The Washington Capitals were one point shy of being a unanimous selection as the No. 1 team in this week's Super 16, which was voted on by a panel of six NHL.com editorial staff members who participated in a point-based exercise to arrive at the final rankings.
The Capitals were No. 1 in rankings submitted by Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale, Arpon Basu, Robert Laflamme and Dan Rosen. The Dallas Stars were the only other team to receive a first-place vote by a staff member, Brian Compton, who had the Capitals at No. 2.
The Stars were No. 2 in four of the rankings submitted. Dallas wasn't ranked lower than third on any list.
Each writer submitted his version of the Super 16 and a point total was assigned to each ranking:
No. 1 = 16 points
No. 2 = 15
No. 3 = 14
No. 4 = 13
No. 5 = 12
No. 6 = 11
No. 7 = 10
No. 8 = 9
No. 9 = 8
No. 10 = 7
No. 11 = 6
No. 12 = 5
No. 13 = 4
No. 14 = 3
No. 15 = 2
No. 16 = 1
The New York Rangers made the biggest leap in the Super 16 from last week to this week, jumping six spots to No. 8, thanks mostly to Kimelman putting them at No. 4. The Montreal Canadiens jumped five spots from No. 16 to No. 11.
The Boston Bruins fell four spots from No. 5 to No. 9. The Tampa Bay Lightning stayed in the Super 16 despite not being ranked by either Rosen or Kimelman. The Calgary Flames fell out of the Super 16 after being ranked No. 12 last week. They were ranked only by Rosen (No. 14).
Here are the final rankings, including the total points, where they were ranked last week, and a bit of good and not so good with each team.
NOTE: All rankings, records and statistics are through the games played Wednesday:
1. Washington Capitals (28-6-2)
Last week: No. 1
Total points: 95
Good: They were a League-best 19-0-0 when leading after the second period entering their game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Not so good: Nothing.
2. Dallas Stars (27-8-3)
Last week: No. 2
Total points: 90
Good: They had a League-best .563 winning percentage (9-5-2) in games when the opponent scored first entering their game against the Nashville Predators on Thursday.
Not so good: Goalie Kari Lehtonen has been pulled in two of his past three starts.
3. St. Louis Blues (23-12-4)
Last week: No. 4
Total points: 81
Good: Of Vladimir Tarasenko's 22 goals entering play Thursday, he scored 21 when the Blues either were trailing or tied.
Not so good: Troy Brouwer entered play Thursday with one goal in his past 17 games.
4. Los Angeles Kings (23-11-2)
Last week: No. 6
Total points: 79
Good: Tyler Toffoli had seven goals in seven games entering play Thursday.
Not so good: Marian Gaborik had seven goals in 36 games this season.
5. Chicago Blackhawks (21-13-4)
Last week: No. 3
Total points: 73
Good: They entered play Thursday having scored the first goal in 24 games (19-3-2), second in the League behind the Colorado Avalanche (25, 15-9-1).
Not so good: Marian Hossa had no goals in nine games and one in 13 entering play Thursday.
6. Florida Panthers (21-12-4)
Last week: No. 8
Total points: 64
Good: They have won seven straight games, tying a franchise record for consecutive wins in a single season.
Not so good: Nick Bjugstad has missed 14 consecutive games because of an upper-body injury.
7. Minnesota Wild (19-10-6)
Last week: No. 7
Total points: 50
Good: Captain Mikko Koivu scored his 10th goal of the season in his 35th game Monday. He didn't have 10 goals until his 59th game last season, when he finished with 14 goals.
Not so good: Nino Niederreiter had one goal in his past 19 games entering play Thursday; he had six goals in his first 16 games.
8. New York Rangers (21-13-4)
Last week: No. 14
Total points: 49
Good: They played one of their strongest games in a long time in a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.
Not so good: They did so without center Kevin Hayes, who was a healthy scratch and the subject of harsh criticism for his work ethic from coach Alain Vigneault.
9. Boston Bruins (20-12-4)
Last week: No. 5
Total points: 48
Good: Jimmy Hayes enters the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic fresh off of his first NHL hat trick in Boston's 7-3 win against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Not so good: Brad Marchand won't play in the Winter Classic or the following two games because of a three-game suspension for clipping Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the Bruins' win Tuesday.
10. New York Islanders (20-12-5)
Last week: No. 9
Total points: 47
Good: They had killed off 39 consecutive power plays and hadn't allowed a power-play goal in a franchise-record 15 straight games entering play Thursday.
Not so good: Nick Leddy had no goals in 37 games entering Thursday. He had 10 goals in 78 games last season.
11. Montreal Canadiens (21-15-3)
Last week: No. 16
Total points: 34
Good: Brendan Gallagher will be in the lineup for the Winter Classic on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN) after missing the previous 17 games because of two fractured fingers on his left hand.
Not so good: The Canadiens went 5-11-1 without Gallagher in the lineup.
12. Nashville Predators (18-12-7)
Last week: No. 10
Total points: 31
Good: Their power play was 12-for-44 (27.3 percent) in December entering play Thursday.
Not so good: They were one of three teams, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks, that hadn't scored an overtime goal this season entering play Thursday (0-6).
13. Detroit Red Wings (18-12-7)
Last week: No. 11
Total points: 28
Good: They entered play Thursday with a League-high 33 points in one-goal games (13-3-7).
Not so good: They were only 5-9-0 in all other games.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning (18-16-4)
Last week: No. 13
Total points: 17
Good: They have nine power play goals in the past five games.
Not so good: They're only 2-2-1 in those games.
15. New Jersey Devils (19-14-5)
Last week: NR
Total points: 12
Good: They're back in the Super 16 after winning two in a row and three of their past four games.
Not so good: Patrik Elias has missed the past four games because of a right knee injury. He missed the first 20 games of the season for the same reason.
16. Colorado Avalanche (18-17-2)
Last week: No. 15
Total points: 6
Good: They entered play Thursday having scored the first goal in a League-best 25 games.
Not so good: They won 60 percent of those games. The League average was 71.5 percent.
Other receiving votes: Winnipeg Jets (4), Ottawa Senators (3), Calgary Flames (3), San Jose Sharks (2)
Out from last week: Calgary Flames
|NHL.COM PANEL RANKINGS
11. Red Wings
10. Red Wings
11. Red Wings
14. Red Wings
13. Red Wings
15. Red Wings