24/05/2022

Usspavolley

The Sport Effect

ESNY’s NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche remain unbeatable

Our first NHL power rankings of the second half of the 2021-22 season. 

With the 2021-22 All-Star Game in the books, the second half of the season is officially underway. A handful of teams have yet to play post-break, but most of the league is back and many of these guys are hungry.

Playoff races are getting hotter and teams are aware that they can no longer afford to not play their best hockey.

Let’s take a look at our first power rankings of the second half of the season.

Check out Week 16’s power rankings here.

32. Montreal Canadiens 

Week 17: 0-4-0, 7 GF, 19 GA (Opponents: NJD, WSH, CBJ, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 32

Montreal went winless this week, but an improvement in play since Martin St. Louis took over behind the bench is apparent.

31. Arizona Coyotes

Week 17: 1-2-0, 9 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: VAN, SEA, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 31

It’s official. Get ready call them the ASU Coyotes next season.

30. Seattle Kraken  

Week 17: 1-1-0, 6 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: ARI, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 30

The Kraken will become the first team in NHL history to have an all-Black broadcasting team.

29. New Jersey Devils 

Week 17: 2-2-0, 17 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: OTT, MTL, STL, PIT)
Previous Ranking: 28

Devils fans must have been relieved to see their team’s offense come alive for the first time in what seems like forever.

28. Philadelphia Flyers

Week 17: 0-2-0, 5 GF, 10 GA (Opponent: DET x2)
Previous Ranking: 28

Sean Couturier is the latest Flyer to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.

27. Buffalo Sabres

Week 17: 1-0-1, 8 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: CBJ, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 29

Tage Thompson continues to produce for a Sabres team that needs all the points it can get.

26. Chicago Blackhawks

Week 17: 1-1-0, 5 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: EDM, STL)
Previous Ranking: 25

We’re approaching the trade deadline quickly, which will mark the beginning of an intense rebuild in Chicago.

25. Ottawa Senators

Week 17: 3-2-0, 12 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: NJD, CAR, PIT, BOS, WSH)
Previous Ranking: 27

The fact that the Senators were able to win three games in a five-game (!!) week against some formidable opponents is remarkable.

24. New York Islanders

Week 17: 1-2-0, 9 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: VAN, EDM, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 23

Who would’ve thought defense would become the Islanders’ biggest issue?

23. Vancouver Canucks

Week 17: 2-1-0, 11 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: ARI, NYI, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 21

Thatcher Demko really is this team’s MVP.

22. Detroit Red Wings

Week 17: 2-0-0, 10 GF, 5 GA (Opponent: PHI x2)
Previous Ranking: 22

Thomas Greiss made his return after missing five weeks and helped his team earn its second-straight win post-All-Star break.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets

Week 17: 3-0-0, 11 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: WSH, BUF, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 24

What a week back for the Blue Jackets, who were strong in both zones in every game.

20. San Jose Sharks

Week 17: DNP
Previous Ranking: 19 

It’s now all about Tomáš Hertl and whether or not the Sharks can/will give him a new contract.

19. Winnipeg Jets

Week 17: 2-0-1, 10 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: MIN, DAL, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 20 

This was Winnipeg’s best week in a while, highlighted by a five-point game from the captain, Blake Wheeler, against the Nashville Predators.

18. Edmonton Oilers

Week 17: 1-2-0, 4 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: VGK, CHI, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 17

The Oilers scored four goals in three games this week. Maybe their struggles aren’t behind them.

17. Anaheim Ducks

Week 17: 0-1-0, 3 GF, 4 GA (Opponent: SEA)
Previous Ranking: 16

ICYM: Trevor Zegras’ unbelievable goal from the All-Star Skills Competition.

16. Dallas Stars 

Week 17: 2-1-0, 8 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: NSH, WPG, COL)
Previous Ranking: 18

The Stars are looking to start the second half fresh in order to push for the playoffs. This week was a step in the right direction.

15. Los Angeles Kings

Week 17: DNP
Previous Ranking: 15

Now that the Kings are back up in the standings, their tight playoff race is in full swing and they’re going to have to play good hockey on a nightly basis.

14. Washington Capitals 

Week 17: 1-2-0, 10 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: CBJ, MTL, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 11

The Capitals reportedly put on the “Full Court Press” for Marc-André Fleury, but the future Hall of Famer isn’t interested. Not a great start to the second-half of the season.

13. Boston Bruins 

Week 17: 1-2-0, 4 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: PIT, CAR, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 12

The Bruins looked bad this week, but the real story is Brad Marchand attacking Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry on Tuesday and receiving a six-game suspension.

12. Vegas Golden Knights

Week 17: 1-1-0, 4 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: EDM, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 13

The Golden knights shut the Oilers out 4-0, but were then shut out 6-0 by the Flames. They must start getting consistent ASAP.

11. Nashville Predators 

Week 17: 0-2-0, 5 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: DAL, WPG)
Previous Ranking: 9

Penalties continue to be a significant concern for a Nashville team that’s otherwise been pretty awesome.

10. St. Louis Blues

Week 17: 1-1-0, 9 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: NJD, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 10

Is it a matter of time before Ville Husso takes the starting job from Jordan Binnington permanently?

9. Calgary Flames 

Week 17: 3-0-0, 16 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: VGK, TOR, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 14

This was an unbelievable week for the Flames in every way. Just look at that goal difference.

8. New York Rangers 

Week 17: DNP
Previous Ranking: 7

The Rangers are cursed at right wing. The team’s top player at that position, Kaapo Kakko, will miss at least a month with injury.

7. Minnesota Wild  

Week 17: 1-1-0, 3 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: WPG, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 6 

The Wild have acquired LW Brandon Baddock from the Canadiens. He’ll report to the AHL, but could end up being an important enforcer down the road.

6. Toronto Maple Leafs 

Week 17: 1-2-0, 8 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: CAR, CGY, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 5

Nick Ritchie is the newest Maple Leaf in the news as Toronto is reportedly working to deal him at the deadline.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

Week 17: 3-0-0, 10 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: BOS, OTT, NJD)
Previous Ranking: 8

This was another vintage Penguins week. They were elite across the board in each game they played.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning  

Week 17: 1-1-0, 6 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: COL, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 4

It’s going to be interesting to potentially see the Lightning as both buyers and sellers at the deadline.

3. Carolina Hurricanes

Week 17: 1-2-1, 14 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: TOR, OTT, BOS, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 3

Aside from a dominant 6-0 win over the Bruins, the Hurricanes have looked much better than they did this week. Of course, four games in just five days is never ideal.

2. Florida Panthers

Week 17: DNP
Previous Ranking: 2

The next goal for the Panthers is to improve that already-elite defense at the deadline.

1. Colorado Avalanche 

Week 17: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA (Opponents: TBL, DAL)
Previous Ranking: 1

The Avalanche are 30-3-3 since starting the season 4-5-1. Let that sink in.