NHL standings: Blues and Bruins burn as Canadians collapse

We can not say enough as we approach the deadline for NHL exchanges and for the teams to prepare for the final game of the 2018-19 season.

First: The Tampa Bay Lightning deserves all the attention it receives. They are a tired story now, right? They have been leading for months. Wait a second. Take a second to think about the titles they would play if they played baseball or basketball – other sports requiring long seasons. And do not try to write this by suggesting that Tampa is not as dominant as the powers of the NBA or MLB that guarantee the hype. Let us remind you that they work with a plus-77 goal differential. Their total regulatory losses have not yet reached double digits at home and on the outside. And their best player could reach 125 points. It's absurd.

Second: Although the Lightning is very clearly the No. 1 in the NHL, nothing says who will come out of the five to seven teams in contention for the first place in the playoffs. That's the case almost every year, of course, but this week alone, our Power rankings will rank two surprise shots from the Bluins and Boston Bruins. We know Boston have been a playoff favorite for a while, but with top scorer David Pastrnak out of action, the Bruins started playing their best hockey of the year. Meanwhile, St. Louis is out of the shadows behind rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington and could be one of the top 10 teams coming next week.

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All this is presented in this week 's NHL order, which also includes a tumble of the Montreal Canadiens, who eventually ran into the top competition:

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