NHL Power Rankings: Bruins and Hurricanes Tied for No. 1 Spot at End of 1st HalfFebruary 2, 2023
NHL Power Rankings: Bruins and Hurricanes Tied for No. 1 Spot at End of 1st Half
The Carolina Hurricanes simply won't go away.
Coach Rod Brind'Amour's team already leads the Metropolitan Division and is among the league's best in several statistical categories, but it's been staring up at the Boston Bruins in B/R's Power Rankings for four straight weeks since the start of 2023.
Carolina's 9-3-2 run across 14 games in January—including an 8-1-1 stretch to end the month—was enough to sway three voters to cast first-place ballots in its direction and forge a tie with the Bruins, who received the remaining three first-place votes to stay atop the list for the 12th consecutive week. Both Boston and the Hurricanes also got three second-place votes.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning rounded out the top five for the third consecutive week.
Our panel awards 32 points for first place and one point for 32nd to come up with the weekly list. Teams' last rankings and how they moved are shown alongside each updated placement. Scroll through to see where your favorites landed, and drop a thought or two of your own in the comments.
Nos. 32-26: Blue Jackets, Blackhawks, Ducks, Coyotes, Sharks, Canadiens, Canucks
32. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last Week: 32/Move: 0)
A 4-10-2 run in January ended with an OT loss to Washington and sent the Blue Jackets to the break last overall in points (34, tied) and points percentage (.333), officially kicking off the Connor Bedard watch.
31. Chicago Blackhawks (Last Week: 29/Move: -2)
The Blackhawks were a top-half team killing penalties in January, but they allowed two power-play goals in a pre-break loss to Edmonton that prolonged a recent three-losses-in-four-games slump.
30. Anaheim Ducks (Last Week: 31/Move: +1)
A Trevor Zegras hot streak sparked a positive run for the Ducks, who beat Arizona to reach three straight wins for the first time this season. Zegras had 11 points in his final eight pre-break games.
29. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 30/Move: +1)
Goalie Connor Ingram made a career-high 43 saves in Arizona's final game before the break to finish off a busy January in which he won just one of six starts but had a .929 save percentage on 224 shots.
28. San Jose Sharks (Last Week: 28/Move: 0)
The Sharks scuffled through four straight losses (two in OT) before reaching the break with a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh in which forward Logan Couture's five points (two goals, three assists) were a career high.
27. Montréal Canadiens (Last Week: 25/Move: -2)
The Canadiens skidded into an extended hiatus—they won't play again until February 11 against the New York Islanders—with four straight losses (one in OT) in which they were outscored 18-9.
26. Vancouver Canucks (Last Week: 27/Move: +1)
Dealing captain Bo Horvat to the Islanders was a direct nod to the future for the Canucks, who acquired a 25-year-old (Anthony Beauvillier), a 20-year-old (Aatu Raty) and a first-round pick in the 2023 draft.
Nos. 25-21: Blues, Flyers, Senators, Red Wings, Panthers
25. St. Louis Blues (Last Week: 22/Move: -3)
Going 6-of-6 killing penalties was the lone bright spot in a 4-2 loss at Winnipeg for the Blues, who ended January with five straight losses and sit eight points back of the nearest playoff position.
24. Philadelphia Flyers (Last Week: 24/Move: 0)
Carter Hart's 40-save shutout yielded a 4-0 defeat of Winnipeg on Saturday and capped a successful January in which the Flyers were 8-4-2. "We're feeling good about ourselves," Hart said.
23. Ottawa Senators (Last Week: 26/Move: +3)
The Senators made tangible progress in the days before the break, creeping within six points of a playoff position after winning four straight games and outscoring opponents by an 18-7 margin in doing so.
22. Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: 20/Move: -2)
The Red Wings won three of four before ending their pre-break schedule with a 2-0 loss to the Islanders. They've racked up a .521 points percentage but are still 14th of 16 in a competitive Eastern Conference.
21. Florida Panthers (Last Week: 21/Move: 0)
A game-winner against Boston with three seconds left in regulation Saturday provided a dramatic feel-good moment for the Panthers in their January finale, particularly after a three-game losing streak.
Nos. 20-16: Islanders, Predators, Capitals, Flames, Sabres
20. New York Islanders (Last Week: 23/Move: +3)
The league's 25th-best offense (2.85 goals per game) got a potent jolt when the Islanders acquired Horvat, who had 54 points in 49 games with the Canucks in the final season of a six-year contract.
19. Nashville Predators (Last Week: 19/Move: 0)
The Predators hit the break with a snarl, having won four of their last five—including three straight in which they'd come from behind. "Wins like that really give you a lot of confidence," Roman Josi said.
18. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 18/Move: 0)
An OT win at Columbus ended a three-game road skid for the Capitals, who grinded through a desultory January at 6-7-1 and will return February 11 against Boston in the thick of the Eastern wild-card race.
17. Calgary Flames (Last Week: 17/Move: 0)
The Flames followed a 5-1 home loss to Chicago with a 5-2 defeat of Seattle in the second of a back-to-back. Goalie Dan Vladar is 10-0-3 in his last 13 starts, tying the franchise's unbeaten streak record.
16. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week 16/Move: 0)
The Sabres earned seven of eight points on a four-game trip and won five straight before a shootout loss in Minnesota. They entered Wednesday with the league's best offense (3.74 goals per game).
Nos. 15-11: Penguins, Kings, Avalanche, Golden Knights, Oilers
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: 14/Move: -1)
A Saturday loss to San Jose ended a six-game point streak (3-0-3) for the Penguins, but history was made when Sidney Crosby (1,469) passed Stan Mikita (1,467) for 15th on the league's all-time points list.
14. Los Angeles Kings (Last Week: 13/Move: -1)
Blowing a three-goal, third-period lead and losing in OT at Carolina wasn't the ideal break-starter for the Kings, who went 3-2-1 on a road trip and are tied with Seattle atop a tightly bunched Pacific Division.
13. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 10/Move: -3)
A Saturday win over visiting St. Louis was the seventh in eight games for the Avalanche, who were 8-5 overall in January and reach the break tied with Calgary for the final Western wild-card position.
12. Vegas Golden Knights (Last Week: 12/Move: 0)
Back-to-back losses to the Rangers and Islanders in New York continued the recent malaise for the Golden Knights, who reached the break amid an 0-2-2 run in four games and a 1-5-2 skid in eight.
11. Edmonton Oilers (Last Week: 11/Move: 0)
It was a successful late January in Edmonton, where the Oilers rode a 7-0-1 stretch into the break and had six straight victories from goalie Jack Campbell in which he's posted a.917 save percentage.
Nos. 10-6: Wild, Jets, Rangers, Stars, Kraken
10. Minnesota Wild (Last Week: 15/Move: +5)
Handling business over the final 17 home games will be crucial down the stretch for the Wild, who are 13-3 in their last 16 at Xcel Energy Center but just a point above the Western playoff cutline.
9. Winnipeg Jets (Last Week: 7/Move: -2)
The Jets scored four third-period goals to defeat St. Louis in their pre-break finale to end a three-game losing streak and move within a point of first-place Dallas atop the Central Division.
8. New York Rangers (Last Week: 9/Move: +1)
An early issue with backup goaltending seems to have been settled with the recent play of Jaroslav Halák, who's 5-0 with a 1.80 goals-against average since mid-December after a 1-6-1 start.
7. Dallas Stars (Last Week: 6/Move: -1)
A 3-2 OT loss to New Jersey was the Stars' third straight—all by 3-2 and all in OT. "We need to find a way to get these wins in overtime because these points are going to be big," Jamie Benn said.
6. Seattle Kraken (Last Week: 8/Move: +2)
The Kraken's 11-3-1 run through January ended with a 3-1 defeat of Columbus on Saturday and had coach Dave Hakstol beaming. "It's pretty good," he said. "This group should be proud of that."
Nos. 5-1: Lightning, Maple Leafs, Devils, Hurricanes, Bruins
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last Week: 5/Move: 0)
The competitive news is all good these days in Tampa Bay, where the Lightning finished the month by establishing a franchise record with 12 straight home wins. They were 8-2 in their last 10 overall, too.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (Last Week: 4/Move: 0)
John Tavares became the 25th player to reach his 1,000th NHL game in a Toronto uniform during the Maple Leafs' 5-1 win over Washington. Now 32, he debuted as a 19-year-old in 2009-10.
3. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 3/Move: 0)
The Devils reached the break as the league's most consistent surprise team of 2022-23, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and with a six-point hold on second place in the Metropolitan Division.
1. (tie) Carolina Hurricanes (Last Week: 2/Move: +1)
An OT defeat of Los Angeles on Tuesday night was the sixth straight victory for goalie Frederik Andersen, who's 5-0 in six starts since returning from an injury that had kept him out since early November.
1. (tie) Boston Bruins (Last Week: 1/Move: 0)
A 4-1 loss at Carolina was Boston's first to an opponent from the Metropolitan Division and stretched a season-long skid to three games. They still lead the league in wins, points and goal differential.
Statistics accurate through Tuesday, January 31.