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NHL Power Rankings: Time to Fear the Golden Knights Again



NHL Pacific Division

With only nine games left in the NHL regular season, teams are starting to fall into their playoff positions. Also, some teams are heating up at the right moment. One of those teams is the Vegas Golden Knights. Since trading for Mark Stone, the Golden Knights have only lost one game. What an incredible run. Calgary and San Jose are both looking to avoid Vegas in the first round. Vegas is a team nobody in the West wants to play. Meanwhile, in the East, Tampa Bay continues to roll, but don’t count out the Capitals. Time to take a look at this week’s power rankings.

NHL Power Rankings: Time to Fear the Golden Knights Again

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning – Reality has sunk in. The Lightning are not letting up even with winning the Presidents Trophy.
  2. Boston Bruins – The Bruins are one of the teams challenging Tampa. With David Pastrnak returning to the lineup, the Bruins will be even more dominant.
  3. Calgary Flames – Regardless of how many goals the Flames offense scores, there will always be questions about their goaltending.
  4. San Jose Sharks – San Jose has the tools to win the Stanley Cup and with Erik Karlsson returning, their defense will be unstoppable.
  5. Washington Capitals – The defending champs are getting stronger. The top players are rolling at the right time and they will be a tough out come playoff time.
  6. Winnipeg Jets – Patrik Laine is playing some of his best hockey of the season. While the goals are starting to come it is his defensive game that impressing his teammates.
  7. Vegas Golden Knights – Vegas is rolling. The Golden Knights are 9-1 with Mark Stone in the lineup and are on track to win the West again.
  8. Toronto Maple Leafs – Toronto has the offense to compete with any team, unfortunately, all the questions surround their defense.
  9. Pittsburgh Penguins – Pittsburgh is playing well. Matt Murray is rounding into form, but how long can they last without Evgeni Malkin in the lineup.
  10. Carolina Hurricanes – It’s hard to believe this team will make the playoffs. Standing toe to toe with big teams is giving them confidence.
  11. New York Islanders – A couple of bumps in the road for the Islanders who desperately need to get home ice advantage in the first round.
  12. Nashville Predators – Nashville has the depth to compete with Winnipeg, but can the Preds be more consistent down the stretch.
  13. Dallas Stars – Ben Bishop is turning into a Vezina Trophy nominee. He has put the Stars on his back. Bishop will make Dallas a sleeper team in the playoffs.
  14. St. Louis Blues – Jordan Binnington is human after all. The Blues offense is scoring at will, be glad they kept Jake Allen around.
  15. Columbus Blue Jackets – Going all in was the right move in Columbus, but getting this talent to play as a team has been the difficulty.
  16. Montreal Canadiens – Montreal has one thing Columbus does not. That is Carey Price. Price has the ability to put the Canadiens on his back to make the playoffs.
  17. Arizona Coyotes – Rick Tocchet has done a heck of job with this hockey club regardless if they make the playoffs or not.
  18. Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers dreams are starting fade to black. Give props to this team for sticking around this long.
  19. Chicago Blackhawks – Even though the gap is big for Chicago, they are the one team that could pull off a miracle.
  20. Colorado Avalanche – A little too little too late for Colorado. It would be nice if they started this climb a little sooner.
  21. Minnesota Wild – Another team going in the wrong direction. It appears the Wild playoff streak will be over this season.
  22. Florida Panthers – Imagine if Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Hubredeau clicked from the beginning of the season.
  23. Edmonton Oilers – Just a matter of time before the Oilers are officially mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
  24. Vancouver Canucks – It is just a matter of time before Quinn Hughes steps into this lineup to join this talented young roster.
  25. Buffalo Sabres – All season long, Rasmus Dahlin is living up to the hype with his consistent play on the blue line.
  26. New York Rangers – One bright spot for the Rangers is the progress of Pavel Buchnevich. He is will be a piece going forward.
  27. Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson continues to be the MVP for this team. Imagine where Anaheim would be without him.
  28. Detroit Red Wings – Detroit signs Jimmy Howard to a one year contract extension, let’s see how if he sticks around for the full year.
  29. New Jersey Devils – Those on the injured reserve should be shut down for the season. Just ride the prospects see what you have and don’t have going forward.
  30. Los Angeles Kings – There will be changes coming to the Kings lineup. They need to get younger and faster in the off season.
  31. Ottawa Senators – The season is finally coming to an end. Give Marc Crawford credit he is getting these guys to play hard.

Read More:

NHL Power Rankings: How about those Arizona Coyotes

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Photo Credit: By Michael Miller [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Jim is a 2008 graduate of Saint Michaels College who is currently writing the NHL Notebooks, Behind Enemy Lines, and Daily Links segments for Murphys Hockey Law and Boston Hockey Now an affiliate of National Hockey Now. Jim has a passion for the game of hockey as one coach put it "he is the student of the game. When Jim is not writing he can be found at the local rinks playing or being a referee. Throughout his time in the game, Jim coaches a local high school team in New Jersey. In addition, he broadcasted several New Jersey Junior Rockets games for the Eastern Hockey League. Reach him on Twitter: @JimBiringer

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