2022-23 NHL Power Rankings At Holiday Break: Washington, Minnesota, Buffalo All Rise; New Jersey Falls

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Christmas break usually serving as a benchmark to see who has the best chances of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NoVa Caps looks at where teams currently stand as we do another set of power rankings. (⬆️Up, ⬇️Down, ➡️No Change represent spaces moved Thanksgiving power rankings).

32. Chicago Blackhawks

Friday’s win over the Columbus Blue Jackets was just their second in the past 18 games (2-15-1). Chicago’s leading scorer, left-wing Patrick Kane, has just five goals and is tied for 108th in the NHL with 25 points in 32 games. ⬇️6

31. Anaheim Ducks

After being outscored 16-1 over three games, Anaheim has points in three of five (2-2-1) but headed into the break on a three-game losing streak. At least, they were able to get out of last place. ⬆️1

30. Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus has lost seven straight and 10 of their last 12 in regulation. ⬇️2

29. San Jose Sharks

Since a three-game winning streak in mid-November, San Jose is 5-9-3, including back-to-back losses to the Calgary Flames at home where they were outscored 12-5 earlier this week. Defenseman Erik Karlsson has 12 assists and 14 points during a nine-game point-streak. ➡️

28. Philadelphia Flyers

Since a 7-3-2 start, Philadelphia is 4-14-5 (.283 points percentage), better than only Chicago since November 9. Leading scorer and center Kevin Hayes was a healthy scratch in the team’s 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers on December 17. ⬇️4

27. Arizona Coyotes

Arizona is 4-3-1 in their past eight after going 1-7-3 in their previous 11. Right-wing Clayton Keller leads the team with 19 assists and 31 points in 32 games. ⬇️2

26. Montreal Canadiens

Montreal is 4-7-2 since November 28 and lost five of their last six before the break with their only win coming in Arizona. ⬇️5

25. Florida Panthers

Last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners are in hot water as they are under .500 (15-16-4: .486) despite winning their first two regular-season games. They have lost three straight in regulation but left-wing Matthew Tkachuk has 15 goals and 40 points in 32 games. ⬇️7

24. Vancouver Canucks

Despite an 0-5-2 start to the campaign, Vancouver has gone 15-10-1 since to climb back to .500. Center Elias Pettersson is heating up with 21 assists and 32 points in his last 22, including four goals and 14 points in his last seven. ⬆️3

23. Ottawa Senators

Before losing three in a row (0-2-1) heading into the break, Ottawa went 8-2-1 in their previous 11. Right-wings Alex DeBrincat (five goals) and Drake Batherson (seven) were heating up with each recording 17 points in their past 14. Left-wing Brady Tkachuk is enjoying a breakout season with 13 goals and 37 points in 34 games. ⬆️8

22. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit has slowed down, going 3-6-3 in their last 12 but entered the break on a high note as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-4. Center Dylan Larkin leads the team with 19 assists and 31 points in 31 games. ⬇️10

21. Nashville Predators

Nashville strung together a three-game point-streak (2-0-1) after losing six straight (0-5-1). While center Matt Duchene entered the break on a four-game goal-scoring streak (four), no one on Nashville has yet to eclipse 30 points. ⬇️1

20. St. Louis Blues

Right-wing Jordan Kyrou has gotten hot with six goals in his last three and 10 points in his last four. St. Louis is 5-2-2 after dropping six of their previous seven. ⬇️4

19. Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton entered the break 2-3-2 and just outside of a wild-card spot with an 18-15-2 record (.543 points percentage). Center Connor McDavid leads the NHL in goals (30), assists (36), and points (66) in just 35 games while center Leon Draisaitl (35 assists – third, 56 points – second) is right behind him. ⬇️2

18. New York Islanders

Centers Brock Nelson (15 goals, 34 points) and Mathew Barzal (28 assists, 33 points) have both collected point totals above 30 while goaltender Ilya Sorokin has a sparkling .925 save percentage in 25 games. However, New York is just 4-6-2 in their past 12 to drop out of a wild card spot. ⬇️10

17. Calgary Flames

Calgary used a 3-0-1 California road trip to vault themselves into the second wild-card position in the Western Conference at the holiday break. However, they lost five straight (0-2-3) just before that. Center Elias Lindholm has gotten going with 11 assists and 16 points in his last 12 but goaltender Jacob Markstrom (11-8-4, .894 save percentage, 2.84 goals-against average) has had a disappointing season. ⬇️4

16. Buffalo Sabres

There is no player currently hotter than center Tage Thompson, who is first in the NHL with 25 goals and second with 47 points in his last 25. Buffalo has won four straight and is 9-3-2 since November 21. ⬆️14

15. Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles went into the break on a five-game point-streak (4-0-1), including a win at the Boston Bruins. The offseason acquisition of left-wing Kevin Fiala (10 goals, 35 points in 37 games) is paying dividends but Los Angeles has the sixth-worst five-on-five save percentage in the NHL (.9069). ➡️

14. Seattle Kraken

Seattle had points in three straight (2-0-1) after a 1-5-0 stretch followed a seven-game winning-streak. Neither one of goaltender Philipp Grubauer (.882) nor Martin Jones (.888) have save percentages above .89 and they cannot count on being bailed out by an offense averaging 3.53 goals-per-game (sixth) forever. ⬇️8

13. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota saw their six-game winning-streak end with a 5-2 loss in San Jose just before the break. Left-wing Kirill Kaprizov’s production has come alive in the past 21 as he has 19 assists and 30 points over that span. ⬆️9

12. Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg entered the break with three losses in their last four games after going 18-6-1 in their previous 25 to fall outside the top spot in the Central Division. Defenseman Josh Morrissey (33 assists, 39 points in 34 games) has enjoyed a breakout campaign while Connor Hellebuyck (16-8-1, .928 save percentage, 2.36 goals-against average, three shutouts) has been a rock in net. ⬇️5

11. New Jersey Devils

New Jersey lost six in a row (0-5-1) and seven of their final eight (1-6-1) before the holiday to fall out of the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek has cooled, going 0-2-1 with an .841 save percentage and a 3.86 goals-against average in his last five, but center Jack Hughes has been rolling with 18 goals and 39 points in 32 outings since starting the season going pointless in the first two. ⬇️9

10. New York Rangers

New York has won eight of their last nine since a 5-2 loss to bottom dweller Chicago at home on December 3. Left-wing Artemi Panarin leads the team with 32 assists and 41 points in 35 games. ⬆️10

9. Washington Capitals

Since a four-game losing-streak just before Thanksgiving, Washington is 12-3-1 to enter the break occupying the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference despite right-wing T.J. Oshie, right-wing Tom Wilson, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper among those missing significant time recently. Captain Alex Ovechkin has caught fire with nine goals, including the 802nd of his NHL career to lift him into sole possession of second on the league’s all-time list, and 16 points in his last nine. While Wilson and Backstrom appear getting closer to making their season debuts, Washington lost defenseman John Carlson for an indefinite timeframe after he left their 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, when he took a slapshot by former parter Brenden Dillon in the head. ⬆️14

8. Colorado Avalanche

Colorado went 6-1-1 in their final eight games before the break to climb into third place in the Central Division and just three points back of Winnipeg. Left-wing Mikko Rantanen leads the defending champs with 23 goals and 42 points in 32 games while goaltender Alexander Georgiev (15-6-2, .925 save percentage, 2.36 goals-against average, two shutouts) has enjoyed a breakout season as the No. 1. ⬇️4

7. Vegas Golden Knights

Since a 13-2-0 start, Vegas has fallen off as they have gone 11-9-1 in their last 21 but still lead the Western Conference at the holiday break. Center Chandler Stephenson leads the team with 27 assists and 36 points in 36 games but center Jack Eichel leads with an average of 1.07 points-per-game (29 in 27). ⬇️4

6. Pittsburgh Penguins

After an eight-game point-streak (7-0-1) ended, Pittsburgh went 1-1-1 in their final three games before the break with both losses coming to the Carolina Hurricanes. Pittsburgh ranks second in the NHL with a 15-3-3 record since November 8 and center Sidney Crosby has been fantastic with 19 goals and 43 points in 33 games this season. ⬆️8

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay went into the break on a low after getting outscored a combined 11-5 in losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit on back-to-back nights but won five in a row before and are still 13-4-0 since November 12. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (13-9-1, .917 save percentage, 2.53 goals-against average in 23 games) has steadily been climbing following a slow start while right-wing Nikita Kucherov has 36 assists and 49 points in 32 games. ⬆️5

4. Dallas Stars

Dallas is 8-3-2 in their last 13 and holds a three-point lead over Winnipeg (who have a game in hand) for the Central Division lead. Left-wing Jason Robertson is tied for third with 24 goals and 50 points, respectively, while goaltender Jake Oettinger is 14-5-3 with a .919 save percentage, 2.45 goals-against average, and two shutouts. Left-wing Jamie Benn is also having a renaissance campaign with 19 assists and 32 points in 35 games. ⬆️1

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

After back-to-back regulation losses at New York and Washington snapped their 15-game point-streak (12-0-3), Toronto defeated Tampa Bay and Philadelphia at home. Right-wing Mitch Marner has 12 goals and 35 points in his last 27 while goaltender Ilya Samsonov has had a shaky past couple starts (.831 save percentage) at Washington and vs. Philadelphia after a hot start. Toronto’s 2.41 goals-against per game average in 2022-23 trails only Boston (2.18). ⬆️6

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina’s franchise-record 12-0-2 run has put them back on top of the Metropolitan Division. Center Martin Necas has been among the league’s breakout stars with 19 assists and 33 points in 34 games. They are expected to get left-wing Max Pacioretty back from a torn Achilles in February, which should make this team even more dangerous. ⬆️9

1. Boston Bruins

Boston is 18-0-2 at home this season and holds a six-point cushion over Carolina for the Eastern Conference lead. Right-wing David Pastrnak has a nine-goal (with 24), 20-point (47) lead for tops on the team. They are 27-4-2 overall while goaltender Linus Ullmark leads the NHL in wins (19), save percentage (.936), and goals-against average (1.94). ➡️

Previous 2022-23 Power Rankings


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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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