January NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings: Islanders, Panthers Rise; Flyers, Capitals Fall

Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

With the 2021-22 NHL season set to enter the All-Star break after Wednesday’s games, NoVa Caps ranks all 32 teams in our monthly power rankings. Some teams have moved slightly while the expected contenders have taken big leaps. (⬆️Up or ⬇️ Down represent spaces moved since last power rankings).

32. Philadelphia Flyers

The orange and black snapped their second major losing-streak of the season (13 games: 0-10-3) with a 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. They were on a 10-game slump (0-8-2) from November 17-December 10. With the Flyers spiraling out of postseason contention, the team could look to move captain Claude Giroux by the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21 with his contract set to expire on July 17. ⬇️8

31. Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens currently rank last in the NHL with a .274 points percentage but recently gave the Vegas Golden Knights (lost 4-3 in overtime on January 20) and Colorado Avalanche (lost 3-2 in overtime on January 22) runs for their money. Goaltender Carey Price, who has not played this season while on the NHL’s player assistance program, began skating on Saturday. ⬆️1

30. Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs this month but also coughed up leads to the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins and ultimately lost those games. They rank last in the Western Conference with a .286 points percentage and the trade rumors around defenseman Jacob Chychrun keep swirling. ⬆️1

29. Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres won 4-1 in Nashville this month but are just 3-7-2 since the NHL holiday pause. ⬇️1

28. Seattle Kraken

Ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21, GM Ron Francis put everyone on the Kraken on the block. Though, they defeated the Florida Panthers for the second time this season last Sunday. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer has had a disappointing season with an .885 save percentage and 3.20 goals-against average in 32 games despite facing the sixth-fewest shots-per-game in the NHL (27.8) but shined in their 2-1 overtime victory at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, when he made 23 saves. ⬆️1

27. New Jersey Devils

The Devils defeated the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes but lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes this month and are just one of two teams under .500 in the Metropolitan Division with a .407 points percentage (Flyers: .409). ⬆️3

26. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets blew the doors down in Raleigh by beating the Hurricanes 6-0 on January 13 and beat the Rangers 5-3 on Thursday but are 11th in the Eastern Conference with a .476 points percentage. ⬇️ 5

25. Ottawa Senators

The Senators put up fights against the Hurricanes, Capitals, and Pittsburgh Penguins this month but that has not made much of a difference in their spot in the Eastern Conference standings. ⬆️2

24. Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks went 5-1-2 in a span of seven games before dropping two of three, though both losses came against the high-flying Colorado Avalanche. It appears that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s tenure in Chicago is waning with the trade deadline approaching. ⬆️1

23. Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings were hanging around in the wild-card race for most of the season but fell nine points behind the Boston Bruins (who have four games in hand) for the final wild-card spot. A 0-1-2 trip through California this month certainly did not help but the Red Wings’ rebuild has made progress this season. Left-wing Jakub Vrana, who has yet to play this season after undergoing shoulder surgery during training camp, started practicing but has not taken contact yet. ⬇️ 2

22. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets lost six in a row (0-4-2) and seven of their last eight before a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. They are currently five points out in the Western Conference wild card race. ⬇️ 2

21. Vancouver Canucks

After an 8-0-1 start to the Bruce Boudreau era, the Canucks are 3-4-3 but have faced a daunting schedule that has recently included a Southeast road trip, two dates against the Panthers, and a home game against the Blues. Teams have started calling on center J.T. Miller’s availability leading up to March 21. ⬇️ 6

20. San Jose Sharks

The Sharks are 7-5-3 since the holiday pause and are a point behind the Calgary Flames for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Right-wing Timo Meier scored five goals in a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on January 17. ⬆️3

19. Edmonton Oilers

Since a seven-game losing-streak (0-5-2) ended, the Oilers started a three-game Eastern Conference road trip before the All-Star Break having won their fourth in a row (including victories over the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators). Right-wing Evander Kane scored in his Oilers debut against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. ⬇️ 3

18. New York Islanders

The Islanders are 10-5-4 since December 1 and won four of their previous five before falling 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. ⬆️8

17. Dallas Stars

The Stars have won seven of 11 in January but those include wins over the Kraken, Sabres, Red Wings, Flyers, and Devils, all teams under .500. They were outscored 15-2 in three games against the Panthers, Lightning, and Capitals this month and also lost 5-3 to the Canadiens. However, they are two points out of the final wild card spot in the West and right-wing Joe Pavelski has 13 points in his past seven games. ⬆️1

16. Calgary Flames

The Flames blew the doors off in home wins against the Panthers and Blues this month but went 0-3-0 on a road trip against the Eastern Conference’s “big three” (Hurricanes, Panthers, Lightning) and also fell 4-1 to the Senators. Left-wing Johnny Gaudreau has had a big season with 35 assists and 52 points in 4o games.⬇️ 2

15. Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks are 5-0-1 in their last six since dropping four in a row. ⬇️ 2

14. Los Angeles Kings

The Kings are 2-3-2 since a four-game winning-streak and stretch where they won seven of nine ended. ⬆️5

13. Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights are 4-4-3 in the new year and finished a daunting four-game Eastern Conference with wins over the Capitals in a game where Robin Lehner stole it for them and Tampa Bay Lightning. They also blew a 3-0 lead and lost 5-3 to the Penguins at home on January 17. Though, left-wing Max Pacioretty and captain Mark Stone are back from injury and COVID-19 protocol, respectively. ⬇️ 7

12. Washington Capitals

The Capitals’ 5-0 in Dallas on Friday ended a stretch where they went 3-5-2 since the new year, which included a 5-1 loss in St. Louis and 7-3 defeat to the Bruins at home. Though, the team was plagued by poor luck for much of their rough patch. Captain Alex Ovechkin has gone three games without a point and defenseman John Carlson went on a six-game point drought before scoring on Friday. Center Nicklas Backstrom has started to find his groove with three goals and seven points in his last five, including a three-point night against the Stars. ⬇️ 3

11. Nashville Predators

The Predators are 3-0-1 since a four-game losing-streak, which followed a five-game winning-streak that included wins over the Avalanche and Golden Knights, ended. Left-wing Filip Forsberg has a goal and an assist in three straight outings. ⬇️ 6

10. Boston Bruins

The Bruins restarted the season winning seven of eight but are 1-1-1 in their past three and topped the Coyotes in a close 2-1 game on Friday. Goaltender Tuukka Rask is 2-2-0 with an .844 save percentage and a 4.28 goals-against average since signing a one-year deal earlier this month. ⬆️ 7

9. New York Rangers

After a three-game winning streak, the Rangers have won just two of five (2-3-0) with one of those wins coming against the Coyotes, a game where they trailed 3-1 midway through. They are two points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division but have played one more game than the Penguins (who are second) and four more than the Hurricanes (first). Left-wing Chris Kreider leads the NHL with 31 goals in 45 games after scoring 10 in his last eight. ⬇️ 1

8. St. Louis Blues

The Blues are 17-6-3 since November 21 and have won 14 of their past 19 (14-4-1). Center Jordan Kyrou leads the team with 17 goals and 42 points in 39 games while goaltender Villie Husso is 9-2-1 with a .945 save percentage, a 1.81 goals-against average, and two shutouts this season. ⬆️2

7. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs were robbed of a victory in Arizona on January 12 but are 24-6-2 since losing three in a row in October. Though, goaltender Jack Campbell’s play has dipped as he has an .898 save percentage and a 3.12 goals-against average in 12 games since December 1. ⬇️5

6. Pittsburgh Penguins

After winning 17 of 19, the Penguins have lost back-to-back home games to the Kraken and Red Wings, though salvaged a point out of both games. Center Evgeni Malkin has seven assists and 11 points in 10 games since making his season debut. ⬆️ 1

5. Minnesota Wild

The Wild have played just nine games in the past 38 days but are 7-0-1 in those contests since dropping the Winter Classic. Left-wing Kirill Kaprizov leads the way with 33 assists and 50 points in 33 games. ⬆️ 6

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning have gone 8-2-1 in their past 11 where they got right-wing Nikita Kucherov back and then lost him again due to COVID-19 protocol. The stretch follows a three-game losing-streak. ⬇️ 3

3. Florida Panthers

Since the pause, the Panthers have the second-best record in the NHL (.844 points percentage) while going 13-2-1 over that time. Left-wing Jonathan Huberdeau has soared into the NHL-lead in scoring with 62 points after earning 36 assists and 50 points in his last 33 games. ⬆️ 9

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Since getting embarrassed by the Blue Jackets on home-ice, the Hurricanes are 6-1-0 but lost via blowout to the Devils. They are 15-4-1 since December 1 and Frederik Andersen has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season as he is 23-6-0 with a .928 save percentage (third in league), a 2.09 goals-against average (second), and a shutout. ⬆️ 1

1. Colorado Avalanche

Since returning from the holiday pause, the Avalanche have gone a league-best 14-0-1 to vault them near the top of the NHL standings. They have six players averaging more than a point-per-game this season with center Nazem Kadri (41 assists, 58 points in 39 games) leading the way. ⬆️ 3

October Power Rankings

November Power Rankings

December Power Rankings

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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