20. New York Islanders
Previous: No. 20
The East has been made to look quite weak this year, outside a select few teams. The Islanders are currently in the second wild-card spot in their conference, but just No. 20 in these NHL power rankings. How you can average 3.35 goals per game and have a negative-16 goal differential while also being a postseason contender is truly an art form.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous: No. 10
Sergei Bobrovsky is back in so-so territory, and the BJs are struggling. This is no surprise to anyone who has watched this team, and who saw how Bob carried it last season. His main stats are down from .931/2.06 to .921/2.46. Not terrible, but not what Columbus needs, either, as it slips to the wild-card discussion.
18. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous: No. 17
The Flyers are presently out of the playoff picture, but have played better than the Islanders and Jackets of late. Philadelphia lost its four consecutive shootout of the season on Saturday. If it’s held out of the playoffs by just a couple points, the players will groan over their inability to finish in the “skills contest.”
17. Anaheim Ducks
Previous: No. 19
The Ducks gave up a seven spot to Toronto on Monday, which isn’t the most insane thing. But you can tell which line wasn’t being scored on — Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell all finished at plus-1 or plus-2 on the night, while all of their forward teammates were negatives.
16. Calgary Flames
Previous: No. 7
Calgary rallied twice, then succeeded in overtime for two critical points against the Blackhawks on Saturday. The teams rematch tonight, but the Flames will be happy it’s at the United Center. They’ve gone 13-5-5 on the road, versus 13-13-3 at home.
15. Los Angeles Kings
Previous: No. 16
The Kings have a tenuous hold on the Pacific Division’s third playoff spot, with Calgary and Anaheim close behind. Though Los Angeles dumped Arizona 6-0 most recently, the former has just four wins in its last 10 tries.