Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings
Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings
By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider
Once again youth is being served in the NHL, and it’s apparent in the league statistics with the New York Rangers' Oscar Lindberg and Arizona’s Anthony Duclair both sitting on top in goals scored through the first week of the season.
But it also represents a cautionary tale for NHL general managers as well. Lindberg was originally a Coyotes second-round draft pick, but was shipped to the Rangers in exchange for the immortal Ethan Werek back in 2011. Now he’s a slick, speedy Swedish winger for the Rangers that’s bursting on the scene offensively.
The emergence of Lindberg has perhaps made the loss of Duclair a bit more manageable for the Blueshirts. Duclair, the prime asset sent to the Coyotes in exchange for Keith Yandle at last spring’s trade deadline, has exploded for three goals and five points in his first three NHL games for Arizona.
Both are shining examples of the importance of young prospects continuing to replenish each organization and proof positive that the NHL continues to be a young man’s league.
Let’s not forget, however, that old man Henrik Zetterberg is currently leading the NHL in points one week into the season.
Without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:
1. San Jose Sharks (3-0-0) - Martin Jones is quickly becoming the man in San Jose, and the Sharks could end up being much better than anybody thought because of it.
2. Nashville Predators (3-0-0) – The Predators offense is out of the gate slowly with seven goals in three games, but they’re undefeated because of defense and Pekka Rinne.
3. Montreal Canadiens (4-0-0) – The Habs have allowed six goals in four games, and once again Carey Price is looking primed and ready for a big season.
4. Detroit Red Wings (3-0-0) – I’ve always liked gritty Justin Abdelkader’s game, but who knew he’d start scoring like a Wings offensive powerhouse with four goals in three games.
5. Vancouver Canucks (3-0-1) – Adam Cracknell, Bo Horvat, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton…who the heck are these guys?
6. Arizona Coyotes (3-0-0) – Max Domi made the NHL highlight reels this week, so life is pretty good in the desert right now.
7. Winnipeg Jets (3-1-0) – Mark Schiefele is off to a good start with Winnipeg, which could really augment their depth situation and continue to allow them to compete in that Central Division.
8. Minnesota Wild (2-0-0) – Zach Parise is leading the way in Minnesota to start this season, as he should be.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-0) – The Bolts are off to a good start, and look like they can just turn it on and off at will right now. The only potential roadblock facing Tampa Bay? The Stamkos contract situation.
10. New York Rangers (3-1-0) – Oscar Lindberg is tearing it up with four goals scored in the early going for the Blueshirts.
11. St. Louis Blues (2-1-0) – Vladimir Tarasenko and the Blues look perfectly fine after the roster changes in the summertime.
12. Ottawa Senators (3-1-0) – Former BU goalie Matthew O’Connor already getting a look between the pipes with the Hamburglar on the shelf. Does that make him Mayor McCheese?
13. Florida Panthers (2-1-0) – The plus-7 goal differential for the Panthers is impressive in the early going. I thought this was a team to watch out for even before I knew that Jaromir Jagr was growing out the mullet again.
14. Dallas Stars (2-1-0) – The Stars appear as if they’re going to continue to be wildly inconsistent again this season. A shutout one night, and getting lit up for six goals vs. the Avalanche in the next game.
15. Chicago Blackhawks (2-2-0) – All things considered the Blackhawks are doing okay to start the season. It’s hard to see them having a banner season, though, given the dark cloud of the Patrick Kane situation.
16. Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-1) – Aside from the seven goals given up to Florida on a beat down, it’s been all hoagies and cheesesteaks for Dave Hakstol in Philly. Michael Neuvirth has been outstanding between the pipes.
17. Washington Capitals (1-1-0) – Everybody oversleeps sometimes…even Ovie.
18. New York Islanders (1-1-1) – The backup goalies having a bit of a rough go for the Isles with Jaroslav Halak out of the mix right now, and a big test on Thursday against undefeated Nashville.
19. Calgary Flames (1-2-0) – Everybody touted Calgary as having the best defensemen in the league, but they’ve allowed 11 goals in three games. Dougie Hamilton is a minus-3 three games into his new career in Calgary.
20. Colorado Avalanche (1-2-0) – The Avalanche still has tons of offensive talent, but they’ve allowed 14 goals in three games. That’s almost as bad as the Bruins.
21. Buffalo Sabres (1-2-0) – Robin Lehner going down with a high ankle sprain is tough, but at least Jack Eichel is living up to his No. 2 overall pick billing.
22. Boston Bruins (1-3-0) – The Bruins would have been 30th prior to their Wednesday night win against the Avs, but that was a sufficiently good showing to get confidence building that perhaps things will be kinda okay. There’s still a lot of work to be done with this team defensively.
23. Anaheim Ducks (0-2-1) – The Ducks clearly aren’t firing on all cylinders right now, and have scored just once in three games. That is epically futile offense.
24. Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3-0) – The Penguins were shut out on opening night, and that just opens the floodgates for questions about how exactly this team will thrive with so many offensive mouths to feed.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs (0-2-1) – I predict this team is soon to be in the 30th spot in these power rankings, but at least they have one measly point on the season. There are a handful of others that do not.
26. Edmonton Oilers (0-3-0) – Same old results in Edmonton, but they’re really, really excited about Connor McDavid.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (0-4-0) – The Blue Jackets were one of the trendy teams to pick in the East this season, but the BJ’s have fallen flat on their face to start.
28. Carolina Hurricanes (0-3-0) – The injury loss of James Wisniewski hurts a Canes team that really couldn’t afford to lose anybody.
29. New Jersey Devils (0-3-0) – At least they’re building a statue for Martin Brodeur and retiring his number. They have that going for them.
30. Los Angeles Kings (0-3-0) – The Kings have been outscored 12-2 in the first three games, and look every bit the dumpster fire that I didn’t think they would be this season. Milan Lucic is in sluggish lockstep right along with the rest of the team.