By Sportlogiq Staff (@Sportlogiq)
Once again, there is a new top dog among Canadian teams in our Power Rankings.
The Edmonton Oilers jump from eighth on our list to fourth as they are riding a six-game winning streak. Not only are the Oilers winning, but they are also beating strong teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights.
While Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to do their thing offensively, Edmonton is getting contributions from several forwards. Zach Hyman leads the Oilers in scoring during their win streak with 11 points in six games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has nine points during the streak. Klim Kostin has four goals in his past six games.
As we’ve been saying for a while, if the Oilers can do a decent job keeping the puck out of their net, they will be a dangerous team. Edmonton sits third in expected goal differential. The Oilers finish the month with games against Columbus and Chicago and continue after the all-star break with games against Detroit, Philadelphia, Ottawa, and Montreal. The win streak may not be over yet.
The Winnipeg Jets dropped two spots from third to fifth following a 2-2-0 week. Winnipeg blew a three-goal lead Sunday against the Flyers but hung on to win in regulation. The Jets are one of six teams to rank top-10 in goal differential, expected goal differential, and points percentage. Winnipeg is in a fight for the top spot in the Central Division and is a legit candidate to win a wide-open Western Conference.
Moving up two spots, the Toronto Maple Leafs climb from ninth to seventh. The Leafs finished last week with a 2-0-1 record following an overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Toronto has lost more games to non-playoff teams than it has to playoff teams in January. The Leafs’ next five games are at home as they look to finish strong before the all-star break.
After dropping games to the Predators and Avalanche, the Calgary Flames played one of their best games of the season Saturday in a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Calgary sits 18th in goal and expected goal differential and 17th in points percentage, which is also where they sit in our Power Rankings.
Calgary, a team many thought would contend for the top spot in their division will likely be in a fight just to make the playoffs. Calgary currently sits one spot out of a wild-card spot.
The Ottawa Senators fell two spots from 23rd to 25th following a 1-3-0 week. In the most extreme example of the process not matching the results offensively, the Senators rank fourth in expected goals but 25th in actual goals scored. More than halfway through the season, it’s more than just an expectation for regression at this point. This Senators team has trouble finishing despite the quality chances it produces.
The Montreal Canadiens won two of three games last week and moved up from 28th to 27th in our Power Rankings. The Habs were dealt a tough blow with Cole Caufield missing the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. That didn’t stop them from beating the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday as the Habs no longer have the distinction of being our lowest-ranked Canadian team.
That distinction goes to the Vancouver Canucks, who fell from 26th to 29th after losing all three of their games last week in regulation.
The Canucks finally made their coaching change official with Bruce Boudreau being dismissed in favor of Rick Tocchet on Sunday. The Canucks’ new bench boss will have his hands full with a team that ranks bottom five in the NHL in goals against and expected goals against.
On the bright side, two of Vancouver’s next three games are against Chicago and Columbus, and the Canucks have one of the more favorable schedules in the unofficial second half of the season.