Top 10 NHL Teams Right Now - January 2022 Rankings
Ranking the best NHL Teams right now as we witness the Tampa Bay Lightning move up the January Power Rankings in the 2021-2022 NHL season
It is finally January, and we are out of the brief NHL pause because COVID is still running through the National Hockey League.
Some teams have moved up or down since our last top ten, and we gladly welcome back the Vegas Golden Knights to the top ten in the NHL where they belong.
Let’s take a look at the top ten teams in the NHL right now with our sole honorable mention.
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are currently 4th in the NHL this season, an absolute surprise to everyone, but not really. The Rangers are tied with the Hurricanes for 4th in the NHL, despite playing three more games. Their record is currently 23-9-4 and have been holding it down at home with a record of 10-3-2.
First round pick duo Lafreniere and Kakko have been playing slightly better thus far this season with Kakko having 13 points and Laf having 11 points. Not quite the production you want out of top three picks, but the Rangers are the place for them to grow.
Top 10 NHL Teams
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins have defied all odds and are currently sitting at 10th in the NHL in standings. They are currently 20-9-5 with 45 points. They are also currently 4th in their division, just above the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The points are really starting to split between the top 4 and bottom 4 in the Metropolitan Division. They currently have a 12-point lead on the Blue Jackets and Flyers. At the time of writing the Penguins have a 7-point lead over Boston for the first Wild Card spot. They are currently being led in points by Jake Guentzel with 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points.
9. Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights are finally back in form after a rough start to this season and are currently back on their throne at #1 in the Pacific Division with a three-point lead over their newfound rivals in Colorado who also struggled early.
The Knights are 23-14-1, not the record we are used to, but it does show how subpar their division is this year. The Knights are also currently 9th in the NHL.
Surprisingly the team is being led by forward Chandler Stephenson with 35 points in 37 games. What’s even scarier is that Jack Eichel hasn’t even played a game yet. Must be nice to be a fan of a team that talks about blockbuster deals and then actually makes them.
8. St. Louis Blues
The Predators and Blues are still #1 and #2 respectively in the Western Conference and the Central Division, but the Avs are hot and close. The Blues are currently 21-10-5 and have been pretty consistent this season, looking to shake off two consistent first round exits.
Vladimir Tarasenko is having a comeback season for the ages with 14 goals and 34 points in 34 games. The team is led in points by Jordan Kyrou with 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points in his fourth season with the club.
The Blues will have to more than keep this consistency to stay atop the west.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs
Somewhere Steve Dangle is screaming about the Maple Leafs blowing a 4-1 lead against the Colorado Avalanche and losing 5-4 in overtime. The Leafs are having a great season at 22-8-3, and are still only third in the Atlantic Division, behind hockey state USA in Florida.
The Leafs struck gold in picking up Michael Bunting out of free agency, as the rookie forward has 20 points in 33 games and has slotted perfectly into the teams top six.
The Leafs wouldn’t be anything without the lights out play of Jack Campbell who is currently 17-5 with a GAA of 1.99 and an SV% of .936.
6. Nashville Predators
The Predators might be the shock of the season this year. No one expected them to be #1 in the west, let alone lead the Central Division, which typically is the toughest division in hockey.
The Predators are currently 23-11-2 for 48 points. The majority of their offense is coming from captain and defensemen Roman Josi who has 34 points in 34 games.
While Matt Duchene continues to impress with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 34 games. The most impressive player on the Predators is Juuse Saros who is 19-9 with a GAA 2.21 and an SV% of .929.
5. Washington Capitals
The Caps have slightly slipped this year, as I write this, they have blown a 2-goal lead to the Bruins. The biggest factor working against the Capitals is how tight the Metropolitan Division is this year.
They are one point behind the Canes and Rangers right now but are 20-7-9 for 49 points. Unsurprisingly, the team is being led in points by the man out of time, Alexander Ovechkin. Ovi has 24 goals and 27 assists for an outstanding 51 points this season, incredible for 36 years old.
The Caps are also getting some great goaltending out of Vitek Vanecek who is 6-4 with a GAA of 2.51 and an SV of .910.
4. Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes are currently tied with the Rangers for #1 in the Metro but have done so in 3 less games than them. They are currently 24-7-2, getting the work done without loser points.
Sebastian Aho has 15 goals thus far this season adding another 22 assists for 37 points in just 30 games. Since coming over from the Canadians via an offer sheet, Kotkaniemi has 7 goals and 9 assists for 19 points in 33 games. Fredrick Anderson is still playing lights out with 18-5 with a 1.97 GAA and an SV% of .929.
The Canes are looking like the team to come out on top of the Metro this year but have the Rangers to contend with.
3. Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche possibly had the worst start of the season and were sitting in the bottom five of the NHL and had fans scrambling and doomsaying.
They are currently 21-8-2 and are third in the Central but are only 4 points behind the Predators. They also are the third in fewest games played, with only the Islanders and Senators above them. Canceled games might help their standings at the end of the season just like last year.
Nazem Kadri stepped up big for the Avs while Nate was out and has still stayed on top of the team in stats. In 28 games Kadri has 12 goals and 32 assists. The Avalanche were lucky enough to get Pavel Francouz back from IR but did lose Jonas Johansson for waivers.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa was sitting middle of the pack for most of the season thus far this season but have risen up into the top two in the NHL and Eastern Conference. They are currently 23-9-5 and were lucky enough to get Kucherov back from injury. The team is being led in points by Steven Stamkos once again with 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points in just 36 games.
The points race for #1 in the NHL is tight with the Panthers and Lightning tied at 51 points each and the Hurricanes and Rangers are tied at 51 points. Vasilevskiy is playing as stellar as always going 19-6 with a 2.23 GAA and a .923 SV%. Tampa and Florida will be duking it out for the rest of the season for #1 in the Eastern Conference and League.
1. Florida Panthers
We just talked about Tampa and Florida in depth, but the dominance in the east right now is a four-way race between the two Florida teams alongside the Rangers and Hurricanes, honorable mention to the Capitals.
Despite Tampa Bay catching up in the standings with the Panthers, they are still the number one team in the NHL with a league leading 137 goals for and a record of 23-7-5. Jonathan Huberdeau is leading the team in points with 13 goals and 33 assists for 46 points in 35 games.
The second player in points is Aaron Ekblad at 29 points. Sergei Bobrobsky has totally turned around from last season with an amazing record of 16-3, GAA of 2.57 and a .917 SV%. Every time this team plays the Lightning it is a must see.
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