SportsTips’ NHL Power Rankings 2021: Week 12

SportsTips’ NHL Power Rankings 2021: Week 12
Tue 6th April 2021

We have reached week 12, and there are some big changes to the power rankings. The Avs move all the way up from 5th and are clearly the best team in the competition at the moment.

The Panthers continued their winning ways and earnt a move up to 4th from 6th last week, while the Blues, Kings and Ducks are all headed southbound.

Our rankings are based upon a number of factors, including recent level of play, injuries, and quality wins.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Stanley Cup Odds: +500
Record: 25-8-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 5

The Avs jumped up to 1st from 5th following a wildly successful week which saw them win 4 of 4 games, including a huge 9-3 victory over the Coyotes, and a clean sweep over the Blues.

The midfield combo of MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog is absolutely devastating, and since adding Cale Makar back to the lineup the Avs have only looked stronger.

They look like a sure thing to go far in the playoffs if they can stay fit, the bookies seem to agree as they value them as the favourites to win the Stanley Cup (+500).

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Stanley Cup Odds: +1300
Record: 25-9-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 1

The Canes slip down to 2nd after failing to keep their momentum going through the last week, losing a game to both the Stars and Blackhawks, 2 of the division’s worst performing sides. 

They are 2 games into an 8 match homestand, first up is the Panthers which should be interesting given how solid both teams are looking. After that the Canes’ host the Red Wings which you can only expect they will be taking maximum points from.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Stanley Cup Odds: +600
Record: 26-10-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 3

The reigning Stanley Cup champs remain in 3rd place following another inconsistent week which saw them narrowly edge out the Blue Jackets and Red Wings by a goal before being destroyed by the Red Wings 5-1 on Sunday. 

They will now play the Blue Jackets in an away series, followed by 2 games against the Predators who the Lightning are 5-1 against this season.

Despite their inconsistent results lately there isn’t much to worry about with the Lightning considering they only lost 5 of their first 21 games this season, they will be back in form in no time.

4. Florida Panthers

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 26-9-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 6

The Panthers shoot up to 4th place following a flawless week which saw them take maximum points from the Red Wings and the Blue Jackets, conceding just 4 goals while scoring 11 over the last 3 games. 

Their 6 consecutive wins is the most in the league, they now hit the road for the next 6 games, they are 12-5-1 from away games this season.

Aaron Ekblad will likely miss the rest of the season which is devastating news, so far the Panthers have fared well in his absence but it remains to be seen if they can maintain that form.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs

Stanley Cup Odds: +800
Record: 25-10-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 8

The Maple Leafs continued to impress this week, earning them a bump up to the 5th place from 8th. They hit the road to play an in form Jets, and the Flames, winning each game to bring their away record to an impressive 13-4-1.

Auston Matthews has been nothing short of immense for the Maple Leafs this season, he is instrumental to their success, leading the league for goals with 25 and well on track to hit 40 by the end of the campaign.

With a pretty favourable run of games approaching, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Leafs move up the rankings once again next week.

6. Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup Odds: +750
Record: 25-10-2
Last Week’s Ranking:2

The Knights have had a very rare, shocking week, losing 3 consecutive games for the first time all season, it is a testament to their quality that it was only the third time all season they have lost consecutive matches. 

They picked up defeats to the Kings at home followed by back to back losses to the Wild, also on home turf. The Knights are now in St. Louis to face the Blues for 2 games, they looked like the team that we are all used to seeing in the first game, winning with a dominant performance. 

Marc-Andre Fleury has not been playing to his usual high standard in recent games, that is not likely to last for too long though and once he is back to his best the Knights’ results should coincide with it.

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7. Washington Capitals

Stanley Cup Odds: +1200
Record: 25-9-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 4

The Capitals got their week off to a slow start with 2 big defeats, losing the first game to the Rangers 5-2, followed by a whopping 8-4 loss to the Islanders.

Both games were played on the road which didn’t bode well with 2 games against the Devils in New Jersey to come, but the Capitals redeemed themselves with a clean sweep, narrowly winning both games by a goal.

The Caps are 2 points clear at the top of the East Division and boast the best record over the last 10 games, but performances like an 8-4 loss to the Islanders have to make you question how they will fare against the other division’s strongest teams.

8. New York Islanders

Stanley Cup Odds: +1300
Record: 24-10-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 9

The Islanders started the week off with a characteristically shaky showing on the road, once again losing to the Penguins. They then returned home to their beloved fortress in New York where they decimated the Capitals 8-4 before beating the Flyers in a nervy shootout victory. 

The Islanders have been bullish when playing at home, boasting an incredible 15-1-2 record, with 4 straight home fixtures ahead of them, we will likely see the Islanders move their way up the power rankings this time next week.

9. Minnesota Wild

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 23-12-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 10

The Wild had a wildly confusing week, after being swept over 2 games by the 6th place Sharks in San Jose the Wild travelled to Vegas to face the Knights, and you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking they did not stand much of a chance after their showing against the Sharks.

However, the Wild went on to sweep the Knights 3-2 and 3-1, bringing their away record to a positive 10-8-2, only to go back to Minnesota to convincingly lose to the Avalanche. 

Performances like the series against the Sharks make it hard to get too excited about the Wild, they definitely have the quality of players to do well, but they often fall victim to going missing in games they should be winning. 

10. Pittsburgh Penguins

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 24-12-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 7

The Penguins take the 10th place on our power rankings, they have performed very similar to the Islanders this season and could honestly be interchangeable with them on the list. 

They faced the Bruins over 2 games in Boston this week, winning the first game 4-1 before conceding a whopping 7 goals in the second to lose 7-5.

Similarly to the Islanders the Penguins have performed incredibly well at home but have struggled on the road. With a 4 game road trip ahead of them we think 10th place is a fair ranking, some big performances this week and the Penguins start to look like a real threat. 

11. Montreal Canadiens

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 17-9-9
Last Week’s Ranking: 12

The Canadiens came back from their Covid protocol break looking incredibly solid, they had a congested week of fixtures, winning 3 of the 4 games played.

They have scored 14 goals over their last 4 games and have been solid defensively aside from a sloppy game against the Senators which they lost 6-3. 

With some tough fixtures ahead of them it remains to be seen if they can maintain this form, but having just added Eric Staal to the roster the Canadiens are making moves that show a strong desire to compete. 

12. Boston Bruins

Stanley Cup Odds: +1600
Record: 19-10-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 11

The Bruins didn’t enjoy the best week, they lost to the Penguins 4-1 on Thursday, but got some revenge over them on Saturday with a 7-5 win.

They then faced the struggling Flyers at home and lost 3-2 in overtime, this is the kind of inconsistency that has plagued them for the season, often winning 1 game in a series and losing the other.

It is no secret that they have been let down by their offensive ability this season, whilst their overall scoring record doesn’t look too bad, they have been kept to just 1 goal or less on 10 occasions this season.

13. Winnipeg Jets

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 23-13-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 14

The Jets claim the 13th place, they had mixed success throughout the week including a convincing 5-1 win over the Flames, and back to back defeats to the Maple Leafs in which they outshot them in 1 game and sent the other to a shootout.

They bounced back with a win over the Senators, they won 4-3 but probably should have scored an additional 3. 

The Jets are set to play the Canadiens and Senators over the next 4 games, this looks like a good opportunity to add some points, they are 4-2 against the Canadiens, and 5-1 against the Senators this season.

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14. Edmonton Oilers

Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
Record: 23-14-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 13

The Oilers slip to 14th this week following an up and down week that looks worse on paper than it actually is. They got up with wins over the Maple Leafs and Flames, but lost twice against the Canadiens, one of those games was played with just a day’s rest though, and the other they took to overtime to salvage a point.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have once again been the talismans of this Oilers team, their fitness is vital to a playoff run. If they can add some more offensive threat before the deadline than they will be in a good position to do well.

15. Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup Odds: +6500
Record: 20-18-1
Last Week’s Ranking: 15

The Predators good form surprisingly continued over the last week, winning games against the Blackhawks and Stars at the start of the week before seeing their win streak coming to an end with a 4-1 loss to the Stars.

They bounced back on Saturday with another win over the Blackhawks and it is more than enough to see them claim the 15th place here, a very impressive turn around for a team that was a bit of laughing stock at the start of the season.

They have the second best record over the last 10 games in the entire league and have found themselves in a playoff position for their efforts.

16. Arizona Coyotes

Stanley Cup Odds: +6500
Record: 18-15-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 20

The Coyotes jump up to 16th place from 20th last week, it is a well earnt move for the Arizona team who, while we are still not convinced of, have won 7 of their last 8 games.

Currently sitting on a 3 win streak, the Coyotes have picked up wins against the Ducks and Kings away from home, earning them a move into the West Divisions top 4.

They face some tough fixtures ahead of them so we will be seeing if the Coyotes are really cut out for it over the next week. 

17. New York Rangers

Stanley Cup Odds: +7000
Record: 17-15-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 18

A shootout loss to the Sabres on Saturday spoiled what would have been another very solid week for the Rangers, however, a strong win at home against the 1st place Caps is enough to see them move up a ranking.

The team is really starting to find their feet, and while they may have left it a little late, with the way the teams above them are playing there is a good chance that the Rangers can make it to a playoff position.

18. St Louis Blues

Stanley Cup Odds: +4400
Record: 16-6-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 17

The Blues continue their steady descent down the West Division, and subsequently down the power rankings. Their nightmare run continued throughout the week, extending their losing streak to 7 games thanks to a clean sweep at the hands of the Avs, and a 6-1 thrashing by the Golden Knights.

They have lost 11 of their last 13 games, the 2nd worst record in the entire league, with that being said, they are still just 3 points from a playoff position and on paper, are the best team in contention.

19. Philadelphia Flyers

Stanley Cup Odds: +4100
Record: 18-14-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 16

The Flyers are down from 16th, and might have been lower if it weren’t for their overtime victory over the Bruins yesterday. They only just managed to secure a win against the Sabres, and then lost to them in the next game by an embarrassing 6 goals to 1.

Even when they are winning they rarely look convincing, all of their most recent 7 wins have been won by just a 1 goal margin. If they were to make the playoffs it is hard to imagine they will do too much with the opportunity.

20. Chicago Blackhawks

Stanley Cup Odds: +6500
Record: 17-17-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 19

The Blackhawks are down a place from last week, and based off their string of lacklustre results it would not be surprising to see them regress further in the coming weeks.

They recently got a good 2-1 win over the Canes, but it was still just their 3rd from the last 10 played, with 5 of those 7 defeats lost by a margin of 2 goals or more.

It isn’t all bad for the Blackhawks though, they are just 2 points from a playoff position and are facing the best possible set of fixtures, with their next 6 games all to be played against the 3 teams that are below them on the table.

21. San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Odds: +15000
Record: 17-16-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 23

The Sharks have earnt another rise up the rankings following 4 very impressive consecutive wins over some decent opponents. They started the week off with a clean sweep at home over the Wild, and they backed it up when they hit the road to face the Kings twice in 2 days, winning the first game 3-0 and the second 3-2.

This type of form is uncharted territory for the Sharks this season, but with some favourable fixtures ahead of them they could challenge for a playoff position, which is a sentence we didn’t expect to be saying a month ago.

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22. Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup Odds: +6000
Record: 13-13-10
Last Week’s Ranking: 26

The Stars jump 3 places up the rankings after a couple of good results throughout the week, they played in a 2 game series with both the Predators and the Canes, winning 2 games, and taking a point in another.

They sit in 6th place and are 5 points from 4th, however, they have played 3 less games than the 2 teams above them. Their recent results are made more impressive as they have played the last 4 games on the road, they now head to Chicago to play the Blackhawks who the Stars are 1-3 against this season.

23. Los Angeles Kings

Stanley Cup Odds: +6500
Record: 14-6-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 21

A disappointing week once again sees the Kings move down the rankings. After their impressive away victory over the Kings at the start of the week, the Kings returned home only to be swept by the Sharks over 2 games.

They then welcomed the Coyotes to Los Angeles for a 2 game series and lost the first game 4-2 yesterday. Their hot streak is long behind them, now sitting in 7th place with a very tough set of fixtures ahead of them, all but sealing their playoff fate. 

24. Columbus Blue Jackets

Stanley Cup Odds: +10000
Record: 14-8-8
Last Week’s Ranking: 22

The Blue Jackets move down the rankings having lost their last 3 games, it was a largely unsurprising move considering the difficulty of their recent fixtures. They played the Lightning and the Panthers in back to back 2 game series, losing all but one match against the Lightning.

With just 1 win from their last 8 games played the Blue Jackets’ situation doesn’t look too promising, and with 2 more games against the Lightning coming up we don’t expect to see them improving their ranking any time soon.

25. Vancouver Canucks

Stanley Cup Odds: +10000
Record: 16-18-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 25

The Canucks are in the midst of a serious Covid outbreak which will see them out of action until at least the middle of April, and they have not played since the 24th of March.

Therefore their ranking is only really affected by the teams around them, last we saw them though they were swept by the Jets over 2 games, 9-1 on aggregate.

26. Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup Odds: +6000
Record: 16-20-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 25

No team in the entire league has ran worse over the last 10 games than the Calgary Flames 2-8-0. They had another disappointing week, losing to the Jets and Oilers in single games, as well as 2 losses to the Maple Leafs.

Daryl Sutter has had a nightmare since signing for the Flames, and has so far failed to fix any of the problems that plagued them before his appointment.

There aren’t too many positives as we look ahead for the Flames, at the very least their remaining fixtures are mostly played against the weaker sides in the division.

27. New Jersey Devils

Stanley Cup Odds: +25000
Record: 13-7-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 27

The Devils slump continued through the week, losing to the Bruins in a shootout on Tuesday followed by a clean sweep defeat to the Caps over 2 games in New Jersey.

They managed to pick up 1 point in 2 of those games, however, sitting 12 points from a playoff position it is largely inconsequential at this point.

As the trade deadline approaches, Kyle Palmieri’s future at the Devils seems to be all but confirmed, it remains to be seen what the Devils management are looking to get from a trade.

28. Detroit Red Wings

Stanley Cup Odds: +25000
Record: 13-22-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 29

The Red Wings jump up a place following their huge 5-1 win over the Lightning on Sunday. While they were bang average in the 2 games before the win, and will likely continue to be bang average in future games, it was a positive performance from the struggling team.

They now welcome the Predators to Detroit for a 2 game series, and they will be hoping to rewrite the wrongs of their last series with the Nashville team when they lost 9-1 on aggregate over 2 games.

29. Buffalo Sabres

Stanley Cup Odds: +25000
Record: 8-23-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 31

The Sabres deserve a break from the bottom of the list and this is probably the best chance we will get to do so. Picking up an uncharacteristic 6-1 win over the Flyers at the start of the week was surprising enough, but they followed it up with a shootout win against the Rangers 2 games later, with a point in the middle from an overtime loss.

They have picked up more than two times the amount of points in the last 3 games than they did in the previous 18, that’s not to say that they are suddenly good now though, they will still be taking home the wooden spoon at the end of the season.

30. Ottawa Senators

Stanley Cup Odds: +25000
Record: 13-22-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 28

The Senators came back from their break last week and not much had changed as they lost to the Canadiens 4-1. They bounced back in the second fixture with a 6-3 win but couldn’t keep that momentum going into yesterday’s game against the Jets, losing 4-3 and attempting just half the shots of their opponents.

Their defense has remained their biggest weakness all season, with a whopping 146 goals conceded over 39 games, an average of 3.72 per game.

31. Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Odds: +25000
Record: 11-21-7
Last Week’s Ranking: 30

The Ducks claim the bottom place this week, while it could realistically go to any team of the bottom 4, the Ducks have been particularly average this week.

They started the week off by being dominated by the Avs 5-2, followed by a clean sweep at the hands of the Coyotes on their home turf in Anaheim. They average a measly 21 shots over the 3 games and were incredibly lucky to salvage an overtime point on Sunday.

Their fixtures will not fill them with promise as they prepare to play the Sharks, Avs and Golden Knights.

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Connor is a passionate writer and sporting fanatic, with a focus on all things soccer, NBA, and NHL. Happy to chew your ear off about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, or talk odds on the latest ball game. Connor always delivers the latest in breaking news, matchday analysis and predictions.