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Scott Cullen

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The Boston Bruins hold steady on top of this week’s edition of Snapshot, ahead of the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning.

The San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets are teams gaining ground this week while the Chicago Blackhawks are crashing down the list.

(Snapshot is a continuation of the analytically-based Power Rankings that I’ve been doing on TSN for many years. They are generated using statistics and individual player grades, which allows for ranking flexibility based on player availability due to injuries, suspensions, coaching decisions etc. and are used for the model being measured, with others, here.)

BOSTON BRUINS (35-12-8)

THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 1

GF: 3.31 GA: 2.38 SA CF%: 54.0

NET PP/60: +7.09 NET PK/60: -4.03

11 wins in the past 13 games keeps the Bruins at the top of the board. They have the league’s best line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak), and strong rookie contributors. If they made a significant blueline addition at the deadline, they would be in a great position.

Key Injuries: None.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS (34-13-9)

THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 4

GF: 3.05 GA: 2.54 SA CF%: 51.7

NET PP/60: +7.05 NET PK/60: -5.71

Before Tuesday’s loss to Calgary, the Predators had gone seven games without a regulation loss. They’re healthy now and last year’s Cup finalists are likely looking to add – more than just luring Mike Fisher out of retirement – at the deadline.

Key Injuries: None.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (39-16-3)

THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 2

GF: 3.55 GA: 2.64 SA CF%: 52.4

NET PP/60: +8.56 NET PK/60: -6.62

Since a win at Toronto on January 2, the Lightning are 10-8-1, which isn’t exactly inspiring for a Cup contender, but they have five players with at least 19 goals and a Vezina-calibre goaltender, so an addition or two could push them over the top.

Key Injuries: LW Ondrej Palat (lower body).

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (38-15-4)

THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 3

GF: 3.40 GA: 2.68 SA CF%: 52.6

NET PP/60: +6.70 NET PK/60: -5.56

As expected, the Golden Knights’ goaltending has started to slip a bit, but they aren’t collapsing, posting a 9-4-1 record in the past 14 games. Their underlying numbers are those of a contender, so it legitimately makes more sense for them to add rather than subtract at the deadline.

Key Injuries: None.

DALLAS STARS (33-20-4)

THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 5

GF: 3.00 GA: 2.61 SA CF%: 52.0

NET PP/60: +6.34 NET PK/60: -5.74

The Stars had won five straight before getting drilled 6-0 at home against Vancouver on Sunday, an unlikely result to be sure, because this is a pretty solid team that has been moving in the right direction for much of the year.

Key Injuries: D Marc Methot (knee).

WINNIPEG JETS (33-15-9)

THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 6

GF: 3.18 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 51.7

NET PP/60: +8.12 NET PK/60: -5.51

Two regulation losses in the past 11 games keeps the Jets as serious contenders, even if captain Blake Wheeler is okay with lowering expectations for a team that doesn’t have a playoff track record.

Key Injuries: C Adam Lowry (upper body), D Jacob Trouba (ankle).

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (33-22-4)

THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 8

GF: 3.10 GA: 2.93 SA CF%: 52.0

NET PP/60: +9.57 NET PK/60: -5.41

With one regulation loss in the past 10 games, the Penguins are looking a whole lot more like the team that has won back-to-back Cups. They also have three players (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel) sitting on 66 points in 59 games.

Key Injuries: RW Patric Hornqvist (lower body).

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-19-5)

THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 9

GF: 3.27 GA: 2.78 SA CF%: 50.3

NET PP/60: +6.31 NET PK/60: -5.03

The Leafs have one loss in the past 10 games, and it was at Boston. They’re an exciting and fast team, but they’ve also allowed more than 40 shots in three of the past five games, including a ridiculous 57 shots in Wednesday’s 6-3 win over Columbus.

Key Injuries: D Jake Gardiner (lower body).

WASHINGTON CAPITALS (33-17-7)

THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 7

GF: 3.12 GA: 2.91 SA CF%: 48.1

NET PP/60: +6.34 NET PK/60: -6.74

While the Capitals have had their ups and downs, they have gone five in a row without a regulation loss (3-0-2).

Key Injuries: None.

SAN JOSE SHARKS (31-19-8)

THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 13

GF: 2.86 GA: 2.69 SA CF%: 51.9

NET PP/60: +8.57 NET PK/60: -4.21

Goaltender Martin Jones has been better lately, with a .941 save percentage in his past seven games, and the Sharks gave defenceman Brent Burns a brief turn at right wing, so while they are looking for answers, there’s been a little more good than bad lately.  

Key Injuries: C Joe Thornton (knee).

ST. LOUIS BLUES (34-21-4)

THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 11

GF: 2.83 GA: 2.56 SA CF%: 51.9

NET PP/60: +4.65 NET PK/60: -5.81

The Blues are poised to be significant players as the trade deadline approaches, if they want to be, because they have quality forward prospects that could be moved, though the injury to Joel Edmundson may create an additional hole that needs to be filled.

Key Injuries: RW Robby Fabbri (knee), D Joel Edmundson (forearm).

LOS ANGELES KINGS (30-22-5)

THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 10

GF: 2.82 GA: 2.51 SA CF%: 50.1

NET PP/60: +6.59 NET PK/60: -5.39

Losers of three straight, the Kings made a big play to get Dion Phaneuf in order to bolster their blueline, but that still carries some risk, as the 32-year-old has slowed down and has three more years left on his contract.

Key Injuries: C Jeff Carter (Achilles).

CALGARY FLAMES (30-20-8)

THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 12

GF: 2.81 GA: 2.79 SA CF%: 52.1

NET PP/60: +5.23 NET PK/60: -6.97

The Flames have won five of seven, and have the appearances of a playoff team, but they’re in a difficult race and are missing starting goaltender Mike Smith, for now, due to injury. Backup David Rittich has been a surprise, but Smith has been one of the league’s best this year.

Key Injuries: LW Kris Versteeg (hip), G Mike Smith (lower body).

ANAHEIM DUCKS (28-20-11)

THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 14

GF: 2.73 GA: 2.75 SA CF%: 48.8

NET PP/60: +5.52 NET PK/60: -5.30

The Ducks are healthy, and have a roster that looks like they should be a playoff team, but they’ve struggled lately, earning two regulation wins in the past eight games.

Key Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre).

MINNESOTA WILD (31-20-6)

THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 15

GF: 2.93 GA: 2.84 SA CF%: 47.0

NET PP/60: +6.81 NET PK/60: -5.65

An 11-4-3 record since the calendar turned to 2018 has lifted the Wild into a playoff position. The first half of the season may have been disappointing, but the second half and postseason obviously mean a whole lot more.

Key Injuries: D Jonas Brodin (hand).

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (28-19-10)

THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 17

GF: 2.95 GA: 2.84 SA CF%: 49.4

NET PP/60: +5.82 NET PK/60: -9.00

12-4-2 in the past 18 games, the Flyers have vaulted into playoff position, but now have to cling to that spot with their starting goaltender out of the lineup.

Key Injuries: G Brian Elliott (core muscles).

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (29-24-4)

THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 20

GF: 2.60 GA: 2.77 SA CF%: 51.4

NET PP/60: +4.34 NET PK/60: -8.88

While the results haven’t been there yet for Columbus – they have won two of the past eight games – they are launching shots at opposing goaltenders, averaging more than 47 shots on goal in the past six games.

Key Injuries: D Ryan Murray (upper body).

COLORADO AVALANCHE (31-21-4)

THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 16

GF: 3.13 GA: 2.89 SA CF%: 48.2

NET PP/60: +5.78 NET PK/60: -4.62

The Avalanche are basically treading water without Nathan MacKinnon, but it does seem as though he’s nearing a return, and that could give them a shot at contending for a playoff spot.

Key Injuries: RW Sven Andrighetto (leg), D Mark Barberio (lower body), C Nathan MacKinnon (upper body).

NEW JERSEY DEVILS (29-20-8)

THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 21

GF: 2.96 GA: 3.02 SA CF%: 48.9

NET PP/60: +5.76 NET PK/60: -5.43

Thursday’s win over Carolina ended a five-game stretch without a regulation win, and keeps the Devils in a playoff spot.

Key Injuries: LW Brian Gibbons (thumb), G Cory Schneider (lower body), LW Marcus Johansson (concussion).

FLORIDA PANTHERS (25-23-6)

THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 22

GF: 2.89 GA: 3.19 SA CF%: 49.6

NET PP/60: +5.59 NET PK/60: -5.62

Six wins in the past seven games keeps the Panthers on the edge of the playoff hunt, seven points behind Carolina with three games at hand, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to start spinning revisionist history about what happened to the team last season.

Key Injuries: None.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (28-25-6)

THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 19

GF: 3.29 GA: 3.61 SA CF%: 46.9

NET PP/60: +6.23 NET PK/60: -8.28

While there may be a notion that the Islanders need a goaltending upgrade, Jaroslav Halak is giving them better than might be expected using expected goals against, so the issue is defence, where they have been giving up a ton of shots – 43.3 per game in the past nine.

Key Injuries: D Calvin De Haan (upper body), D Scott Mayfield (lower body).

CAROLINA HURRICANES (27-22-9)

THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 24

GF: 2.71 GA: 2.95 SA CF%: 54.0

NET PP/60: +6.13 NET PK/60: -7.36

A three-game winning streak lifted the Hurricanes into a playoff spot, but they clinging to it, one point ahead of the Blue Jackets and two ahead of the Islanders.

Key Injuries: None.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (24-26-8)

THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 18

GF: 2.79 GA: 2.90 SA CF%: 53.7

NET PP/60: +4.95 NET PK/60: -5.84

It’s been a long time since the Blackhawks were in this position, but they are now winless in eight and have to figure out how they are going to fix this mess for next season.

Key Injuries: G Corey Crawford (upper body).

EDMONTON OILERS (23-29-4)

THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 23

GF: 2.79 GA: 3.34 SA CF%: 51.0

NET PP/60: +4.26 NET PK/60: -9.28

Any illusions that the Oilers might have had about getting back into the playoff hunt should be gone thanks to their current five-game losing streak. There are going to be some major decisions necessary for this team if they are going to give Connor McDavid a suitable long-term supporting cast.

Key Injuries: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body), D Andrej Sekera (face), D Adam Larsson (personal).

DETROIT RED WINGS (23-24-9)

THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 26

GF: 2.61 GA: 3.02 SA CF%: 48.4

NET PP/60: +5.70 NET PK/60: -6.71

The Wings will be an interesting team to watch at the deadline, as defenceman Mike Green is an obvious target, but forwards with term remaining on their deals, like Tomas Tatar, and Gustav Nyquist might also be available.

Key Injuries: None.

NEW YORK RANGERS (27-26-5)

THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 25

GF: 2.81 GA: 3.00 SA CF%: 46.0

NET PP/60: +6.88 NET PK/60: -5.67

The Rangers have won two of eight games this month and made waves by announcing to one and all that they are embarking on a rebuilding process. It could very well be the right play if they get good value for their outgoing assets.

Key Injuries: LW Chris Kreider (blood clot), D Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), RW Pavel Buchnevich (concussion), D Marc Staal (neck), D Ryan McDonagh (upper body).

MONTREAL CANADIENS (22-28-7)

THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 27

GF: 2.53 GA: 3.09 SA CF%: 50.7

NET PP/60: +6.68 NET PK/60: -6.56

Two wins in the past nine games leaves the Habs eight points behind the Rangers, so even if it’s going unsaid, the idea has to be similar, doesn’t it? Time to focus on the future for this team.

Key Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (concussion), D Shea Weber (foot), C Phillip Danault (concussion), RW Andrew Shaw (lower body).

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (22-30-6)

THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 28

GF: 2.60 GA: 3.19 SA CF%: 47.4

NET PP/60: +6.78 NET PK/60: -7.21

Six losses in the past seven games for the Canucks, which is a great time to announce to the world that GM Jim Benning has been signed to an extension. There is a bit of a conundrum here: the Canucks do have a promising group of prospects, but have had some pretty bad finishes, and it looks like they have missed on some high picks in the meantime.

Key Injuries: RW Derek Dorsett (neck), RW Sam Gagner (ankle), LW Markus Granlund (ankle), D Chris Tanev (leg).

OTTAWA SENATORS (20-27-9)

THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 29

GF: 2.64 GA: 3.41 SA CF%: 46.5

NET PP/60: +4.90 NET PK/60: -7.99

Joining the Canucks in the GM extension game, the Senators have also indicated that they are likely moving in the same direction as the Rangers. Trading Phaneuf to Los Angeles saves some money, but if they are moving forward with plans to commit long-term to Cody Ceci that won’t help a team trying to make cost-effective moves.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), LW Bobby Ryan (hand).

ARIZONA COYOTES (16-32-10)

THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 31

GF: 2.43 GA: 3.31 SA CF%: 47.2

NET PP/60: +5.37 NET PK/60: -7.38

A 4-0-1 record in the past five games gets the Coyotes out of the rankings basement, which is not exactly great praise. Their next six games are at home, so they could more competitive over the next little bit, and while this team probably needs that, it might also cost them when it comes to lottery odds.

Key Injuries: None.

BUFFALO SABRES (17-30-11)

THIS WEEK: 31 LAST WEEK: 30

GF: 2.40 GA: 3.28 SA CF%: 46.5

NET PP/60: +4.11 NET PK/60: -5.62

The Sabres haven’t been playing poorly, 3-1-2 in the past six games, but losing Jack Eichel to a high-ankle sprain is enough reason to drop past Arizona into last spot.

Key Injuries: D Zach Bogosian (hip), D Jake McCabe (thumb), C Jack Eichel (ankle).

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca