NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings: Week 27

Welcome to the 27th edition of my weekly NHL Power Rankings for The Hockey Writers, where the league’s top half is evaluated. These rankings will focus on how teams have performed in the past week of play and will significantly factor in their overall strength and where they are at the time in the standings. With that said, here’s a look at the top 16 teams in the league at this moment.

16. Dallas Stars (44-30-5)

Last Week’s Rank: 12

This past week started out very rough for the Stars, as they fell to the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames before finally mustering up a win over the Seattle Kraken.

Rick Bowness Dallas Stars
Rick Bowness, head coach of the Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There are just three games remaining in the regular season for the Stars, and all will be of extremely high importance, as the Vegas Golden Knights sit three points behind them in the standings. If they do get in, which is likely at this point, they could be a dark horse in the Western Conference, as their roster does possess plenty of talent.

15. Nashville Predators (44-29-6)

Last Week’s Rank: NA

Aside from an ugly 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, it was a solid week for the Predators, who beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday while also picking up a point against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. Thanks in large part to those three points, they have a great shot at qualifying for the postseason.

14. Los Angeles Kings (43-27-10)

Last Week’s Rank: NA

After weeks of poor play, the Kings were able to take advantage of an easy schedule this past week, winning all three of their games, two of which came against the Anaheim Ducks and the other against the Chicago Blackhawks. They are now just one point shy of clinching third place in the Pacific Division.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (45-24-11)

Last Week’s Rank: 14

The Penguins appeared to be getting their game back on track this week after two decisive wins over the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. A loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday has put a damper on that, however. They desperately need goaltender Tristan Jarry to be healthy for the playoffs.

12. Washington Capitals (44-23-12)

Last Week’s Rank: 9

Despite a slight drop in this week’s rankings, the Capitals are playing better hockey as of late. They were able to pick up at least a point in all four of their games this past week, though two of those came in losing causes to the Golden Knights and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It appears they caught a break injury-wise, as Alex Ovechkin had to leave Sunday’s game after crashing into the end boards. The good news, however, is he’s listed as day-to-day.

11. Edmonton Oilers (46-27-6)

Last Week’s Rank: 8

The Oilers were able to clinch a playoff spot this past week after a huge 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. They also defeated the Stars two nights prior but fell in disappointing fashion in their final game of the week to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Related: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings: Week 26

If Mike Smith, who has been red hot as of late, is able to keep things going in the playoffs, this could be a dangerous team out of the West.

10. Boston Bruins (49-25-5)

Last Week’s Rank: 11

Despite losing to the Penguins 4-0 on Thursday, the Bruins were able to win the other three games on their schedule, including putting an end to the Blues’ nine-game winning streak. There is plenty to like about this team heading into the playoffs, and there could be even more if Brad Marchand is able to snap out of his goal-scoring funk.

9. New York Rangers (51-22-6)

Last Week’s Rank: 5

This week was a bit of a tough one for the Rangers, as they managed just two points in three games. Regardless, it has been a fantastic season for this entire squad, who have improved a ton from just a season prior.

Related: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings: Week 25

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin appears to have the Vezina Trophy locked up, but even more surprising is the fact that Chris Kreider is up to 51 goals in what has been a career year for the 30-year-old.

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (52-21-7)

Last Week’s Rank: 4

Offensively, this Maple Leafs squad is as gifted as they come. They were also able to get Auston Matthews back in the lineup after the 24-year-old missed three games with an undisclosed ailment.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

An 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, however, means that questions about their blue line and goaltending remain intact.

7. Colorado Avalanche (55-18-6)

Last Week’s Rank: 2

Perhaps it’s just players playing cautious ahead of what should be a lengthy playoff run, but this past week was an ugly one for the Avalanche. Not only did their nine-game win streak come to an end, but they now find themselves on a four-game skid after losses to the Capitals, Kraken, Oilers, and the Winnipeg Jets.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (49-22-8)

Last Week’s Rank: 10

The Lightning appear to be ramping things up now that the playoffs are nearing. While they did lose their opening game of the week to the Detroit Red Wings, they then went on to defeat the Leafs, Predators and Florida Panthers while scoring a combined 22 goals over those three games. They could very well end up with their third straight Stanley Cup this Spring.

5. Carolina Hurricanes (52-20-8)

Last Week’s Rank: 13

Much like the Lightning, the Hurricanes appear to be picking things up. After two months of questionable play, they were able to rack up four straight wins this past week.

Seth Jarvis Carolina Hurricanes
Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While there has been some talk that they lack a true superstar to get them a Stanley Cup, they are so well structured and have so many different weapons that it may not matter.

4. Calgary Flames (49-20-10)

Another great week for this Flames team that continues to be the biggest surprise club of the season. They were able to pick up seven of a possible eight points and are playing arguably incredible hockey at both ends of the ice. Not bad for a team many expected to miss the playoffs entirely before the season began.

3. Minnesota Wild (51-21-7)

Last Week’s Rank: 6

Not only were the Wild able to pick up four straight wins this past week, but they now find themselves with at least a point in 10 straight. Kirill Kaprizov deserves a ton of credit for their play not only as of late but the season as a whole, as he now has 103 points in just 78 games.

Related: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings: Week 24

He and his Wild teammates will face off against the Blues in the opening round of what promises to be an outstanding series.

2. St. Louis Blues (49-20-11)

Last Week’s Rank: 3

Though they had their nine-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, the Blues have registered at least a point in 16 straight. This team has been one of the league’s hottest over the past month, thanks in large part to their many offensively gifted forwards. Head coach Craig Berube will have a difficult decision on who to start once the playoffs begin between Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso.

1. Florida Panthers (57-16-6)

Last Week’s Rank: 1

The Panthers saw their 13-game win streak come to an end after getting crushed 8-4 by their rival in the Lightning on Sunday night. With that said, it came on the second half of a back-to-back after they defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime a night prior.

Andrew Brunette Florida Panthers
Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers head coach (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

They were also able to defeat the New York Islanders as well as the Red Wings earlier in the week and continue to be the league’s most gifted offensive squad.

Changes to Come

These rankings will continue to change each week throughout the season as all teams go through highs and lows. Of course, the true contenders will always remain on the list, but where they are ranked could change each and every week. Tune in at this time next week to see the changes.

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