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NHL Power Rankings: Rounding out the Top 16

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NHL Playoff Standings

With only six games left in the NHL regular season, the focus is on the final wild-card spots in both the Eastern and Western Conference. In the Eastern Conference, three teams are fighting for two spots. While over in the Western, three teams fighting for one spot. Colorado, Arizona, and Minnesota are all within four points of each other. Even though Chicago still has a chance, it is a very small percentage. Time to go inside this week’s NHL Power Rankings to see how the Top 16 are beginning to round out.

NHL Power Rankings: Rounding out the Top 16

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning – It is just a matter of time before the Lightning break the all time wins mark for one season.
  2. Washington Capitals – Washington is starting to get their “It factor” back again. Something tells us the Caps can go back to the conference final again.
  3. Boston Bruins – Even though the Bruins continue to deal with injuries, they have weapons to compete with the Lightning.
  4. Calgary Flames – All eyes will be on Mike Smith once the playoffs begin. Can he get his form back from the 2012 playoffs?
  5. Vegas Golden Knights – Clearly, George McPhee should get executive of the year again. Even with all the additions, there is some concern surrounding Marc-Andre Fleury and his injury.
  6. Winnipeg Jets – The Jets are still dealing with injuries like every team, but what’s more concerning is their level of consistency game to game.
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins – Here come the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even with Evgeni Malkin in the lineup, the Penguins are finding ways to win. They will be a tough out come playoff time.
  8. Toronto Maple Leafs – Despite how good their offense is, the Maple Leafs can’t stop the puck. They need Frederick Anderson to be better.
  9. San Jose Sharks – Just like Calgary, goaltending will be the focus if the Sharks don’t advance as Martin Jones is not playing his best.
  10. New York Islanders – Barry Trotz has got his goalies playing really well, but do they have enough talent to last past the first round?
  11. Carolina Hurricanes – Carolina is showing great resiliency as the season winds down. These Bunch of Jerks will be tough to play on home ice.
  12. Nashville Predators – Nashville is back in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row, but the question is will they have home ice in the first round?
  13. St. Louis Blues – The Blues are finding their swagger again. If Jordan Binnington keeps playing like this, the Blues can get home ice in the first round.
  14. Dallas Stars – If Ben Bishop is the X-factor for the Stars come playoff time he needs to be healthy. Though Anton Khudobin is back to his old tricks of playing well.
  15. Montreal Canadiens – Along as Carey Price stays healthy the Canadiens have a chance of making the playoffs.
  16. Colorado Avalanche – Just keep riding Philipp Grubauer until the final wild-card spot is clinched.
  17. Columbus Blue Jackets – It is do or die time for Columbus. Whether or not they can sustain this level to get into the playoffs is another question.
  18. Arizona Coyotes – That four-game road trip was ugly. Not scoring goals in back to back games did this team in.
  19. Philadelphia Flyers – Be proud of what you accomplished. The future is bright and the Flyers can learn from these past two months.
  20. Chicago Blackhawks – Credit the Blackhawks for rebounding after an awful. It is too bad the points gap was just too much for them to overcome.
  21. Florida Panthers – The off-season plan needs to be for the Panthers to get off to a better start so they are not always playing catchup.
  22. Minnesota Wild – It is going to be awful tough for the Wild to make the playoffs now that Zach Parise is injured.
  23. Edmonton Oilers – Just keep telling yourself if you are an Edmonton Oiler that you are still alive in the playoff picture.
  24. Vancouver Canucks – The future is going to be very bright for the Canucks especially once Quinn Hughes steps on the ice.
  25. New York Rangers – Everything is going according to plan. The rebuild is ongoing and Mika Zibanejad is the perfect piece to build around.
  26. Buffalo Sabres – Since November 28th, the Buffalo Sabres have the worst record in the NHL, something needs to change next season.
  27. Anaheim Ducks – Anaheim fans are seeing the future of their team with the continuous play of youngsters Troy Terry and Sam Steel.
  28. New Jersey Devils – Even with the reinforcements back in the lineup, the Devils still can’t muster the offensive numbers like the rest of the league.
  29. Detroit Red Wings – It is going to be a long and tough road for the Red Wings to return to the playoffs.
  30. Los Angeles Kings – What is going on with Ilya Kovalchuk and the LA Kings? Maybe a new coach is the answer.
  31. Ottawa Senators – The best thing for the Senators would be Eugene Melnyk to sell the team.

Read More:

NHL Power Rankings: Time to Fear the Golden Knights Again

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

Photo Credit: By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via 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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