NHL Power Rankings: Predators pushing Lightning for top spot

Puck Daddy
The <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/nas/" data-ylk="slk:Nashville Predators">Nashville Predators</a> are inching closer to the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/tam/" data-ylk="slk:Tampa Bay Lightning">Tampa Bay Lightning</a> for top spot. (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators are inching closer to the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot. (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hey everyone, we here at Puck Daddy are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Ottawa Senators (From last week: -1)

Sure, the Senators won two games last week, but morally I can’t leave them where they were given the whole Eugene Melnyk thing. They are the worst team in the league both on the ice and spiritually.

30. Arizona Coyotes (Last week: -1)

29. Detroit Red Wings (-1)

You read the Detroit papers and you gotta give those folks a lot of credit. They are trying extremely hard to put any sort of positive spin on this team.

But this is a team with two wins in the last month, and they’ve given up 49 goals in their last 12 games. They scored just 26 over the same stretch. Going into the season, you probably would’ve said that feels just about right.

28. Florida Panthers (-1)

Extremely funny that the Panthers went out to Vegas and got clobbered by pretty much only the guys they gave away for nothing. They’ve won one game in regulation since the start of December.

27. Buffalo Sabres (+2)

26. Colorado Avalanche (-1)

25. Vancouver Canucks (-3)

(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Brock Boeser missing any time at all for this club, on the heels of Bo Horvat going out for a couple weeks, will juuuuust about do it not only for the Canucks’ playoff chances, which were virtually non-existent to begin with, but also any enthusiasm anyone in Vancouver should have had for the team this year.

Although, y’know, they should’ve been tanking all along, so… this is good?

24. Edmonton Oilers (-3)

Funny week for the Oil. Lose 1-0 in Toronto. Bad team that doesn’t want it bad enough. Win 7-2 at Columbus. Hey, you’re back on track. Lose 4-0 to Nashville. This should have gone better but what are ya gonna do? Win 3-2 at Minnesota. Everything’s fine again!

Imagine being an Oilers fan, man. You don’t even get to enjoy having Connor McDavid. Not really.

23. Carolina Hurricanes (+/- 0)

22. Calgary Flames (-3)

You can see why it’s easy to be high on the Flames, I guess, but they’ve had a rough go of things. Two regulation wins this month, and that was against Arizona and Vancouver. Not exactly the iron of the NHL, huh?

The thing is, a lot of these losses have been relatively narrow. All of their last four losses were by a single goal with the exception of getting shutout by Nashville, who’s shutting out everyone these days, and even that was only a two-goal game. The Flames have quietly moved up the possession rankings in the league for the last little while, too. There’s a lot to like about this team in theory, but in actual practice, they’re a point behind San Jose for the last divisional playoff spot, but with three extra games played.

21. Montreal Canadiens (-1)

20. Anaheim Ducks (+4)

Would you believe this team has points in seven straight? Sure, it’s only 10 points in seven games, which isn’t a crazy amount or anything, but considering how bad they were before everyone started coming back healthy, well, you gotta take it. They’re a point back of Calgary with a game in hand. That’ll be an interesting race for the next little while.

19. Philadelphia Flyers (+7)

You may recall this is a team that lost nine in a row and everyone in the greater Philadelphia area put down their cheesesteaks from the racist cheesesteak place, set aside their wooder ices, and said, “We gotta fire this Hakstol guy and give that money to Ryan Howard.” (My impressions of all Philadelphians are based on my one friend’s one Extremely Philly Guy cousin who hung out with us once and talked about how Ryan Howard is good, nonstop, for like four hours. At this point Ryan Howard was hitting like .230.)

Anyway, the Flyers have won a bunch of games in a row now and isn’t that so nice? They’re still not a playoff team and not even close, but to me it is very funny to lose nine straight then immediately win almost as many.

18. Boston Bruins (-1)

17. New York Rangers (-1)

16. Minnesota Wild (-1)

15. Chicago (+3)

Chicago is doing what they do a lot this year: Lose five straight, then win five straight. It makes it really tough to figure out if Q has really lost the room!

14. New Jersey Devils (+/- 0)

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (-1)

12. Dallas Stars (+1)

11. New York Islanders (-1)

10. Vegas Golden Knights (-1)

(AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

There’s honestly not anything that will convince me this team is “for real” save for them finishing at like 52.5 percent CF% at the end of the season. They’re 7-2 in OT. They’ve played Arizona and Anaheim six times already. Whatever.

9. San Jose Sharks (+2)

It’s still tough to get a read on the Sharks. Pucks are going in for them more than they were at the start of the year and their possession numbers remain elite. But everyone is still very old and people are going to get hurt and the division is terrible. Is this team actually good? Probably it is. How good compared to other good teams? Probably not very.

8. Los Angeles Kings (-2)

To all the Kings fans out there who illegally criticized the Power Feelings (as my feelings cannot be criticized), and said I shouldn’t have dropped the Kings down a spot after they won eight straight, well, they’ve lost three straight. Maybe you should all try keeping up with my brain, which is really good and high-functioning.

7. St. Louis Blues (-1)

6. Toronto Maple Leafs (-3)

The Leafs have lost three straight? Seems like your old pal RL missed a beat by putting them third in the power rankings last week. Ah but, doesn’t this all circle back to Auston Matthews being hurt? We all know that it does. Advantage: Me. Again.

5. Winnipeg Jets (-2)

But hey, nobody’s perfect. That take I had about this being an elite team? I apparently forgot they were the Winnipeg Jets.

4. Washington Capitals (+4)

The Caps have three losses since Nov. 18. Jeez. They’re scoring a ton of goals and everyone is getting in on the action. Holtby got yanked in that one game against the Islanders — and man, the Isles dominated that one — but has otherwise been lights out. He’s .920 in the last month, and .926 if you take out that Islander game.

I know he won the Vezina that one time, mostly for his win total, but even then he had a .922 save percentage. He’s a career .921 goalie. Few talk about this.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets (+2)

2. Nashville Predators (+2)

I cannot in good conscience put the Predators ahead of the Lightning, but they’re making it hard these days. Nashville is currently tied with St. Louis for second in the league standings, but the Preds have two games in hand.

They’re also one of two teams left with seven or fewer regulation losses.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (+/- 0)

Of course, Tampa only has eight losses period, so there ya go.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports:

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes