NHL Power Rankings: Points pace progress against preseason over-unders

As of Wednesday, 20 of the NHL’s 32 teams have hit the 41-game mark, so it’s the perfect time to check in on their progress against preseason expectations. To help tell the tale, we compared every team’s current standings point pace against their preseason over-under at Caesars Sportsbook.

Who’s ahead of pace, who’s falling behind, and who’s right on track? Find out here.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another — taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule — and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the last edition, published on Jan. 19. Points paces are through Tuesday’s games.

Previous ranking: 2
Next seven days: vs. BOS (Jan. 26), @ CHI (Jan. 28), vs. BUF (Jan. 30), vs. ARI (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 111.5 points
Current pace: 125 points

The Avalanche might not actually win every night. But it feels like they could. Other than some mediocre goaltending sprinkled in, Colorado’s overall game is so strong, so consistent and so dynamic, it has managed to be even better than advertised.

Previous ranking: 1
Next seven days: vs. VGK (Jan. 27), vs. SJ (Jan. 29), @ CBJ (Jan. 31), @ NYR (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 98.5 points
Current pace: 120 points

Even the oddsmakers couldn’t predict this kind of dominance. Florida flew out of the gate and hasn’t stopped rising since, bolstered by superstar turns from Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov. It’s the Panthers’ depth, though, that might be the biggest difference-maker. They have so many ways to hurt you.

Previous ranking: 3
Next seven days: @ OTT (Jan. 27), vs. NJ (Jan. 29), vs. SJ (Jan. 30)
Preseason O/U: 95.5 points
Current pace: 122 points

Just consider Carolina a bunch of overachievers. The Hurricanes are having success across the board, bringing a level of consistency and balance few opponents can match.

Previous ranking: 4
Next seven days: vs. NJ (Jan. 27), vs. VGK (Jan. 29), vs. SJ (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 107.5 points
Current pace: 116 points

Can the two-time defending Cup champions still surprise anyone? Apparently! Tampa is like that friend who ages without ever looking older. In a youth-obsessed league, the Lightning’s top-four point-getters are 30 or older. How do you compete with that?

Previous ranking: 8
Next seven days: @ CBJ (Jan. 27), vs. MIN (Jan. 28), vs. SEA (Jan. 30), vs. FLA (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 95.5 points
Current pace: 114 points

So literally no one saw Igor Shesterkin coming? Or predicted that Chris Kreider would pump in 30 goals by the halfway mark? The Rangers have surprised in a lot of ways, but how sustainable is their success? It’s a question some have started asking. Count on New York to respond.

Previous ranking: 11
Next seven days: vs. SEA (Jan. 27), vs. DET (Jan. 28), vs. LA (Jan. 30), vs. WSH (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 96.5 points
Current pace: 115 points

Among the most incredible things about Pittsburgh this season is that it’s not Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin or even Kris Letang driving the club’s success. It’s Tristan Jarry and Jake Guentzel and Evan Rodrigues, and combinations of players coming together to set Pittsburgh apart. That kind of teamwork can take the Penguins a long way.

Previous ranking: 5
Next seven days: vs. ANA (Jan. 26), @ DET (Jan. 29), vs. NJ (Jan. 31), @ NJ (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 105.5 points
Current pace: 114 points

How valuable is a Vezina Trophy-caliber goaltender? Because Jack Campbell has to be worth a few extra wins (at least) for Toronto. Auston Matthews putting a slow scoring start behind him is also a bonus, as is Morgan Rielly playing his best hockey in years. And to think, the Leafs are in such good standing even with their recent bad habit of coughing up leads.

Previous ranking: 6
Next seven days: @ COL (Jan. 26), @ ARI (Jan. 28), @ DAL (Jan. 30), vs. SEA (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 102.5 points
Current pace: 105 points

A lagging start certainly hasn’t hurt the Bruins overall. After dodging a bullet last week in avoiding long-term injury to Brad Marchand, Boston projects to keep humming along as it has been in 2022, boasting a top-three points percentage in the league since that calendar turn.

Previous ranking: 7
Next seven days: @ FLA (Jan. 27), @ TB (Jan. 29), vs. BUF (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 107.5 points
Current pace: 101 points

If any team can outstrip its current points pace a little, put that money on Vegas. The Golden Knights have been an excellent road team this season and a mediocre one at home, and they are heavy on away games the rest of the way into spring.

Previous ranking: 12
Next seven days: vs. CGY (Jan. 27), vs. WPG (Jan. 29)
Preseason O/U: 92.5 points
Current pace: 107 points

Perhaps it was a first-round sweep by Colorado last spring that had people doubting the Blues. They shouldn’t have. St. Louis came back swinging, with the one-two punch up front of Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko and some heavy-hitting performers in Pavel Buchnevich, Torey Krug and Jordan Binnington.

Previous ranking: 9
Next seven days: @ NYR (Jan. 28), @ NYI (Jan. 30)
Preseason O/U: 96.5 points
Current pace: 114 points

It was easy to underestimate Minnesota. Last summer, GM Bill Guerin offloaded the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contracts but didn’t target any standout free-agent replacements. Turns out, the Wild didn’t need ’em. What they did need, and ultimately got, was a cohesive group playing to its strengths, with a mix of old-guard anchors and up-and-coming dynamos.

Previous ranking: 10
Next seven days: vs. SJ (Jan. 26), @ DAL (Jan. 28), @ PIT (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 96.5 points
Current pace: 105 points

The Capitals are a perennial contender out of the Metropolitan, and with Alexander Ovechkin chasing history, there was no reason to bet any differently this season. But Washington also loves a loser point, leading the league in overtime and shootout losses (9). Hey, one point is better than none, right?

Previous ranking: 13
Next seven days: @ EDM (Jan. 27), vs. VAN (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 83.5 points
Current pace: 106 points

The Predators have been punching up a weight class, for many reasons. Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg have led a revitalized offensive attack, Juuse Saros is an unheralded star in net, and Nashville gets consistent contributions on both sides of the puck throughout its lineup. That has added up in a big way.

Previous ranking: 17
Next seven days: @ TOR (Jan. 26), @ MTL (Jan. 27), @ OTT (Jan. 29), @ DET (Jan. 31)
Preseason O/U: 72.5 points
Current pace: 91 points

The Ducks haven’t let rebuilding hold them back from competing for a playoff spot. An unexpectedly strong start by Troy Terry, the maturation of Trevor Zegras, game-changing goaltending from John Gibson and continued leadership from Ryan Getzlaf have all combined to put Anaheim ahead of the curve.

Previous ranking: 19
Next seven days: vs. WSH (Jan. 28), vs. BOS (Jan. 30), vs. CGY (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 97.5 points
Current pace: 94 points

There has been a lot to unpack in Dallas. The limited high-end scoring production from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin early was a problem. The Stars’ blue line has also been in its share of disarray. Injuries and COVID-19 absences had an impact, too, but the club has also gotten some good goaltending from Braden Holtby and rookie Jake Oettinger.



Check out what is in store for the NHL’s All-Star weekend February 4-5 on ESPN and ABC.

Previous ranking: 14
Next seven days: @ NYI (Jan. 27), @ PHI (Jan. 29), @ PIT (Jan. 30)
Preseason O/U: 84.5 points
Current pace: 92 points

Jonathan Quick isn’t solely responsible for Los Angeles’ hotter-than-expected start, of course. But he has been a big part. The 37-year-old stalwart is key to the Kings’ nucleus, which includes a terrific Adrian Kempe, locked-in Anze Kopitar and always-reliable Drew Doughty.

Previous ranking: 18
Next seven days: vs. VAN (Jan. 27), @ STL (Jan. 29), @ PHI (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 91.5 points
Current pace: 86 points

Winnipeg has its moments. There are spans of the season in which it has played really well, followed by lulls when it is out of sync. Former coach Paul Maurice resigned because he thought Winnipeg capable of more than he could squeeze out of it. The Jets are still in the process of proving whether that’s true.

Previous ranking: 15
Next seven days: @ CBJ (Jan. 26), @ STL (Jan. 27), vs. VAN (Jan. 29), @ DAL (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 90.5 points
Current pace: 98 points

There’s plenty of credit to go around for Calgary exceeding expectations early. There was buy-in to coach Darryl Sutter’s system, and all kinds of star turns from Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau and Jacob Markstrom. The Flames haven’t been so hot since coming off their COVID-19 break, though.

Previous ranking: 21
Next seven days: vs. NSH (Jan. 27), @ MTL (Jan. 29), @ OTT (Jan. 31)
Preseason O/U: 98.5 points
Current pace: 91 points

Ah, the weight of expectations. That hasn’t worked out so well for Edmonton. However, if the Oilers had maintained the dominance of their early-season run, those predictive totals might be blown out of the water. Such is the conundrum for the organization that, if nothing else, is never boring.

Previous ranking: 20
Next seven days: @ WPG (Jan. 27), @ CGY (Jan. 29), @ CHI (Jan. 31), @ NSH (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 88.5 points
Current pace: 80 points

Let’s be honest, things could be (and have been!) a lot worse in Vancouver. The coaching change was inevitable, and so far, the hire of Bruce Boudreau has been successful. Seeing Quinn Hughes stand out is encouraging. J.T. Miller picked a good time to have a great season. Thatcher Demko has been a real prize. A strong second half would build a good runway into next season.

Previous ranking: 23
Next seven days: vs. LA (Jan. 27), vs. SEA (Jan. 29), vs. MIN (Jan. 30), vs. OTT (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 99.5 points
Current pace: 84 points

Turns out starting with 13 games on the road and then trying to break in a new building is harder than it looks. The Islanders won only five of their first 20 games and dealt with a long COVID-19-related shutdown. New York is a long way from where it was supposed to be, but there’s a lot of hockey ahead of the team before this season is over.

Previous ranking: 16
Next seven days: @ WSH (Jan. 26), @ FLA (Jan. 29), @ CAR (Jan. 30), @ TB (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 80.5 points
Current pace: 86 points

The Sharks aren’t flashy (well, Timo Meier can be), but they are steady. They hang in there. A manifestation of the not too high, not too low cliché. It’s a mentality that is working for San Jose thus far, and the Sharks get just enough oomph from their stars to be unexpectedly good. But can they stay on pace without Erik Karlsson, now sidelined by injury until March?

Previous ranking: 26
Next seven days: vs. CGY (Jan. 26), vs. NYR (Jan. 27), @ MTL (Jan. 30), vs. FLA (Jan. 31)
Preseason O/U: 76.5 points
Current pace: 78 points

You knew losing Seth Jones would hurt the Blue Jackets. Patrik Laine has been up and down, which doesn’t help either. The Cam AtkinsonJakub Voracek swap has worked out fine, though. Elvis Merzlikins is doing an admirable job in net, as expected. And the Blue Jackets are where we expected them to be.

Previous ranking: 22
Next seven days: vs. CHI (Jan. 26), @ PIT (Jan. 28), vs. TOR (Jan. 29), vs. ANA (Jan. 31)
Preseason O/U: 78.5 points
Current pace: 82 points

It’s amazing what an infusion of young talent can do for a team’s prospects. The Calder Trophy race this season is overrun with Red Wings candidates, from Lucas Raymond to Moritz Seider to Alex Nedeljkovic. Detroit has been slugging through its rebuild and must be pleased with the foundation in place.

Previous ranking: 24
Next seven days: @ TB (Jan. 27), @ CAR (Jan. 29), @ TOR (Jan. 31), vs. TOR (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 88.5 points
Current pace: 70 points

New Jersey has had tough luck with injuries, losing Jack Hughes early, Jonathan Bernier for the season and Dougie Hamilton of late. The Devils also don’t score a lot, and their depleted defense can’t make up the difference. It’s a tough combination to overcome.

Previous ranking: 25
Next seven days: vs. LA (Jan. 29), vs. WPG (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 92.5 points
Current pace: 65 points

Yikes. Well, we knew it was bad in Philadelphia. That margin between preseason and current pace is exceptionally poor, though. The floundering Flyers don’t have many options left through which to salvage the season, and there’s a trade deadline looming that could start them on a new path altogether.

Previous ranking: 29
Next seven days: @ PIT (Jan. 27), @ NYI (Jan. 29), @ NYR (Jan. 30), @ BOS (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 90.5 points
Current pace: 59 points

Further proof that no one really knew what to expect from the Kraken. Including themselves, probably.

Previous ranking: 30
Next seven days: @ ARI (Jan. 29), @ COL (Jan. 30), @ VGK (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 67.5 points
Current pace: 64 points

The Sabres have been who we thought they’d be, a team feeling the pinch of life without superstar Jack Eichel. Buffalo knew that trade was coming, though, and the emergence of Tage Thompson, additions of Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, plus a banner first half from Rasmus Dahlin have kept the Sabres from falling further.

Previous ranking: 28
Next seven days: @ DET (Jan. 26), vs. COL (Jan. 28), vs. VAN (Jan. 31)
Preseason O/U: 89.5 points
Current pace: 72 points

Chicago wasn’t exactly pegged to compete for a Stanley Cup this season. Still, that brutal start that got coach Jeremy Colliton fired has them off track even by average preseason predictions. Does that lead to the Blackhawks dealing away a major player (or players) at the deadline?

Previous ranking: 27
Next seven days: vs. CAR (Jan. 27), vs. ANA (Jan. 29), vs. EDM (Jan. 31), @ NYI (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 75.5 points
Current pace: 66 points

The sportsbooks had higher hopes for the Senators. But just like Ottawa’s faith in Matt Murray to carry the load in net, some beliefs don’t pan out as planned. The Senators do have reason to be hopeful, though, namely in the growth of Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson and Tim Stutzle.

Previous ranking: 31
Next seven days: vs. BOS (Jan. 28), vs. BUF (Jan. 29), @ COL (Feb. 1)
Preseason O/U: 69.5 points
Current pace: 48 points

Arizona was nearly a .500 team in last season’s pandemic-shortened campaign. That won’t be the case this season. The Coyotes’ best path seemed to be trying to win the NHL draft lottery, but even on that front, Arizona is losing ground to Montreal. Its next big move might well have to be a Phil Kessel trade.

Previous ranking: 32
Next seven days: vs. ANA (Jan. 27), vs. EDM (Jan. 29), vs. CBJ (Jan. 30)
Preseason O/U: 89.5 points
Current pace: 46 points

Unbelievable as it seems now, Montreal did enter this season fresh from a Stanley Cup Final appearance. In 2022-23, the Canadiens are more likely to be coming off a draft lottery win.

Share this post