31) Arizona Coyotes- New week, same story.
30) Buffalo Sabres- See above.
29) Ottawa Senators – Erik Karlsson is on his way out, the owner is threatening to move the team, and all the feel-good vibes in Ottawa are effectively gone.
28) Florida Panthers – Gerard Gallant is a Jack Adams candidate, while Jonathan Marchesseault and Reilly Smith have been lighting it up. Oh, wrong team? Sorry.
27) Colorado Avalanche – Four points out of a playoff spot, yes, but it feels like Colorado is starting to drift away.
26) Detroit Red Wings – Well, that didn’t last very long. At least the Wings have a shiny new building to rebuild their hockey team in.
25) Vancouver Canucks – Whether they make the playoffs or not, the Canucks can find solace in knowing Brock Boeser is a legitimate stud.
24) Edmonton Oilers- If it weren’t for some Connor McDavid-induced optimism, this team would be even lower.
23) Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks are only a point out of the playoffs, but their record would read 15-21 if it weren’t for this ridiculous point system. That doesn’t sound like a great team to me.
22) Minnesota Wild – Like Anaheim, Minnesota is on the playoff fringes, but it feels like their record doesn’t reflect this team’s sub-par underlying numbers.
21) San Jose Sharks – Jumbo and Co. will always have the respect of this ranking-maker, but this team just can’t score right now, and it feels like it may be more than just bad luck.
20) Carolina Hurricanes — The Hurricanes have hung around this area of the rankings for a few weeks now, and it feels like their upward mobility is starting to wear off.
19) Philadelphia Flyers – When your general manager has to come out to defend the head coach, you know things aren’t going especially well.
18) New York Rangers – The Rangers are fun, but it’s hard to buy into their strategy of getting regularly out-shot.
17) Montreal Canadiens – It’s been a depressing season in Montreal. Maybe Arturri Lehkonen’s return will give them a jolt.
16) Washington Capitals – The numbers say they shouldn’t be this good, but the numbers also don’t fully account for just how talented this team is either.
15) Dallas Stars – Dallas has improved it’s overall game, but it also still has the top-end skill that initially burst them onto the scene.
14) Chicago Blackhawks – Yes, the Hawks are still actually good.
13) Pittsburgh Penguins – The Penguins haven’t really done all that much to warrant being this high, but like I say every week, two consecutive rings buy you a lot of rope.
12) New Jersey Devils – New Jersey isn’t the 12th best team in the league, but the fact that they currently lead the tough Metro division deserves some recognition.
11) Boston Bruins – Overlooked before the season, Boston is for real.
10) Vegas Golden Knights – A very fun team, and an even better story.
9) Los Angeles Kings – LA is back, it’s just hard to know how legit they are yet.
8) Calgary Flames – Yes, you read that right. It may not show yet, but Calgary is going to be a very scary team in the near future.
7) Nashville Predators – Young, deep, and extremely talented, there’s a whole lot to like over in Smashville.
6) New York Islanders – Fast and exciting, the Islanders just need to get their goaltending sorted out. Jaroslav Halak just isn’t cutting it.
5) Toronto Maple Leafs – Remember the Randy Carlyle years? Yeah, me neither thanks to this dynamic offense.
4) Winnipeg Jets – Winnipeg isn’t as bad at even strength as some make them out to be, and they’re as talented as anyone in the league. That’s a scary combination.
3) Columbus Blue Jackets – Recent struggles be damned, this is still a sure-fire contender of a team.
2) St. Louis Blues — It’s hard not to love what the Blues have accomplished this year after having been largely written off in years past.
1) Tamp Bay Lightning – You know you’re in good shape when the two leading league scorers are both on your team.
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