*This is not Stanley cup predictions or favorites*. This is solely based on performances since the last edition of power rankings (week 6).
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)
- New York Islanders (10-0-1)
Undefeated in regulation in their last 11 games while on an 8 game win streak, the Islanders are the hottest team in the NHL right now. Although the competition hasn’t been there outside of the Bruins and Penguins, the Islanders are taking care of business and in a convincing way against the East’s worst. There aren’t many, if any, teams that can compete with the Islanders scoring depth right now. At least five players have 9 goals on the season and when these guys aren’t contributing, the rookies or bottom six are stepping up. In his last 4 starts, Varlamov has posted a combined 0.944 save percentage, while Sorokin a 0.919 SV%. Barry Trotz has his team playing much like they did in the NHL bubble with the Islanders allowing only 2 goals a game in their last 5. Everyone is contributing, the defensive structure is suffocating, and the Islanders sit atop the MassMutual East.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (9-1-1)
If it wasn’t for a regulation loss to Detroit, Tampa could have easily claimed the number 1 spot. They have convincing wins against the Hurricanes, Stars, and Blackhawks and much like the Islanders boast some of the league’s best scoring depth. Most notably however, is Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 0.934 SV%. The 26-year-old Russian is a clear Vezina favorite, yet should he continue his torrid pace, he’ll be considered for league MVP. Regardless, Tampa has continued to find a way to win games, trailing against both the Red Wings and Blackhawks in their recent stretch of games.
3. Minnesota Wild (8-2-1)
Dollar Bill Kirill, Kirill the Thrill, whatever you want to call him, he’s the legit prospect the Wild have been desperately waiting for, for so long. He’s fun to watch and an offensive dynamo for a Wild team looking to take a leap forward. In their 8-2-1 run the Wild went 2/4 against Vegas and 1/1 against the Avalanche. Currently, sitting second in the West, not many would have pegged them ahead of the Avalanche at this point in the season. However, much like both the teams ahead of them, goaltending has been a major bright spot for the club. Both Kahkonen and Talbot have at least one shutout in each of their last two starts and yearly save percentages over 0.910.
4. Washington Capitals (8-1-1)
Coming off a sweep of the Flyers, the Capitals are back to playing like they did to begin the season. Four straight wins for the Capitals who have scored at least five goals in their last three games. Samsonov who has missed much of the season seems to finally be back and healthy. The 24-year-old has yet to lose as game with the Caps this season. Even with Wilson out for a few more games, the Capitals are yet to lose without him in the lineup.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-0-3)
Another East team that is scorching hot of late. It wasn’t long ago the Penguins were on the outside looking in and now stand in sole possession of third in one of the league’s hardest divisions. Evgeni Malkin has finally found his game which has allowed the Penguins to get even more scoring. The Pens have been able to capitalize on opportunities against the non-playoff teams in the East such as Buffalo and New York (Rangers). However, taking two of three from Philadelphia was what truly catapulted them into the playoff picture. They have a two game series at home against Boston before seeing a Devils team that has been worn down by the Islanders.
6. Vegas Golden Knights (8-2)
They are resilient and fun to watch. They have been a staple in these rankings all year while always boasting a winning record. Throughout this 10-game stretch, Vegas has not won without scoring at least three goals while scoring at least five goals in half of this 10 game run. The Flower continues to flourish between the pipes for the Knights who are coming off a sweep against the Blues. Vegas is just another team on this list that has excellent scoring depth and contribution from the blueline. You’ll see them here next week too.
7. Carolina Hurricanes (7-3)
To be fair to Carolina, their only three losses came at the expense of the Tampa Bay Lightning. With that said, they could be much higher on the list. One spot above the Panthers as Carolina has taken the last three meetings. This team seems to get better every year. Reimer and Nedeljkovic has filled in nicely during Mrazek’s absence and unlike many teams, the Hurricanes have four 10-plus goal scorers so far this season. The Canes are up there with the Knights, Bolts, and Islanders when it comes to scoring depth.
8. Florida Panthers (7-2-2)
Quenneville has the Panthers playing like many expected to see last season. They always had the pieces but seemingly couldn’t get it together…until this year. They look like a legit contender and are competing for that top spot in the Central. Currently they tied for first in the league and division in points. Fifth in the league in goals for, Florida has 26 goals in their last six games.
9. Winnipeg Jets (6-2-1)
The Jets aren’t letting the the Leafs runaway with the division and could tie them for the division lead if they win their next two. Taking 5/6 points from the Leafs in Toronto was an arduous task. Since bringing in PLD, Stastny has fit in beautifully as a winger on the top line with Scheifele and Wheeler, scoring five in his last six. The Jets now are extremely deep and very difficult to play against.
10. Colorado Avalanche (6-4-1)
Even an injury riddled Avalanche without MacKinnon and Makar for most of this stretch still find a way into the top-10. The Avalanche may have gotten a bit lucky with their schedule having primarily seen the three worst teams in the West division in the Coyotes, Sharks and Ducks. Nevertheless, the Avalanche found ways to produce without MacKinnon and Makar which speaks to their depth as well. Rantanen who has five points in his last four and Girard who has four in his last four have helped to bridge the gap in particular. Despite the uncertain timetable of Makar’s return, MacKinnon and the Avalanche will continue to find ways to win.
Honorable Mentions: Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Blackhawks – 5-4-2, the Blackhawks have had a tough schedule with the Lightning, Stars, and Panthers. They did manage however, to take 3/6 against Tampa while sweeping the Blue Jackets.
Arizona Coyotes – 5-4-1, With a schedule that saw a heavy dose of the Avalanche and Wild, the Coyotes didn’t fare all that bad. They picked up much needed wins against the Kings and Ducks as they try to fight back into a blurry playoff picture.
Los Angeles Kings – If the timing was right, there would have been a time that saw the Kings in the top-10 as they won six straight in early-to-mid February. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case but the Kings continue to play well. The old core of Brown, Doughty, and Kopitar have taken their games to levels we haven’t seen since the Kings heyday.