NHL Power Rankings Week 15 - Best and Worst of the Week
The NHL power rankings are updated weekly to give fans and gamblers a better idea as to where each of the league’s teams stack up against one another.
All statistics go into compiling these rankings as well as updates to team rosters such as trades and injuries, and the teams’ weekly schedules.
Check out also: Stanley Cup Favorites 2020.
NHL Championship 2019/2020 – Odds
The odds for the NHL Championship 2019/2020 are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook. We update the odds on a weekly basis.
|9||TOR Maple Leafs||+1400|
|14||Vegas Golden Knights||+1300|
|17||Columbus Blue Jackets||+6000|
|22||New York Rangers||+6500|
|26||New Jersey Devils||+30000|
|31||Detroit Red Wings||+150000|
1. St. Louis Blues (30-10-8)
Last week: 2, +1
Last year’s Stanley Cup champions head into this week as the strongest team. Currently on a four-game winning streak, St. Louis now sits atop the Western conference with a nice gap between them and second place. They continue to impress even without top-scorer Vladimir Tarasenko. They also have more players headed to this year’s all-star game than any other team in the league. At this time last year, St. Louis was beginning their historic climb up the rankings and this season they haven’t let up.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-14-4)
Last week: 3, +1
October is very much in the rearview mirror. After an awful start to the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning team we all expected to see has shown up. All members of the roster seem to be back in top form and they had a ten-game winning streak to show for it. The team is now sixth-overall in the league and they sit second in the Atlantic division with plenty of time left in the season to take over the top spot.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (29-12-5)
Last week: 4, +1
This team has been the prime example of a ‘never say die’ attitude this season. Despite suffering from countless, untimely injuries, the Penguins have kept on course and continued to climb the rankings even when wounded. Last week saw them win three straight against Arizona, Colorado, and Vegasn and seven of their last ten – all without captain Sidney Crosby. Now, guess what? Crosby returns to the lineup this week and the team will be back at full health.
4. Washington Capitals (31-11-5)
Last week: 1, -3
Don’t let the drop in rankings fool you- this team is still second in the NHL behind only the St. Louis Blues. However, they have started to show signs of slowing down since the season hit the midway point and have gone just 5-5-0 in their last ten games. This point in the season will most likely be looked back on as just a blip, and hopefully so – for their sake. The Metropolitan division is very tight this season and no team can afford to lose. The good news this week was the announcement of forward Nicklas Backstrom’s contract extension.
5. Boston Bruins (27-9-12)
Last week: 7, +2
The Bruins have been up and down lately and are still struggling to close out games once they hit overtime and/or shootout. They have lost their last two in a row, but are 5-2-3 in their last ten. So, they’re still getting points and are still ranked third-overall in the league. This week should see them add even more to their points total. Other than a game against Pittsburgh, Boston has games coming up against several slumping teams including Vegas, Winnipeg, and Minnesota.
6. Dallas Stars (27-15-4)
Last week: 9, +3
Like the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Stars were another team expected to dominate but ended up floundering to start the season. And, like Tampa, they seem to have righted the ship. Although the offense hasn’t picked up as most would have thought, their defensive play has been strong and goaltender Ben Bishop has been phenomenal. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten games, sit second in the Central division, and have upcoming games against Buffalo and Minnesota.
7. Florida Panthers (24-16-5)
Last week: 15, +8
If this team can figure out their game on the road, the Atlantic division playoff race could get even more exciting than it already is. The offense for the Panthers has been on fire and Jonathan Huberdeau now has 61 points on the season (the eighth-most in the league). They are currently on a two-game winning streak and have won nine of their last 13 games. They are fourth in the division, one spot shy of the playoffs. Florida also has the most ideal schedule out of any team coming up as, after routing the Leafs 8-4, they will face Los Angeles, Detroit, Minnesota, and Chicago.
8. New York Islanders (28-13-4)
Last week: 10, +2
This Islanders team is still slumping compared to how they started the season, but they look to be getting some momentum on their side after demolishing the Detroit Red Wings 8-2. Sitting third in the Metropolitan division and fifth-overall in the NHL, the Islanders have all divisional games coming up that could really allow them to jump ahead of their competition. New York plays the Rangers twice, Washington, and Carolina.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (25-16-6)
Last week: 5, -4
This team is still playing great under new coach Sheldon Keefe. They are 6-2-2 in their last ten, sit third in the Atlantic, and are coming off of a 7-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. So why the drop this week? Their upcoming schedule. Toronto hasn’t been playing their best against teams ranked below them – especially those on the surge. They already dropped a game 8-4 to Florida and this week face multiple teams on the rise including the Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, and Dallas Stars.
10. Calgary Flames (25-18-5)
Last week: 18, +8
Speaking of the Calgary Flames and their current surge, here we are. The change in coaching staff seems to have really lit the flame, so to speak, and Calgary has now won 12 of their last 19 and five of their last six. They currently sit third in the Pacific division. Next week’s schedule has potential, as they face Toronto in a completely winnable game, the Ottawa Senators, and then the always challenging St. Louis Blues.
11. Colorado Avalanche (25-15-6)
Last week: 6, -5
This is one of the most talented teams in the league and are still one of the top Stanley Cup favorites of 2020 – but January has not been kind to this squad. They have dropped to tenth in the league, have lost four straight, and won only four in their last 14 games. They have all the offensive talent, but the defense needs to tighten up. They have a tough game against St. Louis this week, sandwiched between two winnable games against both San Jose and Detroit.
12. Vancouver Canucks (25-18-4)
Last week: 12
13. Carolina Hurricanes (27-17-2)
Last week: 13
Carolina still ranks within the top-ten of the league, and fourth in the Metropolitan division, but they are at a stand still in these power rankings as they haven’t showed much sign of improvement or of getting worse this past week. They are 5-5-0 in their last ten and are coming off of a shutout loss against the Washington Capitals. Their defense and goaltending have been impressive over the past few weeks but this team needs to buckle down against divisional opponents as two of their next three games take place within the Metro division.
14. Vegas Golden Knights (24-19-6)
Last week: 8, -6
What a whirlwind week for Vegas. Oddsmakers moved the Golden Knights well up the list when it came to the favorites to win the Cup just to have the team make an unexpected coaching change and drop in the standings. Vegas was on a roll, winning four straight but have rolled over and lost their last four in a row, including losses to Columbus and Los Angeles at home. They have now dropped to 18th in the league. They play lower-ranked teams in Ottawa and Montreal this week before going up against Boston and Carolina.
15. Arizona Coyotes (26-18-5)
Last week: 14, -1
As mentioned last week, a lot of Arizona’s success has come from goaltending, and starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper is still injured. They lost three games in a row last week before bouncing back with a 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. With Kuemper out, the ‘Yotes need more offense. Luckily, slumping star Phil Kessel had three points in the win against San Jose. Has he finally woken up? Arizona still sits atop the Pacific division but there are still many concerns to address as we head into the playoff race.
16. Nashville Predators (21-17-7)
Last week: 19, +3
The latest team to be improving under a new head coach, the Nashville Predators have won back-to-back games against divisional rivals. Their offense has seemed to open up a bit more under new coach Peter DeBoer and even goalie Pekka Rinne scored a goal last week. They are coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers but their upcoming schedule sees them face off against the struggling Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks.
17. Columbus Blue Jackets (23-16-8)
Last week: 20, +3
For the second week in a row, the Columbus Blue Jackets have climbed the power rankings. To the surprise of quite literally everyone, Columbus has only lost twice since the end of December (both to San Jose) and have lost only three games in regulation since the start of December. What? They shutout the Boston Bruins 3-0 in their last game and now sit 15th in the league – one spot behind the Edmonton Oilers. They also have very important, and very winnable, games coming up against division rivals Carolina, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils.
18. Philadelphia Flyers (25-16-6)
Last week: 17, -1
It’s tough to rag on the Flyers, They have tons of talent but just haven’t been able to stay healthy. They are losing top scorers and even starting goaltender Carter Hart missed time recently. They impressively have back-to-back wins against the Bruins and the Blues, but are just 4-5-1 in their last ten and sit just outside the top-ten.
19. Edmonton Oilers (25-18-5)
Last week: 16, -3
Is this the beginning of the end for Edmonton? Many pundits claimed this team to not be deep enough, saying they relied to heavily on the offensive prowess of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. This seems to be ringing true as the two seem to be slowing down with no other roster members picking up the slack. They are getting points, but mostly just by hanging on long enough to get into extra time. With that said, Draisaitl and McDavid still lead the league with 147 combined points.
20. Chicago Blackhawks (22-20-6)
Last week: 22, +2
Here is another team on an unexpected surge or sorts. Chicago recently squeezed into the league’s top-20 after going 7-3-0 in their last ten and winning their last three games in a row. The question will be ig GM Stan Bowman, known for being aggressive at trade deadline, will make any moves or hold fast. The Blackhawks have a mixed bag of a schedule coming up that sees them face Toronto, Montreal, and Florida.
21. Minnesota Wild (20-20-6)
Last week: 21
The Minnesota Wild are winless since last week’s rankings were released, losing four in a row. They get no favors this week either, as they are scheduled to face Tampa Bay, Florida, and Dallas. Should they start to embrace the tank?
22. New York Rangers (22-19-4)
Last week: 24, +2
This team is 5-5-0 in their last ten games and are coming off of a big win against divisional and state rivals the New York Islanders. Offseason acquisition Artemi Panarin has been electrifying as well as the forward has blasted into the league’s top-four in scoring, registering 26 goals and 67 points thus far this season. They play the Islanders twice and Columbus once this week.
23. Winnipeg Jets (25-18-4)
Last week: 11, -12
The Jets have looked mostly lifeless as of late. They shutout the Canucks in their last game but are just 4-4-2 in their last ten games overall. They have struggled at home this season as well which doesn’t bode well for the team as they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at home in their next game. Luckily they hit the road for three games after that.
24. Buffalo Sabres (21-19-7)
Last week: 23, -1
Jack Eichel’s 21 goals and 61 points are the only thing good about this team right now. They are 4-6-0 in their last ten and goalie Carter Hutton is winless in his last 11 games. Playing Dallas and Nashville next won’t help those numbers.
25. Montreal Canadiens (20-21-7)
Last week: 25
Sitting sixth in the Atlantic only because the Ottawa Senators exist, Montreal is now 2-7-1 in their last ten. The good news, we suppose, is that those two wins have come in their last two games, so they’re on a streak. They now face a stretch of games that include Philadelphia, Vegas, and Washington.
26. New Jersey Devils (17-22-7)
Last week: 30, +4
Firing your general manager means you’ll start winning games. At least, that’s what it seems to have meant for New Jersey. Don’t get us wrong, this team is all but out of the playoff race, but they are now the best team in the bottom-five and have gone 5-3-2 across their last ten.
27. San Jose Sharks (21-23-4)
Last week: 26, -1
This team is stuck in a rut. The playoffs are possible, but they have so few pieces to work with at the trade deadline considering the long-term contracts they are stuck with. They were recently beaten 6-3 by the Coyotes and have upcoming games against Colorado and Vancouver. It’s amazing that a team with this much talent is out of a playoff spot – regardless of the long-term injury to Logan Couture.
28. Los Angeles Kings (18-25-5)
Last week: 28
Even when struggling goalie Jonathan Quick plays well, this team loses. L.A. has lost two in a row and top-forward Alec Martinez seems to be on the trading block. Their next games see them go against Florida, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Arizona. Their season is over.
29. Anaheim Ducks (17-24-5)
Last week: 27, -2
Now sitting second-last in the league, Anaheim is the only team other than Detroit to not hit 40 points yet. They have lost four games in a row and are 2-7-1 in their last ten. Their week sees them “challenge” the Nashville Preds and Carolina Canes.
30. Ottawa Senators (16-22-8)
Last week: 29, -1
This team has lost seven straight, but considering they hold not only their own, but San Jose’s first-round picks for next year, Ottawa could see themselves drafting twice within the top-five this offseason. So embrace the crash. There is a lot of promise in this young team.
31. Detroit Red Wings (12-32-3)
Last week: 31
They won a game last week. Still the only team yet to hit 30 points this season.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are power rankings calculated?
Power rankings are calculated by compiling all information and statistics about each team on a week-to-week basis. Key factors include injuries, schedule, roster changes, road games vs. home games, and previous matchups.
Do injuries play a role in a team’s ranking?
Most definitely. Depending on the skillset of the player, losing someone to an injury can greatly affect that team’s ranking for the week. An injury to a star player can change the way the team plays and how that team is viewed by the NHL pundits and fan base.
Do trades and free-agent signing play a role in a team’s ranking?
Like with injuries, a trade or signing will definitely affect the ranking of a team. It will depend on the scale of the trade or signing. Certain positions will mean more as well, such as adding or losing a goaltender or key centerman.
Does a team’s schedule play a role in the weekly rankings?
Absolutely. It is one of the biggest factors taken into account when compiling a power rankings list. The caliber of teams that one team faces in a week, as well as if they are playing at home or on the road, will greatly affect their ranking for that week.