6. Nashville Predators
Previous: No. 7
The Predators have played well in the first half of the year, securing 58 points in 43 games, but have had a bumpy 5-3-2 record over the last 10 games. They are still very much a threat in the West and may arguably be the team to beat come playoff time.
5. Washington Capitals
Previous: No. 4
The Capitals continue to dominate in the regular season (sound familiar?), but the question now will be if they can finally get over that hump in the playoffs. With Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in goals (sound familiar?) this year, they are always a threat.
4. Winnipeg Jets
Previous: No. 3
The Jets have lost their last two games, but still find themselves on top of the very strong Central Division. Do they have enough in them to keep it going for another half season? It sure seems like it with the great years we have seen from Blake Wheeler and Connor Hellebuyck. Can’t wait to see playoff hockey in Winnipeg again.
3. Boston Bruins
Previous: No. 5
The Bruins have collected 21 of the possible 24 points in their last 12 games and are on an absolute tear. They are second in the league in goals surrendered, and their offense is really starting to come around. After a somewhat mediocre start to the year, the Bruins appear to be one of the major threats in the East halfway through the year.
2. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous: No. 1
Going 7-2-1 in their last 10, it seems the only thing the Golden Knights are better at than winning is proving all the doubters wrong for thinking their magical season is going to end sometime soon. They are very likely the fastest team in the league and maybe the hardest-working and just continue to add points night-in and night-out. Are we ready to call them the favorites in the West? Maybe not quite yet, but they are definitely a threat to go on a long playoff run.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous: No. 2
Two top-10 point producers in Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 goaltender in save percentage among goalies who have played at least 17 games this year and a defense that has assisted in only allowing 112 goals against this year, the Lightning are still the team to beat in the East. They will have big shoes to fill in injured defenseman Victor Hedman, but he should return in plenty of time for the playoffs this season.
What did you think of this week’s NHL power rankings, as well as the Chicago Blackhawks’ positioning in them? Let us know below, or on Twitter or Facebook.