TXHT Power Rankings: Holiday Edition

Welcome to the second edition of the TXHT Power Rankings.

The first ever TXHT Power Rankings, released November 25, can be read here. The first ever version included the rankings, a key asset on the team, and where teams across the NHL stood in the last 10 games. The second edition will be held to the similar style.

Ready? Here we go…

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1. Vegas Golden Knights (Last Ranking: 11): In the biggest rise on the Rankings, the Golden Knights, who are 8-2-0 in the last ten, are getting the groove back and once injuries heal up for Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez, Vegas will continue to be a dangerous team in the West.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (LR: 7): With Nikita Kucherov due back on the roster from his lower body injury two months ago within the next couple of weeks or so, the mission for the Lightning, 8-1-1 in the last 10, is to still go for the three-peat. Barring any other catastrophic injuries to their line-up, Tampa Bay will be continue to be a force.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (LR: 4): With the Leafs going 7-2-1 in the last ten, Toronto moves up one spot from the last ranking. Despite Mitchell Marner being on LTIR for at least another three to four weeks, the Maple Leafs are 20-80-2 (42 pts) as of writing. Team point and goal scorer Auston Matthews (20G, 13A) is clicking on all cylinders and once Marner returns, Toronto can be very dangerous in the East.

4. Carolina Hurricanes (LR: 1): The Hurricanes drop three spots, the Hurricanes are 21-7-1 (43 pts), 6-4-0 in last 10, and once the Holiday pause comes to a conclustion, Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho should be back from COVID-19 protocols and the Canes should be back in full strength.

5. Washington Capitals (LR: 6): Despite a COVID-19 pause, and going 5-3-2 in the least 10, Washington is still one of the top teams in the East. Alex Ovechkin is the leading scorer with 22 goals and 25 points and has shown no signs of slowing down.

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6. Florida Panthers (LR: 2): The Panthers have a slight drop in the Rankings after being ranked second in the first edition. Florida stands at 18-7-4 (40 pts) and 4-5-1 in the last ten. Jonathan Huberdeau leads all skaters with 33 points and despite getting blown out by Ottawa and Los Angeles, Florida is still a dangerous team. Having Aleksander Barkov on the same line with Huberdeau and having a strong presence on defence in Aaron Ekblad does not hurt either.

7. New York Rangers (LR: 9): The Blueshirts currently stand at 19-7-4 (42 pts) and 6-3-1 in the last ten. The Rangers are strong on both ends and look to be a force the rest of the season. Artemi Panarin leads all scorers with 9G and 24A (33pts) and leading all defenceman is Adam Fox with 31 pts (5G, 26A).

8. Minnesota Wild (LR: 8): The Wild stay pat at eight in the Rankings. Minnesota stands at 19-9-2 and are atop the Central Division as of this writing. The Wild are 6-3-1 in the last ten and are in the midst of a four game winless streak. Kirill Kaprizov leads all skaters with 36 pts (12G, 24A) and as long as Kaprizov and Co. continue playing at this pace, Minnesota should have success for the rest of the regular season.

9. Anaheim Ducks (LR: 12): As long as Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras and Co. keep trucking along at the pace they are, the rebuild could be over for the Ducks and they could very well be in contention again for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

10. Colorado Avalanche (LR: 10): Colorado stands pat at 10 in the rankings and now stand at 17-8-2 and are just four points behind the division leading Wild. The Avs are 7-2-1 in their last ten and Nazem Kadri leads all skaters with 38 pts (11G, 27A). Colorado is find their groove and as long as they keep playing strong, the Avalanche will look to be the favourites that they were for the Stanley Cup last summer.

11. Calgary Flames (LR: 5): Despite having a large influx of players entering the protocols, the Flames sit at 15-7-6 and are 5-4-1 in the last ten with a four game winless streak. Johnny Gaudreau leads all scorers with 30 pts (10G, 20A) and once the break comes to an end, the Flames hope to have everyone back. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has a 1.94 goals against average and a .933 save percentage, good for tops amongst all goaltenders in the League.

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12. Edmonton Oilers (LR: 3): In the biggest fall of these Rankings, the Oilers take a huge dip due to going 4-6-0 in their last ten games. Six of those losses were in the midst of a losing streak. With the pause now in effect until at least December 26, the time will allow for injuries to heal a little bit and get things focused back on the right track

13. Winnipeg Jets (LR: 16): Despite the resignation of Paul Maurice as head coach about two weeks ago, the Jets still find themselves within striking distance of the playoffs. Winnipeg is 14-11-5 (30 pts) and 5-4-1 in the last 10. Kyle Connor leads all skaters for the Jets with 32 pts (18G, 14A) and time can only tell if the ship in Winnipeg can go in the right direction with new head coach Dave Lowry.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins (LR: 18): Pittsburgh jumps up four spots and since the season debut of Sidney Crosby has 16 pts (3G, 13A) and has jumped back toward the top of the Penguins points leaders. Pittsburgh sits at 17-8-5 and are 7-2-1 and have won seven straight going up to the Holiday break. Things can only get better for Pittsburgh, provided they keep winning on top of having their top point producers Jake Guentzel (15G, 12A) and Evan Rodrigues (10G, 13A) keep scoring as well as staying away from the injury and protocol lists.

15. Nashville Predators (LR: 19): Nashville, winners of seven straight, are 19-10-1 and have a lot to be excited but also have reason to be cautious. Roman Josi leads all scorers with 29 pts (10G, 19A) and Tanner Jeannot is in the top five category of point producers at 17 pts (8G, 9A). Nashville is only one point behind the Wild in the division standings and it will be interesting to see where things head for the Preds.

16. St. Louis Blues (LR: 13): The Blues are tied in points with Nashville (39 pts) but currently stand in third place in the Central Division (17-9-5) and are 6-2-2 in the last ten. Vladimir Tarasenko (12G, 17A) and Pavel Buchnevich (11G, 18A) lead all scorers with 29 pts each. Hopefully Tarasenko can rescind his trade request that was made over the summer and potentially get the Blues back to the playoffs and maybe even back to the Stanley Cup final).

17. Boston Bruins (LR: 14): As of this writing, the Bruins currently have ten players in the League’s COVID-19 protocols. Boston is 14-10-2 (30 pts) and 4-4-2 in the last ten. Brad Marchand leads all scorers with 27 pts and in order for the Bruins to maintain any kind of success for the rest of the season, the Bruins need to be at 100%.

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18. Columbus Blue Jackets (LR: 15): Despite the Blue Jackets only winning two games the entire month of December, Columbus is 14-13-1 (29 pts) and 2-7-1 in the last 10 matchups. Oliver Bjorkstrand leads all skaters with 23 pts (9G, 14A) and things can only improve. Hopefully, Columbus can get back in the win column and get back in full contention for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

19. Dallas Stars (LR: 24): Joe Pavelski leads all scorers with 27 pts (12G, 15A) and currently sit at 15-12-2 while going 5-5-0 in the last ten. The biggest issue at hand with Dallas is there is not a lot of production on the ice when the top line is not there. If those are issues are cleared up, then Dallas should not have any other glaring issues.

20. Los Angeles Kings (LR: 22): The Kings are 14-11-5 (33 pts) and 5-3-2 in the last ten. Alex Iafallo has 19 points (9G, 10A) and is really coming into his own and very well could be on track to setting career highs in both goals and points.

21. Detroit Red Wings (LR: 23): Dylan Larkin is showing that he is the next big-time star for the Red Wings. Larkin has 29 points (15G, 14A), as well as Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are all showing that the rebuild for the storied Red Wings organisation could be coming to an end and are ready to contend. Detroit, as of this writing, is 15-13-3 (33 pts) and 6-4-0 in the last 10 and has things going in the right direction.

22. San Jose Sharks (LR: 21): San Jose, 15-14-1 (31 pts), have had a bit of trouble scoring lately. In the last four games, they have only scored seven goals while allowing 14. Timo Meier is the high point on the team, having 29 points (12G, 17A), however has only had one goal in his last eight games on the ice. In order for San Jose to remain out of the basement of the division, Meier and Co. need to start producing a bit more on the ice.

23. Vancouver Canucks (LR: 25): The Canucks (14-15-2, 30pts) and winners of six straight since Bruce Boudreau stepped in as head coach, are a slightly better. J.T. Miller leads all skaters on the Canucks with 32 pts (10G, 22A) and while the Canucks have won six straight, there is still good reason to be weary of how this team will progress out.

24. Philadelphia Flyers (LR: 17): The Flyers drop seven spots as it seems nothing is going right for the Flyers. Philadelphia if 12-12-5 and 4-5-1 in the last 10. Claude Giroux is the leading point producer for the Flyers at 25 pts (11G, 14A) and since Alain Vigneault was replaced as head coach with Mike Yeo, the Flyers have gone 4-2-1 in that time frame. Things may seem bleak for the Flyers and their fans but Philadelphia, provided they no longer have long losing streaks, they could contend for the postseason.

25. Buffalo Sabres (LR: 26): Despite being 10-15-5 , the Sabres are 2-5-3 in their last ten. Buffalo is only getting better but within goaltending. It is looking like they have a good tandem set in Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2-2-1, .939 SV%, 1.96 GAA) and Malcolm Subban (0-1-1, .877 SV%, 4.79 GAA) but Subban does need to clean up the goals he’s allowed. While Dustin Tokarski has played in net the most at 14 GP (4-5-3, .903 SV%, 3.28 GAA), it looks as if the Sabres are going to stick with the tandem of Luukkonen and Subban for the time being. Kyle Okposo leads all skaters with 20 points (6G, 14A) and things can only get better for Buffalo.

26. Chicago Blackhawks (LR: 28): Patrick Kane leads all scorers for the ‘Hawks with 25 pts (7G, 18A). Chicago sits at 11-15-4 (26 pts) and are 4-4-2 in the last ten. It has been a well-documented up and down season for the Blackhawks and things are unknown as to what will happen the rest of the way for the storied franchise.

27. New Jersey Devils (LR: 20): Maybe this is too generous for the Devils who are 10-15-5 (25 pts). The Devils are in the midst of six game winless streak and are 1-8-1 in the last ten. Jesper Bratt leads all scorers with 24 pts (8G, 16A).

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28. Seattle Kraken (LR: 30): The Kraken stand at 10-17-3 (23 pts). The biggest issue for Seattle, 4-4-2 in the last ten games, is goaltending. In even strength play, the Kraken have the worst save percentage at 88.62% and that’s not great for the newest team in the League. Despite the goaltending, Jordan Eberle leads all scorers with 21 pts (12G, 9A) and Seattle can only improve in goaltending.

29. New York Islanders (LR: 27): The Islanders sit at 8-12-6 (22 pts) and are 3-3-4 in the last 10. Nothing seems to be going right for the Islanders at this point. Mat Barzal leads all skaters with 17 pts (5G, 12A) but the Islanders can’t seem to a long win streak going. If the Isles want to return to the postseason, which is still within a slight grasp, then this team will need to get back to winning ways, especially at home.

30. Ottawa Senators (LR: 31): Ottawa is 9-17-2 (20 pts) and 5-4-1 in the last 10. Drake Batherson leads all skaters with 28 pts (9G, 19A) and the Sens need Batherson to continue this streak, as well as Brady Tkachuk if Ottawa wants to reach the postseason.

31. Montreal Canadiens (LR: 29): The Canadiens at current writing have only won seven games on the season. Nothing has gone right for Montreal this year. At this point, it’s a lost season barring any kind of miracles.

32. Arizona Coyotes (LR: 32): Arizona is in a tear it all down and focus on the rebuild. The Coyotes are 6-21-2 (14 pts) and have only one two out of their last 10.

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