NHL Power Rankings: Blues creep into top tier

Ryan Lambert
The St. Louis Blues are starting to find their Stanley Cup form. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)
The St. Louis Blues are starting to find their Stanley Cup form. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo! Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams and their chances to win the Cup, 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. Detroit Red Wings (Last week: 31)

When last we left these guys, they were in the midst of a pathetic 0-4-2 stretch in which they’d been outscored by 10 goals. Now it’s an 0-7-2 stretch in which they’ve been outscored by… 24??????? This is absolutely abysmal hockey. How do you see any light at the end of this tunnel?

30. Ottawa Senators (LW: 28)

They’re up to four straight losses, in which they’ve scored four goals and allowed 13. That sounds just about right; just hollowing out everything we were led to believe they’d accomplished as a group and so on.

29. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 30)

28. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 29)

How about a hand for Joonas Korpisalo going .919 in November? Of course, that only bumped him up to .902 for the month but beggars can’t be choosers.

27. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 27)

26. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 26)

The local media is saying there’s something to build on here and they’re still fourth in the division but if we’re being honest, that thumping of Toronto was a blip on the radar. They went 3-8-3 in the month and you need to go back to Oct. 22 to find the last time they won two straight.

25. New Jersey Devils (LW: 23)

It’s nice that they recognize the need to trade Hall right now. The season is basically over for them. However, that also means Ray Shero pulled off one of the most lopsided trades in recent history and got one playoff appearance (in which the team went 1-4) and did little to build around acquiring a star scoring winger in the absolute prime of his career.

Not sure how you spin that to your bosses, fans, or anyone else, but they gotta do it.

24. New York Rangers (LW: 25)

Nice little 5-1-1 run for the Rangers of late. Not enough to convince a serious observer that they’re much more than a mid-level non-playoff team, but the talent in the lineup is finally shining through at least a little bit, despite shall we say iffy tactics and deployment.

23. Chicago (LW: 22)

You gotta love losing five of six and getting ready to host the reigning Cup champions who just so happen to be leading your division, and it’s like, “Well we mismanaged the cap to the point that we can only dress 19 skaters tonight. Have a good one, fellas!”

22. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 20)

Waiving Keith Kinkaid will assuredly solve all their problems.

21. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 19)

20. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 21)

Says a lot about these guys and the quality of their division that they can go 5-0-1 and give themselves almost no breathing room whatsoever. Two points on Carolina and three on Pittsburgh. That ain’t much.

19. Minnesota Wild (LW: 24)

Mega push from these guys — they’ve got at least a point from all of the last nine games, going 6-0-3 — and all it gets them is “second-worst record in the division.” Brutal.

18. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 17)

17. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 16)

If you’re gonna spend the second half of November playing all but one game against your division opponents, I guess 4-2-2 isn’t a bad record. Problem is, Pacific Division opponents went 2-1-1 against them to close out the month. Lots of points to give away.

16. Florida Panthers (LW: 15)

15. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 18)

These guys went 10-3-1 in November despite being outshot by 50 because they had a shooting percentage a hair under 10 and a save percentage north of .930. I think that’s pretty good but certainly not sustainable.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 13)

13. Calgary Flames (LW: 14)

One of the things that hasn’t been talked about a lot because of the gravity of all the other stuff is how the Flames traded James Neal, who’s already up to 14 goals for their archrival, after one bad year because he couldn’t get along with the coach, who just resigned over easily corroborated accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse.

Now they have to pay Milan Lucic for four more seasons. Just really great management all around by Brad Treliving, but hey, they’ve won two in a row and have points in four straight. That’ll move you up a spot, I guess.

12. Nashville Predators (LW: 12)

11. Dallas Stars (LW: 9)

You can swallow a three-game losing streak when it follows a stretch of 29 points from 16 games. But you don’t have to like it. And I bet they don’t.

10. San Jose Sharks (LW: 11)

Truly incredible to me that they’re third in the division now. Not sure what it says about them or the teams around them. But it’s probably not a lot you could categorize as “good.”

9. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 8)

8. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 10)

Mikko Rantanen is finally back and Gabe Landeskog is probably close. After a hiccup or three soon after those two players got injured, the team went 8-2-0 after Nov. 7. And if that’s how it’s gonna be without those guys…

7. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 5)

Speaking of hiccups, these guys are .500 and losing ground because of Philly’s hot run. They need to put together a winning streak of their own here just to stay relevant. That’s how tight things are in the Metro right now.

6. New York Islanders (LW: 4)

That California swing was rough, but if playing Columbus, Detroit, and Montreal isn’t the cure for what ails ya, all of a sudden you’ve got bigger problems.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 3)

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 7)

If these guys get the backup goaltending sorted out anytime soon, look out. As it stands, though, they just can’t get a save from Michael Hutchinson. Winless in non-Andersen starts, now 0-6-1. So many points left on the table for the second year in a row.

3. St. Louis Blues (LW: 6)

Robert Bortuzzo is back from his too-short suspension and has assured he is not a dirty player and he does not play to hurt people. That’s a relief!

2. Washington Capitals (LW: 2)

1. Boston Bruins (LW: 1)

David Pastrnak is up to 25 goals in 27 games. The year Ovechkin scored 65 (good lord, remember that?) he didn’t score his 25th until his 36th game. When Stamkos scored 60 (in an even more difficult scoring environment on a worse team) he didn’t hit 25 until part of the way through his 37th.

I guess what I’m saying is, if Pastrnak doesn’t break 60 this year, it will be a huge letdown.

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

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