NHL power rankings: Lightning surging, Capitals still on top

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nhl power rankings

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Welcome to our first NHL power rankings of 2020. The Washington Capitals will start the year on top, but keep an eye on the surging Tampa Bay Lightning.

Man, this season is flying by, huh? The 2019-20 NHL season is already more than halfway over. Time flies when you’re having fun, though. This week’s NHL power rankings is when I start separating the pretenders from the contenders.

In case you’ve never read my weekly power rankings before, here’s how it goes. I rank each team based on my gut, their underlying numbers, and how nice I’m feeling. I’ll say something snarky or interesting about each team.

As always, feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section. I sincerely hope the new year has started well for you. With all that red tape out of the way, let’s get down to business.


The Pretenders


Detroit Red Wings (11-30-3)

Last rank: 31st

To be as bad as the Detroit Red Wings, you need to be completely devoid of talent and you need to be extremely unlucky. It’s almost impressive how terrible they are. Even after a rare win on Tuesday night, the Red Wings still have the lowest point percentage of any team in the salary cap era.


Ottawa Senators (16-22-5)

Last rank: 26th

Lord have mercy on Thomas Chabot. Just look at how much time he’s spending on the ice.


San Jose Sharks (19-22-4)

Last rank: 29th

General Manager Doug Wilson’s luck has finally run out. He deserves the blame for this mess and that mess will take a while to clean up. I respect the heck out of him for trying, though.


New Jersey Devils (15-20-7)

Last rank: 30th

It’s unfortunate that Nico Hischier plays in a small market. If he was playing in New York City, Montreal, or Toronto, he’d be getting a lot more respect.


Los Angeles Kings (17-23-4)

Last rank: 28th

Defenseman Sean Walker has been a bright spot in an otherwise dark season for the Los Angeles Kings. He’s finally getting some playing time and he’s proving he deserves more.



Anaheim Ducks (17-21-5)

Last rank: 27th

As painful as it will be, the Anaheim Ducks need to talk to captain Ryan Getzlaf about waiving his no-movement clause. If he wants to play for a contender, he deserves to. At the same time, Getzlaf deserves to stick around if he wants to.


Montreal Canadiens (18-19-7)

Last rank: 18th

The Montreal Canadiens need a new voice behind the bench. Claude Julien isn’t getting the job done. They probably need a new guy in charge of the front office too.


Chicago Blackhawks (19-19-6)

Last rank: 25th

I wonder if the Chicago Blackhawks will be interested in Peter Laviolette. He’d make sense if the Hawks decide to keep general manager Stan Bowman around.


New York Rangers (20-18-4)

Last rank: 24th

Rookie goaltender Igor Shesterkin got his first NHL start and win on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Maybe the transition to a non-Henrik Lundqvist franchise goalie won’t be as rocky as originally thought.


Nashville Predators (19-16-7)

Last rank: 19th

The Nashville Predators had to fire Peter Laviolette. My question is, did they wait too long to do it? John Hynes has a tough job ahead of him.


Buffalo Sabres (19-17-7)

Last rank: 17th

General Manager Jason Botterill finally made some moves. Unfortunately, they likely won’t be impactful ones. He’s got to be on the hot seat if the Sabres don’t make the playoffs.

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