NHL Power Rankings: Central Division making early noise


NHL Power Rankings: Central Division making early noise

The Central Division was the best in the league last season, and they're quickly making a case that they are again this year in our latest NHL Power Rankings.

Check in with for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1


Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 6

6-0-0, 12 points: Is it actually possible Carey Price can top last season?

2 7

4-1-0, 8 points: There is a lot to love about the Sharks right now, but let's see how they respond to adversity with Logan Couture (fractured right fibula) out 4-6 weeks.

3 15

5-1-0, 10 points: Five road games, four wins. And Vladimir Tarasenko is in the early running for Hart Trophy.

4 17

4-1-0, 8 points: A pair of impressive road wins at Tampa Bay and Florida. Tyler Seguin has six combined points in those two games.

5 3

4-2-0, 8 points: Tampa Bay's penalty killing needs improvement, but that shouldn't be a concern as they are one of the best teams in allowing the least amount of shots per game.

6 5

3-1-0, 6 points: The Capitals are undefeated this year when Alex Ovechkin is awake.

7 18

3-1-1, 7 points: No team had a better week than the Islanders, who got back starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak and rattled off wins over the Jets, Predators, and Sharks (all three in our Top 10).

8 13

4-1-0, 8 points: The Predators allowed an uncharacteristic 41 shots on goal to the Senators, but got some much-needed contributions from the power play to earn the victory.

9 8

4-2-0, 8 points: The Jets rank third in goals per game and third in goals against. They'll really be tested this week, with upcoming contests against Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Los Angeles and Chicago, all at home.

10 1

3-2-1, 7 points: Rick Nash only has one point through the first six games, something that needs to change after losing Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin in the offseason.

11 2

3-3-0, 6 points: The Blackhawks have yet to replace Brandon Saad on their top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, a position that's been a revolving door through Week 2.

12 14

3-1-2, 8 points: Give it up to the Canucks, who have picked up a point in all six games so far but one.

13   4

3-2-0, 6 points: The Red Wings are still looking for their groove, but there's plenty of time for that.

14 10

3-1-1, 7 points: The Wild have scored a power play goal in four of their first five games, but they're getting average goaltending from Devan Dubnyk.

15 22

2-3-0, 4 points: Forget about their spot in the standings, the Kings are the NHL's best puck possession team with a 62.1 Corsi.

16   11

3-2-0, 6 points: After a big 7-1 win to kick off the season, the Panthers have been 2-2 since with a plus-1 goal differential.

17   21

2-3-0, 4 points: Sidney Crosby has gone five consecutive games without a point, matching the longest streak of his career. Don't expect that to last any longer.

18 12

1-3-1, 3 points: The Ducks are averaging exactly one goal per game. Something tells us that will change soon.

19 9

 3-2-0, 6 points: The Coyotes are allowing a league-high 34.6 shots per game. Mike Smith has been really solid, but that's tough to consistently overcome for any goaltender.

20 16

3-2-1, 7 points: Erik Karlsson already has eight points through six games, but the Senators must patch up defensively if they want to prove themselves as a playoff-caliber team.

21   28

2-1-1, 5 points: Michal Neuvirth has been a hidden gem after posting two consecutive shutouts last week. He's saving them from falling further.

22 29 2-3-0, 4 points: David Krejci leads the NHL with nine points, and has done so in just five games.
23   20

2-3-0, 4 points: Puck possession remains an issue for the Avalanche. Could Patrick Roy be on the hot seat?

24   30 

1-3-1, 3 points: Say what you want about the Maple Leafs, but Mike Babcock has this team playing hard every night.

25 27

2-4-0, 4 points: Connor McDavid has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last two games, which has resulted in two Oilers wins.

26   25

1-4-0, 2 points: Buffalo's only win has come against the Blue Jackets, which isn't saying much.

27   27

1-3-1, 3 points: The Devils took three of four points from the Sharks and Rangers, but have only scored eight goals through five games.

28 24

1-4-0, 2 points: Noah Hanifin is going to be stud.

29 19

1-4-0, 2 points: Are the analytics catching up to the Flames or is it just a slow start? The Flames are a bottom-five puck possession team, owning a 46.6 Corsi.

30 24

0-6-0, 0 points: The Blue Jackets have allowed 30 goals en route to their worst start in franchise history. Change could be coming.

*Advanced stats courtesy of

Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick


Blackhawks deal Michael Kempny to Capitals for conditional third-round pick

The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michael Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.

Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.

Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.