Super 16: Avalanche finish season No. 1 in power rankings

Not surprisingly, the Colorado Avalanche are the unanimous choice to be the No. 1 team in the final Super 16 power rankings of the 2021-22 NHL season.

After all, the Avalanche are parading the Stanley Cup through Denver on Thursday, a party befitting a championship team that went 16-4 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 2, another unsurprising nod by the 14 participating NHL.com writers and editors to the team that Colorado defeated in the Stanley Cup Final.

But where does it go from there in the final wrap-up of the season?

To create the NHL.com power rankings, each of the 14 participating staff members puts together his or her version of what they think the Super 16 should look like. Those are submitted and a point total assigned to each. 

The team that is selected first is given 16 points, second gets 15, third 14, fourth 13 and so on down to No. 16, who gets one point. 

Here is the final Super 16 of this season, encompassing regular season and postseason success and failures:

1. Colorado Avalanche (56-19-7)

Total points: 224

Rank on April 28: No. 2

The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001 with a six-game victory against the Lightning. They are the sixth team to win the Cup with four or fewer losses in the playoffs since 1987, when the NHL adopted the best-of-7 format for all four rounds. Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as the most valuable player of the postseason with 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists). He also won the Norris Trophy given to the best defenseman in the NHL. Colorado finished first in the Central Division.

Video: Check out every Avalanche goal from Stanley Cup run

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (51-23-8)

Total points: 209

Rank on April 28: No. 6

The Lightning reached the Final for the third straight season, the first team to do that since the Edmonton Oilers from 1983-85. They fell two wins short from becoming the first team since the New York Islanders (1980-83) to win the Stanley Cup in three straight seasons. Tampa Bay was third in the Atlantic Division.

3. New York Rangers (52-24-6)

Total points: 186

Rank on April 28: No. 9

The Rangers reached Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final before bowing out of the playoffs in a 2-1 loss at the Lightning, their fourth straight defeat after winning the first two games of the series. It was the only time this season the Rangers lost more than three games in a row. They got to the conference final by coming back from 3-1 down against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round and 3-2 against the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round. New York finished second in the Metropolitan Division. Igor Shesterkin won the Vezina Trophy voted as the best goalie in the NHL.

Video: Igor Shesterkin wins Vezina Trophy for best goalie

4. Edmonton Oilers (49-27-6)

Total points: 158

Rank on April 28: No. 11

The Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Final with a five-game win against the Calgary Flames, the first “Battle of Alberta” series since 1991, before they were swept by the Avalanche. They were second in the Pacific Division and won the first round in seven games against the Los Angeles Kings. Connor McDavid (33 points) and Leon Draisaitl (32 points) were the top two scorers in the playoffs despite playing four fewer games than Makar, who was third with 29.

5. Carolina Hurricanes (54-20-8)

Total points: 157

Rank on April 28: No. 3

The Hurricanes were 7-1 at home and 0-6 on the road in the playoffs, their lone home loss in Game 7 against the Rangers, 6-2. They played the entire postseason without goalie Frederik Andersen, who was out with an MCL tear sustained April 16. Carolina finished first in the Metropolitan Division.

6. St. Louis Blues (49-22-11)

Total points: 153

Rank on April 28: No. 8

The Blues were the only team other than the Lightning to defeat the Avalanche in the playoffs. They lost to Colorado in six games in the second round, including 3-2 in Game 6 at home May 27 two nights after staying alive with a 5-4 overtime win on the road. They also won a six-game series against the Minnesota Wild in the first round. St. Louis finished third in the Central Division.

Video: STL@MIN, Gm5: Tarasenko puts home Buchnevich’s dish

7. Florida Panthers (58-18-6)

Total points: 145

Rank on April 28: No. 1

The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy as the best team in the regular season with 122 points and a playoff series for the first time since 1996, defeating the Washington Capitals in six games in the first round, but were swept by the Lightning in the second round, scoring three goals in the four games. They led the NHL with 4.11 goals per game in the regular season. Andrew Brunette, Florida’s coach after replacing Joel Quenneville, was replaced by Paul Maurice on June 22.

8. Calgary Flames (50-21-11)

Total points: 143

Rank on April 28: No. 4

The Flames needed seven games, including overtime in Game 7, to get through the first round against the Dallas Stars before a five-game loss to the Oilers. Jacob Markstrom, who finished second behind Shesterkin in the Vezina Trophy voting, allowed 24 goals to Edmonton for a 5.12 goals-against average and .852 save percentage. The Flames finished first in the Pacific Division.

Video: CGY@DAL: Markstrom makes stellar pad save on Pavelski

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (54-21-7)

Total points: 128

Rank on April 28: No. 5

The Maple Leafs failed to advance beyond of the first round for the sixth straight season, losing to the Lightning after leading the best-of-7 series 3-2. They have not won a playoff series since 2004. Auston Matthews won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the leading goal scorer in the NHL during the regular season (60) and the Hart Trophy voted as most valuable player. Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division.

Video: Auston Matthews wins Hart Trophy for NHL MVP

10. Minnesota Wild (53-22-7)

Total points: 88

Rank on April 28: No. 7

The Wild acquired goalie Marc-Andre Fleury before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline and he started the first five games of the first round. Fleury was 2-3 with a 3.04 GAA and .906 save percentage. Cam Talbot played Game 6, allowed four goals on 26 shots and the Wild lost 5-1 to end their season in disappointing fashion. They set team records for wins (53), points (113) and goals scored (305) in the regular season, finishing second in the Central Division.

11. Pittsburgh Penguins (46-25-11)

Total points: 77

Rank on April 28: No. 13

The Penguins played three goalies against the Rangers and still nearly won the first round before losing Game 7 in overtime. Casey DeSmith started Game 1 but sustained a core muscle injury in the second overtime that required season-ending surgery. Louis Domingue, who played most of the season in the American Hockey League, replaced him and played through Game 6. Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh’s No. 1 goalie who was out with a lower-body injury, returned for Game 7. Sidney Crosby was also injured in Game 5 and the center did not play Game 6. The Penguins finished third in the Metropolitan Division.

12. Boston Bruins (51-26-5)

Total points: 69

Rank on April 28: No. 10

The Bruins couldn’t get out of the first round because they never found a way to win in Carolina. They won their three home games in the series but lost all four on the road, including Game 7, 3-2. Boston finished fourth in the Atlantic Division. Following the series, the Bruins revealed that forward Brad Marchand (hip surgery), and defensemen Charlie McAvoy (shoulder surgery) and Matt Grzelcyk (shoulder surgery) will be out for start of next season. Boston fired coach Bruce Cassidy on June 6 and has not yet named his replacement.

13. Dallas Stars (46-30-6)

Total points: 56

Rank on April 28: No. 16

The Stars likely wouldn’t have made it even to Game 7 of the first round without Jake Oettinger proving his worth as a No. 1 goalie. Oettinger allowed 13 goals in the seven games against Calgary, a 1.81 GAA and .954 save percentage despite facing 285 shots, an average of 41.0 per game. The Stars hired coach Peter DeBoer on June 21 to replace Rick Bowness, who resigned May 20, five days after Game 7 against the Flames.

Video: DAL@CGY, Gm7: Oettinger stands on head in Game 7

14. Los Angeles Kings (44-27-11)

Total points: 46

Rank on April 28: No. 14

The Kings made the playoffs as the third-place team in the Pacific Division and led the first round 3-2 after a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 5. But they lost Game 6, 4-2, and Game 7, 2-0. Los Angeles did not have defenseman Drew Doughty in the playoffs. He sustained a wrist injury March 7 that eventually required season-ending surgery April 11.

15. Washington Capitals (44-26-12)

Total points: 30

Rank on April 28: No. 12

The Capitals had 100 points in the regular season, fewest among the eight teams that made the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. They lost the first round to the Panthers in six games. 

16. Nashville Predators (45-30-7)

Total points: 26

Rank on April 28: No. 15

The Predators got to the playoffs as the second wild card from the West with 97 points. They would have played the Flames in the first round if they held onto a 4-0 lead against the Arizona Coyotes in the last game of the regular season April 29. But the Coyotes scored five unanswered goals to win 5-4, knocking the Predators into the second wild-card position, which meant playing the Avalanche in the first round. Juuse Saros, who was third in the Vezina Trophy voting, was unavailable because of an ankle injury and Nashville was swept by Colorado.

Others receiving points: Vegas Golden Knights, 9

Dropped out: None

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM 

AMALIE BENJAMIN 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Calgary Flames; 5. Edmonton Oilers; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Boston Bruins; 11. Dallas Stars; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Pittsburgh Penguins; 14. Nashville Predators; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Washington Capitals

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Edmonton Oilers; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. St. Louis Blues; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Minnesota Wild; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Washington Capitals; 15. Boston Bruins; 16. Nashville Predators

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Edmonton Oilers; 5. St. Louis Blues; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Boston Bruins; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Minnesota Wild; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Nashville Predators

TOM GULITTI 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. St. Louis Blues; 5. Edmonton Oilers; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Boston Bruins; 13. Dallas Stars; 14. Washington Capitals; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Nashville Predators

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. New York Rangers; 6. St. Louis Blues; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Calgary Flames; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Edmonton Oilers; 11. Boston Bruins; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Washington Capitals; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Nashville Predators; 16. Vegas Golden Knights

ROBERT LAFLAMME 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Edmonton Oilers; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. New York Rangers; 6. Calgary Flames; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Los Angeles Kings; 13. Boston Bruins; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Nashville Predators

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Toronto Maple Leafs; 4. New York Rangers; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. St. Louis Blues; 7. Minnesota Wild; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Edmonton Oilers; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Boston Bruins; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Washington Capitals; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Nashville Predators

TRACEY MYERS 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Edmonton Oilers; 5. St. Louis Blues; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Boston Bruins; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Washington Capitals; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Minnesota Wild; 16. Nashville Predators

BILL PRICE

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. St. Louis Blues; 5. Edmonton Oilers; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Los Angeles Kings; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Boston Bruins; 13. Minnesota Wild; 14. Nashville Predators; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Washington Capitals

SHAWN P. ROARKE 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. St. Louis Blues; 4. Calgary Flames; 5. Edmonton Oilers; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Carolina Hurricanes; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Boston Bruins; 13. Nashville Predators; 14. Vegas Golden Knights; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Los Angeles Kings

DAN ROSEN 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. St. Louis Blues; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Edmonton Oilers; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Calgary Flames; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Toronto Maple Leafs; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Boston Bruins; 15. Nashville Predators; 16. Washington Capitals

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. New York Rangers; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Edmonton Oilers; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Dallas Stars; 12. Vegas Golden Knights; 13. Nashville Predators; 14. Boston Bruins; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins

PAUL STRIZHEVSKY

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Carolina Hurricanes; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. New York Rangers; 6. Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. Calgary Flames; 8. Edmonton Oilers; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Boston Bruins; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Nashville Predators

MIKE ZEISBERGER 

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Edmonton Oilers; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Calgary Flames; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Pittsburgh Penguins; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. Boston Bruins; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Nashville Predators

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