2021 Prezidential NHL Power Rankings: Week 12

NHL Power Ratings

The National Hockey League enters Week 12 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. Colorado Avalanche
Previous ranking: 2

Last week, I had Vegas and Tampa Bay ahead of the Avs, but the Avs are absolutely rolling right now. They have won 4 in a row and 8 of their last 10, including destroying a good Minnesota team twice in that span. They are #1 in scoring, #1 in D, have the 3rd best power play in the league and the 2nd best penalty kill unit. How much better can a team be than that? Plus they have McKinnon, who is Mr. Money when it comes to playing great in big games. This is the #1 Cup contender for me and a team that will continue to win 70+% of their games.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous week 1

Tampa Bay lost to Detroit which is terrible, and they have lost 4 of their last 6 games and have dropped one position in my power poll. These losses happen and Tampa Bay is still one the most complete team in every area of the ice. The Lightning are #3 in scoring and #4 in defense on the season and have the league’s 3rd best power play. They have superstars on this team, great coaching and excellent goaltending. Moving into this week, this TB team is must play on, as they are poised to go on a big run.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous ranking: 4

If you read my power poll last week, then you know I said they would go on a big run and they have. The Leafs won their last 3 games and 6 of their last 7 and most importantly they are doing it with rock solid goaltending and great D. They are 6th in the league in scoring, 8th and D and boast maybe the best top-6 forwards in all of hockey. I understand that some might say they are in a weak division, but they have dominated both Edmonton and the Jets and they play who they play. I think this team is a real Stanley Cup Contender and expect them to make it out of this division.

4. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous ranking: 2

After losing their last 3 games, Vegas has dropped from the 2nd to the 4th spot and honestly might continue to drop moving forward as teams like the Hurricanes, Panthers and Caps move up. They do however boast the 2nd-best defense in the league and their offense is just outside the top 10. They also have the best goalie tandem in hockey. I really like the makeup of this team; however, they just lack the star power that the Leafs, Avs and Lightning have. I expect Vegas to hover around this spot all year and think they are a bet-on team moving into this week.

5. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous ranking: 7

I am so impressed with this team and think they will be a very hard out in any 7-game series. This team has tons of speed and unlike many others, have tons of toughness all over the ice. They score, they play D, they have great goaltending and they can beat you down. I have Vegas above them in the rankings, but if the Canes played Vegas in a best-of-7, my money would be on the ‘Canes. They have the 6th-best defense and the No. 12 offense, but like the Islanders, regardless of how few goals they score, it usually is one more than the other team. They also have the league’s best power play and that will be big moving forward as they are rough and take penalties. I really like the makeup of this hockey team.

6. Florida Panthers
Previous ranking: 8

No team shoots the puck more than Florida and dominates puck possession like the Panthers. They are a top-5 team in scoring and 10th in defense. They also are the No. 1 team across the league standings and have just won 6 games in a row, 3 of them without Barkov who is the most underrated player in hockey. The problem with this team and why they are not in the top 5, despite leading the league is that they rely on Barkov for their points. Once we get into the playoffs, he will be shut down and there is so little secondary scoring on this team.

7. Washington Capitals
Previous ranking: 5

This team is laden with veteran talent and just keeps putting up W’s, winning their last 2 and 7 of their last 10. They are No. 2 in offense in the league and boast a top-10 power play unit. Their problem is on defense, as they are in the bottom half of the league and will not have a big playoff run, unless they fix this.

8. New York Islanders
Previous ranking: 6

This Islander team might be the hardest team in the league to play against, but they just can’t score consistently and have no real stars outside of Barzal. They are so similar to the Canes, but just lack the depth on forward to match up against the top 5 teams in the league. This is the #3 team in goals against, but only the 14th best scoring team. With the lack of scoring power and depth, their power play is in the bottom half of the league. They do have great goaltending and one of the best coaches in hockey, but need to get their hands on someone like Taylor Hall to become a legitimate contender.

9. Edmonton Oilers
Previous ranking: 9

This team should scare anyone in the league. If they get good goaltending and are even half decent on defense, they could beat anyone anytime. They have the two best point-getters in the league, the best player by far and a really good, defensive minded coach. They are not a complete team, as they lack depth in scoring and humbled on defense. They are 5th in the league in scoring, their power play is No. 2 but their defense is in the bottom half. Edmonton must find a way to get Duncan Keith or some other shut down defenseman if they want to be taken seriously. This team will go as far as their goaltending will take them.

10. Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous ranking: 10

The Pens have won 5 of their last 6 games, including beating the NY Islanders twice in that stretch. They also still have Crosby who is having a great year. They are also missing some key players including Malkin who leaves a massive hole up the middle. They are 7th in the league in scoring, but middle of the pack in defense and are struggling in goal. This team is not a contender and I wouldn’t be surprised if they fall out of the top 10 in the next few weeks.

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, but also find themselves in the middle of the pack in defense. They remind me a lot of the Hurricanes, as they can score, have speed and also are the toughest team in the North Division. They are laden with veteran talent as well and have a great coach. I think any of the Leafs, the Oilers or the Jets can come out of the North, with the Leafs holding the poll position right now.

12. Minnesota Wild
Previous ranking: 9

After beating the Knights 2 games in a row, this team should be higher in the polls, but they aren’t there quite yet. They are the 5th-best team in goals against but are in the middle of the pack in goals for. They are a tough team that skates fast and can keep up with anyone. But I do believe the 11 teams I have ranked above them would beat them in a 7-game series. This team is going to be a great team in the years to come, but are not going to contend this season.

13. Montreal Canadiens
Previous ranking: 15

This Habs team is going to sneak into the playoffs, not because of how good they are, but likely because of how bad the Flames and Canucks are. They have moved up the rankings with a good week of play, winning 3 of their last 4 games but losing 6-4 against the woeful Senators. They are 8th in the league in scoring but are in the middle of the pack on D. I would have thought this would be the other way around, but Price is at the end of his career and so is Webber. This team will jump around 12-17th spot but as of now, I have them as the 13th best team in hockey and the 4th best team in their division.

14. Arizona Coyotes
Previous ranking: 18

I don’t know where to put this team. One week they can’t score a goal and the next week they are world beaters. Currently they find themselves in the final (4th) spot in their division, just ahead of the free-falling Blues. They have won their last two games and five of their last six and scored three or more goals in each of those games. Their only loss was to the Avalanche, a team they beat to start this run. The issue with the Coyotes is just a lack of consistent scoring. They have a good defense, a great goalie tandem and their coach has implemented an excellent system.

15. Boston Bruins
Previous ranking: 13

They suck, they are good, then they suck, then they score 7 goals to beat the Pens. This Bruins team should be pissing off most of their fans. They have scorers up and down their line-up, yet are in the middle of the pack in scoring. The names Bergeron and Pasternak have barely been spoken about this year and their goaltending has been just okay. Can they win it all? Why not, as they are loaded with veteran talent and at some point, are going to start scoring more consistently. Can they not make the playoffs? Sure, why not, as they have a charging Rangers team 4 points behind them and an under-achieving Flyers team nipping at their heels. In other words, this team could be great or could flame out and that is why I have them ranked 15th out of 31 teams.

16. Nashville Predators
Previous ranking: 24

17. St. Louis Blues
Previous ranking: 14

18. New York Rangers
Previous ranking: 16

19. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous ranking: 17

20. Dallas Stars
Previous ranking: 23

21. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous ranking: 20

22. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous ranking: 21

23. Vancouver Canucks
Previous ranking: 19

24. Los Angeles Kings
Previous ranking: 25

25. Calgary Flames
Previous ranking: 19

26. San Jose Sharks
Previous ranking: 26

27. New Jersey Devils
Previous ranking: 27

28. Ottawa Senators
Previous ranking: 29

29. Anaheim Ducks
Previous ranking: 28

30. Detroit Red Wings
Previous ranking: 30

31. Buffalo Sabres
Previous ranking: 31

Puck Time

Tune into Puck Time on WagerTalk TV Monday through Friday during the regular season for free NHL picks and predictions. Andrew McInnis, Carmine Bianco and a rotating panel of expert hockey handicappers go over the NHL card from a betting perspective and handicap the action on the ice.

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