With a month to go in the regular season, we can pretty safely establish the top 10 or so teams and who will be the also-rans. The New York Rangers have the Eastern title all but wrapped up, but there is much more of a battle in the West for home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
There should be some good races for the seventh and eighth playoff berths in each conference, and there is quite the battle for the Central Division title going on with St. Louis, Detroit, Nashville and Chicago all having mostly solidified spots in the playoffs. And now, we give you this week's SI.com NHL Power Rankings...
A DISCLAIMER (of sorts): These rankings are based not just on each team's record, but an empirically tested formula that includes a) realistic near-term future expectations; b) consensus talent level and payroll considerations and; c) whatever the Magic 8-Ball I've had since I was seven years old tells me will happen. One more thing: Rest assured that I don't have it in for your team. OK, so I once hated the Philadelphia Flyers with a passion bordering on the psychotic, but that was 30-something years ago and Dave Schultz has long since retired. I welcome your emails to the link attached to my name above, and I always respond -- even to the ones that start with "Dear Idiot."
All stats and records through games of Monday, March 5
NHL Power Rankings