Power Rankings: The small-sample-size superstars edition


Many players have that tantalizing stretch of games when they post a bunch of goals and assists -- or, for our goaltending friends, a few brick-wall-like efforts -- and everyone begins to wonder if this will become the norm. This could be his breakout moment, or just a momentary flash of brilliance.

It's usually the latter.

This week in the power rankings, we take a look at some sample-size superstars, whether they've recently caught fire or had a run of a couple of weeks. No doubt some of them will have turned ice cold by the time you read this.

How we rank: We use a panel of voters, and these rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams are favored over lower-ranked teams. A run of wins doesn't guarantee a jump, and a couple of losses doesn't guarantee a fall.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19 | Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23

1. Nashville Predators

Record: 48-14-10
Week 23 Ranking: No. 1

Juuse Saros. The Predators' backup goalie is 3-0-1 in his past four starts, stretching back to Feb. 20. His .925 save percentage in 19 starts would be spectacular were it not for the fact that Pekka Rinne has a .931 in 53 starts.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

Record: 50-19-4
Week 23 Ranking: No. 2

J.T. Miller. The Lightning winger has three goals and two assists in his past five games, which looks a lot better than it probably is thanks to a hat trick against the Ottawa Senators.

3. Boston Bruins

Record: 45-17-10
Week 23 Ranking: No. 3

Ryan Donato. He had four points (including two goals) in his first two games with the Bruins -- while still taking classes at Harvard. Donato is obviously an offensive juggernaut that the rest of the NHL can only hope to contain.

4. Winnipeg Jets

Record: 41-19-10
Week 23 Ranking: No. 5

Kyle Connor. The Jets winger has five goals in four games, but then he has had a pretty darn good season overall, with 27 goals in 67 games.

5. Vegas Golden Knights

Record: 47-21-5
Week 23 Ranking: No. 4

David Perron. The Golden Knights winger has six points in his past seven games -- all of them assists, and three of them on the power play.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: 42-27-5
Week 23 Ranking: No. 6

Patric Hornqvist. The Penguins winger has six points in his past six games, including two goals and an assist against the Montreal Canadiens.

7. Washington Capitals

Record: 42-24-7
Week 23 Ranking: No. 8

T.J. Oshie. Trying to bust a season-long slump, Oshie had four goals and an assist in four games for the Capitals.

8. Toronto Maple Leafs

Record: 43-23-7
Week 23 Ranking: No. 7

James van Riemsdyk. JVR had seven goals in four games, which is also the first thing he should say during his unrestricted free-agent contract negotiations. He might even want to make a T-shirt with that on it.

9. San Jose Sharks

Record: 41-23-9
Week 23 Ranking: No. 10

Tomas Hertl. Our sweet boy had four goals and three assists in four games for the Sharks, after getting two points in the previous 10 games.

10. Los Angeles Kings

Record: 40-27-7
Week 23 Ranking: No. 11

Dustin Brown. The Kings forward had three goals and two assists in his past four games, continuing an offensive renaissance this season that has totaled 23 goals.

11. Minnesota Wild

Record: 41-24-8
Week 23 Ranking: No. 13

Zach Parise. The comeback has begun! Limited to 34 games this season due to injury, Parise has six goals and an assist in his past 10 games.

12. Anaheim Ducks

Record: 38-24-12
Week 23 Ranking: No. 19

Jakob Silfverberg. The Ducks winger has quietly regressed offensively this season, but had seven points in eight games, including three goals.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: 41-28-5
Week 23 Ranking: No. 12

Boone Jenner. The winger has been on fire for the past two weeks, with five goals and three assists and a plus-9 during the past seven games.

14. Philadelphia Flyers

Record: 37-25-12
Week 23 Ranking: No. 9

Travis Konecny. Skating with Claude Giroux has its benefits. Konecny had four points, including two goals, in four games.

15. Colorado Avalanche

Record: 40-25-8
Week 23 Ranking: No. 15

Tyson Barrie. He's good, but this good? Barrie has 21 points in his past 15 games, giving the defenseman 52 points on the season.

16. Florida Panthers

Record: 37-27-7
Week 23 Ranking: No. 20

Frank Vatrano. The former Bruin had four points in his first six games with Florida -- with a 15.8 shooting percentage, which seems sustainable.

17. Dallas Stars

Record: 38-28-8
Week 23 Ranking: No. 16

Tyler Seguin. There really isn't much going right for the Stars these days, so this is a bit of a cheat, considering how good Seguin has been all season. But with five goals and seven assists in 10 games, he's the pick.

18. St. Louis Blues

Record: 40-28-5
Week 23 Ranking: No. 17

Alex Pietrangelo. Another case of a point-producing defenseman producing points at a pretty spectacular rate. He has 11 points in his past six games.

19. New Jersey Devils

Record: 37-28-8
Week 23 Ranking: No. 14

Blake Coleman. The speedy forward has five points in seven games, accounting for a quarter of his points on the season.

20. New York Islanders

Record: 31-32-10
Week 23 Ranking: No. 21

Ryan Pulock. The defenseman has seven points in his past six games, which is a nice make-up for him having one assist in 17 games earlier in the season.

21. Calgary Flames

Record: 35-30-10
Week 23 Ranking: No. 18

Micheal Ferland. The winger has five points in his past eight games after getting two points in his previous 11.

22. Carolina Hurricanes

Record: 31-31-11
Week 23 Ranking: No. 23

Sebastian Aho. (No, the other one.) Aho has 13 points in 13 games, including five goals, for the Hurricanes.

23. New York Rangers

Record: 32-33-8
Week 23 Ranking: No. 24

Neal Pionk. The rookie defenseman has 10 points in his past 10 games now that Ryan McDonagh is no longer around to hold him back.

24. Detroit Red Wings

Record: 27-35-11
Week 23 Ranking: No. 28

Dylan Larkin. The Red Wings have been hot garbage lately, but Larkin had four points in three games after four consecutive games without a point.

25. Chicago Blackhawks

Record: 30-35-9
Week 23 Ranking: No. 22

Tomas Jurco. The forward has three points in his past four games after posting four in his first 19. He's on fire!

26. Edmonton Oilers

Record: 32-36-5
Week 23 Ranking: No. 26

Pontus Aberg. The former Predator has five points in nine games with the Oilers, skating with Leon Draisaitl.

27. Montreal Canadiens

Record: 26-36-12
Week 23 Ranking: No. 25

Artturi Lehkonen. The forward had four goals in seven games, which is a big deal considering that he had five goals in the previous 49 games.

28. Arizona Coyotes

Record: 25-37-11
Week 23 Ranking: No. 30

Derek Stepan. The center has 10 points in his past 10 games, giving him 49 points on the season.

29. Vancouver Canucks

Record: 25-39-9
Week 23 Ranking: No. 27

Sam Gagner. He had two assists the other day. (Look, the Canucks have been playing some of the worst hockey on the face of the planet for the better part of two weeks. Work with us here.)

30. Ottawa Senators

Record: 26-35-11
Week 23 Ranking: No. 31

Matt Duchene. The season turnaround continues, as Duchene had 10 points in 10 games for the Senators.

31. Buffalo Sabres

Record: 23-38-12
Week 23 Ranking: No. 29

Chad Johnson. The goalie has four wins in his past six appearances despite having just eight wins on the season.