The Capitals made the jump from No. 4 to No. 1, and it probably should have happened sooner. Led by Barry Trotz and captained by Alex Ovechkin, this is arguably their best chance to win a Stanley Cup in their 41-year history.
Meanwhile in the West, the Blackhawks are back into the Top 5 of our latest NHL Power Rankings after a successful Circus Trip, which featured an impressive 5-2 win that snapped the Sharks' six-game winning streak and a thrilling comeback win over the Ducks.
Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7
17-5-1, 35 points: What's not to like about this Capitals team? Well-coached/structured, deep and resilient, three ingredients a Stanley Cup contender must have.
19-5-0, 38 points: The Stars bounced back from a 7-4 loss to Ottawa with a home and road win against Vancouver and Minnesota on back-to-back nights. Here comes another winning streak.
18-4-3, 39 points: Carey Price will miss the next month with a knee injury, meaning rookie Mike Condon will provide a larger sample size for the Canadiens as the temporary starter.
16-6-2, 34 points: The Rangers have lost three consecutive games in regulation after losing just three games in regulation in the first 21 games.
13-8-3, 29 points: The Blackhawks picked up eight out of a possible 12 points during their annual Circus Trip as Patrick Kane sets the record for longest point streak by an American-born players with 19 games.
14-8-1, 29 points: Rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime, the Kings channeled the same late-game magic that helped them win two Stanley Cups in three years.
15-6-3, 33 points: Paul Stastny back in the lineup provides a big boost up the middle for the Blues, who are 3-0-2 in their last five games.
14-9-0, 28 points: Brent Burns has 20 points in 23 games, and is averaging 26:24 of ice time, on pace to shatter his career high of 25:03 set during the 2010-11 campaign.
12-8-4, 28 points: A challenging week awaits the Islanders, who are slated to face Colorado, N.Y. Rangers, St. Louis and Ottawa.
13-8-2, 28 points: Evgeni Malkin has scored five game-winning goals this season, already surpassing last year's total (4) in 48 fewer games.
12-6-5, 29 points: The Senators are 4-1-2 in their last seven games, and will be tested this week with upcoming games against Philadelphia, Chicago, N.Y. Rangers and N.Y. Islanders.
13-8-1, 27 points: The Bruins have killed off 15 of 16 penalties (93.8 percent) during their five-game winning streak, slowly improving their penalty kill percentage to 75.3.
11-7-4, 26 points: The Wild have one win in their last seven games, and Zach Parise was held pointless in both games since his return from injury.
11-11-3, 25 points: The Lightning are in the middle of a really difficult stretch, and begin their three-game trip out West on Wednesday.
12-7-4, 28 points: Filip Forsberg snapped a 17-game goalless drought in an overtime loss to the Flyers on Friday. Nashville needs him to get going.
12-8-4, 28 points: Brad Richards has seen his ice time jump to 17 minutes per game after moving to left wing on the second line with Pavel Datsyuk.
13-9-1, 27 points: Three straight wins for the Coyotes, who will look to carry that momentum into their five-game road stand.
10-9-4, 24 points: The Panthers have begun a stretch where they will play nine of their next 11 games on the road, where they are 4-4-2 this season.
12-9-2, 26 points: The Devils have outshot their opponents in just six of their first 23 games this season, relying too heavily on Cory Schneider.
9-8-7, 25 points: The Canucks are 2-4-2 in their last eight games despite having scored at least a power play goal in each of those contests.
8-11-5, 21 points: The Ducks suffered a mental lapse (again) to the Blackhawks, who erased a 2-0 deficit in the final two minutes of regulation and won 3-2 in overtime.
|22||23||10-12-2, 22 points: Chad Johnson allowed only two goals and registered a save percentage of .965 in back-to-back wins over Carolina and Nashville.|
11-12-2, 24 points: The Jets were 7-3-1 with a plus-6 goal differential in October. They went 4-9-1 with a minus-19 goal differential in November.
7-11-5, 19 points: After winning five consecutive games, James Reimer has dropped his last two starts to Boston, 2-0 and 4-3 (shootout).
8-11-4, 20 points: Justin Faulk has recorded at least a point in eight of his last 10 games, scoring four goals and seven assists.
9-10-5, 23 points: The Flyers have three wins in their last four games after compiling just three wins in their previous 14 games.
10-15-0, 20 points: The Blue Jackets are taking things one game at a time, but at some point, they need to follow up losses with winning streaks.
8-14-2, 18 points: Connor McDavid is reportedly progressing ahead of schedule, but the Oilers are still staying the course (as they should) of the recovery process.
9-13-1, 19 points: Semyon Varlamov is 2-0-0 since returning from injury, but sorry Patrick Roy, he won't be enough to hide the dismal puck-possession numbers.
8-14-2, 18 points: The Flames' minus-31 goal differential is by far the worst in the NHL through Week 7.
*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com.