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CBS Sports

Early in the season, the Minnesota Wild were high in these power rankings as they looked like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. But then they went dormant for a while. Well, the Wild are now very much back with a vengeance.

From Feb. 1 to March 15, Minnesota was 7-10-1 with an expected goals share of 43.76% at five-on-five. There were real questions about whether the Wild had what it took to avoid an early playoff exit, but they appear to have flipped some kind of switch.

Since March 16, Minnesota has the best record in the league at 9-0-1. The process beneath those results has been much better as well. The Wild have been controlling 60.18% of the expected goals at five-on-five, which is also the best mark in the NHL.

As the Wild surge upward in the final month of the regular season, here are the updated NHL Power Rankings.

Biggest Movers

6

Senators

8

Blue Jackets
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1


Panthers

Jonathan Huberdeau is having a truly ridiculous season from a statistical perspective. He has already set new career highs in assists and points with 73 and 97, respectively, and there are still 13 games left to play in the regular season. His cap hit of $5.9 million looks like a massive bargain. 1 48-15-6

2


Avalanche

The Avs are on pace to tally more than 120 points this season, and they are a Stanley Cup contender in every way. The only area was scrutinized earlier in the year was goaltending, but over the last two weeks, Darcy Kuemper has saved 6.03 goals above average. That is third in the NHL, and he might be heating up for a very long postseason run. 1 49-14-6

3


Bruins

Over the last month, the Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the league. Since Mar. 3, they are 11-2-1, which is the second-best record in the league. Those results haven’t been underserved either. Over that stretch, Boston has been dominant at five-on-five with an expected goals share of 61.56%. 1 44-20-5

4


Flames

Calgary has stumbled a bit lately, at least by their own standards, but hanging nine goals on the Oilers in the Battle of Alberta has to take away some of that sting. In that game, the line of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm combined for four goals and 11 points. 1 41-19-9

5


Lightning

The Lightning are jostling with the Maple Leafs and Bruins for home-ice advantage in the first-round of the playoffs. While they don’t play Boston again in the regular season, Tampa’s two remaining games against Toronto should be a lot of fun. 2 43-19-7

6


Rangers

Frank Vatrano has made himself right at home with his new team. In 10 games with the Rangers, Vatrano has found the back of the net five times. In his 49 games with the Panthers this season, Vatrano notched 10 goals. He has responded quite well to the trade and gives the Rangers a strong depth piece in their forward group. 44-20-6

7


Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are riding a five-game winning streak that includes wins over the Panthers and Bruins. In that stretch, John Tavares has gotten his game going. In his last five games, Tavares has four goals and seven points. That’s great news for the Leafs because they need him at his best in order to run through the gauntlet that is the Atlantic Division. 2 45-19-5

8


Wild

If you believe in peaking at the right time, Minnesota is doing just that. The Wild just had their seven-game winning streak snapped and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. On top of that, their five-on-five game has been strong with an expected goals share of 56.85% at five-on-five. 2 43-20-5

9


Hurricanes

There are too many other candidates in a loaded rookie class, so Seth Jarvis won’t win the award, but he definitely deserves some respect. To go along with his 10.24 expected goals at five-on-five, Jarvis has 13 goals and 28 points on the season. He has given Carolina an excellent weapon a little further down in the lineup. 1 45-16-8

10


Penguins

Not only did the Penguins hit double digits against the Red Wings, but they took things one goal further. In an 11-2 win over the Red Wings, every forward who suited up tallied at least one point, and only two players failed to get on the score sheet. Brian Dumoulin and Marcus Pettersson really missed out on a bonanza. 5 41-19-10

11


Oilers

The Oilers have gotten hot again. They are 10-2-1 in that stretch, but I am going to rain on that parade a little bit. There are still major red flags between the pipes with both Mikko Koskinen (-4.72) and Mike Smith (-0.69) on the wrong side of the goals saved above average numbers at five-on-five. 1 40-25-5

12


Golden Knights

Vegas desperately needed to go on a run, and the team has now won five straight games. The Golden Knights are still on shaky postseason ground, but they have gained some traction at the eleventh hour and should make the Western Conference playoff race awfully interesting. 4 39-28-4

13


Kings

Even without Drew Doughty for almost a month now, the Kings have managed to scrape out some points in the standings and maintain their place in the top three of the Pacific Division. Still, if Doughty can’t return this season, it’s hard to see Los Angeles doing much damage in the playoffs. 38-24-10

14


Stars

Miro Heiskanen has returned just in time for the Stars. Even if Heiskanen needs a few games to get his hockey legs back underneath him, Dallas has to be thrilled to have him back in the lineup for what should be an intense sprint to the playoffs. 3 39-26-3

15


Capitals

Looking at the home-road splits for playoff teams, the Capitals stick out like an outlier. Currently in the second wild card spot, Washington has been mediocre at home but dynamite on the road, which is the opposite of most of their playoff peers. Maybe that will serve them well in the first season. 4 37-22-10

16


Predators

Going all the way back to Jan. 13, the Predators have been stuck in neutral. Their record since that date is 15-14-2, and they haven’t won more than three straight games at any point. As a result, Nashville finds itself on the verge of potentially missing the playoffs if the team can’t find some consistency over the next month. 2 39-25-4

17


Blues

The Blues have faltered somewhat at the wrong time. They are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games, and while they haven’t been great in the expected goals category all season, things have gotten slightly worse. St. Louis has controlled just 45.55% of the expected goals at five-on-five in the last month. 2 39-20-10

18


Islanders

The Islanders are doing everything they can to give the Capitals any kind of stress down the stretch. The Isles have won four straight games and are 7-3-0 in their last 10. If nothing else, this might shape up to be a strong finish to an otherwise frustrating year for the franchise. 2 32-27-9

19


Jets

It has been a rather forgettable season in Winnipeg, but Kyle Connor will want to remember it. He recently eclipsed the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. The Jets’ decision to lock him up long-term a couple of years ago only looks smarter and smarter with each passing season. 1 33-27-10

20


Canucks

As the Vancouver Canucks move forward, they will have to figure out what to do with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He has had a tough first season in Vancouver, and he is still under contract through 2026-27 at $7.26 million per year. Because of that, the Canucks will have a hard time re-signing Brock Boeser this offseason. 1 32-28-10

21


Canadiens

Rem Pitlick has yet to really stick with one NHL team, but he seems to have found a major opportunity with the Canadiens. Recently, he has been playing first-line minutes with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. The production is there too with seven goals and 21 points in 33 games. 1 19-39-11

22


Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have lost eight of their last 10 games, and they are inventing new ways to lose. Chicago lost to the Sabres on a broken stick shot that bounced off the end board, off Kevin Lankinen’s skate, and into the net. It’s been that kind of run for the Hawks lately. 2 24-35-11

23


Sabres

It has taken Tage Thompson some time to hit his stride at the NHL level, but he has done that this season. Thompson is second on the team with 12.3 expected goals at five-on-five, and he recently scored his 31st goal of the year. That is a 23-goal increase over last season, and he still has 12 games left. 3 25-34-11

24


Coyotes

It could be a really rough ending to the season for the Coyotes. Leading scorer Clayton Keller is done for the year with an injury, and he has been the engine for the Arizona offense. At least the Yotes won’t have to play without him for long before their season ends. 1 22-43-5

25


Senators

Josh Norris has hit the 30-goal mark in just 52 games, and he would be on pace for 47 goals in a full 82-game season. He is set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, and it will be interesting to see whether Ottawa can sign him to a long-term contract. Norris should be a major building block for the Sens’ never-ending rebuild. 6 25-37-6

26


Flyers

Interim head coach Mike Yeo chose to scratch Keith Yandle, who was just shy of 1,000 consecutive games played, and ended his iron man streak at 989 games. It was an interesting decision from a coach whose team has 55 points in 69 games and has been eliminated from playoff contention. 1 22-36-11

27


Blue Jackets

Columbus has lost six straight games, and it has been a miserable stretch for an otherwise competitive team. Over the last two weeks, the Blue Jackets have controlled just 43.10% of the expected goals at five-on-five. 8 32-32-6

28


Kraken

Over the last month, the Kraken’s goaltending situation has actually stabilized for one of the first times all year. Despite that, the team is still just 5-7-1 in that time. That’s because the offense has been utterly anemic with 25.43 expected goals at five-on-five, which is 31st in the NHL over that stretch. 22-41-6

29


Ducks

The webbed feet have come all the way off for the Ducks. Instead of surging towar a playoff spot, the Ducks have won just once in their last 13 games. That has caused Anaheim to drop like a stone out of the postseason race. 28-31-12

30


Sharks

Timo Meier recently struck for another hat trick, and he has set a new career high of 31 goals. Meier, at 25-years-old, is eligible for a contract extension this summer, but San Jose’s other massive contracts might make it very difficult to keep him around for the long haul. 29-31-8

31


Red Wings

With Thomas Greiss unavailable for the game, Alex Nedeljkovic had to take the brunt of an 11-2 thumping against the Penguins. Nedeljkovic allowed seven goals on 22 shots before he was finally relieved by backup Calvin Pickard. In that one game alone, Nedeljkovic allowed 4.62 goals above average. 6 26-34-9

32


Devils

The Devils have probably deserved better results than they’ve gotten this season. They are in the top half of the NHL in expected goals share at five-on-five (51.44%), but they are 31st in team save percentage at 88.25%. Look for New Jersey to make goaltending a priority this offseason. 24-39-6