Throughout the 2013/14 NHL Season, EA SPORTS NHL will rank the teams in the league based on their performances in the real-world. Check back each week to see which teams are climbing the power rankings.
*All rankings based on team performances before the pucks dropped on January 21, 2014.
1. Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks are a ridiculous 19-2-0 in their last 21 games, and they still haven’t lost a game in regulation at home. Even with a 4-2 loss against the Blackhawks in Chicago, expect the road to Lord Stanley to go right through Anaheim.
(Editor's note: Yes, the Ducks' home streak ended on January 21st after the writing of our rankings. In any case, they are still the hottest team in the league right now and worthy of being #1)
2. Chicago Blackhawks
The word “struggling” carries a different meaning for the Blackhawks than it does for the rest of the league. Chicago has secured points in nine of their last ten games and should get back to their winning ways sooner rather than later.
3. St. Louis Blues
The Blues have a balanced and gritty lineup which continues to lead the league with a +59 goal differential, thanks in part to the steady play of defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. Look for the two NHL teammates next month as they’ll pair up in Sochi for Team Canada.
4. Boston Bruins
The “Big Bad Bruins” are doing what is expected, winning close, low-scoring games. After a rough start to his season, Brad Marchand is now on fire and gives the team additional firepower that could put them over the top.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins
If Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t pick up his game soon, it won’t matter how well Crosby and company look come playoff time.
6. Los Angeles Kings
There wasn’t much of a drop off in net when Jonathan Quick was out, and now that he’s back, look for the Kings to slowly climb up standings as we get closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
7. San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton is quietly averaging more than a point per game this season and Pavelski has scored 12 goals in his last 14 games. With the Sharks currently hampered by injuries to a number of key players, they’ve needed the firepower.
8. Colorado Avalanche
After hitting a cold spell in December, Colorado has rebounded with an 8-1-1 record in their last 10. After splitting time earlier in the season, Coach Patrick Roy has been riding starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov as of late, and he has responded with world class play.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning
Coach Jon Cooper has to be a favorite for the Jack Adams Trophy this year, after the Lightning have done more without sniper Steven Stamkos than just stay afloat in the Eastern Conference.
10. New York Rangers
Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Henrik Lundqvist are the faces of the franchise and will have to continue to play like it if they want to make some noise in the East.
11. Montreal Canadiens
With the cloud of skepticism over P.K Subban and Team Canada finally over, both he and Canadian teammate Carey Price can try to solidify a playoff spot for the Habs.
12. Vancouver Canucks
Right now the Canucks are a finesse team trying to play tough, and it’s just not working. Their Pacific road trip was a disaster and they have lost their head coach for six games. Thankfully for them, Roberto Luongo and Alex Burrows are back which should give them a lift.
13. Minnesota Wild
The Wild have been decimated by injuries to both starting goaltenders and star forwards Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. Even so, they have still found a way to stay in the playoff picture.
14. Toronto Maple Leafs
Despite being outplayed in almost every game this season, the Maple Leafs keep finding ways to win thanks to great goaltending from Jonathan Bernier and clutch goal scoring.
15. Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes are a team in desperate need of help before the trade deadline. Goaltender Mike Smith has only two wins in his last ten games, and he’ll need to hold the fort down.
16. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers just re-upped goaltender Steve Mason for three years at 12.3 million, a contract that is well deserved based on his play this season. Has Philadelphia finally found their franchise goalie?
17. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are currently in the three-way tie for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after winning six in a row. Can they continue this fine form under so much pressure?
18. Detroit Red Wings
The Wings 22-year playoff streak looks to be in serious jeopardy. With Jimmy Howard out for at least a week, the Wings will have to buckle down defensively to stay alive in the playoff race.
19. Washington Capitals
The Capitals have lost three straight and are trending down as all the talk about Ovechkin as an MVP candidate has evaporated.
20. New York Islanders
The Hart trophy will likely belong to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby this year. But if the Islanders sneak into the playoffs, the play of John Tavares will garner serious consideration.
21. New Jersey Devils
The Devils still have an outside shot of sneaking into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but their current 0-8 record in shootouts isn’t helping their cause.
22. Ottawa Senators
If the Senators are going to compete in the East, Captain Jason Spezza will have to pick up his game. He is currently on pace to finish with only 56 points and a plus/minus of -30.
23. Dallas Stars
The Stars are currently in free-fall mode going 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. After Benn and Seguin, the team simply can’t muster up much offense.
24. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are turning things around under new coach Paul Maurice and are playing a much tighter defensive game. With Evander Kane set to return to the lineup, it will be interesting to see if they can make a late-season push.
25. Carolina Hurricanes
Anton Khudobin’s play in goal could jeopardize Cam Ward’s position on the team once he returns from injury. The Canes could look to deal Ward for some much needed depth on defense.
26. Nashville Predators
Without the services of Pekka Rinne, the current goalie carousel of Dubnyk, Hutton and Mazanec hasn’t been very fun to watch. The team will continue to flirt with the bottom of the standings until Rinne returns.
27. Florida Panthers
Tim Thomas has been incredible in goal for the team but hockey is a team sport and the club needs more production from everyone else on the roster.
28. Edmonton Oilers
There is little faith in the city of Edmonton as their club goes through yet another rebuilding year.
29. Buffalo Sabres
With a lack of talent, it’s no surprise that the Sabres struggle to win, even when they manage to keep things close.
30. Calgary Flames
With only three wins in their last 16 games and their inability to produce goals, the Flames are poised to make the 1st overall pick at this summer’s Entry Draft.