NHL ALL-STAR BREAK POWER RANKS PT. 1

2023-02-04 · 7 min read · NHL/Hockey
David Pastrnak and Martin Necas

Maddie Meyer and Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Since we are at the All-star break, it seems like a good time to do some power rankings to see where the chips have fallen over the first half of the season in the NHL. In the interest of making them as digestible as possible, they will be divided into halves, so without further ado let's get into the top 16.
1. Boston Bruins
Could it have been anybody else? The Bruins are leading the President’s Trophy race by over 10 points and have only lost one game in regulation at home. They have allowed the least goals in the league by a chunk, are second in goals scored by only one and have the best SRS by a mile.
  • Playoff percentage - 100%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Patrice Bergeron: even at 37 the guy is still an all-star level player in every zone.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have had a great season so far highlighted by a franchise-record 11-game win streak. They have a good offence and are an analytics darling leading the league in Corsi. Their best attribute is their defence as they have allowed the second least goals in the league, and the least high-danger scoring chances, all while generating the second most high-danger attempts.
  • Playoff percentage - 100%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Martin Necas: leads them in scoring with 47 points and has shown a clutch gene.
3.New Jersey Devils
The Devils are the best road team in the league with an 18-3-2 record going into a match-up with the Dallas Stars Friday. They had a 13-game winning streak earlier this season, sit second in SRS and in 12 games since the calendar flipped to 2023 they have only lost in regulation twice.
  • Playoff percentage - 99.8%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Dougie Hamilton: has been one of the league's most productive blueliners this year and leads the Devils in ice time with 22:20 a game.
4. Tampa Bay Lighting
Given this is mostly the same team that went to last year's Stanley Cup Final and won the two before that, it's no surprise to see them in the upper echelon of these power rankings. They sit fourth in SRS and second in power play percentage at 26.99%.
  • Playoff percentage - 98.9%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Steven Stamkos - 57 points in 48 games is all-star level production.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs were slightly higher on this list before the news that Auston Matthews is going to miss at least the next few weeks with a knee sprain
  • Playoff percentage - 99.4%
  • Status - Contender (knowing the Leafs are a buyer though)
  • All-star snub – William Nylander - leads the team with 28 goals and is second with 59 points in 52 games.
6. Colorado Avalanche
The reigning Stanley Cup winners might only be fourth in their division, but you have to factor in that they have dealt with a ton of injuries, namely to Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar, while captain Gabriel Landeskog has yet to play this year. All that tallied they have won six of their last seven games, MacKinnon and Makar are healthy, plus Landeskog is reportedly nearing a return. I wouldn't be surprised to see them win the Central.
  • Playoff percentage - 81.6%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - tough as they had three players make the game but Artturi Lehkonen has had a breakout year being four points off his career high.
7. Dallas Stars
A potent offence, solid defence and good goaltender show that the Stars have all the makings of a team ready to make a run. They have the league's second-best goal differential and having Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen bouncing back from last year's subpar campaigns is a big part of the reason why.
  • Playoff percentage - 98.9%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Joe Pavelski sits second in points with 48 and first in plus-minus at +31.
8. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are markedly improved from last year. This season they have 10 more wins than last season after 52 games, have scored 17 more goals (166-149), and perhaps most impressively their penalty kill has improved from 24th (76 %) to 3rd (83.3%). Above all, they were 12th in the West at this point last year, while they’re currently sitting in 2nd at this moment. It's also worth noting journeyman blueliner Josh Morrissey is having a breakout season sitting third in defenceman points with 53 and is a genuine Norris candidate.
  • Playoff percentage - 95.1%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Kyle Connor: this guy was one of the biggest snubs. He is one of six players with 200 goals over the last six years and this year leads the Jets with 59 points in 52 games.
9. New York Rangers
The Rangers are very close to the team that went six games into last year's eastern conference finals so it's no surprise to see them in the top ten in these rankings. They had a slow start going 11-10-5 but since Dec 5th they have been sporting a 16-4-3 record, second in the NHL with a .761 points percentage behind the Hurricanes (.827). I was tempted to make them a buyer as I feel like they are a piece short, but their play over the last two months speaks for itself.
  • Playoff percentage - 89.7%
  • Status - Contender
  • All-star snub - Mika Zibanejad: has 49 points in 49 games and leads the rangers with 22 goals.
10. Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers still seem to fly or fail based on the success of their potent offence, they score the most goals per game at a clip of 3.74. Their goaltending has notably improved this year thanks to Stuart Skinner, however, he struggles with consistency having only 16 quality starts in 28 games. Stop me if you have heard this before, but this team needs to improve on the defensive end, yet if McDavid and company get hot their offence can be enough to power them into the summer.
  • Playoff percentage - 85.1%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: toss-up here between him and Zach Hyman, as they both have in 60 points so far. Nuge gets the edge here for playing without Draisaitl and McDavid for most of his minutes.
11. Seattle Kraken
What a difference a year makes for these Kraken who has gone from a bottom feeder to a big fish. They struggle with consistency, but when they get hot they are hard to contain. The Kraken sport has the highest shooting percentage in the league at 12%, but does that mean they are primed for regression?
  • Playoff percentage - 97.0%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Vince Dunn: Andre Burakovsky may lead them in scoring, but Dunn is amongst the highest-scoring defencemen in the league and plays about 24 minutes a game for the Kraken.
12. Vegas Golden Knights
The Knights have had some bad luck this year as despite sitting third in the Pacific division it feels like they have underachieved. They are limping into the all-star break with a 2-6-2 record in their last ten. Worse yet Mark Stone is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery, a tough blow to lose one of the best two-way players in the league.
  • Playoff percentage - 82.6%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Mark Stone: despite missing the last eight games stone still leads Vegas in player point shares and sits second in scoring, his impact on the ice will be missed.
13. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings don't play a flashy game and are overly reliant on their top players to move the needle. They have struggled between the pipes which is likely why they sport a -10-goal differential. This team has a good core but desperately needs to make a move if they want to make a playoff run; something that is going to be hard considering they are near the cap ceiling.
  • Playoff percentage - 74.4%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Anze Kopitar: He is like the Slovenian Patrice Bergeron with slightly better offence and slightly worse defence.
14. Minnesota Wild
The Wild are a solid if unspectacular team, you have to think given their play and GM Bill Guerin’s history they are going to be aggressive on the trade market. I wonder if they made a play for Horvat as they need some depth down the middle, Sam Steel feels miscast as a first-line centre for a playoff team.
  • Playoff percentage - 81.8%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Mats Zuccarello: has 48 points in 46 games this season and for the second year in a row has a shooting percentage above 15.
15. Washington Capitals
The Capitals have had a lot of injuries as only five skaters have suited up for all 53 of their games. Long-time blueliner John Carlson, who hasn't played since taking a puck to the face in late December is reportedly nearing a return. Even if he can return soon the Caps need help on the backend, so expect them to be aggressive in the blueline trade market.
  • Playoff percentage - 54.8%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Evgeny Kuznetsov: Leads the Caps in assists and is their only star outside Ovechkin who hasn't missed significant time.
16. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins seem to not know who they are as this team has gone through peaks and valleys this season. However, they have the second easiest schedule the rest of the way which should help them snatch a wild card spot. This team needs some depth as they are overly reliant on their top players to move the needle
  • Playoff percentage - 62.9%
  • Status - Buyer
  • All-star snub - Evgeni Malkin: Has 50 points in 49 games, 17 more than either of his linemates.
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By: Chase Howard

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