NHL Power Rankings: Can anyone bring down the Bruins?
The last full month of the NHL regular season is upon us. Let's see which teams are peaking and which are losing momentum as the playoffs draw nearer in this edition of our NHL Power Rankings.
1. Boston Bruins (43-13-12)
Previous rank: 1
The Bruins have looked like the best team in hockey since the All-Star break, with a 14-3 record. Not even the surging Lightning could figure out Boston on Tuesday night, as Boston handed out a 2-1 loss.
Tuukka Rask has been outstanding in net. He is 8-3 in 11 starts since the break, with a 1.77 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.
2. St. Louis Blues (40-17-10)
Previous rank: 6
The Blues are one of the NHL’s hottest teams and have reeled off eight straight victories, two of which came against a tough division rival in the Stars.
Forward Brayden Schenn has been a roll, with five goals and two assists in his last five outings.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-5)
Previous rank: 2
The Lightning looked invincible until the latter part of February. Now Tampa is 2-5 in its last seven games and is likely to be without Steven Stamkos until the playoffs begin. The Lightning will have to guard from going into a free fall.
4. Colorado Avalanche (40-18-8)
Previous rank: 7
The Avs have gone nine straight games without a regulation loss (7-0-2). They're within two points of the red-hot Blues for the Central Division lead.
Goaltender Pavel Francouz has been exceptional during this run, with a .934 save percentage.
5. Philadelphia Flyers (40-20-7)
Previous rank: 10
The Flyers are matching strides with the West’s hottest team, the Blues. Philadelphia has won eight straight games. The Flyers faced the Rangers twice, along with the Capitals and Hurricanes, in a one-week span and turned them all back.
6. Washington Capitals (40-20-7)
Previous rank: 3
After such a strong start, it’s hard to believe the Capitals are just 7-9-2 since the All-Star break. Their latest black eye came when they allowed Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad to score five goals in a 6-5 overtime loss Thursday.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (39-21-6)
Previous rank: 4
It’s unclear what was ailing the Penguins from Feb. 20-29, but they lost six straight games and scored just eight goals in that span. Fortunately for Pittsburgh fans, their team has rebounded and won two straight heading into Saturday’s affair with Washington.
8. Dallas Stars (37-22-8)
Previous rank: 5
The goal-starved Stars were blanked by the Predators on Thursday night, for their fourth straight loss. Roope Hintz (12 games) and Alexander Radulov (nine games) have combined for just one goal since Feb. 11.
9. Vegas Golden Knights (37-23-8)
Previous rank: 11
The Golden Knights have taken advantage of a favorable portion of their schedule. They are on a 9-1 run in their last 10 games, with all but one contest being played at T-Mobile Arena. We’ll see if they can sustain their momentum during a rough, five-game road trip through Western Canada that begins Friday night.
10. Edmonton Oilers (36-24-8)
Previous rank: 9
Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid showed just how dangerous they can be when they combined for five goals and five assists in an 8-3 thrashing of Nashville on Monday night.
A showdown with Pacific-leading Vegas looms Monday, but Edmonton must avoid overlooking the Blue Jackets on Saturday.
11. Carolina Hurricanes (35-25-5)
Previous rank: 8
A miraculous win recorded by emergency backup goaltender David Ayres on Feb. 22 was the lone bright spot in a dismal two weeks for the Hurricanes, who are 0-3-1 since they went "all-in” at the trade deadline.
12. Toronto Maple Leafs (35-24-9)
Previous rank: 14
The Maple Leafs were shut out for the first time all season Thursday night, as they fell to the Kings in a 1-0 shootout loss. They’ll try not to let it snowball, as they look ahead to meetings with the Lightning and Bruins next week.
13. Vancouver Canucks (34-26-6)
Previous rank: 12
The Brock Boeser injury was bad enough, but now the Canucks are 1-4 since goaltender Jacob Markstrom was forced to undergo a minor lower-body surgery. He could be out for at least another week.
14. New York Islanders (35-23-8)
Previous rank: 13
The Islanders are just 2-6-2 in their last 10 games, but fans can take solace. Mathew Barzal broke his 14-game goalless streak Thursday night.
15. Calgary Flames (35-26-7)
Previous rank: NR
The Flames have won four of their last six games and five were on the road. Calgary recorded quality wins over the Bruins, Panthers, and Blue Jackets in that span. Forward Andrew Mangiapane has stepped his game up, with four goals and an assist over his last six efforts.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-21-15)
Previous rank: 16
A 2-2-2 run over the last two weeks was just enough for the Blue Jackets to hold onto the final spot in our rankings. However, nine of their final 14 games will be played away from home, so this depleted Columbus club could be out of the picture soon.