I mentioned this last week, but it’s worth repeating: The good NHL teams are starting to pull away after a sluggish start to the season. It turns out Colorado is good, just like we all thought.
Meanwhile, Edmonton apparently is not good. Thursday night was a disaster, with the Oilers’ loss to Florida and jerseys being thrown onto the ice.
As of this writing, coach Dave Tippett hasn’t been fired. But the Oilers haven’t won a game with him behind their bench since November, so perhaps it’s a matter of time.
Here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Just after everyone kind of wrote off Victor Hedman, he is having a legitimate Norris Trophy type of season.
2. Colorado Avalanche
Nobody is doing it like the Avalanche. It feels like Cale Makar does something unreal every game.
3. Florida Panthers
There are about a million stats to tell you how good the Panthers have been, but my favorite is they are averaging 5.5 goals per game over their past 10, and that was brought down by a one-goal game against the Flames.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs played only six games in 30 days, and the NHL still went on somehow.
5. New York Rangers
As I was typing this Chris Krieder scored another power-play goal.
6. Vegas Golden Knights
Jack Eichel might still be a couple of months away, but he’s progressing, and other teams should be scared.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins
Evan Rodrigues hadn’t scored in five games entering Friday. Maybe the run is over.
8. St. Louis Blues
They should return to playing “Gloria” after victories.
9. Washington Capitals
Things haven’t been so smooth for the Capitals lately.
10. Boston Bruins
The Bruins played maybe their worst game all season against the Hurricanes. Maybe Karson Kuhlman was their key to success.
11. Nashville Predators
Nashville has slowed in the past week but is still in a secure playoff spot.
12. Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina is the only team that hasn’t been in a shootout this season, and that’s wild to me.
13. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota is scoring 3.66 goals per game, putting it in a class with the Avalanche and Panthers.
14. Los Angeles Kings
People are mad that Adrian Kempe made the All-Star Game, but he has as many points as Kraken All-Star Jordan Eberle.
15. San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier is trying to bring the Sharks into the playoffs on his own. He scored give goals against the Kings on Monday.
16. Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have dropped drastically, with four losses in a row and just two wins in their past 10 games.
17. Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings won’t make the playoffs, but they’re easily the best non-playoff team in the East, which is fun.
18. Calgary Flames
Calgary entered Friday having lost three in a row and out of a playoff position. Goaltending has regressed, and perhaps COVID disrupted them.
19. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks had emerged from a horrid start thanks to the Bruce Boudreau bump, but with them on the road most of the past month because of COVID restrictions, they’ve struggled to maintain momentum.
20. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are slumping, and they also rarely play games anymore.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
Not that the Blue Jackets were really in the playoff race, but a 9-2 loss to the Panthers felt like the end to their hopes.
22. Chicago Blackhawks
Marc-Andre Fleury has been very good lately. Even in the loss to the Kraken he played well.
23. New York Islanders
The Islanders have recorded points in eight of their past 10 games and still entered Friday 14 out of a playoff spot.
24. Dallas Stars
Dallas was having trouble winning at home, and now they’re having trouble winning at all.
25. Edmonton Oilers
Not to be too p- … uh, petty, but things are not going well for the Oilers.
26. New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes is one of the most fun players to watch in the league right now, and he’s made Devils games worth watching. That’s hard to do.
27. Philadelphia Flyers
Something is still wrong with the Flyers. They had lost six of their past 10 entering Friday, and things haven’t gotten much better since their coaching shake-up.
28. Buffalo Sabres
Goaltending is a Choose Your Own Adventure story lately.
29. Ottawa Senators
Yes, the Senators are all the way down here, but I’m not overly down on their future. Drake Batherson is a player for them.
30. Seattle Kraken
The Kraken won a game this week!
31. Arizona Coyotes
Watch out, here come the Coyotes to jeopardize the Shane Wright pick.
32. Montreal Canadiens
Maybe Kent Hughes will save them.