31) Arizona Coyotes – Fallin’ for Dahlin.
30) Buffalo Sabres – See above.
29) Ottawa Senators – What happened to Ottawa?
28) Detroit Red Wings – Mike Green is on the trading block, which would be great news for Detroit if the year were 2008.
27) Vancouver Canucks – Vancouver could be a major seller at the trade deadline.
26) Florida Panthers – As former Panthers thrive in Vegas, the current iteration of the team struggles to find the back of the net. That’s a tough pill to swallow for this team and its fans.
25) Edmonton Oilers – Peter Chiarelli gave his coach the vote of confidence that he wouldn’t be fired this season, so there’s that.
24) Montreal Canadiens – Just when it seemed like Montreal might be headed in the right direction, they promptly resume their plunge down the standings.
23) Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers are back in the playoff hunt, and they just might get in.
22) San Jose Sharks –San Jose now finds itself in a dogfight for a playoff spot after having occupied the third spot in the Pacific for most of the year.
21) Chicago Blackhawks – Lagging behind Anaheim, Colorado, and Minnesota for the final Wild Card spot, Chicago still has the talent to push through and eventually claim that spot.
20) Minnesota Wild – With six wins in their last ten games, the Wild don’t look like they’re about to let go of their playoff positioning.
19) Anaheim Ducks – Anaheim will need a strong home stand to make up ground in the standings.
18) Calgary Flames – With seven wins in a row, Calgary has seized the second spot in the Pacific Division.
17) Colorado Avalanche – Like Calgary, the Avs are also winners of their last seven games, causing a meteoric rise up the standings that has to be considered one of the feel-good stories of the season.
16) Carolina Hurricanes – It’s hard to rank the Hurricanes this low when looking at their underlying numbers, but there’s still a lot of hope that they can punch their first ticket to the playoffs in years.
15) New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist deserves better than what he’s getting from this team right now.
14) New York Islanders – The Islanders have won three in a row, undoing some of the damage of a late December slide.
13) Pittsburgh Penguins – After having been left for dead by most analysts, Pittsburgh is back in the playoff picture all of a sudden.
12) Los Angeles Kings – The Kings have lost two big divisional games in a row against Anaheim and San Jose, and are now just a point or two away from being on the outside looking in.
11) Columbus Blue Jackets – Back in a playoff spot, the Blue Jackets are still facing a tough road to cementing their positioning with so many teams now hot on their heels.
10) New Jersey Devils – Most have the Devils falling off a cliff at some point, but time is running out for that to happen.
9) Dallas Stars – The Stars may be a Wild Card team now, but the fact that their talent is starting to click is downright scary.
8) Washington Capitals – This was supposed to be the year Washington was going to fall off, right?
7) Toronto Maple Leafs – The bad news: Toronto has been so-so recently. The good news: they play in the Atlantic Division.
6) St. Louis Blues – The Blues are still humming along, but they’re going to have to start looking over their shoulder eventually. The Stars, Wild, and even the Avalanche are knocking at the door.
5) Nashville Predators – Nashville has that “storm through the Western Conference” look in their eye lately.
4) Winnipeg Jets – The Sharks may think Winnipeg is gloomy, but there’s nothing gloomy about the Jet’s season so far.
3) Vegas Golden Knights – It’s still baffling to think that Vegas has been this good, but here we are.
2) Boston Bruins – Boston needs to be viewed as a serious contender.
1) Tamp Bay Lightning – If it weren’t for arbitrary All-Star selection rules, the Lightning would have even more players participating in the All-Star game.
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