Monday Morning Power Rankings: Week 23

 

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

After winning the Stanley Cup last season, these Penguins really took to the ice. Behind ageless wonders Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Calder Trophy darkhorse Matt Murray, the Penguins’ supporting cast of vets and rookies has not disappointed. Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust have continued their stellar play from the playoffs, and Phil Kessel and Kris Letang are still stars. After shoring up their defense at the trade deadline, these birds look to contend once again.

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

These guys are for real. Under infamous head coach John Tortorella(!), the Blue Jackets look not only to make the playoffs, but contend for the Cup as well. Vets Nick Foligno and Sergei Bobrovsky lead the way, with young guns Alexander Wennberg and Zach Werenski blowing everyone away.

3. Chicago Blackhawks

Is it any surprise that the Hawks are near the top of the list? Seemingly perennially dubbed as the next team to fall out of their element (along with LA and Anaheim), they seem to find ways to win. Jonathan Toews has played to the level of his contract since the All Star Break, as opposed to his less-than-stellar play prior.

4. San Jose Sharks

The beards must be doing something for the Sharks’ top players. Brent Burns is challenging the likes of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby for the scoring lead and is currently over a point-per-game. Joe Thornton is still the same power forward he’s always been. With the seemingly minor but smart addition of Jannik Hansen at the trade deadline, these Sharks are looking to take a bite out of their competitors’ Cup hopes.

5. Washington Capitals

Washington’s last few games have not been good. Currently on a four-game losing streak, it’s leaving some to wonder if picking up Shattenkirk was the right move. That being said, they’ve got a solid cast of players and should bounce back in time for playoffs.

6. New York Rangers

7. Minnesota Wild

8. Montreal Canadiens

9. Calgary Flames

Calgary has been on a tear recently, winning nine of their last 10 games. The addition of Michael Stone has been a huge boon to their defense, and their offense is firing on all cylinders. In fact, they’ve removed Edmonton from second in the Pacific Division.

10. Ottawa Senators

11. Boston Bruins

12. Edmonton Oilers

13. Anaheim Ducks

14. Tampa Bay Lightning

After trading away Ben Bishop and looking like they might be out of a playoff spot, they’ve now won seven of their last ten. If Stamkos returns, a return to the playoffs might not be out of the question.

15. Nashville Predators

16. Toronto Maple Leafs

17. New York Islanders

The Isles have been one of the best teams in the league since the firing of Jack Capuano, recording an 8-3-2 record. Between them, the Maple Leafs(!), and the Lightning, the Wild Card race will be a photo finish.

18. Los Angeles Kings

19. St. Louis Blues

20. Winnipeg Jets

21. Buffalo Sabres

22. Philadelphia Flyers

23. Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers have been absolute garbage this year. They removed Dale Tallon from his GM position, Gerard Gallant from his position as Head Coach, and worst of all, they changed their jerseys. In a move looking to get into the playoff race, they acquired Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline, and it doesn’t appear to have done them any good.

24. Dallas Stars

25. Carolina Hurricanes

26. Vancouver Canucks

A lot of the Canucks’ bad year can be attributed to injuries. When healthy, the team is actually pretty good, as they showed by going 4-0 at the beginning of the year. Ryan Miller has been stellar and Troy Stecher and Nikita Tryamkin have been a couple revelations. With the additions of Nikolay Goldobin and Jonathan Dahlén, and the continued dominance of Bo Horvat, things aren’t looking down beyond this season.

27. Detroit Red Wings

28. Arizona Coyotes

29. Colorado Avalanche

30. New Jersey Devils

Surprised the Avalanche aren’t last? The Devils have won none in their last ten and are quickly trending towards being Nolan Patrick’s next destination.

It may be the end of the season, but I thought I’d introduce my power rankings nonetheless.

It’s a good system for the most part, but can get a bit hairy in instances. The way I figure it out is (ROW+Goal Differential) x Last 10 Win %. For the teams that have >0 PR Pts., it becomes somewhat skewed (such as when Edmonton and Buffalo had a 0 W% for a while during the 2014-15 season, or New Jersey this week), so I have to either evaluate it myself to rank the subpar teams.

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