The Tampa Bay Lightning remain on top in this week’s edition of Snapshot, ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Kings are the big risers this week, jumping from 12 to two. Other teams moving up include the Winnipeg Jets, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sliding down the rankings this week are the St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and injury-plagued Anaheim Ducks.
(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.)
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (19-6-2)
THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 1
GF: 3.70 GA: 2.51 SA CF%: 52.9
NET PP/60: +10.50 NET PK/60: -4.80
The Lightning have split their past eight games, but back-to-backs wins, by a total score of 11-4 against San Jose and the Islanders is enough to keep Tampa Bay on top.
Key Injuries: D Jake Dotchin (undisclosed), D Braydon Coburn (undisclosed).
LOS ANGELES KINGS (18-8-3)
THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 12
GF: 3.03 GA: 2.17 SA CF%: 50.0
NET PP/60: +5.85 NET PK/60: -2.83
A six-game winning streak, during which they outscored the opposition by 14, vaults the Kings to the first challenger’s spot. Marian Gaborik has hit the ice at full speed, putting up six points (4 G, 2 A) in seven games.
Key Injuries: C Jeff Carter (Achilles).
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (17-10-1)
THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 3
GF: 2.75 GA: 2.46 SA CF%: 53.0
NET PP/60: +2.14 NET PK/60: -5.49
The Blue Jackets have a solid lineup, but keep an eye on rookie C Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has six points (1 G, 5 A) while averaging 19:03 of ice time per game in the past five games. He could be a big factor for this team the rest of the way.
Key Injuries: D Ryan Murray (upper body).
WINNIPEG JETS (17-7-4)
THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 7
GF: 3.35 GA: 2.71 SA CF%: 50.3
NET PP/60: +8.67 NET PK/60: -5.85
Had been storming through the league, with a 9-2-1 record in a dozen games, but the Jets were brought back to Earth with a 5-1 loss at Detroit. It happens.
Key Injuries: D Tobias Enstrom (lower body).
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (16-9-2)
THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 5
GF: 3.66 GA: 3.37 SA CF%: 50.2
NET PP/60: +4.32 NET PK/60: -7.24
Everyone’s going crazy over rookie C Mathew Barzal, understandably since he has 26 points in the past 22 games, but 23-year-old D Adam Pelech has been quietly effective, with 11 points in 23 games, averaging more than 20 minutes per game in the past seven.
Key Injuries: None.
ST. LOUIS BLUES (18-8-2)
THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 2
GF: 3.21 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 53.9
NET PP/60: +5.07 NET PK/60: -6.99
Tuesday’s win at Montreal ended a three-game losing streak for the Blues, and they’re trying to get by even though G Jake Allen has a modest .906 save percentage in 23 games.
Key Injuries: RW Robby Fabbri (knee).
NASHVILLE PREDATORS (18-7-3)
THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 4
GF: 3.17 GA: 2.78 SA CF%: 50.4
NET PP/60: +9.21 NET PK/60: -5.60
One regulation loss in the past 10 games doesn’t typically result in a rankings drop, but injuries send Nashville’s current value down a few spots.
Key Injuries: D Ryan Ellis (knee), LW Scott Hartnell (lower body), C Ryan Johansen (upper body).
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (18-10-1)
THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 8
GF: 3.41 GA: 2.89 SA CF%: 50.5
NET PP/60: +7.40 NET PK/60: -6.58
While the Maple Leafs have gone 10-3-1 in the past 14 games, there are some fair concerns because they have needed G Frederik Andersen to bail them out.
Key Injuries: None.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (16-7-4)
THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 6
GF: 3.03 GA: 2.92 SA CF%: 46.7
NET PP/60: +5.81 NET PK/60: -5.24
The Devils’ scoring race is fascinating. Taylor Hall leads, with 29 points in 27 games, then he’s followed by three rookies – Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Will Butcher – then Brian Gibbons, a 29-year-old who played in the AHL for the past two seasons, then Adam Henrique, who has been traded. It’s remarkable that this team has this record.
Key Injuries: RW Kyle Palmieri (foot).
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (17-9-1)
THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 9
GF: 3.44 GA: 3.11 SA CF%: 51.8
NET PP/60: +5.59 NET PK/60: -7.29
Remember when the Golden Knights added G Malcolm Subban and it was understood that he’s not NHL ready? That may be true, but he has a .923 save percentage in nine games, which is pretty good for someone that’s not NHL-ready.
Key Injuries: G Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion), LW David Perron (upper body).
DALLAS STARS (16-11-1)
THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 13
GF: 3.03 GA: 2.85 SA CF%: 52.1
NET PP/60: +6.02 NET PK/60: -5.00
The Stars have been rounding into form, and won five straight before losing to Nashville Tuesday, despite recording a season-high 45 shots.
Key Injuries: D Marc Methot (knee), C Martin Hanzal (hamstring).
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (17-11-1)
THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 15
GF: 3.03 GA: 2.96 SA CF%: 48.1
NET PP/60: +6.28 NET PK/60: -7.04
The Capitals have won six of seven, and LW Alex Ovechkin, who was supposed to be on the way down after last season, now has a league-leading 21 goals in 29 games.
Key Injuries: LW Andre Burakovsky (upper body).
NEW YORK RANGERS (15-10-2)
THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 13
GF: 3.33 GA: 2.96 SA CF%: 47.8
NET PP/60: +7.36 NET PK/60: -7.28
Six wins in the past seven games has the Blueshirts in a good spot. RW Michael Grabner, who leads the team with 13 goals, has scored 40 goals in 103 games since joining the Rangers last season.
Key Injuries: C Mika Zibanejad (concussion).
SAN JOSE SHARKS (14-10-2)
THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 11
GF: 2.50 GA: 2.30 SA CF%: 53.1
NET PP/60: +5.21 NET PK/60: -3.76
The Sharks had gone six straight without a regulation loss before getting humbled with back-to-back three-goal losses at Tampa Bay and Washington.
Key Injuries: RW Joonas Donskoi (lower body).
BOSTON BRUINS (12-9-4)
THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 17
GF: 2.72 GA: 2.88 SA CF%: 52.4
NET PP/60: +5.56 NET PK/60: -4.37
Rookie D Charlie McAvoy has 15 points in 25 games, playing 23:37 per game, right around the 23:50 that Drew Doughty played for the Kings in 2008-2009.
Key Injuries: LW Jake DeBrusk (upper body).
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (15-11-3)
THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 19
GF: 2.96 GA: 3.24 SA CF%: 50.7
NET PP/60: +7.96 NET PK/60: -6.74
The Penguins had won four straight before losing to the Rangers Tuesday, and rookie G Tristan Jarry is stepping up in the absence of Matt Murray – he has a .926 save percentage in seven games.
Key Injuries: G Matt Murray (lower body).
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (12-11-5)
THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 10
GF: 3.00 GA: 2.78 SA CF%: 52.3
NET PP/60: +4.27 NET PK/60: -5.07
Winless in five, the Blackhawks are left in the uncomfortable position of trying to hold on without G Corey Crawford, who was their most important player through the first third of the season.
Key Injuries: G Corey Crawford (undisclosed).
CALGARY FLAMES (14-12-2)
THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 18
GF: 2.82 GA: 3.17 SA CF%: 51.9
NET PP/60: +5.85 NET PK/60: -7.36
The Flames have lost six of eight, and they’re having problems with consistency – at least on the positive side – behind their top line and top defence pairing.
Key Injuries: LW Kris Versteeg (hip).
VANCOUVER CANUCKS (14-10-4)
THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 14
GF: 2.78 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 48.5
NET PP/60: +5.94 NET PK/60: -6.07
The Canucks have won three straight, but injuries are starting to decimate the lineup, and losing No. 1 centre Bo Horvat could be a real issue.
Key Injuries: RW Derek Dorsett (neck), D Erik Gudbranson (upper body), C Brandon Sutter (upper body), C Bo Horvat (foot).
CAROLINA HURRICANES (11-10-5)
THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 18
GF: 2.69 GA: 2.96 SA CF%: 54.9
NET PP/60: +5.39 NET PK/60: -7.65
Going seven straight without a regulation win leaves the ‘Canes in a not-so-great spot, near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
Key Injuries: RW Lee Stempniak (hip).
MONTREAL CANADIENS (13-13-3)
THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 24
GF: 2.75 GA: 3.06 SA CF%: 50.9
NET PP/60: +5.50 NET PK/60: -5.97
The Habs had a five-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against St. Louis, but they’ve been an entirely different team with Carey Price back from injury. These things happen when the goalie stops 94.6% of the shots that he’s faced since returning.
Key Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (concussion), RW Artturi Lehkonen (lower body), C Jonathan Drouin (lower body).
MINNESOTA WILD (13-11-3)
THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 21
GF: 2.92 GA: 3.00 SA CF%: 46.9
NET PP/60: +6.38 NET PK/60: -4.66
It’s not an easy climb for the Wild, who are 4-4-1 in the past nine games – that’s treading water and not gaining on the other teams in the Central Division.
Key Injuries: LW Zach Parise (back), D Jared Spurgeon (illness).
COLORADO AVALANCHE (12-12-2)
THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 26
GF: 3.07 GA: 3.26 SA CF%: 47.8
NET PP/60: +5.84 NET PK/60: -5.80
No regulation wins in the past six games, but the Avalanche are getting captain Gabriel Landeskog back from suspension.
Key Injuries: D Patrick Nemeth.
DETROIT RED WINGS (11-12-5)
THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 22
GF: 2.75 GA: 3.21 SA CF%: 49.0
NET PP/60: +6.19 NET PK/60: -5.30
The Wings ended a seven-game winless streak with a victory over Winnipeg, but that feels like a blip rather than a reason to be encouraged.
Key Injuries: None.
EDMONTON OILERS (11-15-2)
THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 25
GF: 2.85 GA: 3.39 SA CF%: 52.6
NET PP/60: +4.24 NET PK/60: -8.51
The Oilers were left with very little wiggle room after a slow start and injuries knocking out a goaltender and top defencemen are not part of the plan for recovery. Four of the next five are on the road, so this could get worse before it gets better.
Key Injuries: D Andrej Sekera (knee), G Cam Talbot (upper body), D Adam Larsson (upper body).
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (10-11-7)
THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 28
GF: 2.82 GA: 2.96 SA CF%: 48.7
NET PP/60: +4.70 NET PK/60: -9.11
The Flyers have emerged from a 10-game winless streak by winning back-to-back games in Alberta.
Key Injuries: D Radko Gudas (suspension).
ANAHEIM DUCKS (12-11-6)
THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 23
GF: 2.62 GA: 2.82 SA CF%: 45.4
NET PP/60: +6.16 NET PK/60: -5.24
The Ducks have won two of the past nine games, and their run of injuries continues to amaze, most recently, losing top blueliner Hampus Lindholm.
Key Injuries: C Ryan Kesler (hip), RW Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre), C Ryan Getzlaf (face), RW RW Jakob Silfverberg (undisclosed), D Hampus Lindholm (upper body).
OTTAWA SENATORS (9-11-6)
THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 29
GF: 2.80 GA: 3.26 SA CF%: 48.3
NET PP/60: +5.02 NET PK/60: -7.07
The Senators have one win in the past 10 games, and superstar D Erik Karlsson has failed to record a point in each of those 10 games; that’s a career-worst slump.
Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion).
FLORIDA PANTHERS (10-13-4)
THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 27
GF: 2.85 GA: 3.37 SA CF%: 48.5
NET PP/60: +5.01 NET PK/60: -6.83
The Panthers only have one regulation loss in the past five games, but losing Roberto Luongo is a big deal, because he’s been great and, well, James Reimer has not.
Key Injuries: RW Evgeni Dadonov (shoulder), G Roberto Luongo (lower body).
ARIZONA COYOTES (7-18-5)
THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 30
GF: 2.40 GA: 3.43 SA CF%: 46.5
NET PP/60: +5.11 NET PK/60: -6.81
The Coyotes have won five of the past 10 games, which is a whole lot better than the early days of the season.
Key Injuries: D Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body).
BUFFALO SABRES (7-17-4)
THIS WEEK: 31 LAST WEEK: 31
GF: 2.14 GA: 3.39 SA CF%: 47.3
NET PP/60: +0.73 NET PK/60: -5.36
This has been a disastrous start for the Sabres, who have won two of the past 13 games, leaving them in position to start looking at the 2018 Draft lottery already.
Key Injuries: None.
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com