It’s a new year, and there’s a new edition of the NHL power rankings for 2018 with several teams seriously surging in the top 10 list. Among them are the first-year team, the Vegas Golden Knights, as well as a longtime squad that has yet to claim a Stanley Cup, the Winnipeg Jets. Then there’s a team from the “Original Six” which has made one of the biggest moves in the latest rankings, as the Boston Bruins have really started to make strides this season. Here’s a look at the latest power rankings for the 2017-18 NHL season as of early 2018.
As indicated by the Sporting News rankings, the Tampa Bay Lightning have continued to hold onto the top spot overall in the standings, and the Top 10. Behind their star players Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov this squad is easily the favorite to win the Stanley Cup after the season has wrapped up. Tampa Bay also has one of the best goalies in a number of stats categories this season as Andrei Vasilevskiy is leading the NHL in wins and shutouts while also in second place ties for his save percentage and goals allowed per game. Still, it’s a team game, and while those three players are a huge reason for the success of the Lightning, this squad holds the best record in all of the NHL this season.
However, there are nine other teams all contending for the top spot, and looking to keep the momentum going towards the postseason. Among them are the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets. Both teams have moved up at least four spots in the latest top 10. Vegas has continued to impress in their first official season and hold the best record of all teams over the past 10 games going 8-1-1. Winnipeg is currently battling with the likes of Nashville and St. Louis, two other teams in the top 10, for the Central division.
2018 NHL Power Rankings Week 12
- Tampa Bay Lightning (29-8-2) (No. 1)
- Vegas Golden Knights (27-9-2) (No. 6)
- Washington Capitals (25-13-3) (No. 3)
- L.A. Kings (24-11-5) (No. 4)
- Winnipeg Jets (23-11-7) (No. 10)
- Nashville Predators (23-11-5) (No. 2)
- New York Rangers (21-14-5) (No. 8)
- Boston Bruins (22-10-6) (No. 15)
- St. Lous Blues (25-15-2) (No. 9)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (23-16-2) (No. 5)
Another major mover in this week’s top 10 rankings is the Boston Bruins. While Tampa Bay has been hot for a while, Boston has now gone 7-1-2 over their last 10 games and has the second place spot in the Atlantic division. The team ranks in the top 10 in goals per game, goals allowed, power play percentage, and penalty kill percentage making them a tough opponent for most teams. The Bruins also started the year off right, recording a 5-1 away victory over the New York Islanders, making for their second-straight win. Boston fans are looking forward to more top moments like those featured below as this season pushes forward in 2018.
Teams that have been seriously slumping are the Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Predators were up at the No. 2 spot in the previous NHL power rankings, but a 4-4-2 mark over their last 10 has them falling a bit in the central division chase. The Toronto Maple Leafs went from fifth down to the 10 spot, and are in danger of dropping out next week. They’re just 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over San Jose they may help them regain some momentum in the standings.
A team that isn’t in the top 10 but that could be surging into it soon is the Anaheim Ducks. With a 19-14-8 record, they have now won five out of their last six games and per Sporting News went from 25th up to 15th overall in the rankings. That’s the biggest move of any team in the latest listing showing that this Anaheim team is playing quite well in spite of their injury woes.