NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus season-defining stats for every team

By this point of the 2021-22 NHL season, we have a good sense of where all 32 teams stand -- and what they're likely to do ahead of the trade deadline on March 21.

For this week's edition of the NHL Power Rankings, we identified one stat that helps explain how each team got to where it is today.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another -- taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule -- and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the last edition, published on Feb. 16. Points paces are through Tuesday's games.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 0.760
Next seven days: @ DET (Feb. 23), vs. WPG (Feb. 25), @ VGK (Feb. 26), vs. NYI (March 1)

We knew Colorado could score. We knew it could defend. It was the goaltending that raised questions. Well, Darcy Kuemper has silenced his critics in a big way, going 16-1-2 since Dec. 1, with a .929 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average.

2. Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 0.735
Next seven days: vs. CBJ (Feb. 24), vs. EDM (Feb. 26)

Some teams talk about depth of scoring. The Panthers are living it. Florida had nine (9!) players with 30 or more points through 50 games. No wonder it is the only team averaging over four goals per game this season.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 0.714
Next seven days: vs. EDM (Feb. 23), vs. NSH (Feb. 26), vs. OTT (March 1)

At the 50-game mark of its season, Tampa Bay has yet to lose consecutive times in regulation. That is impressive.

4. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 0.740
Next seven days: vs. CBJ (Feb. 25), vs. EDM (Feb.27), @ DET (March 1)

Good luck to the other 31 power plays trying to score against Carolina. The Hurricanes boast the NHL's best penalty kill this season at nearly 90%, and since Nov. 7, Carolina has allowed multiple man advantage goals in only one outing. Talk about a lockdown.

5. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 0.677
Next seven days: @ TOR (Feb. 24), @ CGY (Feb. 26), vs. CGY (March 1)

After a slow start, Kirill Kaprizov registered a four-point night on Nov. 26 -- and became basically unstoppable. The Wild's winger tallied a point in all but three games of his next 27 games and was top five in league scoring over the same stretch with 44 points.

6. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 0.680
Next seven days: vs. MIN (Feb. 24), @ DET (Feb. 26), @ WSH (Feb. 28)

The Maple Leafs have a historically good power play this season (which is surprising, given they were slow there out of the gate). Toronto is not only the NHL's best team on the man advantage at over 31%, but it could potentially surpass the league's all-time top power play, registered by the 1977-78 Canadiens at 31.9%.

7. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 0.674
Next seven days: @ VAN (Feb. 24), vs. MIN (Feb. 26), @ MIN (March 1)

Unsurprisingly, the Flames are averaging the fewest goals against per game this season (Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar have been fantastic in net, clearly). But Calgary has balanced that with an elite offensive attack putting it atop the NHL in shots fired (36-plus per game). There's a winning combination.

8. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 0.673
Next seven days: vs. NJ (Feb. 24), vs. NYR (Feb. 26), @ CBJ (Feb. 27)

Pittsburgh has been sitting as one of the Metropolitan Division's top teams -- and the Penguins have been, fittingly, a top-heavy team. Going back to Dec. 1, only Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby have achieved double-digit goal totals. Pittsburgh's middle-six forward group has been surprisingly silent, and that's worth addressing -- internally, or on the trade market.

9. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 0.690
Next seven days: vs. WSH (Feb. 24), @ PIT (Feb. 26), vs. VAN (Feb. 27)

New York can handle the pressure of a tight game. This season, the Blueshirts have led the league in one-goal victories with 16. Igor Shesterkin's Vezina Trophy-caliber season definitely helps with that.

10. St. Louis Blues

Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 0.660
Next seven days: vs. BUF (Feb. 25), @ CHI (Feb. 27)

Ville Husso has surprisingly emerged as the Blues' best option in net. He got on a roll in December, gathering an impressive 9-1-1 record with .940 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against average that are tops in the NHL through that span.

11. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 0.608
Next seven days: @ ARI (Feb. 25), vs. COL (Feb. 26), vs. SJ (March 1)

Vegas is firmly entrenched as a playoff contender this season, and yet the team has only one 20-goal scorer in its ranks: Jonathan Marchessault. Proof that the by-committee approach really can work!

12. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 0.620
Next seven days: @ SEA (Feb. 24), @ SJ (Feb. 26), @ LA (Feb. 28), @ ANA (March 1)

We probably haven't made enough of Charlie McAvoy's season in Boston. While Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have been in and out of the lineup, McAvoy's stats have been some of his best ever. He matched career highs in goals and points through just 46 games and is a major factor in Boston remaining in the top 10 in goals against despite its struggles.

13. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 0.625
Next seven days: @ NYR (Feb. 24), @ PHI (Feb. 26), vs. TOR (Feb. 28)

From the quirky stats department ... Washington (a top Metro Division stalwart) paces the NHL in scoring the first goal (35 times) but has recorded the second-most losses when ahead after the first period (five) and has the 20th-best winning percentage in such games (.739). Curious.

14. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 19
Points percentage: 0.590
Next seven days: @ TB (Feb. 23), @ FLA (Feb. 26), @ CAR (Feb. 27), @ PHI (March 1)

The Oilers may have scored first the fewest times in a game this season (15), but Edmonton is also the only team with a perfect record (15-0-0) when tallying that opening score.

15. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 14
Points percentage: 0.608
Next seven days: vs. DAL (Feb. 24), vs. TB (Feb. 26)

There's no doubt the Predators have exceeded expectations this season. Lately though, the numbers haven't looked so good. Prior to Tuesday's win over Florida, Nashville hadn't beaten a team in playoff position since Jan. 11, and were mired in their longest winless streak of the season (five games) after going most of the campaign without back-to-back losses. Can they build further off a terrific 43-save performance from David Rittich against the Panthers?

16. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 0.571
Next seven days: vs. WPG (Feb. 23), @ NSH (Feb. 24), vs. BUF (Feb. 27)

While Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson have been leading the charge offensively in Dallas, Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger have quietly formed one of the NHL's most powerful goaltending duos. In an identical number of starts (21), both players have a save percentage above .912 while posting 2.78 and 2.34 goals-against averages, respectively. That's a big key to the Stars' continued playoff hopes.

17. Anaheim Ducks

Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 0.557
Next seven days: vs. LA (Feb. 25), vs. NYI (Feb. 27), vs. BOS (March 1)

Sure, Trevor Zegras is drawing all the headlines lately but Troy Terry remains the Ducks' most consistent outstanding player with twice as many goals (26) as the next player on his team (Zegras, with 13). Terry's incredible shooting percentage (24.1%) is second-best in the NHL among skaters with at least 40 games played.

18. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 0.590
Next seven days: @ ARI (Feb. 23), @ ANA (Feb. 25), vs. NYI (Feb. 26), vs. BOS (Feb. 28)

Los Angeles is battling to hold onto a playoff berth and keep pace in the Pacific Division. L.A. is currently the NHL's only team that's in the top three in both shots on goal (over 35 per game) and fewest shots against (28 per game) this season.

19. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 21
Points percentage: 0.519
Next seven days: vs. CGY (Feb. 24), @ NYR (Feb. 27), @ NJ (Feb. 28)

There are several ways Bruce Boudreau has strengthened the Canucks since taking over. Perhaps the most telling stat is that through Boudreau's first 25 games behind the bench, Vancouver was top 10 in the league in winning percentage (.640), better than the likes of Calgary, Boston or Washington in that span.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 24
Points percentage: 0.530
Next seven days: @ FLA (Feb. 24), @ CAR (Feb. 25), vs. PIT (Feb. 27), vs. NJ (March 1)

Call it a comeback? Columbus has won more games (six) and has the third-best winning percentage (.273) when trailing after two periods than any team in the league.

21. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 0.520
Next seven days: @ DAL (Feb. 23), @ COL (Feb. 25), @ ARI (Feb. 27), vs. MTL (March 1)

Consistency hasn't been a strength of the Jets' this season. Through 50 games, Winnipeg had managed only three win streaks of three games or longer. Its best run was four victories in a row -- back in October.

22. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 0.500
Next seven days: vs. NYI (Feb. 24), vs. BOS (Feb. 26), vs. SEA (Feb. 27), @ VGK (March 1)

Talk about top performers! Through San Jose's first 49 games, the team registered a total of 130 goals -- and 35% of that came from just two players (Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl).

23. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 0.510
Next seven days: vs. COL (Feb. 23), vs. TOR (Feb. 26), vs. CAR (March 1)

If Dylan Larkin keeps this up, 2021-22 could be a career year. The Red Wings' captain is in the top 10 in scoring since early December, going through only one multigame point drought in that stretch and recording 52 points in 46 games.

24. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 27
Points percentage: 0.390
Next seven days: @ PIT (Feb. 24), @ CHI (Feb. 25), vs. VAN (Feb. 28), @ CBJ (March 1)

The Devil is in the details and New Jersey will be working on theirs. The Devils have given up the most even-strength goals in the NHL this season (135) and seen the most first-period leads (six) turn into losses.

25. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 23
Points percentage: 0.489
Next seven days: @ SJ (Feb. 24), @ LA (Feb. 26), @ ANA (Feb. 27), @ COL (March 1)

The Islanders are at the bottom of the NHL in scoring, but have made progress there of late. After tallying four or more goals in only five of its first 23 games, New York scored four times or more in eight of their next 19 outings.

26. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 26
Points percentage: 0.392
Next seven days: vs. WSH (Feb. 26), vs. EDM (March 1)

Since Dec. 16, Philadelphia has earned just one regulation win. That's a tough pill to swallow.

27. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous ranking: 25
Points percentage: 0.423
Next seven days: vs. NJ (Feb. 25), vs. STL (Feb. 27)

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising given how the Blackhawks' past two seasons have gone. But seeing a Patrick Kane stat line with only 13 goals through 48 games is still a "wait, what?" sort of moment.

28. Buffalo Sabres

Previous ranking: 29
Points percentage: 0.392
Next seven days: @ MTL (Feb. 23), @ STL (Feb. 25), @ DAL (Feb. 27)

From the "not how we drew it up" department: Buffalo has had to dress six different goalies this season, with a minimum of four starts each. That's a lot of turnover.

29. Ottawa Senators

Previous ranking: 30
Points percentage: 0.430
Next seven days: vs. MTL (Feb. 26), @ TB (March 1)

Quick tip when you're playing Ottawa: The Senators have scored more goals off deflections (13) than any team this season. Goalies, beware.

30. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 32
Points percentage: 0.284
Next seven days: vs. BUF (Feb. 23), @ OTT (Feb. 26), @ WPG (March 1)

The Canadiens achieved their first win streak of the season this month, winning games No. 49, 50 and 51. Enhancing that stat even further: Two of the three wins came over teams in playoff position (St. Louis and Toronto).

31. Seattle Kraken

Previous ranking: 28
Points percentage: 0.340
Next seven days: vs. BOS (Feb. 24), @ SJ (Feb. 27)

Seattle may have run into a few problems this season, but the expansion group has consistently been the NHL's best team in limiting shots against (28.3). It's disappointing Seattle hasn't had more reliable goaltending to match.

32. Arizona Coyotes

Previous ranking: 31
Points percentage: 0.300
Next seven days: vs. LA (Feb. 23), vs. VGK (Feb. 25), vs. WPG (Feb. 27)

There have been a few things lacking in Arizona, including discipline! The Coyotes have the highest net penalty total (minus-39) in the NHL, taking nearly 4.5 infractions per game while drawing just 3.6.