ESNY’s NHL Power Rankings: The Stanley Cup-favorite Avalanche are still the best

Teams are getting more competitive as the deadline approaches.

Week 19 of the 2021-22 NHL season is in the books and we haven’t seen teams play as competitively as they have been.

Playoff races are getting close so everyone, from teams at the bottom of the standings to the ones at the top, is giving it their all.

We saw it coming, but there was a shift in the top-six, even though the Colorado Avalanche are still the best of the best. After several months at 32, the Montreal Canadiens are on of the hottest teams in the league and were able to start moving up.

Let’s take a look at our Week 19 power rankings. Check out Week 18’s power rankings here.

32. Arizona Coyotes 

Week 19: 1-2-0, 8 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: LAK, CGK, WPG)
Previous Ranking: 31

Objectively speaking, defenseman Dysin Mayo has had a bad season, but the rookie was thrown into the fire and Arizona have liked what he’s done enough to extend him for three more years.

31. Montreal Canadiens

Week 19: 3-0-0, 11 GF, 3 GA (Opponents: TOR, BUF, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 32

The Canadiens are tied for the longest winning streak in the NHL with five. Martin St. Louis is beginning to look like the real deal.

30. Seattle Kraken 

Week 19: 0-3-1, 7 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: VAN, NYI, BOS, SJS)
Previous Ranking: 30

A case can be made that no team has been worse than the Kraken over the past month or so.

29. Buffalo Sabres

Week 19: 0-3-0, 5 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: MTL, STL, DAL)
Previous Ranking: 28

The Sabres have lost six in a row and things are looking worse for them than they have all season.

28. New Jersey Devils 

Week 19: 1-1-0, 11 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: PIT, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 29

A 6-1 win against one of the best teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins, was followed by an ugly loss to an underwhelming Blackhawks team. Goaltending continues to kill this promising, young Devils team.

27. Philadelphia Flyers 

Week 19: 1-1-1, 6 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: CAR, STL, WSH)
Previous Ranking: 27

The Flyers were able to end their six-game losing streak this week. Getting healthy has been nice. But which players will stay in Philly through the deadline?

26. Chicago Blackhawks

Week 19: 1-1-0, 8 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: NJD, STL)
Previous Ranking: 25

It’s all about trade speculation at this point in Chicago’s season. When will they name their new general manager? And which players will he move when in that seat? That person will have three weeks (from today) to make big decisions in Chicago.

25. Ottawa Senators 

Week 19: 1-1-0, 5 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: MIN, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 26 

Erik Brännström is becoming an important defenseman for this Senators team.

24. Detroit Red Wings

Week 19: 0-2-0, 9 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: COL, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 21

Scoring seven goals in a game but still losing is never what you want to see.

23. New York Islanders

Week 19: 2-1-1, 14 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: SEA, SJS, LAK, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 24

The Islanders ended the week with an easy 4-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks, but lost Mathew Barzal and Zdeno Chára to injuries the game before. How will that affect them moving forward?

22. San Jose Sharks 

Week 19: 2-1-1, 11 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: ANA, NYI, BOS, SEA)
Previous Ranking: 23

The Sharks bounced back in Week 19 after what were a dreadful two weeks and look to get back to winning.

21. Winnipeg Jets

Week 19: 1-2-1, 11 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: CGY, DAL, COL, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 19 

As has been the trend all season-long, the Jets just can’t remain consistent.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets 

Week 19: 2-2-0, 12 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: TOR, FLA, CAR, PIT)
Previous Ranking: 20

Blowing leads like the Blue Jackets did on Sunday to Pittsburgh isn’t a good way to climb the standings, but the playoff push is still on.

19. Anaheim Ducks 

Week 19: 1-2-0, 5 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: SJS, LAK, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 18

John Gibson has been struggling mightily in net and is costing the Ducks wins. What is there to do about him?

18. Vancouver Canucks 

Week 19: 3-0-0, 17 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: SEA, CGY, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 22

What a week for the Canucks. They won three in a row, scored goals a plenty, and played sound defense. They’re very much alive in the playoff race.

17. Edmonton Oilers 

Week 19: 1-2-0, 8 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: TBL, FLA, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 15

The hot Oilers were slowed down in Week 19 by some tough competition.

16. Dallas Stars 

Week 19: 2-0-1, 8 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: WPG, NSH, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 17

The Stars, who have been playing solid hockey since the All-Star break, just got deeper after claiming forward Marián Studenič off waivers from the Devils.

15. Washington Capitals

Week 19: 0-2-0, 2 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: NYR, PHI)
Previous Ranking: 11

Staying consistent has been the grandest of issues for the Capitals, as of late.

14. Nashville Predators

Week 19: 2-1-0, 10 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: FLA, DAL, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 14

The Predators couldn’t come away with a Stadium Series win at home but as Nashville forward Colton Sissons said, this was a “big win for Nashville hockey”.

13. Vegas Golden Knights

Week 19: 0-2-0, 3 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: ARI, COL)
Previous Ranking: 12

Having Jack Eichel is obviously nice, but it’s clear that the Knights are going to have to make some big moves at the deadline in order to make a deep run.

12. Los Angeles Kings

Week 19: 3-0-0, 12 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: ARI, ANA, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 16

The Kings are tied for the league’s longest winning streak, have jumped to second in the Pacific, and are just three points out of first. Watch out.

11. Boston Bruins

Week 19: 3-0-0, 11 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: COL, SEA, SJS)
Previous Ranking: 13

Check out this save by Jeremy Swayman on San Jose’s Tomáš Hertl:

10. Minnesota Wild

Week 19: 0-3-0, 7 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: OTT, TOR, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 8 

Poor goaltending in recent games, especially from Cam Talbot, is costing the Wild important points.

9. Calgary Flames

Week 19: 2-1-0, 11 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: WPG, VAN, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 9

An ugly 7-1 loss to the Canucks aside, Calgary had another strong week and continues to be one of the better teams in the NHL.

8. New York Rangers 

Week 19: 1-2-0, 6 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: WSH, PIT, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 5

Filip Chytil has been a healthy scratch in the last two games. Could this be the end for the young forward in New York?

7. St. Louis Blues

Week 19: 3-0-0, 13 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: PHI, BUF, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 10 

The Blues followed up a solid Week 18 with an even better Week 19 in which they went 3-0, scoring lots of goals and conceding few.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins 

Week 19: 2-1-0, 5 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: NJD, NYR, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 7

The future Hall of Famers carried the load in an important Week 19 for Pittsburgh, who remain in a tight race.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs 

Week 19: 2-1-1, 18 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: MTL CBJ, MIN, DET)
Previous Ranking: 6 

In what ended up being a game with an NFL-like score of 10-7, the Maple Leafs notched their highest-scoring win since 1980s against the Red Wings.

4. Florida Panthers 

Week 19: 0-3-0, 10 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: NSH, CBJ, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 2

The Panthers have lost three in a row in regulation for just the second time this season.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Week 19: 2-0-0, 8 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: EDM, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 4

The Lightning’s huge win over the Predators in the Stadium Series, their outdoor debut, is another success in the organization’s recent history.

2. Carolina Hurricanes 

Week 19: 3-0-0, 10 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: PHI, CBJ, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 3

Tony DeAngelo, one of the team’s most important scorers, is out long-term, but that hasn’t affected Carolina, who have won five in a row.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Week 19: 3-1-0, 15 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: BOS, DET, WPG, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 1

A Gabriel Landeskog hat-trick highlighted an overall strong offensive week for the Avalanche.

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