Darcy Kuemper
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The gap between teams is shrinking as the trade deadline approaches.

We’re a week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, and the playoff races are heating up.

The Colorado Avalanche were so far ahead of everyone for weeks, but after improved play from the other guys and somewhat of a slump on Colorado’s end, the gap is shrinking.

The trade deadline could see other teams climb to the top and those who are on the cusp of the playoffs could be pushed over the ledge.

Let’s look at our final power rankings before the trade deadline.

Check out Week 20’s power rankings here.

32. Montreal Canadiens

Week 21: 1-1-1, 10 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: VAN, SEA, PHI)
Previous Ranking: 30

Just as the Canadiens were improving their play, injuries began to pile up.

31. Seattle Kraken

Week 21: 1-1-1, 11 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: TOR, OTT, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 32

Jared McCann, who’s been a stud for a Kraken team that lacks talent, signed a five-year, $25 million deal to remain in Seattle.

30. Arizona Coyotes

Week 21: 2-1-0, 16 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: DET, TOR, BOS)
Previous Ranking: 31

Phil Kessel skated one shift on Tuesday to keep his ironman streak alive and then flew home for the birth of his child. What a guy.

29. Philadelphia Flyers

Week 21: 1-2-1, 9 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: VGK, FLA, CAR, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 27

The Flyers famously extended defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to an incredibly questionable five-year deal.

28. Buffalo Sabres

Week 21: 2-1-0, 9 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: FLA, VGK, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 29

The Heritage Classic couldn’t have gone better for the Sabres, who finished up their impressive week with another impressive win on a grand stage.

27. Ottawa Senators

Week 21: 2-1-0, 11 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: STL, SEA, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 28

Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion confirmed on Friday that top prospect defenseman Jake Sanderson will join the team upon the completion of the NCAA season. Exciting times.

26. New Jersey Devils

Week 21: 2-1-0, 8 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: COL, WPG, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 26

The Devils are showing us what they’re capable of doing if they’re given even half decent goaltending.

25. Chicago Blackhawks

Week 21: 2-1-0, 17 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: ANA, BOS, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 25

Defenseman Connor Murphy was stretchered off the ice after taking a scary hit against the Senators.

24. Detroit Red Wings

Week 21: 0-2-1, 7 GF, 18 GA (Opponents: ARI, MIN, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 23

On Saturday, Detroit defenseman Marc Staal played in his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the third Staal brother to do so.

23. New York Islanders 

Week 21: 3-1-0, 19 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: COL, CBJ, WPG, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 24

The Islanders will hope they’ve put all of their slumps behind them as they continue to rack up wins.

22. San Jose Sharks

Week 21: 2-0-0, 9 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: LAK x2)
Previous Ranking: 22

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has noted that highly-coveted center Tomáš Hertl is unavailable right now. Does this mean a new contract is on the horizon?

21. Anaheim Ducks

Week 21: 0-3-1, 8 GF, 18 GA (Opponents: CHI, NSH, NJD, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 18

The Ducks are playing poor hockey while suffering serious injury woes.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets

Week 21: 2-2-0, 13 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: TOR, NYI, MIN, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 20

Blue Jackets rookie 18-year-old Cole Sillinger’s first career hat trick allowed Columbus to earn a solid victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

19. Winnipeg Jets

Week 21: 3-1-0, 15 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: TBL, NDJ, NYI, STL)
Previous Ranking: 21

Just as the Jets looked to be out of the playoff race and sellers at the deadline, they go and win three huge games in Week 21. This is as peculiar a team as any.

18. Vancouver Canucks

Week 21: 1-1-1, 9 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: MTL, WSH, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 19

The Canucks are reportedly very interested in Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Marino, who doesn’t provide anything offensively but can hold his own defensively.

17. Vegas Golden Knights

Week 21: 0-4-0, 8 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: PHI, BUF, PIT, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 15

The Golden Knights lost all four of their games this week (most of which came against much inferior competition) and gave up twice as many goals as they scored. Their disappointing season continues.

16. Edmonton Oilers

Week 21: 2-1-0, 9 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: CGY, WSH, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 17

The Oilers are getting hot again and that makes the upcoming trade deadline even more important for a team with some holes to fill.

15. Dallas Stars

Week 21: 0-2-0, 5 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: NSH, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 12

Joe Pavelski is having a stellar season as one of the best two-way forwards in hockey and the Stars rewarded him with a one-year extension.

14. Los Angeles Kings

Week 21: 2-1-1, 9 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: BOS, SJS x2, FLA)
Previous Ranking: 14

The Kings are, once again, suffering from injury issues, highlighted by star defenseman Drew Doughty heading to the IR.

13. Nashville Predators

Week 21: 3-1-0, 16 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: DAL, ANA, STL, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 16

Nashville captain Roman Josi’s 17 goals are a new career-high and he looks to lead his team to the playoffs after emerging from an ugly slump.

12. Washington Capitals

Week 21: 2-0-1, 12 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: CGY, EDM, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 13

Anthony Mantha’s solid play since returning to the lineup, especially lately, is a key reason why the Capitals are doing a whole lot of winning.

11. Minnesota Wild

Week 21: 2-1-1, 15 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: NYR, DET, CBJ, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 11

Mikko Koivu became the first Wild player to have his number retired.

10. St. Louis Blues

Week 21: 2-1-1, 17 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: OTT, NYR, NSH, WPG)
Previous Ranking: 10

It looks like St. Louis might be doing some shopping in Philadelphia this trade deadline.

9. Boston Bruins

Week 21: 2-0-1, 9 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: LAK, CHI, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 9

The Bruins’ third line has been the talk of the hockey world, and rightfully so. It’s the best third line in the NHL.

8. New York Rangers

Week 21: 1-2-0, 11 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: MIN, STL, DAL)
Previous Ranking: 5

Several of the Rangers’ top players, especially their top defensemen, are exhibiting fatigue and that was evident in one of the worst weeks of the team’s season, so far.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs

Week 21: 2-1-1, 17 GF, 18 GA (Opponents: CBJ, SEA, ARI, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 8

The Heritage Classic didn’t go well for the Maple Leafs, who are still having serious issues in net.

6. Calgary Flames

Week 21: 3-2-0, 14 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: EDM, WSH, TBL, DET, COL)
Previous Ranking: 7

Re-signing Johnny Gaudreau is apparently a priority for Calgary’s front office, as it should be. He’s undeniably been one of the best players in the NHL.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

Week 21: 2-1-0, 12 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: FLA, VGK, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 6

Mike Sullivan shook up the lines and it appears to have worked. His stellar season continues.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

Week 21: 1-3-0, 8 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: WPG, CGY, EDM, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 3

Terrible timing for a disastrous Canada trip.

3. Florida Panthers

Week 21: 3-0-1, 18 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: BUF, PIT, PHI, LAK)
Previous Ranking: 4

Jonathan Huberdeau in the Hart conversation has been a hot talking point lately.

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Week 21: 2-1-0, 7 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: COL, PHI, PIT)
Previous Ranking: 2

In a battle between arguably the top-two teams in the league right now, the Hurricanes were triumphant over the Colorado Avalanche.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Week 21: 2-2-0, 11 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: NYI, NJD, CAR, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 1

Captain Gabriel Landeskog is set to undergo knee surgery, making the team’s need for someone like Claude Giroux all the more desperate.

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.