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The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally started to roll, and one player is driving all that success. Auston Matthews has been on a tear all season, but he has somehow kicked it up a notch over the last few games. Now, he has Toronto surging up the NHL Power Rankings.

Last week was a big one for Matthews as he scored hat tricks in consecutive games for the second time this season. He is just the fifth player in NHL history to accomplish that feat, and he is on pace for 75 goals, which is an absurd feat in today's game.

Matthews' next goal will be his 50th of the season, and he has thrust himself into the Hart Trophy conversation. Maybe he gets knocked for his lack of assists, but the last time I checked, putting the puck in the net is pretty important when it comes to winning hockey games.

The Leafs have been doing a lot of winning lately, thanks in large part to Matthews' habit of scoring early and often. Toronto is now third place in the Atlantic Division, and it has a three-point edge over the Tampa Bay Lightning with three games in hand. The Maple Leafs may not be the most complete team, but when Matthews is playing like this, they are going to have a chance to win every night.

As Matthews lifts the Maple Leafs into the top 10, here are the updated NHL Power Rankings.

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1 Panthers I don't think it would be a stretch to say the Panthers have been the NHL's best team in 2024, even with how well the Oilers have played. Florida just hung nine goals on the rival Lightning, and Matthew Tkachuk tallied four points in that one. Tkachuk is now up to four goals and 10 assists in seven games this month, and the Panthers are 15-3-2 since Jan. 1. 2 52-24-6
2 Rangers The Rangers are now up to eight straight wins, and they have gotten some help from a rather unlikely source. Jonny Brodzinski, a 30-year-old with 137 career games under his belt, has found the scoresheet regularly throughout this streak. Brodzinski has contributed three goals and three assists, which boosted his career totals in those categories by 30% and 18.8%, respectively. 4 55-23-4
3 Oilers Over the last couple of weeks, Edmonton has cooled off following its 16-game winning streak. That was always bound to happen, but I do feel the need to point out that the goaltending has started to regress again in February. Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard have combined for -3.98 goals saved above expected this month. Skinner was tremendous throughout that lengthy streak, but how confident is Edmonton that he can replicate that in the postseason? 1 49-26-6
4 Stars Mason Marchment didn't have a great first season with the Stars in 2022-23, but he has found another gear alongside Tyler Seguin and Matt Duchene this year. Through 55 games, Marchment has 18 goals and 28 assists, which have already blown his totals from last season out of the water. In addition to that, Dallas is outscoring opponents 44-24 when Marchment is on the ice at five-on-five. He has been critical in elevating the Stars to juggernaut status. -- 52-21-9
5 Canucks Long before they pillaged the Flames for Elias Lindholm, the Canucks raided their roster for Nikita Zadorov. Through 30 games, that move hasn't been terribly successful. Zadorov does have a plus-8 goal differential at five-on-five, but the numbers under the hood are ugly. The Canucks are controlling just 46.6% of the expected goals with Zadorov on the ice in those situations. Maybe he gets more comfortable down the stretch, but Zadorov might be hard to trust in the playoffs. 4 50-22-9
6 Hurricanes Carolina seems to be finding its groove after some inconsistent play earlier this season. The Hurricanes are 5-2-0 this month, and they have been dominant in those wins. In that stretch, the Canes have controlled 59.4% of the expected goals and 58.5% of the high-danger chances at five-on-five. Now the question is how much of a splash GM Don Waddell wants to make ahead of the trade deadline. 2 52-23-7
7 Bruins The Bruins have sputtered in the last few weeks, and it has a lot to do with a lack of consistent offense. David Pastrnak has been putting the Boston offense on his back all season, and he needs more support if the team is going to win the Atlantic and go on a Stanley Cup run. Brad Marchand, Pavel Zacha, Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk have combined for three goals in February. Someone needs to give Pasta a hand in Beantown. 2 47-20-15
8 Maple Leafs Auston Matthews is not human. He is a perfectly designed goal-scoring machine. Matthews recorded back-to-back hat tricks last week, and he has seven goals in his last three games. As a result of this recent burst, Matthews has run away from Sam Reinhart in the Rocket Richard Trophy race, and he's also on pace for 75 goals. That's a total the NHL hasn't seen since Jurassic Park was tearing it up at the box office. 6 46-26-10
9 Jets Since Kyle Connor returned from injury on Jan. 16, he and Nikolaj Ehlers have both been ice cold. Prior to Tuesday night's win over the Wild, those two had combined for three goals and nine points in that span. It's an interesting development, especially given that Ehlers kind of thrived with Connor out of the lineup. Head coach Rick Bowness must find a way to get both of those players going at the same time if the Jets are going to maximize their potential. -- 51-24-6
10 Avalanche Bowen Byram hasn't quite taken a step forward this season, as the Avalanche probably hoped and expected he would. Offensively, Byram has been a little less productive with 19 points in 48 games, as opposed to his 24 points in 42 games last season. More concerning is the fact that Byram has struggled to break even at five-on-five. In fairness to Byram, he has played a lot of minutes with Jack Johnson lately, and that's not an ideal situation for a young defenseman. -- 49-25-7
11 Golden Knights Shea Theodore returned to the blue line against the Predators on Tuesday night, and that was a huge step toward the Golden Knights getting healthy for another Stanley Cup run. Theodore might well be the best defenseman in Vegas, and he was critical to the team winning the Cup last summer. The Golden Knights dominate play when Theodore is on the ice, and now they have to focus on getting Jack Eichel healed up in the coming weeks. 4 45-28-8
12 Red Wings It's impressive that the Red Wings have been able to overcome abysmal five-on-five metrics to remain in a playoff spot, but I have to imagine regression is coming for this team at some point or another. The Red Wings' 44.4% expected goals share is ahead of only the Blues, Sharks and Blackhawks, and their high-danger chances share isn't any better. If Detroit is going to reach the postseason, it will be a white-knuckle ride to get there. -- 41-32-9
13 Lightning Nikita Kucherov is battling sore shoulders these days because he has been lifting the Lightning into playoff position all season. Kucherov just had his 10-game point streak snapped, but he is still the leader in the Art Ross Trophy race with 94 points. Given that Tampa would be nowhere near a playoff spot without him, Kucherov has to be a top-three Hart Trophy candidate with Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews vying for the award too. 2 45-29-8
14 Flyers Last week, Sean Couturier was named the 20th captain in Flyers history, and that honor was well-deserved. Couturier missed most of 2021-22 and all of 2022-23 after undergoing back surgery, and he has managed to come back and play at a high level this season. Couturier is back to being a strong two-way center, and he is a perfect player to lead the next generation of Flyers as the franchise keeps building. 1 38-33-11
15 Kings If ice cold is cooler than being cool, then Kevin Fiala is cooler than ice cold. Fiala has not recorded a point in his last five games, but the Kings have still managed to win four of those games. In a way, that is probably good news for Los Angeles, knowing that it can still win without one of its top playmakers chipping in on the scoreboard. That said, the Kings need Fiala in order to pull away from the playoff bubble in the last 28 games. 5 43-27-11
16 Devils I will take a break from harping on the Devils' goaltending issues to say that Simon Nemec is so much fun to watch on defense. The 20-year-old rookie made a slick play to earn an assist in Tuesday night's loss to the Capitals, and he is now up to 15 points in 34 games. Nemec has had a few rookie moments, but for the most part, it looks like he is going to be a superstar in just a few years. -- 38-39-5
17 Flames The Flames' three straight regulation losses last week might have been enough to solidify their status as trade deadline sellers, if that wasn't already the case. Calgary has a handful of players, especially Jacob Markstrom and Noah Hanifin, that would be quite popular at the trade deadline. GM Brad Treliving has the opportunity to load up on draft capital and stock the prospect pool in the next few weeks. -- 37-39-5
18 Predators After getting completely dismantled by the Stars in a 9-2 loss at home, Predators GM Barry Trotz chose to cancel the team's trip to see U2 at The Sphere during the road trip stop in Las Vegas. The players were so excited they didn't have to watch U2 play live that they won a pivotal road game against the Blues, 5-2, on Saturday. Then, they took down the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday. Now that's how you motivate a team. 1 47-30-5
19 Blues St. Louis had been one of the hotter teams in the NHL over the last month, but that came to a screeching halt over the holiday weekend. The Blues dropped a critical home game against the Predators on Saturday before falling to the Maple Leafs on Monday. The Blues really need to pick up a win against the Islanders on Thursday because eight of their next nine games after that are on the road. 4 43-33-6
20 Wild I'm not sure whether the Wild will make the playoffs, but I do know they played in the most glorious hockey game these eyes have laid eyes on in quite some time. After going down 5-3 against the Canucks on Monday, Minnesota rattled off five straight goals. Then they scored two more for a 10-7 win. Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek both had hat tricks. It was a true offensive bonanza. Now if they just get that much offense every night to make up for shaky goaltending. 3 39-32-10
21 Senators The Senators have been playing decent hockey over the last six weeks, but their goaltending situation remains among the worst in the NHL. Joonas Korpisalo has allowed 16.9 goals above average, which ranks 91st in the league. His .797 high-danger save percentage slots him in at 53rd. That paints a sobering picture, especially since the Senators still own Korpisalo $4 million per year over the next four years. 3 37-41-4
22 Kraken Joey Daccord has played well enough to get some Vezina Trophy recognition this season, which is a refreshing change of pace for a Kraken team that has been plagued by below average goaltending for most of its existence. In his 38 games, Daccord has saved 19.7 goals above average, which is only behind Connor Hellebuyck. If Daccord could get some run support, Seattle might be in a playoff spot. 1 33-35-13
23 Capitals Max Pacioretty has now played 19 games with the Capitals, and he has looked rusty, as you would expect from a player coming off two Achilles injuries in the span of a year. Pacioretty has found the back of the net just once, but he has been facilitating some offense with nine assists. As the playoff race intensifies, the Capitals can only hope that Pacioretty finds his scoring touch as he gets more comfortable. 4 40-31-11
24 Sabres One of the most disappointing parts about this season for the Sabres has been the play of Alex Tuch, who was excellent for them last year. In 48 games, Tuch has scored 15 goals while adding 22 assists. That represented a notable step back from the 36 goals and 43 assists he posted in 2022-23. Buffalo has more problems than Tuch's struggles this season, but it will need him to hit another gear if the franchise hopes to end its playoff drought in 2024-25. 2 39-37-6
25 Islanders I'm going to be bold enough to say that Noah Dobson deserves to be a Norris Trophy finalist. Dobson is quietly having an excellent season on a highly mediocre team, and he leads the Isles in assists (51) and points (58). Outside of the points, the Isles also have a plus-20 goal differential at five-on-five when Dobson is in the game. That is a preposterous number considering how bad the Islanders' team defense has been. -- 39-27-16
26 Penguins The Penguins suffered yet another devastating loss on Tuesday night. This one was an overtime defeat at the hands of the Islanders at home, and the power play converted on zero of its three opportunities. At this point, it's really hard to justify the Penguins holding onto Jake Guentzel and any other pending free agents through the trade deadline. 4 38-32-12
27 Ducks This may not come as much of a shock, but Alex Killorn is having a hard time adjusting in his first season with the Ducks. I guess that's what happens when you go from a perennial Cup contender to one of the worst franchises in the league. Killorn has just six goals in 36 games and is on pace to finish with the lowest total since his rookie season. Killorn still has three years left on his contract at $6.25 million per season, so the Ducks need to get more help around him this offseason in order to maximize what the veteran winger has left in the tank. 3 26-50-5
28 Blue Jackets The Blue Jackets have fired GM Jarmo Kekalainen, who served in that role since 2013, with the team in the midst of another season spent in the NHL's basement. Whoever replaces Kekalainen will have an intriguing collection of prospects, including Adam Fantilli, but they will also have to work around some rather large contracts. 3 27-43-12
29 Sharks Filip Zadina had recorded just one assist in his last nine games when he dropped a four-point game on the Flames last week. Adding Zadina in the offseason was a good low-risk gamble by the Sharks, but things haven't quite panned out for the former No. 6 overall pick. -- 19-53-9
30 Canadiens The Canadiens may be a long way from the top in the power rankings, but it's not hard to find positives. Nick Suzuki has been playing very well lately, and he has now found the scoresheet in 10 straight games. Over that stretch, Suzuki has eight goals and eight assists. As a result of this recent hot streak, Suzuki is knocking on the food of becoming a point-per-game player. 2 30-36-16
31 Coyotes Remember when the Coyotes were actually in the NHL playoff race? Those were fun times. Arizona has completely removed itself from the postseason discussion with 10 straight losses, including five in a row in regulation. The wheels have come off rapidly in the desert. 7 36-41-5
32 Blackhawks Connor Bedard is back, so that's cool. The Blackhawks have one win in February. They are very bad. Rinse. Repeat. Let's just get to the NHL Draft Lottery already. -- 23-53-5