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Latest Round Of Power Rankings Ignoring VGK’s Past Success

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If last night’s 6-3 win over the Pacific-leading Vancouver Canucks was any indication of how the Golden Knights will perform in the playoffs, the league better take notice. The reigning champions are back to form and are looking like a club prepared to repeat. However, outside of the 702 there are skeptics in every corner of the NHL map.

Going into last season’s playoff the Golden Knights were on the shortlist of favorites to win the Stanley Cup. This year, the 2023 champions are being overlooked by many who cover the league. In the latest release of numerous NHL power rankings, most critics buried Vegas as if they were some substandard Wild Card beneficiary.

Western Conference Playoff Polling Averages

  1. COL – (1.5)
  2. DAL – (2.3)
  3. EDM – (3.0)
  4. VAN – (3.5)
  5. NAS – (4.7)
  6. WPG – (6.2)
  7. LAK – (6.7)
  8. VGK – (7.3)

We compiled data from ten different power rankings and calculated the average for each contending Western Conference team. Those references include: CBS Sports, Daily Faceoff, ESPN, Hockey News, MoneyPuck, NHL.com, Seattle Times, Sportsnet, TSN, and USA Today.

In the Western Conference ,among contenders, the Golden Knights were at the bottom or close to it in most power rankings. LA and Winnipeg were the two closest in the eyes of various judges.

USA Today: 1. COL, 2. CAR, 3. NYR, 4. FLA, 5. EDM, 6. DAL, 7. NAS, 8. BOS, 9. VGK, 10. TB, 11. VAN, 12. TOR, 13. PHI, 14. LAK, 15. WPG, 16. WAS

Only USA Today’s rankings had Vegas higher than the seventh-best club in the conference.

TSN: 1. COL, 2. CAR, 3. VAN, 4. EDM, 5. NAS, 6. NYR, 7. DAL, 8. FLA, 9. LAK, 10. TOR, 11. WPG, 12. BOS, 13. TB, 14. VGK, 15. MIN, 16. NJD

On the flip side, the folks up north at TSN aren’t expecting a Golden Knights championship repeat. Maybe they’ll reconsider after they pushed around Canada’s most successful team. TSN analysts are fair but tough. They boldly excluded two Eastern Conference playoff teams from their Top 20. The Sports Network did note that facing the Golden Knights would be a rotten reward for any division champion.

That said, earning a first-round playoff matchup against a wild-card team won’t be the win it’s been in previous years. The two teams occupying those spots right now are the Nashville Predators, 15-0-2 in their past 17 games, and the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights. -TSN

Sportsnet: 1. NYR, 2. COL, 3. DAL, 4. VAN, 5. CAR, 6. BOS, 7. NAS, 8. FLA, 9. TB, 10. EDM, 11. LAK, 12. TOR, 13. WPG, 14. WAS, 15. STL, 16. VGK

Canada’s second major hockey network wasn’t much kinder on Vegas. They had to remind fans about the Golden Knights mediocrity since Christmastime. Maybe their recent play will gain higher marks in Sportsnet’s next power rankings.

23 teams — including the frequently-maligned New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins — have a better points percentage than Vegas’ .488 mark since Dec. 15. Good thing the Knights had built a huge buffer by posting the third-best mark (.726) to that point. –Ryan Dixon on Sportsnet.ca

NHL.com: 1. NYR, 2. COL, 3. VAN, 4. DAL, 5. FLA, 6. BOS, 7. CAR, 8. NAS, 9. WPG, 10. EDM, 11. LAK, 12. TOR, 13. TB, 14. VGK, 15. WAS, 16. PHI

Last week we begrudgingly pointed out the Golden Knights horrendous 3rd period meltdowns. The NHL’s Dan Rosen emphasized that shortcoming in his latest power ranking. On a positive note the Golden Knights have only allowed one third period goal to start April.

The Golden Knights must, must, must be better in the third period. This isn’t just because they 4-1 lead after two periods against the Predators on Tuesday only to lose 5-4 in overtime. It’s not a recency bias. It’s longer than that. They are minus-12 in third-period goal differential in March, 26-14. They gave up the three in the third to the Predators on top of allowing three to the Lightning in a 5-3 loss, four to the Calgary Flames in a 4-1 loss, three to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-3 loss and four to the Buffalo Sabres in a 7-2 loss all this month. They’re winning a lot of games going into the third period and then they give it away. – Dan Rosen on NHL.com

More Power Rankings 

CBS Sports: 1. COL, 2. NYR, 3. CAR, 4. FLA, 5. DAL, 6. EDM, 7. WPG, 8. BOS, 9. VAN, 10. NAS, 11. VGK, 12. TOR, 13. TB, 14. LAK, 15. WAS, 16. PHI

Daily Faceoff: 1. FLA, 2. DAL, 3. COL, 4. CAR, 5. VAN, 6. BOS, 7. NYR, 8. TOR, 9. EDM, 10. NAS, 11. WPG, 12. VGK, 13. LAK, 14. TB, 15. PHI, 16. NJD

ESPN: 1. NYR, 2. DAL, 3. BOS, 4. COL, 5. FLA, 6. VAN, 7. CAR, 8. EDM, 9. WPG, 10. TOR, 11. NAS, 12. TB, 13. LAK, 14. VGK, 15. PHI, 16. WAS

MoneyPuck: 1. CAR, 2. EDM, 3. DAL, 4. VAN, 5. TOR, 6. COL, 7. NYR, 8. TB, 9. BOS, 10. WPG, 11. LA, 12. MIN, 13. FLA, 14. NJD, 15. VGK, 16. NAS

Seattle Times: 1. COL, 2. EDM, 3. NYR, 4. CAR, 5. DAL, 6. NAS, 7. VAN, 8. FLA, 9. TB, 10. BOS, 11. LAK, 12. VGK, 13. TOR, 14. WPG, 15. WAS, 16. STL

Adding the Seattle Time’s Geoff Baker’s power rankings is crucial because of his strong sense of the Pacific Division and Western Conference. Baker ranked the Golden Knights 7th in the conference but 12th in the entire league. He’s well aware how dangerous Vegas can be, especially in divisional games.

The Hockey News: 1. NYR, 2. COL, 3. CAR, 4. VAN, 5. BOS, 6. DAL, 7. FLA, 8. EDM, 9. NAS, 10. LAK, 11. WPG, 12. TB, 13. TOR, 14. WAS, 15. PHI, 16. VGK

Look, everyone out there has an opinion. THN clearly cannot accept the truth behind the Golden Knights list of long term injuries.

Placing Tomas Hertl on LTIR will absolutely not dispel any notions that the Knights are somehow skirting the rules. So maybe it’s karma that they blew a 4-1 lead and lost with Jiri Patera in net. If Hertl comes back in time for Game 1 of the playoffs, more eyebrows will be raised. –Jason Chen on TheHockeyNews.com

Possibly the uncertainty of Mark Stone’s postseason availability is why some pundits are backing off from the Golden Knights. Maybe, it’s Adin Hill’s injury or Vegas’ 3rd period breakdowns. Pick your concern, but the Golden Knights are and will be more complete than most Western contenders. Colorado and Dallas deserve the edge, but Vegas’ experience and success elevate them right there with the best.

If we’re being honest, neither Edmonton nor Vancouver want anything to do with the reigning champs right now. Nor should they.

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22 Comments

  1. John W

    I actually think having VGK being “dissed” going into the playoffs helps get the guys motivated. It is a little frustrating as a fan sometimes, but then I watch the replays from last years run, and I feel better.

  2. JB

    Yea well f*ck the talking heads who last year said there would be an all Canada final. Edmonton vs Toronto. How did that work out!

    • Emmanuel

      Thats because most of the NHL media is Canadian. They are delusional. I also posted a while back how Canadian teams are all defensively suspect. Its like the blueline & crease (excepting Winnipeg) are afterthoughts.

    • knights fan in minny

      well said jb

  3. Chris

    Bissonette addressed this in a Twitter spat with VGK fans a couple of days ago. We were a teetering wild card team. He was right. Since Christmas, VGK has been barely a 500 team. However this team is hot, is rounding into form and is icing a team missing two All Stars and SCF winning goalie. Every team in the playoffs wanted February VGK. No one wants April VGK.

  4. ThG

    previous performance is not indicative of future results

    i will say it again
    and again and again

    • Jack Hammer

      ThG.

      What up what up what up.

      I like the way ThG rolls.

      Yu inspire me to say whatz on my mind.

      You a hockey OG brotha.

      Peace!

  5. Vic

    Kudos for a second year in a row to THG for pointing out the team would excel again when injuries were healed. This is in addition to sharp and accurate political commentary.

    As for power rankings….who cares? There is a lag when these guys review teams. For example, last month or two some of these guys were saying the VGK had the strongest shut down 6 D men in the league when half of them were out and nobody could stop a beach ball. If the VGK continue the current run, these analysts will move them up….and it will still mean nothing.

  6. knights fan in minny

    power rankings mean nothing something for sports writers to do

  7. PJT

    Listen, all these sport journalists always had an east coast bias. If it was up to them, the Maple Leafs would win the cup every year. But that’s ok. All of us know since day effing one that our misfits play their best when everyone else discounts them. Please give us all the chips you BS journalists and sports writers. We have plenty of golden shoulders to receive them.
    GKG!

  8. Jack Hammer

    From the heart
    It’s a start, a work of art
    To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange
    People, people we are the same
    No we’re not the same
    ‘Cause we don’t know the game
    What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless
    You say what is this?
    My beloved lets get down to business
    Mental self defensive fitness
    Don’t rush the show
    You gotta go for what you know
    Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
    Lemme hear you say
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    Fight the power
    We’ve got to fight the powers that be

  9. Pretty interesting that on TNT when the GREAT one WG says it all – regardless of where the Knights are at the moment isn’t important and whoever they face in the playoff better beware as they are coming into their own and will be tough to beat if at all. Its ok to be thought of down in the rankings as when the going gets tough the tough get going and they have demonstrated that lately. Perfect timing to start picking up their game which had been pretty dismal after the break. And yes my friends and fellow poster that is the realistic situation.

  10. PJT

    There’s a lot to be said about peaking at the right time. I remember for a long stretch, teams like Boston Bruins and Washington Caps used to dominate the regular season but end up leaving early in the post season. In hockey more than any other game, timing is everything. Getting your players to be healthy before the playoffs is now more important than winning every remaining game. You will soon see by next week that some of the top teams that have clinched the playoffs will be sending their AHL guys up to play the remaining games.

    • Vic

      Exactly. Prepping for the second season is an art form. Then there is the hot goalie factor that can get a team to the promised land….again.

  11. TS

    Let them doubt us! It’ll make this year’s run to the CUP more satisfying! Under the radar is a GOOD place to be right now!

    Realistically, though, we haven’t exactly been a powerhouse this season. It has been a rough road, so I can understand these writers’ negative VGK opinions. But a target has been on our backs since Day 1. Yeah, we used the system to our advantage, like ANY team would do to win..
    It’s NOT “cheating”, as others whine.
    It’s Mgmt
    being savy and smart. Too damn bad for the others! KICK SOME DENYER ASS, KNIGHTS!!

  12. Frank

    I don’t mind for one second these “power rankings”. Gives further motivation to a team primed for a second run at the cup.

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