Rich 10 NHL rankings(Nov. 18th-24th)

Photo via David Berding/USA TODAY Sports

With a ton of exciting comebacks, upsets and news within the NHL realm, the power rankings this week have some familiar faces in addition to some new ones. With that in mind, let’s dive into the second installment of power rankings.

1. Washington Capitals (15-3-4) 

  • Record over past week: 2-1-1
  • Previous ranking: 1
  • Despite a mere .500 record in the past week, the Capitals are still the team to beat in the NHL. John Carlson continues to have a career year, collecting one assist in each game over the past week. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up four points over the last week (3 G, 1 A). With the best road record in the NHL (10-1-1), along with being tied for the best goal differential (+17), the Capitals have been cruising and look to continue their stretch against the Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks over the next week. 

2. New York Islanders (14-3-1) 

  • Record over past week: 2-0-0
  • Previous ranking: 3
  • This is a very good team. While I mentioned last week the third spot did not do them enough justice, neither does the second spot. The Islanders’ point streak remains intact due to sweeping their two games over the past week, giving New York at least one point in each of the last 14 games, a stretch only two teams matched or surpasses last season (Bruins with 19, Lightning with 16). Veteran center Derrick Brassard collected five total points in the two games played (1 G, 4 A). Veteran goaltender is currently 8-1 as a goaltender, and despite allowed three goals to the Philadelphia Flyers last week, he still has a 1.98 GAA and .938 Save Percentage, good enough for 1st and 2nd in the entire NHL, respectively. With a phenomenal blend of youth and experience, this team is built to stay at the top of the NHL this year. 

3. Boston Bruins (12-3-5) 

  • Record over past week: 1-0-2
  • Previous ranking: 4
  • This team has looked shaky over the past week. Even still, they come out this week with four points. Despite goaltending not being as sharp (eight goals allowed over the past week), Boston has been able to score just enough to counter that (10 goals scored). Center Charlie Coyle picked up at least one point in each game the past week (2 G, 2 A), making the forward a solid contributor on secondary line shifts. His +/- is currently the best since the 2017-2018 season. 

4. Edmonton Oilers (13-6-3) 

  • Record over past week: 1-1-1 
  • Previous ranking: 5 
  • The Oilers continue to be a surprise team this season. Edmonton scored the fourth-most goals over the past week (13), with five of them coming on the power play, tied for first in the NHL in that span. While the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have lit up the stat sheet (both are first and second in total points in the entire NHL), role players continue to provide support to the superstars, including defenseman Ethan Bear and Oscar Klefbom, who totaled for one goal and five assists. Both have provided good ice time and good puck control to supplement the higher scorers on the team. 

5. St. Louis Blues (12-4-5) 

  • Record over past week: 0-1-2
  • Previous ranking: 2
  • St. Louis has been singing the blues over the past week, going winless over their past three games and ranking near the bottom of the league in goals scored in that span. However, some happy tunes have been sung, as they were still able to squeak out two points. Goaltender Jordan Binnington allowed five goals in his past two games, with his season GAA sitting at 2.40, a downgrade from 1.89 last year. Even still, the Blues sit comfortably in the Western Conference and have enough wiggle-room to weather the storm and get the offense and defense cranking up again. 

6. Carolina Hurricanes (12-7-1) 

  • Record over past week: 3-0-0 
  • Previous ranking: NR
  • Carolina should be on everyone’s mind when discussing ice hockey. The Hurricanes have been sweeping through the competition, scoring 17 goals and collecting two clutch overtime wins over the past week. After contract negotiations with star forward Sebastian Aho in the offseason, the star forward has been consistent, with the forward collecting three goals over the past week. Defenseman Dougie Hamilton also picked up the heat, picking up four points in the last week as well (2 G, 2 A). And these two players are just the start of the storm. With a plethora of young players, Carolina is starting to find a groove. Sound the sirens, they are coming, and they look to be here to stay. 

7. Montreal Canadiens (11-5-4) 

  • Record over past week: 2-0-1
  • Previous ranking: NR
  • The Canadiens find themselves in the rankings based on a unique balance of solid goaltending and gritty offense that shares the puck. Over the past week, this formula has shown, with the Habs scoring eight goals in their two wins and three goals in their OT loss to the Devils, a game they had a lead in. Their leading player in the points department is forward Tomas Tatar, who has 20. The 28-year-old collected six points in the past week (2 G, 4 A). Goalkeeper Carey Price has been good enough for the offense to win games for Montreal, as he has a 2.61 GAA. With one of the smaller payrolls in the NHL, Montreal has been able to supplement their roster with numerous playmakers on all sides of the ice. It has paid off exponentially. 

8. Colorado Avalanche (12-6-2)

  • Record over past week: 2-1-0
  • Previous ranking: 7
  • Moving down in the rankings should not be a knock on the Avalanche, as even with their injury issues they are still one of the top offenses in the NHL, as they have scored the second-most goals (73) behind the Capitals (81). Forward Nazem Kadri has been one of the better offseason acquisitions, as the 29-year-old collected three points last week (1G, 2 A). Another offseason acquisition in forward Joonas Donskoi is on pace to shatter his season-high point total of 37 last season with the San Jose Sharks, as he currently has 20 points, including four goals that have come on the power play. Both players should see more first-line action as Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog still sit on the sidelines with injuries. Colorado goes on a brief two-game road trip to Calgary and Minnesota and finishes the week against Toronto on Saturday.

9. Arizona Coyotes (12-7-2) 

  • Record over past week: 3-1-0
  • Previous ranking: 8
  • This team deserves more credit than this is getting, and similarly to the Avalanche the downgrade in this ranking is purely because teams ahead of them have really stood out. The Coyotes are currently 3-0 in the shootout, collecting two of those wins in the past week against the Capitals and Blues. The Coyotes record in the shootout last season? 4-3. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper continues to be a driving force to the team’s success, with the 29-year-old having a 1.85 GAA and .937 Save Percentage. Kuemper picked up his second shutout of the year against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, while also getting good knocks into forward Matthew Tkachuk in a brawl that led to seven combined penalties. 

10. Florida Panthers (10-5-5) 

  • Record over past week: 2-1-0
  • Previous ranking: NR
  • For a team with a goal differential of zero, there has to be a good reason for the Panthers to find their way into the rankings. The good thing for them is that they score. A lot. In the entire NHL, the Panthers currently rank 5th in goals for per game with 3.55, 4th in power-play percentage with 27.0 and average close to 35 shots per game, good enough for 3rd. Their four-goal deficit against the Bruins was erased and led to a 5-4 shootout win, becoming their largest-ever deficit to be overcome in franchise history. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau had six assists this past week, with forwards Mike Hoffman and Aleksander Barkov collecting four and three points, respectively. Three of Florida’s next four games are at home, where they have a chance to improve on their pedestrian 4-2-2 record. 

Honorable Mention: San Jose Sharks (10-10-1)

  • Record over past week: 3-0-0
  • What team in the NHL is 5th in goals scored and eighth in total points since November 1st, in addition to currently possessing the longest winning streak in the sport right now with six? The San Jose Sharks. Over the past week, the Sharks have averaged five goals per game, led by forwards Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane, who accounted for five total goals in that span. Both are the only two skaters on the team with double-digit goals (Hertl with 10 and Kane with 12). Here is one more tidbit about this team: Their PK% ranks first in the entire NHL, sitting at 90.9%. 

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