After the first edition of our NHL power rankings last week, things have been shaken to the core. Beginning this week, you will be able to see how many spots each team rose or fell in the rankings. As a reminder, these are updated weekly, so keep watch on your respective team from week to week. Keep in mind that a loss or win doesn’t always mean that one team will be ranked higher than the team they beat, or lost to.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 10/31.
No.32: Arizona Coyotes (+0)
Arizona looked better in their Halloween matchup against the undefeated Carolina Hurricanes, but better, in this case, is subjective for the Coyotes. Their goal differential is still the worst in the league at -26, and they have the least goals scored at 13. Karel Vejmelka has continued to be a bright spot, and probably will be one for the rest of the season.
No.31: Chicago Blackhawks (+0)
Remember, these rankings are based on what happens on the ice. Off the ice, of course, they finish dead last. On the ice, the Blackhawks still finish slightly above the Coyotes. Still, without a few pieces who are in the Covid-19 protocol, including Patrick Kane, it shows in the offense with a -20 goal differential. Seth Jones still hasn’t proven himself yet, and Marc-Andre Fleury and Kevin Lankinen have combined for a 4.05 GAA and a .877 save percentage.
No.30: Montreal Canadiens (+0)
Things are holding to form so far from last week with the Canadiens coming in at 30. Cole Caufield is continuing to struggle as is their offense as a whole. They are scoring the fourth-least goals per game, averaging 1.90 goals. On the other end, the Canadiens are allowing the fourth-most goals per game, averaging 3.40 goals. Jake Allen has started to rebound from a rough start as the starter, his defense just needs to help him more.
No.29: Los Angeles Kings (-3)
The first change is a negative one for the Los Angeles Kings as they slide from no.26 to no.29. Anze Kopitar is still on fire, but the loss of Drew Doughty from last week continues to hurt on both ends of the ice. The penalty kill has improved, going from 31st to 29th in the league at 69.2 percent, which is needed. Jonathan Quick so far has been putting up better numbers than Cal Petersen in net so far as well, which will need to change for any chance of success.
No.28: Anaheim Ducks (-7)
Not only did the Ducks take a massive slide in this week’s rankings, but so did their record as they lost three of their last four games. They were outscored 18-12 in those games. They’ve been close games, but Anaheim just hasn’t been able to get it done. The injury to Rickard Rakell certainly won’t make things easier.
No.27: Dallas Stars (-11)
Man, the Stars just can’t get anything going on the offensive end. 31st in goals for with 14, they are only one in front of the Coyotes. That also correlates to their goals per game 31st there as well with a 1.75 GPG average. Their defense is taking some baby steps backward as they now sit 13th in goals against per game averaging 2.75 goals. If they want to get back to the teens, that offense needs to come alive.
No.26: Vancouver Canucks (-12)
Much like their skid in these rankings, the momentum the Canucks had created has ground to a halt. On a three-game losing streak currently, Vancouver has been outscored 7-4 during this stretch. They’ve kept those games close, they just haven’t been able to find a way to finish them off. Their penalty kill might be a reason for that, as it sits at 72 percent which is 10th worst in the league. J.T. Miller has found his offensive form as of late which is good to see too.
No.25: Ottawa Senators (+0)
Even with the shifts around them, the Ottawa Senators stay put at No.25 in the rankings. Welcome back to the offense Drake Batherson as he now has eight points in seven games for the Sens. Matt Murray is on injured reserve, and Filip Gustavsson has looked good, while Anton Forsberg has not in his absence. We might be able to tell what kind of team they are if they can get some sort of extended run going, one way or the other.
No.24: Seattle Kraken (+4)
Finally a positive change. The Kraken have started to look strong during their current win streak, result against the Rangers on Halloween night TBD. They dominated the Canadiens and Wild on the offensive end, outscoring them 9-2 combined in those two games. Losing Jared McCann to the COVID protocol could be a big loss, as he currently leads the team in points with seven. Philipp Grubauer still has yet to find his form, and they’ll need him to do that soon.
No.23: Toronto Maple Leafs (+1)
They may have moved up a spot this week, but there are still plenty of concerns for Leafs fans. But let’s focus on the positives. Jack Campbell continues to look good and John Tavares leads the team in points. And there are all the positives. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner now have five points combined, which is better than one but still not great. Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl continue to struggle, posting a combined -14. Toronto could get used to being down in this portion of the rankings if things continue like this.
No.22: Detroit Red Wings (+0)
The Red Wings stay put here at 22. One of the big concerns right now is goaltending. The tandem of Alex Nedeljovic and Thomas Greiss have combined for a 3.19 GAA and a .902 save percentage. Not terrible numbers by any means, but not the greatest either. The youth movement continues to work in Detroit as Lucas Raymond and Mortiz Seider have combined for 17 total points. Keep watching this team as we go along.
No.21: Boston Bruins (-11)
The Bruins take a huge fall out of the top ten landing at 21. They ended the Panthers’ undefeated run with a shootout victory Saturday, but the offense has to be something of concern for Bruins fans. Boston are among the worst in the league in goals for per game averaging 2.43 goals, ninth-worst in the league. They have the talent to bring this team back into the top ten, that offense just needs to get back to its elite form.
No. 20: Vegas Golden Knights (+7)
Slowly but surely, the Golden Knights are working their way back up to the place they should be in these rankings. It’s all about getting everyone back healthy for this team. They are without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, Nolan Patrick, Mattias Janmark, and Jake Bischoff. Yikes, that’s a lot of scoring that they’re missing. They are tenth worst in goals for per game, averaging 2.50 goals but once they get some of these players back, that will eventually change.
No.19: Nashville Predators (+10)
Don’t look now but the Predators are starting to figure it out. Currently, on a three-game win streak, they have outscored their opponents 11-5. Connor Ingram looked great in his first NHL start last Sunday against Minnesota which is great to see for the Preds, especially with David Rittich in Covid-19 protocol. Their power play is still one of the best in the league ranking seventh at 26.9 percent as well.
No.18: Colorado Avalanche (+2)
The Avalanche have quickly become another team that have been hampered by injuries. Still, without Pavel Francouz and Devon Toews, they also were without Mikko Rantanen and Samuel Girard against Minnesota on Saturday and Thursday against St. Louis. Toews and Girard’s absences hurt that stellar defensive core who are currently seventh-worst in the league in goals allowed per game averaging 3.38 goals. Darcy Kuemper has looked great in net, which was something the hockey world was wondering how he would do.
No.17: New York Islanders (+1)
The Islanders are a tale of two ends. On the offensive end, they are certainly struggling to score averaging 2.43 goals for per game, the eighth-worst in the league. However, the defense is starting to get their act together. Currently ninth in goals against per game, averaging 2.43 goals. The top pairing of Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock are still struggling slightly combing for a +3 in plus/minus. But the Islanders are still a sneaky team.
No.16: Tampa Bay Lightning (+3)
The two-time defending champions make their way up to 16 in this week’s edition. Steven Stamkos continues to have great offensive output with 12 points in eight games. The defense is the main cause for concern with this team. Andrei Vasilevskiy has played well so far, but his defensive core in front of him hasn’t given him much to work with. The only defenseman with a 0.5 defensive point share value is Victor Hedman and he and Andrej Sustr are the only defensemen on the team that have a positive value in the plus/minus category, and they’re only at +1.
No.15: Pittsburgh Penguins (-10)
A big fall comes in once again, this time for the Penguins. They’ve been on a three-game losing skid in which they’ve been outscored 12-3 and were shut out by the Calgary Flames last Thursday. That performance especially took their goals per game average down to ninth in the league averaging 3.25 goals. Their penalty kill is still top-notch at 94.7 percent, but this scoring skid had to be taken into account for this week’s rankings.
No.14: Columbus Blue Jackets (-1)
The Blue Jackets continue the trend of negative shifters moving down to 15 from 13. Oliver Bjorkstrand has nine points so far, still leading the team. One of the biggest reasons they slid this week was their performance on Saturday against the Rangers. They just looked flat in that game. Elvis Merzlikins has continued to look great, but Joonas Korpisalo needs to improve his 3.54 GAA.
No.13: Minnesota Wild (-9)
Another team out of the top five with a big fall, the Minnesota Wild are a team that can give you whiplash. When they look good, they look like they could be a Stanley Cup contender. When they look bad, they look like one of the worst offenses in the league. Kirill Kaprizov has had a rough stretch over the past three games, looking slow to every puck. He’ll need to get out of this funk he’s in and score some goals if the Wild want to get back up in the rankings. They also have been bitten with the injury bug as they are without leading scorer Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick due to the Covid-19 protocol, and Alex Goligoski and Jordan Greenway injured, Greenway for the long term. Kaapo Kahkonen has also not looked good so far.
No.12: Winnipeg Jets (+11)
The Jets have jetted up the power rankings this week to No.12 after riding a four-game win streak before being beaten in overtime Saturday by the San Jose Sharks. During the win streak, the Jets outscored their opponents 18-10. Their offense has started to click scoring 3.50 goals per game on average, good enough for eighth in the league. They are also ninth in goals for total with 29. Connor Hellebuyck is still not quite back to his usual self, and the defensive core is starting to figure things out. Once they get everything clicking, Winnipeg could be a very well-oiled machine.
No.11: New Jersey Devils (+1)
Sometimes it’s more about the eye tests than the statistics. The Devils have had multiple contributors on the offensive front with Pavel Zacha, Andreas Johnsson, and Dougie Hamilton all having five points so far, leading the team. They just need to find some consistency to cement themselves as a contender.
No.10: Philadelphia Flyers (+5)
We have entered the final ten, starting with the Philadelphia Flyers. Their offense has been great so far right now scoring the seventh most goals per game averaging 3.57 goals. Sean Couturier continues to have a big presence on the offensive side of the ice with nine points in seven games, leading the team. Carter Hart and Martin Jones have been a solid tandem so far, although Jones has had only two games of action. They’ve averaged a 2.57 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
No.9: New York Rangers (-2)
The Rangers stay in the top ten but do a little downshift. Their offense has still had struggles to start the season, scoring an average 2.44 goals per game, ninth-worst in the league. Adam Fox continues to be a star on the back end, not only leading the team with eight points but leading the team with a 0.9 defensive points share. He is also helping lead the defense to fourth-best in the league in goals against per game, averaging 2.11 goals against. Igor Shesterkin continues to look fantastic posting his first shutout of the season on Saturday. The Rangers are legit.
No.8: San Jose Sharks (+1)
How about the Sharks? They are continuing to impress, especially Timo Meier who has 11 points in eight games which leads the team. Their defense has been rock solid currently eighth in goals against per game averaging 2.38 goals. The tandem of Adin Hill and James Reimer have been great too averaging a 2.14 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
No.7: Buffalo Sabres (+4)
The Sabres are in the top 10. This is not a drill. Their defense has been stellar sitting at fifth in goals against per game averaging 2.13 goals. Their power play is also fifth in the league sitting at 27.3 percent, and their penalty kill is seventh in the league at 87.0 percent. Victor Olofsson has found his scoring touch with eight points in seven games, leading the team. And who knew a goaltending tandem of Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski would be fantastic in 2022? They’re averaging a 1.81 GAA and a .942 save percentage. It’s truly remarkable.
No.6: Washington Capitals (+2)
Just missing out on the top five are the Washington Capitals. Their offense, as expected, has been top-notch currently sitting fifth in goals for per game scoring an average 3.75 goals. Their total of 30 is currently fourth in the league. As usual, Alex Ovechkin continues to be an offensive dynamo scoring 15 points in eight games. They could have some trouble losing T.J. Oshie with a lower-body injury, but they have enough offensive firepower they should be just fine.
No.5: Edmonton Oilers (-2)
The positive mover streak comes to an end here with the Edmonton Oilers. It’s not that the team has been bad as of late, it’s just that there are some teams that have been playing better. Their power play is the best in the league at 47.8 percent and their penalty kill is third in the league at 90 percent. They’re also eighth in total goals with 28 and ninth in goals-against with 19. They are also fourth in goals for per game averaging four. Oh, and Connor McDavid has 16 points in seven games.
No.4: Calgary Flames (+13)
In the biggest move in the rankings so far, the Flames have absolutely shot up into the top five. A six-game winning streak will certainly do that for you. They are sixth in goals for per game with 3.63 and second in goals against per game averaging 1.88 goals. Jacob Markstrom has had a great start to his second season in Calgary with a 1.33 GAA and a .957 save percentage. Johnny Gaudreau has also found his offense with 11 points in eight games. The Flames could be sticking around up at the top.
No.3: St. Louis Blues (-1)
The Blues continue to score at a crazy clip. They are now first in the goals for per game category averaging 4.14 goals. They are also sixth in goals against per game with a 2.14 average. St. Louis is also tied for sixth in goals for with 29. David Perron, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jordan Kyrou all have nine points and are tied for the team lead in that category. Not the three individuals anyone thought would be at the top. They could be in for some rough water with Ryan O’Reilly in the Covid-19 protocol, but with their talent, they should be fine.
No.2: Florida Panthers (-1)
The undefeated streak ended for the Florida Panthers with a shootout loss to the Bruins on Saturday, but that doesn’t change the fact they are a threat to the league right now. They are first in goals for with 36 and tied for fourth in goals-against with 17. Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight have been incredible this season averaging a 1.86 GAA and a .940 save percentage. But even with all that, there is one team that’s better.
No.1: Carolina Hurricanes (+5)
The Carolina Hurricanes are now the last remaining undefeated team in the league. That earns you the top spot for a reason. They are first in goals against with 12 and second in goals for with 33. They are right behind St. Louis in goals for per game with 4.13, and are first in goals against per game averaging 1.50 goals. Frederik Andersen has also continued to be terrific with a 1.33 GAA and a .956 save percentage. The Hurricanes have stormed their way right to the top of the rankings.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
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