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NHL Power Rankings 2023-24: Oilers, Canucks battle for top spot

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

By Feb. 14, every NHL team will be back in action after taking their bye and time off for the annual All-Star break. As the hockey world inches closer to the March 8 trade deadline, all 32 teams will be interested in adjusting their rosters, whether contending for a division title, a playoff spot or enhancing their Draft Lottery positions.

Today, we adjusted the NHL Power Rankings and presented them in a new format that will showcase some of the League’s most interesting statistics.

Related: Top 25 trade candidates ahead of NHL deadline

NHL Power Rankings: Draft Lottery Front Runners

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Dec 31, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) skates against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After selecting Connor Bedard with the first overall pick in 2023, the Chicago Blackhawks, currently last in the NHL, are the front runners to earn the top pick again. However, they jumped up two spots last spring, which means they are not necessarily a lock to draft first overall in consecutive years, but that’s the pace they are on.

NHL Draft Lottery odds provided by Tankathon.com.

Chicago Blackhawks (25.5%)

San Jose Sharks (13.5%)

Anaheim Ducks (11.5%)

Columbus Blue Jackets (9.5%)

Ottawa Senators (8.5%)

Buffalo Sabres (7.5%)

NHL Power Rankings: Playoff Longshots

On Valentine’s Day, the second wild card team from the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Red Wings, has 60 points, while the St. Louis Blues (58 points) maintain the same position in the Western Conference. As most teams approach their 50th game of the season, the following clubs are within eight points of a playoff spot (the equivalent of four wins), but time isn’t on their side anymore, especially the ones who see the point gap getting larger and the amount of teams they need to pass increasing.

Moneypuck.com provides NHL playoff odds.

Montreal Canadiens – 52 points (1%)

Washington Capitals – 54 points (2.3%)

Minnesota Wild – 53 points (10.1%)

Arizona Coyotes – 50 points (13.4%)

New York Islanders – 57 points (16.9%)

Seattle Kraken – 54 points (20.6%)

Calgary Flames – 55 points (20.9%)

New Jersey Devils – 58 points (24.7%)

Nashville Predators – 56 points (31.7%)

Pittsburgh Penguins – 53 points (45.4%)

Watch: Michael Buble breaks social media with epic admission at NHL All-Star skills

NHL Power Rankings: Top 16

There are 16 teams currently holding down playoff positions, with six already surpassing 70 points. Fourteen teams are in the 60-point club. When we break down the divisional races, three out of the four are close (within six points).

At the same time, there’s a significant gap atop the Pacific Division, where the league-leading Vancouver Canucks are sitting a comfortable 10 points ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Although a handful of teams on the playoff bubble barely hold onto their wild card positions, these teams help provide intriguing storylines to follow heading into NHL trade deadline season.

The last ten games’ statistics were obtained from NHL.com.

Los Angeles Kings (3-5-2)

The Los Angeles Kings came out of the All-Star break after firing head coach Todd McLellan and hiring Jim Hiller on an interim basis. Surprisingly, the club shut out the red-hot Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Saturday in Hiller’s first game and then were hammered by the Buffalo Sabres in a 7-0 loss Tuesday. The Kings upcoming road trip to the East Coast could make or break their season.

Winnipeg Jets (4-5-1)

The Winnipeg Jets were previously the top-ranked team in the NHL but are 3-5-1 after a franchise-record eight-game win streak from late December to mid-January. Meanwhile, the team’s most recent acquisition, center Sean Monahan, has no points in three games, with the Jets posting a 1-2-0 record.

Philadelphia Flyers (5-5-0)

The Philadelphia Flyers keep defying the odds, sitting third in the Metropolitan Division, just one point behind the second-place Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers are on a four-game win streak, and if they defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 15, they would match a season-high five-game win streak for the third time.

Colorado Avalanche (5-4-1)

Nathan MacKinnon continues to chase Nikita Kucherov for the Art Ross Trophy. At the same time, the Colorado Avalanche just snapped a four-game losing streak with a dominant 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Despite losing their spot atop the Central Division, they remain a favorite to go deep in the playoffs.

Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-0)

In the past month, the Carolina Hurricanes are 8-4-0 but have seen the first-place New York Rangers extend their lead in the Metropolitan Division. Thankfully, netminder Pyotr Kochetkov has returned because he’s been their saving grace with Frederik Andersen still on the shelf.

Toronto Maple Leafs (6-4-0)

The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be a team that can’t make up their mind. One night, they lose to a bottom-ranked opponent and then, with a depleted lineup, defeat a team on a winning streak. Despite recent game scores, the club has dominated the headlines since Saturday, with defenseman Morgan Rielly earning a five-game suspension for a cross-check to the head of Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig.

Boston Bruins (6-3-1)

The Boston Bruins celebrated captain Brad Marchand’s 1,000th NHL game, but before that loss Tuesday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, they were a no-show against the Capitals on Saturday with a season-low 18 shots in a 3-0 defeat. Despite a better effort against Tampa Bay, they lost 3-2 in the shootout and now have dropped three of their past four games.

Detroit Red Wings (6-3-1)

The Detroit Red Wings may have been outplayed by the Oilers on Tuesday, but they recently defeated the League’s best team with a penalty shot goal in overtime against the Canucks on Saturday. Since they are in a playoff position, the Red Wings could be buyers at the NHL trade deadline.

New York Rangers (6-3-1)

After more than a week off, Igor Shesterkin is back in goal and nearly unbeatable in his past two starts, producing a .953 save percentage. Moreover, the New York Rangers have won five games in a row to separate themselves from the Hurricanes in the standings, while getting contributions from multiple players besides Artemi Panarin.

Florida Panthers (6-2-2)

The Florida Panthers may have been last year’s Cinderella team, but with Sergei Bobrovsky playing even better this season, and the unexpected emergence of Sam Reinhart as a contender for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, they are in much better shape heading into the stretch drive.

St. Louis Blues (7-3-0)

The St. Louis Blues have greatly improved their play and find themselves back in a playoff spot, holding the second wild card from the Western Conference. They’re a fascinating team to watch ahead of the trade deadline.

Tampa Bay Lightning (7-3-0)

The Lightning edged the Bruins in a shootout and are third in the Atlantic Division. As mentioned, Kucherov continues to pace the League in scoring with 90 points, and with 18 points in the past 10 games, he will likely get to 100 points before the end of the month. The loss of defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to multiple leg fractures is a massive blow.

Dallas Stars (7-2-1)

The Dallas Stars are one of the least talked about teams in the League, though they are a dark horse candidate to win the Stanley Cup. As the current top team in the Central Division, they have only lost once in the past seven games. However, their upcoming schedule will be taxing with matchups against the Oilers, Bruins, Rangers, Avalanche and Jets. If they hold their own against the best in the NHL, perhaps more people will begin paying attention to what’s happening in Texas.

Vegas Golden Knights (7-2-1)

The Vegas Golden Knights survived the absence of top goalie Adin Hill, who missed a month with an injury and is 4-1-0 in five games since returning Jan. 23. Even though the club has developed a pattern of winning two and losing one, the Golden Knights find themselves in an excellent position to get a favorable playoff matchup and a chance of repeating as champions.

Vancouver Canucks (7-1-2)

During the NHL All-Star Game, where five members of their team were at the event, the Canucks acquired the highly sought-after Elias Lindholm. In five games, he’s got three points, and Vancouver is 3-1-1 in those contests, helping them open up a four-point lead over the Bruins in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.

Edmonton Oilers (8-2-0)

The Oilers won 16 consecutive games to fall one short of tying the NHL record held by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. After a mediocre road trip, 1-2-0, they bounced back on Tuesday night when Connor McDavid collected six assists in an 8-4 win against the Red Wings. Although they were 25-5-0 in their past 30 games, they are only five points ahead of the Kings and Blues in the playoff race.

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