NHL Power Rankings: Bruins up to No. 2 as Devils heat up, Flames cool off
The Bruins are inching closer to the Lightning, while the Devils are coming off a big win vs. the Pens
Is thehitting you yet?
If not, it will soon. But we're here to help alleviate the pain with another edition of our Power Rankings!
Not much has changed up top since we said goodbye to January hockey, but the Boston Bruins are one step closer to unseating the Tampa Bay Lightning as the league's No. 1 team, advancing to the second overall spot after discarding both the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs. Tampa Bay remains a relatively comfortable favorite thanks to its plus-50 goal differential, which puts the Lighting well on a Presidents' Trophy level, but the Bruins have probably been the NHL's most steady winner since their December revival.
In the middle of the pack, the New Jersey Devils are also on the rise in our latest pecking order. They've still got a ways to go to fully overcome their recent slide, but a big win over the defending Stanley Cup champions doesn't hurt, and neither does the prominent presence of Travis Zajac. Unlike the Calgary Flames, they're among several others climbing up the charts entering the new week:
|1||Lightning||If they reel in a D-man, they'll be like the 2016-17 Capitals, except even better.||--||39-17|
|2||Bruins||Teams should be scared of this Tuukka Rask/Charlie McAvoy-led defense come playoff time.||1||35-13|
|3||Golden Knights||Vegas is on one of its worst stretches of the year (5-3-2), and even that isn't below .500.||1||39-15|
|4||Predators||Remember that Bridgestone Arena crowd? Yeah, it's back.||--||34-14|
|5||Jets||The Yea of Connor Hellebuyck continues.||--||35-15|
|6||Blues||It hasn't been pretty, but they're on an upswing.||1||34-22|
|7||Capitals||Imagine if they rematched Vegas in the Stanley Cup Final. It's been that kind of year.||1||33-18|
|8||Stars||This is like a broken record: When they're on, they're really on.||--||34-21|
|9||Maple Leafs||So maybe Ron Hainsey isn't enough on the defensive end.||--||36-20|
|10||Sharks||They should at least know what they have to do to win without Joe Thornton.||1||32-19|
|11||Devils||Travis Zajac is an obvious X-factor for this team right now.||9||31-20|
|12||Kings||Dropping six on Arizona is great and all, but their real tests came beforehand, and they flunked.||1||31-22|
|13||Avalanche||Losing Nathan MacKinnon was the worst possible trial in the face of a playoff push.||3||31-23|
|14||Penguins||The Marc-Andre Fleury reunion we've all been waiting for is almost here.||--||35-22|
|15||Wild||Here we are, yet again, talking about Minnesota's embarrassing road game.||--||31-20|
|16||Flames||An overtime win might've been just what Calgary needed to outgrow its slump.||4||30-21|
|17||Ducks||It's kind of a wonder that they're even in the playoff picture.||1||29-20|
|18||Flyers||Against elites, they're fine. In trap games, they really get trapped.||1||30-19|
|19||Blue Jackets||Losses in six of their last eight probably have John Tortorella fuming.||1||29-25|
|20||Islanders||Doug Weight continues to warrant credit for his adjustments.||1||29-25|
|21||Blackhawks||Their goal differential is still well above zero, but their playoff streak is also in serious danger.||1||25-26|
|22||Rangers||Their game vs. Nashville was scrappy, and they left battered.||3||27-28|
|23||Hurricanes||Good thing Sebastian Aho is in town.||--||27-23|
|24||Panthers||Reinforcements are on the way this week.||3||26-24|
|25||Red Wings||Tough way for them to lose recently, but they've got more to worry about than officiating.||--||24-25|
|26||Oilers||Remember when they were Stanley Cup favorites? That was fun.||2||24-30|
|27||Canadiens||Losing Jonathan Drouin stinks, but so did the team with him.||1||22-29|
|28||Canucks||They can learn a lot from playing a team like the Lightning.||--||23-30|
|29||Senators||Who knew that the Habs-Senators series this year would be so ... bleh?||--||21-27|
|30||Sabres||Robin Lehner at least has reason to enter the new week proud.||--||17-31|
|31||Coyotes||No one else could've lifted the Kings' spirits like the Coyotes.||--||17-32|
Vegas ascends to the top of the league, but plenty of formidable contenders are right on their...
SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro with more than $1M in winnings, gives optimal lineup...
Smith-Pelly confronted the fans from inside the penalty box before they were escorted out
The NHL will be a no-show in Pyeongchang, and it could be the norm for future Olympics
David Kelly has nailed his past 15 NHL picks and 23 of 26 predictions
Tampa Bay has been a little too goalie dependent lately, but it remains the head of the pa...