NHL Power Rankings

NHL Power Rankings

By Chris Cole

December 15, 2019

The NHL season is coming closer to the All-Star break. I wanted to start doing my NHL Power Rankings for the top 10 teams in the NHL. I'll judge off of performance, talent and scheduling. However, at No. 10 this week, we wanted to honor someone.

10) Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers)

My No. 10 on this list belongs to a person rather than a team. We here at Under Review want to wish Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers all the best on his road to treatment and recovery after hearing about his cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) diagnoses this week.  Next week we will go back to our regular programming in this spot. #OskarStrong

9) Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes had an average week splitting the wins and losses with two each. Both wins came against a lowly ranked Chicago Blackhawks side. While the loss was against a surging Calgary Flames team that was in the middle of a decent winning streak.  The loss against New Jersey, a team aiming for a top draft pick, and the wins against just-as-low performing Chicago are the main reasons for Arizona being ranked in 9th.  

8) Edmonton Oilers

Three losses, but not exactly bad losses though.  The Oilers were playing against formidable opponents like Carolina and Toronto and let’s face it, the Eastern Conference is better than the west this year so losing to top East teams doesn’t look that bad in reality.  If they don’t perform next week against Dallas and St. Louis the Oilers could slip out of the rankings.

7) Pittsburgh Penguins 

Like the Coyotes, the Penguins right now are having to scavenge points against the teams in the lower-half of the standings, but with that said, they shouldn’t be going to the limit against teams like Columbus (1-0 OT win) and Los Angeles (5-4 SO win).  Losing 4-1 to Montreal doesn’t help the Pens in this case either, but four points out of six keeps them in the first Wild Card spot instead of third in the Metropolitan Division.

6) Carolina Hurricanes

Being the team to halt a streaking team in their tracks has to be a good feeling and the Canes have done that twice this season.  First time against the Minnesota Wild and this week against Calgary. The Canes picked up points in all three games this week; an emphatic 4-0 win against the Flames along with a 6-3 drubbing against the Oilers has propelled them to 7th in our rankings.  The lone loss came in OT, 1-0, against a Vancouver Canucks squad that plays way better than their record indicates.  

5) St. Louis Blues

I know I said earlier that losing to an Eastern opponent isn’t too bad considering the East is currently better than the West, but with Colorado breathing down the Blues’ neck losing to Buffalo shouldn’t be a thing.  Wins against potential playoff foe Vegas and lowly-ranked Chicago help keep St. Louis ahead of the Avs by a single point in the Central division standings. Colorado and St. Louis play each other on the 16th which will be the definite game to watch that night with first place in the Central up for grabs!  

4) Boston Bruins

At least the week ended well for the Bruins.  They played four games this week, losing the first three in a closely-fought games, but they ended the week with a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers.  The Bruins have the standings in their favor right now so the recent losing funk they were in didn’t affect them like it would other teams. Boston still sits in first place in the Atlantic division with a 9-point lead over second place Buffalo.

3) Colorado Avalanche

Everything has been going right for the Avs as of late.  Identical 3-1 wins against Philly and New Jersey extend their regulation unbeaten streak to 9 games (they were beaten in OT by Calgary on December 9th).  With their dominance, it's a shame they aren’t in first place in the Central Division but knowing they are only a point behind division-leaders St. Louis means the ball is in their court to come out ahead of the Blues very soon.

2) New York Islanders

Three games, three wins.  The Islanders are going streaking!  New York is definitely in mid-season form right now and if it wasn’t for the team at the top of our Power Rankings they would definitely be Number 1 to state the obvious.  Convincing wins against Tampa Bay and Florida and an OT win against the Buffalo Sabres show that the Isles, along with the Capitals, are laying the groundwork to show the NHL that the Metropolitan Division is the best division among the four in the league.

1) Washington Capitals

The week didn’t start off well for the Caps with a 5-2 loss to Columbus which halted a 4-game losing streak for the Blue Jackets.  Shaking off that loss the Caps went on to win their remaining two games of the week by beating Boston 3-2 and Tampa Bay 5-2. Washington continues to sit pretty atop the NHL standings with 53 points, seven points clear of second place New York Islanders in the Metro division.