotes goalies are averaging over .910 save percentage on the year. The Coyotes have a chance to make the playoffs this year if they can ward off the inconsistency that has plagued them so far.
9. Carolina Hurricanes (3-1-2)
If they beat the Blackhawks on Tuesday they’ll have the chance to go atop both the central division and National Hockey League. With that said however, it feels as though the Hurricanes are not getting the attention they deserve. Your constantly hearing about the Colorado’s, Toronto’s, etc. but rarely ever do you hear about this Canes team. While it was Svechnikov earlier in the year, its former 12th overall pick Martin Necas that has been leading Carolina’s young forwards. The 22 year-old Czech is second on the team in scoring with 28 points in 30 games. D-man Dougie Hamilton is also having a phenomenal season on the back-end. Watch out for the Hurricanes in the playoffs.
10. New Jersey Devils (5-3)
Could have been the Oilers or Leafs here but I figured the Devils had more games and some good wins against Pittsburgh, Boston, and Philadelphia. But maybe it’s not the Devils who should be here, but, MacKenzie Blackwood. I think it’s safe to say the Devils have their future goalie in the Thunder Bay native. He continues to steal countless games for Devils while posting a .911 SV% on a underwhelming Devils squad. It’s unlikely the Devils will be here again as they look poised to sell at the deadline, so enjoy it Devils fans.
— NHL (@NHL) March 29, 2021
Honorable Mentions: Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers (3-1-1) – They have solid wins over a deep Jets team while splitting a two game series with the Flames in Calgary. There really is no slowing down McDavid or Draisaitl which is presumably why the Oilers are where they are in the standings.
Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1) – They don’t have many games to show for but they do only have one loss in the four they do. The Leafs have just been better this year and it shows as they sit atop the North. Just like with the two stars in Edmonton, is there any way to slow down Matthews and Marner? Again, no.
New York Rangers (4-3-1) – If they only played the Flyers they might just be 1 on this list. Nevertheless, if they weren’t in such a tight and competitive division the Rangers may actually be closer to a playoff spot. However, much like last year with this young group, its consistency that’s the achilles heel. Shesterkin is finding Vezina form though while Mika Zibanejad has found his game after a more than lack luster start to the year.
Detroit Red Wings (4-3) – Like the Devils, they’re probably not getting back on here, so I felt compelled to squeeze them on here for the Wings fans. Things probably won’t get much better than this with the deadline soon approaching.