NHL Power Rankings: Kraken and Predators Rise as Bruins Continue to Lap the Field

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzFeatured Columnist IIIJanuary 12, 2023

NHL Power Rankings: Kraken and Predators Rise as Bruins Continue to Lap the Field

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    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 08: Filip Forsberg #9 of the Nashville Predators and Jordan Eberle #7 of the Seattle Kraken skate during the second period of a game at Climate Pledge Arena on November 08, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

    The Boston Bruins are the reigning beasts of the NHL's East.

    The team's ridiculous 32-4-4 record not only has it 11 points clear of the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division, but that's also the same margin over its nearest pursuer in the conference, the Carolina Hurricanes.

    So, it's no surprise that the perpetually streaking Bruins, who have won four straight in their latest run, are atop B/R's Power Rankings for the ninth consecutive week.

    But there are other things going on, too.

    In the West, the Seattle Kraken are riding a league-best six-game wave that has moved them to third in the Pacific Division and seven points ahead of the playoff cut line. And speaking of that cut line, the Nashville Predators had won four straight heading into Wednesday night. That surge has them within a point of the second wild-card position now held by the Edmonton Oilers.

    Our panel awarded 32 points for first place and one point for 32nd to come up with the weekly list. A team's ranking from last week and how it moved are listed alongside each updated placement. Scroll through to see where your favorites landed, and drop a thought or two of your own in the comments.

    Stats accurate through Tuesday.

Nos. 32-26: Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Ducks, Canadiens, Sharks, Canucks

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    TEMPE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 10: Matt Nieto #83 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena on January 10, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

    32. Chicago Blackhawks (Last Week: 32/Move: 0)

    Rookie winger Lukas Reichel, a first-round pick in 2020, scored his first NHL goal and has three points in three games this season. "He's outstanding," teammate Max Domi said. "He's only going to get better every single day."

    31. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last Week: 30/Move: -1)

    A Tuesday night trip to Tampa did nothing for Columbus morale, resulting in a 6-3 loss that was their fourth in five games and 10th in a row on the road.

    30. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 28/Move: -2)

    Another streaky week for the Coyotes, who had won three in a row before a skid that extended to six with a loss to San Jose. "We've got to figure this out in this [dressing] room," forward Christian Fischer said.

    29. Anaheim Ducks (Last Week: 31/Move: +2)

    Center Justin Kirkland was given a clean bill of health after he was hospitalized following a car crash on the way to a game against Boston. He has played seven games since arriving from the AHL.

    28. Montréal Canadiens (Last Week: 27/Move: -1)

    Goalie Jake Allen was day-to-day with an upper-body injury, which wasn't the best news for an already reeling team that was blanked at home Monday by Seattle and 1-7-1 in its last nine games.

    27. San Jose Sharks (Last Week: 29/Move: +2)

    Matt Nieto scored just nine seconds into the third—one second off the franchise record for a goal at the start of a period—in a 4-2 win in Arizona on Tuesday that ended the Sharks' two-game losing streak.

    26. Vancouver Canucks (Last Week: 25/Move: -1)

    The Canucks have lost five of six, and it's not hard to identify at least one reason. They have allowed five or more goals in three of the games—losing 6-2, 7-4 and 5-4 since Jan. 3.

Nos. 25-21: Flyers, Senators, Panthers, Red Wings, Blues

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 9: Samuel Ersson #33 of the Philadelphia Flyers tends goal against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on January 9, 2023 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images

    25. Philadelphia Flyers (Last Week: 26/Move: +1)

    Goalie Samuel Ersson is more than a novelty now that he's 4-0-0 and has allowed just six goals in his last four starts, which include a 4-0 win at Buffalo on Monday.

    24. Ottawa Senators (Last Week: 23/Move: -1)

    The Senators experienced a double jolt Monday against the Predators when they were shut out for the first time this season and Tim Stützle's point streak ended at seven games.

    23. Florida Panthers (Last Week: 24/Move: +1)

    The Panthers' 5-4 win in Colorado—in which they led 4-1 to start the third period—made them the first team in nearly two years to win in regulation after surrendering a three-goal lead in the final 20 minutes.

    22. Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: 19/Move: -3)

    Moritz Seider made franchise history in a 7-5 win against Winnipeg, recording four assists to tie the single-game record for defensemen and become the second-youngest Red Wing to do it.

    21. St. Louis Blues (Last Week: 22/Move: +1)

    St. Louis returned home after a long trip and did so in style, rallying from 3-1 down in the third period to defeat Calgary in overtime and extend its stretch of success to 4-1 in five games.

Nos. 20-16: Oilers, Sabres, Islanders, Avalanche, Flames

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 10: Alex Tuch #89 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his first period goal against the Seattle Kraken during an NHL game on January 10, 2023 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

    20. Edmonton Oilers (Last Week: 20/Move: 0)

    A trip-starting loss at Pacific rival Los Angeles on Monday was particularly ugly for the Oilers on special teams, where they were blanked in six power-play tries but yielded four goals on seven opportunities while a man down.

    19. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week 17/Move: -2)

    The still-hot Sabres let one get away on Tuesday when they surrendered a pair of one-goal leads against Seattle and lost 4-3 despite a 35-22 edge in shots. Buffalo, though, has gone 7-3 in its last 10.

    18. New York Islanders (Last Week: 15/Move: -3)

    The Islanders' recently punchless power play showed life with a goal against Dallas after a 2-for-36 stretch in 13 previous games, but a 2-1 home shootout loss to the Stars on Tuesday was still New York's third straight defeat.

    17. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 14/Move: -3)

    It's been a stop-and-start sort of season for the defending champions, who are 0-3-1 in their last four home games. They're 9-8-3 at Ball Arena and 11-8 on the road through 39 games.

    16. Calgary Flames (Last Week: 18/Move: +2)

    A five-game road trip isn't off to the best start with consecutive OT losses for the Flames, whose second straight defeat came Tuesday at St. Louis when they frittered away a two-goal, third-period lead.

Nos. 15-11: Predators, Penguins, Wild, Capitals, Rangers

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 10: Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates the puck along the boards against Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Vancouver Canucks in the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena on January 10, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
    Justin Berl/Getty Images

    15. Nashville Predators (Last Week: 21/Move: +6)

    Few are as hot as the suddenly scalding Predators, who've won four straight and got a 38-save shutout from Juuse Saros on Monday in Ottawa. He stopped a team-record 64 shots in a win at Carolina last Thursday, too.

    14. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: 16/Move: +2)

    A second win after a six-game slide was particularly dramatic for the Penguins, who were down 3-0 against Vancouver before rallying for a 5-4 win on Tuesday, led by Evgeni Malkin's four points.

    13. Minnesota Wild (Last Week: 11/Move: -2)

    Marc-André Fleury returned from a brief absence with a 40-save effort on Tuesday, but it didn't prevent a third straight loss (0-1-2). "We got some points," he said, "but we all know it's not good enough."

    12. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 13/Move: +1)

    Both Nicklas Bäckström and Tom Wilson got back on the ice with the Capitals in a win over Columbus on Sunday, and their arrivals should prolong a stretch that's seen them go 13-2-2 in their last 17 games.

    11. New York Rangers (Last Week: 8/Move: -3)

    A comeback to defeat Minnesota on Tuesday made it six straight games with at least a point for the Rangers, who are 4-0-2 in the recent stretch and a red-hot 12-2-2 since December 5.

Nos. 10-6: Kings, Lightning, Jets, Kraken, Golden Knights

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    MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 09: Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers (10) tracks the play during the Seattle Kraken versus the Montreal Canadiens game on January 09, 2023, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    10. Los Angeles Kings (Last Week: 10/Move: 0)

    Kevin Fiala is on pace for another point-per-game output with 46 points in 44 games in his first season with the Kings. He had a career-best 85 points in 82 games last season with Minnesota.

    9. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last Week: 4/Move: -5)

    Nikita Kucherov's four points in a Tuesday win against Columbus gave him 12 points in his last eight games and provided the surging Lightning with their eighth straight victory on home ice.

    8. Winnipeg Jets (Last Week: 7/Move: -1)

    The Jets entered Detroit on a five-game win streak before an uncharacteristic dud by goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed six goals on 22 shots. Still, he remains in the top 10 in all major goalie stats.

    7. Seattle Kraken (Last Week: 12/Move: +5)

    It's all good news these days for the Kraken, who've won five straight on the road (outscoring foes 26-10) and six in a row overall, and for forward Matty Beniers, who's scored in all five road wins.

    6. Vegas Golden Knights (Last Week: 5/Move: -1)

    Rookie goalie Logan Thompson has emerged as a Calder Trophy candidate with a surprising first half and was awarded a selection to the All-Star Game. He's the first rookie goalie picked since 2016.

Nos. 5-1: Devils, Stars, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Bruins

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 8:  David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on January 8, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

    5. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 9/Move: +4)

    The young Devils are emerging from a skid and showing some mettle in rallying from multigoal deficits in consecutive games for the first time since 2001, defeating the New York Rangers and Carolina.

    4. Dallas Stars (Last Week: 6/Move: +2)

    Roope Hintz missed Tuesday's game in New York because of an upper-body injury, but Tyler Seguin filled in on the top line and responded with a point in the Stars' 2-1 shootout win over the Islanders.

    3. Carolina Hurricanes (Last Week: 2/Move: -1)

    An 11-game win streak has devolved into a four-game skid for the Hurricanes, who've scored three goals in each but allowed 19. They've dropped from third to ninth in goals-against average since January 1.

    2. Toronto Maple Leafs (Last Week: 3/Move: +1)

    Auston Matthews' five-game point streak was interrupted Wednesday when he missed a game against Nashville with an undisclosed injury. He's produced three goals and seven points in the five games.

    1. Boston Bruins (Last Week: 1/Move: 0)

    The superlatives keep rolling in for the Bruins, who've lost just four regulation games through the season's first half—including zero at home. Forward David Pastrnak was the league's first star for the week that ended Sunday after scoring seven times and adding an assist in four games.

    Statistics accurate through Tuesday, January 10.