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Scott Cullen

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are still No. 1 in this week’s edition of Snapshot, ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.

The Predators make a move from seven to three this week, getting healthy and continuing to win. Other teams moving up include the Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks.

Moving down this week are the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks.

(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 (22-6-2)

THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 1

GF: 3.73 GA: 2.43 SA CF%: 52.9

NET PP/60: +9.94 NET PK/60: -4.27

After a brief slump, the Lightning have won five in a row, and G Andrei Vasilevskiy has been spectacular, posting a .933 save percentage while starting 25 of 30 games.

Key Injuries: D Braydon Coburn (undisclosed).

LOS ANGELES KINGS (20-9-3)

THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 2

GF: 3.00 GA: 2.28 SA CF%: 49.3

NET PP/60: +4.80 NET PK/60: -3.68

Tuesday’s loss at New Jersey ended an eight-game winning streak, and while the Kings could use more from their supporting cast, they do have the long-term hope of getting Jeff Carter back later in the season.

Key Injuries: C Jeff Carter (Achilles).

NASHVILLE PREDATORS (19-7-4)

THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 7

GF: 3.30 GA: 2.73 SA CF%: 51.1

NET PP/60: +8.59 NET PK/60: -5.68

With only one regulation loss in the past dozen games, and top centre Ryan Johansen returning to the lineup, the Predators are back among the top teams in the league.

Key Injuries: D Ryan Ellis (knee).

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (19-11-1)

THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 3

GF: 2.74 GA: 2.54 SA CF%: 52.8

NET PP/60: +1.99 NET PK/60: -5.72

Three losses in the past five games, with the most recent being a 7-2 home loss to Edmonton, was apparently enough to break head coach John Tortorella. What has to be troubling to the Blue Jackets is that they have managed just three power play goals in the past 18 games.

Key Injuries: D Ryan Murray (upper body).

WINNIPEG JETS (18-8-5)

THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 4

GF: 3.41 GA: 2.80 SA CF%: 50.4

NET PP/60: +9.56 NET PK/60: -5.47

The Jets had lost three in a row before Monday’s win against Vancouver and they’re looking at a couple of weeks without defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who had yet to score a goal in 28 games this season.

Key Injuries: D Tobias Enstrom (lower body), D Dustin Byfuglien (lower body).

ST. LOUIS BLUES (21-9-2)

THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 6

GF: 3.18 GA: 2.53 SA CF%: 53.7

NET PP/60: +5.06 NET PK/60: -6.28

After five games without a regulation loss, the Blues lost to Tampa Bay Tuesday, but their bigger concern is injuries to LW Jaden Schwartz and D Alex Pietrangelo, two of their top performers to this point in the season.

Key Injuries: RW Robby Fabbri (knee), LW Jaden Schwartz (ankle), D Alex Pietrangelo (foot).

BOSTON BRUINS (15-9-4)

THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 15

GF: 2.85 GA: 2.71 SA CF%: 52.8

NET PP/60: +5.86 NET PK/60: -4.26

The Bruins are getting healthy and have won nine of the past 11 games, with one loss at Nashville and another at home against Edmonton.

Key Injuries: C Ryan Spooner (lower body).

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (19-9-2)

THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 10

GF: 3.43 GA: 3.06 SA CF%: 51.4

NET PP/60: +6.38 NET PK/60: -6.39

The Golden Knights have one regulation win in the past eight games but, because they’ve gone beyond 60 minutes in four of the past five games, they’ve gone five straight without a regulation loss, too. For all the praise (justifiably) being heaped on the likes of William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault, it’s worth pointing out that Erik Haula is producing a bunch (11 G, 9 A in 26 GP) as well.

Key Injuries: None.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (17-11-3)

THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 5

GF: 3.48 GA: 3.35 SA CF%: 49.8

NET PP/60: +4.33 NET PK/60: -8.04

One regulation win in the past seven games knocks the Isles down, but they’re still a dangerous team, the second highest-scoring team in the league right now.

Key Injuries: None.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS (19-12-1)

THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 12

GF: 3.06 GA: 2.90 SA CF%: 48.6

NET PP/60: +5.68 NET PK/60: -6.77

After a slow start, the Capitals appear to be moving in the right direction, winning eight of the past 10 games.  

Key Injuries: RW T.J. Oshie (upper body).

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (20-11-1)

THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 8

GF: 3.31 GA: 2.84 SA CF%: 50.0

NET PP/60: +7.63 NET PK/60: -6.33

Six wins in the past 11 games reveals some vulnerability in Toronto, where the Maple Leafs have seen their possession numbers sinking and it’s not likely to get better with Auston Matthews on the shelf.

Key Injuries: C Auston Matthews (upper body).

NEW JERSEY DEVILS (17-9-4)

THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 9

GF: 3.06 GA: 3.00 SA CF%: 47.2

NET PP/60: +6.41 NET PK/60: -4.85

New Jersey’s results have been uneven (6-7-2) over the past 15 games, and they’re dealing with some injuries up front. Early returns on D Sami Vatanen aren’t great; he’s playing nearly 22 minutes per game, but has negative relative possession stats (48.1 CF%, -3.3 CFRel%), with more offensive zone starts (54.8%), since coming from Anaheim.

Key Injuries: RW Kyle Palmieri (foot), LW Marcus Johansson (ankle).

DALLAS STARS (18-13-1)

THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 11

GF: 2.93 GA: 2.84 SA CF%: 53.0

NET PP/60: +5.67 NET PK/60: -6.00

There are still some issues to work out, but the Stars are moving in the right direction overall, going 9-4 in the past 13 games.

Key Injuries: D Marc Methot (knee).

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (16-13-3)

THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 16

GF: 2.93 GA: 3.21 SA CF%: 51.2

NET PP/60: +10.05 NET PK/60: -6.24

The Penguins have gone four straight without a regulation win, but they managed to tread water while G Matt Murray was injured. The power play is humming and C Sidney Crosby is doing his thing once again, putting up 19 points (8 G, 11 A) in the past 13 games.

Key Injuries: None.

SAN JOSE SHARKS (16-10-3)

THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 14

GF: 2.68 GA: 2.34 SA CF%: 53.6

NET PP/60: +6.94 NET PK/60: -2.99

Even if the Sharks aren’t generating consistent results, they do have just two regulation losses in the past 11 games.

Key Injuries: RW Joonas Donskoi (lower body), LW Mikkel Boedker (undisclosed).

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (15-11-5)

THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 17

GF: 3.00 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 52.8

NET PP/60: +4.49 NET PK/60: -5.14

Three straight wins should be encouraging, but home wins against Buffalo, Arizona and Florida, with two coming in overtime aren’t quite parade-worthy either. The best news for the Blackhawks is that G Corey Crawford is back between the pipes because he’s been their most important player this year.

Key Injuries: D Cody Franson (upper body).

CALGARY FLAMES (16-12-3)

THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 18

GF: 2.80 GA: 3.03 SA CF%: 52.2

NET PP/60: +5.47 NET PK/60: -7.72

One regulation win in the past six games is not a great stretch for the Flames, though they have points in four straight games; pretty much a mixed bag.

Key Injuries: LW Kris Versteeg (hip), RW Jaromir Jagr (lower body).

NEW YORK RANGERS (16-12-3)

THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 13

GF: 3.22 GA: 2.90 SA CF%: 47.2

NET PP/60: +7.05 NET PK/60: -6.14

One win in the past four games moves the Rangers down a little, but it’s fair to note that there isn’t a significant difference between the 13th best and 18th best team in the league.

Key Injuries: C Mika Zibanejad (concussion).

MINNESOTA WILD (16-11-3)

THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 22

GF: 2.90 GA: 2.90 SA CF%: 46.9

NET PP/60: +6.71 NET PK/60: -4.45

Five wins in the past six games should be a positive sign for the Wild, but temper that enthusiasm a bit, because only one of those wins was in regulation, and they have a couple of significant injuries at the moment.

Key Injuries: LW Zach Parise (back), D Jared Spurgeon (illness), G Devan Dubnyk (lower body).

COLORADO AVALANCHE (14-14-2)

THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 23

GF: 3.10 GA: 3.30 SA CF%: 47.1

NET PP/60: +5.74 NET PK/60: -5.21

It’s not easy for the Avalanche, who don’t have the depth to be consistently competitive, but they’re notably improved over last season and haven’t even had strong goaltending to bolster their record.

Key Injuries: LW Alexander Kerfoot (lower body).

EDMONTON OILERS (13-16-2)

THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 25

GF: 3.00 GA: 3.22 SA CF%: 53.0

NET PP/60: +5.74 NET PK/60: -8.16

It’s not as though the Oilers are surely on the right path, but they have won six of the past 10 games, scoring 20 goals in their past three wins. Consider it a little reason for hope, but they’re still walking a tight rope as they try to get out of an early hole.

Key Injuries: D Andrej Sekera (knee), G Cam Talbot (upper body), D Adam Larsson (upper body).

ANAHEIM DUCKS (13-11-7)

THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 27

GF: 2.61 GA: 2.80 SA CF%: 45.6

NET PP/60: +5.85 NET PK/60: -4.95

Getting healthy has been the biggest challenge for the Ducks, but they’ve managed to go five straight without a regulation loss. The next battle is to survive a six-game road trip.

Key Injuries: C Ryan Kesler (hip), RW Patrick Eaves (Guillain-Barre), D Hampus Lindholm (upper body), RW Corey Perry (leg).

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (12-11-7)

THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 26

GF: 2.90 GA: 2.86 SA CF%: 48.8

NET PP/60: +5.72 NET PK/60: -8.76

Four straight wins has the Flyers moving in the right direction, but it follows an 11-game winless slide, so they are scrambling back towards respectability.

Key Injuries: None.

CAROLINA HURRICANES (12-11-7)

THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 20

GF: 2.66 GA: 3.00 SA CF%: 54.9

NET PP/60: +4.34 NET PK/60: -8.32

11 straight games without a regulation win is a bad run for the Hurricanes. They have points in six of those games, but they’re losing ground in the competitive Metropolitan Division.

Key Injuries: RW Lee Stempniak (hip).

MONTREAL CANADIENS (13-14-4)

THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 21

GF: 2.70 GA: 3.16 SA CF%: 50.7

NET PP/60: +5.58 NET PK/60: -6.24

Followed up a five-game winning streak by going winless in three and, after Thursday’s home date with New Jersey, the Habs have seven straight on the road, so this is a rather crucial stretch.

Key Injuries: RW Ales Hemsky (concussion), RW Artturi Lehkonen (lower body).

DETROIT RED WINGS (11-13-7)

THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 24

GF: 2.61 GA: 3.25 SA CF%: 48.9

NET PP/60: +5.71 NET PK/60: -4.64

The Wings are reasonably competitive most nights but one win in the past 11 games makes their status pretty clear.

Key Injuries: None.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (14-14-4)

THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 19

GF: 2.59 GA: 2.96 SA CF%: 47.7

NET PP/60: +5.89 NET PK/60: -4.27

Outscored 20-5 during a four-game losing streak, the Canucks are not equipped to deal with this current run of injuries.

Key Injuries: RW Derek Dorsett (neck), D Erik Gudbranson (upper body), C Brandon Sutter (upper body), C Bo Horvat (ankle), LW Sven Baertschi (jaw).

FLORIDA PANTHERS (12-14-5)

THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 29

GF: 2.90 GA: 3.41 SA CF%: 48.6

NET PP/60: +5.59 NET PK/60: -6.76

Taking a positive approach, the Panthers have one regulation loss in the past six games.

Key Injuries: G Roberto Luongo (lower body).

OTTAWA SENATORS (10-13-7)

THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 28

GF: 2.70 GA: 3.30 SA CF%: 48.2

NET PP/60: +4.92 NET PK/60: -6.79

Well, that accelerated quickly. One comment from Erik Karlsson, indicating that he’ll want fair market value on his next contract, and the trade talk goes into overdrive, with LW Mike Hoffman also finding his way into the rumour mill. If a Karlsson trade comes, it’s going to be (understandably) tough to sell to the Senators’ fan base in a league in which teams tend to lock up their star players.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion).

BUFFALO SABRES (8-17-6)

THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 31

GF: 2.16 GA: 3.32 SA CF%: 46.3

NET PP/60: +1.37 NET PK/60: -5.06

No regulation losses in four straight is enough to get the Sabres out of the basement, but we’ll hold off on the ticker tape parade for the time being.

Key Injuries: None.

ARIZONA COYOTES (7-21-5)

THIS WEEK: 31 LAST WEEK: 30

GF: 2.24 GA: 3.42 SA CF%: 46.2

NET PP/60: +4.81 NET PK/60: -6.84

One win in the past eight games lands the Coyotes back in 31st after a brief move up. They’re even getting decent goaltending now, so it falls on the skaters to produce more offence.

Key Injuries: D Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body).

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