NHL power rankings: Are the Toronto Maple Leafs Cup contenders again after seven straight wins?

      The Preds are also hot, the Devils, Isles and Habs are ice cold, and the Panthers and Sharks retain the top and bottom spots of the rankings.

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      Hunter Crowther and I have achieved something that hasn’t happened in the power rankings all season: we’ve come to an agreement on a top 10. Sure, the order isn’t the same, but all 10 teams in my top 10 are the same in his. That’s some incredible chemistry achieved in just two weeks that Mike and I haven’t been able to capture all season.

      Anyways, Mike returns next week…

      Here at Daily Faceoff, we continue to navigate through the results so far with another week of co-op power rankings. I have my same old system in which I aggregate six stats (points %, 5-on-5 goal differential, 5-on-5 xGF/60, 5-on-5 xGA/60, power play xGF/60, and shorthanded xGA/60, all coming courtesy of Natural Stat Trick) to come up with a list that eliminates my own biases, along with a rule that no team can be above a team that’s more than five points ahead of them in the standings, regardless of where the aggregate places them. On the other hand, Hunter goes off his own intellect and pure vibes, and together we find a way to combine it and meet in the middle.

      1. Florida Panthers

      Record: 38-16-4, +51
      Last Week: 1st (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 1st
      Scott’s Rank: 1st

      Scott: What’s left to say about this Panthers team that hasn’t been said already? They’ve been consistent all season and once they finally got healthy, they haven’t really had too many struggles this year. In fact, they’ve only lost more than two games in a row once all season, and that came in the middle of their road win streak somehow. The 2021-22 squad won the Presidents’ Trophy with the help of some luck, but if they pull it off again this year, it will be all talent.

      2. Dallas Stars

      Record: 35-16-8, +36
      Last Week: 2nd (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 3rd
      Scott’s Rank: 2nd

      Hunter: I said this last week with the Panthers, but I love watching this team. Even with a 1-2-1 record this week, to me it just feels like there’s no weaknesses in this lineup. The one thing I worry about is Jake Oettinger, whose best game came Saturday night against the Hurricanes but needs to show some consistency before we get to the playoffs.

      3. Vancouver Canucks

      Record: 38-16-6, +52
      Last Week: 3rd (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 4th
      Scott’s Rank: 3rd

      Scott: I’m still not completely sold on this Canucks’ squad as a Cup contender, but they’re starting to look a bit more like one after the Elias Lindholm add. Yes, they’d lost four in a row before Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Bruins, but they were bound to face a little bit of regression this year. Nothing quite screams “returning to the norm” quite like scoring seven goals in a game and still allowing 10.

      4. New York Rangers

      Record: 39-17-3, +34
      Last Week: 5th (+1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 2nd
      Scott’s Rank: 5th

      Hunter: Of course the Blue Jackets ruined the winning streak, of course they did. But hey, credit to Igor Shesterkin who has had one of the best stretches of goaltending throughout the entire league. Last week, he stopped 41, 39 and 39 shots in three games, respectively, only giving up one goal in each of the contests. I might have been a liiiiiiittle hasty on the whole “Jonathan Quick is the No. 1 starter” thing last week. 

      5. Boston Bruins

      Record: 34-12-13, +38
      Last Week: 4th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 6th
      Scott’s Rank: 4th

      Scott: While only getting one win isn’t quite what the Bruins probably wanted to achieve on their Western Canada road trip, at the very least they got points in all three games. In fact, they have points in five straight games despite losing three of them, a big reason why they’re still in the race for first in the Atlantic and not closer to the Maple Leafs. Otherwise, their numbers have been slowly getting worse. The Patrice Bergeron and David Krecji retirements are causing more and more pain each day, and this year’s trade market isn’t exactly ripe with elite centers. I’m definitely interested to see what happens here for the trade deadline.

      6. Winnipeg Jets

      Record: 36-15-5, +39
      Last Week: 6th (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 5th
      Scott’s Rank: 9th

      Hunter: The Jets have two three-game winning streaks in the month of February, although all of three this week came against lesser opponents in the Wild, the Blackhawks and the Coyotes. Still, the Jets are banking those division wins and continuing their pursuit of home-ice advantage through the playoffs. Don’t look now, but they’re one point behind the Stars and five points behind the Canucks with three and four games in hand, respectively. Every year, it feels like the Jets are the team that pundits pick to go deep because it makes them sound smart, but this year, it may hold merit. To quote Logan Roy, “They got some juice.”

      7. Toronto Maple Leafs

      Record: 33-16-8, +35
      Last Week: 10th (+3)
      Hunter’s Rank: 7th
      Scott’s Rank: 7th

      Scott: The Leafs are on fire, having won seven games in a row, which is now their longest winning streak since 2003. But in typical Leafs fashion, their 7-0-0 record in the past two weeks coincides with the Bruins getting points in six of seven games and the Panthers winning five of six in that same span, so they’ve made almost no progress in terms of getting first in the Atlantic. Auston Matthews could only get a measly four goals in four games last week but became the fastest player to hit 50 goals in a season since 1996. If not for his complete reluctance to pass to the guy who passes to the goal scorer, he might be in the Hart conversation.

      Hunter: The assist debate in this Hart Trophy conversation baffles me. Has a player ever lapped the field in goals by such a wide margin and not won the award at the end of the season? And it’s not like Matthews hasn’t had a hand in Marner’s 23 goals. Also consider that Matthew Knies has no finish to his game this season with only 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points, doing that while spending a large chunk of the season on a line with AUSTON MATTHEWS AND MITCH MARNER. I don’t even know if Matthews should win the Hart Trophy, but the idea that some reporters and pundits are completely leaving him out of the conversation is baffling to me.

      Scott: I think the fact that Matthews hit the 50-goal mark (which can only be achieved by scoring goals) before Nikita Kucherov hit the 100-point mark (which can be achieved by scoring goals or generating assists) is another underrated achievement in this Hart Trophy race.

      8. Colorado Avalanche

      Record: 35-19-5, +28
      Last Week: 7th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 8th
      Scott’s Rank: 8th

      Hunter: The Avs started the week with a big win over the Canucks but fell into the Patrick Kane honeypot on Thursday, losing 2-1 in overtime. Their Saturday performance against the Maple Leafs was one of the best games of the season. On the bright side, their 5-on-5 game looked fantastic and they shut down Auston Matthews, and in a just world, both Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar would split the Hart Trophy, holding it together on stage and encouraging the world to stay up and watch more west coast hockey. But it’s a cruel world, and just like their loss to the Red Wings, they ran into a hot team. Shake it off and stay healthy. 

      9. Carolina Hurricanes

      Record: 34-18-6, +28
      Last Week: 8th (+1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 10th
      Scott’s Rank: 6th

      Scott: On one hand, the Canes can’t quite seem to string together enough wins to catch up with the Rangers (especially after New York’s 10-game winning streak), so it feels tougher and tougher for them to get back to their usual spot atop the Metro Division. On the other hand, they’ve also managed to avoid stringing losses together, so they’ve put just as much distance between themselves and the rest of the division as the Rangers have with them.

      10. Edmonton Oilers

      Record: 33-20-2, +31
      Last Week: 9th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 9th
      Scott’s Rank: 10th

      Hunter: I know this isn’t exactly the hard-hitting analysis that you come here for, but I’m going to say it: every Oilers game is fun to watch. Every single one. You want goals? You got ‘em. Fights? Got ‘em. Wins? Well, they started off with one against the Coyotes, but lost three straight this week, including a 6-3 beatdown against the Flames on Saturday night. Next week feels like a good opportunity for them to break out of their funk, starting Monday against the Kings, who they’re tied with in the Pacific Division. 

      11. Los Angeles Kings

      Record: 29-17-10, +22
      Last Week: 12th (+1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 13th
      Scott’s Rank: 11th

      Scott: The coaching bump seems to have taken effect in Los Angeles, as the Kings find themselves 6-2-0 under Jim Hiller. They’re still very much in the conversation to even get home-ice advantage in the playoffs, but even if they don’t, they’re looking more and more like a tough out for any team in the first round. If Quinton Byfield keeps scoring goals like this, they definitely will be.

      12. Vegas Golden Knights

      Record: 32-19-7, +21
      Last Week: 11th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 11th
      Scott’s Rank: 14th

      Hunter: After starting the week with a win and a loss, they got dropped 7-3 by the Maple Leafs on Thursday. Hey, Toronto’s a good team, no shame in that. But the Senators? Losing in a shootout to the Senators?? Am I missing something??? Losing Mark Stone until Game 1 of the first round hurts them for now, and they need to sharpen their game this week ahead of a rematch with the Maple Leafs and a road game against the Bruins on Thursday.

      13. Nashville Predators

      Record: 32-25-2, -3
      Last Week: 18th (+5)
      Hunter’s Rank: 15th
      Scott’s Rank: 12th

      Scott: Based on how Mike and I rated a lot of the teams earlier on in the season, I think he would have had an aneurysm if I ranked the Predators higher than the Golden Knights before now. While Vegas will certainly turn it on come playoff time, the Preds are continuing to cement themselves as the best of the rest in the West. Oh damn, that rhymed. Maybe binging Dickinson these past few weeks has rubbed off on my writing.

      Hunter: Quick, book this guy a spot at Tootsies

      14. Detroit Red Wings

      Record: 32-20-6, +22
      Last Week: 16th (+2)
      Hunter’s Rank: 12th
      Scott’s Rank: 16th

      Hunter: Some think the Red Wings’ recent hot streak is a matter of outrageous PDO, that it isn’t sustainable and at some point, it’ll come crashing down. But sometimes you have to go with your gut, because your gut lets you know when you’re hungry, and that’s science, baby. But seriously, why not just enjoy this? Patrick Kane has been marvelous since arriving in Hockeytown, and now winners of four straight, they’re playing themselves into the post-season. Will it all come crashing down at some point? Who cares? Enjoy the ride. 

      Scott: It is kind of crazy that the Wings haven’t played a playoff game in their new arena and have the second-longest playoff drought after all those years of consistency and/or mediocrity. But I must speak on behalf of Mike when I say that this team will easily be the worst of the playoff teams should they make it. My ranking is quite generous considering that they actually placed 25th in the aggregate.

      Hunter: Playoff revenue, baby! 

      15. Tampa Bay Lightning

      Record: 32-23-5, +5
      Last Week: 14th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 14th
      Scott’s Rank: 15th

      Scott: The Bolts didn’t exactly respond well to that 9-2 blowout loss to the Panthers, as they followed that up with two more losses to the Senators and Capitals. But, they did manage to salvage the week with back-to-back wins over the weekend against the Islanders and Devils. There’s some chatter that they may be one of the top destinations for Noah Hanifin, which if we’re going off the price of recent deadline deals for Tampa, will cost them about two draft years worth of picks to get.

      16. Philadelphia Flyers

      Record: 30-22-7, +2
      Last Week: 15th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 16th
      Scott’s Rank: 13th

      Hunter: The Flyers are starting to drop in the standings, but each game of theirs is still a barnburner. Wait, do people still say barnburner? I”m bringing it back. Barnburner. Anyway, they outshot the Rangers 40-24 in a 2-1 loss and had one heck of a barnburner (!) against the Penguins on Sunday, losing 7-6. We’re 11 days away from the March 8 trade deadline, so expect them to move out some assists in the not-too-distant future.

      17. New Jersey Devils

      Record: 29-25-4, -12
      Last Week: 13th (-4)
      Hunter’s Rank: 17th
      Scott’s Rank: 18th

      Scott: Words cannot describe how much this Devils team frustrates and disappoints me. But this can.

      18. Calgary Flames

      Record: 28-25-5, -1
      Last Week: 21st (+3)
      Hunter’s Rank: 19th
      Scott’s Rank: 20th

      Hunter: Wait, are the Flames for real? Three wins this week, all against playoff teams in the Jets, Bruins and Oilers. Their performance on Saturday against Edmonton looked like the kind you’d see out of a playoff team. But they’re still five points out from the second Wildcard spot in the Western Conference. They’re not going to make it. But are they? Maybe? Nah. Of course not. But maybe? 

      Scott: Could this version of the squad go on a big enough run to squeak into a Wildcard spot? Sure. Can whatever this team will look like after they sell off Hanifin, Chris Tanev and possibly Jacob Markstrom do that? I’m not quite as confident. They are playing themselves out of another top draft pick though.

      19. Pittsburgh Penguins

      Record: 26-21-8, +15
      Last Week: 19th (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 22nd
      Scott’s Rank: 17th

      Scott: This Pens team continues to confuse me. Despite putting up really good numbers and no significant signs of bad luck, they just can’t win. And then when they do, they still can’t gain any ground in the playoff race. You know it’s getting bad when hockey fans want Kyle Dubas to trade Sidney Crosby solely out of mercy for the longtime franchise icon.

      Hunter: Tinfoil conspiracy time: I feel like the hockey world is trying to manifest a Crosby trade out of the Penguins’ situation. The last few weeks, every hockey show or segment has mentioned, even briefly, the idea of the Penguins moving on from Crosby. What would that trade look like? The 36-year-old only has one more season on his contract, what are you willing to pay for a season of one of the greatest players of all-time? All this talk and the most likely outcome will be him extending with the club, spending his entire career with the Penguins and eventually working in the front office. 

      20. Minnesota Wild

      Record: 28-24-6, -7
      Last Week: 22nd (+2)
      Hunter’s Rank: 21st
      Scott’s Rank: 19th

      Hunter: The Wild are 7-2-1 in their last 10 and had some big performances this week, including a 4-2 win over the Oilers and a 5-2 victory over the Kraken. Still, Minnesota remains four points out of a playoff spot since the Preds also got hot at the same time. I feel like the Wild dug themselves too big of a hole. Still, it’s nice seeing them step their game up after such a mediocre start.

      21. St. Louis Blues

      Record: 30-25-2, -11
      Last Week: 20th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 18th
      Scott’s Rank: 25th

      Scott: I almost want to turn Mike’s bit of “it’s the Islanders, who cares?” to use with the Blues, because they really are the Islanders of the West. Just beat the Oilers 6-3? Here’s back-to-back losses to the Preds and Leafs. Shut out the Islanders 4-0? How about getting blown out by the Wings over the weekend. Between their inconsistencies and the Preds recent streak, they really aren’t helping their playoff chances considering that they can’t drive play either.

      22. Washington Capitals

      Record: 26-21-9, -31
      Last Week: 23rd (+1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 20th
      Scott’s Rank: 23rd

      Hunter: Here’s your newest Alexander Ovechkin all-time scoring update: 16 goals this season, giving him 838 in his career, 56 behind Wayne Gretzky on the all-time list. He scored twice against the Devils but was scoreless in the Caps’ next two games. Oh, and Washington won twice this week and lost once in overtime. And there’s your latest Alexander Ovechkin all-time scoring update. 

      23. New York Islanders

      Record: 23-20-14, -28
      Last Week: 17th (-6)
      Hunter’s Rank: 23rd
      Scott’s Rank: 21st

      Scott: The Isles have now lost five of their last six games, and with their only win coming against an equally struggling Pens team, it’s hard to have a lot of… wait, what am I doing? It’s the Islanders, who cares?

      Ok, it is kind of funny that they might be creeping closer to as many overtime losses as they have wins and regulation losses.

      24. Seattle Kraken

      Record: 24-22-11, -7
      Last Week: 24th (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 25th
      Scott’s Rank: 22nd

      Hunter: The Kraken covered all their bases this week, and by that I mean they had a win, a loss and an overtime loss. A 1-1-1 record! While it was nice to see Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann step up their game against the Canucks, Joey Daccord giving up four goals on 13 shots against the Wild was a step back. The 27-year-old goaltender has given up at least three goals in four of his last five games. I think we can comfortably say they’re out of the playoff race, right? 

      25. Buffalo Sabres

      Record: 27-27-4, -6
      Last Week: 25th (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 24th
      Scott’s Rank: 24th

      Scott: While the Senators always get a lot of flak for going on late runs to spoil their draft pick and build up unwarranted hype among fans for next season, the Sabres don’t get quite as much attention for doing so, and they seem to be doing it again. They’ve now won four of their last five, although that loss came against the Ducks, so it’s not completely perfect in Buffalo. They’re still 11 points out of a playoff spot though, so I wouldn’t exactly get my hopes up for any actual chance of a playoff appearance at this point.

      26. Ottawa Senators

      Record: 25-27-3, -7
      Last Week: 28th (+2)
      Hunter’s Rank: 26th
      Scott’s Rank: 26th

      Hunter: How about those Senators! And by that, I mean wins against the Lightning, Stars and Golden Knights — all playoff teams! They’re 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are, actually, maybe, somehow, looking like a coherent squad? They’re a long way from a playoff spot, but there’s a lot to like about this group for its future. Then again, I felt like I was saying the same thing at points last season … 

      Scott: And the season before that. And the season before that. And the season before…

      27. Columbus Blue Jackets

      Record: 19-28-10, -40
      Last Week: 29th (+2)
      Hunter’s Rank: 27th
      Scott’s Rank: 27th

      Scott: Woah, woah, woah! Columbus, what are you doing up here? Shouldn’t you be a bit further down like you have been all year? To be honest, this has less to do with the Blue Jackets being good, and more to do with the Coyotes and Habs just being depressingly sad lately. It at least helps that Columbus has kept themselves out of the headlines for a week. Gotta take those wins where you can get them!

      28. Arizona Coyotes

      Record: 23-29-5, -22
      Last Week: 27th (-1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 28th
      Scott’s Rank: 28th

      Hunter: I will refer to my comments from last week. Nothing has changed. 

      29. Anaheim Ducks

      Record: 20-35-3, -56
      Last Week: 30th (+1)
      Hunter’s Rank: 29th
      Scott’s Rank: 30th

      Scott: The Ducks continue to be a mess, but unlike the other messes in the bottom here, they at least have a future. The Sharks haven’t even finished dismantling the team. The Blackhawks are Connor Bedard and no one else. The Habs are getting excited that their first overall pick might actually be an NHLer, never mind a superstar. The Coyotes don’t even have a future home! The Ducks show brief signs of life that indicate what the future will be, they just need to get more consistent (and adding another top pick this season will certainly help that).

      30. Montreal Canadiens

      Record: 22-28-8, -46
      Last Week: 26th (-4)
      Hunter’s Rank: 31st
      Scott’s Rank: 29th

      Hunter: Losers of five straight, there’s not much, if anything, to like about Les Habitants. Also, after scoring 11 points (six goals and five assists) in seven games, Juraj Slafkovsky is scoreless in his last three games. Maybe their next No. 1 overall pick will be the superstar this market craves.

      31. Chicago Blackhawks

      Record: 15-39-5, -85
      Last Week: 31st (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 30th
      Scott’s Rank: 31st

      Scott: You might want to rename this team to the Chicago Bedards, because that’s just about all they have going for them right now (and to be honest, changing their name might give them some much-needed good PR). Bedard has points on seven of their 12 goals since returning to the lineup, which at least has put him back on the map for the Calder Trophy. Otherwise… yikes. It’s the fact that they have hope right now that keeps them out of last.

      32. San Jose Sharks

      Record: 15-36-5, -97
      Last Week: 32nd (0)
      Hunter’s Rank: 32nd
      Scott’s Rank: 32nd

      Hunter: Good Lord it felt weird typing in their minus-97 goal differential. What’s there to say? They’re bad. That’s enough.



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