Just two Saturdays remain in the 2022-23 NHL regular season. As we moved towards the final weeks of the season, so the stakes are increasing for those teams vying it out for the final postseason berths.
With not much time left, this week’s NHL Power Rankings will be taking a look at the rest of season rankings, with those at the top the ones you should be looking out for at NHL betting sites.
The SAP Center in San Jose is affectionately known as "The Shark Tank", but there is only one tank that is on the minds of Sharks fans. Nine straight defeats. Two wins in their last nineteen games. Averaging close to five goals against per game in recent weeks. The Sharks will hope that these negatives will all add up to a positive, come the entry draft.
The Blue Jackets might be considering playing with an empty net for the remainder of the season, such has been their goaltending of late. In their last five games, Columbus has allowed 32 goals. For context, that is 9 goals more than the second worse team over the same period. Remarkably, they've somehow managed to win two games in that time, despite their leaky goaltending.
Chicago ended their road trip on Saturday, having gone 1-0-4 against some formidable Western Conference opponents. Only ten games remain in a season that Blackhawks' fans will want to quickly forget. Chicago needs four more wins to match last season's measly total of 28, a far cry from the 50-win seasons of 2009-10 and 2016-17. This rebuild will take some time.
Four games, seven goals scored, sixteen goals allowed, four defeats. A week in the life of the 2022-23 Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson has allowed 186 goals this season, putting him on track for the most goals allowed by an NHL goaltender in a season, since the start of the last decade. It would be unfair to pin this season on Gibson, however.
It's hard to know what to expect of the Montreal Canadiens' games these days. One thing that does seem likely, however, is an abundance of goals. In the past two weeks alone, Montreal has had an 8-goal game, two 10-goal games, a 12-goal game, and a 14-goal game. Averaging out at over nine goals per game lately, we'd recommend betting the overs.
The Flyers have suddenly started to show up. At 4-0-1 in their last five games, with that overtime defeat coming after a last-second goal by Carolina's Martin Necas, the Flyers are happy to spoil anyone's day. The Flyers could have a chance to put a serious dent in their Pennsylvania rival’s playoff chances, when they play the Penguins on April 2nd.
It took a road trip north this week to remind Arizona how to lose, as they fell to Winnipeg, Edmonton and Colorado. The Yotes will entertain the latter two again this week, but on home ice. Arizona is a respectable 20-11-3 in their temporary home venue this season, and US betting sites might offer some tempting odds for an upset in those two games.
Over the past month, the only team to have recorded fewer points than the Detroit Red Wings, is the San Jose Sharks. At 3-11-1, the Red Wings are a shadow of the team that looked like it had an outside chance at reaching the playoffs, earlier in the season. Scoring just 1.93 goals per game, this team has hit an offensive brick wall lately.
Against the odds, the St. Louis Blues are on a 5-game point streak and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games. Not many would have foreseen such an uptick in form, after the Blues were major sellers ahead of the trade deadline, but such is hockey, sometimes. With that said, the quality of opposition over the last while has not been high.
The Canucks continue to rack up wins, having seemingly turned up the heat once the playoffs were no longer on the table. Only the league-leading Boston Bruins have more wins than Vancouver over their last fifteen games, with 6 regulation and 5 overtime victories. The Canucks are also second only to Boston in goals allowed over that stretch, with 34.
A win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night would have brought the Caps within just two points of their rivals, and tightened things up even further in the race for the final two spots in the east. Having trailed 3-0, Washington got the game back to 3-3, before an inexplicable turnover by Anthony Mantha gifted Evgeni Malkin a late winner.
The Senators ended a losing streak this week and came through a tricky set of fixtures with a respectable 2-2-0 record. Wins over Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, the latter a resounding 7-2 thrashing, have got the Sens back to winning ways. Although the playoffs aren't mathematically out of the equation, this Ottawa team is already looking to next season.
Just when you've written off the Sabres for this season, they do something which, mathematically at least, keeps them in playoff contention. Back-to-back wins over the Devils and Islanders on Friday and Saturday mean that the Sabres will live to fight another day, for now. A win over Montreal on Monday would help keep the pressure on the Islanders, Penguins and Panthers
The Flames haven't won two consecutive games in almost three weeks, which has made it very difficult for them to close in on a wild card spot. The only thing that is keeping Calgary in contention is the equally poor and inconsistent form of the Winnipeg Jets. Right now, the Jets hold the upper hand, and the Flames need to string two wins together.
Allowing seven goals twice in the space of one week is just not going to get the job done, as this Nashville team struggles to find the momentum needed to make a final playoff push. Although the Preds went 2-2-0 this week, even scoring seven goals of their own against Buffalo, they need a better run of form to close the gap in the Western Conference.
Every game is crucial for the Panthers right now, but they have been struggling to find ways to win this week. Three straight losses leave the Panthers as the outsider in the three-horse race for the final two playoff spots in the east. The next four Panthers' games are on the road, making an immediate return to form that little bit more difficult.
The Penguins are in the worst form of the three main wild card contenders in the Eastern Conference, winning just four of their last ten games. A big effort was required to reverse a three-goal comeback by Washington on Saturday evening, as Evgeni Malkin eventually clinched the game-winning goal. For now, at least, the Penguins have some breathing room.
Winnipeg continues to cling on for dear life in the second wild card spot in the west, maintained by the fact that nobody below them has been able to put together a charge. With just 26 points from their last 30 games, the Jets are among the lowest scoring teams in the league for the past two months.
Along with the Penguins and Panthers, the Islanders form one-third of the struggling playoff battlers in the Eastern Conference. Defeats to Columbus and Buffalo on Friday and Saturday stifled the momentum that the Isles had built up over three straight wins, including a big 7-2 win over Toronto in midweek. Bo Horvat has gone 11 straight games without a goal.
Seattle's recent form reads LWLWLW, not exactly the kind of consistency that a team in a wild card spot would like to have, just ten games out from the playoffs. However, a 7-2 demolition of Nashville on Saturday afternoon has come close to ending the Predators' slim hopes of reaching the postseason, thereby making Seattle's end-of-season run-in that little bit less nervy.
The loss of Kirill Kaprizov has not derailed this Minnesota Wild team, who have won five of their eight games since the Russian superstar winger sustained a lower-body injury. Things are tight at the top of the Central Division, and the Wild are keeping pace with the Avs and Stars, as they seek to win their first divisional title since 2008.
Scoring goals is not an issue for the Oilers, which is unsurprising given the form of Connor McDavid. However, the Oilers have allowed the most goals of any playoff-bound team, and that is concerning. Canadian betting sites are likely to set the total goals lines high for the Oilers playoff series, with some barn burners in store.
Four defeats from four games this week, and suddenly the Lightning are facing a mini existential crisis, with the playoffs looming. Of course, none of the defeats had a meaningful impact on the outcome of Tampa's season, as their first round series against the Leafs has been locked-in for what feels like an eternity. Home advantage is almost certainly going to Toronto.
The Kings have picked up 20 points from a possible 24 over their last dozen games and are showing some great form as the playoffs approach. Los Angeles has not won a single playoff series since they won the cup in 2014, and their Stanley Cup odds place them among the outsiders this year, but if they can maintain this form then they will trouble any opponent.
Dallas is trundling its way towards the playoffs, with a mediocre form that isn't likely to have a first-round opponent quaking in their boots. Over their last twenty games, the Stars are 9-7-4, which gives them just over a point-per-game in that stretch. This puts them on a par, roughly speaking, with Nashville, Calgary and Ottawa. Not exactly illustrious company, right now.
A 5-2 loss against Pittsburgh on Wednesday was the only defeat that Colorado has suffered in the past fortnight, going 7-1-0 in their last eight games. Injury woes continue for the Avs, with Artturi Lehkonen and Evan Rodrigues both now missing extended time. The ongoing injury struggles haven't had a significant impact on Colorado's ability to reach the postseason.
Since trading for Patrick Kane on Feb 28th, the Rangers are on an 8-3-1 win, and look ready for the playoffs. Emphatic back-to-back shutout wins last weekend over Pittsburgh and Nashville, scoring thirteen goals without response, show that this team has what it takes at both ends of the ice. NHL betting apps are already cutting their odds on the Rangers.
The Vegas Golden Knights have franchise records in both wins and points on the line, as they enter the final games of the season. With 46 wins and 98 points already, the Golden Knights are within touching distance of the 51-win, 109-point season that they recorded in their first season in the league. A fifth playoff appearance beckons, in just their sixth season.
The Maple Leafs are quietly but efficiently coasting towards the postseason series against Tampa Bay. By doing just enough to maintain home advantage, the Leafs are also allowing some of their more senior players to rest and take nights off, where needed. As the playoffs draw closer, assuming home advantage is secured, more of this is to be expected.
With nine games left in the regular season, the New Jersey Devils have confirmed their place in the 2022-23 playoffs. The last time the Devils won a playoff series was before the Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Kings, back in 2012, but hopes are high this year. The Devils have regular season franchise records in wins and points in their sights, between now and then.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in the middle of a mini playoff sampler at the moment, having played the Rangers twice, then the Leafs, and with Boston and Tampa up next. The Canes are more than holding their own, having gone 2-0-1 to both clinch their playoff berth and keep the Devils at bay atop the Metropolitan Division.
The Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division with ten games to spare on Saturday afternoon, defeating Tampa Bay 2-1. A six-game winning streak now puts Boston in with a chance of breaking all sorts of regular season records. Even if they weren't to play another game this season, the 2022-23 Bruins would rank in the top 25 points hauls in NHL history.