NHL Power Rankings 2015-16: Red-Hot Bruins, Capitals Continue To Rise

The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals have the NHL’s longest active win streaks at five games apiece.

Each team has been bolstered by quality goaltending and an improved penalty kill during this run of success, but it’s been the offense primarily carrying these clubs to victories. Boston ranks third in goals scored per game and has the top power-play unit, while Washington ranks fourth and second, respectively, in those categories.

Here are our latest power rankings. All records are current as of Dec. 2.

1. Dallas Stars (19-5-1): Dallas has taken points from 12 of its last 13 games and sits atop the Western Conference standings.

2. Montreal Canadiens (19-4-3): Reigning MVP and Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Carey Price will be out for at least six more weeks with a lower body injury, meaning he’ll likely miss the Winter Classic against the Bruins on New Year’s Day. It’s not a huge setback in the short term, though, because backup Mike Condon has played well in relief with eight wins and a .916 save percentage.

3. Washington Capitals (17-5-1): The Capitals have the second-best goal differential (plus-24) in the league.

4. New York Rangers (17-6-2): New York just lost center Derek Stepan (broken ribs) for four to six weeks and has suffered defeats in three of its last four games.

5. St. Louis Blues (15-7-3): The Blues have lost three of their last five games, with the victories coming against inferior teams in Buffalo and Columbus. Still, there’s no reason to panic in St. Louis.

6. Los Angeles Kings (15-8-1): The Kings are controlling 57.2 percent of even-strength shot attempts, the best mark of any team. This is the type of puck-possession, defense-first style of hockey that propelled L.A. to Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins (14-8-2): On Tuesday night, Evgeni Malkin (one goal, two assists) and Phil Kessel (two goals) led the Penguins to their first road win over the Sharks in 18 years.

8. Nashville Predators (13-7-4): The Predators are the third-best puck-possession team at even strength, using the Corsi percentage metric, and they’re 8-2-2 at home. Interestingly enough, that’s only good enough for third place in a loaded Central Division.

9. New York Islanders (13-8-4): The Isles appear to have righted the ship with a 6-3-1 mark in their last 10 games. The Travis Hamonic trade situation still hasn’t been sorted out, though.

10. Boston Bruins (13-8-1): When will Patrice Bergeron receive some Hart Trophy consideration? He’s playing his usual Selke Trophy-caliber defense and has tallied at least one point in 17 of Boston’s 22 games.

11. Chicago Blackhawks (13-9-3): Patrick Kane leads the league in scoring and has a new American point streak record at 20 games and counting. He’s the early favorite for the Hart Trophy.

12. Detroit Red Wings (13-8-4): Top-six center Dylan Larkin, a former first-round draft pick, was named NHL Rookie of the Month for November.

13. Minnesota Wild (12-7-4): A 2-1 road win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night should give Minnesota a much-needed confidence boost. The Wild had lost six of their previous seven games.

14. San Jose Sharks (14-10-0): Eight of San Jose’s next 12 games are on the road, which benefits the Sharks because they’re 10-3-0 away from the SAP Center, highlighted by a perfect 6-for-6 road trip in November.

15. Ottawa Senators (12-7-5): Ottawa has given up 15 goals in the last four games and ranks 22nd in goals against per game as a result. The Senators must improve defensively to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

16. New Jersey Devils (12-10-2): Cory Schneider also should be in the Hart Trophy conversation if the Devils somehow reach the playoffs. The veteran goalie has a .927 save percentage and a 2.03 GAA.

17. Arizona Coyotes (13-10-1): Just when you think the Coyotes are finally falling back to the bottom of the standings, they win three of four with victories over quality teams such as Anaheim and Ottawa.

18. Florida Panthers (11-9-4): The Panthers have beaten three very good teams in the Blues, Red Wings and Islanders over the last five days.

19. Vancouver Canucks (9-9-8): Vancouver needs to improve defensively because being ranked 20th in goals against per game and 22nd in penalty killing isn’t good enough to reach the playoffs in the Western Conference.

20. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-11-3): Tampa Bay’s scoring woes have continued, with two goals or fewer in five of its last six games. It’s almost unfathomable that a team with so much high-end offensive skill ranks 24th in goals scored per game.

21. Winnipeg Jets (11-12-2): Lackluster special teams (27th in power-play percentage and 22nd in penalty killing) is one reason why Winnipeg has lost 10 of 14 games since the start of November.

22. Anaheim Ducks (9-11-5): The Ducks earned an impressive 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night, but they still rank 29th in goals scored. Anaheim does have the most successful penalty kill, though.

23. Philadelphia Flyers (10-10-5): The Flyers are 30th in goals scored and 27th in power-play percentage, but they’ve managed to win three straight games on the strength of starting goalie Steve Mason.

24. Buffalo Sabres (10-12-3): Jack Eichel, the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, is tied for third in goals scored by rookies with eight.

25. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-11-5): Garrett Sparks’ debut has breathed some much-needed life into this Leafs season.

26. Carolina Hurricanes (8-12-4): Only three teams are shooting at a worse rate than Carolina’s 5.5 percent at even strength. There’s a serious lack of finish on this roster.

27. Colorado Avalanche (10-14-1): The Avs are controlling just 44.5 percent of shot attempts with a .919 save percentage and a 48.4 faceoff percentage at even strength. That’s really bad.

28. Calgary Flames (9-14-2): Let’s check in on Calgary.

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29. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-16-0): Columbus hasn’t made up much ground in the East since John Tortorella took over as head coach, and 10 of its next 13 games are against playoff-caliber teams.

30. Edmonton Oilers (8-15-2): Taylor Hall is having a fantastic season for Edmonton. The rest of the team’s top-six forwards (excluding Connor McDavid)? Not so much.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Patrice Bergeron has been very good for the Bruins, as usual.

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