NHL Power Rankings: Flames Scorching up the Standings

NHL Playoff Predictions

Within the first few days of 2019, the playoff picture is starting to become clearer. If the NHL could hand out the Presidents’ Trophy now, it would go to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning are clearly the best team in the NHL, and Tampa Bay is not slowing down. However, one new comer to the party is the Calgary Flames. Calgary is on fire as the rise through the Western Conference standings. As it stands now, the Flames are the number two in the NHL. Let’s go inside this week’s NHL Power Rankings to see why the Flames are scorching.

NHL Power Rankings: Flames Scorching up the Standings

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning – Nothing is going to slow the Tampa Bay Lightning except the Tampa Bay Lightning themselves. However, the Lightning have shown they can even overcome injuries. The clear cut favorites to win.
  2. Calgary Flames – Calgary is one of the hottest teams in the league. The Flames lead the Western Conference in points. However, the real question is are the Flames a true contender and can they sustain this kind of production?
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs – Toronto has to face some adversity at the moment. Frederick Anderson and Garrett Sparks are bot on IR, so it is falls on the shoulders Michael Hutchinson to help Toronto keep pace in the Atlantic Division.
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins – The Penguins are back. The hottest team in hockey have now won eight games in a row. Pittsburgh is clicking on all cylinders. No worries about goaltending either as Matt Murray is back to form after his injury.
  5. Washington Capitals – Washington picks up where they left off coming out of the break. All this team does is win lately, but will have to deal with the resurgent Penguins in battle for the top spot in the Metro.
  6. Winnipeg Jets – Winnipeg has a deep run in them somewhere in the second half of the season. The Jets still have not found consistency in their game. Once they do, look out Winnipeg will be a dangerous team again.
  7. Nashville Predators – Even with Viktor Arvidsson back in the lineup, Nashville continues to struggle. It is so unlike this team to lose so many games in a row. Getting Filip Forsberg back in the lineup should help.
  8. Vegas Golden Knights – The Golden Knights are back to playing like the team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final last season. If Vegas keeps this up, there is no reason for them to make another deep run in the playoffs.
  9. San Jose Sharks – San Jose is playing like the team everyone expected them to be to start the season. Erik Karlsson is fitting in nicely. Wouldn’t be shocked to see another player from the Sharks get elected to the All-Star game.
  10. Columbus Blue Jackets – So much inconsistency in their game right now. This is a surprise considering how dominate the Blue Jackets were heading into the Christmas break.
  11. Boston Bruins – The Bruins continue to find ways to stick around in a competitive Atlantic Division. Boston is starting to get healthy again and playing great hockey at the right time.
  12. New York Islanders – Barry Trotz is a magician. Nobody thought the Islanders would even be competitive without John Tavares. Now the Islanders just sit a few points out of a playoff spot.
  13. Buffalo Sabres – So much for that 10-game winning streak the Sabres had about two months ago. If the Sabres find a way to overcome the loss of Jack Eichel for a period of time, the Sabres have a shot at the playoffs.
  14. Montreal Canadiens – Montreal continues to find ways to hold onto the final wild card spot. The Canadiens go as Carey Price does. And Price is back in between the pipes and looking better than he did.
  15. Colorado Avalanche – Boy oh boy, what a turn of events. If the Colorado’s top line does not score, they will not win. The Avalanche will find a way to make the playoffs, but man do they need secondary scoring badly.
  16. Dallas Stars – Well, all it took was for the CEO to come out and call out two of the Stars best players for them to start playing better. Do we think the Stars can keep this up? Maybe, but they better find ways to win on the road.
  17. Vancouver Canucks – The Canucks are the Islanders of the Western Conference. Vancouver is just hanging around hovering around that final playoff spot. With Elias Pettersson out of the lineup, can the Canucks survive?
  18. Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks would not even be in the playoff picture if it wasn’t for John Gibson. But with the West so weak this year, Anaheim could find a way into the playoffs.
  19. Minnesota Wild – History tells us that Minnesota will find a way to make the playoffs in a tough Central Division. The Wild have a habit of making a run late in the season to squeak into the playoffs.
  20. Florida Panthers – Every season is the same thing with the Panthers, get off to a slow start, make a charge late in the season and fall just short of the playoffs. It will be the same story this season.
  21. New York Rangers – Regardless of what you think of the rebuild, the Rangers are finding ways to make things interesting in the Metro Division. Don’t be surprised if the Rangers are still in contention right up to the last game of the season.
  22. New Jersey Devils – Eventually the Devils will go on their annually winning streak after starting slow and will just fall short of making the playoffs. How about the play of Mackenzie Blackwood? He is the future of the Devils.
  23. Arizona Coyotes – Another disappointing season for the Arizona Coyotes. Eventually, the Coyotes have to get things right in the desert?
  24. Carolina Hurricanes – You knew their winning ways would eventually come to an end. Imagine if all those players they traded away actually produced when they were in Carolina, this team might have won more.
  25. Edmonton Oilers – Imagine if Cam Talbot could reproduce his amazing season that propelled the Oilers back to the playoffs. So do we. However, this team could play spoiler down the stretch of the season.
  26. Philadelphia Flyers – Carter Hart continues to play well for the Flyers unfortunately, the team in front of him is not. Hopefully the Flyers can start putting it together because the future is bright with Hart in net.
  27. St. Louis Blues – The Blues are such a hard team to figure out. St. Louis wins games they should lose, and lose games they should win. Too bad the Blues couldn’t get it together earlier in the season.
  28. Chicago Blackhawks – Despite winning some games through this past stretch, it will be interesting to see what players get dealt at the deadline. Do any of the big names survive?
  29. Detroit Red Wings – Even with their recent struggles, Detroit will always be a tough team to play against. Dylan Larkin should be going to All-Star game as he continues to be the best player for Detroit this season.
  30. Los Angeles Kings – Here is another team that will be interesting to watch come trade deadline time? The Kings have some valuable assets that could help a contending team.
  31. Ottawa Senators – Ottawa is getting down to business as the team would like to re-sign both Matt Duchene and Mark Stone. However, not having a first round pick in this year’s draft will definitely hurt the rebuild process.

Read More: 

NHL Power Rankings: Closing Out 2018 with a Bang

NHL Trade Rumors: Boston Bruins And Brayden Schenn

Photo Credit: By mark6mauno [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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