NHL Power Rankings - California Is The Place To Be

Victor Decolongon

The California teams continue to dominate the top 10

California teams are so good that if two expansion teams were thrown down in San Francisco and San Diego, I'd expect they'd immediately climb into the top 10 of the Power Rankings. Meanwhile, Alberta hockey is so bad and has been for so long, it seems like Alberta is to the NHL as Ohio was to the NFL for 15 years.

1-30

Rank Team Record Special Teams Even Strength Goaltending
1 St. Louis Blues 2 8 4 10
2 Anaheim Ducks 1 12 12 8
3 Chicago Blackhawks 3 10 2 21
4 San Jose Sharks 6 4 3 15
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 4 6 11 25
6 Boston Bruins 7 6 4 2
7 Los Angeles Kings 8 13 1 1
8 Colorado Avalanche 5 23 21 6
9 Vancouver Canucks 11 1 9 13
10 Tampa Bay Lightning 9 28 9 3
11 Montréal Canadiens 10 11 23 7
12 New York Rangers 15 5 7 15
13 Minnesota Wild 12 22 20 5
14 Philadelphia Flyers 14 2 24 18
15 Detroit Red Wings 17 3 14 15
16 Phoenix Coyotes 13 23 19 10
17 Washington Capitals 17 15 21 10
18 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 19 29 3
19 Columbus Blue Jackets 17 26 16 20
20 Dallas Stars 21 19 7 22
21 New Jersey Devils 23 17 6 22
22 Ottawa Senators 22 14 15 18
23 Carolina Hurricanes 20 21 26 13
24 Nashville Predators 24 8 17 29
25 Winnipeg Jets 24 17 18 25
26 Florida Panthers 27 29 13 24
27 New York Islanders 26 15 24 27
28 Calgary Flames 28 25 27 30
29 Edmonton Oilers 29 27 28 28
30 Buffalo Sabres 30 30 30 8

A few interesting notes:

  • Tampa Bay has become a real team and the Steve Stamkos should fix the power play to push the Lightning into the top 10. Martin St. Louis' point per game and .5 goals per game at age 38 is one of the most remarkable stories the NHL has seen in a long time. He should be on the Sochi roster.
  • The Dallas Stars have finally fixed their even strength play, but their penalty kill is bad and has been the case but for a brief Richard Bachman hot streak - if Kari Lehtonen isn't in goal, the Stars are in trouble.
  • The Florida Panthers are still stuck in Dale Tallon's "rebuild with draft picks except for gaudy contracts" phase, but should be able to cash in at the trade deadline with Marcel Goc, Tom Gilbert, Mike Weaver, Scott Gomez and Brad Boyes. They'll be younger and filled with more draft picks next season, which means they'll probably be worse.
  • The bottom three teams are really, really bad. The lone bright spot for any of the Oilers, Flames or Sabres is the goaltending of Ryan Miller. In any other year, the Sabres would be able to trade him for a great return, but what team both needs him and can afford him?

The Western Conference

Rank Western Conference Team Record Special Teams Even Strength Goaltending
1 St. Louis Blues 2 8 4 10
2 Anaheim Ducks 1 12 12 8
3 Chicago Blackhawks 3 10 2 21
4 San Jose Sharks 6 4 3 15
7 Los Angeles Kings 8 13 1 1
8 Colorado Avalanche 5 23 21 6
9 Vancouver Canucks 11 1 9 13
13 Minnesota Wild 12 22 20 5
16 Phoenix Coyotes 13 23 19 10
20 Dallas Stars 21 19 7 22
24 Nashville Predators 24 8 17 29
25 Winnipeg Jets 24 17 18 25
28 Calgary Flames 28 25 27 30
29 Edmonton Oilers 29 27 28 28
  • Fans of hockey in the South should be thankful for fans of hockey in the Canadian interior. It's their blind devotion to bad hockey teams that fuels revenue sharing.
  • The trade deadline in the Western Conference might be incredible boring. The playoffs might be set, save for seeding, by the time the deadline rolls around. Western buyers will be limited.

The Eastern Conference

Rank Western Conference Team Record Special Teams Even Strength Goaltending
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 4 6 11 25
6 Boston Bruins 7 6 4 2
10 Tampa Bay Lightning 9 28 9 3
11 Montréal Canadiens 10 11 23 7
12 New York Rangers 15 5 7 15
14 Philadelphia Flyers 14 2 24 18
15 Detroit Red Wings 17 3 14 15
17 Washington Capitals 17 15 21 10
18 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 19 29 3
19 Columbus Blue Jackets 17 26 16 20
21 New Jersey Devils 23 17 6 22
22 Ottawa Senators 22 14 15 18
23 Carolina Hurricanes 20 21 26 13
26 Florida Panthers 27 29 13 24
27 New York Islanders 26 15 24 27
30 Buffalo Sabres 30 30 30 8
  • Not to sound like a broken record, but Pittsburgh has a goaltending problem. Marc-Andre Fleury continues to drastically underperform and unless Tomas Vokoun returns to save the Pens, they're going to have to trade for a goaltender at the deadline. There are other holes to fill so Ryan Miller will cost too much, but I wonder if Pittsburgh would gamble on Tim Thomas?
  • Speaking of goaltending issues - except for goaltending, the Islanders are better than Toronto and on par with Washington and Montreal. Why hasn't Garth Snow traded for a goaltender like Miller or even Devan Dubnyk? Maybe he didn't have a bad enough contract that the Oilers pro scouts desperately wanted, so Dubnyk might never have been in play, but Snow has essentially wasted the entire season on Evgeni Nabokov.

Stanley Cup Playoff Matchups

Western Conference
2 Anaheim Ducks
1 St. Louis Blues
9 Vancouver Canucks
13 Minnesota Wild





4 San Jose Sharks
3 Chicago Blackhawks
7 Los Angeles Kings
8 Colorado Avalanche

Eastern Conference
5 Pittsburgh Penguins
6 Boston Bruins
17 Washington Capitals
15 Detroit Red Wings





12 New York Rangers
10 Tampa Bay Lightning
14 Philadelphia Flyers
11 Montréal Canadiens
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