Canadiens bump Predators out of top spot in Power Rankings

0:56 | NHL
Does Keith Yandle make the Rangers the Eastern Conference favorites?
Tuesday March 3rd, 2015

Welcome to the newest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. After three weeks at No. 1, the Predators have been replaced by the Canadiens, who held the top spot for a week back in early January. Meanwhile, a surprise team has shown up in the top 10 for the first time this season.

Our three sage scribes—Allan Muir, Sarah Kwak and Sam Page—submitted their detailed choices for the top 10 and ranked all 30 teams. Our final order has been carefully weighted according to results on the ice during the week, strength of competition, a quick glimpse at the tea leaves (future schedule, injuries), trade deadline acquisitions and losses, our ouija board's otherworldly pronouncements and how high each club came in on each of our writers’ ballots. In some cases another purely intuitive, wholly unscientific and certifiably insane method was used to break ties, rank teams that were chosen by only one or two writers, and inspire you, gentle reader, to leave hoary oaths and epithets in comments section below.

We’ve presented the 30 teams in groups, with the Top 10 receiving the most trenchant commentary. Overview paragraphs precede both the Middle 10 and Bottom 10. Weekly movement up or down has been duly noted. So without further ado, commence to stew!

1
1Montreal Canadiens
last week: 3
record: 41-17-5

Last week: 3-1-0

2
2Nashville Predators
last week: 1
record: 41-16-7

Last week: 1-3-0

3
3New York Rangers
last week: 4
record: 39-17-6

Last week: 3-1-0

4
4St. Louis Blues
last week: 2
record: 40-18-5

Last week: 2-1-1

5
5Anaheim Ducks
last week: 5
record: 40-17-7

Last week: 2-1-0

6
6Tampa Bay Lightning
last week: 6
record: 38-20-6

Last week: 1-1-0

7
7Detroit Red Wings
last week: 13
record: 35-15-11

Last week: 2-1-0

8
8New York Islanders
last week: 8
record: 41-21-2

Last week: 2-1-0

9
9Pittsburgh Penguins
last week: 11
record: 36-17-9

Last week: 2-0-0

10
10Minnesota Wild
last week: 12
record: 33-22-7

Last week: 2-1-0

[pagebreak]

[daily_cut]

Losing Patrick Kane, their leading scorer, for the rest of the regular season is tough news, but that didn’t stop the Blackhawks from making trades to go for the Stanley Cup. They picked up centers Antoine Vermette, Andrew Desjardins and defenseman Kimmo Timonen in separate deals. Their ranking this week seems harsh, but it more reflects the wide-open Cup race, with no core group of dominant teams to fear, e.g. the Kings, Bruins, and Hawks of old. And, hey, we had to bump them pretty considerably for the loss of Kane. 

Not a great start to the Andrej Sekera era in SoCal, but no need to panic just yet. The veteran blueliner just needs a few more games under his belt to get fully adjusted both to a new system and a new conference. Given time, he could be the piece that not only solidifies the blueline but helps spark another long postseason run.

Defenseman Mark Giodano’s season is over, as the Flames' leading scorer suffered from a torn biceps tendon that will require surgery. And with him, so too may go the their postseason hopes. It seems hard to believe that Calgary, teetering on the playoff bubble, will be able to hold off the Kings or Sharks.

11
11Chicago Blackhawks
last week: 7
record: 38-21-5

Last week: 3-1-0

12
12Vancouver Canucks
last week: 14
record: 36-23-3

Last week: 2-1-0

13
13Winnipeg Jets
last week: 15
record: 32-20-12

Last week: 2-0-1

14
14Los Angeles Kings
last week: 9
record: 29-21-12

Last week: 1-3-0

15
15Washington Capitals
last week: 10
record: 34-20-10

Last week: 1-2-0

16
16Boston Bruins
last week: 19
record: 31-22-9

Last week: 2-1-0

17
17Ottawa Senators
last week: 24
record: 27-23-10

Last week: 3-0-0

18
18Florida Panthers
last week: 20
record: 28-22-13

Last week: 2-1-1

19
19Calgary Flames
last week: 16
record: 33-25-4

Last week: 1-2-0

20
20San Jose Sharks
last week: 17
record: 31-25-8

Last week: 1-2-0

The Coyotes have lost nine straight, but you could argue they may have won trade deadline day. Playing aggressive sellers, they got some nice assets to keep in their coffers, including prospect Anthony DuClair and an extra second-rounder (from New York), plus a first-round pick (from Chicago) and promising prospect Maxim Letunov from St. Louis to boot. 

21
21Philadelphia Flyers
last week: 18
record: 27-25-11

Last week: 1-2-0

22
22Dallas Stars
last week: 22
record: 27-26-10

Last week: 0-2-1

23
23Colorado Avalanche
last week: 21
record: 27-25-11

Last week: 1-2-0

24
24New Jersey Devils
last week: 23
record: 26-27-10

Last week: 1-1-1

25
25Carolina Hurricanes
last week: 26
record: 24-31-7

Last week: 3-1-0

26
26Columbus Blue Jackets
last week: 25
record: 26-32-4

Last week: 0-4-0

27
27Toronto Maple Leafs
last week: 27
record: 25-33-5

Last week: 1-2-0

28
28Edmonton Oilers
last week: 29
record: 18-35-10

Last week: 1-1-0

29
29Phoenix Coyotes
last week: 28
record: 20-36-7

Last week: 0-3-0

30
30Buffalo Sabres
last week: 30
record: 19-39-5

Last week: 2-1-0

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.