Devils Preview: Visit Toronto and Winnipeg This Week 3
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 6: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Vegas Golden Knights during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on November 6, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Golden Knights 4-3 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

COVID-19 drama is spreading throughout the NHL.

In last week’s NHL Power Rankings, we noted that COVID-19 had been impacting several teams throughout the league. Unfortunately, the situation has only gotten worse.

In the East Division, the New York Islanders were the only team to play more than two games in the past week. The schedules of teams in the West Division have also been impacted by the virus.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the situation and at how teams who have been able to go about their business normally have done in the past week.

31. Ottawa Senators

Previous Ranking: 31

Let’s just say we’ll be shocked if the Senators are able to make it out of the 31 spot at any point this season.

30. Detroit Red Wings

Previous Ranking: 30

What was said about the Senators applies to the Red Wings at 30. At least they were able to win a game over the past week?

29. Los Angeles Kings

Previous Ranking: 27

Anze Kopitar looks fantastic, but the rest of the team is almost as bad as it gets.

28. Vancouver Canucks

Previous Ranking: 20

The Canucks have conceded more goals than any other team in the league. Let that sink in.

27. Nashville Predators

Previous Ranking: 16

This team is seemingly incapable of getting shots to the net. To add to that, Matt Duchene’s contract is slowly becoming one of the worst in the NHL.

26. San Jose Sharks

Previous Ranking: 29

Brent Burns? No. Erik Karlsson? Nope. Mario Ferraro? Oh, yes.

25. New York Rangers

Previous Ranking: 22

The New York Rangers are still better than their numbers indicate. And who would’ve thought K’Andre Miller would be the Rangers rookie taking everyone’s breath away?

24. Anaheim Ducks

Previous Ranking: 26

John Gibson is still playing out of his mind. But where in the world is Trevor Zegras?!

23. Buffalo Sabres

Previous Ranking: 23

The Buffalo Sabres have not played since Jan. 31. Let’s hope that they can finally re-take the ice next week.

22. New Jersey Devils

Previous Ranking: 21

Like the Sabres, the New Jersey Devils have yet to play in the month of February. It does, however, look like they’re going to be returning to the ice soon. This is good, we’ve missed watching Jack Hughes play hockey.

21. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous Ranking: 24

1. We stan Kevin Lankinen. 2. Patrick Kane does not age.
Are the Blackhawks… good?

20. New York Islanders

Previous Ranking: 28

They’re coming off a (OT) loss, but the Islanders appear to have recovered from a truly awful slump. It has to be only up from here.

19. Minnesota Wild

Previous Ranking: 14

The Wild have not played since Feb.2. It’ll be interesting to see if they can get back into their groove when they do return next week.

18. Arizona Coyotes

Previous Ranking: 25

You’ve probably heard the names Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak being thrown around lately. It’s for good reason. The two youngsters have taken the league by storm and are getting their team back on track at an opportune time.

17. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous Ranking: 18

They’re on a two-game winning streak, but John Tortorella has already begun benching Patrick Laine, and veteran Mikko Koivu retired just seven games into the season with his new team. Are Torts’ days in Columbus numbered?

16. Dallas Stars

Previous Ranking: 7

Joe Pavelski continues to look fantastic and rookie netminder Jake Oettinger has been a very nice surprise, but a four-game losing streak will only do so much for you.

15. Washington Capitals

Previous Ranking: 13

The Caps have played just one game in the past week, but it was a loss, and they’re now on a three-game losing streak. The defense needs to step up once the team resumes play.

14. St. Louis Blues

Previous Ranking: 12

The Blues have played just twice this week, but are also on a three-game losing streak. They’ve been slumping and need to get going again, or else the season will slip away from them. Special teams, in particular, has been extremely concerning.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous Ranking: 19

The Penguins have also played just twice in the past week. They’ve looked much better during these two games, but they really need to get all-time great Evgeni Malkin going.

12. Edmonton Oilers

Previous Ranking: 15

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. That is all.

11. Calgary Flames

Previous Ranking: 17

“Johnny Hockey” is on a mission this season. The Flames have been inconsistent, but they’re in the midst of a strong three-game winning streak.

10. Winnipeg Jets

Previous Ranking: 8

The Jets have played two games in the past seven days, but they still look pretty good. This is a high-scoring team, but that unfortunately doesn’t include Blake Wheeler, who is aging.

9. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous Ranking: 9

The Flyers are yet another team that’s only played two games over the past week. Philadelphia has been extremely lucky: the Flyers have been playing significantly worse than their record indicates- in scoring, defense, and goaltending.

8. Florida Panthers

Previous Ranking: 10

Sergei Bobrovsky is still bad and the Panthers still haven’t had to face very tough competition, but the defense continues to play very well to go with their always-great scoring.

7. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous Ranking: 11

Concerns with goaltending after Petr Mrazek was forced to undergo thumb surgery turned out to be valid: James Reimer hasn’t been particularly great.

However, good defense, excellent offense, and solid special teams are keeping the Hurricanes at the top.

6. Colorado Avalanche

Previous Ranking: 6

The Avalanche haven’t played since Feb. 2nd, so let’s use this an opportunity to praise the glorious defenseman that is Cale Makar.

5. Montreal Canadiens

Previous Ranking: 5

The Canadiens had a little hiccup this past week and might be overperforming slightly, but this team deserves all the hype and can absolutely run with the big dogs.

4. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous Ranking: 4

This really might be the best team in the NHL. Their depth, elite play up and down the ice, and their clutch factor give them the ability to beat any team in the league in a seven-game set.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous Ranking: 1

Tampa Bay’s skaters tend to get most of the credit, but let’s show some love to arguably the best goaltender on the planet, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Side note: this team is going to be absolutely terrifying once they get their best player, Nikita Kucherov, back.

2. Boston Bruins

Previous Ranking: 3

The Bruins are, in fact, back. Arguably the best left winger in the game, David Pastrňák is somehow still underrated. This team is no joke.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous Ranking: 2

We really have to watch our teams suffer at the hands of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for the next 10+ years or so, huh?

The Maple Leafs are on a mission, and seriously have no reason to not make an incredibly deep run this year. But, then again, this is Toronto we’re talking about.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.