Weekly NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche Surge Into Top 10

By Mark Callanan
 |  8 mins
8E3DFB6F-93D4-478C-99D9-112C2BB6C04E  Fact Checked by Mark Fordham
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Weekly NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche Surge Into Top 10

It was a memorable week for one of the most elite active players in the league, as Steven Stamkos notched up his 500th career goal on Wednesday evening. Entering the game with 499 tallies, Stamkos reached his milestone early in the first period, before adding a second later in the same period. Goal number 502 followed the same night, into the empty Vancouver cage. In scoring a hat-trick on the night where he reached 500, Stamkos joined a remarkable list of names to have managed that achievement, including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Jaromir Jagr.

Elsewhere, NHL betting sites continue to trim their odds on the Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this year. The Bruins show no signs of relenting, with a magic formula of the highest goals-per-game scored and lowest goals-per-game allowed. Given their dominance at both ends of the ice, there is growing belief and expectation amongst Boston fans that this might well be their year.

With the All-Star break just around the corner, there is just over a week more of action for teams to navigate before they down tools. After the All-Star weekend, the league moves into its final third, and the race for the playoffs will heat up.

32. Columbus Blue Jackets, 14-30-2 (-1)

The Columbus Blue Jackets sit bottom of the NHL standings as we approach the All-Star break. The Jackets have managed only four wins since Christmas, with a somewhat remarkable run of four wins on the last four Saturdays. Columbus might want to consult the NHL scheduler to ask for more Saturday games. Johnny Gaudreau leads the team in scoring, with 44 points.

31. Chicago Blackhawks, 14-26-4 (+1)

In one of the most remarkable turnarounds of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks have now won six of their last seven games. Those six wins account for almost half of the team's entire tally and lifts them off the bottom of the NHL. With no hope of the playoffs this year, one might wonder if the fans would rather they stayed bad to improve their draft position.

30. Anaheim Ducks, 13-29-5 (-)

The one win that the Ducks managed this week was just enough to keep them off the bottom of the NHL, for now. A 5-3 defeat of Columbus was the only bright point in an otherwise disappointing week, going 1-2-1. The overtime loss was a heart-breaking blown lead against the Penguins, conceding with just 25 seconds remaining in regulation.

29. Arizona Coyotes, 14-27-5 (-)

A solitary win this week against the Red Wings was a temporary reprieve from what is a dreadful run of form for the Arizona Coyotes. That win was their only victory in the last dozen games, leaving them just a point above Chicago and three points above rock bottom in the NHL. An injury to Lawson Crouse can't help matters.

28. Montreal Canadiens, 20-24-3 (-1)

The Canadiens announced on Saturday that Cole Caufield will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season because of a shoulder injury. In what is already a disappointing season, the loss of a potential 40-goal scorer is another blow to the Habs’ fanbase. Their next highest goalscorer, Nick Suzuki, has just 16 goals this term and will be expected to pick up the slack.

27. San Jose Sharks, 14-24-9 (+1)

There is only one thing certain when the Sharks play, and that is goals. Since the Christmas break, there have been at least six goals, and an average of 7.25 goals, in games involving San Jose. That is the highest such average in the NHL in that time. Unfortunately for the Sharks, they are more frequently on the receiving end of the bulk of those goals, meaning NHL player props for opposition players are looking good for bettors at present.

26. Vancouver Canucks, 18-25-3 (-)

Just one win from their last eight games shows how much this team is struggling. The supporters continue to rally behind head coach Bruce Boudreau, who deserves better from the organization than he has received thus far. He is quite likely to be relieved of his post in the coming days. The trade deadline will be interesting in Vancouver.

25. Ottawa Senators, 20-23-3 (-1)

With just one win in their last five games, the Senators' season has petered out into yet another disappointing campaign. For the sixth season in a row, it seems almost certain that there will be no playoff hockey in Ottawa. Canada sports betting sites had been somewhat optimistic in preseason, but that quickly eroded as the season began.

24. Detroit Red Wings, 19-18-8 (-1)

The trend of winning against better opposition and losing against lower-ranked opponents continued for the Wings this week. They managed to take down the high-flying Golden Knights, in between losses against Arizona and Philadelphia. Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was waived and returned to the AHL, leaving Magnus Hellberg as the backup goaltender in Detroit. Ville Husso has made two-thirds of the starts in Detroit this season.

23. St. Louis Blues, 23-21-3 (+2)

An injury-hit Blues team are doing their best to survive, but having had six straight home games, where they picked up only three wins, probably won't be enough for this team at this stage. The most recent defeat, a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks, is one that will sting. Had they won, the Blues would have been within just two points of the wild-card spots and dark-horse NHL picks to make the playoffs.

22. Philadelphia Flyers, 20-20-7 (-)

The Flyers’ midseason revival hasn't come to a complete stop, but two defeats this week have certainly slowed it down. Heavy defeats to the Bruins and Blackhawks were balanced out by wins over the Ducks and Red Wings. Travis Konecny is, somewhat quietly, having himself a breakout year, with 24 goals and 25 assists through 41 games. 

21. Nashville Predators, 22-18-6 (-)

Three wins from four games this week mean that the Predators are, at the very least, keeping pace with the pack in the Western Conference. Their early-season form has put them in a tricky situation, however, and their Stanley Cup odds with NHL betting apps have swollen significantly since preseason. Given the intense competition for the wild-card spots in the West, it seems unlikely that Nashville will make it.

20. New York Islanders, 23-20-5 (-1)

It isn't too difficult to spot the point where the New York Islanders’ season went off the boil. Since the turn of the year, only three teams in the entire NHL have picked up fewer points than the Islanders; Columbus, Vancouver and Arizona. There is still time to turn things around, but the signs aren't great.

19. Buffalo Sabres, 23-19-3 (+1)

It was a week of two halves for the Sabres, who managed to turn things around nicely following defeats to the Panthers and Blackhawks. A 3-2 win over the Islanders and a 6-3 victory over the Ducks mean that the Sabres are still there or thereabouts in the hunt for a wild-card spot. Their home form, at 11-12-2, must improve.

18. Florida Panthers, 23-20-5 (-)

The Panthers will have to hope that their uplift in form is not a case of too little, too late. Nine points from a possible 10 means that Florida are back in the hunt. An automatic playoff berth seems unlikely, and it will take a serious push to catch up in the wild-card race, given the number of games the Panthers have already played.

17. Pittsburgh Penguins, 23-15-7 (-)

A five-point week for the Penguins, who managed two wins and an overtime loss. Although their opponents weren't of a high standard, facing Ottawa twice and Anaheim once, the Pens will be glad to get back to winning ways. The returns of Tristan Jarry and Jeff Petry are big boosts, as is the improving form of Jake Guentzel. Kris Letang may return next week.

16. Calgary Flames, 22-16-9 (-2)

The form of Colorado and Edmonton means that Calgary have lost some ground in their playoff push. The Flames now sit outside of the wild-card spots in a very tight Western Conference. The top 10 teams in the 20-game form table in the West are separated by just three points. No need for the Flames to panic at this point.

15. Los Angeles Kings, 25-17-6 (-3)

For the first time since early November, the LA Kings find themselves outside the automatic playoff spots. USA sports betting sites have tempered themselves on this team somewhat over the past couple of months. A busy early-season schedule allowed LA to build up a strong position, but games have been scarcer of late, allowing others to play catch up.

14. Minnesota Wild, 25-16-4 (-1)

Three-quarters of the way through a four-game road trip, the Wild have picked up just one win and two points so far. That win came against the Washington Capitals and was the last victory in a three-game win streak. The streaking Colorado Avalanche are breathing down their necks for third place in the Central Division. 

13. Washington Capitals, 25-18-6 (+2)

Washington have played more games than anyone else in the league, which is worth bearing in mind when considering their standing. With that said, the Caps have a healthy position and could challenge for an automatic playoff spot, with the knowledge that the wild-card spots are there should they fall short. They'll hope that Alex Ovechkin’s recent injury is not serious.

12. Edmonton Oilers, 27-18-3 (+4)

The Oilers have finally hit their groove and managed to combine lethal offense with capable defense. The result is a six-game winning streak, with at least four goals scored per game and at most three goals allowed. The Oilers have now leapfrogged the LA Kings for the third spot in the Pacific Division, with the same number of games played, and they could be popular dark-horse picks for bettors visiting betting apps.

11. Seattle Kraken, 27-14-5 (-1)

Not the easiest of weeks for the Kraken. A back-to-back against the Lightning and Oilers ended pointless, but Seattle then took three points from games against the Devils and Avalanche. The win over the Devils was their ninth in 11 games, a remarkable run of form for a team who were considered rank outsiders by most betting sites before the season started.

10. New York Rangers, 25-14-7 (-2)

A scheduling quirk gave the New York Rangers this weekend off. It won't feel like they've earned their break, however, after defeats to the Canadiens and Bruins either side of a win against Columbus. The Rangers have been finding goals hard to come by, lately, with just seven scored in their last four games. Perhaps the return of Chris Kreider to NHL lineups will fix that issue.

9. Colorado Avalanche, 25-17-3 (+2)

Despite an injury to Cale Makar, the Avs managed to end this week with four wins from four, putting them right back in the hunt for an automatic playoff spot in the Central Division. Nathan MacKinnon, in spite of having missed 11 games due to injury, broke the 50-point mark on Thursday for the ninth time in his career. 

8. Dallas Stars, 28-13-7 (+1)

The Dallas Stars managed not one, not two, but three shutouts this week. Jake Oettinger was responsible for two of the duck eggs, shutting down the Golden Knights and the Coyotes. Those wins improved Oettinger to 21-7-4 on the season, with a 2.20 GAA and a .926 SV%. Scott Wedgewood is a respectable 2.97 and .911 in those stats, when backing up Oettinger.

7. New Jersey Devils, 29-12-4 (-1)

The Devils’ high placing in the Metro division is largely a result of their strong early-season form and isn't in any way reflective of their play since the start of December. In their first 23 games of the season, the Devils amassed 38 points. In the 22 games since, they have only picked up a measly 24 points; they are 22nd in the league in points since December 1st.

6. Winnipeg Jets, 30-16-1 (+1)

Only the Boston Bruins have more wins in 2022-23 than this Winnipeg Jets team. The Jets have eight different players already across the 20-point threshold for the season. With a solid number one goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck, backed up by the reliable David Rittich, there is growing optimism around this team. Nikolaj Ehlers became the top-scoring Danish player in NHL history on Saturday night.

5. Vegas Golden Knights, 29-16-2 (-2)

Similar to the New Jersey Devils, the Golden Knights are a team whose league position belies their recent form. Just 11 points from 11 games since the Christmas break means that Vegas have surrendered the top spot in the Western Conference. Their recent form has more in common with the teams at the bottom of these rankings than the top.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning, 29-15-1 (+1)

After what seemed like an excruciatingly long two-game wait for goal number 500, Steven Stamkos quickly followed it up with goals 501 through 504. That Stamkos doesn't lead the team in goals merely serves to highlight the all-round strength of this Lightning roster. Such is the competition at the top of the Atlantic Division, this Lightning team can only manage third place right now.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs, 28-11-8 (+1)

The 64 points that the Leafs have amassed already this season would be enough to lead the Western Conference. Unfortunately for Toronto, they exist in the same conference and division as Boston, meaning that their only chance of a banner this year will be the Stanley Cup. Recent history aside, there is no reason the Leafs can't go on a deep run this season.

2. Carolina Hurricanes, 29-9-8 (-)

It seems, unfortunately, that Max Pacioretty's time at the Hurricanes is going to be one that is remembered for the wrong reasons. Pacioretty had only just returned from a long layoff when he suffered a torn Achilles in just his fifth game back. That is more than likely the end of the season for Patches, who has been desperately unlucky with injuries throughout his career.

1. Boston Bruins, 36-5-4 (-)

There really is no let up with this Bruins side. Four straight wins and eight victories in their last 10 games have Boston cruising towards the Presidents' Trophy. In fact, at their current points rate, the 2022-23 Bruins could well become the most successful regular-season team in NHL history, making them big favorites with US betting apps to win it all. A remarkable situation and a truly remarkable team.

Mark Callanan
Mark Callanan
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Mark Callanan is bookmakers.com's NHL writer and creates many of the site's in-depth NHL betting strategy guides. If you're looking to bet on the most popular hockey league on the planet, stick with Mark and he will help you out!

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