Updated: February 23, 2015, 1:31 PM ET

Kings are coming


By Scott Burnside (posted Feb. 23, 2015)

They're not quite ready to take over the top spot in the Power Rankings, but look out hockey world, here come the Los Angeles Kings. The Philadelphia Flyers are also making their presence known, while fans in Winnipeg and San Jose must be wondering how far their teams might sink. Of course, all of this is against the backdrop of the March 2 trade deadline, so hang on, friends.

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1
Nashville
40-13-7
The slightest of wobbles from the Predators, who are 1-1-1 in their past three, but still the cream of the NHL crop.
2
Montreal
38-16-5
The Habs continue to hold down the top spot in the tough Atlantic Division by virtue of their 6-1-2 run. Goalie Carey Price is still on pace to make a run at both the Vezina Trophy and the Hart Trophy.
3
NY Rangers
36-16-6
Jumping the Rangers up, given their strong play in the absence of Henrik Lundqvist. Might be the most Stanley Cup-ready team in the East right now, assuming Lundqvist returns on schedule.
4
NY Islanders
39-20-2
The Isles dropped a pair over the weekend to keep things interesting in the Metropolitan Division. Still the division leaders, but the Penguins, Rangers and Caps are all within four points.
5
St. Louis
38-17-4
The Blues have lost two of three, and Brian Elliott has lost four of six. Does this open the door for Jake Allen as we head down the stretch?
6
Anaheim
37-16-7
The Ducks have won two in a row and look to have settled back in with the kids, Frederik Andersen and John Gibson, as the goaltending tandem to carry them down the stretch. Probably a wise move, given Ilya Bryzgalov's uneven play.
7
Los Angeles
28-18-12
The Kings won their seventh in a row by nipping San Jose in the Stadium Series game at Levi's Stadium. Humming along in true Kings-like fashion, the question now is how high in the standings do they go?
8
Tampa Bay
37-19-6
The Lightning are tracking a little sideways now. They haven't won more than two in a row since late January, which has allowed the Habs to take over the top spot in the Atlantic. They are one point back of Montreal and four up on Detroit, but the Wings have five big games in hand.
9
Detroit
33-14-10
Speaking of the Wings, a weird overtime win over Dallas was the first of a five-game road trip that sees Detroit visit the Ducks, Kings, Sharks and Predators. Yikes.
10
Minnesota
31-21-7
The Wild woke up Monday in a playoff spot thanks to their 6-2 whipping of Dallas on Sunday. They are 11-1-1 in their past 13. Devan Dubnyk continues to hold the hot hand in goal.
11
Washington
33-18-10
In spite of a loss Sunday to Flyers, the Caps are still making life interesting in the Metropolitan Division. What does general manager Brian MacLellan have in store for the trade deadline?
12
Pittsburgh
34-17-9
Curious season for the Penguins with injuries and slumping stars, but there they are within a few points of the top spot in the Metro after whipping Florida 5-1 Sunday.
13
Chicago
35-20-5
Corey Crawford was chased out of Sunday's dismal 6-2 loss to Boston, and the Blackhawks are losing ground in the Central Division. The loss of Johnny Oduya to injury is also troubling for the Blackhawks, who must now look over their shoulders at Winnipeg and Minnesota.
14
Vancouver
34-22-3
A nice win over the New York Islanders Sunday was tempered by the loss of starting goalie Ryan Miller. Could the Canucks hang onto a playoff spot riding Eddie Lack? They open the week in second place in the Pacific.
15
Calgary
32-23-4
The Flames are winless in two but have not lost two in a row in regulation since Jan. 7-9. Keeping that streak alive will be key to getting back in the postseason picture.
16
Philadelphia
26-23-11
OK, so add another team to the Eastern Conference playoff race as the Flyers have points in 12 of 13, including a big 3-2 win Sunday against red-hot Washington.
17
Winnipeg
30-20-11
The Jets start a four-game home stand this week with big games against the Stars, Blues and Kings. A bad week and the Jets could be outside the playoff bubble looking in.
18
Florida
26-21-12
The Panthers continue to flirt around the edge of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference due in large part to the uneven play of the Bruins. The Cats have not won more than two games in a row in more than a month.
19
San Jose
30-23-4
The Sharks begin the week in 10th place in the Western Conference. Yes, just one point out of the playoffs, but it feels like more.
20
Boston
29-21-12
Huge, huge win for the Bruins over Chicago Sunday to stop an ugly six-game winless stretch, with Florida and Philadelphia nipping at their heels in a three-way race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The loss of David Krejci is problematic heading into the deadline.
21
Colorado
26-23-11
The Avs, tied with Dallas in points, feel otherwise cooked vis--vis the playoffs, but it's still good to see Nathan MacKinnon with the hat trick in a winning effort Sunday.
22
Dallas
27-24-9
The Stars had a rightful beef in a wild overtime loss to Detroit but no excuse for allowing six in the third against Minnesota Sunday. Goodbye, playoffs.
23
New Jersey
24-26-9
The Devils have won three in a row. So there's that.
24
Ottawa
24-23-10
Some of the Senators' young players are making a case for next year already. But as for any thoughts of the playoffs, Sens fans can stop thinking them.
25
Columbus
26-28-0
Watching Columbus play is a little like watching a snowman melt.
26
Carolina
21-30-7
The Hurricanes, with two wins in their past six, settle back into the nether regions of the standings. If one Staal (Jordan) goes at the trade deadline, does the other (Eric) follow? Our guess is neither one goes anywhere for the time being.
27
Edmonton
17-34-10
After a brief spasm of decent play, the Oilers are back to form with two straight losses and just three wins in their past 10 games.
28
Toronto
24-31-5
The Leafs have managed two wins in their past 18 games. Two. Deux. Sad.
29
Buffalo
17-38-5
The Sabres take a step up from the basement, not because they've been better, but because the Coyotes have been worse.
30
Arizona
20-32-7
The Coyotes have lost five in a row and are doing their best to close the gap on the Sabres for worst overall record in the NHL.

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