NHL 2020 Play-in Power Rankings

With the NHL set to return, the team at Garage Door Sports put together their first power rankings. Nick McVicar, Kyle Varty and Irfan Manji all gives their full thoughts.

1BostonBostonSt. Louis
3Tampa BayTampa BayTampa Bay
4St. LouisSt. LouisVegas
16New York (I)WinnipegColumbus
17VancouverNew York (R)Winnipeg
18NashvilleNew York (I)New York (R)
20ArizonaColumbusNew York (I)
21New York (R)ArizonaFlorida

1. Boston Bruins

Boston was the best team all year and there is no reason to doubt them. They were one win away from a cup last year. If it wasn’t for the upstart St. Louis Blues their magical run, we would probably be discussing a repeat. – McVicar

2. Colorado Avalanche

The Nathan MacKinnon line is healthy and will be hard to stop. Cale Makar makes their defence a threat as well. As long as the goaltending holds up and Nazem Kadri avoids another suspension the Avs will have success. – Varty

3. St. Louis Blues

Team is intact basically, no championship hangover. Craig Berube has done a good job keeping his guys hungry, especially Alex Pietrangelo who looks prime for a massive offseason contract. Still a very balanced offensive team, great D, and stand-up #1 netminder. – Manji

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa has to make up for the blunder after last season’s first-round flameout. The talent is there for sure, they have one of the best goalies and realistically the pressure is off after not finishing first. – Varty

5. Vegas Golden Knights

The feel-good story from two seasons ago managed to finish third in the West. There might be holes in the roster but whenever you have the Flower in net you can’t be discredited. Whether Marc-Andre Fleury has the shoulders to carry his team again will be seen. – McVicar

6. Washington Capitals

The Capitals were inconsistent all year. But they have a playoff tested roster which is just two years removed from hoisting Lord Stanley. They also have someone named Braden Holtby, who may have struggled in the regular season but always shines in playoffs. – McVicar

7. Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers under Alain Vigneault have been much better than previous years. Carter Hart is an actual rock in net (Flyers haven’t had that in years), and Sean Couturier might be the best two-way forward this season. Only hiccup, Vigneault teams struggle in the playoffs. – Manji

8. Pittsburgh Penguins

We know what this team is about and have two very dangerous lines led by their big two. The big question is who plays in net? Matt Murray was simply bad this year but has won a Stanley Cup, and Tristan Jarry was much better and led them to where they are but has not played in the playoffs. – Varty

9. Dallas Stars

The Stars have a good defensive unit and great goaltending. Mind you, the Stars lost last year in Game 7 of the Western Conference 2nd round playoffs in OT to the eventual champs. Dallas have some good pieces and are capable of grinding out their opponent. – Manji

10. Toronto Maple Leafs

The offense will be there and I don’t think there is any question about that, Frederik Andersen will be solid as usual and give them a chance to win but the defense is the big question. Can they do enough to carry them? – Varty

11. Edmonton Oilers

When you have the two best players in the world, it’s hard to count you out. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid lead this young team into mostly uncharted territory. If they can get goaltending from Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith, they could make a decent run this year. – McVicar

12. Carolina Hurricanes

Rod Brindamour’s side is electric to watch. Plus, with some healthy bodies back in their lineup, last year’s Cinderella team will pose to be an exciting first round matchup versus the New York Rangers. – Manji

13. Calgary Flames

What can we say about Calgary? They are good but not great and they will be middle of the pack. – Varty

14. Winnipeg Jets

Connor Hellebuyck carried this team through the regular season and *should be getting a trophy for himself on his mantle. If he gets hot, or just continues his play from the regular season, he could lead this team to a long playoff run. – McVicar

15. Nashville Predators

Pekka Rinne is another goalie who looks like a shadow of himself. The Predators have a hard time scoring goals in abundance and are positioned to play against a Dallas side that’s been consistent at all ends of the ice, all year. A loss could signal some big trades for David Poile and co. – Manji

16. Columbus Blue Jackets

Losing three very good players last year has just meant that the league gets to see the young talent running through the Columbus system. The boys have responded well under Torts, who might very well be the coach of the year. Doesn’t hurt to get good goaltending for large stretches of the season too! – Manji

17. Vancouver Canucks

This squad is beginning to turn the right way after a slow rebuild with some young superstars in Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes and solid goaltending this year from Jacob Markstrom. – Varty

18. Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are two of the most underrated superstars in the league. But Sergei Bobrovsky hasn’t looked good this year. If he can return to his prior form the Panthers have a chance. It still doesn’t look good. – McVicar

19. New York Islanders

I can see the Isles playing a very defensive brand of hockey and so, don’t sleep on this Barry Trotz team should they return to last year’s form. Although, the inability to score 2-3 goals a night could hurt this team’s chances. – Manji

20. New York Rangers

Anything could happen with this team this year. They have two great players in Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad but the defense in front of rookie sensation Igor Shesterkin will be the deciding factor on how far they go. Also, do they go back to Henrik Lundqvist or no? – Varty

21. Arizona Coyotes

The sudden departure of GM John Chayka and pending free agency of their best player in Hall looms over a team that has some pieces in place but seems to not be on the same level. – Varty

22. Minnesota Wild

A mid-season coaching change improved the Wild’s season trajectory. Had the break not happened, the Minnesota were 7-3 in their last 10. Solid numbers for a squad that earlier in the year were subpar. However, the age of this group and question marks behind Devan Dubnyk‘s form give the edge to the Canucks going into their series. – Manji

23. Montreal Canadiens

Let’s be honest, the Canadiens don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. But they are. Their best chance comes down to two words: Carey Price. This team will go as far as he takes them. – McVicar

24. Chicago Blackhawks

Just like the Canadiens, Chicago doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs at all. But they are here and facing a top club in Edmonton. If they have any hope of making it deep in the playoffs, they are going to need a miracle. – McVicar