NHL Power Rankings: January

NHL Power Rankings: January

By Chris Cole & Brett Wiseman

February 1, 2020

Like we have done throughout the season with the FPHL, we decided to bring our power rankings to the NHL. We rank the ten best teams in the NHL for the month of January.

10) Carolina Hurricanes (29-18-13; 61 Pts)

Teuvo Teravainen leads the way with 8 points in January, as he, Andre Svechnikov (7 pts) and Sebastian Aho (6 pts) continue to show last year’s surprise playoff run was no fluke. Reimer and Mrazek have been fantastic in net this month posting .944 and .914 save percentages respectively.

9) Florida Panthers (28-16-5; 61 Pts)

Veteran forwards Mike Hoffman (13 pts) and Frank Vatrano (12 pts) are pacing an explosive and surprising offense with help from Jonathan Huberdeau (12 pts), Evgenii Dadonov (11 pts) and the ever-reliable Aleksandar Barkov (9 pts). The big free agent signing of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky continues to pay off. The netminder is 5-1 in his last 6 starts with a .904 save percentage during that stretch.

8) Columbus Blue Jackets (Overall: 27-16-8; 62 Pts)

Pierre Luc-Dubois continues his stellar season, as he notched an impressive 11 points this month to drive what has become an incredibly efficient offense. Zach Werenski, Nick Foligno, and wily defenseman Seth Jones have pitched in as well, each with 6 points. The meteoric rise of rookie netminder Elvis Merzlikins continues, going 8-2 this month with a whopping .948 save percentage.

7) New York Islanders (29-15-5; 63 Pts)

Brock Nelson (8 pts), Mathew Barzal (8 pts), and Jordan Eberle (7 pts) continue their elite play, pacing the Isles’ explosive attack. Nelson and Barzal are also winning well over 40% of their faceoffs, creating even more scoring opportunities for their linemates. Goaltending was a bit shaky in January, as Semyon Varlamov struggled mightily, going 1-5 in 7 starts with a 3.10 goals against average. He was cushioned however by Thomas Griess who did an admirable job going 3-0 with a 1.86 GAA.

6) Tampa Bay Lightning (30-15-5; 65 Pts)

Oh boy, did the Bolts ever find their stride in January. The always dangerous Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos found their ways again, each racking up 17 points in what was a launching point month for the team overall. Andrei Vasilevskiy is as good as ever between the pipes, going 8-0 in his last nine starts, with an astounding .954 save percentage and minuscule 1.43 GAA.

5) Colorado Avalanche (28-15-6; 62 Pts)

The Avs continue to at least keep pace with the defending champion Blues in the central division, led by the elite scoring of captain Nathan Mackinnon, who had another impressive month, notching 14 points in January and winning 50% of his faceoffs. His linemates Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog are benefiting as well, notching 9 and 5 points respectively. Philip Grubaurer was solid as always in net this month, 4-1 with a .910 save percentage.

4) St. Louis Blues (31-12-8; 70 Pts)

A team decimated by injuries to key players hasn’t let that or the always-assumed “cup hangover” slow them down. The defending Stanley Cup champs are paced by All-Star David Perron, who continues his torrid season with another 12 points this month. Perron is aided by his fellow All-Stars, Captain Alex Pietrangelo (11 pts) and last year’s playoff MVP Ryan O’Reilly (10 pts). Alexander Steen is enjoying a resurgence since being paired with young linemate Robert Thomas, each notching 9 points a piece this month. Jordan Binnington has been relying too much on offense, however. He’s winning, but his 24 GA in 7 starts this month are definitely cause for concern.

3) Pittsburgh Penguins (31-14-5; 67 Pts)

Another team decimated by injuries to key players hasn’t slowed down the Pens offensive attack. The next man up mentality is prevalent in Pittsburgh, as Evegni Malkin and Bryan Rust are pacing the offense with double digits in points, 12 and 11 on the month respectively. Meanwhile Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are sure starting to look like one heck of a one-two punch in the crease.

2) Boston Bruins (29-10-12; 70 Pts)

The Bruins revenge tour is flying now, led by Hart Trophy favorite David Pastrnak, who notched 11 points this month and took home MVP honors at the All-Star Game in St. Louis. Jake DeBrusk (9 pts) and Charlie Coyle (7 pts) have picked up the slack from Pastrnak’s linemates on the so-called “perfection line.” Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak saw a lot more action this month while Tukka Rask has been battling injury and he left a lot to be desired, going 3-3 in 6 starts with a 3.15 GAA.

1) Washington Capitals (34-12-5; 73 Pts)

The deepest team in the league continues to sit atop the league standings, led by Captain Alex Ovechkin (13 pts), and two others (Jakub Vrana, John Carlson) with double digit point totals this month. Help from power forward Tom Wilson (9 pts), elite centerman Nicklas Backstom (9 pts, 54.4 FOW%) and sniper T.J. Oshie (8 pts) has kept the Caps firmly planted atop the league standings. Starting goaltender Braden Holtby struggled mightily however, going 2-3 in 6 starts with a gargantuan 3.72 GAA. Surprise rookie backup goalie Ilya Samsonov more than picked up the slack between the pipes, going a perfect 5-0 with a whopping .955 save percentage and a microscopic 1.39 GAA.

PHOTO: Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images