Power Rankings: Blue Jackets surging into top tier

The Blue Jackets have found their second gear late in the season (Getty Images)

Hey everyone, we here at Puck Daddy are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Detroit Red Wings (Last week: 30)

These guys are 0-9-1 in their last 10 games. Here’s a nice reminder that they’re trying to “rebuild on the fly” and not do a tear-it-down rebuild because they thought they could be playoff-competitive. Pretty good stuff from draft genius Ken Holland.

Their last regulation win was Feb. 24. They beat the Hurricanes. Which, anyone can do that, it seems like.

30. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 31)

29. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 27)

Y’know now that I say this about the Red Wings, it seems to also apply to the Canucks and Coyotes, both of whom also were clearly trying to not-lose a ton of games this year. The Canucks, well, we know where they’re at as a franchise right now, but remember, Arizona made some big trades this summer to try to not be one of the worst teams in the league.

Turns out even if you’re in a cap system with revenue sharing and all of that, you need to spend pretty close to the cap to be remotely competitive. Who knew?

28. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 28)

27. Ottawa Senators (LW: 29)

Hey actually Buffalo didn’t think it was going to be so bad this season either. And neither did Ottawa. At least the Senators had the excuse of “We made the conference finals last year” to fall back on which, while fallacious on its face, could at least be reasoned.

Man, I guess it just seems to me like the bottom fifth of the league is being run by deeply incompetent people, many of whom just don’t have the resources (some of that their own doing, mind you) to fix whatever messes they’re in.

26. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 25)

The dispatches from Chicago grow increasingly bleak. The stories in the newspapers out there are all like, “Which submediocre backup goalie is going to be the backup goalie next year?” and “Brandon Saad might fill his pockets with rocks and walk into Lake Michigan this summer.”

I mean, if Corey Crawford is healthy we’re probably not having this conversation because the team is only like six points out of a playoff spot instead of 15. And then you really start heaping the blame on Saad instead.

25. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 26)

Saw the other day where Geoff Molson was asked directly if he held Marc Bergevin responsible for this season, when the Canadiens were another deeply awful team that thought it could be competitive.

And Molson was like, “Ah who can blame him for all these injuries and guys underperforming? Not me! I seem to recall he used to work for Chicago and they won all those Cups, so…”

Geoff, buddy, no! When you have a GM whose sole focus the last few summers was getting “harder to play against” and “more experienced” by bringing aboard older guys whose games made them more susceptible to injury and quicker degradation of their skills, well, y’know.

Now I will say I didn’t think the Canadiens would be this bad and I do think injuries to guys like Shea Weber made things worse than they “should be,” but Bergevin should have been fired the second the Subban trade was made, so this was your out!

24. New York Islanders (LW: 22)

23. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 23)

22. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 21)

21. New York Rangers (LW: 24)

Another week when the Rangers don’t lose in regulation. You’re supposed to be tanking, you fools. You imbeciles!

20. Florida Panthers (LW: 19)

Know who the Panthers remind me of? The pre-Tortorella Columbus Blue Jackets. They would be horrible for the first four months of the season then go on some preposterous run down the stretch, get everyone thinking, “They’re making a playoff push,” then ultimately fall short because they’re a deeply and fundamentally flawed team.

Anyway the Panthers are 16-5-1 in their last 22, but they started the year 19-22-6. You figure it out.

19. Calgary Flames (LW: 17)

18. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 20)

17. New Jersey Devils (LW: 14)

16. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 18)

Looking more and more likely that the Avs will make the playoffs, meaning all if Nathan MacKinnon doesn’t win the Hart, we get to complain about it directly to all the people who didn’t vote for him. Lists will be made.

15. St. Louis Blues (LW: 15)

14. Dallas Stars (LW: 10)

You want to talk about teams going through a rough stretch? The Stars have two wins in their last 10. One of them was in overtime.

Now, this team has plenty of talent and the underlying numbers suggest some bad luck in this stretch, but still! They’re not in a playoff position right now. What a disaster.

13. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 16)

I gotta give all the credit in the world to these guys. They dropped off hard around Game No. 40 but in the past few weeks have made enough of a comeback that they’re looking playoff-bound. Doesn’t hurt that the Pacific is now a total catastrophe save them and the Sharks.

12. Minnesota Wild (LW: 11)

They just keep plugging away. I’m not really sure how far I expect this team to get, but they’ve been one of the best teams in the league since Christmas, record-wise, and it’s incredibly rare to see them drop even two in a row.

11. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 13)

10. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 12)

They’re on a seven-game winning streak and have won nine of the last 11. All but one were in regulation, and the OT win was to Colorado, who’s not in their conference so it frankly doesn’t matter.

9. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 7)

8. Washington Capitals (LW: 9)

I keep seeing stories about like, “Oh the Caps just aren’t that good.” And it’s true to the extent that they speedbagged the league the last two seasons and took a step back this year. But they went 3-1-0 this week and they still lead an increasingly competitive division.

Do I think they’re better than the Penguins? You can see by my rankings for these two teams that I do not. However, it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. They’re pretty good and they’re fun and Alex Ovechkin scored his 600th goal and isn’t that so nice.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 8)

Undefeated this week which, given the circumstances, is very impressive. I need the Atlantic Division playoffs to start right now.

6. San Jose Sharks (LW: 6)

That Evander Kane trade is working out for them. Not morally or anything, but like, in hockey for sure.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 5)

4. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 4)

If Patrik Laine wins the Rocket Richard he’s gonna celebrate by quietly playing Fortnite alone for six hours and probably being insanely good at it.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

Sure they clinched a playoff spot but they also only won one game out of three this week. Pathetic team!

2. Nashville Predators (LW: 3)

1. Boston Bruins (LW: 2)

The way things have been going with the Bruins lately, Ryan Donato’s gonna score 6-9-15 down the stretch. Why not, right? Brian Gionta has six points in nine games, so all things truly are possible.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats Corsica unless otherwise noted.)