NHL Power Rankings: Sharks coming in hot

Ryan Lambert
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 25:  Brenden Dillon #4 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates San Jose Sharks win with teammates during overtime against the Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center on November 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NHLI via Getty Images)
Don't look now but the Sharks are right back in the playoff mix. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo! Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams and their chances to win the Cup, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 27)

One thing I think is cool is that there have been four or five times this season where a team that was expected to be bad goes on a bit of a run. Recall the Red Wings did this with a five-game point streak, including three wins in a row, a few weeks ago. This prompts a lot of people who really ought to know better, including the team itself, to go, “Well this is what we know we’re capable of.”

That much is true: Any team is capable of winning three, four, five in a row. Happens a lot in this league, no matter how bad you are. But let’s not forget that the Wings’ streak came after they lost four straight and 12 of 13. Now they’re on a four-game losing streak again and it’s like, “Hmm, I think I figured out why.”

30. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 29)

It’s nothing as dramatic as the Detroit stuff, but the Kings have won four of the last six, including a run of three straight. This followed a 5-11-1 start. If anyone at all cared about the Kings — and you can check the attendance on their recent home stand to see how that’s going — they’d have said the same stuff about the Red Wings.

Oh and that four-of-six run? They’re 1-2-0 in the last three. Which feels about right.

29. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 30)

John Tortorella’s team is 5-6-2 since he crowed, “We’re supposed to suck this year,” over a late-October overtime win in Toronto that ran his team’s point streak to five games. It ended two games later.

28. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 31)

Anyway, the Senators are 7-2-0 in their last nine and actually they’re Proving The Doubters Wrong.

27. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 26)

The Ducks opened 6-2-0. They’re 4-9-3 since and they don’t have a win in the last three games.

26. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 24)

Ah how we long for that 8-1-1 start. Ah how we learned so little from last November. Ah how they’re 3-8-2 since Oct. 24.

25. New York Rangers (LW: 28)

24. Minnesota Wild (LW: 25)

23. New Jersey Devils (LW: 22)

At least the Devils have the decency to let everyone down the right way rather than teasing it out for a couple of months before having the floor drop out from under them. They’re figuring it out, slowly but surely; they’re 6-5-2 after that dismal start. It’s an 88-point pace and it’s not good enough to dig them out of their awful hole to start the year. But they’re getting there.

22. Chicago (LW: 21)

Three straight losses after that 6-1-2 run that only got them on the periphery of the playoff conversation should be instructive, but it won’t be.

21. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 23)

The Flyers inexplicably also got this treatment when they got 17 points from 11 games after a slow start. They have five points from six games since then. You see the point I’m trying to make.

20. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 17)

I mentioned it yesterday but these guys gotta be hearing footsteps from the Leafs and Bolts. They’ve lost four straight (granted, two in overtime) against absolutely teams below them in these Power Feelings and, obviously, in the standings.

Their next stretch includes the Bruins twice, the Islanders, then the Avs with the Devils and Flyers mixed in. Could get late early out here for the Habs; they never got hot enough to really bank the points they needed to give themselves breathing room.

19. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 19)

Two straight wins is nice and they do seem to have figured it out in terms of the style of play they need. I think the reason they struggled for a while was how weak their opening schedule was — they pounded almost every team they played for a month straight — and then it got tough.

This is a young, kinda-thin team and sometimes you’re just gonna run into those problems when you’re both young and kinda thin. Don’t think it’s the end of the world for them, but they were always likely to end up on the playoff bubble. At least they’re moving in the right direction.

18. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 20)

17. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 18)

16. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 16)

The results have been pretty narrow lately, but unlike a lot of the teams mentioned above, they’re still winning, still banking points. I don’t believe Darcy Kuemper is everything he’s been for the last 70 or so games of his career (.927???) but the Coyotes are playing well enough in front of him that .917 is going to be enough to win them games, so…

15. Florida Panthers (LW: 14)

Imagine how cool it would be if this team was getting the goaltending to not waste its often-solid outfield play on a regular basis.

14. Calgary Flames (LW: 12)

They got that W against Philly but something’s gotta give soon. Fortunately, Brad Treliving has committed to making no major changes to the roster (fair enough) or behind the bench (yikes) so it looks like we’re just gonna have to cross our fingers and hope someone who’s not Treliving comes up with a bright idea to fix something.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 15)

12. Nashville Predators (LW: 10)

Over the last 10 games, the Predators have given up 42 goals? On 282 shots? That’s Jonathan Quick-level bad.

11. San Jose Sharks (LW: 13)

They’re 8-1-0 in the last nine games and two of their next three games are against LA. They’re three points out of third right now. I dunno, man, I think they do it.

10. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 9)

9. Dallas Stars (LW: 11)

8. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 7)

I think probably all the Golden Knights need to do is make the playoffs and they can turn into a buzzsaw based on their top talent and so on, but the fact is they’re Maple Leafs West with no contingency plan in place for backup goaltenders. The Knights are 0-4-2 in games started by a backup and 11-6-2 with Fleury in net.

Those are paces for 27ish and 104ish points, respectively, and they tell you everything you need to know about where the team would be with a competent backup. That won’t be an issue in the playoffs or, if it is, they’ll have bigger problems anyway.

They maybe need a little more offensively, but not a ton. Even a .500 record in backup games has them two back of Arizona.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 8)

Oh so it turns out they were all playing to get the coach fired or at least didn’t care if he got canned. That explains a hell of a lot.

6. St. Louis Blues (LW: 4)

5. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 5)

4. New York Islanders (LW: 6)

How is it possible that the Islanders only have two home games in their next eight (or nine including last night’s in Anaheim, which doesn’t count for the purposes of these weekly Monday-to-Sunday rankings)?

Feels like we’ve been seeing a lot of that this year, with Tampa, for instance, playing an absolutely huge amount of its early games on the road, and struggling more than anyone had a right to expect because of it.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 3)

Speaking of which, since the Lightning started their stretch in which they’ll play all but six of Games Nos. 15-37 in Tampa, they’re 4-2 with a plus-11 goal difference. Not that you want to be comfortable with losing on the road — especially when you’re this talented and have these kinds of external and internal expectations — but still.

2. Washington Capitals (LW: 2)

1. Boston Bruins (LW: 1)

It was asked at some point last week on Twitter if Patrice Bergeron is the third-best player on his own line, and while people will be dismayed to find that David Pastrnak isn’t quite as valuable because he doesn’t kill penalties, the answer is probably closer to “yes” than people realize.

Anyway, Bergeron’s out for the next two games, so that sucks.

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

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