It’s once again time for another edition of NHL Power Rankings. There is a new number one team, and some teams rose up this week. Remember, a loss or win doesn’t always mean that one team will be ranked higher than a team they beat or lost to. Let’s get into it.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 11/7
No.32: Arizona Coyotes (+0)
Some things never change. The Arizona Coyotes are once again in last place in this week’s rankings. They were able to finally pick up their first win of the season against the Kraken, but it doesn’t change much here. Their goal differential is at -30, still dead last, and they’ve scored 19 goals, also still dead last. This will be a rough year in the desert.
No.31: Chicago Blackhawks (+0)
Chicago somehow now has two wins on the year. Despite having a -20 goal differential and Seth Jones sitting at a -10 in the plus/minus category. Marc-Andre Fleury has looked really bad, too. The Windy City is in trouble right alongside the Coyotes. At least they have 28 goals. That’s a start.
No.30: Montreal Canadiens (+0)
And for the third time, the bottom three teams are the same teams as Montreal stays at 30. It’s great to see that Carey Price will be rejoining the team on Monday. The Canadiens will look to improve on their -19 goal differential and could be without Jonathan Drouin with an upper-body injury. With him tied for second on the team in points with seven, that could be a big blow. If the Canadiens want to get back on the right track, they’ll need to find other offensive contributors than Nick Suzuki.
No.29: Ottawa Senators (-4)
The Senators named Brady Tkachuk their captain, which is well deserved. That’s where the good news stops for the Senators. They are on a four-game losing streak, being outscored 20-9 during that streak. Their defense has been struggling to boot, with Thomas Chabot and Artem Zub being the only defensemen about even in plus/minus. Not to mention they have allowed the third-most goals per game averaging 3.64 goals. Last week, this team was a mystery with the hockey world waiting for a run, one way or the other. Well, they’ve gone on a run. And this one, unfortunately, took them in the wrong direction.
No.28: Seattle Kraken (-4)
After getting out of 28 for a week, the Kraken is right back here. Being the team that Arizona beats gets you back here. The offense has had contributions from everyone pretty evenly, but the Kraken is still without Jared McCann who is on the Covid-19 protocol. Philip Grubauer has started to get back to that Vezina Trophy finalist form, but the Kraken is still letting in 3.33 goals per game. There were questions about Seattle’s offense coming into it, but right now everything about this team is more questions than answers.
No.27: Vancouver Canucks (-1)
The Canucks continue their fall, only down a spot this time, to 27. Their penalty kill is an absolute mess, sitting dead last at 63.9 percent. On the offensive side, it’s been J.T. Miller and Conor Garland putting up 12 and 11 points, respectively. If they can figure out that penalty kill and get some more contributors on offense, Vancouver could work their way back up.
No.26: Colorado Avalanche (-8)
Yes, the Avalanche is here at 26. For full transparency, there’s a good chance that this will be a very short stay for the Avalanche. They just have so many injuries. Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews are still out, and now you can add Cale Makar to the mix. Their defense is suffering because it averaging 3.60 goals against per game, the fourth-worst in the league. Once they get healthy again, they’ll climb back up again.
No.25: Dallas Stars (+2)
Dallas is one of the big beneficiaries of the Avalanche sliding down as it brings the Stars up two spots in the rankings. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues on the Stars. They are tied for second least goals for with 24, and fourth-last in goals per game, scoring 2.18 goals on average. Miro Heiskanen has been on fire on the offensive end with ten points in as many games. Their offense needs a jump start and quickly.
No.24: Pittsburgh Penguins (-9)
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are still out, so the Penguins will continue to fall. It truly is a cause-and-effect scenario. Their offense is still extremely impressive averaging 3.30 goals per game. But the problem is they haven’t been winning as many games as they should have, even with that number of goals per game. Tristan Jarry has looked good so far this season, but Casey DeSmith has been not so good with a 4.47 GAA and a .878 save percentage. They’ll be back in the top half quickly.
No.23: Los Angeles Kings (+6)
The Kings are thriving off the performance of Anze Kopitar, who continues to prosper from the fountain of youth. It also helps that they are on a four-game winning streak. The only downside to that is they outscored their opponents 11-8. It adds up considering that they’re averaging 2.64 goals per game on the offensive end. They need to figure out how to score more goals, or this win streak will come to a screeching halt.
No.22: Vegas Golden Knights (-2)
Man, this Vegas team just can’t get healthy. Not only are Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Nolan Patrick still out, but add William Karlsson to that list as well. The injuries just keep piling up. And the defense hasn’t been having a good time either, with Vegas averaging 3.17 goals against per game, ninth-worst in the league. But also, welcome Jack Eichel to Vegas. Like they didn’t need any other offensive weapons.
No.21: Boston Bruins (+0)
The first team to stay put for a while, the Bruins stay at 21. Man, their offense needs to get going. Tied for second-last in goals for with 24, Brad Marchand needs the rest of his team to step up on offense. With 14 points in nine games, he is the only player in double digits. They have too much talent for their offense to struggle this much.
No.20: Buffalo Sabres (-13)
Now this feels like where the Sabres belong. A four-game losing streak sends the Sabres back down the ranks. Rasmus Asplund has looked great so far with ten points in 11 games. But Sabres fans are probably dancing in the streets now that the Eichel situation is over. They have one of the best powerplays in the league at 27.6 percent, fifth in the league. They’ve got some work to do to get back to those great heights, but the way they’ve been performing they could get there.
No.19: Detroit Red Wings (+3)
The Red Wings and the Sabres. Two teams that nobody expected to be this high up in the rankings. Yet here we are kicking off the teens with Detroit. Goodness, Lucas Raymond has been as dynamic as advertised. He has 13 points in as many games, tied for the team lead with Tyler Bertuzzi. Thomas Greiss and Alex Nedjelkovic are struggling slightly with a 3.22 combined GAA. And that’s reflected in their defensive stats, averaging 3.38 goals against per game. They keep this up, and Motown could be at the top of the charts.
No.18: Nashville Predators (+1)
Nashville’s offense is struggling a little bit currently, and that limits their ability to climb up the rankings. Their power play is still one of the best at 27 percent, seventh-best in the league. They need to get the offense started up again to get things back in gear. Juuse Saros has been solid for them, which certainly helps.
No.17: New Jersey Devils (-6)
The injury to Dougie Hamilton hurts this Devils team badly. Their offense is averaging 2.50 goals per game, sixth-least in the league. Jonathan Bernier has been good, but they need to find out who is backing him up. They are another team that needs to get their offense jump-started.
No.16: New York Islanders (+1)
For the second straight edition, the Islanders creep up one spot to 16. Ironically, their power play could use some work sitting at 16 percent which is eighth-worst in the league. But their defense has been solid letting in 24 goals, tied for fourth-best in the league. Ilya Sorokin has been fantastic with a 1.98 GAA and a .939 save percentage. If they can get their offensive side going again, these little creeps will become leaps.
No.15: San Jose Sharks (-7)
The Sharks make a slight stumble down to 15 this week. Their defense is still doing well with an average of 2.64 goals against per game. However, they are also dealing with quite the injury and protocol situation themselves. Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are all out. If they get healthy, they can get back to the top ten.
No.14: Anaheim Ducks (+14)
A new record. The Ducks have the new record for the biggest move, going from 28 to 14. A four-game win streak certainly raises a lot of people’s eyebrows. And one of those wins was a shutout. They have outscored opponents 15-4 during the streak, which is something they have needed to do all season. Troy Terry is continuing to stun the hockey world with 13 points in 11 games. John Gibson deserves a key to the city for all the times he’s stood on his head for this franchise too, by the way.
No.13: New York Rangers(-4)
Woof. Canada did not treat the Rangers well. They’re lucky they didn’t make a Sharks-like stumble this week. But boy did they come close. Being shut out by the Flames in the Saddledome and letting the Flames put six goals on the board is rough to be sure. Alexandar Georgiev needs to get his act together, too with a 4.26 GAA. For all you Rangers fans out there, check out our Rangers Week in Review series.
No.12: Washington Capitals (-6)
From a big rise to a big fall. The Capitals have one of the worst powerplays in the league, sitting at 17.5 percent, and that is one of the main reasons that they find themselves in this position. It doesn’t help that they’ve gone 4-2-4 in their last ten games. They have too much talent on that powerplay for it to be performing as poorly as it is.
No.11: Tampa Bay Lightning (+5)
The defending Stanley Cup champions keep looking better each week since their rough first. Steven Stamkos continues to be the offensive dynamo that he has been his whole career, when healthy. The defense is still a slight issue for the Lightning, with Victor Hedman leading the defensemen in plus/minus with a +3. If they can get that defense under control, they can get into the top ten.
No.10: Columbus Blue Jackets (+4)
The top ten starts with the Blue Jackets. A three-game win streak outscoring opponents 12-9 is certainly a nice start to earn your spot. Elvis Merzlikins has been doing very well this season with a 1.98 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Losing Patrik Laine with an oblique strain will certainly leave an impact, as he is second on the team in points with ten points in nine games.
No.9: Toronto Maple Leafs (+14)
The record has been tied. The Maple Leafs have shot up the ranks in large part due to their improvements on the defensive side. Averaging 2.67 goals against per game, that’s ninth-best in the league. And Leafs’ fans have finally welcomed Mitch Marner to the offense party as he now has 12 points in as many games. And Jack Campbell has continued to be outstanding. The Maple Leafs are finally giving their fans hope again.
No.8: Winnipeg Jets (+4)
Just missing out on the top five are the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets offense has been on fire to start the season, averaging 3.27 goals per game, tied for eighth-best in the league. But the play of Connor Hellebuyck is very concerning. He hasn’t even cleared the tarmac with a 3.42 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He is currently ill, so Eric Comrie is in his stead. The hockey world will have to wait and see how Comrie performs in his stead.
No.7: Philadelphia Flyers (+3)
The Flyers defense is continuing to be strong averaging 2.40 goals against per game, tied for fourth-best in the league. Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier are providing the offensive sparks for the Flyers they have their entire careers with 12 points in ten games. Losing Ryan Ellis could impact those numbers depending on when he is fully healthy and ready to play again, but the Flyers should be just fine.
No.6: Minnesota Wild (+7)
Wild fans have to have whiplash from this team. Kirill Kaprizov seems to have broken out of his funk quite nicely and now has ten points in ten games. Their goaltending is still very much an issue, but their offense has been firing on all cylinders. They are scoring 3.27 goals per game which is eighth-best in the league, and the main reason for their success. If they can get their defense in check, they can stay in the top ten for a while this time around.
No.5: St. Louis Blues (-2)
This isn’t a case of bad play necessarily contributing to a team moving down in the rankings, but other teams just having better surges. The Blues offense is still one of the most dynamic in the league, currently fourth in goals for per game at 3.70. They also have some injuries with Torrey Krug and Ryan O’Reilly out. Once they get healthy, they’ll be top three again.
No.4: Calgary Flames (+0)
It’s been quite a while since a team stayed put, and we end that trend here at four with the Calgary Flames. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Jacob Markstrom have been spectacular. Gaudreau and Lindholm each have 14 points in 11 games, and Markstrom continues to have a great second year in Calgary with a 1.65 GAA and a .942 save percentage. Hopefully, the Flames keep this trend up and maybe even get into the top three.
No.3: Edmonton Oilers(+2)
After a week at five, the Oilers take back the number three spot. Does Connor McDavid‘s goal against the Rangers ring any bells? Look it up on the off chance it hasn’t made its way to a social media feed. Oh, and Leon Draisaitl has 23 points in ten games. Mikko Koskinen has been much better in a contract year for him as well. The Oilers could be a real contender this year.
No.2: Carolina Hurricanes (-1)
Undefeated no more, the Canes slip down to number two. But they have still been fun to watch. Not only are they first in goals against with 20, but they are top ten in goals for total, and per game. Andrei Svechnikov has 14 points in ten games and is starting to make a name for himself. The way they look currently, they will be near, or at the top of the rankings for a long time.
No.1: Florida Panthers (+1)
You beat the last undefeated team, and you were already second in the rankings, you’ve earned number one. Even with injuries to Sergei Bobrovsky, Aleksander Barkov, and Sam Bennett, the Panthers are still first in goals total with 46. Their high-powered offense will keep them battling with the Hurricanes for the top spot for what should make an interesting season.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images