NHL Power Rankings: Five Teams Out of Contention

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As the calendar flips to December, there are five teams already out of playoff contention. Think about that for a second. With all parity in the NHL, usually there is one or two teams out of playoff contention. However, that is not the case. The five teams include four from the Western Conference, and one from the Eastern Conference. These teams are near the bottom of this weeks power rankings. Let’s go into this week’s power rankings to see why these teams are where they are.

NHL Power Rankings: Five Teams Out of Contention

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightning are showing why they are the class of the Eastern Conference. The team average’s four goals again. Tampa finds ways to win despite their goaltending problems.
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs – Welcome back William Nylander. Toronto will be at full strength for the first time all season. The rest of the league better watch out.
  3. Colorado Avalanche – Throughout the last 10 games, the Colorado Avalanche have not lost in regulation. It does not hurt to have the best line in hockey.
  4. Nashville Predators – Even with a quarter of their salary cap on injured reserve, the Predators are still near the top of the Central Division. Nashville is going through adversity and will be better off in the end.
  5. Buffalo Sabres – The Sabres are still pretty in the Eastern Conference. Even though the Sabres lost four games in a row, Buffalo is on the right track upwards with their young pieces. Still need to clean up a couple of the things.
  6. Winnipeg Jets – In November it was the Patrik Laine show, then December is all about Mark Scheifele. Scheifele powered the Jets to three straight victories in NYC area. Now if only Connor Hellebuyck was playing up to his level.
  7. Washington Capitals – The defending Stanley Cup champions are playing really well. The catalyst has been Tom Wilson. Shocking, we know. But Wilson has allowed his teammates to play their style of game.
  8. Calgary Flames – Look out the cardiac Calgary Flames are heating up. The young trio of Tkachuk, Gaudreau, and Monahan are on fire. If you watch a Flames game, check out their power play.
  9. Columbus Blue Jackets – Still in the top 10, the Blue Jackets have great young players in case Artemi Panarin leaves. Check out Cam Atkinson and Pierre-luc Dubois when you can.
  10. Dallas Stars – With Ben Bishop back in the lineup, the Stars are turning the page and becoming the contenders everyone thought they would be. Don’t look now but the top line is starting to heat up again.
  11. Minnesota Wild – Every time the Wild get label contenders, the team gets into a losing funk. In such a tough Central Division, Minnesota needs to avoid long losing streaks.
  12. San Jose Sharks – There is still a lot of transitioning going on in San Jose. One of the best blue lines in the game has yet to get on track, but once they do look out Pacific Division.
  13. Boston Bruins – It will be a tough task for the Bruins to catch Tampa Bay and Toronto with all their injuries. Boston is keeping the ship afloat pretty well during these tough times.
  14. Vegas Golden Knights – Here come the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury is playing well and is healthy. The offense is scoring and Nate Schmidt is finally in game shape. Don’t sleep on the Golden Knights.
  15. New York Rangers – The disparity between the Rangers home and away record is a little alarming. The Rangers are all about their prospects right now. Even in rebuild mode, the Rangers finding themselves fighting for a playoff spot.
  16. New York Islanders – It has been admirable what the Islanders have done so far this season. You knew it would be a struggle offensively losing John Tavares and Mathew Barzal isn’t exactly lightning up the scoresheet.
  17. Montreal Canadiens – The Canadiens scoring woes have become a problem everyone expected them would be coming into the season. At least Carey Price is starting to find his game.
  18. Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks have won eight in a row. Ryan Getzlaf looks like the player of old and of course John Gibson is still not getting enough credit he deserves for keeping this team in the hunt.
  19. Carolina Hurricanes – Even though the Hurricanes compile a ton of shots each game, the team’s shooting percentage ranks dead last in the NHL. That isn’t good.
  20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Jim Rutherford put the for sale sign up on the property of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The next big move has to be goalie to sure up that position down the stretch.
  21. Arizona Coyotes – The Coyotes are playing some of their best hockey of the season. It comes at the perfect time too as the NHL announced the Coyotes will move to the Central Division once Seattle enters the league
  22. Florida Panthers – The Panthers are starting to pick up their game. It comes at the right time as Roberto Luongo came back from injury.
  23. Detroit Red Wings – The Red Wings are clearly in a rebuild mode. Yet every night the Red Wings play, it will be a difficult battle for the team they are playing.
  24. Edmonton Oilers – Ken Hitchcock is starting to put the pieces together when it comes to line combinations. If only the Oilers could figure out their general manager’s position.
  25. Ottawa Senators – It is a miracle the Senators stayed relevant this long into the season. Ottawa has some good young pieces in their system. Hopefully the team can hang onto some of their veterans.
  26. Philadelphia Flyers – Here we go again talking about the play of the Flyers goaltenders. Regardless of who is in the net, the Flyers need to find a stop-gap before Carter Hart gets called up.
  27. New Jersey Devils – Entering the season, the Devils had aspirations of the playoffs. Even with the Metro Division having a down year, the roster the Devils have put together is not good enough to climb out of this hole.
  28. Vancouver Canucks – Did anybody think Vancouver could keep up their hot pace? Going through a rebuild is never easy, but the fans get watch Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson.
  29. St. Louis Blues – Three more players going on injured reserve never helps the cause. Even the coaching change did not solve any of the Blues problems.
  30. Los Angeles Kings – Imagine just a few years ago, the Kings were contending for Stanley Cups. When does management start selling off some of the team big guns?
  31. Chicago Blackhawks Р This team has hit rock bottom. Plain and simple. Even with Corey Crawford back, the Blackhawks continue to lose games. When is it time for Chicago to throw in the white towel?

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NHL Power Rankings: A Change at the Top as Buffalo Continues to Roll

Photo Credit: By Resolute (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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