NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus the stat of the season for every team

BySachin Chandan via ESPN logo
Sunday, April 24, 2022
ESPN

With just over a week left in the 2021-22 NHL regular season, it's time to assess what all 32 teams have done thus far -- for better or worse.

For this week's Power Rankings, we identified a stat for every team that best exemplified their performance, from recent trends to season-long strengths or weaknesses.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another -- taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule -- and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the last edition, published April 13. Points paces are through Tuesday's games.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 1

Points percentage: 0.763

Games remaining: @ SEA (Apr. 20), @ EDM (Apr. 22), @ WPG (Apr. 24), vs. STL (Apr. 26), vs. NSH (Apr. 28), @ MIN (Apr. 29)

Would it shock you to find another category in which an Avalanche player leads the league? Well, defenseman Devon Toews leads the NHL in secondary assists at even strength (25).

2. Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 2

Points percentage: 0.763

Games remaining: vs. DET (Apr. 21), vs. TOR (Apr. 23), vs. TB (Apr. 24), @ BOS (Apr. 26), @ OTT (Apr. 28), @ MTL (Apr. 29)

Life is full of similarities. The Panthers are tied for the league lead in most games with eight or more goals (3), while also being tied for the league lead in fewest times being shut out (0).

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 5

Points percentage: 0.701

Games remaining: @ TB (Apr. 21), @ FLA (Apr. 23), @ WSH (Apr. 24), vs. DET (Apr. 26), vs. BOS (Apr. 29)

The Maple Leafs lead the league in shorthanded goals, with winger Ilya Mikheyev tallying four of them, tied for second among all skaters.

4. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 4

Points percentage: 0.675

Games remaining: vs. DAL (Apr. 21), vs. VAN (Apr. 23), @ NSH (Apr. 26), @ MIN (Apr. 28), @ WPG (Apr. 29)

The Flames have scored 78 goals while the defense pairing of Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin has been on the ice, highest of any defense pairing in the league.

5. St. Louis Blues

Previous ranking: 12

Points percentage: 0.669

Games remaining: @ SJ (Apr. 21), @ ARI (Apr. 23), @ ANA (Apr. 24), @ COL (Apr. 26), vs. VGK (Apr. 29)

The NHL's hottest team in April is led by the NHL's hottest scorer in April; forward Robert Thomas has 20 points this month.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 7

Points percentage: 0.658

Games remaining: vs. TOR (Apr. 21), vs. NSH (Apr. 23), @ FLA (Apr. 24), vs. CBJ (Apr. 26), @ CBJ (Apr. 28), @ NYI (Apr. 29)

Depth carried the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cups, and it gives them a shot at a third. The Lightning have 10 15-goal scorers on their roster, tied for most in the NHL.

7. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 3

Points percentage: 0.688

Games remaining: vs. WPG (Apr. 21), @ NJ (Apr. 23), @ NYI (Apr. 24), @ NYR (Apr. 26), vs. NJ (Apr. 28)

The Hurricanes are finishing strong this season. They have surrendered the second-fewest goals against (58) in the third, while also posting the second-best goal differential (38) in the final frame.

8. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 6

Points percentage: 0.688

Games remaining: @ NYI (Apr. 21), @ BOS (Apr. 23), vs. CAR (Apr. 26), vs. MTL (Apr. 27), vs. WSH (Apr. 29)

Chris Kreider has 25 power-play goals with six games remaining. If he scores three more, he'll break Atlanta Thrashers legend Ilya Kovalchuk's record for most power-play goals in a season during the salary cap era.

9. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 10

Points percentage: 0.651

Games remaining: @ PIT (Apr. 21), vs. NYR (Apr. 23), @ MTL (Apr. 24), vs. FLA (Apr. 26), vs. BUF (Apr. 28), @ TOR (Apr. 29)

The Bruins have the worst margin of victory of any playoff teams at home (2.01) which contributes to them being a league-worst 10-28 against the point spread at TD Garden.

10. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 8

Points percentage: 0.678

Games remaining: vs. VAN (Apr. 21), vs. SEA (Apr. 22), @ NSH (Apr. 24), vs. ARI (Apr. 26), vs. CGY (Apr. 28), vs. COL (Apr. 29)

The Wild lead the league in goals scored after pulling the goalie, with 21. Relatedly, but unsurprisingly, the Wild have been the most aggressive at pulling the goalie, spending 87 minutes with their net empty.

11. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 9

Points percentage: 0.630

Games remaining: vs. BOS (Apr. 21), @ DET (Apr. 23), @ PHI (Apr. 24), vs. EDM (Apr. 26), vs. CBJ (Apr. 29)

When the calendar turns to the playoffs, the Penguins will rejoice at not having to see the shootout anymore. No team has lost more times in the shootout than the playoff-bound Penguins, who sit at 3-7 in the skills contest.

12. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 11

Points percentage: 0.618

Games remaining: vs. DAL (Apr. 20), vs. COL (Apr. 22), @ CBJ (Apr. 24), @ PIT (Apr. 26), vs. SJ (Apr. 28), vs. VAN (Apr. 29)

Mike Smith has been the best goalie in the league since the calendar turned to April, with six wins, two shutouts, and an astonishing .955 save percentage.

13. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 13

Points percentage: 0.604

Games remaining: @ TB (Apr. 23), vs. MIN (Apr. 24), vs. CGY (Apr. 26), @ COL (Apr. 28), @ ARI (Apr. 29)

If you're in a fantasy league that counts penalty minutes, you've made a killing on the Predators duo of Mark Borowiecki and Tanner Jeannot, who are Nos. 1 and 2 in penalty minutes taken.

14. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 14

Points percentage: 0.632

Games remaining: @ VGK (Apr. 20), @ ARI (Apr. 22), vs. TOR (Apr. 24), vs. NYI (Apr. 26), @ NYI (Apr. 28), @ NYR (Apr. 29)

From our friends at ESPN Stats & Info: Alex Ovechkin has scored on 159 goaltenders in his career, fourth-most in NHL history, trailing just Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Marleau, and Mark Messier.

15. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 15

Points percentage: 0.599

Games remaining: @ EDM (Apr. 20), @ CGY (Apr. 21), vs. SEA (Apr. 23), vs. VGK (Apr. 26), vs. ARI (Apr. 27), vs. ANA (Apr. 29)

Jason Robertson leads the league in points by a forward heading into restricted free agency, with 70. Expect a sizable increase from the $750,000 he made this season.

16. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 16

Points percentage: 0.565

Games remaining: vs. WSH (Apr. 20), vs. SJ (Apr. 24), @ DAL (Apr. 26), @ CHI (Apr. 27), @ STL (Apr. 29)

Goalie Logan Thompson has won five of his last six starts while racking up a .938 save percentage in that span. With the Golden Knights skating for their playoff lives, should they turn the net over to the rookie Thompson more often?

17. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 19

Points percentage: 0.565

Games remaining: @ MIN (Apr. 21), @ CGY (Apr. 23), vs. SEA (Apr. 26), vs. LA (Apr. 28), @ EDM (Apr. 29)

Will the Canucks sneak into the playoffs? That's up in the air, but it certainly won't be for a lack of trying. In its first seven games since the start of April, Vancouver spent 240 minutes in the lead, third most in the NHL behind the playoff-bound Blues and Flames.

18. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 17

Points percentage: 0.526

Games remaining: @ CAR (Apr. 21), vs. COL (Apr. 24), vs. PHI (Apr. 27), vs. CGY (Apr. 29), vs. SEA (May 1)

There aren't many categories in which the Jets lead the league in something, but they're tied for the league lead in Gordie Howe Hat Tricks -- a goal, assist and fight by the same player in one game -- with two.

19. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 18

Points percentage: 0.590

Games remaining: vs. CHI (Apr. 21), vs. ANA (Apr. 23), @ SEA (Apr. 27), @ VAN (Apr. 28)

The Kings are a mix of veterans from the Stanley Cup years and a collection of high draft picks. This is reflected by the roster, featuring the most games played from players on entry-level contracts, as well as the fifth-most games played by players age 34 and above.

20. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 20

Points percentage: 0.526

Games remaining: vs. NYR (Apr. 21), @ BUF (Apr. 23), vs. CAR (Apr. 24), @ WSH (Apr. 26), vs. WSH (Apr. 28), vs. TB (Apr. 29)

Free agent signing Zdeno Chara hasn't had much to show on the stat sheets this season, but this past Thursday he finally scored his first goal as an Islander since Jan. 12, 2001. To put that into perspective, 59 current NHL players and two franchises were born after that previous goal.

21. Anaheim Ducks

Previous ranking: 22

Points percentage: 0.474

Games remaining: @ LA (Apr. 23), vs. STL (Apr. 24), @ SJ (Apr. 26), @ DAL (Apr. 29)

The retiring Ryan Getzlaf is the last player still with the Ducks who also played for the franchise when they were known as the Mighty Ducks (1993-94 through 2005-06). Once he retires, his longtime teammate Corey Perry will be the NHL's last remaining Mighty Duck.

22. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 24

Points percentage: 0.474

Games remaining: vs. STL (Apr. 21), vs. CHI (Apr. 23), @ VGK (Apr. 24), vs. ANA (Apr. 26), @ EDM (Apr. 28), @ SEA (Apr. 29)

Timo Meier has a strong argument for being the 2022 fantasy hockey MVP. The Sharks forward was drafted in the 16th round of ESPN's fantasy hockey game, on average, but performed to the level of a player drafted in the second round.

23. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 21

Points percentage: 0.494

Games remaining: vs. OTT (Apr. 22), vs. EDM (Apr. 24), @ TB (Apr. 26), vs. TB (Apr. 28), @ PIT (Apr. 29)

Patrik Laine has seen a career bounceback in his first full season in Columbus, on pace for his first point-per-game season and his highest shooting percentage since 2017-18.

24. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 25

Points percentage: 0.455

Games remaining: @ FLA (Apr. 21), vs. PIT (Apr. 23), @ NJ (Apr. 24), @ TOR (Apr. 26), @ NJ (Apr. 29)

Reason for optimism? The Red Wings improved their points percentage to .453, the club's highest since Henrik Zetterberg was lacing them up, as well as notching 18 wins on home ice, their highest single-season total since moving to Little Caesars Arena in 2017-18.

25. Buffalo Sabres

Previous ranking: 23

Points percentage: 0.442

Games remaining: @ NJ (Apr. 21), vs. NYI (Apr. 23), @ BOS (Apr. 28), vs. CHI (Apr. 29)

Since Feb. 17, the Sabres are 13-14-3 for 29 points, while the Golden Knights are 13-14-2 for just 28 points. What's the connection between those teams and that date? Oh, I don't know...

26. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 29

Points percentage: 0.401

Games remaining: vs. BUF (Apr. 21), vs. CAR (Apr. 23), vs. DET (Apr. 24), @ OTT (Apr. 26), @ CAR (Apr. 28), vs. DET (Apr. 29)

An all-time record 107 goalies have started at least one game in the NHL this season, led by the Devils starting seven (Nico Daws, Mackenzie Blackwood, Jon Gillies, Jonathan Bernier, Akira Schmid, Andrew Hammond and Scott Wedgewood).

27. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous ranking: 27

Points percentage: 0.401

Games remaining: @ ARI (Apr. 20), @ LA (Apr. 21), @ SJ (Apr. 23), vs. PHI (Apr. 25), vs. VGK (Apr. 27), @ BUF (Apr. 29)

Life is full of contradictions. The Blackhawks are tied for the league lead in most games with eight or more goals (3), while also being tied for the league lead in most times being shut out (8).

28. Ottawa Senators

Previous ranking: 30

Points percentage: 0.422

Games remaining: @ CBJ (Apr. 22), vs. MTL (Apr. 23), vs. NJ (Apr. 26), vs. FLA (Apr. 28), @ PHI (Apr. 29)

The Senators will miss the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, but a bright spot has to be the development of their young talent. The Senators lead the NHL in goals and points scored by players on entry-level contracts.

29. Seattle Kraken

Previous ranking: 31

Points percentage: 0.373

Games remaining: vs. COL (Apr. 20), @ MIN (Apr. 22), @ DAL (Apr. 23), @ VAN (Apr. 26), vs. LA (Apr. 27), vs. SJ (Apr. 29), @ WPG (May 1)

Whether they plan to use them to build organizational depth, or to bundle them together for a big trade, the Kraken have a league-high 34 draft picks to use over the next three seasons.

30. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 26

Points percentage: 0.370

Games remaining: @ MTL (Apr. 21), vs. PIT (Apr. 24), @ CHI (Apr. 25), @ WPG (Apr. 27), vs. OTT (Apr. 29)

The rebuilding Flyers have lost some of their home-ice dominance of seasons past, having surrendered a league-worst 50 tie-breaking goals at home this season.

31. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 28

Points percentage: 0.331

Games remaining: vs. PHI (Apr. 21), @ OTT (Apr. 23), vs. BOS (Apr. 24), @ NYR (Apr. 27), vs. FLA (Apr. 29)

Despite being in the basement of the Eastern Conference, the Canadiens have the third-highest margin of victory when they do win at Bell Centre. The problem? They only have 10 home wins.

32. Arizona Coyotes

Previous ranking: 32

Points percentage: 0.322

Games remaining: vs. CHI (Apr. 20), vs. WSH (Apr. 22), vs. STL (Apr. 23), @ MIN (Apr. 26), @ DAL (Apr. 27), vs. NSH (Apr. 29)

The Coyotes have not had many second-period leads, but when they do, they tend to hold on. What's more, the Yotes are a perfect 8-0 at protecting a second-period lead when away from Gila River Arena. Maybe the building is the problem, after all?

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