Other teams are keeping things close, but the Avalanche still reign supreme.
The 2021-22 NHL trade deadline is looming and teams are already making moves.
The big deal of Week 18 saw Nick Ritchie and a draft pick go from to the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin and forward Ryan Dzingel.
Other big trades will follow suit in what’s one of the most exciting times of the season.
This was a big week for teams that were desperate to get going in time for a playoff push as well as some of the league’s best.
The Colorado Avalanche are still the team to beat, but teams like the Florida Panthers aren’t far at all and it seems like no division leader is totally safe.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the NHL’s 32 teams stacked up this week.
Check out Week 17’s power rankings here.
32. Montreal Canadiens
Week 18: 2-0-0, 6 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: STL, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 32
This was the best week in some time for the worst team in the NHL. Two gritty overtime wins against superior squads shows an improvement in play.
31. Arizona Coyotes
Week 18: 1-1-0, 6 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: LAK, DAL)
Previous Ranking: 31
The Coyotes placed goaltender Carter Hutton, who’s been out since October, on waivers this week.
30. Seattle Kraken
Week 18: 0-3-0, 6 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: TOR, WPG, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 30
This team is going to look very different at its first ever trade deadline.
29. New Jersey Devils
Week 18: 0-1-0, 3 GF, 6 GA (Opponent: TBL)
Previous Ranking: 29
Absolutely abysmal goaltending continues to be the Devils’ most crippling issue.
28. Buffalo Sabres
Week 18: 1-3-0, 13 GF, 18 GA (Opponents: NYI, OTT, COL, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 27
The Sabres are scoring goals, but goaltending is costing them games. Buffalo can seemingly never have it all.
27. Philadelphia Flyers
Week 18: 0-1-1, 7 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: PIT, WSH)
Previous Ranking: 28
The Flyers are a team that’s going to have many departures come the trade deadline.
26. Ottawa Senators
Week 18: 1-2-1, 8 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: STL, BUF, BOS, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 25
Fun fact: the Senators have had some of the best goaltending in the NHL over the past month or so. Imagine if that had been the case all season long.
25. Chicago Blackhawks
Week 18: 1-2-1, 9 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: WPG, CBJ, DAL, FLA)
Previous Ranking: 26
Chicago’s loss to the Dallas Stars was the first game in franchise to be goal-less heading into the shootout.
24. New York Islanders
Week 18: 1-1-1, 9 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: BUF, BOS, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 24
An impressive playoff-like win over the Boston Bruins was cushioned between unacceptable losses to an inferior Sabres team and the worst team in the league, the Canadiens.
Weeks like this are why the playoffs are nearly impossible for the Islanders, at this point.
23. San Jose Sharks
Week 18: 0-2-1, 5 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: EDM, VAN, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 20
The Sharks are on a league-worst six-game losing streak and are the second-worst team in the Pacific. Will they be big-time sellers at the deadline?
22. Vancouver Canucks
Week 18: 1-1-0, 9 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: SJS, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 23
A blown lead to the Anaheim Ducks allowing them to score seven exposed the issues with this group and shows why they can’t be a playoff team.
21. Detroit Red Wings
Week 18: 1-1-0, 7 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: MIN, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 22
The Red Wings have looked good in close games, which is crucial as they try to catch the Boston Bruins in the standings.
20. Columbus Blue Jackets
Week 18: 2-1-0, 16 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: CGY, CHI, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 21
The Blue Jackets are getting it done even with a goalie shortage. The offense has been fantastic.
19. Winnipeg Jets
Week 18: 2-2-0, 14 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: CHI, MIN, SEA, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 19
The playoffs are unlikely for the Jets, but the organization will probably be all-in for a top-six forward at the deadline to increase their chances.
18. Anaheim Ducks
Week 18: 1-2-0, 12 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: CGY, EDM, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 17
The hope is that the Ducks’ comeback win against the Canucks to snap a losing streak will get them going in time for a playoff race.
17. Dallas Stars
Week 18: 2-1-0, 6 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: COL, CHI, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 16
The Stars scored just six goals in three games this week, but it was enough to earn two wins. They really have looked good lately.
16. Los Angeles Kings
Week 18: 2-1-0, 11 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: EDM, VGK, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 15
This was a strong start to the Kings’ second-half of the season as their playoff push continues.
15. Edmonton Oilers
Week 18: 4-1-0, 22 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: SJS, LAK, ANA, WPG, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 18
The inconsistent Oilers are back, maybe better than ever.
14. Nashville Predators
Week 18: 0-2-0, 4 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: WSH, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 11
The Predators have extended their losing streak to four games, which isn’t ideal given how competitive their division is.
13. Boston Bruins
Week 18: 1-1-1, 5 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: NYR, NYI, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 13
David Pastrňák picked a good time to come out of his unexpected scoring slump.
12. Vegas Golden Knights
Week 18: 1-1-1, 7 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: COL, LAK, SJS)
Previous Ranking: 12
The Golden Knights need someone to settle them down and get them on some winning streaks. Enter Jack Eichel.
11. Washington Capitals
Week 18: 2-0-0, 9 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: NSH, PHI)
Previous Ranking: 14
The Capitals had a strong two-win week before a brief break to emerge from a pretty nasty slump.
10. St. Louis Blues
Week 18: 2-0-1, 13 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: OTT, MTL, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 10
The Blues showed off their offensive skills in a high-scoring Week 18.
9. Calgary Flames
Week 18: 3-0-0, 14 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: CBJ, ANA, SEA)
Previous Ranking: 9
The hottest team in the league had yet another phenomenal week marked by stellar play in both zones.
8. Minnesota Wild
Week 18: 2-2-0, 19 GF, 19 GA (Opponents: DET, WPG, FLA, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 7
The Wild are so good that they can give up 19 goals in four games, but still manage to win two because of their elite offense.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins
Week 18: 1-2-0, 9 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: PHI, TOR, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 5
31-year-old defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has been fantastic for the Penguins this season and was just rewarded with a two-year extension.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
Week 18: 2-1-0, 13 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: SEA, PIT, STL)
Previous Ranking: 6
Nick Ritchie was a mistake, but Toronto got a solid return from the Coyotes in Ryan Dzingel and Ilya Lyubushkin, who are serviceable worst.
5. New York Rangers
Week 18: 2-0-1, 6 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: BOS, DET, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 8
Points in five-straight games have allowed the Rangers to remain one of the top teams in the NHL.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Week 18: 1-0-0, 6 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: NJD)
Previous Ranking: 4
The Lightning reclaimed Gemel Smith off waivers from the Red Wings, who’s expected to be impactful in the AHL and useful as a potential depth piece.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Week 18: 2-0-1, 11 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: FLA, NSH, PIT)
Previous Ranking: 3
It’s scary to think that this blueline is set to be even better at the deadline.
2. Florida Panthers
Week 18: 3-0-0, 14 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: CAR, MIN, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 2
Mason Marchment scored the first hat-trick of his career on Friday. Players like him have been key to the team’s immense success this season.
1. Colorado Avalanche
Week 18: 2-1-0, 8 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: DAL, VGK, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 1
The best team in the NHL is about to get even better at the deadline. Watch out.