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The definitive NHL power rankings are here- you’re welcome

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Lists, baby!

NHL: DEC 07 Senators at Flyers Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been a little while since I updated the rankings, so let’s just get into it, eh?

  1. Philadelphia Flyers {+20}

(17-8-5)

Are they the sixth best team in the league by points percentage? They are.

Do they have to take on one of the best teams in the league on the road tonight (Wednesday), without leading scorer Travis Konecny? Sure.

Has the power play been an issue? It certainly has.

But if I can’t be a homer right now, then I don’t want to do this any more. Nobody criticizes the team as much as I do when I feel it’s warranted, so I’m going to enjoy actually liking the hockey team the Flyers for a minute.

These are my rankings and if you don’t like it, well, I’ve got two words for ya...

2) Boston Bruins {+1}

(20-5-6)

Goals per game: 3.45 (4th)

Goals against per game: 2.39 (4th)

Power play: 28% (3rd)

Penalty kill: 84.9% (5th)

3) Colorado Avalanche {-2}

(19-8-3)

Through 30 games, Nathan MacKinnon in 3rd in the league in scoring (47 points), behind only the cheat codes named Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Cale Makar, 21-year-old rookie defenseman selected fourth overall in 2017, is third among all d-men with 28 points, and tied for the league lead among all rookies with Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson.

Gabriel Landeskog and Miko Rantanen have each missed 16 games already, and the team is still one of the league’s best, thanks in part to bolstered team depth, namely Joonas Donskoi, Andre Burakovsky, and Nazem Kadri.

Colorado is damn good, and we may not have even seem them at their best yet.

And check out Pavel Francouz. He’s cool.

4) Washington Capitals {+5}

(22-5-5)

Best team in the league by points and points percentage, the Caps are back in Presidents’ Trophy form, Alex Ovechkin is second in the league in goals (21; on pace for 54), and John Carlson’s 43 points are seventh in the league and have him on pace for a Norris Trophy.

The hangover appears to be over in DC.

5) Arizona Coyotes {+6}

(18-11-4)

This team is absolutely suffocating defensively, and Darcy Kuemper stops pretty much everything that sneaks through (1.96 GAA; .935 save-percentage). These guys are a faster version of the Isles, and I’ve seen enough of them to be convinced they’re capable of sustaining their BS.

6) New York Islanders {+2}

(20-7-2)

Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov are basically replicating the outstanding season Griess and Robin Lehner produced behind Barry Trotz’s D last year.

Since their 15-0-1 craziness, things have cooled a bit on Long Island. They dropped three straight on a west coast trip (0-2-1), scoring all of two goals against the Sharks, Ducks, and Kings, but are 4-2-0 since, with their most recent win being a 5-1 blowout against the Bolts.

I still don’t think this team has what it takes to win a Cup, but there’s no arguing they’re really tough to play against. They should probably be in the top five, but I personally just don’t like them, so, here they are.

7) St. Louis Blues {+9}

(18-8-6)

Even without Valdimir Tarasenko, this team kept winning, up until this week.

Since the Russian sniper’s last game on October 24, the defending champs are 13-5-3, but have lost three straight in regulation.

David Perron (30 points), Ryan O’Reilly (27 points), and Brayden Schenn (25 points) are STL’s leading scorers, all of whom are outside the league’s top-20.

But the good news for the Blues is not only has Jordan Binnington continued his solid play between the pipes, but Jake Allen, yes, Jake Allen, seems to have found his game again. In his previous two seasons, Allen put up a .906 save-percentage and a 2.78 GAA. This year, he’s at .925 and 2.33 in ten games.

8) Vegas Golden Knights {-3}

(16-12-5)

I think they’re really good, but they just haven’t been able to get on a roll. Maybe it’s getting started now. Vegas hadn’t won more than two straight until picking up four in-a-row between 11/27-12/2, and now they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games.

9) Carolina Hurricanes {-2}

(19-11-1)

After losing four straight to kick off November, the ‘Canes are 10-4-0, and have won three straight.

Carolina boasts three top-20 scorers, including Dougie Hamilton, who trails only John Carlson in point production by a blueliner. Nineteen-year-old Andrei Svechnikov’s 34 points are three shy of his total from 2018-19.

Somehow Petr Mrazek’s .903 save-percentage is holding up behind a defense allowing 28.9 shots/game, tied for third fewest with Philly.

10) Dallas Stars {+13}

(18-11-3)

11) Pittsburgh Penguins {+2}

(17-10-4)

12) Winnipeg Jets {+10}

(19-10-2)

Since a rough October (6-7-0), the Jets have been hot dating back to the start of November, having gone 13-3-2 (.778 points-percentage), but I’m still just not completely sold.

Mark Scheifele has been awesome, one-dimensional Patrik Laine has 9 goals and 20 assists, and Kyle Connor has been his usual, productive self.

The real story has been Connor Hellebuyck, though. After finishing second in Vezina voting in 2018, Hellebuyck had a down season (.913, 2.90) last year.

Now, among goalies with 10 starts, Hellebuyck leads the league in wins (15), is fourth in save-percentage (.933), sixth in GAA (2.24), fifth in TOI (1367:40), and third in shots faced (759). Hellebuyck is playing at an elite level, and that’s the top reason the Jets are third overall in the West.

13) Edmonton Oilers {-7}

(18-11-4)

The Oilers’ 40 standings points are tied for sixth most in the league.

In games Connor McDavid doesn’t record a point, Edmonton is 2-3-2.

In games Leon Draisaitl doesn’t record a point, Edmonton is 0-4-2.

Draisaitl for Hart.

14) Nashville Predators {-10}

(14-10-5)

The Preds are scoring the sixth most goals-per-game at 3.34, despite their leading scorer being defenseman Roman Josi, who is 42nd in the NHL with 26 points. Smashville has nine players scoring at or above 0.50 points/game.

Goaltending has been an issue, with both Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros registering sub-.900 save-percentages. But when you’re giving up the second-fewest shots per game, I guess you can survive.

15) Buffalo Sabres {-13}

(15-11-6)

I want to believe in this team, but I just don’t.

Since starting 9-2-1, they’ve only picked up 17 of the last 40 points, but are coming off of back-to-back wins, points in three straight and have earned 11 of the last 16 points. This team is pretty up and down, but sitting in second place in the supposedly great Atlantic, I guess you could say they’re...

16) Toronto Maple Leafs {-1}

(15-13-4)

They’ve been better overall since Mike Babcock was shown the door (6-3-0), but the way they shut it down in the third period against the Flyers and then came back and only netted one at home against Colorado, this team still has a long way to go.

Yes, the’ve has some decent margins of victory over Vancouver and St. Louis since, but this team still isn’t playing to its potential.

The talent is there, and they could climb the rankings quickly when things start to click, but as of right now they’re still just average by total standings points, and they’re bottom five in goals allowed.

17) Vancouver Canucks {-6}

(15-12-4)

For whatever reason I thought it was a good idea to put a few dollars on the Canucks against the Leafs the other night, and despite outshooting Toronto 39-26, they lost 4-1. Buncha goddam bums.

18) Minnesota Wild {+6}

(14-12-5)

You gonna tell me this guy isn’t actually ham?

19) Tampa Bay Lightning {-7}

Last year’s historically great first round busts are 16 points ahead of last place Detroit, and 16 points behind first place Washington.

20) San Jose Sharks {/}

(15-16-2)

It really looked like the Sharks were starting to get it going in November, winning 11 of 13 games. But December hasn’t been as kind. San Jose is winless this month, picking up a single point in a shootout loss through five games.

21) New York Rangers {+5}

(15-12-3)

Honestly, they haven’t been as bad as I thought they’d be. But a game after shutting out the Golden Knights, 5-0, they couldn’t even cover the +1.5 against the f’n Kings.

22) Calgary Flames {-3}

(17-12-4)

They’ve won six straight and have points in eight straight (7-0-1) to jump way up in the standings.

To be totally honest, I set the rankings a little while before writing this article, and I don’t really care to rearrange them now. I owe you one, Flames fans. I’ll give you a bump into the top ten next week.

23) Montreal Canadiens {-9}

(14-11-6)

Wins against the Pens and Isles this month are big, but I hate this whole division. None of the teams are doing what they’re supposed to do and it’s annoying.

Montreal’s six loser points are tied for most in the league, and they’re the only “over .500” team in the East with a negative goal differential. They look like pretenders to me.

24) Florida Panthers {-6}

(15-10-5)

25) Anaheim Ducks {-8}

(13-14-4)

26) Chicago Blackhawks {-1}

(12-13-6)

After a two-point October, Jonathan Toews has scored 5 goals and 11 assists in his last 20 games. That’s definitely worth $10.5 million for this season and then three more.

27) Columbus Blue Jackets {/}

(12-14-4)

28) Los Angeles Kings {/}

(12-18-2)

The Flyers are in need of a power play scorer. Any interest in Ilya Kovalchuk?

29) Detroit Red Wings {+1}

(7-22-3)

Are the Red Wings the worst team in the league? Yes.

But they’re supposed to be.

30) New Jersey Devils {-2}

(9-16-5)

The Devils, on the other hand, were supposed to be, at least, decent. They spent money and added veteran talent, as well as a number one overall pick, to their lineup and the results have landed a coach in the unemployment line.

Maybe they overvalued the moves they made and the talent they had. Certainly they did. But that still doesn’t explain how ridiculously bad they’ve been. Only Detroit has fewer regulation wins and a worse goal-differential. And based on the weight I’m giving expectations, Jersey has been far worse than the Wings.

31) Ottawa Senators

(13-17-1)