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Saturday, April 20, 2024

NHL Energy Rankings: Avalanche cling to the highest spot amid stellar stretch

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Nathan MacKinnon is constant to play out of his thoughts. MacKinnon set the franchise document for factors in a season and surpassed Joe Sakic within the course of. Colorado continues to rack up wins at an absurd price and do not appear like it has plans of slowing down. — 46-21-5

The Rangers are staking their declare as one of many prime groups within the East. New York is averaging a staggering 4.8 targets over its previous six video games, and it has taken down the Bruins and Panthers throughout that span. If Igor Shesterkin can present a powerful presence within the crease, this can be one harmful staff come playoff time. — 48-20-4

Jake Guentzel has proved to be an unreal commerce deadline addition, as he is racked up 12 factors in his first eight video games along with his new staff. It additionally would not harm that Evgeny Kuznetsov can be offering some depth because the second-line heart. On prime of all that, Frederik Andersen is again in web and has tallied a stellar 1.34 goals-against-average since returning to the ice. The Hurricanes are nipping on the Rangers’ heels for first place within the Metropolitan Division, they usually may simply snatch that away. — 45-21-7

The Panthers have been among the many NHL’s elite groups all through the second half of the season. Nonetheless, it has been tough sledding in South Florida in current weeks. The Panthers did drop a key encounter in opposition to the Bruins on Tuesday, however there’s actually no purpose to sound the alarm simply but as that is nonetheless an elite roster. — 46-21-5

The Stars are getting scorching on the proper time with a five-game successful streak. The larger story is the truth that goaltender Jake Oettinger may be lastly figuring it out. Oettinger has struggled as an entire this yr, however he has given up two targets apiece in every of his final three begins. If that form of manufacturing can maintain up, this group can be making some critical noise because the common season winds down. 2 45-19-9

Zach Hyman could also be one of many extra underrated free company signings in current reminiscence. Hyman recorded his first profession 50-goal season this previous weekend, and he has actually thrived enjoying alongside the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. As a staff, the Oilers are battling for the second playoff spot within the Pacific Division, however they might want to get again on observe in the event that they wish to safe that spot coming down the house stretch. 1 43-23-4

The Jets have actually hit the skids recently with 4 straight losses, together with just lately being shut out by the Capitals. Vezina Trophy frontrunner Connor Hellebuyck has had a couple of lackluster outings, however there is not an excessive amount of purpose to fret in relation to Winnipeg. 1 44-22-6

The Bruins are in an absolute dogfight with the Panthers for Atlantic Division supremacy. It has been a tough stretch for goaltender Jeremy Swayman, who has racked up a 3.75 goals-against-average over his final 4 video games. — 42-16-15

Goaltender Thatcher Demko stays sidelined with a knee harm, and he doubtless can be out till nearer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks do have a eight-point benefit within the Pacific Division over their counterparts, so there is not any rush to get Demko again onto the ice. — 45-19-8

There’s not a warmer staff within the NHL proper now than the Predators. The Predators have not had back-to-back losses since mid-February and are 16-0-2 of their final 18 video games. Nashville is firmly entrenched into one of many Wild Card spots within the Western Convention. Filip Forsberg is on an absolute heater with a objective in every of his final six video games to guide the cost. — 43-25-4

Golden Knights
The Golden Knights stands out as the second Wild Card staff proper now, however this can be a staff defying all the chances. Shedding captain Mark Stone wasn’t best, however Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault are main the way in which. That is additionally a bunch that may get Tomas Hertl into the fold towards the top of the common season, and it may steal one of many Pacific Division playoff spots if the stellar play retains up. 3 39-25-8

Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs had been considered Stanley Cup contenders after including Tyler Bertuzzi within the offseason. It hasn’t precisely been the season many envisioned for Toronto because the staff has been underwhelming at occasions. The comfort prize is that Auston Matthews is locked up for the foreseeable future and he could possibly be this yr’s main objective scorer. 1 40-22-9

The Lightning is probably not flashy, however that is doubtless a staff nobody desires to face within the opening spherical of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If Mikhail Sergachev can return for a possible playoff run, the Lightning actually could possibly be a sleeper to make some noise. Something is feasible when Nikita Kucherov is on the cusp of a career-high in factors. 1 39-25-7

The Kings are clinging to the ultimate playoff spot within the Pacific Division, and they’re on a four-game successful streak. It is insane that Anze Kopitar remains to be enjoying at an elite degree, and he is about to document consecutive 70-point seasons. 1 38-22-11

The Capitals are making a cost at a playoff spot, and Alex Ovechkin has lastly turned his season round. After a tough first half, Ovechkin has tallied seven targets in his final 5 video games and is pacing Washington on its current scorching streak. — 36-26-9

The Flyers had been first half darlings, however have not been practically as harmful post-All-Star break. Sean Couturier is again on the ice after briefly being in head coach John Tortorella’s doghouse, however he nonetheless logged the second-fewest ice time amongst forwards in Tuesday’s loss to the Rangers. Philadelphia is probably going a staff that almost all Japanese Convention groups wish to face within the opening spherical of the Stanley Cup Playoffs primarily based on its younger roster. 1 36-27-10

The Wild are all however eradicated from the postseason image until they go on a ridiculous run late within the yr. Whereas it has been a disappointing yr, the Wild have a ton to sit up for in relation to their future. Defenseman Brock Faber has been fairly spectacular, and he would most likely win the Calder Trophy if it wasn’t for Connor Bedard. 1 34-28-9

Tuesday’s extra time loss to the Golden Knights was an absolute gutpunch. The Blues are at the moment six factors out of the playoff image, and it’d take a miracle for them to seize a type of two Wild Card spots. — 38-30-4

Purple Wings
It is onerous to say that anybody predicted the Purple Wings’ struggles on this level within the season. Dylan Larkin is again within the lineup, which ought to assist issues, however that is nonetheless a staff that has dropped 10 of its final 13 video games. Detroit may miss the playoffs utterly at this price. 1 36-29-7

For a quick interval, it appeared that head coach Patrick Roy was turning the tide for the Islanders. Nonetheless, this staff is floundering proper now, and it doubtless will miss out on the postseason. Goaltender Ilya Sorokin’s struggles additionally have not helped issues. 1 30-26-15

The Sabres simply do not seem fairly able to compete for a playoff spot. What may be essentially the most stunning is the down yr Tage Thompson is having. After tallying a 94-point marketing campaign in 2022-23, Thompson has simply 45 factors with lower than a month to go. — 34-33-5

The goaltending place is arguably the highest purpose why the Devils are going to overlook the playoffs this season. Nonetheless, Jake Allen, who was acquired on the commerce deadline from the Canadiens, has been sturdy within the crease to date with a 2.50 goals-against-average in six video games since becoming a member of the staff. Retool the protection within the offseason, and this undoubtedly could be a playoff staff in 2024-25. 1 36-33-4

The Flames clearly aren’t a playoff staff, they usually have dropped seven of their final 9 video games. Whereas it has been a tough couple of seasons in Calgary, the staff did obtain a key contributor in final summer season’s Tyler Toffoli’s commerce within the type of Yegor Sharangovich, who’s on the doorstep of being a 30-goal scorer. 1 33-33-5

It has been a tough second half of the season for the Penguins to say the least. Pittsburgh is de facto going to be a staff to look at this offseason to see in the event that they actually embrace the rebuild. In the event that they do, Sidney Crosby may have a brand new residence in 2024-25. 1 31-30-10

The Kraken had been anticipated to be a playoff staff within the West however have struggled mightily. That they had misplaced eight in a row previous to Tuesday’s win in opposition to the Geese. Nonetheless, they’ve plummeted out of the playoff image utterly. 1 29-29-13

The staff of potential simply hasn’t carried out as much as requirements this season. One constructive is star heart Tim Stutzle being on the verge of setting a brand new career-high in assists and searching just like the first-line heart of the long run. Sadly, this can be a group that was by no means within the playoff race this season. — 30-36-4

The Coyotes have produced their highest win whole over the previous few seasons in 2023-24, so there’s gentle on the finish of the tunnel. Clayton Keller is having an incredible yr, whereas former No. 3 decide Logan Cooley has been productive in his rookie marketing campaign. A possible run at a playoff berth within the close to future is probably not out of the query if the event retains up. — 30-37-5

There have not been a ton of positives to talk of in relation to the Canadiens this season. Nonetheless, former No. 1 decide Juraj Slafkovsky is having a stable marketing campaign, in order that’s one thing to be intrigued by. Having a pleasant trio of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Slafkovsky to construct round is an honest place to begin for a rebuilding franchise. 2 27-32-12

Blue Jackets
It is doubtless this example is not fairly what Johnny Gaudreau envisioned when he signed that large contract two summers in the past. The Blue Jackets are simply floundering proper now as they’ve all through the vast majority of the season. It additionally would not assist that rookie sensation Adam Fantilli has been out of the lineup since late January. 1 23-37-12

Connor Bedard has missed a while, nevertheless it’s nonetheless downright spectacular he is near the 60-point mark. In spite of everything, Bedard hasn’t obtained a ton of assistance on the offensive finish of the ice because the Blackhawks have simply 4 gamers which might be north of the 30-point mark. They at the moment have the second-best odds of touchdown the No. 1 decide, so there’s a little bit little bit of a silver lining. 1 21-46-5

Whereas the Geese might not catch the Sharks, Anaheim nonetheless ought to have some sturdy odds to win the Macklin Celebrini derby and purchase the No. 1 decide. The Geese have dropped 9 of their final 10 video games and have established themselves among the many league’s worst because the 2023-24 season winds down. — 24-44-4

The Sharks have been abysmal during the last month. After unloading the likes of Tomas Hertl and Anthony Duclair on the commerce deadline, San Jose has dropped 17 of its final 18 video games, they usually have been an computerized win for his or her competitors. — 16-47-8

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