The first edition of the NHL power rankings in 2020 features little movement at the top but plenty of shake-ups at the bottom. Here are the top 16 teams in hockey.
1. Washington Capitals (30-10-5)
Prev. Rank: 1
Most NHL teams that make the playoffs excel at home and play about .500 on the road. But the Capitals have been a tough out even as the visitors as they’re 17-6-1 outside our nation’s capital this season.
2. St. Louis Blues (28-10-7)
Prev. Rank: 2
The Blues will be well-represented in their own arena for the All-Star Game on January 26, with Ryan O’Reilly, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and goalie Jordan Binnington all getting the nod. Forward David Perron could join them through the “Last Men In” vote, which ends on Friday night.
— 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗥𝗮𝗻𝘁𝘀 (@bluesrantscom) January 10, 2020
3. New York Islanders (27-12-3)
Prev. Rank: 3
“Exciting” is not a word many would use to describe Islanders hockey this season (or Uniondale, for that matter), but they’ve started near the top and remained here by allowing very few goals (2.55 per game, fourth-fewest in the league) and staying out of the penalty box (tied for second in times shorthanded at 115).
4. Boston Bruins (26-8-11)
Prev. Rank: 5
The Bruins are staggeringly bad in extra time, going 2-11 straight-up. That does not bode well for them come playoff time.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (26-12-5)
Prev. Rank: 6
Losing Jake Guetzel to a shoulder injury for four-to-six months was not something the Penguins needed with Sidney Crosby still on the shelf. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, Bryan Rust is having a career year, as he’s poised to eclipse his season-high in points by the All-Star break.
— Chicken Joe (@_ChickenJoe_) January 5, 2020
6. Dallas Stars (26-14-4)
Prev. Rank: 9
A Winter Classic victory over the Predators is just part of the Stars’ current six-game win streak. Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin have combined to allow just eight goals in this stretch.
7. Colorado Avalanche (25-15-4)
Prev. Rank: 4
A bump down the rankings was necessary for the Avalanche as they went 2-5 over the last two weeks. However, they have a chance to rebound with a five-game homestand before the All-Star break that features visits from the Penguins, Stars, and Blues.
8. Carolina Hurricanes (25-16-2)
Prev. Rank: 7
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton got a deserving nod to his first All-Star Game as he’s fourth among all defensemen in points (39) and second only to Colorado’s Ryan Graves (plus-30) in plus/minus at plus-28.
9. Arizona Coyotes (25-17-4)
Prev. Rank: 8
Phil Kessel is on pace for just 45 points and is taking only 2.26 shots per game. That is not what the Coyotes bargained for over the summer.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning (16-13-4)
Prev. Rank: 16
No team is hotter than the Lightning at the moment as they’ve won nine in a row. Alex Killorn has had an eye for the twine as he’s amassed a team-high eight goals in that stretch.
11. Vegas Golden Knights (24-17-6)
Prev. Rank: 12
After hosting the Blue Jackets on Saturday, Vegas will embark on an eight-game road trip (first four games before the All-Star break) that could make or break their season.
12. Winnipeg Jets (24-17-4)
Prev. Rank: 10
Mark Scheifele, who has four goals and three assists in January (five games), is on pace for a career year with 51 points through 45 games.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) January 10, 2020
13. Edmonton Oilers (24-17-5)
Prev. Rank: 13
The Oilers seem to have turned a corner as they’ve gone 4-0-1 over their last five contests. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom has been an unsung hero, blocking an NHL-high 142 shots.
14. Toronto Maple Leafs (24-15-6)
Prev. Rank: 14
Auston Matthews is averaging a goal a game over his last 15 efforts, bringing his season total to 31. Boston’s David Pastrnak (35 goals) suddenly has competition for the “Rocket” Richard Trophy.
15. Calgary Flames (24-17-5)
Prev. Rank: 15
The Flames have gone 5-2 over the last two weeks but took advantage of a soft schedule that featured two matchups each with the Wild and Blackhawks. Three meeting with the Oilers (and games against Toronto and St. Louis sandwiched in between) await Calgary between now and Feb. 1.
16. Vancouver Canucks (23-17-4)
Prev. Rank: NR
The Canucks had won seven straight games going into Tampa on Tuesday night but were hit with a dose of reality when they were trounced 9-2. They’ll have to improve on their 9-12-1 road record if they want to make the playoffs this year.