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Power Rankings

NHL Power Rankings: Week 27

by Michael Finewax

There is not a lot of time left in the season but there was still some movement near the top of the rankings as Calgary moved past Boston and into second place. The Detroit Red Wings, winners of seven of their last eight games, also made a big jump as did Columbus while Buffalo tumbled down the standings.

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1. Tampa Bay

Record: 60-15-4 (1-1-0)

Last Week 1

The Lightning lost to Washington and defeated Ottawa. This week they take on Montreal, Toronto and Boston and all three games are on the road. The Lightning should give Louis Domingue a start this week and possibly two, as Andrei Vasilevskiy has 38 wins and they may try and get him 40. Nikita Kucherov is at 125 points, the first NHLer to do so since Joe Thornton did it in the 2005-06 season. 

         

2. Calgary

Record: 50-23-7 (3-1-0)

Last Week 3

The Flames defeated Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles after losing to start the week to Dallas. They play twice this week to finish the season with games against Anaheim on the road and Edmonton at home. James Neal is having a horrible season with only seven goals and 19 points but the veteran winger is on a three-game points streak with two goals and two assists. Johnny Gaudreau needs three points for 100 with two games remaining.       

3. Boston

Record: 47-23-9 (1-2-0)

Last Week 2

The Bruins defeated the Rangers but then lost two in a row to Florida and Detroit, not exactly among the elite of the NHL. The Bruins take on Columbus and Minnesota on the road this week and end the season with a home game against Tampa Bay. They will face Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. David Krejci hit the 50-assist mark for the third time in his career Sunday and needs one goal to reach 20. Jake DeBrusk has 25 goals.

4. Washington

Record: 47-25-8 (3-1-0)

Last Week 4

The Capitals defeated Carolina twice and Tampa Bay once before getting upset by Florida on Monday. They finish the schedule with home games against Montreal and the New York Islanders. Alex Ovechkin hit the 50-goal mark for the eighth time in his career and is just one 50-goal season behind Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the all-time NHL lead. Jakub Vrana has 24 goals and 47 points this season.

5. Toronto

Record: 46-26-7 (1-1-1)

Last Week 5

The Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders, lost in a shootout to Philadelphia and in regulation to Ottawa. Toronto plays Carolina and Tampa Bay at home and finishes the season in Montreal. John Tavares scored the winner against the Islanders and quieted the former fans who turned on him when he left in the off-season to join the Maple Leafs in free agency. Toronto has six players with 20 or more goals including Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, Morgan Rielly and Andreas Johnsson.

6. New York Islanders

Record: 46-27-7 (2-2-0)

Last Week 7

The Islanders started the week with a loss to Columbus and then won two, defeating Winnipeg and Buffalo before dropping a 2-1 decision to John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs. They end the season with a couple of road games, playing in Florida and Washington. The Islanders need to rely on their goaltending and defense in the playoffs but they have been playing that way all season so they enter the post-season likely full of confidence. They could surprise.

7. San Jose

Record: 44-26-9 (1-2-0)

Last Week 6

The Sharks had another bad week as they lost to Chicago and Calgary but defeated their first-round opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights. This week they play in Vancouver and Edmonton and finish the season at home to Colorado. The Sharks hope to get Erik Karlsson back this week from a groin injury as he has been missed on the blueline. He has 45 points in 52 games this season as he has provided plenty of offense from the point, taking some pressure off Brent Burns.

8. Pittsburgh

Record: 43-25-11 (1-1-0)

Last Week 9

The Penguins split the week as they lost to Nashville and defeated Carolina. This week they play a home-and-home series with Detroit and end the regular season at home to the New York Rangers. The Penguins hope to get Evgeni Malkin back in the lineup this week. Jake Guentzel leads the Penguins with 38 goals.

9. Winnipeg 

Record: 46-29-4 (1-2-0)

Last Week 8

The Jets dropped decisions to the New York Islanders and Montreal at home before defeating Chicago to on the road to complete the week. Winnipeg ends the season this week with three road games against Minnesota, Colorado and Arizona. The win over Chicago gives them a two-point lead in the Central over St. Louis and Nashville and they could conceivably end up in third in the division. The Jets got Dustin Byfuglien back in the lineup this week and that won’t hurt. Patrik Laine had 21 goals in his first 24 games but has only nine goals in his last 55 contests.

10. St. Louis

Record: 43-28-8 (2-1-0)

Last Week 13

The Blues lost to the New York Rangers and then beat New Jersey and Colorado. The Blues play in Chicago and then return home to face Philadelphia and Vancouver to complete the regular season. St. Louis moved into second place Monday in the Central and have a real shot at first as they are only two points in arrears of Winnipeg with the Jets on the road for all three. That would complete an amazing comeback as the Blues were in last place in the Western Conference in January.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 14th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.