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CBS Sports

We have arrived at the final week of the NHL regular season. Before we look ahead to the playoffs, let's take some time to review what we have seen over the last 80 games or so. In today's power rankings, we will slap a grade on each team's regular season.

It's pretty easy to pick out the star students in the NHL because they have been at the top of the rankings for the last two months. The Avalanche and Panthers managed to exceed even the high expectations placed upon them in the preseason. Ultimately, they will be judged by what happens in the postseason, but their regular seasons are worthy of commendation.

On the other end of the curve, there were more than a few teams that just fell flat. The Islanders debuted near the top of these power rankings before taking a nosedive sometime around puck drop on opening night. The Isles and the rest of the flunkies will want to forget this season as quickly as possible.

With the book closing on the regular season, here are the latest NHL Power Rankings:

Biggest Movers
4 Kings
4 Maple Leafs
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1 Panthers A+ | It's hard to enter a season with high expectations and not only deliver on them, but exceed them. That's what the Panthers did. In addition to being the most exciting team in the league, Florida was also dominant from start to finish. The Panthers put their elite forward group in position to succeed and it currently averages over 4.2 goals per game as a result. -- 0-0-0
2 Flames A+ | There were reasons for optimism ahead of this season in Calgary, but there were also some serious questions. It's safe to say that the Flames answered those pretty emphatically by cruising to a Pacific Division crown. With an expected goals share of 55.32% at five-on-five, Calgary has skated circles around opponents on a nightly basis. 1 0-0-0
3 Avalanche A+ | Much of what I said about the Panthers applies to the Avalanche, too. Colorado was a clear Stanley Cup favorite in the preseason, and that has remained the case all year. Now, the Avs will enter the playoffs with a lot of pressure after failing to advance past the second round in the last few postseasons. 1 0-0-0
4 Blues A | After a middling 2020-21 season and getting swept by the Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs, it looked like the Blues' time as a contender had slipped away. That's clearly not the case, as St. Louis has bounced back in a major way and will finish the regular season with well over 100 points. Breakout years from Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas have helped facilitate that. 2 0-0-0
5 Rangers A | Through the first half of the season, I was waiting for the Rangers to come back down to Earth because their underlying numbers weren't great. It seemed like Igor Shesterkin was really carrying the team. However, New York proved that it was able to overcome poor possession numbers and keep winning hockey games. Despite my skepticism, New York has been very formidable from start to finish. -- 0-0-0
6 Wild A | The Wild have been high in these power rankings throughout the season. Like most every other team in the league, Minnesota did hit a few ruts throughout the season, but it has generally been one of the NHL's best squads. More specifically, Kirill Kaprizov has been truly exhilarating to watch en route to topping the 100-point mark. 1 0-0-0
7 Lightning A+ | Not satisfied with winning the last two Stanley Cups, the Lightning look fully capable of making it three in a row. Tampa Bay did get off to a bit of a slow start, but a rejuvenated Steven Stamkos and a healthy Victor Hedman helped lead the way as the Bolts shook off that tough start. Now they are making folks in Toronto awfully nervous. 2 0-0-0
8 Maple Leafs A | Besides some inconsistent goaltending, the Maple Leafs have looked like a bona fide contender this year. That's probably because Auston Matthews has taken his game to another level and should be named the MVP this summer. His 58 goals lead the NHL, and Matthews has made this regular season a fun one for Leafs fans. That said, they have their eyes on the prize, and a first-round matchup with Tampa is pretty daunting. 4 0-0-0
9 Oilers A- | Fans in Edmonton were sweating for a while in the middle of the season. Poor goaltending was tanking the Oilers, and it looked like they may not even make the playoffs. However, the goaltending finally stabilized, and the team has closed the regular season on a hot streak. In that stretch, Edmonton has shown that it can be a very dangerous team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl playing at their peak. 1 0-0-0
10 Hurricanes A+ | It might be tough to tell due to where they currently sit in these rankings, but the Hurricanes have had another great season under head coach Rod Brind'Amour. They are at 112 points with two games remaining, and in some years that could've put Carolina in contention for the President's Trophy. The most impressive thing about his Canes team is how great Freddie Andersen has been between the pipes. 2 0-0-0
11 Capitals B+ | Depth scoring and goaltending have both been issues for the Capitals at times throughout the season, but they have been able to overcome those thanks in large part to the efforts of Alex Ovechkin. I will be rolling around the nursing home in my scooter, and Ovechkin will still be scoring 50 goals in the NHL every year. -- 0-0-0
12 Bruins B+ | To this point in the regular season, the Bruins' 57.16% expected goals rate at five-on-five is the best mark in the league. That underlying process didn't always lead to results, and that could have something to do with a lack of finishing down the lineup, but Boston is still an incredibly solid team. The question is will that be good enough for a deep postseason run? 2 0-0-0
13 Penguins B+ | For the first three-fourths of the season, the Penguins were hanging around with some of the NHL's elite teams. However, over the last 20 games or so, Pittsburgh has lost ground in the Metro Division. The Penguins have done well to give themselves a good shot at another playoff run in what might be the final year with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang all together. 1 0-0-0
14 Kings A | Not much was expected out of this Kings team in 2021-22. It was obvious that the rebuild was coming along nicely, but no one saw a potential top-three finish in the Pacific Division after the team tallied just 49 points in 56 games last season. In addition to some promising young players, the Kings have been powered by new additions in Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson and revitalized veterans in Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty. 4 0-0-0
15 Predators B | The Predators appeared to be a bubble team before the season started, and that is where they stand. Nashville does get credit for being on the right side of the bubble and for the way it got there. After so many years of being known for lackluster forward groups, the Preds boast two 40-goal scorers in Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene. 1 0-0-0
16 Stars B- | After narrowly missing out on the playoffs last season, the Stars are making their fans sweat it out again, and the same big issue plagues the team. Dallas has one line doing a vast majority of the work while everyone else holds on for the ride. That has put the team in a precarious position with just a few tilts remaining on the schedule. 3 0-0-0
17 Golden Knights D- | The Golden Knights looked like a playoff lock - and even a Stanley Cup contender - before the puck dropped on this season. Now, they may not even reach the postseason. After the team traded away Marc-Andre Fleury for next to nothing and did salary cap magic to trade for Jack Eichel, it would be a disaster for Vegas to miss the playoffs. The team does get some degree of leniency because of horrible injury luck. 2 0-0-0
18 Canucks C | It was a tale of two seasons for the Canucks. From opening night to Dec. 8, Vancouver was 8-15-2 and 23rd in the NHL in five-on-five expected goals share (47.89%). Then Bruce Boudreau took over, and the team has gone 30-15-9 with him behind the bench. Without such a disastrous start, Vancouver might be in the playoffs. 1 0-0-0
19 Blue Jackets C+ | I had extremely low expectations for the Blue Jackets before the season, and the public expected goals models suggest they were one of the worst teams in the league. However, Columbus was able to overcome some of that and remain competitive. The Jackets even have an opportunity to finish above .500 if they fare well in their last few games. 2 0-0-0
20 Senators C- | It's clear that the Senators still have a long way to go before they can really compete in the playoffs, but there were some reasons for optimism moving forward. Josh Norris currently sits at 34 goals, and Brady Tkachuk is one goal away from hitting 30 himself. Those two, combined with Tim Stützle and Thomas Chabot, form a strong foundation in Ottawa. 2 0-0-0
21 Islanders F | I went back and looked, and I had the Islanders fifth in my preseason power rankings. Yikes. They sank like a stone and never got close to that ranking again. In fairness to the Isles, this was an incredibly weird season. They started it with a 13-game road trip and were decimated by COVID protocols. Still, the team will have to do something in the offseason to address its complete lack of offense. 2 0-0-0
22 Sabres C- | Much like the Senators, it was by no stretch of the imagination a good season for the Sabres, but it was not as bad as I expected it would be. On top of that, there are plenty of reasons for the fanbase to be excited. Following his trade from the Golden Knights, Alex Tuch provided a bit of a spark for the Sabres. Tage Thompson is within arm's reach of 40 goals. Finally, Owen Power has officially made his Buffalo debut and has netted his first career goal. 1 0-0-0
23 Jets D | I didn't think the Jets were a playoff lock in 2021-22, but I did think they would be a little closer than they are. Winnipeg is 10 points out of a playoff spot with three games left. Once again, the Jets were nowhere near good enough on the defensive end. I thought they would be improved in that area this year, but they rank 25th in expected goals against (172.55). 3 0-0-0
24 Kraken F | Living up to the Golden Knights' debut season was always going to be a tall task, but the Kraken's season went off the rails early, and they never got it back. The goaltending was awful from wire to wire, and the offense eventually floundered too. Seattle is 30th in the league in expected goals for (136.00). -- 0-0-0
25 Red Wings C | Just a couple of years ago, the Red Wings had one of the worst seasons in recent history. As Steve Yzerman tries to rebuild this historic franchise, it took some strides forward. The Red Wings have a pair of Calder Trophy candidates in Mo Seider and Lucas Raymond. With Dylan Larkin, Jakub Vrana, and Tyler Bertuzzi also in the mix, Detroit is heading in the right direction. 4 0-0-0
26 Flyers F | The Flyers were pretty aggressive in the offseason, and it did not work out at all. Philadelphia is a bottom-10 team in expected goals for and expected goals against, and Alain Vigneault was fired in the middle of the season. The Flyers were one of the year's biggest disappointments, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. 4 0-0-0
27 Blackhawks F | The Blackhawks took some big swings in the offseason. They traded for Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones. Despite those big moves, the Chicago roster still had some glaring holes, and that showed right away. The Blackhawks got off to a brutal start and stayed near the bottom of the league for the entire season. Chicago has more big decisions to make this summer, except this time it has to do with star players Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. 1 0-0-0
28 Sharks F | San Jose is really in a tough spot as a franchise. The Sharks have shown this season that they are nowhere near being a playoff team, and they don't have much wiggle room with the salary cap to get any better. They also have a number of veterans on big contracts, which will make it difficult for the team to create any cap space in the near future. 3 0-0-0
29 Ducks C- | Like their Golden State counterparts in Los Angeles, the Ducks have been enduring a rebuild lately. While Anaheim's didn't bear fruit in the same way that the Kings' did this year, there is still a lot to like about this team. Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras will be a fun duo to watch in the near future, but the Ducks do need to get some more help around them. 4 0-0-0
30 Devils D+ | The Devils made a big splash in free agency by signing Dougie Hamilton, but that didn't result in a huge improvement in the standings. Frankly, New Jersey played better than its record may indicate, but poor goaltending plagued the team all year. When it comes to silver linings, there are plenty for the Devils because they have a handful of very talented players aged 23 or younger. 2 0-0-0
31 Canadiens D- | A year ago, the Canadiens made a stunning run to the Stanley Cup Final, but those good feelings didn't last long. Shea Weber missed the entire season due to injury, Carey Price missed a majority of the season to deal with personal matters, and the rest of the team crumbled without them. The Habs do avoid an F because of their surge after Martin St. Louis took over as head coach. 4 0-0-0
32 Coyotes F | The Coyotes were expected to be a bottom-two team in the league this season, and they certainly met those expectations. Arizona has very little to be excited about, and the franchise will play its games in a college arena next season. I guess if you want to take away any positives, it's that the Coyotes could kickstart another attempt at a rebuild with a No. 1 overall pick. -- 0-0-0