Last time we checked in on various NHL Power Rankings, the Golden Knights were slightly disrespected by many outlets across the league. Since then, Vegas have been riding a nine-game point streak and have stretched their lead in the Pacific to six points. Well, that woke up the experts.
Only the Los Angeles Kings are averaging a higher position according to the current group of rankings, and the Kings have lost three in a row so they will certainly begin slipping. The Golden Knights are averaging a top two position in most of lists we highlighted. Most importantly, the reigning champions headline MoneyPuck’s postseason scale.
Overall, the Golden Knights were more accurately rated in the latest installments of power rankings compared to last months. NHL.com dropped Vegas two spots from their November’s rankings but they dive into their reasoning. One puzzling observation was NHL.com’s concern that Vegas has lost their juice since their early season Cup winning carryover.
NHL.com: VGK #4 (NYR #1)
Pro: Jack Eichel has played well all season, but he’s elevated his game even higher in the past couple of weeks. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past five games and leads Vegas with 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 27 games. Con: The Golden Knights seem to have lost some of their focus and have been in a bit of a post-Cup lull during the past month. Even with a 6-3 win against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, they are 6-5-4 in 15 games following an 11-0-1 start. – Tom Gulitti, staff writer
Injuries are beginning to give the good folks at ESPN a bit of agita. Adin Hill’s lower body injury has kept him out of the lineup since November 30th. Add in a few other wounded players and ESPN forced themselves to keep VGK in the second position.
ESPN: VGK #2 (LAK #1)
Hill’s current injury — while reportedly not that serious — is a bother, as is the loss of defensemen Shea Theodore and Alec Martinez. Don’t be surprised if Jack Eichel, who has found his productive stride of late, takes over as the Knights’ leading fantasy star by season’s end. -Sean Allen & Victoria Matiash
Our friends at the Daily Faceoff elevated the Golden Knights three spots in their current power rankings. They didn’t openly admit to it, but the DF considered punishing Vegas for their string of alternate jerseys.
Daily Faceoff: VGK #1
The Knights retake the top spot in our rankings after picking up seven of a possible eight points last week. Although their bookend games were a bit suspect — you really needed a shootout to beat San Jose? — the Knights defeated the Blues and Stars by a combined 12-4 score in their games on Wednesday and Saturday. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights repurposed alternate jerseys are among the worst in the NHL. – Mike Gould
In their last power rankings, THN had Vegas behind Boston as the second-best team in the league. This time around The Hockey News flip-flopped the two contenders. Per usual, THN continues to consistently grade teams by their ranking criteria. Others don’t seem to have one.
The Hockey News: VGK #1
With a 4-0-0 week, the Knights reclaim the top spot after a four-week absence. It wasn’t without some luck, though, with two of their most recent wins coming via shootout and overtime. Their offense has led the charge, scoring at least five goals in all four wins. – Jason Chen
I’m unsure if CBS Sports are attempting to be controversial but they continue to downplay the Golden Knights first-place record and their +32 goal differential. This is the second month in a row that CBS had the reigning champions as low as 4th in their rankings. I could be wrong, but they should probably watch more NHL and less NFL replays.
CBS Sports: VGK #4 (BOS #1, NYR #2, LAK #3)
Jack Eichel is riding an eight-game point streak, and he has 13 total points over that stretch. Eichel is having a dominant season so far, and he is a major reason why the Golden Knights have really rounded into form over the last couple weeks. Early in the season, Vegas was getting results with a shaky underlying process. Now, the defending champs are smoking teams on the scoreboard and under the hood. – Austin Nivison
In a surprising update, MoneyPuck’s power ranking model currently has the 2023 Stanley Cup champions rated as the sixth best team in the NHL. According to MP, their rankings are based on their win probability model. However, the Golden Knights are listed as having the best odds to make the playoffs and are expected to have the most points by season’s end. One spot behind them is divisional rival LA Kings. It could be an interesting finish atop the Pacific.