NHL Power Rankings: Capitals cement top spot

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Capitals have cemented themselves to the top of this week’s NHL Power Rankings but how’s the rest of the league doing? 

In an epic showdown between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks on Monday night, there could only be one winner. That winner? The Capitals, who emerged as victors in a 2-1 shootout win. Anaheim fought valiantly, but they just weren’t good enough to stop the Caps.

How did the rest of the league do? Let’s take a look at this week’s NHL Power Rankings

 The Capitals seem to be coasting at times (understandable considering their comically large 20 point division lead) and they still find ways to amp it up when they need to. That’s the makings of an excellent team. From the way things look now, the Caps might have to take down the Penguins, the Rangers, and their old head coach to win their first Stanley Cup. If that’s the way it goes down, Disney could not have scripted a better ending.. (49-13-4). Previous: . Washington Capitals. 1. team. 19

105. Hopefully fans get the Ducks-Blackhawks West Conference Finals that they deserve. Sort of like The Rock versus Stone Cold at Wrestlemania 19. Anaheim might be ready to take down the Hawks.. (37-19-9). Previous: . Anaheim Ducks. 2. team

(41-21-5). Previous: . Chicago Blackhawks. 3. team. 94. Remember when everyone thought the Blackhawks would have an off year because they lost Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad? This is why Joel Quenneville is the best coach in the business. Don’t ever doubt him.

(40-20-7). Previous: . Dallas Stars. 4. team. 119. Goaltending is going to be the Stars’ demise. They are very similar to the 2009-2010 Capitals, for both good and bad reasons. 

St. Louis Blues. 5. team. 99. The Blues are the black knight from Monty Python. Doesn’t matter how many injuries they have, they keep fighting. If they get healthy, they could be the Blackhawks’ worst nightmare in the playoffs.. (38-20-9). Previous:

Ben Bishop is playing the best hockey that he has this season and Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are scoring at will. Be very afraid.. (39-23-4). Previous: . Tampa Bay Lightning. 6. team. 23

95. How long will Henrik Lundqvist be out? Because the Rangers Stanley Cup dreams are dead without the darling handsome Swedish netminder.. (38-22-6). Previous: . New York Rangers. 7. team

team. 97. Florida is starting to struggle at an awful time. Injuries have hit them hard but they’ve got to get their act together quickly.. (36-21-9). Previous: . Florida Panthers. 8

Los Angeles Kings. 9. team. 67. Look out NHL. The Kings have woken up and realized that scoring goals is a good thing.. (39-22-4). Previous:

The Islanders have a goaltending controversy. Will head coach Jack Capuano move forward with Halak or Greiss as his starting goaltender?. (36-20-7). Previous: . New York Islanders. 10. team. 106

(37-23-7). Previous: . Boston Bruins. 11. team. 70. Boston will go as far as the NHL’s dynamic duo of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand will take them. That could be pretty darn far.

151. Pekka Rinne has righted his ship after a disaster filled few weeks in January. That’s big for the Predators moving forward.. (33-21-12). Previous: . Nashville Predators. 12. team

120. Joe Thornton has to have a Lazarus Pit to continue defying age at this stage in his career. He probably shares it with Jaromir Jagr. For the sake of hockey, let’s hope they never stop using it.. (36-23-6). Previous: . San Jose Sharks. 13. team

Pittsburgh Penguins. 14. team. 92. Pittsburgh didn’t hit the ground running once they got Malkin back but they’re still an extremely good hockey team.. (34-23-8). Previous:

So if the Red Wings don’t make the NHL playoffs, what happens? Do the playoffs still happen?. (32-22-11). Previous: . Detroit Red Wings. 15. team. 72

Previous: . Minnesota Wild. 16. team. 98. Firing Mike Yeo could propel the Wild into the NHL playoffs.. (31-26-10)

Previous: . Philadelphia Flyers. 17. team. 68. The Flyers are good and their blue line isn’t even good. Imagine how good they’ll be once their top NHL prospects come up. . (31-23-11)

18. team. 103. It’s almost like trading for Mikkel Boedker wasn’t a very wise decision. If only there was a power rankings writer who could have warned them.. (34-30-4). Previous: . Colorado Avalanche

91. Imagine how bad the Senators would be if they didn’t have Erik Karlsson. They could be 2014-2015 Sabres bad if they didn’t have him.. (31-29-7). Previous: . Ottawa Senators. 19. team

20. team. 85. The Devils are starting to tank. Too bad it’s likely going to end in sadness with no top five draft pick at the 2016 NHL Draft.. (31-29-7). Previous: . New Jersey Devils

The Hurricanes blue line will be nasty in a few years. It’s almost unfair how much young talent they have.  . (28-26-10). Previous: . Carolina Hurricanes. 21. team. 109

The Sabres might have something in Robin Lehner. He’s been quite good for them this season.. (27-31-9). Previous: . Buffalo Sabres. 22. team. 12

team. 152. If there is something that Canadiens fans can salvage from this nightmare season, it’s that Alex Galchenyuk developed into a legitimate number one center.. (30-30-6). Previous: . Montreal Canadiens. 23

Columbus Blue Jackets. 24. team. 113. It’s happening again. The Blue Jackets are making a late season push that prevents them from getting a top five pick and misleads everyone into thinking that they’ll be a really good team in 2016.. (27-31-8). Previous:

team. 121. After a strong start, the Coyotes have fizzled out. The potential prize (Auston Matthews) might be worth the pain.. (28-32-6). Previous: . Arizona Coyotes. 25

Previous: . Vancouver Canucks. 26. team. 104. Vancouver is so horrible that they tank when they try to contend. That’s a first. . (25-28-12)

107. Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler should form the Jets new core.. (27-33-5). Previous: . Winnipeg Jets. 27. team

112. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan give the Flames hope for the future. Right now, they’re an awful hockey team.. (27-34-5). Previous: . Calgary Flames. 28. team

148. Let’s not kid ourselves, the Oilers are ending up with the 1st overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.. (26-35-7). Previous: . Edmonton Oilers. 29. team

team. 116. One can’t help but be impressed by how committed the Leaf are to being a horrible hockey team. . (21-31-11). Previous: . Toronto Maple Leafs. 30