The NHL Power Rankings are back after a week hiatus of Thanksgiving rest! Apologies to our Canadian readers who got their thanksgiving out of the way a month ago.
1. DALLAS STARS (20-5-2)(↔)
Finally got their first taste of OT defeat, but still the league’s best team and looking impressive doing it.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. Carolina, Fri. Vs. Philadelphia, Sat. at St. Louis
2. MONTREAL CANADIENS (19-6-3)(↑2)
No one is surprised to see the Habs up this high; the real surprise is that backup goalie Mike Condon has been a seamless fill-in for the injured Carey Price.
Upcoming Games: Wed. vs. Boston, Thu. at Detroit, Sat. vs. Ottawa
3. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (18-5-2)(↑4)
Surging up the ranks with a recent win streak, the hot Caps have taken charge of the Metro Division.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. Detroit, Thu. at Florida, Sat. at Tampa Bay
4. NEW YORK ISLANDERS (15-8-5)(↑4)
The Isles knocked off St. Louis, the Rangers and gotten some much-appreciated offensive production from an unlikely fourth line. Things like that make for a magical season.
Upcoming Games: Tue. at Philadelphia, Sat. at Columbus
5. LOS ANGELES KINGS (16-8-1)(↔)
The Kings are opening up a gap with the rest of the Pacific Division, partially due to chances: they lead the league with over 32 shots on goal per game.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Tampa Bay, Tue. at Columbus, Fri. at Pittsburgh, Sat. at Buffalo
6. NEW YORK RANGERS(17-7-3)(↓4)
A recent skid dropped them out of the lead in the East, but they remain a solid and productive unit.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Ottawa, Wed. at Vancouver, Fri. at Edmonton, Sat. at Calgary
7. ST. LOUIS BLUES(15-8-4)(↓3)
That infamous inconsistency on offense would be a lot worse if it weren’t for Vladimir Tarasenko‘s 15 goals.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. Arizona, Thu. vs. Philadelphia, Sat. vs. Dallas
8. MINNESOTA WILD(14-7-4)(↑4)
Look out: Three in a row won by the Wild and they’re about to visit some very vulnerable teams.
Upcoming Games: Mon. at Colorado, Fri. at Arizona, Sat. at San Jose
9. OTTAWA SENATORS(14-7-5)(↑2)
The end of last season wasn’t a fluke, the goaltending has been up to standard, and this young team is not getting pushed around. The Sens have silenced a lot of critics so far.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at NY Rangers, Tue. at Florida, Thu. at Tampa Bay, Sat. at Montreal
10. DETROIT RED WINGS(15-8-4)(↑10)
If there was a mover recently, it’s Detroit. They’ve not lost in regulation for 10 games now and have won three in a row.
Upcoming Games: Tue. at Washington, Thu. vs. Montreal, Fri. at New Jersey
11. NASHVILLE PREDATORS(13-8-5)(↓5)
Nashville is slipping to mediocrity, and you can point the finger at special teams: they cough up goals on one out of every four penalty kills.
Upcoming Games: Mon. at Boston, Tue. at Chicago, Thu. vs. Chicago, Sat. vs. Colorado
12. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS(14-9-2)(↓3)
No denies that the Pens aren’t fun to watch or that the team isn’t good. The problem is that they can’t seem to reach the standard of the New Yorks or Washington and challenge for the division lead.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at Anaheim, Wed. at Colorado, Fri. vs. Los Angeles
13. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS(13-9-4)(↑2)
Patrick Kane is back to his old self, and the Hawks are in a groove. This week could end with them asserting dominance over the pack in the Central and possibly closing the gap with Dallas.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Winnipeg, Tue. vs. Nashville, Thu. at Nashville, Fri. vs. Winnipeg
14. BOSTON BRUINS(14-8-3)(↑5)
That recent winning tear has put the Bruins back in the playoff hunt, with David Krejci as a clutch player this season.
Upcoming Games: Mon. vs. Nashville. Wed. at Montreal, Sat. vs. Florida
15. TAMPA BAY LIGHTING(13-11-3)(↓1)
For a team that was two games from a title, the Bolts are looking positively average lately. That storied offense has sputtered, and they’re now in the bottom third of goals scored this season.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at Los Angeles, Thu. vs. Ottawa, Sat. vs. Washington
16. FLORIDA PANTHERS(13-9-4)(↑5)
Things look better at the other end of the state, however, as the Panthers have racked up five straight wins.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at New Jersey, Tue. vs. Ottawa, Thu. vs. Washington, Sat. at Boston
17. SAN JOSE SHARKS(14-12-0)(↓7)
A six-game winning streak gave way to losing four-of-five. It does help being unbeaten in overtime, however.
Upcoming Games: Tue. at Calgary, Wed. at Edmonton, Sat. at Minnesota
18. NEW JERSEY DEVILS(13-10-3)(↓2)
Lack of output has shackled the Devils this season, as they’ve only put an average of 25 shots on target per game.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Florida, Tue. at Toronto, Fri. vs. Detroit
19. VANCOUVER CANUCKS(9-11-8)(↓6)
They’ve lost almost as many games in OT as they’ve won period, and they’re the worst team in the league on the draw. These guys are snakebit, and it’s up to Willie Desjardins to right the ship.
Upcoming Games: Mon. vs. Buffalo, Wed. vs. NY Rangers
20. WINNIPEG JETS(13-12-2)(↓2)
The Central Division is insanely competitive this season, Excepting the torrid Stars and sluggish Avs. Winnipeg is the underdog in that middle pack, and will have to find a way to creep back in.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at Chicago, Thu. vs. Columbus, Fri. at Chicago
21. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS(11-11-5)(↑5)
The Flyers have improved results lately but are still hemorraging goals. And this will could be brutal.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. NY Islanders, Thu. at St. Louis, Fri. at Dallas
22. ARIZONA COYOTES(12-13-1)(↓5)
There’s hope for the Yotes, who have anemic special teams but a gem of a rookie in Max Domi.
Upcoming Games: Sun. at Carolina, Tue. at St. Louis, Fri. vs. Minnesota, Sat. vs. Carolina
23. ANAHEIM DUCKS(10-12-5)(↓1)
We keep waiting for this team to make a move in the division race. We wonder how long management will wait on things, too.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Pittsburgh, Fri. vs. Carolina
24. BUFFALO SABRES(11-12-3)(↓1)
Chin up! Nobody thought you’d be CLOSE to .500 at the start of the season!
Upcoming Games: Sun. at Edmonton, Mon. at Vancouver, Thu. at Calgary, Sat. vs. Los Angeles
25. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS(11-16-1)(↓1)
Adding John Tortorella has improved things, but some roster changes will be the next step.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. Los Angeles, Thu. at Winnipeg, Sat. vs. NY Islanders
26. COLORADO AVALANCHE(11-15-1)(↑2)
Who’s the most productive offense in the Western Conference? Yes, Yes, Dallas, of course, but would it shock you to know that the Avs are second?
Upcoming Games: Mon. vs. Minnesota, Wed. vs. Pittsburgh, Sat. at Nashville
27. CAROLINA HURRICANES(9-13-4)(↓2)
Justin Faulk is an impressive offensive defenseman. I’m sure someone will think so come the Trade Deadline.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Arizona, Tue. at Dallas, Fri. at Anaheim, Sat. at Arizona
28. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS(9-13-5)(↓1)
It’s December, which means the Leafs have already fallen.
Upcoming Games: Tue. vs. New Jersey
29. EDMONTON OILERS(10-15-2)(↑1)
Congrats on beating Ottawa by six! You sure gave up a lot of goals, but still won 26-20…Oh, that was the Grey Cup? Never mind.
Upcoming Games: Sun. vs. Buffalo, Wed. vs. San Jose, Fri. vs. NY Rangers
30. CALGARY FLAMES(10-14-2)(↓1)
The Worst Power Play and the Worst Penalty Kill in the league. And, evidently, the 5-on-5 ain’t that great, either.
Upcoming Games: Tues. vs. San Jose, Thu. vs. Buffalo, Sat. vs. NY Rangers