Power rankings are a weird balance, because you’re going off real results and deep-rooted opinions and feelings.
For example, I, as we all do, know in my heart that the Toronto Maple Leafs will do something really funny and their season will end in wild fashion.
But they’re also really good right now, so it is what it is. That is the balance of the power rankings — they aren’t the NHL standings, but they aren’t all about feelings, either.
If there were rankings based on feelings, the Vancouver Canucks would be at the top, because there are more feelings about and around them now than nearly anyone.
On to this week’s balanced rankings.
1. Florida Panthers
The change of scenery for Sam Bennett has been really good for him. Also Eetu Luostarinen is turning out to be pretty good.
2. Washington Capitals
Every time Alex Ovechkin scores it’s a story, as he gets closer to the record for power-play goals.
3. Edmonton Oilers
They have the best points percentage in the league and Connor McDavid. Their penalty kill is also dominant. Tough to find flaws.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
They had won 15 of their past 17 games entering Friday. They are 100 percent going to blow it later on, but for now the Leafs look great.
5. Minnesota Wild
Is Ryan Hartman entering the Hart Trophy conversation? Every time I look up he’s dominating games.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
Yeah, the Lightning are fine. Even without Nikita Kucherov. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
7. Calgary Flames
Maybe the Flames are entering their era after all. Rasmus Andersson is doing everything he can to enter the top-defensemen conversation.
8. Carolina Hurricanes
They lost to the Senators and have been on a bit of a slide since losing in Seattle last week.
9. Colorado Avalanche
Jonas Johansson’s performance against the Leafs was a vibe killer, but the Avalanche are still a force, and Nathan MacKinnon is back.
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
Some day the Penguins will be fully healthy, and it will be scary.
11. Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk requested a trade and then scored a goal. The Bruins are weird this season. Their goaltending hasn’t been good, and the vibes around the trade request have been odd.
12. New York Rangers
Will Igor Shesterkin be a legitimate Vezina Trophy contender? Sure feels like it right now.
13. St. Louis Blues
The Blues tried their darndest to be the first team to have an emergency backup goalie play this season. Also, Jordan Kyrou? Seems like he can play.
14. Anaheim Ducks
Are we in a Sonny Milano era? Kind of feels like we’re in a Sonny Milano era. At least he and Trevor Zegras really work together.
15. Nashville Predators
Released the worst jersey in the NHL this season.
16. Dallas Stars
This week the Stars became the first NHL team to score before the game’s first 75 seconds in four consecutive games. Weird stat, but the Stars might be good again.
17. Vegas Golden Knights
The vibes are still off. It felt like the Knights were about to go on a run and be the Knights again, but then they lost two in a row.
18. Detroit Red Wings
There are some elements to Detroit’s game that are … fun? Lucas Raymond is a genuine pleasure to watch.
19. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets played officially the weirdest game of the season when they outshot the Coyotes 46-15 and lost. So congrats to them.
20. New Jersey Devils
Did not release the worst jersey in the NHL this season.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets allow 34.5 shots per game, third-most in the league. Not giving themselves much of a chance right now.
22. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings’ penalty kill at 74.6 percent is pretty brutal. Just kind of a meh team right now.
23. Seattle Kraken
The injury bug hit when it was starting to look like the Kraken could climb back into contention.
24. San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson decided to be a version of Good Erik Karlsson again, and it has made all the difference in the world.
25. Philadelphia Flyers
The annual falling of the Philadelphia Flyers is here.
26. Chicago Blackhawks
Maybe Derek King did save their season? At least they’ve been competitive with seven wins in their past 10 games, and Marc-Andre Fleury has been better.
27. New York Islanders
I just feel bad. They had to be on the road forever and now have a new arena. Then COVID-19 decimated them, and the league wouldn’t postpone games until it had already spread a bunch.
28. Buffalo Sabres
Who would have known an Aaron Dell and Dustin Tokarski duo might not be so great in net?
29. Vancouver Canucks
They beat Ottawa and Montreal in back-to-back games to save their season, I guess? Good timing with the schedule.
30. Ottawa Senators
The Senators beat the Hurricanes and got demolished by the Canucks in the same week, and that’s Senators hockey, baby.
31. Montreal Canadiens
The Habs finally cleaned house in the front office, so we’ll see if that gives them a spark.
32. Arizona Coyotes
They’re 4-3-1 in their past eight games, so maybe this is unfair. But they are so far out of contention and have drama with their arena.