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Burnside's Power Rankings: Are Preds, Bolts on Cup crash course?

The best team in the league, Nashville has surged to a 13-0-1 record over its last 14 games

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB / DallasStars.com

In the next day or so, most teams will be looking at fewer than 10 games remaining in their regular season. For teams like Dallas, Calgary and Florida, that will seem like not nearly enough time to get things in order.

Here, as always, a look at our Terrific 10 and Frigid Five with the clock ticking toward the playoffs.

 

1. Nashville Predators

Last week: No. 2

Nashville is an incredible 13-0-1 in their last 14 games and have edged back in front of Tampa Bay in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

 

2. Boston Bruins

Last week: No. 4

Even without Patrice Bergeron (foot), the Bruins have once again taken aim at Tampa Bay atop the Atlantic Division standings with a tidy 8-2-0 run. They're just four back of the Bolts with two games in hand.

 

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last week: No. 1

The Bolts own a league-best plus-58 goal differential and their 23 road wins are tops in the NHL.

 

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last week: NR

Toronto, still without Auston Matthews and pretty much locked into third place in the Atlantic, continues to pile up points, thanks to a current four-game win streak. Nice job by goaltender Curtis McElhinney in relief of the injured Frederik Andersen.

 

5. San Jose Sharks

Last week: NR

A tip of the cap to San Jose GM Doug Wilson, who looks like he might have the steal of the trade deadline in Evander Kane, who has helped invigorate the Sharks' offense. San Jose has won four in a row and has the inside track on home ice in the first round.

 

6. Winnipeg Jets

Last week: No. 6

The Jets get Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry back, and there's a guy named Patrik Laine who is giving Alex Ovechkin all he can handle in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Great story for a Jets franchise that has waited a long time for a contender.

 

7. Columbus Blue Jackets

Last week: No. 8

The Blue Jackets are finally playing the way most of us expected them to play all season as they've won seven in a row to open up a nice gap on ninth-place Florida. Not sure anyone wants a piece of Columbus comes playoff time.

 

8. Colorado Avalanche

Last week: No. 9

The Avs continue to be the surprise team of the second half as they're 6-1-3 in their last 10 and own the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Has Nathan MacKinnon punched his ticket to the NHL Awards weekend in Vegas with his virtuoso performance in guiding the Avs to the brink of a wholly unexpected playoff berth? Yes. Yes, he has.

 

9. Anaheim Ducks

Last week: No. 10

The Ducks have won three straight and taken over third place in the ever-shifting standings in the Western Conference.

 

10. Florida Panthers

Last week: No. 3

The Panthers are 7-2-1 in their last 10, but they can't make up any ground on Columbus or New Jersey. They're still five back of the Devils for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, although they have played three fewer games.

 

Frigid Five


 

27. Dallas Stars

Last week: NR

The Stars are without a win in the first five of a critical six-game road trip (0-3-2) and now face the prospect of life without Ben Bishop for much of the rest of the regular season with a second knee injury in the last three weeks.

 

28. Calgary Flames

Last week: No. 30

The Flames are on the verge of disappearing from the Western Conference playoff picture with a disheartening 4-0 loss to Vegas on Sunday.

 

29. New York Islanders

Last week: No. 29

The Islanders have one win in their last 12 games. That'll keep John Tavares, moved briefly to the wing by head coach Doug Weight, chuffed to sign a long-term deal with the Isles -- or not.

 

30. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: NR

Vancouver has lost six straight and own an ugly minus-50 goal differential. Its 12 home wins rank as the fewest in the Western Conference.

 

31. Detroit Red Wings

Last week: No. 31

The Red Wings have, likewise, lost six straight and are 0-9-1 in their last 10 in a late bid to capture the top draft pick in the lottery. How the mighty have fallen.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Scott Burnside is a senior digital correspondent for DallasStars.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OvertimeScottB, and listen to his podcast.

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