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NHL Power Rankings: Scorching hot Oilers ride 11-game winning streak into top five, Islanders continue slide

NHL Power Rankings: Scorching hot Oilers ride 11-game winning streak into top five, Islanders continue slide

Edmonton has been clobbering the NHL throughout its 11-game winning streak

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You can run, but you cannot hide. The Edmonton Oilers have reached full juggernaut mode, and they’ve been running roughshod all over the NHL in the last month. That is more than enough to earn another big bump in the power rankings this week.

Following Tuesday’s comeback win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Oilers’ win streak has now hit 11 games. In that time, they have been obliterating opponents to the tune of a plus-24 goal differential.

As you might expect, everything has been clicking for them lately, including the goaltending. Stuart Skinner has been brilliant, saving 10.2 goals above average for the Oilers since Dec. 21. That’s what Edmonton was missing earlier this season, and when that lineup gets elite netminding, it’s over for everyone else.

To no one’s surprise, Connor McDavid has been driving the bus during Edmonton’s run of excellence, but he has had plenty of help. Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman both have eight goals in this stretch, but Ryan McLeod has also chipped in with six tallies. He is now just three goals away from his career high of 11.

As the Oilers inch closer to the No. 1 spot, here are the latest NHL Power Rankings.

Expected goals and goal saved above average data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.

Biggest Movers

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Teams

 

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Rcrd

1

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Jets

In the absence of Kyle Connor, Jets coach Rick Bowness has found an elite trio consisting of Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers and Gabriel Vilardi. Those three have been red hot, controlling 56.9% of the expected goals and almost 79.0% of the actual goals at five-on-five in their 166 minutes together. An injury to Scheifele and Connor’s return could throw a wrench into that line, but Bowness should probably stick with it once Scheifele returns to full health. 29-10-4
2

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Oilers

The Oilers’ high-flying offensive attack has gotten a lot of credit throughout the team’s 11-game winning streak, but Stuart Skinner needs a big shout out too. He was not very good at the start of the season, but he has been rock solid for Edmonton since Dec. 20. Over that span, his 10.2 goals saved above average are third in the NHL, and his high-danger save percentage is an absurd .948. 6 24-15-1
3

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Panthers

Since Aaron Ekblad returned from an injury that forced him to miss the first part of the season, he was been reunited with Gutsav Forsling, and that duo has been dynamite on the blue line. Those two have helped the Panthers control play from the back end, and they have a plus-four goal differential in 352 five-on-five minutes together. Forsling has earned himself a lot of money as a free agent next summer. 1 27-13-3
4

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Canucks

The goals and points are coming in bunches for Elias Pettersson these days. In his last six games, Pettersson has found the back of the net eight times while adding five assists. The Canucks’ superstar is now on pace for 42 goals and 65 assists. It feels like Pettersson is really starting to enter the peak of his career, and Vancouver better enjoy that $7.35 million cap hit while it lasts. 1 29-11-4
5

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Avalanche

In recent years, the Avalanche have done a good job of finding production from other teams’ cast-offs (see: Val Nichushkin). This season, Colorado saw Jonathan Drouin as a bit of a reclamation project, and it has paid off. Drouin was placed on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, and he has run with that opportunity. Drouin has 10 goals and 15 assists in 42 games, putting him on pace for his best season since 2018-19 by a wide margin. 1 29-13-3
6

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Bruins

Brad Marchand has been on a bit of a scoring tear this season with 19 goals in 43 games. He scored just 21 in 73 games last season, and the difference might be his increased involvement as a trigger man on the power play. Marchand was ninth on the Bruins in power play shots per 60 minutes last year, and he is fourth this season. Some of those opportunities may have been going to Patrice Bergeron in 2022-23, and Marchand is seeing more of them now that Bergeron is retired. 1 26-8-9
7

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Stars

A lot of things have been clicking for the Stars this season, but one area that still has yet to reach top gear is the third line. The trio of Jamie Benn, Wyatt Johnston and Evgenii Dadonov has yet to really find a rhythm. Benn has taken a step back after a resurgent 2022-23 season, and the entire line has been on the wrong side of the results at five-on-five. Even if that line isn’t rolling at full steam, the Stars are a wagon, but imagine what they would look like with three truly dominant lines rolling at all times. 26-12-5
8

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Hurricanes

Jack Drury got off to a disastrous start to the season with just two assists in his first 17 games. The former second-round pick was miserably cold, but head coach Rod Brind’Amour stuck with him, and it seems like that patience is being rewarded. Since Nov. 22, Drury is tied for third on the team with eight goals, and he has 17 points in 26 games. Drury has developed into an excellent depth piece for an already deep Canes lineup. 1 24-14-5
9

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Rangers

The Rangers have not been at their best over the last few weeks, and it has been for a rather unusual reason: Igor Shesterkin has looked very human in the last month. His 0.61 goals saved above average since Dec. 16 rank 27th, and the weird thing is his 0.861 high-danger save percentage is actually rock solid. That means some of the less dangerous attempts are getting past him, which is really uncharacteristic from Shesterkin. The blueshirts won’t return to their elite form until he heats up again. 3 28-13-2
10

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Kraken

The Kraken’s win streak ended at nine Monday, but the team’s depth has once again been behind the success, just like it was last season. In the last month, Vince Dunn leads the team with four goals in 12 games. Five players have three goals, six players have two goals and a total of 18 different Kraken skaters have lit the lamp since Dec. 16. Everyone has been chipping in for Seattle during this hot streak. 4 19-16-9
11

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Flyers

Owen Tippett is absolutely letting it fly this season. His 26.3 shot attempts per 60 minutes places him second in the NHL, sandwiched between David Pastrnak and Filip Forsberg. That’s obviously very impressive, but it also explains the offensive success Tippett is having this season. Despite a roughly two percent dip in his shooting percentage from last year, Tippett is still on pace for about 30 goals. Shooters shoot, and Tippett can’t get enough of it. 6 24-14-6
12

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Golden Knights

Vegas has had a lot of trouble scoring goals of late. The Golden Knights have scored a total of 33 goals since Dec. 16, which ranks 29th in the NHL. Only the Capitals, Blackhawks and Sharks have been worse. The bad news is that it will only get more difficult now that Jack Eichel is out week-to-week following surgery. If there is some good news, it’s that Mark Stone broke out of a seven-game goal drought with a hat trick Monday. 1 25-14-5
13

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Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have led in each of their last four games, and they have just one point to show for it. Finishing games has suddenly become an issue in Toronto, and it has dropped the team to 4-4-2 in its last 10 games. Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner need some help from the rest of the team, including John Tavares, who has just one goal in his last nine contests. 3 21-13-8
14

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Devils

Simon Nemec, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 draft, has been highly impressive since being called up from the AHL. He has added a little bit of offensive production with two goals and six assists in his first 20 games, but his five-on-five impacts have been even better. New Jersey has controlled 54.4% of the expected goals and owns a plus-6 goal differential with Nemec on the ice in those situations. 1 22-16-3
15

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Penguins

Sidney Crosby is an absolute machine. The 36-year-old is playing at a Hart Trophy level once again, and he is up to 26 goals and 20 assists in 42 games. At five-on-five, Crosby has a plus-15 goal differential and a 58.2% expected goals share. Crosby is an ageless wonder, and he has helped the Penguins climb into the No. 3 spot in the Metro Division. When Crosby is playing like this, Pittsburgh is fully capable of going on a deep postseason run. 21-15-6
16

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Kings

Los Angeles is 5-5-4 over the last month, and it has had some depth scoring concerns. One of the most snake-bitten players has been Arthur Kaliyev, who hasn’t scored since Dec. 5. Kaliyev showed some promise with 13 goals in 56 games last season, but he has taken a step back in 2023-24. The former second-round pick is still only 22, so he has plenty of time to get back on track, but that might happen with another team since Kaliyev has been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. 4 21-12-8
17

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Lightning

Lightning GM Julien BriseBois has already made it clear that Steven Stamkos won’t be traded this season, despite contract talks stalling. While Stamkos’ production has remained strong with 41 points in 41 games, his impacts at five-on-five have taken a nosedive. It will be interesting to see how that impacts negotiations between Stamkos and the team when the time comes this offseason. Until then, the Bolts have to make moves centered around getting this core one more ring while it’s still together. 3 22-17-5
18

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Red Wings

The yo-yo season continues in Detroit with the Red Wings sitting at 5-0-1 in January. That little run has placed them back in the first wild card in the Eastern Conference, and Detroit has done that with Alex DeBrincat contributing zero goals and two assists. That’s an encouraging sign, but it’s still a massive red flag that the Wings are getting shelled at five-on-five. Since Jan. 1, Detroit has posted a five-on-five expected goals share of 42.6%, which ranks 29th in that stretch. 3 22-16-5
19

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Predators

The Predators have needed someone outside their top line to step up in the goal-scoring department, and rookie Luke Evangelista has done just that. Evangelista now has five goals in his last eight games, and he is up to nine in 43 games this season. A former second-round pick, Evangelista has displayed offensive firepower in juniors and the AHL. Now, that is starting to shine through at the NHL level, and he looks like a player Nashville might be able to build around. 3 24-19-1
20

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Flames

Yegor Sharagovich and Blake Coleman are doing their part to keep the Flames in the playoff race for the time being. Those two have combined to score 14 goals in 2024, and they have generated the bulk of Calgary’s offense lately. That said, I’m not sure that Sharangovich and Coleman can continue to shoot 26.1% and 50.0%, respectively. We’ll see how much longer Calgary can ride this wave. 4 21-18-5
21

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Coyotes

Jason Zucker has not taken to Arizona well after signing a one-year deal in the offseason. The veteran winger has not fared well away from Evgeni Malkin, notching just six goals and eight assists in his first 31 games with the Yotes. Compare that to last season, when Zucker buried 27 goals while playing just over 900 five-on-five minutes with Malkin. He has yet to really recreate that chemistry with anyone in the desert. 3 21-18-3
22

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Blues

Goaltending continues to keep this Blues team in the race, and it has been Joel Hofer carrying the load recently. Hofer, a former fourth-round pick, has been nothing shy of spectacular in the last month. Since Dec. 16, Hofer has saved 5.06 goals above average in his six appearances, and he also boasts a .931 save percentage. Hofer has earned more opportunities, even though Jordan Binnington has had some good outings lately too. 21-19-2
23

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Capitals

The Capitals have been downright bad over the last month For evidence, look no further than their minus-14 goal differential in that span. That is 30th in the NHL, and Washington’s special teams haven’t been much to write home about in recent weeks either. Despite all that Washington has managed to string together a .500 record at 7-7-2 in its last 16. Spencer Carbery has some voodoo going on in D.C. or something to keep this team in the playoff picture. 2 21-15-6
24

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Islanders

The Islanders have now dropped their last three games — and five of their last six. In that stretch, the Isles have been outscored 25-11. Things are headed in the wrong direction on Long Island with no area of the game clicking for Lane Lambert’s bunch. The Islanders are now 12th in the East in terms of points percentage, and their lack of regulation wins really puts them behind in the playoff race. 5 19-15-10
25

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Sabres

After a strong season with the Bruins in 2022-23, Connor Clifton parlayed that into a three-year deal with the Sabres. Through the first half of Year 1, things are not going well. Clifton has really struggled to keep his head above water at five-on-five with a 46.4% expected goals share. There is still plenty of time for Clifton to adjust to his new environment, but he is much less insulated on the Sabres than he was on a historically good Bruins team. 1 19-21-4
26

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Canadiens

The Habs were able to snap a three-game losing streak with an impressive win over the Avalanche on Monday. In that victory, Cole Caufield notched a goal and an assist to bring his totals to 13 goals and 18 assists on the season. Caufield should smash his current career high in assists (20) by the end of the month, but now he needs to get a little more help when it comes to generating dangerous scoring chances for himself. 1 18-18-7
27

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Wild

Marc-Andre Fleury made history Monday when he shut out the New York Islanders. That was the 552nd win of his career, pushing him past Patrick Roy for second all-time. It hasn’t been the smoothest season for the Wild, but that was a special moment for Fleury and his family. We’ll see whether he and the team can use that as a springboard for a second-half push. 4 18-20-5
28

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Ducks

Trevor Zegras will miss six-to-eight weeks with an injury, but before that happened, his name had been thrown out in trade rumors. Zegras was struggling in his first season under head coach Greg Cronin with just four goals and three assists in 20 games. The 22-year-old hasn’t developed as much as Anaheim had hoped over the last year, but there should be plenty of teams willing to take a chance on him if the Ducks do decide to move in a different direction. 2 15-28-1
29

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Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets defeated the mighty Vancouver Canucks on Monday, but those good vibes lasted a total of five minutes. In his postgame media availability, goaltender Elvis Merzlikins revealed that he has indeed requested a trade out of Columbus. Merzlikins has had a tough season, like the rest of his teammates, so he may have to wait until the Jackets find the right suitor. 1 14-21-9
30

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Senators

Ottawa has completely cratered. The team is 3-7-0 in its last 10 games and 4-9-0 under interim head coach Jacques Martin. The coaching change had no effect on the Senators, and there is an argument to be made that they got even worse after that. The Sens might very well finish last in the Eastern Conference, and that would be a colossal disappointment for a team that hoped to be in the playoff bubble conversation this year. 1 15-24-0
31

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Blackhawks

The battle for 31st place in the power rankings was a hotly contested one Tuesday, but the Blackhawks were able to pull out a shootout win over the Sharks. In a game and shootout that went on for entirely too long, Boris Katchouk played hero in the ninth round to deliver No. 31 to Chicago. 13-29-2
32

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Sharks

The Blackhawks may have won the battle, but the Sharks won the war. They got another point closer to having the best odds in the draft lottery and landing the No. 1 overall pick. Plus, no one saw the loss anyway because Oilers-Maple Leafs was on at the same time. 10-31-4

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