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CBS Sports

We finally have hockey back in our lives, and it has been good to see somewhat healthy lineups on the ice. With that, there are a couple of teams that have stood out for very different reasons.

Because there has been such a small sample size for all of these teams since mid-December, it takes a lot for one team to move the needle, but the Panthers did that over the last week. Florida topped the New York Rangers in a fun game one night and dropped nine goals on the rival Tampa Bay Lightning the next. That will get you noticed in these rankings.

Heading in the opposite direction of the Panthers are the Edmonton Oilers. They have cratered, but they haven't been playing awful hockey. The defense does need some work, but the goaltending has let the Oilers down. Once again, that position is jeopardizing Edmonton's chances of a deep playoff run.

For the first time in a couple of weeks, here are the latest NHL Power Rankings:

Biggest Movers
7 Panthers
8 Lightning
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Panthers The Panthers did not miss a beat after the break. They picked up three wins and did so in impressive fashion. 24 hours after beating the Rangers, the Panthers hung nine goals on the Lightning. All but three Florida skaters recorded a point in that 9-3 win. Jonathan Huberdeau notched five points, and six more players had multi-point games. 7 28-8-5
2 Maple Leafs William Nylander found the back of the net twice in a 6-0 win over the Senators. He is now on a six-game point streak and is on pace for the best season of his career. He is worth every cent of his $6.9 million cap hit. 1 24-10-3
3 Avalanche I've stopped waiting for Nazem Kadri to slow down. Since Oct. 28, Kadri has failed to tally a point in just one game, and his 39 points are tied with Kirill Kaprizov and Steven Stamkos for fifth in the league. I'm still skeptical about all this considering Kadri has never come close to playing at a point-per-game pace throughout his career, but the Avs are happy to ride it out while he's red hot. 1 27-8-3
4 Golden Knights One of the only things keeping the Golden Knights from being a well-oiled machine is their goaltending. Robin Lehner has been surprisingly leaky so far, and Laurent Brossoit has been... Laurent Brossoit. I don't expect the former to keep struggling, so maybe Lehner finds his game after returning from injury. 3 24-15-2
5 Hurricanes The Hurricanes must have had quite the night on New Year's Eve because they showed up late to their New Year's Day game against the Blue Jackets. Carolina fell behind 4-0 before rehydrating and scoring seven straight goals in an impressive comeback victory. -- 27-8-2
6 Penguins It's past time that I started showing the Penguins some respect. They have now won eight games in a row and rank third in the NHL in expected goals share at five-on-five (54.92%). Evan Rodriguez scored a hat trick against the Sharks and he is now just three points off his career high of 29. 6 25-10-5
7 Capitals Alex Ovechkin potted a pair of goals against the Red Wings, which brings his total to 24 in 34 games played. That matches his 45-game total from last year and puts him on pace for 54 goals this season, which would be his highest tally since the 2008-09 season. 1 22-10-9
8 Blues The 2021 Winter Classic was the coldest outdoor game in NHL history, but all anyone needed to do in order to keep warm was stand near Jordan Kyrou. He was red hot all night and took over the game with two goals and two assists. 3 24-11-5
9 Rangers The Rangers dropped a one-goal game to the Panthers before picking up back-to-back wins against the Lightning. The team's underlying numbers continue to give me pause when it comes to really buying into it as a Stanley Cup contender, but the Rangers have consistently shown an ability to outperform their expected goals figures. 1 26-11-4
10 Lightning The Bolts lost three straight games to two of the Eastern Conference's top teams -- the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers. The losses to the Rangers weren't necessarily all that concerning, but a 9-3 loss to the Panthers really jumps off the page. 8 27-10-5
11 Predators Shortly before the NHL's pause, Filip Forsberg was heating up, and that continued over the last week. He has nine points in his last seven games, and he has 25 points in 24 games played. With Forsberg on the ice at five-on-five, the Predators own 55.05% of the expected goals. 2 25-14-3
12 Wild The Wild aren't as cold as the temperature at Target Field for the Winter Classic was, but it's close. Minnesota is 0-4-1 in its last six games, and its grip on the lead in the Central Division is long gone. More concerning than the record itself is the fact that the Wild, which once boasted some of the best expected goals numbers in the league, have fallen off a cliff in that regard. 5 23-10-3
13 Flames Calgary has played just two games since Dec. 12, and it has won both of them. The Flames are a strong team, as they showed in their 5-1 win over the Blackhawks, but they just haven't been on the ice enough to show it. 2 18-11-6
14 Bruins David Pastrnak hasn't tallied a goal in nine straight games, and he only has three goals at five-on-five all season. That said, it's not from a lack of trying. He has 24 shots on goal over the course of his scoring drought, and he leads the Bruins in expected goals at five-on-five with 5.85. His 6.7% shooting percentage is half of his career average, so Pastrnak should see a reversal of fortune in time. 3 23-12-2
15 Kings Los Angeles is still very much in the Western Conference playoff race, and Jonathan Quick has a lot to do with that. He is still third in the NHL in goals saved above average at five-on-five with 11.25. If he keeps that up, the Kings will hang around for the entire season. 1 20-16-5
16 Ducks The Ducks' offense has had a hard time getting going since their pause ended. Trevor Zegras' absence has a lot to do with that. The rookie is the straw that stirs the drink in Anaheim, and the team has struggled in the last three games without him. 3 20-16-7
17 Canucks Since Bruce Boudreau took over as the head coach of the Canucks on Dec. 6, they are 8-0-1. In that same span, goaltender Thatcher Demko leads the league in goals saved above average at five-on-five with 7.50, which is 3.18 higher than the next best number. Is Vancouver really that much better under Boudreau, or is Demko just red hot right now? 1 18-18-4
18 Jets The Jets ended their lengthy pause by beating the Golden Knights in a thrilling overtime game. Maybe that will jumpstart Winnipeg, which is a middling 5-4-1 in its last 10 games. 1 17-13-6
19 Stars In the Stars' 7-4 win over the Wild, both Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin found the back of the net, and the team has to hope that is a sign of things to come. Those two have to be at their best in order for Dallas to get back into playoff contention. 1 20-16-2
20 Oilers Something is very wrong with the Oilers, and I think I know what it is. The Oilers are 3-7-2 since the start of December, but their underlying numbers haven't been that bad. What has been bad, and dare I say awful, is the goaltending. Edmonton is 27th in team save percentage over that span at 88.36%. That position was a big concern for the Oilers before the season, and it's starting to cost them. 6 18-16-2
21 Flyers Unfortunately for the Flyers, it's starting to look like the Eastern Conference playoff field is set, with all due respect to Detroit. Philadelphia is just two points back of the Bruins in the Wild Card race, but the Flyers have played four more games. They have a lot of work to do if they want to make things interesting in 2022. 1 13-19-8
22 Islanders The Islanders are 2-0-0 since their pause ended, but their next four games are now postponed as well. The Isles haven't been able to get in any kind of rhythm this season, and that's a shame for a team with such high expectations coming into the year. 5 14-13-6
23 Sharks In his first three games back in action, James Reimer had a nightmarish stretch between the pipes. He has given up 15 goals on 88 shots, but the Sharks are 2-1-0 in that stretch because Scott Wedgewood was somehow worse for the Coyotes. 2 21-18-2
24 Blue Jackets The Blue Jackets rang in 2022 by jumping out to a comfortable 4-0 lead against the Hurricanes before watching it slip away and turn into a 7-4 loss. Actually, that seems like it might be a strong metaphor for the team's season so far. 2 18-19-1
25 Blackhawks Chicago started 2022 with a whimper. The Blackhawks lost back-to-back games to the Predators and the Flames by a combined score of 11-2. In fairness, neither of their top two goalies played in those games. 1 15-19-6
26 Senators In their only game since Dec. 19, the Senators got shelled in a 6-0 loss to the Maple Leafs. Now the team has to go on a five-game road trip that begins Thursday, and it will be interesting to see how this young team handles that. 3 11-20-2
27 Red Wings The Red Wings dropped their first two games out of the break, including an important matchup with the Bruins, and their playoff chances look pretty bleak at this point. Still, the fact that Detroit was even in the picture on New Year's Day is a testament to what Steve Yzerman is doing. 6 18-17-6
28 Devils The Devils were able to pick up some badly needed wins in the last week, and Jack Hughes has officially caught on fire. In the team's three straight wins, he tallied eight points. That should provide some confidence as he continues to develop in his third season. 4 14-19-5
29 Kraken Seattle's goaltending has been pretty miserable all year, but the offense deserves some of the blame for where the team currently sits in the standings. The Kraken are 26th in the NHL in expected goals for at five-on-five (54.36), and too many of their shot attempts come from the point. 1 12-24-4
30 Coyotes How is the Coyotes' season going? They scored seven goals in a game and lost last week. If nothing else, Arizona is trying to be entertaining as it finds new ways to lose games and improve its draft lottery chances. -- 10-25-4
31 Sabres Sure, things are bad for the Sabres, but at least Alex Tuch was able to suit up and play his first few games with the team since coming over from Vegas in the Jack Eichel trade. The Syracuse native should provide a bright spot for the franchise, and he already has a goal and two assists with Buffalo. -- 12-21-7
32 Canadiens The Canadiens have one win in over a month. Not only are they losing, but they are regularly getting whipped. Montreal is 31st in the NHL with a goal differential of -50 in just 34 games played. At this point, fans of the team are intensely focused on the 2022 NHL Draft. 3 8-25-6