The Boston Bruins have taken over top spot in this week’s edition of Snapshot, ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights.
While Boston has been playing great, and have steadily climbed in the rankings, the primary reason that they have moved ahead of Tampa Bay for top spot is that the Lightning are without their best defenceman, Victor Hedman.
Other teams climbing this week include the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Moving in the other direction, the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the teams sliding.
(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 (25-10-8)
THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 3
GF: 3.21 GA: 2.49 SA CF%: 53.5
NET PP/60: +6.41 NET PK/60: -5.15
14 games and counting without a regulation loss for the Bruins, who are healthy and reaping the rewards of strong contributions from rookies Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk.
Key Injuries: None.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (31-10-3)
THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 1
GF: 3.61 GA: 2.50 SA CF%: 54.1
NET PP/60: +8.64 NET PK/60: -6.18
It’s not as though the Lightning have collapsed, but they are 2-2-1 in the past five games and, more importantly, will be missing top blueliner Victor Hedman for 3-6 weeks.
Key Injuries: D Victor Hedman (lower body), D Dan Girardi (neck).
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (29-11-3)
THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 2
GF: 3.33 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 52.2
NET PP/60: +5.86 NET PK/60: -5.45
The Golden Knights emerged from their bye week and lost back-to-back games (albeit one in overtime vs. Edmonton) for the first time since the beginning of December. Nine of the next 11 are on the road, though, so there could be trouble ahead.
Key Injuries: None.
SAN JOSE SHARKS (24-13-6)
THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 10
GF: 2.79 GA: 2.60 SA CF%: 52.5
NET PP/60: +8.68 NET PK/60: -4.09
Only two regulation losses in the past 11 games for the Sharks, and they’ve been working overtime – nine of the past 18 games have gone beyond 60 minutes.
Key Injuries: None.
DALLAS STARS (26-17-3)
THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 6
GF: 2.98 GA: 2.72 SA CF%: 52.8
NET PP/60: +6.49 NET PK/60: -5.93
Eight wins in the past 11 games has kept the Stars in playoff position, but it’s not exactly a comfortable lead in the competitive Central Division, where they are two points ahead of fifth-place Minnesota and four points ahead of Colorado, which has three games at hand.
Key Injuries: D Marc Methot (knee), C Martin Hanzal (undisclosed).
CALGARY FLAMES (25-16-4)
THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 18
GF: 2.87 GA: 2.71 SA CF%: 52.3
NET PP/60: +5.35 NET PK/60: -6.82
A seven-game winning streak has put the Flames in a much better spot, and they have decent underlying numbers to back up their record, but goaltending has been a big story too, as Mike Smith is having his best season since 2011-2012.
Key Injuries: LW Kris Versteeg (hip), RW Michael Frolik (jaw), RW Jaromir Jagr (lower body).
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (28-14-3)
THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 11
GF: 3.04 GA: 2.80 SA CF%: 48.7
NET PP/60: +5.66 NET PK/60: -7.27
As much as the Capitals have some questions about their depth, especially on the blueline, they are 17-4-2 in the past 23 games, and back in a familiar spot atop the Metropolitan Division.
Key Injuries: None.
ANAHEIM DUCKS (21-16-9)
THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 9
GF: 2.72 GA: 2.65 SA CF%: 47.5
NET PP/60: +5.90 NET PK/60: -4.49
7-3-1 in the past 11 games, the Ducks are as healthy as they’ve been all year, so it should come as little surprise that the results are better, but it’s not going to be easy to maintain if they are hovering under 48% possession.
Key Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre).
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (26-11-6)
THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 5
GF: 3.00 GA: 2.56 SA CF%: 51.2
NET PP/60: +8.12 NET PK/60: -5.66
It’s tough to get knocked down when you’ve suffered one regulation loss in the past six games, but take a top line away from any team and it’s reasonable to forecast with some caution.
Key Injuries: LW Filip Forsberg (upper body), RW Viktor Arvidsson (lower body), C Ryan Johansen (head).
WINNIPEG JETS (26-13-7)
THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 7
GF: 3.30 GA: 2.74 SA CF%: 51.6
NET PP/60: +9.10 NET PK/60: -5.97
The Jets have won three of the past six, and two of those wins came against Buffalo, which technically count, but should they really?
Key Injuries: C Mark Scheifele (upper body), LW Brandon Tanev (lower body), C Adam Lowry (upper body).
LOS ANGELES KINGS (24-15-5)
THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 4
GF: 2.89 GA: 2.43 SA CF%: 49.6
NET PP/60: +5.54 NET PK/60: -3.94
Losers of four straight, including the past three at home without defenceman Jake Muzzin, the Kings might be starting to wonder about their defensive depth right about now.
Key Injuries: C Jeff Carter (Achilles), D Jake Muzzin.
ST. LOUIS BLUES (27-17-3)
THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 8
GF: 2.83 GA: 2.62 SA CF%: 51.5
NET PP/60: +4.16 NET PK/60: -5.92
Four regulation wins in the past 16 games brings the Blues down after a brilliant start to the season. How will they improve this team, aside from getting Jaden Schwartz back from injury?
Key Injuries: RW Robby Fabbri (knee), LW Jaden Schwartz (ankle).
COLORADO AVALANCHE (24-16-3)
THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 17
GF: 3.28 GA: 2.91 SA CF%: 48.6
NET PP/60: +6.62 NET PK/60: -4.28
Winners of seven straight, the last six with Jonathan Bernier between the pipes, the Avalanche are suddenly contending for a playoff spot, which is practically a miracle considering where they ended last season.
Key Injuries: D Tyson Barrie (hand), G Semyon Varlamov (lower body).
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (25-17-4)
THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 12
GF: 3.11 GA: 2.87 SA CF%: 50.2
NET PP/60: +6.89 NET PK/60: -4.82
Three regulation wins in the past 15 games should be legitimate cause for concern given this team’s expectations, even reason to think about cutting Leo Komarov’s ice time or playing Connor Carrick ahead of Roman Polak on the blueline.
Key Injuries: D Nikita Zaitsev (lower body).
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (23-12-8)
THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 13
GF: 3.12 GA: 2.95 SA CF%: 47.9
NET PP/60: +7.16 NET PK/60: -5.88
Tuesday’s win over the Islanders snapped a six-game winless slide for New Jersey. The Devils have overachieved to this point in the season, so even after that slump, they’re still second in the Metro.
Key Injuries: None.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (24-20-3)
THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 22
GF: 2.89 GA: 3.09 SA CF%: 51.9
NET PP/60: +9.63 NET PK/60: -5.25
The Penguins had won four straight prior to Wednesday’s loss in Anaheim. They’re hoping for rookies Daniel Sprong and Dominik Simon to add some burst up front, but bigger changes will likely be needed if the Penguins are going to have a legit shot at a three-peat.
Key Injuries: RW Bryan Rust (upper body), G Matt Murray (personal).
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (23-19-4)
THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 19
GF: 3.39 GA: 3.63 SA CF%: 48.2
NET PP/60: +5.02 NET PK/60: -8.04
One regulation win in the past 10 games for the Isles, and a questionable defensive team is missing two of its top four blueliners, which makes them entertaining, if wholly unreliable.
Key Injuries: D Calvin De Haan (upper body), D Johnny Boychuk (lower body), LW Andrew Ladd.
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (22-17-6)
THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 15
GF: 3.02 GA: 2.71 SA CF%: 53.7
NET PP/60: +4.83 NET PK/60: -5.54
While the Blackhawks are treading water, going 4-3 in January, word that Corey Crawford could miss the rest of the season has put a red alert on Chicago’s playoff hopes, because Crawford has been great this year and while 32-year-old rookie Jeff Glass is a nice replacement story, he’s being asked to carry a big burden if Crawford can’t come back.
Key Injuries: C Artem Anisimov (upper body), G Corey Crawford (upper body).
NEW YORK RANGERS (23-17-5)
THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 16
GF: 2.98 GA: 2.80 SA CF%: 46.6
NET PP/60: +6.61 NET PK/60: -5.23
The Blueshirts had gone 10 in a row without a regulation win before Tuesday’s win against Philadelphia.
Key Injuries: LW Chris Kreider (blood clot), C Kevin Hayes (lower body).
MINNESOTA WILD (24-17-5)
THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 20
GF: 2.85 GA: 2.83 SA CF%: 46.7
NET PP/60: +5.94 NET PK/60: -4.61
6-2-2 in the past 10 games, the Wild are showing signs of progress, but a slow start in a competitive division means that they don’t have a lot of wiggle room as they try to climb into postseason position.
Key Injuries: RW Nino Niederreiter (lower body).
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (25-18-3)
THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 14
GF: 2.59 GA: 2.74 SA CF%: 51.4
NET PP/60: +3.73 NET PK/60: -8.00
One regulation win in the past 11 games is trouble for a Blue Jackets team that has been decimated by injuries. With rookie Sonny Milano the latest to be sidelined, Columbus added veteran Jussi Jokinen on waivers from L.A.
Key Injuries: D Ryan Murray (upper body), C Brandon Dubinsky (orbital bone), RW Cam Atkinson (foot).
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (22-16-8)
THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 26
GF: 2.93 GA: 2.89 SA CF%: 49.5
NET PP/60: +5.91 NET PK/60: -9.69
The Flyers are going to retire Eric Lindros’ No. 88 Thursday night. It’s about time; he had 659 points in 486 games for the Flyers from 1992 to 2000.
Key Injuries: None.
CAROLINA HURRICANES (20-17-8)
THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 21
GF: 2.73 GA: 3.04 SA CF%: 53.8
NET PP/60: +5.22 NET PK/60: -7.60
The Hurricanes ended December on a good run, getting back into playoff contention, but have won just two of the past eight, and if second-year winger Sebastian Aho is out for any serious length of time, that could put a major dent into Carolina’s playoff hopes.
Key Injuries: RW Sebastian Aho (concussion, knee), D Brett Pesce (upper body), C Derek Ryan (upper body).
EDMONTON OILERS (20-23-3)
THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 23
GF: 2.72 GA: 3.17 SA CF%: 51.6
NET PP/60: +4.60 NET PK/60: -8.44
Time is running out for the Oilers to make a move just to have a chance at the playoffs. They have one regulation win in the past 10 games and that’s not going to get it done.
Key Injuries: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body).
DETROIT RED WINGS (18-19-7)
THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 24
GF: 2.64 GA: 3.05 SA CF%: 48.1
NET PP/60: +5.51 NET PK/60: -5.53
The interesting thing about the season getting away from the Red Wings is that it’s allowed them to turn loose LW Andreas Athanasiou, and he has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in six games this month, while playing more than 20 minutes per game. (*whispers* They didn’t have to wait for the season to start slipping away.)
Key Injuries: LW Justin Abdelkader (lower body), RW Darren Helm (lower body).
FLORIDA PANTHERS (18-19-6)
THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 25
GF: 2.79 GA: 3.21 SA CF%: 49.0
NET PP/60: +5.10 NET PK/60: -5.51
One win in the past five games leaves the Panthers in a tough spot and they’re talking about G Roberto Luongo’s return from injury when, by all rights, there’s no need for him to rush back.
Key Injuries: G Roberto Luongo (lower body).
MONTREAL CANADIENS (18-21-6)
THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 27
GF: 2.53 GA: 3.11 SA CF%: 50.5
NET PP/60: +6.08 NET PK/60: -6.49
The Habs have one regulation win in the past 10 games, scoring a total of 18 goals in the process. With Phillip Danault injured and Jonathan Drouin moving back to the wing, the centre depth chart is the worst in the league.
Key Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (concussion), D Shea Weber (foot), C Phillip Danault (concussion), RW Andrew Shaw (lower body).
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (18-21-6)
THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 28
GF: 2.64 GA: 3.20 SA CF%: 47.5
NET PP/60: +6.63 NET PK/60: -7.95
The Canucks have won back-to-back games, and not a moment too soon. They had one regulation win in the previous 15 games.
Key Injuries: RW Derek Dorsett (neck), C Bo Horvat (ankle).
OTTAWA SENATORS (15-18-9)
THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 29
GF: 2.76 GA: 3.43 SA CF%: 47.9
NET PP/60: +4.60 NET PK/60: -7.94
The Sens come out of their bye week with one regulation loss in the past five games and their next five games are against four teams in playoff spots plus Minnesota, who are close.
Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), RW Bobby Ryan (hand).
BUFFALO SABRES (11-24-9)
THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 30
GF: 2.25 GA: 3.41 SA CF%: 46.1
NET PP/60: +2.02 NET PK/60: -6.34
The Sabres did win their last game before the bye, snapping an eight-game stretch in which they failed to record a regulation win.
Key Injuries: D Zach Bogosian (lower body).
ARIZONA COYOTES (10-28-8)
THIS WEEK: 31 LAST WEEK: 31
GF: 2.30 GA: 3.48 SA CF%: 46.3
NET PP/60: +4.90 NET PK/60: -6.90
The Coyotes do have points in four of the past five games, but have one regulation win in the past 17 games.
Key Injuries: None.
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com