Power Rankings: The small-sample-size superstars edition

From ESPN - March 22, 2018

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 have 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 does not guarantee a jump, and a couple of losses does not 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

16. Florida Panthers

17. Dallas Stars

Tyler Seguin. There really is not 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

19. New Jersey Devils

20. New York Islanders

21. Calgary Flames

22. Carolina Hurricanes

23. New York Rangers

24. Detroit Red Wings

25. Chicago Blackhawks

26. Edmonton Oilers

27. Montreal Canadiens

28. Arizona Coyotes

29. Vancouver Canucks

30. Ottawa Senators

31. Buffalo Sabres


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