NHL Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands After the NHL Trade Deadline

Lyle Fitzsimmons@@fitzbitzFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2021

NHL Power Rankings: Where Every Team Stands After the NHL Trade Deadline

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    No matter how your team views the onset of mid-April, the NHL is in an eventful stretch.

    Weeks of rumors came to an end with the arrival of Monday afternoon's trade deadline, leaving some teams fully stocked for a deep postseason run and others counting down to draft day in July.

    In the meantime, there are still games to be played as races for the top and bottom playoff rungs in the East, West, North and Central enter the final few weeks—setting up for a unique, compelling intradivision format.

    Speaking of the West, the Colorado Avalanche put together another week of successful hockey, winning three of four games to maintain their positions in both the division and atop B/R's power rankings.

    It was a clean sweep of all four voters for the Avs, who remain at No. 1 for the second successive week.

    But not everything remained so stable.

    Click through to see how the rest of our weekly 31-to-1 collection shapes up, and as always, we encourage viewpoints—supportive or dissenting—in the comments section.

Nos. 31-26: Sabres, Ducks, Senators, Devils, Red Wings, Blue Jackets

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    Larry MacDougal/Associated Press

    31. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week: 31st)

    The bottom line for the Sabres isn't pretty, but there have been sparks for interim coach Don Granato. The team has earned points in seven of its past nine games while focusing on more ice time for the younger core. Anders Bjork played 13:55 and had one shot in his first game after the Taylor Hall deal.

                     

    30. Anaheim Ducks (Last Week: 28th)

    Captain Ryan Getzlaf remained a Duck through the trade deadline, though he had been at least mentioned in several rumors leading up to Monday. And he's pleased. "I'm happy to still be in my Ducks uniform," he said. Getzlaf, 35, has been captain since 2014 and won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007.

              

    29. Ottawa Senators (Last Week: 30th)

    Offseason free-agent acquisition Matt Murray is poised to return to the Ottawa net after an upper-body injury that's kept him out since mid-March. Prior to the hiatus, he went 6-12-1 with a 3.84 goals-against average and an .880 save percentage. Both are well off his career numbers of 2.77 and .911 in 221 NHL games.

                

    28. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 27th)

    The deal that sent Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to Long Island not only dealt a blow to the Devils on offense but also to its veteran core. Palmieri and Zajac were the two oldest forwards on the team, and their holdover forward group averages less than 23 years old—the youngest in the NHL since 1981.

                 

    27. Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: 29th)

    The Red Wings flexed against one of the league's elites when they traveled to Raleigh and defeated Carolina, 5-4 and 3-1, on Saturday and Monday, respectively. Change was in the air too, when Anthony Mantha was shipped to Washington for Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik and draft picks in both 2021 and 2022.

                   

    26. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last Week: 25th)

    The upheaval is surely being felt in mid-Ohio. Columbus dropped all three of its games this week and allowed 14 goals in doing so. That includes a 4-3 OT loss to Chicago on Monday night after team captain Nick Foligno and defenseman David Savard were among the players sent away before the deadline.

Nos. 25-21: Kings, Canucks, Flyers, Sharks, Blackhawks

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    Paul Vernon/Associated Press

    25. Los Angeles Kings (Last Week: 26th)

    While the Kings took part in the trade frenzy by sending Jeff Carter to Pittsburgh, they kept one of their own when Alex Iafallo signed a four-year, $16 million extension. He scored a career-best 17 goals last season and was on the last year of a two-year deal. He has 11 goals and 25 points in 39 games.

                

    24. Vancouver Canucks (Last Week: 22nd)

    The Canucks finally returned to the ice in a limited manner on Monday. They had 10 players skate for the first sign of team activity following an 11-day pause because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Vancouver is scheduled to play Friday against visiting Edmonton for the first time since March 24. Eight games have been postponed.

                 

    23. Philadelphia Flyers (Last Week: 18th)

    Each week it's harder to believe the Flyers were the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last summer and that goaltending was a strength. Philadelphia lost three of four games while surrendering 16 goals, including a 6-1 debacle at Washington on Tuesday. The Flyers have allowed the second-most goals (150) in the league.

                    

    22. San Jose Sharks (Last Week: 21st)

    Coach Bob Boughner is pulling out all the stops in looking for a way to halt a skid. The Sharks have dropped three of four games since winning four in a row between March 29 and April 3. San Jose will send some adjusted line combinations and may give rookie goalie Josef Korenar a start in the net.

                  

    21. Chicago Blackhawks (Last Week: 19th)

    It was a quick introduction and a quick contribution for forward Brett Connolly, who was acquired from the Florida Panthers late last week, as he scored a goal in his first game with the Blackhawks on Monday. The 28-year-old was picked sixth overall by Tampa Bay in 2010 and has 101 goals in 518 NHL games.

Nos. 20-16: Stars, Flames, Coyotes, Rangers, Predators

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    20. Dallas Stars (Last Week: 23rd)

    The Dallas Stars may yet make a playoff run this spring, but they will have to do so without veteran winger Alexander Radulov and goalie Ben Bishop—both of whom are officially done for the season, according to Stars GM Jim Nill. Radulov had 12 points in 11 games, while Bishop did not appear in a game.

              

    19. Calgary Flames (Last Week: 24th)

    Just when you think the Flames are dead and gone, they show signs of life. Calgary beat third-place Edmonton and first-place Toronto in successive games this week to move to within six points of fourth-place Montreal. A stretch of five games in 12 days against the Canadiens began Wednesday night.

               

    18. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 15th)

    It's an awful time for a skid, but that's what the Coyotes endured this week, dropping four straight road games and scoring just nine goals. Arizona entered Wednesday a point behind St. Louis for the West Division's last playoff spot. It had won seven of nine games before a loss at Los Angeles on April 7.

                  

    17. New York Rangers (Last Week: 17th)

    It took a while, but center Mika Zibanejad has found his groove. He's got 13 goals and 14 assists in his last 23 games after beginning the season with just two goals and six points in 19. The Rangers were 9-6-1 in March and have gone 4-1-2 to begin April, moving within four points of a playoff spot.

                    

    16. Nashville Predators (Last Week: 16th)

    Rebuild? We don't need no stinkin' rebuild! That's been the message in Nashville since a few weeks before Monday's trade deadline, as the Predators have embarked on a run that's yielded 13 wins in 16 games. A 7-2 rout of Tampa Bay on Tuesday was just their second time beating the Lightning in eight tries.

Nos. 15-11: Blues, Canadiens, Oilers, Bruins, Jets

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    15. St. Louis Blues (Last Week: 20th)

    The Blues happily lapped up the ground that Arizona lost, moving into fourth place with three straight wins and a plus-11 goal differential. "The confidence in the locker room has improved drastically," defenseman Torey Krug, a first-year Blue, said. "Now we're getting results, so the confidence improves."

                      

    14. Montreal Canadiens (Last Week: 14th)

    GM Marc Bergevin grabbed two defensemen and center Eric Staal before the trade deadline to enable a playoff run, but the immediate priority is holding off Calgary in the North. Montreal won just one of four games heading into Wednesday night, allowing the surging Flames to get within hailing distance.

                

    13. Edmonton Oilers (Last Week: 13th)

    Edmonton completed a season sweep of Ottawa with two wins and then got drilled by Calgary in a Saturday game that followed a memorial for teammate Colby Cave, who died April 11 last year. Captain Connor McDavid questioned the NHL's decision to schedule the game on the anniversary of Cave's death. "I'm not sure what the league was really thinking there," he told reporters after the game.

                   

    12. Boston Bruins (Last Week: 12th)

    A split of the week's four games kept the Bruins in a playoff position in the East, but the biggest news was the acquisition of Taylor Hall from Buffalo. Ironically, Hall's first game in a Boston uniform came against the Sabres less than 48 hours later. He played 16:43 across 22 shifts and had three shots on goal.

                       

    11. Winnipeg Jets (Last Week: 11th)

    The Jets were rumored to covet several available players, but the only deadline deal they made resulted in the acquisition of 33-year-old defenseman Jordie Benn from Vancouver for a sixth-round pick. It's the fourth stop in an NHL career that began with three games for the Dallas Stars in the 2011-12 season.

Nos. 10-6: Wild, Penguins, Islanders, Panthers, Maple Leafs

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    Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

    10. Minnesota Wild (Last Week: 9th)

    It was an up-and-down week on the ice for the Wild. Minnesota scored eight goals in a rout of Colorado on April 7 and then allowed nine in a loss to St. Louis two nights later. The team's game with the Blues on Monday was postponed after the police killing of Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday.

               

    9. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: 10th)

    Three more wins made it eight in 10 games for the surging Penguins, who moved within four points of first-place Washington in the East Division—with a game in hand—entering Wednesday night. Veteran Jeff Carter was dealt from Los Angeles at the deadline and practiced Wednesday as the second-line center.

                 

    8. New York Islanders (Last Week: 7th)

    The Islanders showed off their new toys during an OT win over the Rangers on Sunday. It was the first Long Island date for Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, who were acquired from the New Jersey Devils. Zajac got first-line minutes alongside center Mathew Barzal, who told reporters "chemistry was solid right away."

                 

    7. Florida Panthers (Last Week: 3rd)

    Florida scored once across losses at Carolina and Dallas, but it got two points with an OT defeat of the Stars on Tuesday. The Panthers entered Wednesday in a tie with Tampa Bay and Carolina atop the Central. Center Sam Bennett arrives from Calgary and teen goalie Spencer Knight was called up.

                   

    6. Toronto Maple Leafs (Last Week: 5th)

    The results show two wins and two losses for the North Division leaders, but the news was made off the ice as GM Kyle Dubas loaded up for a Stanley Cup run. The Maple Leafs brought in Nick Foligno—son of a former Leaf—from Columbus and added a goalie in Calgary's David Rittich, who started Tuesday.

Nos. 5-1: Lightning, Hurricanes, Golden Knights, Capitals, Avalanche

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    5. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last Week: 6th)

    Who will win the Central? It'll surely be Tampa Bay, Florida or Carolina. And what a coincidence: Guess who the Lightning will see for their next four games? A 7-2 home loss to Nashville wasn't exactly the way to open a crucial stretch, but coach Jon Cooper suggested that "sometimes it flips on the urgency switch."

                     

    4. Carolina Hurricanes (Last Week: 2nd)

    Carolina finished a three-game win streak with two over Florida and then dropped two in a row to lowly Detroit. The Hurricanes play the Predators twice before four straight against the Panthers and Lightning from April 19-24. D-man Jani Hakanpaa practiced Wednesday after a trade from Anaheim.

                             

    3. Vegas Golden Knights (Last Week: 8th)

    Three straight wins heading into Wednesday night put the Golden Knights within four points of first-place Colorado in the West. The Golden Knights have just two games remaining against the Avalanche and two more against the third-place Wild. Versatile winger Mattias Janmark arrived from Chicago as part of a three-team deal.

                     

    2. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 4th)

    Center Nicklas Backstrom will become the second player in franchise history (Alex Ovechkin) and just the 356th in league history to play in 1,000 games on Thursday against Buffalo. Now 33, he has 971 points across 14 seasons, including a career-best 101 (33 goals, 68 assists) in 2009-10.

                            

    1. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1st)

    Newly acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk was thrown into the breach on Wednesday, making his first start in an Avalanche uniform after Philipp Grubauer was added to COVID-19 protocol and will miss at least 14 days. A first-round pick by Edmonton in 2004, Dubnyk has 250 career wins with a 2.60 goals-against average.