nhl_powerrankings_945
Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 38-9-4
The Washington Capitals are more than four games ahead of the rest of the league because they continue to shine on both ends of the ice, giving up the fewest goals in the NHL this season while scoring more per game than any other team
2 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 36-16-4
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are the favorites to repeat on many sites right now because they are in the top-20 percent of the league offensively and defensively plus have the experience to get it done in May.
3 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 33-15-5
The Dallas Stars are still the highest-scoring team in the Western Conference and have their fate in their hands despite being five points back of first place in the Central Division. If they keep winning, they’ll compete for a top-seed
4 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 31-17-3
The Los Angeles Kings have cooled a bit but still have the components that got them two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons—an elite goalie, blue-line, and forward depth with as much grit as any team in the NHL.
5 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 31-16-6
The Florida Panthers have outplayed their talent level but are good enough on the back end to be able to hold at least home-ice advantage in the Atlantic Division semifinals and are currently a top-10 scoring team, as well.
6 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 29-19-4
The Tampa Bay Lightning may have shorted out Monday in Ottawa, but they have climbed out of their offensive struggles of the first few weeks and remain one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now.
7 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 30-17-8
The St. Louis Blues have one of the best records on the 2015-16 NHL season despite a mediocre goal differential and being in the tough Central Division, but are unlikely to continue to get this level of play from their goalies.
8 New York Rangers New York Rangers 30-18-5
The New York Rangers have won six of their last eight games. During that streak they have allowed just 16 goals, climbing back into the top half of the league defensively and into second place in the Metropolitan Division.
9 New York Islanders New York Islanders 27-18-6
The New York Islanders are have depth and top-tier talent in all three units and showed they are good enough to absolutely dominate a team with issues, but they have yet to show they are a top-tier team.
10 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 27-18-7
▲ 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins have turned the corner on their season with a 12-4-4 record in their last 20 games, and the once-struggling Sidney Crosby is on an 11-game point streak with 12 goals and 10 assists.
11 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 28-18-6
▲ 2
The Boston Bruins continue to tighten their grip on at least a wild card behind the third-best scoring in the league, climbing to third in the Atlantic Division standings with under five weeks to go.
12 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 27-20-4
▼ 2
The San Jose Sharks might be cooling from an 8-0-2 stretch leading up to the All-Star break, dropping two of three on their current road trip with the defending Stanley Cup champions to end it Tuesday.
13 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 27-18-8
▼ 1
The Detroit Red Wings barely outscore their opponents but have been nearly a .600 team since Pavel Datsyuk’s return in November, helping drive their steady climb firmly into the postseason picture.
14 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 25-19-7
▲ 1
The three-time defending Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks will probably not repeat and still have scoring issues, but are 24-12-5 since October and already seem a lock to reach the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.
15 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 25-20-8
▼ 1
The Nashville Predators seem to be getting their defensive game together while their trade for Ryan Johansen is going about as well as one could hope with a point in all but one game since the trade.
16 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 26-21-7
▲ 2
Hanging around just outside postseason eligibility, the New Jersey Devils are playing their standard defensive game and developing young talent in meaningful games...even if they will fall short.
17 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 27-24-4
▼ 1
The Colorado Avalanche have cooled off. They’ve been battling the flu and they’re without elite goalie Semyon Varlamov, but they still came up with a tough comeback win on the road over a Stanley Cup contender on the second of back-to-back nights among its wins last week.
18 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 23-19-9
▲ 2
The Philadelphia Flyers continue battling to stay in the postseason picture despite being in the bottom 20 percent of the league in scoring average as well as a bottom-10 team in scoring differential.
19 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 23-20-9
▼ 2
The Minnesota Wild are in a full-on slide with a 1-8-1 record in their last 10 games and barely hold the final wild card by point. To get back in this, they’ll need to improve on their bottom-10 scoring to pull out of it.
20 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 26-24-4
▼ 1
Les Habitants de Montreal have finally won a couple in a row and got the good news that Carey Price is skating again, but his return is not likely to come in time for them to reach the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs.
21 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 24-21-9
▲ 1
The Carolina Hurricanes are improving as the season wears on but are still in the bottom half of the league both offensively and defensively and it will be tough to leapfrog three teams to be postseason eligible.
22 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 25-23-6
▲ 1
The Ottawa Senators are the perfect team for anyone that loves to watch scoring. Their games have featured 11 more goals (in one more game) than the team averaging the second-most total goals per game.
23 Arizona Coyotes Arizona Coyotes 24-22-6
▼ 2
The Arizona Coyotes have fallen back to earth as struggling Pacific Division rivals have found their game, making it unlikely the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs will be a goal leading up to the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
24 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 20-20-12
The Vancouver Canucks will no longer be able to hang around the edge of postseason eligibility as a .500 team now that a couple Pacific Division rivals have awakened, and their potential for improvement is limited.
25 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 23-26-3
The Winnipeg Jets would probably not be good enough to make the Stanley Cup playoffs in any division, but may have a better shot at the top spot in the 2016 NHL entry draft in the toughest divisions in hockey.
26 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 23-25-3
The suspension of Dennis Wideman could send the already struggling Calgary Flames into a fall to the bottom of the weakest division this season, especially if they choose to be sellers with the trade deadline Feb. 29.
27 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 21-26-6
The Buffalo Sabres are growing into a more competitive team but still have a ways to go to even set a reasonable goal of reaching the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, especially needing to improve their terrible full-strength scoring.
28 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 19-23-9
The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to find games tougher to win as the 2015-16 NHL season wears on and their opponents tighten their play for postseason runs, but even being competitive is still a step up.
29 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 21-28-5
▲ 1
The Columbus Blue Jackets climb out of last place as much because of another team’s ineptitude than their consecutive wins, but the extra regulation/overtime win justifies their climb as does their lack of a disastrous game and tougher division.
30 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 21-28-5
▼ 1
The Edmonton Oilers take over the bottom spot because not even Connor McDavid’s return could stop them from losing two in a row—including an 8-1 blowout—to officially take the lowest spot in the league standings.

 

About The Ranker:

MJ Kasprzak was a community leader and featured columnist for Bleacher Report beginning in 2008 and has covered the San Jose Sharks and the rest of the NHL for Examiner.com since 2012.

More From CBS Detroit

Daily J
Valenti and Foster

Watch & Listen