Super 16: Hurricanes remain No. 1; Maple Leafs climb power rankings

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The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped two spots to No. 3. The New York Rangers also climbed up two spots to No. 6, and the Vegas Golden Knights moved up three spots to No. 9.

To create the NHL.com power rankings, each of the 14 participating staff members put together his or her version of what they think it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total assigned to each. 

The team that was selected first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on down to No. 16, which got one point. 

The NHL postponed 32 games this week because of COVID-19 concerns and is on its annual holiday break with no games scheduled until Monday. To celebrate the holidays, this week’s Super 16 is all about what each team likely has atop its wish list.  

Here is the Super 16:

 
1. Carolina Hurricanes (21-7-1)

Total points: 217

Last week: No. 1

What do you get the team that has everything? The Hurricanes lead the NHL in wins (21), points percentage (.741), goals against per game (2.14), shots against per game (27.1) and goal differential (plus-33). Maybe they want one more point so they can be tied with the Lightning for the most in the NHL.

Video: LAK@CAR: Kotkaniemi strikes early for Hurricanes

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (20-6-4)

Total points: 211

Last week: No. 2

The Lightning want forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point to get healthy and back on the ice. Kucherov has missed 27 games because of a lower-body injury that required surgery on Oct. 26. He was expected to be out 8-10 weeks. Point sustained an upper-body injury on Nov. 20 and has missed 14 games. He was expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (20-8-2)

Total points: 184

Last week: No. 5

The Maple Leafs want the golden ticket that can get them out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004. For now, they should settle for continued excellence from goalie Jack Campbell, who is 15-5-2 with three shutouts, a 1.94 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.

4. Washington Capitals (18-6-7)

Total points: 182

Last week: No. 4

The Capitals want center Nicklas Backstrom in the lineup. The center missed the first 28 games of the season rehabbing a hip injury. He made his season debut Dec. 15 and had an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks but was then placed into NHL COVID-19 protocol and has missed two more games.

5. Florida Panthers (18-7-4)

Total points: 156

Last week: No. 3

The Panthers want center Aleksander Barkov to get healthy. The Selke Trophy winner from last season voted the best defensive forward in the NHL has missed 12 of 13 games with separate lower-body injuries. Florida is 7-5-0 without Barkov.

Video: FLA@STL: Barkov nets first goal in first return game

6. New York Rangers (19-7-4)

Total points: 141

Last week: No. 8

The Rangers want goalie Igor Shesterkin and forward Artemi Panarin to return from injury. It looks like New York will get its wish when it hosts the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 27 because Shesterkin has come off injured reserve and is expected to play for the first time since Dec. 3. Panarin practiced Monday and Tuesday after missing a 3-2 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.

7. Colorado Avalanche (17-8-2)

Total points: 138

Last week: No. 7

The Avalanche want Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Cale Makar in the lineup at the same time. They have had their top four forwards (MacKinnon, Landeskog, Rantanen, Kadri) and best defensemen (Makar) in the lineup together for six of 27 games. Landeskog is out with a lower-body injury. Makar also missed Colorado’s last game, a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Dec. 16, because he was in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

8. Minnesota Wild (19-9-2)

Total points: 130

Last week: No. 6

The Wild want to stay healthy so they all can enjoy playing the St. Louis Blues in the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis on Jan. 1.

9. Vegas Golden Knights (20-12-0)

Total points: 104

Last week: No. 12

The Golden Knights want to see Jack Eichel in the lineup. The center, acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 4, is rehabbing from artificial disk replacement surgery and could be ready to play in February. Vegas also wants some staying power. It has won five in a row to move into a first-place tie in the Pacific Division with the Anaheim Ducks. 

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (17-8-5)

Total points: 103

Last week: No. 10

The Penguins want to keep winning. They have won seven games in a row to move into fourth place in the Metropolitan Division and create a 10-point separation between them and the fifth-place Columbus Blue Jackets. They also want Evgeni Malkin to make his season debut soon. The center has been recovering from offseason knee surgery. 

Video: NHL Now on Penguins’ 7-game win streak

11. Nashville Predators (19-10-1)

Total points: 95

Last week: No. 13 

The Predators, who have won seven games in a row, want certainty about Filip Forsberg‘s future. The 27-year-old forward has scored 13 goals in 21 games and can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Will he re-sign with the Predators before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline? What happens if he doesn’t?

12. Calgary Flames (15-7-6)

Total points: 66

Last week: No. 11

The Flames want to win a game, something they haven’t done since Dec. 3. They haven’t played since Dec. 11 because of a COVID-19 shutdown that caused six of their games to be postponed. They’re scheduled to host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

13. St. Louis Blues (17-9-5)

Total points: 64

Last week: No. 9

Similar to the Wild, the Blues want to stay healthy so they can get to Minnesota with as close to a full lineup as possible for the Winter Classic. They play at home against the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers before New Year’s Day.

14. Anaheim Ducks (17-9-6)

Total points: 57

Last week: No. 14

The Ducks want more from a healthy Max Comtois, the forward who led them with 33 points (16 goals, 17 assists) in 55 games last season. He has one assist in 14 games this season. Comtois missed 16 games with a hand injury before returning for Anaheim’s last game before the break. He was minus-2 with one shot on goal in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. 

15. Edmonton Oilers (18-11-0)

Total points: 34

Last week: No. 15

The Oilers want to build on their last two games before the break, when they got nine goals and 11 assists from players not named Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the top two scorers in the NHL. Edmonton ended a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 16 and followed it up two nights later with a 5-3 win against the Seattle Kraken. Depth scoring is a key.

16. Boston Bruins (14-10-2)

Total points: 10

Last week: No. 16

The Bruins want Tuukka Rask. They need an experienced goalie who will help them in a push to make the playoffs. Jeremy Swayman (7-5-2, 2.29 GAA, .917 save percentage) and Linus Ullmark (7-5-0, 2.52 GAA, .922 save percentage) have been fine, but neither has played an NHL playoff game. Rask, an unrestricted free agent who has played 104 playoff games, has been working out with the Bruins while rehabbing from offseason hip surgery. Boston president Cam Neely said Wednesday the Bruins have yet to discuss a contract with Rask, who has said he will only sign with them. 

Other receiving points: Dallas Stars 7, Vancouver Canucks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2

Dropped out: none

 

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM 

AMALIE BENJAMIN 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Tampa Bay Lightning; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Minnesota Wild; 9. Calgary Flames; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Nashville Predators; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Pittsburgh Penguins; 14. Vegas Golden Knights; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Edmonton Oilers

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Florida Panthers; 4. Minnesota Wild; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Washington Capitals; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. New York Rangers; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Edmonton Oilers; 13. Vegas Golden Knights; 14. Boston Bruins; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Nashville Predators

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. Washington Capitals; 5. Minnesota Wild; 6. Colorado Avalanche; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Nashville Predators; 9. Florida Panthers; 10. Vegas Golden Knights; 11. New York Rangers; 12. Anaheim Ducks; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Calgary Flames; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Boston Bruins

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. New York Rangers; 5. Washington Capitals; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Minnesota Wild; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Nashville Predators; 11. Vegas Golden Knights; 12. Calgary Flames; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Boston Bruins

TOM GULITTI 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. Washington Capitals; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Minnesota Wild; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Nashville Predators; 10. Florida Panthers; 11. Vegas Golden Knights; 12. Calgary Flames; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Boston Bruins

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Washington Capitals; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. New York Rangers; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Nashville Predators; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Edmonton Oilers; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Boston Bruins

ROBERT LAFLAMME 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Washington Capitals; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Minnesota Wild; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Vegas Golden Knights; 11. Nashville Predators; 12. Anaheim Ducks; 13. Calgary Flames; 14. St. Louis Blues; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Boston Bruins

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Minnesota Wild; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Nashville Predators; 9. Vegas Golden Knights; 10. Anaheim Ducks; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Colorado Avalanche; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Calgary Flames; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Winnipeg Jets

TRACEY MYERS 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Washington Capitals; 5. New York Rangers; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Minnesota Wild; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Anaheim Ducks; 11. Nashville Predators; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Colorado Avalanche; 14. Calgary Flames; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Winnipeg Jets

SHAWN P. ROARKE 

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Florida Panthers; 4. Washington Capitals; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Nashville Predators; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. New York Rangers; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Vegas Golden Knights; 12. Minnesota Wild; 13. Calgary Flames; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Vancouver Canucks

DAN ROSEN 

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. Washington Capitals; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Vegas Golden Knights; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Minnesota Wild; 9. Nashville Predators; 10. New York Rangers; 11. Anaheim Ducks; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Calgary Flames; 14. St. Louis Blues; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Vancouver Canucks

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Minnesota Wild; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Nashville Predators; 11. Colorado Avalanche; 12. Anaheim Ducks; 13. Edmonton Oilers; 14. St. Louis Blues; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Vancouver Canucks

PAUL STRIZHEVSKY

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. New York Rangers; 5. Washington Capitals; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Nashville Predators; 9. Vegas Golden Knights; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Calgary Flames; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Boston Bruins

MIKE ZEISBERGER 

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Vegas Golden Knights; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Edmonton Oilers; 15. Nashville Predators; 16. Boston Bruins

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