NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes, Rangers, Penguins and Capitals heating up

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The Daily Goal Horn’s Top Ten NHL Power Rankings takes a look at the top teams as we’ve reached the Holiday Break.

As we approach the midway point of the season the shift in power continues as five new teams crack the top 10. December’s power rankings sees a major surge by Metropolitan Division teams representing four of those new entries.

Meanwhile, a serious skid by the New Jersey Devils (3-6-2 since November’s rankings) knocked them out of the number 1 spot and off the list.

Let’s dive into the latest list.

NHL Power Rankings

2022-23 Top 10 Teams (December):

  1. Boston Bruins (27-4-2) ⬆️
  2. Carolina Hurricanes (22-6-6) NEW
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs (21-7-6) ⬆️
  4. Vegas Golden Knights (24-11-1) ⬇️
  5. New York Rangers (19-11-5) NEW
  6. Dallas Stars (20-9-6) ⬇️
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-9-5) NEW
  8. Winnipeg Jets (21-12-1) ⬆️
  9. Washington Capitals (19-13-4) NEW
  10. Los Angeles Kings (19-12-6) NEW

2022-23 Top 10 Teams (November):

  1. New Jersey Devils (19-4-0) ⬆️
  2. Boston Bruins (18-3-0) ⬇️
  3. Vegas Golden Knights (17-6-1) ⬇️
  4. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-5-5) NEW
  5. Dallas Stars (13-6-4)
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning (13-7-1) NEW
  7. Colorado Avalanche (12-6-1) NEW
  8. New York Islanders (15-8-0) NEW
  9. Winnipeg Jets (13-6-1) NEW
  10. Seattle Kraken (13-5-3) NEW

Daily Goal Horn Power Rankings Breakdown

NHL Power Rankings Hurricanes
Dec 20, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) jumps into the boards after their victory against the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

1. Boston Bruins: At this point the Bruins look like a juggernaut. They lead the Presidents’ Trophy race by six points, have not lost a home game in regulation (18-0-2), and are 9-1-2 in their last 12 games. Are we looking at a Stanley Cup year in Boston?

2. Carolina Hurricanes: Thanks to an 12-0-2 run since November 25th, the Hurricanes don’t just make the list but come in at number two. The team continues to impress under head coach Rod Brind’Amour and are now sitting first in the Metropolitan Division.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs: A slow start to the season is very much in the Leafs rearview mirror at the Holiday Break. Despite the Rangers ending their 15-game point streak and Mitch Marner’s 23 straight games with a point, they’re rolling towards the second half very strong.

4. Vegas Golden Knights: The team has been a little inconsistent as of late, but are still the best team in the Western Conference. A rash of injuries hasn’t helped with Jack Eichel being out of action since December 9 with a lower-body injury.

5. New York Rangers: Those resilient Rangers from last season appear to be back. A 9-2-1 run since the end of November has moved them up the Metro standings and back on the NHL power rankings. Buoyed by the spectacular goaltending of Igor Shesterkin and improved play in the third period, the Blueshirts look to be the contender experts expected them to be this season.

6. Dallas Stars: Peter DeBoer knows what he’s doing and has the Stars in first place in the Central Division. Not bad for his first season in Dallas as he has the team playing well in all three zones. It also helps to have a young superstar in Jason Robertson leading the way with 24 goals and 50 points in 35 games.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins: These ageless wonders led by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang (despite suffering another stroke) are humming. The Pens are 8-1-2 since late November and were the team that knocked off the red-hot Rangers earlier in the month. The real key has been Tristan Jarry’s goaltending this year.

8. Winnipeg Jets: Rick Bowness continues to have success wherever he goes. The Jets were not expected to be one of the top 10 teams this season but they’re playing really good and consistent hockey. Balanced scoring has been key with Josh Morrissey (39 points), Kyle Connor (38 points), and Pierre-Luc Dubois (37 points) all putting up good numbers.

8. Washington Capitals: The focus has been on Alex Ovechkin’s goal chase and he just surpassed Gordie Howe by scoring two goals before the break. While Ovi now sits second all-time on the goal scoring list with 802, the Caps have been winning and collected 21 points (10-2-1) since the end of November. And they’ll be getting Tom Wilson back soon too.

10. Los Angeles Kings: Another team many didn’t expect in the top 10 are the Kings, but they just keep playing solid hockey. A 7-3-3 stretch since late November propels them onto the list for the first time this season. New addition, Kevin Fiala leads the team in scoring with 35 points in 37 games.