31) Arizona Coyotes – The Coyotes became the first team in NHL history to go without a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season.
30) Buffalo Sabres – At least Jack Eichel is producing at an elite…oh, never mind.
29) Colorado Avalanche – Post-Matt Duchene, the Avs look like they’re in for another rebuilding year.
28) Florida Panthers – Although one of the healthiest teams in the league, the Panthers might just not be all that good.
27) Detroit Red Wings – Are people showing up to Little Caesar’s Arena yet?
26) Dallas Stars – The Stars are struggling a bit as of late, but it’s hard not to be optimistic about them going forward.
25) Anaheim Ducks – Give the Ducks credit: they’re knocking on the playoff door even with a decimated roster. We’ll see if they can hold serve until the cavalry returns.
24) Minnesota Wild – Hurt by injuries, the Wild just don’t seem to have the same magic that they did last season.
23) Chicago Blackhawks – Average in nearly every category, the Hawks’ path to another Cup run is becoming increasingly unclear.
22) Washington Capitals – The Caps just aren’t putting fear into their opponent’s hearts like they used to.
21) Boston Bruins – Another team slowed by injuries, the Bruins still bring their excellent five on five game every night.
20) Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers are who we thought they were.
19) Vancouver Canucks – After an early season surge, signs point to the Canucks dropping off, soon.
18) Edmonton Oilers — Edmonton media is at the throats of Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan, but this team might be just fine without having to change all that much. We’ll see if the oft-injured Mike Cammalleri can make an impact.
17) New York Rangers – Alain Vigneault may be off the hot seat for now. A strong penalty kill has kept New York competitive, as well as a decent power play.
16) Winnipeg Jets – The Jets continue to tear up the league with their vaunted power play, but there’s not enough underlying data that says this team can sustain this. With all the talent they have though, they just might.
15) Ottawa Senators – Matt Duchene looks good in his new threads, raising the Senators’ ceiling ever so slightly; although like the Rangers, their underlying numbers aren’t exactly encouraging.
14) Vegas Golden Knights – At some point in the season, I may get a chance to play goalie for the Golden Knights.
13) New York Islanders — Jordan Eberle has established great chemistry on a line with Matthew Barzal, giving head coach Doug Weight more flexibility with his lineup.
12) New Jersey Devils – The Devils continue to shock the hockey world, playing a style that runs completely counter to what we saw from them in their heyday.
11) Carolina Hurricanes – You might be shocked to see the ‘Canes’ this high, but they’ve played legitimately good hockey, and it’s just a matter of time until the goals start going in.
10) Montreal Canadiens – The Canadiens have slowly climbed their way out of the cellar, thanks in large part to the strong play of the upstart Charlie Lindgren.
9) Calgary Flames – Sam Bennett may be struggling to put up points, but he’s looked good next to the ageless Jaromir Jagr, giving Calgary a legitimate third line for the first time in years.
8) Los Angeles Kings – Los Angeles undoubtedly misses Jeff Carter, which makes it all the more bizarre that they shipped out Mike Cammalleri in exchange for Jussi Jokinen. Nevertheless, the Kings have established themselves as a legitimate Cup threat.
7) Pittsburgh Penguins – Just when it looked like the Penguins were fading, they’ve managed to claw their way back up the standings in the Metro division.
6) San Jose Sharks – Brent Burns may be struggling to score, but the Sharks haven’t missed a beat in the post-Patrick Marleau era.
5) Toronto Maple Leafs – The high-flying Leafs have their warts, but they’re as dangerous as anyone on any given night.
4) Columbus Blue Jackets – The Blue Jackets could win the Stanley Cup this season. No, that’s not a typo.
3) Nashville Predators — With a newly formed 1-2 punch of Ryan Johansen and Kyle Turris down the middle, the Preds shoot right back up the power rankings.
2) St. Louis Blues – Everyone seemed to forget about the Blues going into this season, yet here they are, perhaps on the precipice of a deep playoff run.
1) Tampa Bay Lightning – Nikita Kucherov may very well be the best player in the NHL right now.
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