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NHL Power Rankings: New Year’s Resolutions for Every Team

While the new year for the NHL started back in October, the fresh calendar still offers teams a chance to take stock of where they stand. And like the rest of us, they can set goals for 2022, whether it’s fixing the power play (looking at you, Los Angeles) or figuring out how to win on the road (hello, Florida).

Here’s where every team stands, plus a New Year’s resolution for each to follow:

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32. Montreal Canadiens

Last week: 31
Record: 7-23-4

Leap into the future. The Canadiens reached the Stanley Cup finals last season, but with just seven wins through more than a third of the season, it’s time to move on and move forward.

31. Arizona Coyotes

Last Week: 32
Record: 6-22-3

Get the No. 1 draft pick. The Coyotes have never picked first overall in the NHL draft. Could this be the year?

30. Buffalo Sabres

Last week: 30
Record: 10-17-6

Invest in the development of Peyton Krebs. A 2019 first-round pick of the Golden Knights, the forward was acquired by the Sabres in the Jack Eichel trade in November. He recorded his first assist for Buffalo on New Year’s Day.

29. Seattle Kraken

Last week: 28
Record: 10-19-4

Step out of the Golden Knights’ shadow. Vegas made a run to the Stanley Cup finals in its debut season. Seattle, in last place in the Pacific Division, doesn’t seem headed toward the same success, but the Kraken should shed those sky-high expectations and chart their own course.

28. Ottawa Senators

Last week: 27
Record: 9-18-2

Stay healthy. This one goes for the whole NHL, but Ottawa has been hit particularly hard by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, with two games postponed this week and 11 postponed this season.

27. New Jersey Devils

Last week: 29
Record: 13-16-5

Continue on an upward trajectory. The Devils won three straight games after the holiday break before falling 5–3 to the Bruins on Tuesday.

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26. Detroit Red Wings

Last week: 21
Record: 16-15-3

Win the Calder Trophy. Detroit’s Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are favorites to take home the prize for top rookie, but they’ll have to hold off Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras and New Jersey’s Dawson Mercer, among others.

25. Columbus Blue Jackets

Last week: 24
Record: 15-15-1

Hold onto leads. Columbus scored the first four goals then allowed seven straight in Saturday’s 7–4 loss to Carolina.

24. Chicago Blackhawks

Last week: 22
Record: 11-17-5

Flip Marc-André Fleury. The veteran goalie has rebounded well from a shaky start in the final year of his contract and should generate interest on the trade market.

23. New York Islanders

Last week: 26
Record: 8-12-6

Sell at the deadline. Despite recent deep playoff runs, the Islanders sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division. With some key trades this season, they could reload and lay the groundwork for future success.

22. Philadelphia Flyers

Last week: 25
Record: 13-14-6

Shoot the puck. In its first two games after the holiday break, Philadelphia was outshot 82–47 by its opponents.

21. San Jose Sharks

Last week: 23
Record: 17-16-1

Decide what to do with Tomas Hertl. The Sharks have been a decidedly middle-of-the-road team so far this season, which leaves them with no clear path as the March trade deadline approaches. Should they seek to extend or deal the 28-year-old impending free agent?

20. Dallas Stars

Last week: 19
Record: 15-12-2

Get Tyler Seguin more involved in the offense. The center still has not hit his stride since returning from a hip injury that sidelined him most of last season. He has 12 points this season and just one in his last six games.

19. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: 20
Record: 16-15-3

Hire a general manager. The Canucks and new coach Bruce Boudreau have clicked. They should find a permanent GM who can help keep the momentum rolling.

18. Edmonton Oilers

Last week: 17
Record: 18-13-2

Don’t waste Connor McDavid’s prime. McDavid leads the league with 53 points, but the Oilers are 2-8-2 in their last 12 games and have fallen to fourth place in the Pacific Division.

17. Los Angeles Kings

Last week: 18
Record: 16-12-5

Fix the power play. Los Angeles’s power-play unit ranks 24th in the league and has scored on just two of its last 28 opportunities dating back to Dec. 6.

16. Winnipeg Jets

Last week: 16
Record: 16-11-5

Find a coach to fill Paul Maurice’s shoes. After Maurice resigned in December, the Jets elevated Dave Lowry to interim head coach, a title he will hold for the rest of the season—but they’ll need to find a permanent head coach soon enough, whether it’s Lowry or a fresh face.

15. Anaheim Ducks

Last week: 15
Record: 18-11-7

Stay positive. The Ducks dropped their first three games after the holiday break, but at second place in the Pacific, they have reason for optimism.

14. Minnesota Wild

Last week: 8
Record: 19-10-2

Go all in at the trade deadline. Minnesota sits tied for third in the Central but is just four points out of first place, and picking up a veteran (or two) could help put the Wild over the top.

13. Boston Bruins

Last week: 14
Record: 17-10-2

Stay perfect. Never change, Brad Marchand.

12. New York Rangers

Last week: 11
Record: 22-8-4

Control the puck. The Rangers sit dead last in the league in key puck possession measures.

11. Nashville Predators

Last week: 10
Record: 21-11-2

Support Juuse Saros. The 26-year-old goalie and his .925 save percentage are keeping the Predators afloat.

10. Calgary Flames

Last week: 12
Record: 17-8-6

Win at home. The Flames are 13-5-2 on the road but just 4-3-4 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

9. St. Louis Blues

Last week: 13
Record: 19-9-5

Stay hot (or cool?). St. Louis has won four of its last five games, including a dominant 6–4 victory against Minnesota at the frigid Winter Classic.

8. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last week: 4
Record: 22-8-5

Three-peat as Stanley Cup champions. If the Lightning win the title again, they’ll become the fourth franchise to win at least three in a row, joining the Maple Leafs, Canadiens and Islanders.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins

Last week: 9
Record: 18-8-5

Extend Kris Letang. The 34-year-old defenseman ranks first on the team in assists (21) and first among skaters in average time on ice (25:58).

6. Washington Capitals

Last week: 6
Record: 20-6-8

Win in overtime. Washington has played in 10 overtime games this season. They’ve won two in shootouts and lost the other eight.

5. Vegas Golden Knights

Last week: 7
Record: 22-13-1

Make good use of Jack Eichel. The star center, acquired from Buffalo, is working his way back from neck surgery.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last week: 3
Record: 21-8-2

Win a playoff series. Toronto has not advanced past the first round since 2004.

3. Colorado Avalanche

Last week: 2
Record: 19-8-2

Take advantage of a weak January schedule. Just five of Colorado’s 15 games through the end of January come against opponents currently in playoff position. That should give the Avs an opportunity to make up ground in the Central.

2. Florida Panthers

Last week: 5
Record: 22-7-4

Win on the road. For the Panthers, home is where the heart is. They are a staggering 18-3-0 at FLA Live Arena but 4-4-4 on the road.

1. Carolina Hurricanes

Last week: 1
Record: 23-7-1

Lean on Nino Niederreiter. The 29-year-old winger has 14 points in his last 16 games, and he’s playing on the top line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.

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