2022-2023 December NHL Power Rankings

Darryl Dyck/CP

2022-2023 December NHL Power Rankings


2022-2023 December NHL Power Rankings

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1. Boston Bruins (No Change)

Average Rank: 1.33 (1,1,2)

Throughout the entire month of November, the Bruins have continued to assert their dominance over the NHL. Boston in this span set the NHL Record for 13 straight home wins to start the season. Boston’s super cohesive lineup continues to tear through teams as they look to add another Stanley Cup to their core. David Pastrňák continues to rack up points, with 32 points on the season he remains one of the league’s scoring leaders. Even though they have yet to face the other top three teams in the league, the Bruins have proven why they remain at the top of the standings heading into December. 

2. New Jersey Devils (⬆2)

Average Rank: 1.67 (1,2,2)

New Jersey proved why they belong with the top dogs atop the NHL standings this month. Sitting at second in the NHL, the Devils during the month of November matched their franchise record of 13 straight wins. With so much offensive firepower, the Devils rank at the top of most offensive advanced analytics. Their offense led by Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt does not stop as they outshoot opponents and bury a ton of goals on a nightly basis. But the star of the show has been Vitek Vaněček has given the Devils the goaltending they’ve been searching for. He was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Month after going 8-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .930 save percentage to help the Devils move into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

3. Vegas Golden Knights (⬇1)

Average Rank: 3.33 (3,3,4)

The bright lights continue to shine in Vegas, as the Golden Knights rack up wins to stand atop the Pacific Division. Outstanding play from Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo, and Logan Thompson has lifted this team to a historic start. Pietrangelo is at a point per game, and Vegas is controlling better than 62 percent of expected goals with him on the ice. The offensive talent Eichel has brought to Vegas since being traded last year has been nothing short of amazing. His elite offensive generation has allowed the Golden Knights in the 320 minutes he’s been on the ice at even strength this season to outscore their opponents 21-9. Finally, Logan Thompson, the numbers he has been putting up have allowed him to be named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month. Assuming all three guys continue this up, the Golden Knights will continue to fly high above the rest.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (⬆2)

Average Rank: 3.67 (3,4,4)

After a mediocre start to the season, the Leafs have soared up the rankings with their excellence. Compared to their 4-3-2 start to the season, Toronto has been red hot with a record of 11-1-3 during the month of November. Mitch Marner, named the NHL’s Third Star of the Month, has been leading the way for the Leafs. Marner has tied the Leafs’ record for the longest point streak in franchise history. Marner has recorded a point in each of his last 18 games; posting six goals and 14 assists for 20 points in November alone. Marner’s 29 points on the season lead the high-flying Leafs. His high-scoring output compliments his exceptional teammates Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and William Nylander who all have 20+ points on the season.

5. Seattle Kraken (⬆4)

Average Rank: 5.67 (5,6,5)

In comparison to their not-so-successful season last year, the Kraken have risen from the depths of the Pacific and climbed up to second in their division. The miraculous resurgence of goaltender Martin Jones has given Seattle’s goaltending an adrenaline shot they needed. Seattle’s offense, outside of Jones’ performances, has been key to their success. Although they are on a PDO (on-ice shooting percentage plus save percentage) bender, the Kraken rank Top 10 in Finishing(1st), Goals Above Expected (1st), Goals For(2nd), and Goal Share(3rd). Assuming the Kraken can solve the problems on their Penalty Kill while finding more sustainable goaltending and consistency between the pipes, the Kraken could get a taste of the playoffs this season.

6. Dallas Stars (⬇1)

Average Rank: 6.67 (5,7,8)

The NHL’s First Star of the Month Jason Robertson has been putting on an MVP-level performance for the Stars. Robertson added an electric 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points to his stat sheet during the 14 games he played in November. His masterclass alongside some vintage performances from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin has put the Stars in first place in the Central Division. A team that made the Stanley Cup Final back in 2021, the Stars have been matching that energy necessary to bring them back to a potentially deep playoff run. If they can add another piece to their forward group while getting outstanding play from Benn and Seguin, the stars will align for Dallas to go far this year.

7. Winnipeg Jets (⬆6)

Average Rank: 7 (5,6,10)

Since Nov. 1, the Winnipeg Jets are fourth in the league in expected goals percentage at 55.1 percent. With an 11-6-1 record on the season, the Jets have been bouncing back from their abysmal start. They have been starting to generate plenty of chances offensively and limit them the other way. Connor Hellebuyck continues to amazon many with his amazing play, allowing the Jets to adjust their offense which now has resulted in elite 5v5 play this month. This necessary offensive resurgence paired with their already elite defense has put them in a great spot heading into December.

8. Carolina Hurricanes (⬇5)

Average Rank: 8.67 (7,9,10)

A combination of super rough goaltending and a lack of consistent goal-scoring has put the Canes down this month. Scoring woes and an inconsistent powerplay have been aching Carolina offensively. Outside of Sebastian Aho, Martin Nečas, and Andrei Svechnikov, the Hurricanes’ offense remains to be found most nights. The Hurricanes still remain in 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division, but increasing success from the Islanders and the Penguins has put them on the hot seat. 

9. New York Islanders (⬆5)

Average Rank: 8.67 (8,9,9)

With Matthew Barzal and Ilya Sorokin leading the way, the Islanders have battled their way up to third place in the Metropolitan Division. Sorokin has been carrying the team, making a claim for the Vezina this year. His 2.18 Goals Against Average and .933 Save Percentage have proven he has what it takes to be one of, if not, the best goaltender in the league. They’ve got the offensive boost they needed compared to last year, but this veteran team with no high-end talent is going to need to keep this up or add a piece to sustain their success going forward.

10. Colorado Avalanche (⬆1)

Average Rank:  9.67 (7,11,11)

The Stanley Cup Champions have managed to get themselves back up from their Cup hangover. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar are playing amazing hockey and looking hell-bent on bringing their squad back for another Stanley Cup. Acquiring Alexander Georgiev from the Rangers this offseason has been paying dividends, as the Avs have finally found their starting goaltender. They have the roster to continue to compete for years, now it’s just about replicating last year’s success.

11. Tampa Bay Lightning (⬇4)

Average Rank: 9.67 (8,10,11)

After Stamkos record his 1,000th point in the NHL last night, the Lightning are starting to right the ship. The team as a whole has regressed in all aspects, but goaltending has plagued the Lightning. Vasilevskiy has not been playing like a Vezina winner with his 2.77 Goals Against average and a .908 Save Percentage. Not to mention, his backup Brian Elliot hasn’t been much better. This, accompanied by Victor Hedman’s atrocious season so far, has put the Lightning in a precarious position. This team over the past three years has shown the NHL what they are truly made of. But is this the start of the decline of this Lightning dynasty, and they pull it all together?

12. Pittsburgh Penguins (⬆11)

Average Rank: 13.67 (13,13,15)

The Penguins the past couple of years have been rather mediocre since their back-to-back Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17. This season hasn’t been much different, with a decent record of 12-8-4. But towards the end of November, the Penguins looked to find a spark within themselves. Pittsburgh has gone 6-2-2 in their last ten, coming off a win against Vegas. But there are real issues facing the Penguins. Crosby’s amazing play has been huge for the team, but for how long can that keep them afloat? And now with Kris Letang being out for the foreseeable future, much is left to be desired on the Penguins’ blue line. Something needs to be addressed there if the Penguins want to ride off into the sunset with Crosby, Letang, and Malkin.

13. Edmonton Oilers (⬇1)

Average Rank: 14 (12,14,16)

As usual, the play of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl has been undeniable. They are the two best players in the NHL without question. But besides them, the Oilers are pretty mid. 5-5-0 in their last 10, the Oilers have had some major offensive issues outside their dynamic duo. Their additions from last season, along with the development of guys like Puljujarvi and Yamamoto, have made the Oilers’ offense struggle. The Oilers with their -5 goal differential rank in the bottom 10 of the most major advanced offensive analytics. 

14. Los Angeles Kings (⬆3)

Average Rank: 14 (13,14,15)

The Kings, in a rather weak division, continue their fight to jump into the playoffs. A rather middle-of-the-road team, the Kings need some real stability out of Cal Petersen or Jonathan Quick to remain afloat. Gabe Vilardi, Arthur Kaliyev, and Kevin Fiala have proven to be worthwhile investments to bolster the Kings’ forward core. But this team is going to need more depth to fight for a top spot in the Western Conference.

15. Detroit Red Wings (⬇7)

Average Rank: 14.33 (12,14,17)

The Red Wings may have dropped in our rankings, but the Red Wings have been one of the more impressive teams in the NHL. Steve Yzerman has overhauled this roster and built a truly competitive roster in Detroit. Ville Husso, David Perron, and Dominik Kubalik (who all were added in the offseason) have been major keys to the Red Wings’ progression. Detroit is in playoff position based on points percentage and have the potential to snag a playoff spot for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

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