NHL 2021-22 Energy Rankings: Week 24

Welcome to the twenty fourth version of my weekly NHL Energy Rankings for The Hockey Writers, the place the league’s high half is evaluated. These rankings will give attention to how groups have carried out up to now week of play and can considerably issue of their general energy and the place they’re on the time within the standings. With that stated, right here’s a take a look at the highest 16 groups within the league at this second.

16. Nashville Predators (39-25-4)

Final Week’s Rank: 13

One other ho-hum week for the Predators. They have been capable of begin issues off with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, however fell to the lowly Buffalo Sabres Friday evening of their second and remaining sport of the week.

Tanner Jeannot, Nashville Predators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Heading into the 2021-22 season, expectations weren’t very excessive for this Predators squad, they usually undoubtedly performed higher than most thought they’d. With that being stated, their incapability to place wins collectively in stretches may end in an early exit come the playoffs.

15. Washington Capitals (37-22-10)

Final Week’s Rank: 10

Simply because it appeared the Capitals have been getting again on observe, they acquired blown out in every of their video games this previous week. First was a 6-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, adopted by a 5-1 defeat to the Minnesota Wild.

Associated: NHL 2021-22 Energy Rankings: Week 23

Goaltending stays a query mark, as Vitek Vanecek had appeared to get issues collectively however has now allowed 9 objectives on his previous 32 photographs in opposition to. Very similar to the Predators, the Capitals at this juncture gained’t scare many come the postseason.

14. LA Kings (38-23-10)

Final Week’s Rank: 12

The Kings had an unsightly begin to their week, as they have been blown out 6-1 versus the Seattle Kraken on Monday. Nevertheless, they have been capable of regroup after that, taking the Edmonton Oilers to a shootout on Wednesday evening and defeating the Calgary Flames in a shootout the subsequent night.

To finish off their week, they have been capable of defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. They at present occupy second place within the Pacific Division however might want to up their play over the ultimate few weeks of the season in the event that they hope to stay in entrance of the surging Oilers.

13. St. Louis Blues (38-20-10)

Final Week’s Rank: 15

After struggling all through all the month of March, it seems the Blues could also be again on observe. They have been capable of defeat the Vancouver Canucks on each Monday and Wednesday to start out their week and took three of a doable 4 factors throughout their trek by means of Alberta.

Regardless of the higher play general, Jordan Binnington’s struggles between the pipes have continued, as he was pulled in opposition to the Oilers after permitting 4 objectives on simply 13 photographs. After the sport, Craig Berube didn’t mince phrases when requested about his goaltender’s efficiency, making it appear that Ville Husso is their undisputed primary for the rest of the yr (from ‘Jim Thomas: Blues rally after trailing 4-1, however fall in OT of sport through which Binnington is yanked’, St. Louis Put up-Dispatch, 4/1/22).

12. Vegas Golden Knights (39-28-4)

Final Week’s Rank: 16

Although the chances are nonetheless not of their favour, the Golden Knights are doing all the things of their energy to earn a playoff berth. They have been capable of win all three of their video games this previous week, and in consequence, discover themselves on a league-best five-game profitable streak.

Evgenii Dadonov Mattias Janmark Nicolas Roy Vegas Golden Knights
Evgenii Dadonov, Mattias Janmark, and Nicolas Roy of the Vegas Golden Knights have a good time a objective (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

What makes this newest stretch of play so spectacular is that they’ve managed to select up these wins regardless of having a mess of accidents. If they can sneak into the playoffs and get wholesome, they might be a significant issue for opposing groups.

11. Calgary Flames (40-19-9)

Final Week’s Rank: 6

After being one of many league’s hottest groups in latest months, the Flames cooled down in an enormous approach this previous week, choosing up only one level over their three video games. Abruptly by means of their previous 10 video games, they personal a report of simply 4-4-2.

Regardless of the slight dip in play, there isn’t a ton to fret about with this group. They nonetheless maintain a commanding lead for first within the Pacific and have arguably the very best line in hockey with Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau. They need to be capable of climb again up these rankings in a rush.

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (41-19-10)

Final Week’s Rank: 7

Not the very best week for the Penguins, although they didn’t have a simple schedule. They misplaced their first sport of the week to the New York Rangers however have been capable of simply sneak previous the Minnesota Wild a couple of nights later with a 4-3 additional time victory. Saturday marked their second lack of the week, as they fell 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche.

Associated: NHL 2021-22 Energy Rankings: Week 22

As talked about, their schedule this previous week was a tricky one. They need to haven’t any issues bouncing again from this and can proceed to be an awesome group to look at for the rest of the season due to their many offensively gifted gamers.

9. Edmonton Oilers (40-25-5)

Final Week’s Rank: 14

The 2021-22 season has been considered one of highs and lows for the Oilers, and proper now they’re on a excessive. They’ve gained 4 straight, and in consequence, sit only one level shy of the Kings for second within the Pacific.

As everybody is aware of, what makes this group so harmful is their two-headed monster upfront in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid was capable of turn into the NHL’s first 100-point participant of the season on Wednesday, and Draisaitl was capable of attain the identical mark on Sunday, whereas additionally scoring his fiftieth objective.

8. Tampa Bay Lightning (43-18-7)

Final Week’s Rank: 11

The Lightning haven’t been at their finest as of late, however could also be turning issues round due to the stable week they simply had. They began issues off with an announcement win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday and adopted that up with a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks a couple of nights later. They did find yourself falling to the Montreal Canadiens in additional time on Saturday, but it surely got here on the second half of a back-to-back.

Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As everybody is aware of, no matter how this group finishes out the 2021-22 season, they are going to be seen as Stanley Cup contenders as soon as the playoffs start. Not solely have they gained back-to-back Cups, however their roster on paper is as proficient as any in all the league.

7. New York Rangers (44-20-6)

Final Week’s Rank: 5

Whereas issues began off good this week for the Rangers with wins over the Penguins and Detroit Purple Wings, they see themselves fall on this week’s rating as a result of losses of their remaining two video games of the week to the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers.

Whereas he nonetheless stays a entrance runner for the Vezina Trophy, Igor Shesterkin has struggled as of late and has seemingly taken himself out of the Hart Trophy dialogue. Maybe fatigue is kicking in for the 26-year-old, who has by no means appeared in north of 40 video games in a single season as a professional till this yr.

6. Carolina Hurricanes (45-16-8)

Final Week’s Rank: 4

Whereas they have been capable of choose up 5 of eight factors this previous week, the Hurricanes merely haven’t regarded like themselves these days. After their most up-to-date loss to the Wild, they now personal a subpar 4-3-3 report over their previous 10.

If there was a time to battle, now’s the time to do it, as there’s nonetheless time for this group to determine issues out forward of the playoffs, and going by means of adversity could be a good factor. Even with their poor stretch, they continue to be one of many league’s finest groups and are a severe contender for the Cup.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (44-19-5)

Final Week’s Rank: 9

Whereas critics will stay till they can discover some success within the postseason, the Maple Leafs are flat-out dominating proper now. Their offensive has been on a ridiculous tear in latest months, notably over their previous 4 video games, as they’ve 24 objectives over that stretch.

The primary query mark for this group as of late has been their goaltending, however that is probably not the case for for much longer. Jack Campbell was capable of return from harm on Saturday evening and regarded how he did early on within the season, kicking apart 29 of the 32 photographs thrown his approach. If he is ready to get again to the extent he displayed by means of the primary half of the 2021-22 marketing campaign, this group might lastly discover their approach out of the primary spherical of the playoffs.

4. Minnesota Wild (43-20-5)

Final Week’s Rank: 8

The Wild are absolutely again after some midseason struggles and proved that this previous week by choosing up wins over some nice groups within the Hurricanes and Avalanche, whereas additionally taking the Penguins to additional time.

Marc-Andre Fleury Minnesota Wild
Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild (Photograph by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI by way of Getty Photographs)

The addition of Marc-Andre Fleury is paying off in an enormous approach for this membership early on, as he owns a 1.34 goals-against common (GAA) together with a .958 save proportion (SV%) by means of his first three begins. Even higher is that the wholesome competitors has elevated the play of Cam Talbot, who was going by means of a tough patch previous to the acquisition. This group may shock many this Spring.

3. Boston Bruins (43-20-5)

Final Week’s Rank: 1

Many have been vital of the Bruins being first on this rating final week, and can seemingly argue that third remains to be too excessive. Whereas a fast look on the general standings might lead some to consider that, you will need to observe that their 29-10-3 report since Jan. 1 is second to solely the Colorado Avalanche in all the NHL.

This group has been purple scorching as of late and one motive specifically is the play of Erik Haula. Many have been vital of Bruins administration selecting to not add a second-line centerman on the commerce deadline, however he’s proving to be that participant himself, having recorded 4 multi-point outings in his previous six video games.

2. Colorado Avalanche (49-14-6)

Final Week’s Rank: 3

The Avalanche, as they’ve been so many instances this season, have been good this previous week, profitable all three video games on their schedule. Two of these video games got here in opposition to very stable groups as nicely within the Flames and Penguins.

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With how stacked this lineup is, something lower than a Cup Remaining look would really feel like a serious letdown. If they can by some means get Gabriel Landeskog again within the lineup within the close to future, look out.

1. Florida Panthers (48-15-6)

Final Week’s Rank: 2

This Panthers group continues to dominate and did so once more this previous week as they gained all 4 of their video games. Saturday evening’s contest gave an awesome instance of each the nice and dangerous of this group, as they trailed the New Jersey Devils 6-2 after two durations however have been by some means capable of stroll away with a 7-6 additional time victory.

Andrew Brunette Florida Panthers
Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers head coach (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

So far as pleasure goes, there isn’t a higher group to look at within the league than this Panthers squad. Offensively, they’re one of the crucial proficient rosters the NHL has seen in years. Whether or not or not their run and gun fashion will enable for playoff success, nevertheless, stays to be seen.

Modifications to Come

These rankings will proceed to vary every week all through the season, as all groups undergo highs and lows. After all, the true contenders will at all times stay on the record, however the place they’re ranked may change each week. Tune in presently subsequent week to see the adjustments.