Welcome to the newest addition to Prime Time Sports Talk, NHL power rankings. Every two weeks, a new set of power rankings will come out on the NHL. With the season just beginning, these are the beginning adjustments after the preseason rankings.
1. Washington Capitals (2-0-1) Previous Rank: 1
The Capitals remain at the top after a strong opening week. With wins over the Bruins and Knights, their one loss came against their archrival Penguins in an overtime 7-6 thriller. Alex Ovechkin picked up right where he left off, and the Capitals look immune to Stanley Cup hangover early on.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-0-0) Previous Rank: 2
The Lightning have only played one game in the young season in an overtime win against the upstart Panthers. The Bolts look poised to round into Stanley Cup favorite form, with G Andrei Vasilevskiy continuing to be a rock in net with 42 saves Saturday.
3. Winnipeg Jets (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 4
The Jets made it to the Conference Finals last year on the strength of their youth. They started the new campaign with a resounding win over the revamped St. Louis Blues before getting blown out by the Dallas Stars. They beat the Kings in their last game, with second year player Kyle Connor already with three goals on the season.
4. San Jose Sharks (2-2-0) Previous Rank: 3
The Sharks were Western Conference favorites heading into the year, but have disappointed dropping their opener to the Anaheim Ducks. Erik Karlsson has three points in four games, but goaltender Martin Jones needs to button up in order for the Shark Tank to be rocking come May and June once again. Early goal of the year candidate Tomas Hertl with a sweet opening night move on Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler
5. Nashville Predators (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 5
The Predators were looking for a second straight Stanley Cup appearance last year, but were bested by the Jets in a seven game thriller. To start the season, the team is leaning heavily on their strength; defense. Matthias Eckholm, Ryan Ellis and P.K. Subban have combined for eight points in three games, and continue to be the backbone of a deep Predators team along with captain Roman Josi.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs (3-1-0) Previous Rank: 6
With John Tavares now in the fold, the Leafs have exploded in offense to start the year. Auston Matthews has seven goals in 4 games, and Mitch Marner has eight points to his name. This offseason will be tumultuous with the problem of paying so many young stars. But for now, fans north of the border have something to cheer about until their inevitable playoff demise.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (1-1-0) Previous Rank: 8
The Penguins got their doors blown off by the upstart Canadiens in their second game, with Matt Murray surrendering five goals the game after a 7-6 barn burner of a win against the Caps. Murray needs to regain his back-to-back Cup winning form in order for the Penguins to go far, but the offense is definitely producing, paced as always by stalwarts Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
8. Anaheim Ducks (3-0-1) Previous Rank: 15
It would be easy to believe that without (albeit old) franchise cornerstone Corey Perry, the Ducks would have tough sledding in the beginning part of the season. However, they opened with a statement win in San Jose and their only loss was in a shootout against the Detroit Red Wings. Tied for the league lead in points with the Carolina Hurricanes, the Ducks for once haven’t been led by grizzled vets, but instead young guns in Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg.
9. Boston Bruins (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 7
The Bruins got flat out smoked in their 7-0 demolition at the hands of the Capitals on opening night. They followed that up with solid wins against the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres, but still haven’t beaten a quality opponent. The good news? A top line with 18 points and led by Brad Marchand and his seven assists, have an incredibly easy October schedule and need to bank points before the harder games against their Eastern Conference rivals.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 12
The Jackets were expected to be firmly entrenched in the playoff picture once again, but the cloud of Artemi Panarin is expected to hang over this team. Panarin could be dealt before the trade deadline, but for now he continues to produce on a Jackets team that continues to look up at the Penguins and Capitals in the crowded Metropolitan division.
Here are the rest of your power rankings:
11. Los Angeles Kings — (1-1-1) Previous Rank: 11
12. Vegas Golden Knights (1-3-0) Previous Rank: 9
13. Dallas Stars (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 19
14. St. Louis Blues (0-1-1) Previous Rank: 10
15. Carolina Hurricanes (3-0-1) Previous Rank: 23
16. Chicago Blackhawks (2-0-1) Previous Rank: 24
17. Philadelphia Flyers (2-2-0) Previous Rank: 14
18. Buffalo Sabres (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 22
19. Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 18
20. Minnesota Wild (0-1-1) Previous Rank: 13
21. Florida Panthers (0-0-1) Previous Rank: 16
22. New Jersey Devils (1-0-0) Previous Rank: 17
23. Calgary Flames (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 20
24. Montreal Canadiens (1-0-1) Previous Rank: 28
25. Arizona Coyotes (1-2-0) Previous Rank: 25
26. Ottawa Senators (1-2-1) Previous Rank: 31
27. New York Islanders (2-1-0) Previous Rank: 29
28. Detroit Red Wings (1-2-0) Previous Rank: 26
29. Vancouver Canucks (1-2-0) Previous Rank: 30
30. Edmonton Oilers (0-1-0) Previous Rank: 21
31. New York Rangers (0-3-0) Previous Rank: 27