*This is not Stanley cup predictions or favorites*. This is solely based on performances since the last edition of power rankings (week 4).
Performance, Wins/Losses, schedule, number of games, and other statistics all are taken into consideration.
1. Carolina Hurricanes
6-1-1 since the last edition of the power rankings. There really hasn’t been a team that has been playing better than the Hurricanes. They are getting a ton of scoring outside of their first line in players like Trocheck, Niederreiter , Staal, and others. That’s not to mention the fact that Teuvo Teravainen has begun to pick up his pace after a very sluggish start. Quality wins over Dallas (twice), Chicago, as well as the Lightning is what set the Canes apart from the rest.
2. Florida Panthers
7-3 since the last power rankings the Panthers are not to far behind the Hurricanes. In fact, the Panthers came out on top in overtime in there most recent meeting while overcoming a 0-2 deficit. The underrated Huberdeau is having a phenomenal season, while new additions Hornqvist, Verhaeghe, and Duclair have produced at unexpected paces. Quality wins against the Hurricanes and Lightning stand out, yet so do the two loses to Detroit. The talent has been there in Florida, and it continues to shine, however as it has in the past consistency proves to be the biggest hurdle for this team. While it looks as though they have made strides on that end, they aren’t near where they need to be if they want to turn into true contenders.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Like the Hurricanes, 6-1-1 since the last power rankings. With two wins over the Montreal Canadiens during that span, the Leafs have found themselves pulling away with the North Division with what is now a six point lead. All of that has been led by career seasons from both Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Matthews the easy Rocket Richard favorite is scoring at a career pace with 18 goals in 18 games. Matthews also has 7 goals in his last 4 games, and 8 points in his last two games, bringing his season total to 29 in just 18 games. Of course, it helps that Matthews is playing next to Mitch Marner who is also having a career year. The 23 year-old is currently tied for 2nd in the league in points with 30. With the season Matthews and Marner are having, it’s easy to argue they are right up there with McDavid and Draisaitl as one of the best duos in the league.
4. Edmonton Oilers
5. Chicago Blackhawks
Surprising? Yes. But, they deserve to be up here. 5-3 since the last power rankings with impressive wins over Dallas (twice), Columbus, and a sweep against Detroit. Patrick Kane is a legitimate MVP candidate who along with the kids, have the Blackhawks above Tampa at third in the Central division. Solid goaltending, a fourth ranked powerplay, and contributions up and down the lineup, the Blackhawks have remained very competitive and are one of the more surprising stories this season. Like the Panthers, you question whether or not its sustainable. Either way, just enjoy it if your a Hawks fan.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
4-3 since the last power rankings, however, the Tampa losses have come at the expense of the Hurricanes and Panthers (twice); who rank 1 and 2, respectively, on this list. Yesterday was the second time this season the Bolts got shutout by the Hurricanes. Still, they have 25 goals in there last 7 games and had to deal with another big injury loss in Cirelli. They’ve had to play a lot of teams that are in their best form of the season and they still found ways to win.
7. Colorado Avalanche
I was a bit reluctant to put them here since they had only played 3 games since the last power rankings, but they have managed to beat the Golden Knights twice in a really tight series. MacKinnon is taking his game to new levels, and the Avs are getting guys like Toews and Makar back from injury.
8. Vegas Golden Knights
Started off 5-1 since the last power rankings before losing in back-to-back games to the Avalanche. Their wins were convincing and Marc-Andre Fleury has officially bounced back from his subpar season after Lehner went down with an injury. There a team poised to be in the column every week.
9. Boston Bruins
Like Vegas they started off so well. However, they dropped their last two to the Islanders and Devils both of which are out of the playoff picture. Nevertheless, the perfection line is back and thriving and the B’s find themselves atop the East division.
10. New York Islanders
Very similar to Vegas’s story as the Islanders went from starting 5-1 to dropping two straight to the Penguins. Despite those losses the Isles have wins over Washington, Boston, and the Penguins during the last 8. It seemed like the Islanders had found their game again, although the Pittsburgh series has questioned that theory.
Honorable Mentions: Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks
Pittsburgh Penguins – 8 out of a possible 12 points in their last 6 to get the last playoff spot in the East. Back-to-back wins over the Islanders and a win against the Caps.
San Jose Sharks – 4-3-1, there really wasn’t much outside of the Penguins but the Sharks did get another impressive win over the Blues.