NHL Power Rankings Based on Stanley Cup Odds After Dec. 7: Lightning Gearing Up For 3-Peat

The Lightning are rounding into form as we approach the end of the 2021 calendar year.
The Lightning are rounding into form as we approach the end of the 2021 calendar year. / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another edition of the official IMAC NHL Power Rankings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold on to the top spot, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche are starting to round into form. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets have begun to stumble.

The numbers in brackets indicate movement since the last edition of the power rankings.

All odds listed are via WynnBET Sportsbook.

1. Toronto Maple Leafs +1200 (-)

The Maple Leafs are tied atop the NHL standings, and despite playing more games than the Panthers and Capitals, I'm keeping them in the number one spot this week. Call me biased all you want, but a team has to do something to lose the No. 1 rankings and the Leafs just keep winning.

2. Washington Capitals +1500 (+2)

WynnBET has shifted the Capitals' Stanley Cup odds from +2500 to +1500 since last week's edition of the power rankings. That proves that oddsmakers are starting to take this team seriously despite not being a preseason favorite.

3. Florida Panthers +800 (-1)

If you like advanced analytics, you love the Florida Panthers. They're first in the NHL in CORSI% but a significant margin.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning +800 (+5)

We all knew the Lightning would climb their way back to the top of the standings sooner or later, and that's what they're in the middle of doing right now. They're winners of four straight games.

5. Minnesota Wild +1600 (+1)

I guess I'm going to have to start giving the Minnesota Wild the respect they deserve. They may not be the best team from an analytics point of view, but they're in the top spot in the Western Conference and have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

6. New York Rangers +2000 (+1)

The Rangers odds to win the Stanley Cup keep getting shorter and their spot in my rankings continues to climb. I don't think their success will last long, they're 31st in CORSI%, but they find ways to win games. Maybe No. 6 isn't even high enough considering they have the highest point percentage in the NHL.

7. Calgary Flames +2500 (-2)

They still hold the top spot in the Pacific Division and they remain one of the top defensive teams in the NHL. They've only allowed 56 goals this season, the fewest in the league.

8. Carolina Hurricanes +1200 (-5)

They're too talented of a team to drop too far down my power rankings, but they're in the middle of a slump, going 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.

9. Colorado Avalanche +550 (+1)

Slowly but surely, the Avalanche are climbing back to the top of standings and rankings alike. They're 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, but have still played at least three fewer games than the rest of the league.

10. Edmonton Oilers +1000 (-2)

Much like the Hurricanes, the Oilers have hit a slump in their season. They're 5-5 in their last 10 games and their lack of defense is starting to catch up to them.

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11. Boston Bruins +1200 (+1)

The Bruins are tied with the Islanders for the fewest games played in the NHL, but unlike New York, Boston didn't have to delay any games due to COVID-19. What's up with their early season schedule? No one know. Regardless, the Bruins need to start finding the back of the net.

12. Dallas Stars +4000 (+4)

Shoutout to the Dallas Stars who have won seven straight games and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Much like the Avalanche, only having played 22 games is holding them back in the standings, but they're 11th in the NHL in point percentage.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins +2500 (+6)

I said in last week's power rankings that I think the Penguins are going to go on a run, and I think we're witnessing it now. They're 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have won two straight.

14. St. Louis Blues +2500 (-1)

I still think the St. Louis Blues are frauds, but they're doing enough to hang around the middle of the power rankings. They're sitting in second place in what has been an extremely disappointing Central Division.

15. Anaheim Ducks +5000 (-4)

The Ducks still sit in second place in the Pacific Division so I won't drop them too far down my rankings, but they've gone 4-4-2 in their last 10 games and are starting to show their true colors after a hot start to their season.

16. Nashville Predators +10000 (-1)

The epitome of average, I have little to say about the Predators outside of the fact that I love their young goaltender Juuse Saros. Despite looking like a playoff team, oddsmakers have yet to give them any respect when it comes to odds to win the Cup.

17. Vegas Golden Knights +1000 (+1)

I've been skeptical about the Golden Knights all season, and they continue to look "decent". They certainly don't look like Stanley Cup pretenders, but they don't look awful either. Their defense remains atrocious, giving up the forth most high danger scoring chances.

18. San Jose Sharks +10000 (-1)

The Sharks only dropped one spot in my rankings but their odds to win the Stanley Cup have doubled. They're certainly not contenders to win it all, but they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Pacific Division.

19. Winnipeg Jets +4000 (-5)

The Jets are one of the biggest fallers of the week, dropping five spot to No. 19. They're 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and will only go as far as Connor Hellebuyck will take them. When he's off his game in net, so are the Jets.

20. Detroit Red Wings +20000 (-)

Statistically, this team should be in the basement, but they're scrappy and are finding ways to win games that they don't have any business winning. Credit to them.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets +10000 (-)

The Blue Jackets are hanging around the Metropolitan Division with a 13-11 record. The season could tip in either direction at this point.

22. New Jersey Devils (+2)

The Devils have lost four straight games, but they're keeping many games close that they don't have any business staying in. If they could have turned just a couple of their five overtime losses to wins, they'd be in a much better spot.

23. Los Angeles Kings +10000 (-1)

The Los Angeles Kings were looking like a solid club for a while, but have gone 2-5-3 in their last 10 games and have begun to stumble down my power rankings.

24. Seattle Kraken +15000 (-1)

The Kraken continue to be a decent team statistically, but they're dead last in the NHL in team save percentage at 87.16%. This team needs a goaltender, and they need one bad.

25. Chicago Blackhawks +25000 (+2)

The Chicago Blackhawks are 5-5 in their last 10 games, which isn't good, but that's better than they were at the start of the season. Baby steps, my friends.

26. Philadelphia Flyers +10000 (-1)

The Flyers are terrible and are lucky to be ranked at No. 26 in these rankings. They hold the longest losing streak at nine games, and are beyond abysmal in their own end, giving up the most high danger scoring chances per game.

27. Montreal Canadiens +50000 (+1)

A new era has begun in Montreal with a new general manager. Still, they're miles away from being Stanley Cup runner-ups last season.

28. Vancouver Canucks +30000 (+1)

Congratulations, Canucks! You've moved up one spot in my power rankings! Can someone please get my guy Thatcher Demko some help?

29. Buffalo Sabres +20000 (-3)

Remember when the Sabres were the talk of the league after getting off to a hot start? Well, they're 1-8-1 in their last 10 games and they're back to looking terrible. Yikes.

30. Ottawa Senators +100000 (-)

The Senators needs to keep their focus on their future. This season is over for them. There's not much more to say about this team.

31. New York Islanders +5000 (-)

Oddsmakers haven't given up on the Islanders yet. A 16-game long road trip that was capped off by a COVID-19 outbreak on the team has lead to a literal disaster of a start for the Islanders. There's still time for them to turn things around.

32. Arizona Coyotes +200000 (-)

Are the Arizona Coyotes mathematically eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs yet?