NHL Power Rankings: New York Rangers rise to top spot for first time this season, bumping Montreal Canadiens.

By The SI Staff
March 10, 2015

Welcome to the newest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. After a week on top, Montreal’s beloved Canadiens have been displaced by another Original Six team, the Rangers, who are making their first appearance at No. 1. The surging Blueshirts, who are locked in a tight Metro Division race with the arch-rival Islanders and pesky Penguins, are the eighth different team to lead the field this season.

[daily_cut.nhl]

Our three sage scribes—Allan Muir, Sarah Kwak and Sam Page—submitted their detailed choices for the top 10 and dutifully ranked all 30 teams. Our final order has been painstakingly weighted according to results on the ice during the week, strength of competition, a quick glimpse at a pile of burnt entrails (future schedule, injuries), input from random people on the street and how high each club came in on each of our writers’ ballots. In some cases another purely intuitive, wholly unscientific and deplorably unethical method was used to break ties, rank teams that were chosen by only one or two writers, and inspire you, gentle reader, to angrily question our sanity.

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
New York Rangers
3
40-17-7
Last week: 1-0-1
2
Montreal Canadiens
1
42-18-6
Last week: 1-1-1
3
Anaheim Ducks
5
42-19-7
Last week: 2-2-0
4
St. Louis Blues
4
41-19-5
Last week: 1-1-0
5
Tampa Bay Lightning
6
41-20-6
Last week: 3-0-0
6
Minnesota Wild
10
36-23-7
Last week: 3-1-0
7
New York Islanders
8
43-21-4
Last week: 2-0-2
8
Pittsburgh Penguins
9
38-18-10
Last week: 2-1-1
9
Nashville Predators
2
42-19-7
Last week: 1-3-0
10
Detroit Red Wings
7
37-17-11
Last week: 2-2-0

Since Patrick Kane went down with a broken clavicle, the Blackhawks have managed to go 3-1-1. But that hasn’t stopped coach Joel Quenneville from demanding more intensity from his team. Aside from a five-goal explosion against Carolina, the Blackhawks' offense has averaged just a goal per game since Kane’s injury and been shut out twice. 

NHL
Sharks in bubble trouble with long playoff streak in jeopardy

It's easy to forget that the Canucks are sitting in second place in the Pacific. That's amazing enough, but they're also doing it without their No. 1 goalie. Eddie Lack has done everything in his power to keep them clear of the teams that are nipping at their heels, posting a .935 save percentage and stealing more than a few games since stepping into the breech. With Ryan Miller (leg injury) out for another week or two, it's up to Lack to keep them in the hunt.

No Mark Giordano, no problem? Since their captain and once-leading scorer went down with a season-ending biceps injury, the Flames have gone 3-1-1—all on the road—and maintained their (albeit paper-thin) two-point lead over the Kings in the Pacific. Jiri Hudler has carried the bulk of the burden, scoring eight points in Calgary’s last four games. 

11
Chicago Blackhawks
11
39-21-6
Last week: 1-0-1
12
Vancouver Canucks
12
38-24-4
Last week: 2-1-1
13
Washington Capitals
15
36-21-10
Last week: 2-1-0
14
Winnipeg Jets
13
33-21-12
Last week: 1-1-0
15
Los Angeles Kings
14
31-21-13
Last week: 2-0-1
16
Boston Bruins
16
33-22-10
Last week: 2-0-1
17
Calgary Flames
19
36-25-5
Last week: 3-0-1
18
San Jose Sharks
20
33-26-8
Last week: 2-1-0
19
Florida Panthers
18
29-23-14
Last week: 1-1-1
20
Colorado Avalanche
23
30-25-11
Last week: 3-0-0
NHL
Will Andrew Hammond join the ranks of flash-in-the-pan goalies?

It's easy to undervalue the Senators, but a team that's allowed only 14 goals while rolling up an 8-0-1 mark in its past nine games deserves a nod. Nice to see them hold off the resilient Flames in that 5-4 shootout win on Sunday, but you have to think that's the last we see of Craig Anderson between the pipes for a while. When you've got someone as hot as Andrew Hammond, you ride him until the wheels fly off.

It might have come too late to save their season, but the improbably early return of Tyler Seguin from a sprained MCL ensures that Stars fans will at least have something to cheer for down the home stretch. Seguin made an immediate impact in his return against the Lightning on Saturday, scoring a pair of goals—his 30th and 31st of the season—and sparking a power play that stumbled badly during his absence.

Goalie Michal Neuvirth had the audacity to play well for Buffalo as the trade deadline neared, going 3-4-2 with a .938 save percentage in February. So he was shipped to a contender in Long Island, seemingly ensuring that not even a hot hand in net could get in the way of the Sabres’ dismal run for the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel sweepstakes.

 

21
Ottawa Senators
17
30-23-11
Last week: 3-0-1
22
New Jersey Devils
24
28-28-10
Last week: 2-1-0
23
Philadelphia Flyers
21
28-26-13
Last week: 1-1-2
24
Dallas Stars
22
29-27-10
Last week: 2-1-0
25
Columbus Blue Jackets
26
27-34-4
Last week: 1-2-0
26
Carolina Hurricanes
25
25-32-7
Last week: 1-1-0
27
Toronto Maple Leafs
27
26-35-6
Last week: 1-2-1
28
arizona Coyotes
29
21-38-8
Last week: 1-2-1
29
Edmonton Oilers
28
18-38-11
Last week: 0-3-1
30
Buffalo Sabres
30
19-42-5
Last week: 0-3-0

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)