NHL Power Rankings(Nov. 5th-12th)

Even with the NHL season a month in, there are already surprises and expectancies from teams this year. Every week the top 10 teams will be ranked, in addition to an honorable mention team. 

  1. Washington Capitals (13-2-4)
  • Record over past week: 2-0-1
  • The Capitals have been looking like the Stanley Cup-winning Capitals from two seasons ago. Despite losing to the Coyotes in their most recent game, they managed to come back from a three-goal deficit to take the game into a shootout. The Capitals have managed to obtain at least one point in every game going back to October 14th. John Carlson has been the driving force, with the defenseman collecting six points over the past week. 

2. St. Louis Blues (12-3-3) 

  • Record over past week: 3-0-0
  • After starting the season with a pedestrian 5-3-3 record, the Blues have ramped it up, winning seven straight and nine of their last 10. Even without Tarasenko the offense has picked up the work nicely, led by forwards Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron, with the latter picking up a clutch OT goal against Calgary, his fifth game-winning goal this season. After bringing the brooms on their four-game road stretch, they head back home to play five of their next six. 

3. New York Islanders (12-3-1)

  • Record over past week: 2-0-1
  • Third place in this ranking does not give this team enough justice. If not for the two previous Stanley Cup winners, this team would be by far the number one team in the sport right now. Before blowing a three-goal lead to Pittsburgh at Barclays Centre, the Islanders were riding a ten-game winning streak. Even with the loss, though, the Islanders point streak is still intact, with their last 12 games being a net positive in the Eastern Conference point total. Center Matthew Barzal collected three points over the last week and currently has the best +/- of his young career (12). 

4. Boston Bruins (11-3-3)

  • Record over past week: 0-2-1
  • One week ago, the Bruins looked like world-beaters. Now they sit as losers of three straight, a streak they have not had since early March last season (including playoffs). The “perfection line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak have combined for four points (three goals, one assist) in that span. To make matters worse, goaltender Tukka Rask has allowed 10 goals, with his Save Percentage trickling down to .933. Even still, this team is too talented on all sides of the ice to continue this spiral. Boston has a chance for redemption against a shaky Florida Panthers team tonight at TD Garden, where the Bruins are 7-0-2. 

5. Edmonton Oilers (12-5-2)

  • Record over past week: 2-1-0
  • To keep it short, this team can score. With elite scorers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl combined with efficient playmakers in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, James Neal, and Zack Cassian, this team has generated offense, scoring 12 goals in the past week. The two questions for the Oilers coming into the season was whether they could get consistent wing help on offense and whether the goaltending would hold up. So far this season, both have been answered in a positive way, especially in regard to the latter; Goaltender Mikko Koskinen is currently fifth in the entire NHL in GAA (2.16). The million-dollar question though – is it sustainable? 

6. Calgary Flames (10-7-3) 

  • Record over past week: 2-0-1
  • The Flames are a predictable team in the sense that they are good at home (6-1-2) but sub-par on the road (4-6-1). During their three-game homestand, they scored 11 goals, spearheaded by winger Matthew Tkachuk, who scored three of them. Elias Lindholm, despite only collecting two assists in that stretch, has been a surprise in the goal department this year, as he currently has 10 and is on pace to shatter his previous career-high of 27 last year. 

7. Colorado Avalanche (10-5-2) 

  • Record over past week: 2-1-0
  • After five straight losses, the Avalanche found their stride again by dismantling the Nashville Predators 9-4 in addition to coming back against the Blue Jackets to win 4-2. Even still, the injury bug has still taken a bite, with goaltender Philip Grubauer missing his past couple games along with defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who played in only seven minutes during the Nashville game and did not play at all in the Blue Jackets one. Even with these injuries coupled with the Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen ones the team has stayed afloat, due in large part to forward Nathan MacKinnon and rookie defenseman Cale Makar. The Avalanche begin a five-game trip up north starting tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. 

8. Arizona Coyotes (10-6-2)

  • Record over past week: 1-2-1
  • Do the Coyotes pout and howl about missing the playoffs last season by the thinnest of margins? Nope. They just use it as fuel for this season. And it has shown. Specifically, they are third in goals allowed this season (44) behind the Islanders and Bruins (35 and 41, respectively), a notable improvement from four or five years ago. Even with three losses on the previous week, this team is young with sprinkled veteran leadership in just to add more flavor to the team. One of the chief bakers of the recipe for success? 30-year-old general manager John Chayka, who they gave a long-term extension yesterday. 

9. Philadelphia Flyers (10-5-2) 

  • Record over past week: 4-0-0
  • The Flyers propel themselves into the top-10 after going undefeated this past week. What is impressive about it? Three of the four teams made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season (Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins) with the fourth (Montreal Canadiens) just missing out. Even more impressive? Three of the four wins came in overtime or in the shootout, an area where the Flyers lost eight games in extra time last season. Perhaps the cherry on top? The Flyers had a combined record of 4-9 against them last season. Forward Travis Konecny had five total points in those four games (two goals, three assists) and is on pace to surpass his point total of 47 from last season. Two of the next three games for Philadelphia are against the Capitals and Islanders. Some potentially good news? Both games are at home, where the Flyers are 6-1-1. 

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (10-6-1) 

  • Record over past week: 2-1-0
  • The Penguins limp into the top-10 after winning two out of three last week, including a thrilling three-goal comeback against the Islanders. It came at a price though – Sidney Crosby has been dealing with a lower-body injury and is not expected to play tonight. How they generate offense without Crosby, especially in regard to the power play, will be critical, as the team even with Crosby ranked 28th in PP% (12.5%). Center Jake Guentzel will be key, who has two of the team’s six power-play goals. 

Honorable Mention: Tampa Bay Lightning (8-5-2) 

  • Record over past week: 2-0-0
  • For a team that is currently 21st in total points, why put them as the honorable mention? Simple. They are starting to look like the team that won the President’s Trophy last year. In the Global Series, they swept the Buffalo Sabres to give them two straight wins, a feat they have done only one other time this season. Through solid offensive performances from across the ice to good-enough goaltending, the Lightning now sit at a goal differential of 0. With a clean slate coming back from Sweden in addition to gaining ground in the Atlantic Division, Tampa Bay might have found the bolt of energy they needed to find a groove. 

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