NHL Power Ratings
The National Hockey League enters Week 11 of the 2021 NHL season, which means there’s just a little over a month left in the regular season. This week’s Prezidential Power Rankings offer a quick betting snippet on Prez’s top-15 teams, complete with a list of all NHL teams from No. 1 to 31.
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1. Tampa Bay Lightning – Previous ranking: 1
This TB team is #1 in goal scoring, averaging 3.59 goals a game and #5 in D, allowing teams to score 2.38 goals per game. They just came off a 1-2 week, losing 4-3 to both Dallas and the Canes. This does not drop them in my Power Poll, as all teams are going to lose games. This does, however, make me look to play on them moving forward. This is the best team in the league by far and has a real chance to repeat.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Columbus April 1, vs. Det April 3, vs. Det April 5, @Columbus April 6
2. Vegas Golden Knights – Previous ranking: 2
I thought maybe the Avs and Knights would swap spots this week, but they played against each other twice this week and split 1-1. For that reason, I will keep the Knights slightly ahead of the Avs, but I would pick the Avs in 7 games if they meet in the playoffs. Vegas is 1point and one game in hand on of the Avs in their division, and that is without the #1 D, who is still questionable. This is the 9th best O team and the #2nd best D team in the league. They are so fast on the ice with just incredible goaltending and can beat teams 2-1 or 6-5. They also have the best goalie tandem by far and a fantastic home-ice advantage.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. LA March 31, vs. Min April 1, vs. Min April 3, @StL April 5
3. Colorado Avalanche – Previous ranking: 3
As discussed above, I am still putting Vegas ahead of the Avs in the regular season, but not for the playoffs. The Avs are finally getting healthy and absolutely destroyed Minny twice this past week and split with Vegas. The difference between them and Vegas is more Vegas is deeper everywhere, but the Avs have the better star power. There is no-one on Vegas better than McKinnon and Makar, but two guys don’t make up a team. I can’t wait for these two teams to duel in the playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Ari March 31, vs. StL April 2, vs. StL April 3, @Min April 5
4. Toronto Maple Leafs – Previous ranking: 7
The Leafs have just come off a horrible slump and have now won 3 games in a row, including a massive comeback against the Oilers. I told you last week in this poll, I expected them to go on a roll, and they won every game last week. The Leafs are #5 in goal scoring and #8 in D and balanced. They are also rolling all four lines and can score with any of them. Their D has been outstanding all year, and once they figure out their goaltending, this team will compete for the cup these playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule: @Win March 31, @Win April 2, @Cal April 4, @Cal April 5
5. Washington Capitals – Previous ranking: 5
Last week, I had the NYI above Washington, but the Caps are just rolling right now, and the Islanders finally lost a game. The Caps have won 3 in a row and 9 of their last 10, and that includes beating the Islanders. They are #1 in their division, #2 in team scoring, but in the middle of the pack in D. This is their problem, and once they can shore up their goaltending and see better D play, they are likely not going to move above 5.
Upcoming Schedule: @NYI April 1, @NJ April 2, @NY April 4, @NYI April 6
6. New York Islanders – Previous ranking: 5
This Islander team might be the most challenging team in the league to play against. The Islanders have fallen to #4 in D, but that includes six goals against game against the Pens in their last game. They really shouldn’t be this good, sitting in the middle of the pack in O, but they seem to get the job done night in and night out. They have won 3 of their last four games and 7 of their previous 10. Even after losing their Captain, they keep on rolling. I don’t get it, but I respect it. They are just such a well-coached team (maybe the best-coached team in hockey). This team needs more scoring power and better do whatever it takes to land Taylor Hall or someone who can put the puck in the net.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Was April 1, vs. Phi April 3, vs. Was April 6
7. Carolina Hurricanes – Previous ranking: 6
This team has dropped one spot in the rankings because the Caps moved up a few places. They have won their last three games, including a massive victory against the Lightning. This team is almost as tough to play against as the Islanders and has much better scoring. They are 6th in the league in scoring and 7th in D and are among the top 5 most well-rounded teams in the league. I believe they are a cup contender and a team that can end up in the top 5 of my power poll as the weeks progress.
Upcoming Schedule: @Chi April 1, vs. Dal April 3, vs. Dal April 4, vs. Fla April 6
8. Florida Panthers – Previous ranking: 8
No team shoots the puck more than Florida and dominates puck possession like the Panthers. They can’t score consistently, which is what is keeping them out of the top 5. Even with Barkov, their superstar out, they still beat Dallas 2 in a row but have only won 6 of their last ten games. The issue I see with the Panthers is like the Wild; they are just starting to learn how to win. I will not be surprised if they make a long-cup run or fall in the first round. What I do know is they are very well-coached, and their best is still ahead of them.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Det April 1, vs. Col April 3, vs. Col April 4, @Car April 6
9. Edmonton Oilers – Previous ranking: 10
Man, I love watching McDavid. We have not seen a player like him ever, and when he is on the puck, no-one can move him off it. He is Cam Neely, Wayne Gretzky, and Lemieux wrapped in one guy, but what he isn’t is a winner yet. This is the #4 team in scoring, but a middle squad defensively. They need goaltending and wrong and more depth up front and a top 2 defensemen. That is a lot of needs, and they will not be able to address them all. This team is still not ready to break into the top 5, but I wouldn’t want to play the best of 7.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Cal April 2, vs. Van April 3, @Mon April 5
10. Pittsburgh Penguins – Previous ranking: 12
This team is winning night in and night out and is much better than I expected. They sit just outside the top 10 in both D and O but have so many veterans, and Crosby is still a top 5 player in this league. They have won 3 in a row, 7 of their last 10, including beating Boston and the Islanders. I think Pitt will hover all year around this spot and honestly do not think their line-up, as it currently sits, is capable of a long Cup run.
Upcoming Schedule: @Bos April 1, @Bos April 3, @NYR April 6
11. Winnipeg Jets – Previous ranking: 11
I love this team, their grit, their speed, and especially their goaltending. They have veterans and youth, leaders and followers, and a great coach. They are a top 10 team in scoring and find themselves in the middle of the pack in D. They remind me a lot of the Canes right now, as they can win 2-1 or 5-4 games and are a scary, tough team to play against. But without fixing their D, they aren’t going anywhere.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Tor April 2, vs. Van April 4, vs. Van April 6
12. Minnesota Wild – Previous ranking: 9
You can’t get slaughtered by the Avs twice and then lose to Arizona and expect to stay in my top 10. I do love this team, but they are a year or two away from making serious noise. I love their D, and their team speed is just incredible. They can’t score consistently enough and are right in the middle of the league for goals. Their D, however, is top 6, and they have outstanding goaltending. I will be curious to see how this team plays moving forward, but as mentioned above, they are two years away from making any serious noise.
Upcoming Schedule: @SJ March 31, @Vegas April 1, @Vegas April 3, vs. Colorado April 5
13. Boston Bruins – Previous ranking: 10
It will be interesting to see where this team ends up at the end of the year as they still have one of the best top lines in hockey and the 3rd best D. I need more consistency out of them and especially on O, as they are in the bottom half of the league in goals scored. However, they know how to win, which is crucial as we get into the 2nd half of the season. This team has fallen in my Power Poll because they have lost 2 of their last 3 and 6 of their last 10, including losing games to the Rangers and the Devils.
Upcoming Schedule: vs. Pit April 1, vs. Pit April 3, vs. Phi April 5, vs. Phi April 6
14. St. Louis Blues – Previous ranking: 14
This Blues team has confused me as they win when I expect them to lose and visa-versa. They are a middle-tier team in goal scoring and, strangely, a bottom-feeding team on D., But they have had many injuries this year, and I expect them to move up the ranking. They have lost 4 in a row and 8 of their last 10. They shouldn’t even be in the top 15 right now, but they are a veteran team that will find a way to sneak into the playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule: @Col April 2, @Col April 3, vs. Vegas April 5
15. Montreal Canadiens – Previous ranking: 17
This Habs team will sneak into the playoffs, not because of how good they are, but likely because of how bad the Flames and Canucks are. They are 11th in scoring in the league and 12th in D. They did pick up Staal from the Sabres, which will help in leadership and the dressing room, but that is about it. Look, they are young and fast and have great goaltending, but they are no-where near good enough in any area of the ice to make a run. There are 31 teams in the league, and they are the 15th best right now. That seems about right to me.
Upcoming Schedule: @Ott April 1, vs. Ott April 3, vs. Edm April 5
Here are 3 free picks in #NHL and also I have 2 NHL and 2 NBA bets for tonight at https://t.co/DxsrPG1SgG and remember I am on a 51-19 hockey run and a hit nba run as well. @WagerTalk pic.twitter.com/9lA50odoNP
— Lawrence Prezman (@PrezWagerTalk) March 31, 2021
16. New York Rangers
Previous ranking: 21
17. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous ranking: 15
18. Arizona Coyotes
Previous ranking: 23
19. Vancouver Canucks
Previous ranking: 16
20. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous ranking: 24
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous ranking: 23
22. Calgary Flames
Previous ranking: 19
23. Dallas Stars
Previous ranking: 20
24. Nashville Predators
Previous ranking: 22
25. Los Angeles Kings
Previous ranking: 25
26. San Jose Sharks
Previous ranking: 26
27. New Jersey Devils
Previous ranking: 27
28. Anaheim Ducks
Previous ranking: 28
29. Ottawa Senators
Previous ranking: 29
30. Detroit Red Wings
Previous ranking: 30
31. Buffalo Sabres
Previous ranking: 31
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