The Tampa Bay Lightning have been a top-tier team all season long; the Los Angeles Kings, not so much. The separation between teams has gotten clearer and the playoff race is well underway. How has TSN ranked the 31 NHL teams throughout the season so far in their power rankings?
The TSN 7-Eleven Power Rankings are compiled by Ray Ferraro, Jeff O’Neill, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button, and Darren Dreger. They started their rankings right before the start of the season and have released weekly updates to show how teams have moved up and down their list. To see their thoughts and comments, you can read each and every edition of their power rankings here.
The purpose of the following charts are to track how the teams have been seen in the eyes of the TSN Power Ranking panel. Each team’s week-to-week ranking is plotted, with the league sorted by the best to worst team for the current week. Lines are colour-coded by team colour, and line thicknesses are varied to reflect relative point total in the standings up to and including all games ending Sunday December 9.
The Lightning led the league after Sunday with a total of 43 points. The Chicago Blackhawks (and Kings as well) had less than half of that, finding themselves with just 23 points. The thickness for the Lightning is approximately four times larger than the Blackhawks’. This gives enough visual variation between all 31 teams when they are plotted against each other. This gives a bit of extra context with respect to how closely the power rankings match league standings.
Let’s see how TSN’s power rankings has ranked the league so far.
The Pacific currently sees the Calgary Flames at the top, ranked third overall, all the way to the Kings at the bottom, ranked 29th. There’s a lot of disparity in the Pacific rankings, largely due to the disparity in team skill levels. The Pacific is still sorting itself out with a handful of teams rightfully dominating and winning, and a few others winning by the skin of their teeth. The Pacific as a division is definitely trending up.
The Central has a trio of terrific teams in the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators, and Colorado Avalanche. Each with their own style of play, they’ve all managed to elevate themselves to the top of their division. However, the Central also has the St. Louis Blues and aforementioned Blackhawks clocking it at the very bottom of the league.
In the Metropolitan, there are a handful of teams clustered right in the middle of the pack. While the Washington Capitals have started to separate themselves, the rest of the division is in closer fought battles in the standings. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are trending down and the make-or-break points of their seasons are right on their doorsteps.
Boasting the top two teams in the league, the Atlantic has a lot of talent at the top. The Lighting have been virtually untouchable, maintaining a top three ranking all season long. The Toronto Maple Leafs are surging and are right on the Lightnings’ tails. The third spot in largely up for grabs as the Boston Bruins will make their push, only they’ll have the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens as looming threats.
In all its chaotic glory, the league overview chart shows the overall picture. A lot of the high ranked teams have the points to back it up. It’ll be interesting to see which teams come out on top as the race tightens up. Conversely, the basement is clogging up with a bunch of teams that can’t seem to take away any points in their games. A surprising number of teams are under .500, and their playoff hopes are rapidly vanishing.
As the season progresses and the playoff picture becomes clear, trust that the TSN Power Rankings will give a honest and good overview of which teams in the leagues are hot and which teams are not.
Which teams surprise you the most? Are there other power rankings that you would like to see visualised? Let us know in the comments or at @wincolumnblog.