SportsTips’ NHL Power Rankings 2021: Playoffs – Second Round

SportsTips’ NHL Power Rankings 2021: Playoffs – Second Round
Thu 3rd June 2021

Here’s where the remaining 8 NHL teams stand at the midway point of the Second Round of the Playoffs for the 2020-21 NHL season:

1.Colorado Avalanche

NHL Championship Odds: +125
Second Round Series: 2-0 vs Vegas Golden Knights
Postseason Seed: 1st (West)
Previous Ranking: 1

After their second consecutive victory over the Knights yesterday the Avalanche deservedly maintained the top seed this week. The Colorado side are yet to lose from 6 games in the postseason, however, yesterday’s win was the closest they have come to doing so.

In a rare occurrence, the Avs were subdued by the Golden Knights yesterday, attempting just 25 shots to the Knights’ 41, fortunately, Phillip Grubauer was at his best, making 39 saves to keep the Avs in the game.

Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen have all played electric so far, picking up a whopping 35 points between them. Cale Makar has also been very consistent, the talented young defender has 8 points after 6 games.

With a 2 game lead in hand the Avalanche now travel to Las Vegas, if they can secure at least 1 win from the 2 game set then they will be sitting pretty comfortably to make the next round. 

2.Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Championship Odds: +260
Second Round Series: 2-0 vs Carolina Hurricanes
Postseason Seed: 3rd (Central)
Previous Ranking: 6

The Lightning made a huge northward move up the ranks this week following a flawless start in their round 2 series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Facing 2 games away from home, the reigning champions had a tough job, but back to back wins saw them take a 2-0 series lead back to Tampa Bay for games’ 3 and 4.

Since the return of Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov the Lightning have been back at their best, coupled with the consistent performances of Andrei Vasilevskiy in net and it is no surprise why the bookies like their chances this postseason. 

Kucherov is ranked second in the NHL for points scored with 12, and team mate Victor Hedman isn’t too far behind with 10, the most of any defenseman in the postseason.

Vasilevskiy has started all 8 games for the Lightning, and while he has conceded an average of 2.33 goals per game, no goalie has faced more shots than the Russian shot stopper, and he boasts the second best save percentage in the NHL (93.9%).

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3.New York Islanders

NHL Championship Odds: +1300
Second Round Series: 1-1 vs Boston Bruins
Postseason Seed: 4th (East)
Previous Ranking: 8

At the beginning of the playoffs things weren’t looking too good for the Islanders, they crossed the finish line of the regular season with just 3 wins from the last 4 games and were pitted against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

However, it all came together in the postseason, beating the Penguins over 6 games to face the Bruins in round 2, and after dropping the first game convincingly the Islanders bounced back in the second to tie the series at 2-2.

They now get hosting duties for the next two games, and given how strong they have been at home this season, especially when playing the Bruins (4-0), the Islanders are in a great position to pull ahead.

4.Vegas Golden Knights

NHL Championship Odds: +1600
Second Round Series: 0-2 vs Colorado Avalanche
Postseason Seed: 2nd (West)
Previous Ranking: 2

The Golden Knights moved down to fourth, and probably could go lower if it weren’t for the quality of their squad, and the solid performance they put on against the Avs in game 2.

They have now dropped both away games to the Avalanche, and will need to be perfect across the next two games in Vegas if they want to keep their postseason dreams alive.

After 9 games the Knights have lacked any standout performances, with players showing glimpses of the quality they showed during the regular season.

Mattias Janmark leads the team for points with 6, while Mark Stone leads for goals scored with 4, but he has now gone 4 games without a goal and will need to be back at his best if the Knights are to remain competitive. 
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5.Boston Bruins

NHL Championship Odds: +550
Second Round Series: 1-1 vs New York Islanders
Postseason Seed: 3rd (East)
Previous Ranking: 3

The Bruins were unable to make it 2 from 2 against the Islanders on Monday, and now have to play the next 2 games away in New York, earning them a move down the ranks.

Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy are averaging a point a game from 7 games, and Brad Marchand is only 1 behind with 4 goals and 2 assists, but it is David Pastrnak that has been the standout man for the Bruins, picking up 5 goals and 5 assists with a +/- rating of 5. 

Expect the Bruins to remain very competitive in New York, but given how they struggled at the Nassau Coliseum throughout the regular season they have a tough job ahead of them.

6.Montreal Canadiens

NHL Championship Odds: +1600
Second Round Series: 1-0 vs Winnipeg Jets
Postseason Seed: 4th (North)
Previous Ranking: 11

Following their shock victory over the Maple Leafs in Round 1 which saw them come back from a 3-1 series deficit, the Habs continued to impress in their Round 2 opener against the Jets, winning 5-3 away from home.

The win was made even more impressive by the fact that the Jets had over a week since their last game, while the Canadiens had only wrapped up their series 2 days prior. 

Carey Price has been crucial to their success, the veteran shot stopper has started all 8 games and has so far operated at a save percentage of 92.8%, conceding an average of 2.33 goals per game.

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7.Winnipeg Jets

NHL Championship Odds: +3400
Second Round Series: 0-1 vs Montreal Canadiens
Postseason Seed: 3rd (North)
Previous Ranking: 5

Despite having over a week off from playing, time which was spent preparing for the Canadiens, the Jets found themselves absolutely stunned by the Montreal side in game 1, losing 5-3 on home soil.

It was a fairly inexcusable defeat when considering the Canadiens were fresh off an extremely gruelling 7 game series against the Maple Leafs, made even worse by the fact that they were outshot by the Canadiens. 

After sweeping the Oilers over 4 impressive games it was not the start we expected to see from the Jets, but given how they performed in round 1 we wouldn’t be surprised to see them bounce back.

8.Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Championship Odds: +2200
Second Round Series: 0-2 vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Postseason Seed: 1st (Central)
Previous Ranking: 4

The Canes slip all the way down to 8th following back to back home defeats to the Lightning. The Carolina side now have a mountain to climb as they travel to Tampa Bay, where they struggled to perform throughout the regular season, winning just 1 of 4 meetings. 

Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal led the team through round 1 against the Predators, combining for 13 points over the 6 games, but they have failed to have much of an impact against the Lightning, with Staal only managing an assist so far.

It is crucial that the Hurricanes pull one back before they are playing for the series, they have the quality to do so but failed to capitalize on their home advantage.

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The 2021 NHL postseason is well underway now! If you want to catch up with all the latest information, make sure you visit our NHL hub page.

*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

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.