With the exception of injury replacements, the All-Star rosters are officially out. Tampa Bay is not winning at a torrid pace lately, but they still have a stranglehold at the top of the NHL Power Rankings. To make things sweeter, there are four players representing the Lightning as they host the 2018 All-Star Game.
While they only have one All-Star each, Calgary and Colorado continue to climb with their seven-game winning streaks, while the Kings completely fell out of the top 10.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning: 65 points
Previously 1 (65 points)
The host city got plenty of representatives for the All-Star Game. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Victor Hedman all got a bid for the All-Star roster, but they have already forced the need for a replacement. Hedman is expected to miss three to six weeks with a knee injury, and rookies Mikhail Sergachev or Boston’s Charlie McAvoy seem to be the likeliest candidates to take his spot. Tampa Bay’s only game was a shocking 5-1 loss to the scorching Flames, but Brayden Point ended his six-game goalless drought early in the second period.
2. Vegas Golden Knights: 61 points
Previously 2 (60 points)
James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury each got the nod for the All-Star Game, but William Karlsson certainly deserved a spot, too. Meanwhile, Vegas is on its first losing skid in over a month after losing in overtime to Edmonton and getting blanked in Nashville. While the division could tighten up as the Knights move southeast, there is still no reason to panic yet. Off the ice, the United States Army has challenged the team at the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, claiming the Golden Knights’ name and design is too similar to the branch’s renowned parachute team.
3. Winnipeg Jets: 59 points
Previously 3 (59 points)
Not much good news this week. The Jets’ offense was horrible in two divisional games, and that opens the door for St. Louis and Nashville to make a move before the All-Star break. Winnipeg takes on four Pacific Division foes before the break, and three of them are on the road against teams in the middle of the playoff race. Blake Wheeler, who had another beautiful assist to Mathieu Perrault on Saturday, and goalie Connor Hellebuyck picked up their first All-Star bids. Meanwhile, Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele, who was cruising before his injury, were left out.
4. Washington Capitals: 59 points
Previously 7 (57 points)
Washington lost their 10-game winning streak at home following a low-scoring loss to Carolina, but they were not exactly desperate for a win the next day. Do not tell Brett Connolly or Jay Beagle that, though. On the verge of being swept in the home-and-home, The Caps picked up two late goals to steal two points away from the Canes on Friday, with Connolly burying a steal with three minutes left in regulation and Beagle beating the buzzer for the win. Alex Ovechkin picked his third point of the night on the winner, and he will be making his seventh trip to the All-Star Game. Braden Holtby will join him.
5. Nashville Predators: 58 points
Previously 4 (56 points)
It is only fitting that a team with two defensive-minded players in the All-Star Game, P.K. Subban and Pekka Rinne, would make the Golden Knights look like a more historical expansion franchise, like the 1975 Washington Capitals. Juuse Saros stopped all 43 shots he faced in Tuesday’s 1-0 win, and the Predators are now fourth in the league in GAA after allowing just one goal in their last two games combined. With Winnipeg scuffling, Nashville could be on a fast track for first place in the Central Division with Arizona and Florida coming to Music City this week.
6. St. Louis Blues: 57 points
Previously 7 (55 points)
Blues fans probably did not appreciate seeing Vladimir Tarasenko being left off the All-Star roster, but Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo rode their consistent seasons into their first selections. After slumping into their bye week, the Blues picked up a gigantic overtime win in the Ontario capital on Tuesday behind another outstanding night from Carter Hutton. He made 30 saves and allowed just one goal for the overtime win, and he is now the qualified league leader in GAA at 1.78. With Ottawa (twice) and Arizona up next, it might be difficult to leave the dark horse All-Star snub off of the ice.
7. Boston Bruins: 58 points
Previously 9 (53 points)
Boston cannot be stopped. They have points in 14 straight games, and the Bruins could very well be closer to Tampa Bay (both in location and in the standings) than Toronto at the break. Tuukka Rask had been scuffling over the course of a week, but he took advantage of light work by allowing just one goal on 22 shots to shut down Montreal on Wednesday. The way the B’s have been playing for most of the year, there probably should have been more Bostonians in the All-Star Game, as Brad Marchand was the only one to get in.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs: 54 points
Previously 10 (53 points)
Toronto finished their home stand after their bye week, and they came up short in a low-scoring OT battle with St. Louis. The Lightning took plenty of All-Star spots, so the Leafs had to settle with Auston Matthews. Frederik Andersen was busy on Tuesday, but he has not won in nearly two weeks despite 40 saves on the Blues.
9. New Jersey Devils: 54 points
Previously 8 (52 points)
Taylor Hall has a huge chip on his shoulder. He wants to win, but he has yet to participate in a playoff game in his career. He is certainly on the right path this year, as he is on pace to pass his career high for points in a season and pick up his first 30-goal season. He has started the calendar year with a five-game point streak, and he scored the final goal in Brooklyn to end New Jersey’s six-game losing streak on Tuesday. Yes, he is the New Jersey representative in the All-Star Game.
10. Dallas Stars: 55 points
Previously 11 (51 points)
Dallas looked sluggish in the first game of their bye week, but the Avalanche have the longest active streak in the NHL. The luck went the green team’s way in visits to Boston and Detroit, and the Stars have won four of their last five games. Tyler Seguin picked up his fifth All Star bid while John Klingberg got the nod for the first time, but Jamie Benn was left off. The Swedish defenseman has continued to extend his points and assists lead for all defenseman, as he now has assists in eight straight games and 14 in his last 12.
11. Calgary Flames: 54 points
Previously 18 (48 points)
The Pacific Division has been tipped on its side! Vegas still has a commanding lead, but Calgary is now one of the expansion’s closest competitors. The Flames have won seven straight, including four straight in a road trip that included Tampa Bay, and have leap frogged Los Angeles in the process. That was not enough to get multiple All-Stars, as Johnny Gaudreau was the only one to get the nod. Nothing against Sean Monahan and Mike Smith, but the New Jersey winger has been that good, for he is tied for the second most points in the league at 54. His point streak has been as long as Calgary’s NHL-high winning streak, and he capped it off with a couple of fast break assists to Dougie Hamilton to put Carolina away on Sunday.
12. Los Angeles Kings: 53 points
Previously 5 (53 points)
Just like that, the Kings are no longer high and mighty on their throne. They have allowed four goals in each of their last four games, and the offense could not match any of those totals in regulation. San Jose was in full control on Monday, and LA is on the verge of falling out of the current playoff picture. The top defense in the NHL still got rewarded, with Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick getting nods with captain Anze Kopitar, who picked up his team-leading 18th goal on Saturday. Dustin Brown, despite a rejuvenated year, was the most notable snub for the Kings, and Alex Iafallo has been one of the more undervalued rookies in the league.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets: 53 points
Previously 12 (53 points)
Columbus’s offense has been a mystery all season. Josh Anderson, rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Artemi Panarin have done well, but not well enough to break through in the difficult Metropolitan Division. Sergei Bobrovsky is a proven goalie, but recent struggles caused him to be passed over for Braden Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist. Seth Jones has taken longer than expected to develop, but after 42 points last season, he has the second most points on the team and is going to the All-Star Game for the second straight season. He edged fellow lottery pick Zach Werenski, who should also be included in future All-Star talks. After two tough losses to non-playoff teams this week, the Jackets need to use this bye week to recover before the season gets away from them.
14. San Jose Sharks: 54 points
Previously 15 (48 points)
It looks like Arizona was the solution. The Sharks rebounded from trouble with Canada by winning three in a row this week, including two tight wins with the Coyotes and an impressive blowout victory in LA. Despite a slow start, Brent Burns has returned to being one of the more feared defensemen in the league, and he will represent the Sharks in Tampa. He had three assists in San Jose’s overtime win over Arizona on Saturday, including a first assist on what would be Joonas Donskoi‘s game-tying rebound goal with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. Marc-Edouard Vlasic finished the thrilling game halfway through OT.
15. New York Rangers: 51 points
Previously 13 (49 points)
Henrik Lundqvist got the lone bid for a Rangers team that will not come off as spectacular. Tuesday’s win over Philadelphia, however, bucked that trend. Rick Nash scored two of New York’s five goals in the first two periods, and the Rangers coasted to a 5-1 victory to end a three-game skid. With the Rangers already losing to the Islanders and Penguins this week and their current divisional record standing at 7-6-3, New York badly needed that win to avoid putting potentially falling behind in potential tiebreak scenarios. The way the Met has looked this season, playoff positioning could very well come down to divisional records.
16. Minnesota Wild: 53 points
Previously 14 (50 points)
Minnesota entered its bye week with a split of their weekend swing against Canadian teams, and they got back to .500 vs. the Central Division with a convincing win over the Jets. With there being a significant balance on both ends, Eric Staal picked up his fifth All-Star bid, and first with Minnesota, after finishing the week at 19 goals and 19 assists. Matt Dumba scored two third period goals on Saturday for his second multi-goal game of the season, and he now has eight goals since the beginning of December.
17. Pittsburgh Penguins: 51 points
Previously 18 (47 points)
Lots to talk about here. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang got into the All-Star Game, but Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin probably go down as the biggest snubs, especially since they are unconscious together in the 3-on-3 format. Before Wednesday’s loss in Anaheim, the Penguins had no problem taking down the Red Wings and Rangers on home ice, with Malkin tallying two goals and two assists on Saturday. After four goals on 12 power play chances this week, the Pens are the current power play leaders in the NHL. On a more depressing note, it was revealed on Wednesday that Matt Murray is on personal leave because his father passed away.
18. Colorado Avalanche: 51 points
Previously 20 (47 points)
The Flames are not the only team on a seven-game winning streak. Colorado has matched them game by game and have gone from falling behind to jumping Chicago on several occasions. Their road win in Dallas gave the Avs more points in 42 games than they had all of last season. It is no surprise that Nathan MacKinnon is an All-Star because he has launched himself into the MVP candidate Colorado was looking to have when they drafted him first overall. He has 13 points during a six-game point streak that has certainly aided Colorado’s success, but Jonathan Bernier might be making more noise these days. He has just six goals allowed in five appearances during the streak, and he has to be feeling better after his tumultuous tenure with Toronto.
19. Anaheim Ducks: 51 points
Previously 16 (47 points)
He got off to a slow start to this season, but Rickard Rakell has turned things around after scoring 33 goals last season, which had been more than his first four seasons combined. He is on pace to have his second straight 30-goal season, and he was the only Duck selected for the All-Star Game. Anaheim kept pace in the Pacific Division with critical wins over Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, and Ondrej Kase sparked rallies in both of those wins with a combined three goals and two assists.
20. Carolina Hurricanes: 48 points
Previously 19 (46 points)
Noah Hanifin is the lone All-Star for Carolina, which continues the notion that there are no All-Stars in Raleigh. That could change if new official owner Tom Dundon has anything to say about it. Despite being a Texas native (Houston is looking to get an NHL franchise), it is unlikely that Dundon will move the scuffling franchise barring a continued meltdown. The Hurricanes had to settle for a split of the home-and-home with Washington after Jay Beagle scored in the final seconds on Friday, but Scott Darling had a much-needed, 27-save night to knock out the Caps the night before.
21. Chicago Blackhawks: 50 points
Previously 21 (48 points)
Should Patrick Kane have received the captaincy for the Central Division? Who knows? He still got the inevitable bid for the All-Star Game. He has certainly been a big reason why Nick Schmaltz has broken out over the past two months, but Chicago still finds itself at the bottom of a competitive division after losing their highly anticipated battle with Detroit on Sunday. The rookies stole the spotlight on Friday, as David Kampf picked up his first NHL goal and Jeff Glass made 31 saves in a tight win over Winnipeg.
22. New York Islanders: 50 points
Previously 22 (44 points)
All-Star rosters can only be so big. John Tavares and Josh Bailey have each crushed defenses all season and got into the All-Star Game, but Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, and Mathew Barzal all fell short. If this offense remains the same next season, it could be a long battle for what may only be two spots on the All-Star team. The Islanders came out of their bye week blazing, scoring seven times in MSG on Saturday and adding five more in Montreal. Barzal had another outrageous stretch surrounding the bye week, as he had five points on Saturday and 10 in a three-game span.
23. Philadelphia Flyers: 48 points
Previously 23 (46 points)
Philly is far from a playoff guarantee, but it is still surprising to see them with just one All-Star. Claude Giroux deserved his honor, but Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, and Shayne Gostisbehere certainly had a strong case. Couturier is the biggest snub in that group, as he is on pace for 47 goals after scoring two goals in three straight games between Jan. 6-13. He is already 10 goals ahead of his career high in just 44 games.
24. Detroit Red Wings: 43 points
Previously 24 (41 points)
Despite nice stretches from Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou, Mike Green will represent the Red Wings on Jan. 28. It is starting to look like a battle for the consolation fourth place finish in the Atlantic Division between four teams, and Detroit is in the lead at the moment. Petr Mrazek stepped up in a big way in the famous rivalry with Chicago, shutting them out on 27 shots for his 12th career shutout.
25. Florida Panthers: 42 points
Previously 25 (42 points)
Florida, like their in-state rival, went into their bye week with a loss to Calgary, but they at least had a chance to end the winning streak. Evgeni Dadonov continued his torrid pace with both goals in the loss, and he is just one goal away from reaching double figures in his return from the KHL following just 10 goals in parts of three seasons with Florida before 2012. As expected, the small market Panthers had just one All-Star selected. Aleksander Barkov got the bid this year, but Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau have been just as impressive this season. I probably would have sent Trocheck.
26. Montreal Canadiens: 42 points
Previously 26 (40 points)
The Canadiens seemed like they were on a roll before a tough stretch that includes three games against Boston. The offense continued to look good despite two extra time losses, but the Bruins had their way at the TD Garden. With Montreal looking like a terrible disappointment, Carey Price was the only player to represent the French-Canadian team in Tampa Bay. That is not ideal because his GAA is almost at three. Rookie defenseman Jakub Jerabek picked his first NHL points this week, picking up two assists in an OT loss to the Isles on Monday and his first NHL goal 31 seconds into Wednesday loss in Boston.
27. Ottawa Senators: 39 points
Previously 27 (39 points)
Ottawa had the luxury of not playing a game this week, and it looks like their lone All-Star this season is a defenseman, Erik Karlsson, whose days may be numbered. While his stats are not great, his value is still extremely high for other teams. Look for Tampa Bay to go all in for the generational talent and pair him up with Victor Hedman (when he returns from injury) in preparations to go for their second Stanley Cup. Bobby Ryan suffered his seventh hand injury in four years in last Tuesday’s loss to Chicago and has no timetable for a return.
28. Vancouver Canucks: 42 points
Previously 28 (38 points)
A tale of two mediocre teams. Edmonton is surprisingly bad, while the Canucks are about expected. After a rough start to their seven-game road trip, Vancouver found its footing and got upset wins over Columbus and Minnesota. Brock Boeser has exceeded all expectations in his first full season, and he is the only rookie in the NHL to reach the All-Star Game. Alexander Edler now has a season-high four-game point streak after a two-assist night that ended after Brandon Sutter took a long pass from him and buried the overtime winner in St. Paul.
29. Edmonton Oilers: 43 points
Previously 29 (39 points)
Connor McDavid being the lone Oiler for the All-Star Game is not surprising, but Saturday’s win over the Golden Knights certainly was. Connor McDavid celebrated his 21st birthday in Sin City, but 22 may have been the luckier number. Darnell Nurse, who was Edmonton’s first round pick in 2013 and is 22, had himself a dream road trip. His picked up three goals and two game-winners, including the overtime goal in Vegas, and now leads all Edmonton defensemen in points. Al Montoya had to relieve Cam Talbot early in Arizona, and he stopped all 19 shots that he faced to pick up his first win since being traded from Montreal. He has allowed just one goal in two relief appearances for the Oilers.
30. Buffalo Sabres: 31 points
Previously 30 (29 points)
Clearly Jack Eichel is not enough to turn Buffalo’s fortunes around, but he did break through with his first All-Star bid. Granted, there were not many candidates for the Sabres’ representative, as Evander Kane is the only other player with at least 35 points. No team is more desperate for a the top pick than Buffalo at this point, especially since they need defensive help. Linus Ullmark made his season debut in Buffalo’s last game before their bye week, and he amazed with 44 saves to silent the Blue Jackets. He might stay in the NHL longer than anticipated because Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson have struggled all year.
31. Arizona Coyotes: 28 points
Previously 31 (26 points)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been a big name in Arizona over the years, but this year feels more like a swan song for the Swedish defenseman than a successful one. He has not been bad, but the Coyotes have floundered for a long time, and OEL should be traded to a team that will contend while he is in his prime. With no other ideal candidate following Clayton Keller‘s slump, Ekman-Larsson was the only Coyote to be named an All-Star. Josh Archibald scored in consecutive games this week to reach three goals with his new team, which was the same number he had with Pittsburgh in 14 games over a three-season stretch.
The Sharks take at least 40 shots against the Coyotes on Saturday. Joonas Donskoi tied it up in the waning seconds of regulation to make this prediction correct!
Ryan Getzlaf nets at least eight points this week. He only got two.
Viktor Arvidsson gets a goal and an assist during the second and third period on Tuesday. I picked someone who landed on the IR the same day.
Los Angeles whips Anaheim by four on Friday to get redemption.
St. Louis doubles up on Arizona in shots (at least) on Saturday AND Alexander Steen takes at least six of those shots.