NHL Power Rankings 2023-24: Epic win streak pushes Oilers to top

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers
Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Closing in on the 2024 NHL All-Star break next week, teams are finishing their competitive schedules before heading into their respective byes. Although not many teams are on extended win streaks like last week, there has been quite a shuffle among the top teams in our power rankings.

As most teams continue to jockey for playoff positions, here are the latest NHL power rankings heading into the final week of January, which feature the good, the bad, and the ugly.

32. San Jose Sharks

Don’t look now, but the San Jose Sharks have won three games in a row for the first time this season, with recent wins over the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers. And they’re still last in our power rankings.

31. Chicago Blackhawks

Without stud rookie Connor Bedard, the Chicago Blackhawks are 3-8-0 and are now tied with the Sharks with 30 points apiece at the bottom of the NHL standings.

30. Anaheim Ducks

Since the beginning of January, the Anaheim Ducks are 3-8-1 and only four points out of last overall, keeping things interesting for the upcoming NHL Draft Lottery.

29. Ottawa Senators

After beginning January with a five-game losing streak, the Ottawa Senators are 4-1-2 in their past seven games. However, the Senators popping up in the rumor mill as a big-time seller at the upcoming NHL trade deadline March 8.

28. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have just three wins in January and run the risk of ending the month without another since they visit some tough Western Conference opponents like the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken. Elvis Merzlikins anyone?

27. Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres appear to be stuck in no-man’s land. The club wins a couple of games and then loses a few more. There seems to be no real direction or hope left to salvage a mediocre season once filled with promise. Is Don Granato the next NHL coach on the hot seat?

26. Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames had a season-high four-game win streak snapped and then proceeded to lose the next four, including a loss to the Blue Jackets. They’re sticking around the playoff race, but just barely.

25. Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild lost Marc-Andre Fleury but got Filip Gustavsson back. After a poor showing through the holiday season, there’ve been signs of improvement, with four wins in their past six games.

24. Montreal Canadiens

On Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens welcomed a franchise icon, Patrick Roy, back to the Bell Centre and defeated his New York Islanders 4-3. It was their first win in three games, which included a beatdown (9-4) by their rivals, the Boston Bruins, on Hockey Night in Canada last Saturday.

23. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins recently found themselves on the wrong side of history by becoming the first NHL team to surrender a power-play goal to a team that didn’t register a single power-play shot during a game. Of course, we are talking about Kris Letang scoring into his own net on a delayed penalty, which sums up the Penguins’ subpar season.

22. Arizona Coyotes

Despite how fun it has been to watch the Arizona Coyotes this season, the talk surrounding the club is focused on their inability to land a new arena deal and potential move to Salt Lake City, as an ownership group just placed a bid for an expansion club, instead of a possible playoff push.

21. Seattle Kraken

After an epic nine-game win streak, the Kraken have only one win in their past five games, outscored 17-11, hurting their chances to gain ground in the tight Western Conference wild card race.

20. Washington Capitals

Although the Washington Capitals have the third worst goal differential in the Eastern Conference at minus-30, and are the third lowest-scoring team in the League, somehow they remain only five points out of a wild card spot.

19. St. Louis Blues

Thanks to a 6-3-1 record in their past 10 games, the St. Louis Blues are in the playoff conversation, sitting just one point out. If they sneak in, they would have the worst goals-against differential in the West, currently sitting at minus-13.

18. New York Islanders

The Islanders shocked the hockey world by hiring Roy as coach. So far, he’s 1-2-0, and they continue to struggle to produce offense. The Islanders need to get going in all facets of the game or face an eruption by Mount Roy.

17. New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils are hoping Nico Daws is the answer between the pipes, but will he be enough to overcome the injuries of so many key players like Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton?

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16. Los Angeles Kings

Since Dec. 28, the once-mighty Los Angeles Kings are 2-7-5, and it was recently announced that there will be no head coaching change. Something is fundamentally wrong with this club, which is on the brink of dropping out of the playoff race.

15. Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators are clinging to the second wild card from the West, holding a three-point lead over the Blues, and remain four points ahead of Arizona and Seattle. Ultimately, it’s a suboptimal time to go 5-5-0 in their past 10 games.

14. Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings will give the Toronto Maple Leafs a run for their money down the stretch for a potential Atlantic Division playoff spot, which they now trail by only a single point. Meanwhile, all eyes are on Patrick Kane, who hasn’t skated since Jan. 14.

13. Toronto Maple Leafs

Without Auston Matthews, even the most die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan has to wonder where the team would be without the player who is set to become the first to reach 40 goals in the NHL this season. Is time running out on Sheldon Keefe’s coaching tenure in Toronto?

12. Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers have a major decision to make. With Carter Hart on an indefinite leave of absence, will the Flyers trade for a goalie or stand pat with Sam Ersson as their No. 1, especially when surprisingly contending for a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division?

11. Tampa Bay Lightning

Now that the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that Steven Stamkos isn’t getting traded, they can push aside any distractions and continue their quest for a playoff spot, which looks achievable thanks to an 8-2-0 record in their past 10 games.

10. Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to win hockey games with Antti Raanta, the goalie they recently put on waivers. They hope Spencer Martin can be a reclamation project that captures lightning in a bottle for the stretch drive until Pyotr Kochetkov returns. But really, Carolina must trade for a goalie ahead of the deadline, right?

9. New York Rangers

After heading into the New Year as the top team in the NHL, the New York Rangers have stumbled recently, 3-5-2 in their past 10, including 1-2-1 on a crucial Western Conference road trip where they blew a 2-0 lead and lost in overtime to the Sharks in the finale.

8. Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights may not have Jack Eichel for the foreseeable future, but this team won the Stanley Cup by working together. Everyone faces adversity, and getting through it separates the winners from the losers. It doesn’t hurt that goalie Adin Hill is healthy and back in the lineup.

7. Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are not done yet pushing the Bruins for the spot in the Atlantic Division, and Matthew Tkachuk is heating up at the right time with 24 points in his past 14 games.

6. Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are one of the best teams in the Western Conference. But with a lineup featuring so many under-the-radar superstars like Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz, the Stars should and could be even better.

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5. Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche remain close to repeating as Central Division champions and Nathan MacKinnon continues to battle Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning) for the scoring title. This team has succeeded despite Alexandar Georgiev’s subpar .896 save percentage.

4. Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are one of this season’s surprising teams, yet they had a humbling experience in a recent 4-1 loss to the Bruins. Even though they are an elite team in the Western Conference, they need to earn that respect against the best teams across the League, which remains a work in progress.

3. Boston Bruins

The Bruins survived the absence of Linus Ullmark and rolled with Jeremy Swayman in goal every night. Boston continues to win and get contributions from the entire lineup. Realistically, Boston is one additional player (or two) away from being the most dominant team in the League.

2. Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks are sending five players to the NHL All-Star Game, which is a reward for all the hard work and success they’ve found this season. Defying all the odds and preseason predictions, the Canucks are poised to go on their longest playoff run in more than a decade.

1. Edmonton Oilers

Our new top-ranked team, the Edmonton Oilers are on the cusp of NHL history, inching closer to the consecutive wins record of 17 straight, held by the 1992-93 Penguins. The Oilers have won 15 in a row and held opponents under three goals in 13 straight games. Right now, they’re the best in the League.

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