NHL Power Rankings: Our last Christmas theme and a huge jump to No. 1

NHL Power Rankings: A big jump to No. 1, and our final Christmas theme

At Power Rankings HQ, the festive season is ongoing with one last Christmas-themed ranking prior to the big day. Naturally, we saved the greatest (and most ridiculous) theme for last.

Come back after the holidays if you’re looking for real hockey analysis; we’ve been busy with our most recent segment, in which we choose one arbitrary pop culture allusion that only marginally relates to each team. You can also voice your complaints in the comments section. But remember that Sean’s mother is reading!

This week: Every team will have a cherished Christmas character. From all of the Rankings Boys, have fun and happy holidays.

Last week: five

Sean’s score: 1.

Dom’s score: 1.

“Miracle on 34th Street” Kris Kringle

Many people thought we were crazy to have them so high at the beginning of the season. But now? They lead the Eastern Conference in scoring. Perhaps they aren’t just a department store imitation of a premier team; perhaps they are the real deal.

Previous week: 1

Sean’s score: 2.

Dom’s score: 2.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the island of mismatched toys

Given that the team already goes by that nickname, this was obviously a given. Although there aren’t many misfits from Vegas’ first season anymore, the franchise’s ethos carries the name’s legacy.

Last week: four

Sean gave it a five.

Dom’s score: 3.

From “It’s A Wonderful Life,” George Bailey

Following Patrice Bergeron’s departure, the Bruins’ situation became bleak. Perhaps they were thinking, “What’s the point of all this?” They have now spent the entire season discovering an important lesson: “No team with David Pastrnak is a failure.”

Last week: three

Sean’s score: 3.

Dom gives it a five.

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” cousin Eddie
They crashed the party at the top of the rankings by showing up in a Winnebago. Drew Doughty, are you shocked? I wouldn’t be any more shocked than I am right now if I woke up tomorrow with my head stuck to the carpet.

Last week: sixSean’s score: 4.Dom gave it a score of four.

Gremlins, or “Gremlins”

Nine players for Dallas are on track to score 20 goals or more. Just some guys, wreaking havoc.

Last week: 7

Sean is ranked sixth.

Dom’s score: 7.

James McClane, aka “DIe Hard,”

“Die Hard”: Is it a holiday film? Whatever, it’s a fantastic film. Do the Canucks have a chance? Whatever, they make a solid team.

Well, what the heck, let’s argue about both for a week more.

Last week: ten

Sean’s score: 7.

Dom’s score: 6.

The red-nosed reindeer Rudolph

The Jets were an afterthought in the West playoff race, and all the other reindeer laughed at them before the season. Particularly after having to transfer Pierre-Luc Dubois, they appeared to be a team past their prime.

Rather, the Jets have emerged victorious from the shadows, driven by a player who was overlooked when they acquired Dubois. The Jets’ Gabriel Vilardi has been playing brilliantly, and he has contributed to getting this team back into the running.

Last week: two

Sean’s score: eight

Dom gave it an eight.

“Christmas With The Kranks” by The Kranks

These days, the Avalanche seem really grumpy. Mikko Rantanen first criticizes the father of Artturi Lehkonen. After a defeat, Devon Toews goes on to criticize a number of teammates, telling them they are deluding themselves if they believe they are playing well.

That’s what happens when you’re compelled to do something you don’t want to do, tough crowd. The Avalanche would love nothing more than to completely boycott the regular season because they understand it to be a formality for them. Similar ideas exist for the Krank family, who wish to forgo Christmas in order to save money—a nearly unattainable goal in their community.

Both Christmas and the regular season are unavoidable. All you need to do is figure out how to get through it and take advantage of it.

Last week: nine

Sean is ranked nine.

Dom’s score: 10.

Scrooge Ebenezer (from “A Christmas Carol”)

NHL Power Rankings: A new No. 1, plus first-quarter grades for every team -  The Athletic


Like a team that fires its coach after leading the league in goals scored, Scrooge saw a glimpse of his future and did not like what he saw. Significant adjustments made for genuine gains.

Last week: eight

Sean is ranked eleventh.

Dom’s score: 9.

The snowman Frosty

Do you understand? Because, until they melt in the spring, snowmen are fantastic and cool in the winter! Ah, the vintage Leafs!

Last week: fifteen

Sean’s score: 10.

Dom’s standing: 14

The snowman Frosty

Do you understand? Because, until they melt in the spring, snowmen are fantastic and cool in the winter! Ah, the vintage Leafs!

Last week: fifteen

Sean’s score: 10.

Dom’s standing: 14

Santa Claus

What makes Santa? Simple. In terms of giveaways, our beloved Predators lead the league. They give gifts to the other NHL players every night. How considerate.

Previous week: 11

Sean’s position: 14

Dom’s standing: 12

Howard Langston, “Everything Is Jingle”

Though less insane and desperate than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pursuit of a “Turbo Man” doll, Carolina is making a concerted effort to find a replacement goalie.

Week prior: 13

Sean’s standing: 12

Dom’s standing: 15

Colin from “Love Actually”

In most leagues, the Islanders would be eliminated from contention after being outscored and dropping more games than won. But not in the NHL! It’s similar to our friend Colin, who thinks that his British accent will be enough to get him any girl in America, even though he has no dating opportunities in England. And it seems he’s right. Even though it’s ridiculous, it works! Likewise, the Islanders, who are fortunate to play in a league that rewards losing.

Last week: twelve

Sean is ranked fifteenth.

Dom’s standing: 13

Karen – “Love Actually”

Emma Thompson, poor thing. She mistook her husband’s Christmas gift for a gold necklace. It transpires that he purchased it for his secretary. Hurt.

Who could blame the Devils for not being satisfied with their Joni Mitchell CD of a season at this point? They entered the game with the intention of becoming the next big thing. Instead, much like Karen’s marriage, their season is imploding.

Last week: 14

Sean is ranked 17th.

Dom’s standing: 11

Kevin McAllister from “Alone at Home”

Kevin shares some of the blame for his situation because he wouldn’t have ended up in the attic in the first place if he hadn’t been such a brat. In any case, after getting himself into a mess, he flourished. Sounds like a team that fires its coach in November and goes 11-6-0.

Previous week: 16

Sean is ranked thirteenth.

Dom’s position: 16

Known as “The Santa Clause,” Scott Calvin

Scott Calvin grudgingly accepts his fate as Santa Claus, even though he didn’t want to be the character as the film progresses. Sounds a lot like the annoying Flyers, who are widely predicted to be a rebuilding team that will linger in the lower half of the league. The Flyers, who have a playoff spot with some momentum, had no such luck.

Week prior: 18

Sean is ranked sixteenth.

Dom’s standing: 17

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” star Clark Griswold

“Christmas Vacation” is essentially about a guy who has high expectations for the holiday and then tries incessantly to make it work. It works out for him. We’ll see about the Penguins.

Last week: 20

Sean is ranked eighteen.

Dom’s standing: 18

Brad and Courtney’s “Four Christmases”

If the Lightning could bypass the regular season and go directly to the exciting part, they would be thrilled. It reminds me a lot of the naughty yuppies in “Four Christmases,” who typically take a trip far from home during the holidays instead of celebrating. That is, until their deception is exposed, at which point they reluctantly go to every Christmas gathering hosted by their divorcing parents and discover something important about who they are.

Even though the Lightning would really like to jump straight to the good stuff this season, they must first establish their eligibility. That entails attending Christmas (as well as the four months of hockey that follow).

Last week: 19

Sean is ranked 19th.

Dom’s standing: 19

Charlie Brown

It takes some time, but in the end, everyone realizes how beautiful his rinky-dink tree is. It appears that the Coyotes, who are leading the second wild-card race by three points, are about to follow suit.

Week prior: 21

Sean is ranked twenty.

Dom’s standing: 20

Still to Come: the Ghost of Christmas

This season, the Capitals have an incredibly impressive record and are playing at a pace that very few could have predicted. Considering their minus-eight goal differential, it’s even more startling. The good times will not last indefinitely; there will be consequences. It looks horrifying, Washington’s Christmas Yet to Come.

Week prior: 22

Sean is ranked twenty-one.

Dom’s position: 21

The Haunt of Christmas Past

NHL Power Rankings: Santa's 32-player 'naughty list,' plus a new (old) No. 1  - The Athletic

The Wild will have to pay for the contracts and buyouts of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise for an additional full season, regardless of what happens on the ice. They could do a lot with that $15 million in cap room.

Week prior: 17

Sean is ranked 22.

Dom’s position: 22

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