NHL Power Rankings: Blues rise to No. 1

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 29: Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues acknowledges fans after being named the first star of the game after beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 at Enterprise Center on December 29, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images)
Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues aren't experiencing a Stanley Cup hangover. (Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo! Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams and their chances to win the Cup, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Detroit Red Wings (Last week: 31)

This week let’s just talk about what every team should do in the second half of the season. We’ll start with Detroit because the answer is easy: Try to go 0-41-0 and trade everybody over 24.

30. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 28)

Hmm seems like it’s the same thing with these guys. They might actually have an easier time with it than Detroit since only three guys have any sort of trade protection. Of course, those three guys are Kopitar, Brown (only a seven-team list, though), and Doughty but you get the point.

29. Ottawa Senators (LW: 29)

These guys know how to tank so I don’t have to tell them anything. They have five guys on contracts after this season, though seven more are RFAs. Trade all the UFAs, extend all the RFAs, have a good time and get a high pick.

28. New Jersey Devils (LW: 30)

I said it a couple weeks ago but this is another team well-positioned to trade like two-thirds of the roster. Who cares? The season’s already over.

27. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 24)

The problem here is these guys stink and everyone knows why. Too many defensemen who aren’t actually all that good and not enough forward depth. Contenders are always looking for cheap No. 6/7 defensemen at the deadline, so get rid of all of them. And definitely get rid of Ristolainen.

You’re not getting quality back and quality back isn’t really the point when you’re not in a playoff race, so free up some cap space for the summer.

26. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 27)

They need talent like crazy, especially up front. Probably can’t find too much on the market just because who would be selling it and what do they even have to give up for it after last year’s spending spree? They’ve been on a nice little run and they’re playing well, but in that division, the playoffs are probably already out of reach.

25. New York Rangers (LW: 25)

This is another team that has a clear need to trade someone — actually, a few someones — and then make some buyout-related decisions in the summer. Winning this year was never the point and much like Columbus, it would be tough for these guys to work their way back into the playoff conversation anyway.

24. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 26)

These guys just need time more than anything else. Trade some guys if you can but there’s some talent here, at every position, that needs a year or two to mature and for some guys to age off the roster so some cap space can be freed up.

23. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 23)

For the love of god can we please just give Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl a competent supporting cast so we don’t have to get any more, “Now if they were only better defensively…” takes? Like, I’m begging Ken Holland to do literally anything to help these two. They just don’t deserve this.

22. Chicago (LW: 22)

They need Brent Seabrook to come out of those surgeries playing like 2010 Brent Seabrook because this year is a lost cause.

21. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 21)

The one thing this team needs more than anything else is a direction. They’re looking increasingly likely to miss the playoffs but their long-term commitments are concerning. Only two guys on the roster are signed beyond 2022, which is great, but those two guys are Shea Weber (who at that point will be 37 and signed for four more seasons at a $7.857-million AAV) and Carey Price (35 and locked in for four more at $10.5 million).

Like, if this year and next are the last kicks at the can for this group, the past two seasons cannot be encouraging. So figure it out.

20. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 16)

They need Taylor Hall to take off a bit more (probably will) and for Darcy Kuemper to come back playing at the same level he was when he got hurt. In the meantime, they need the backup goaltending to hold the line so they don’t lose ground in an increasingly competitive division. They’ve already slipped to a tie for second with a worse points percentage than Vancouver.

19. Minnesota Wild (LW: 18)

You’d love for them to get some offensive help but the real problem, as always, is in net. Alex Stalock and Devan Dubnyk rank third- and fourth-worst in the league, respectively, in goals saved below expected. They’ve been awful for two straight seasons, and Bruce Boudreau has no choice but to keep playing them because there’s no help coming. If Guerin can get them a legitimate goalie, look out…

18. San Jose Sharks (LW: 20)

See above. (With the caveat that the team as a whole needs to play better, which isn’t Minnesota’s problem.)

17. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 17)

This is the definition of a mediocre team in the league right now so I guess what I would say is: They need a little more talent to differentiate them from the rest of the middle of the pack.

16. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 19)

More depth, pretty simple.

15. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 13)

How about some actual NHL defensemen for these guys? I hear Buffalo has some available.

14. Florida Panthers (LW: 14)

Man they really do just need Bobrovsky to earn his paycheck the rest of the way. They’re second in that division in points percentage as of this writing and that’s with the fourth-worst 5-on-5 goaltending in the league.

13. Nashville Predators (LW: 12)

Apart from making the Winter Classic uniforms their permanent look, the answer here unfortunately might just be a coaching change. They’re too talented to keep being this bad.

12. Calgary Flames (LW: 11)

Just keep doing what they’ve been doing since the coaching change. They’re playing at a 107-point pace under Geoff Ward. That’ll work for ‘em the rest of the way.

11. Dallas Stars (LW: 15)

For all the quality play and everything, they do still need to get the stars going. This team has only scored 107 goals in 40 games. That’s the third-worst total in the West.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 10)

They need Andrei Vasilevskiy to be Andrei Vasilevskiy. That’s literally it.

9. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 7)

Wouldn’t mind it at all if they made a trade from that deep D corps for some forward help, but we’ve been saying that for a while, eh?

8. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 8)

If they can get both their goalies to play well at the same time, this team is capable of going on a nice long run to really establish themselves in that hyper-competitive division.

7. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 6)

They need to pull out of this recent skid but otherwise they can’t have all that much to complain about. A better record of health? I dunno, sure.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 9)

Oh definitely the health thing for these guys.

5. New York Islanders (LW: 5)

More offensive talent. Not really a surprise that this is the answer but it is. Much like Dallas, their record is really good for a team that scores fewer goals per game than every team in the East but Ottawa, Columbus, New Jersey, and Detroit. But what if: They had enough talent to score more?

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 4)

Get everyone healthy, maybe trade for another defenseman from some tanking team or something. It all seems pretty okay under Keefe.

3. Washington Capitals (LW: 1)

Yeah I know they had a tough week but they really have nothing to complain about.

2. Boston Bruins (LW: 3)

They need a top-six winger ASAP.

1. St. Louis Blues (LW: 2)


Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

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