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Sport NHL Power Rankings: Watch out for the Bruins

21:30  03 may  2021
21:30  03 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

NHL Power Rankings: Bruins making post-deadline push, Lightning continue to slide

  NHL Power Rankings: Bruins making post-deadline push, Lightning continue to slide The Bruins are looking like a different team on the other side of the trade deadlineFor a while, it was the Lightning and everyone else. But, as we've highlighted over the past couple weeks, the Colorado Avalanche have emerged as the best team in the NHL. That much is borderline inarguable given the way that they've played over the last month. They remain in the top spot of our Power Rankings this week despite a lack of activity on the schedule in recent days.

In this week’s NHL Power Rankings the Vegas Golden Knights remain in the top spot, followed closely by Carolina, Colorado, and Tampa Bay.

All four of those teams should be considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, but there is another contender that is kind of lurking underneath the radar that should not be taken lightly.

That team is the Boston Bruins.

They have been one of the league’s best teams since the trade deadline, putting together a 9-2-0 record since acquiring Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar, and Mike Reilly. Those additions have helped solve some of the Bruins’ biggest concerns. Specifically, the addition of Hall and what it has done to their second line alongside David Krejci and Craig Smith. Since that line has been put together it has instantly become one of the league’s best trios, controlling the pace of games and outscoring teams by an 11-1 margin during 5-on-5 play. It has given Boston a much-needed second scoring line to complement the Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak line, and given the team some real balance.

Avalanche-Blues stream: Saturday’s NHL on NBC matchup

  Avalanche-Blues stream: Saturday’s NHL on NBC matchup Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports app.On Thursday, the Avalanche joined the Golden Knights as the only NHL clubs to have secured a spot in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs. This marks the fourth consecutive season that Colorado will be making a playoff appearance, the longest streak for the franchise since making 11 straight trips from 1995 to 2006, a run that included a pair of Stanley Cup titles (1996, 2001). The only other time the club reached the playoffs in four or more consecutive years was a seven-season run from 1981 to 1987 as the Quebec Nordiques.

Add in a Norris level defender in Charlie McAvoy and outstanding goaltending depth, and you have a team that is going to be a nightmare for anybody in a best-of-seven series.

They currently sit in the seventh spot in this week’s Power Rankings, but are definitely on the rise.

Where does your team sit this week?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Vegas Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury is going to take over sole possession of third place on the all-time wins list. Patrick Roy in second spot is within sight.

2. Carolina Hurricanes. The play of Alex Nedeljkovic in goal has been a significant development this season.

3. Colorado Avalanche. The biggest question for them right now is getting a healthy lineup for the playoffs.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning. Giving Andrei Vasilevskiy some games off here at the end is smart. He has played a ton of hockey over the past year and they will need him in the playoffs.

Bruins-Penguins stream: Sunday’s NHL on NBC matchup

  Bruins-Penguins stream: Sunday’s NHL on NBC matchup Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports app.In what could be a potential First Round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Pittsburgh takes on Boston, which has climbed back into the conversation for the division title on the strength of a League-best nine wins in April. On Friday, the Bruins had their six-game win streak snapped in a 6-4 loss at Buffalo. Boston has also put some distance between itself and the Rangers in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East, leading by six points. The Bruins also have two games in hand over the Rangers.

[Related: In competitive Central, Lightning are not only heavyweight anymore]

5. Pittsburgh Penguins. Jeff Carter has proven to be an incredible fit so far.

6. Florida Panthers. Is it an overreaction to suggest that Sergei Bobrovsky might be the third best goalie on the roster going into the playoffs? Chris Driedger has been better for two years and Spencer Knight looks really good so far.

7. Boston Bruins. The rest of the East Division can not be happy that they were able to find a second scoring line.

8. Toronto Maple Leafs. They have three games against Montreal this week in what should be a fascinating first round preview.

9. Washington Capitals. The big question here is which goalie do they open the playoffs with. Would you have imagined at the start of the season that Vitek Vanecek could have been the answer to that question?

10. Minnesota Wild. They keep winning, so I feel like I am underrating them, but I also do not know how they stack up with the elite teams in the league. They are really good. But are they Stanley Cup good?

Blues-Wild stream: How to watch Wednesday Night Hockey

  Blues-Wild stream: How to watch Wednesday Night Hockey Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.Minnesota, one of the beneficiaries of last year’s expanded postseason, will head back to the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine years – in hopes of making it past the second round for the first time since 2003. St. Louis, two years removed from winning its first-ever Stanley Cup, is in a tight race with Arizona – and San Jose and LA are also still in contention – for the fourth and only remaining playoff spot in the West. A Blues run in the final two weeks of the regular season would put them in the postseason for the third straight season and ninth time in the last 10 years.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

11. Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid needs 13 points in six games to reach the 100-point mark in a 56-game season. He can do it.

12. New York Islanders. You never want to bet against a Barry Trotz team with great goaltending in the playoffs, but their struggles against the top-three teams in the division (only nine wins in 23 games against Pittsburgh, Washington, and Boston) should be some concern.

13. Nashville Predators. They are in the driver’s seat for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division and they have Juuse Saros to thank for it.

14. St. Louis Blues. With nine out of a possible 10 points over their past five games they have finally taken control of the race for the fourth playoff spot in the West Division.

15. New York Rangers. A good young team with great talent that is stuck in the wrong division this season.

16. Dallas Stars. They are just 5-13 in games this season that go beyond regulation. Imagine how much different their season looks with just a little bit more luck in overtime and the shootout. If even just two of those games go a different way they would still be in control for a playoff spot.

NHL Power Rankings: Watch out for the Bruins

  NHL Power Rankings: Watch out for the Bruins In this weeks edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Vegas Golden Knights remain in the top spot but another Stanley Cup contender is sneaking under the radar.All four of those teams should be considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, but there is another contender that is kind of lurking underneath the radar that should not be taken lightly.

17. Montreal Canadiens. Tyler Toffoli has been one of the best offseason pickups of the year. He might score 30 goals in a shortened season.

18. Winnipeg Jets. They have won just five of their past 14 games and enter the week on a six-game losing streak.

19. Calgary Flames. Curious to see what changes get made in Calgary after this season. Disappointing offense, big money in a goalie that has not entirely solved the problem.

20. Chicago Blackhawks. They have some interesting pieces at the top of the lineup, including some intriguing young players, but there are still a lot of holes here long-term.

21. Ottawa Senators. Their start was awful, winning just two of their first 15 games. Since then they have been a very respectable 17-15-4 in the 36 games that followed. There is young talent here. They have not quit on this season. You can see something building here.

22. Arizona Coyotes. They are only three points behind St. Louis, but the Coyotes only have three games remaining on their schedule. The Blues have six. Even if Arizona wins all three it would need St. Louis to go 1-5 the rest of the way. Probably not going to happen.

23. New Jersey Devils. They have some impressive young talent here and are swimming in salary cap space this offseason. Could be a team to watch here very shortly.

Bruins-Rangers stream: Saturday’s NHL on NBC matchup

  Bruins-Rangers stream: Saturday’s NHL on NBC matchup Coverage from TD Garden begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports app.The Bruins secured their fifth consecutive postseason appearance earlier in the week and are still in the race for the top seed in the East. Boston trails Pittsburgh by four points but they have two games in hand on the top-seeded Penguins. The B’s will close out the season on May 11 at Washington, which could potentially have seeding implications.

[Related: What went wrong this season for Devils]

24. Philadelphia Flyers. With a big addition on defense and a reset Carter Hart they could be really good next season.

25. Vancouver Canucks. Do not read too much into how they finish the season with this schedule. Do read into how top heavy the team is and how tight the salary cap situation is.

26. Los Angeles Kings. Quinton Byfield is going to be the player to watch the rest of the way. Nice glimpse of the Kings’ future.

27. San Jose Sharks. This team seems to be a long way from contending again.

28. Detroit Red Wings. Jakub Vrana has brought some excitement to the roster, but the rest of the roster still has some real weaknesses. They have four goals in their past five games.

[Related: Jakub Vrana adding excitement to Red Wings lineup]

29. Anaheim Ducks. Sending Ryan Miller out with a win in his final home start is a nice highlight for the season.

30. Buffalo Sabres. They are better since the coaching change, but still not very good.

31. Columbus Blue Jackets. Just two regulation wins in their most recent 27 games.

More NHL Power Rankings

NHL Power Rankings: Golden Knights on top; Playoff races to watch NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes’ surprising strength; Rangers on the... NHL Power Rankings: Where things stand after NHL trade deadline

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Power Rankings: Watch out for the Bruins originally appeared on NBCSports.com

Why your team can (and can not) win the Stanley Cup this season .
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin with 16 teams ready to go through the gauntlet that is the NHL postseason. Only one of them can win it all, and you probably have your list of favorites and top picks. Your browser does not support this video You can make a strong argument for pretty much every team in the field to win. Conversely, it doesn’t take much to keep a team from winning 16 games. We’re going to look at both, and examine why your team can (and can not) win the Stanley Cup. Teams are listed in order of league-wide standings. Colorado Avalanche Why they can win: They are the best team in the NHL.

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