Weekly Power Rankings: No Change at the Top

Dana Lane

Friday, March 2, 2018 5:12 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 2, 2018 5:12 PM UTC

Every Friday, Dana Lane releases his Top 10 NHL power rankings that will give you a head start with your weekly handicapping.

These Power Rankings are based on a formula that has produced the last three Stanley Cup champions; it’s not an exact sciencem but it does reward a team for puck control, quality shots, and winning. It’s pretty simple.

#10 Dallas Stars (36-23-5, 77 pts, +19 Goal Differential) LW 10

Last week: 1-1-1, -1

Ben Bishop needs to be better than he was against the Tampa Bay Lightning, his former team. I still worry about offense consistency. Even with the 4 goals against the Lightning on Thursday, the Stars have only scored 15 goals in their last 8 games.

#9 Toronto Maple Leafs (39-20-7, 85 pts, +29) LW 9

Last week: 1-0-2, -1

Since the midpoint of the season Toronto is 15-4-5, but from an NHL handicapping standpoint I’d like to see their shot share (16th) go up a bit before I jump them much higher in the rankings. They are doing a much better job of converting in high-quality areas.

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Don't forget: It's Anchors Aweigh for the Caps and Leafs on Saturday.

The #StadiumSeries from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis is coming at you Saturday on @NBC. pic.twitter.com/alQyhUpZ5W

— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 2, 2018
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#8 Winnipeg Jets (37-17-9, 79 pts, +43) LW 7

Last week: 2-1-0, +5

Dropping down one spot because I wasn’t fond of the way they relinquished leads of 3-1 and 5-3 at home against the Nashville Predators.

#7 Tampa Bay Lightning (37-14-9, 83 pts, +29) LW 6

Last week 3-0-1, +2

Easily could have dropped all four games last week as every one of them went to a shootout or overtime.

#6 Nashville Predators (40-14-9, 89 pts, +44) LW 8

Last week: 3-0-0, +7

After a huge comeback win at Winnipeg, it may have been even more impressive that the Predators woke up to get another road win in Edmonton.

#5 Boston Bruins (39-15-8, 86 pts, +49) LW 5

Last week: 2-2-0, +1

Let’s see how the loss of Patrice Bergeron for a couple of week affects the Bruins. The Rick Nash acquisition may have come at the right time as Boston exploded for eight goals against the Penguins on Thursday night.

#4 San Jose Sharks (35-21-9, 79 pts, +13) LW 3

Last week: 2-0-1, +7

The Sharks didn’t do anything wrong last week, but the moves that the Vegas Golden Knights made at the trade deadline keeps them ahead by a slight margin.

#3 St. Louis Blues (35-26-4 , 72 pts, +14) LW 2

Last week: 1-3-0, -8

I’m all alone on this ship. The Blues have been forgotten after dropping seven games against teams that are now in the playoffs. That’s fine with me, because I never overreact and this is based on teams that I think are decent wagering options moving forward. I’m a huge fan of Carter Hutton in goal with Jake Allen, who is just two years removed from winning 33 games. This is a huge stretch of games coming up for the Blues to prove me right.

#2 Vegas Golden Knights (41-17-5, 87 pts, +45) LW 4

Last week: 1-1-1, -1

When General Manager George McPhee went out and got Ryan Reaves at the trade deadline, the Knights filled their glaring need to get tougher. In a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday, the Knights sent a message to the rest of the Western Conference that they will not be a soft team to play against. They now look more like a Western Conference team. Still my pick in the West.

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins (36-25-4, 76 pts, +14) LW 1

Last week: 1-3-0, -1

This isn’t college football where a team has a bad week and all of a sudden it drops off the map. Top to bottom this is still the most dangerous team in hockey offensively. Goaltender Matt Murray is back skating after a concussion. His return solidifies this team's spot in the rankings.

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