NHL – 2017-18 Power Rankings – Greg Wyshynski

NHL News

As we see in the NHL Power Rankings each week, there are good teams, there are bad teams and there are the St. Louis Blues. (C’mon, admit it: You have no idea, either.)

But the message we want to send this week: No matter what the records are, everyone is good at something. So in this week’s Power Rankings, we look at what each team (or a specific player) does best statistically, aka the Sunshine and Rainbows edition.

How we rank: We use a panel of voters, and these rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams are favored over lower-ranked teams. A run of wins doesn’t guarantee a jump, and a couple of losses doesn’t guarantee a fall.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21

Record: 43-14-9
Week 21 Ranking: No. 2

Pekka Rinne is making a strong Vezina Trophy case for himself with a .928 save percentage, best in the NHL for goalies who have played more than 35 games, which is why the Predators are the NHL’s best defensive team (2.47 goals against per game).

Record: 46-17-4
Week 21 Ranking: No. 1

Thanks in no small part to a dominant top line and the emergence of players like Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde, the Lightning lead the NHL in goals per game at 3.58.

Record: 42-19-5
Week 21 Ranking: No. 3

William “Wild Bill” Karlsson leads the NHL with a plus-36. Before this season, he was a plus-4 for his career.

Record: 40-17-9
Week 21 Ranking: No. 4

The Jets are doing what they can to make goalie Connor Hellebuyck‘s life easier. They’ve given up 477 high-danger chances in 66 games, fewest in the NHL.

Record: 41-15-8
Week 21 Ranking: No. 6

The Bruins have given up only 161 even-strength goals, fewest in the NHL this season. Thanks, ridiculously great first line (when healthy) and goaltending!

Record: 37-22-7
Week 21 Ranking: No. 7

Lest anyone believe that Alex Ovechkin just cashes in on the power play, let it be said that he leads the NHL with 28 even-strength goals.

Record: 39-25-4
Week 21 Ranking: No. 8

No surprise here given the Penguins’ assemblage of talent, but they lead the NHL in power-play efficiency at 26.4 percent.

Record: 39-22-7
Week 21 Ranking: No. 5

Auston Matthews has been lights-out with a 17.5 shooting percentage in 53 games, good for 28 goals.

Record: 34-22-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 9

With 29 goals, Sean Couturier is one away from doubling his previous season best total (15 in 2014-15).

Record: 38-22-7
Week 21 Ranking: No. 11

Eric Staal‘s remarkable 36-goal season is his highest total since 2008-09. Is there a chance he passes his career high (45) after everyone thought his superstar days were done?

Record: 35-22-9
Week 21 Ranking: No. 12

The Sharks are killers — literally! San Jose has the best PK in the NHL at 84.7 percent efficiency. The Sharks also have seven short-handed goals.

Record: 36-25-5
Week 21 Ranking: No. 10

Jeff Carter has three goals in five games since returning from injury. So, um, welcome back, sir.

Record: 37-24-6
Week 21 Ranking: No. 17

John Klingberg continues to lead all defensemen with 56 points, and should easily clear his previous career best of 58.

Record: 34-21-12
Week 21 Ranking: No. 13

Adam Henrique has 16 goals in 42 games with the Ducks, with a rather robust 21.3 shooting percentage.

Record: 35-24-7
Week 21 Ranking: No. 18

No one has earned more power plays than the Avalanche, with 246 opportunities — which have led to 50 power-play goals.

Record: 34-25-8
Week 21 Ranking: No. 14

Taylor Hall has 18 goals and 20 assists during his 26-game point-scoring streak. That seems good.

Record: 32-25-7
Week 21 Ranking: No. 21

If the Panthers have a lead after the second period, they’re winning the darn game. Florida is 20-0-0 with a lead entering the third this season.

Record: 35-26-5
Week 21 Ranking: No. 19

The Blues are 3-0 in the shootout, but even better: Opponents haven’t scored a shootout goal in any of those games.

Record: 34-28-5
Week 21 Ranking: No. 15

Sergei Bobrovsky‘s .932 EV save percentage is his second highest since 2013. MVP stuff again from Officer Bob.

Record: 29-37-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 20

The Hurricanes might be in a bit of turmoil, thanks to the abrupt firing of GM Ron Francis, but they keep the heat off their goalies, giving up an average of 28.7 shots per game — fewest in the league. If only they had the goaltending …

Record: 33-25-10
Week 21 Ranking: No. 16

Mark Giordano (57.68) and Dougie Hamilton (57.54) are Nos. 1 and 2 in the NHL in Corsi percentage at 5-on-5.

Record: 30-31-6
Week 21 Ranking: No. 22

When the Rangers get their chances, they’re good chances. They lead the NHL in high-danger scoring chances with 689.

Record: 29-30-8
Week 21 Ranking: No. 23

The Blackhawks let more shots fly on average than any team in the NHL, with an average of 34.6. Granted, not many of them go in (189 goals), but attempts were made.

Record: 29-29-9
Week 21 Ranking: No. 24

In the past 20 years, only four rookies had a higher points-per-game average than Mathew Barzal‘s 1.03: Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Connor McDavid.

Record: 26-29-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 25

Dylan Larkin has helped create many a Snip Show for his teammates, leading the Wings with 40 assists.

Record: 28-34-4
Week 21 Ranking: No. 26

Connor McDavid has a points-per-game average of 1.21, just a shade behind his average of 1.22 last season.

Record: 25-30-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 27

Alex Galchenyuk has quietly had a solid season, including a career-high 18 points on the power play for the Habs.

Record: 25-33-9
Week 21 Ranking: No. 28

Brendan Leipsic has six points in four games, so we’ll just go ahead and call this trade a win for GM Jim Benning (who, like, needs one).

Record: 21-34-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 31

The Coyotes lead the NHL in draft lottery odds, with an 18 percent chance of getting the first overall pick.

Record: 21-35-11
Week 21 Ranking: No. 30

Ryan O’Reilly has won a ridiculous 60.9 percent of his 1,687 faceoffs.

Record: 23-32-10
Week 21 Ranking: No. 29

Winger Mark Stone, who is having another solid season for the Sens, leads the team with 18 even-strength goals.

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