Power Rankings: Canadiens in some fast company
NHL Power Rankings: Canadiens in some fast company
It’s speed, speed and more speed at the top of the NHL Power Rankings this week with Montreal continuing their early domination of the league, the Dallas Stars shooting all the way to the top of the Western Conference with their run-and-gun brand of hockey and the New York Rangers gaining ground with a three-game winning streak in the tough Metro Division.
There’s a group of big, strong teams after that in St. Louis, Winnipeg and Los Angeles to be sure, but blinding skating speed is what the NHL is all about these days and the power rankings are here to prove it.
Without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Montreal Canadiens (11-2-1, rank last week: 1) - The Habs lead the NHL with 51 goals scored, and nobody is even within 10 of their plus-25 goal differential. Watching Carey Price get banged up with an injury hasn’t even really slowed them, so Montreal is the team to beat at this point.
2. Dallas Stars (10-3-0, LW: 3) – The Stars got embarrassed by the lowly Maple Leafs, but also watched Tyler Seguin drop a hat trick on his old Bruins team. Dallas is clicking right now, and are pretty fun to watch play hockey.
3. New York Rangers (8-2-2, LW: 4) – The Blueshirts have won three in a row, and took a big two points in their Tuesday night Metro Division showdown with Washington.
4. St. Louis Blues (9-3-1, LW: 6) – The name is Colton Parayko and you should pick him in fantasy hockey leagues if you haven’t already.
5. Winnipeg Jets (8-4-1, LW: 13) – Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers (4 goals, 9 points) is making an impact for a Jets group that looks like they’re in it to win it in the tough Central Division.
6. Los Angeles Kings (8-4-0, LW: 9) – The Kings have won eight of their last 10 games, and just had a seven-game winning streak snapped last weekend. Tyler Toffoli is taking things to a whole other level this season.
7. New York Islanders (7-3-3, LW: 5) – The Isles have lost to the Devils, Sabres and Bruins on home ice over the last couple of weeks. That’s not going to get the fans invested in commuting all the way to Brooklyn this season.
8. Nashville Predators (7-2-2, LW: 2) – A tough road trip through California knocked them down a few pegs, but the Predators should be top-10 this season no matter what.
9. Minnesota Wild (7-2-2, LW: 7) – Another season for the Wild, and another year where Ryan Suter is skating an insane 26:41 of ice time per game.
10. Washington Capitals (8-3-0, LW: 8) – Six goals, 13 points an insane 49 shots on net in 10 games for Alex Ovechkin, who is playing at a ridiculously high level right now.
11. Vancouver Canucks (6-3-4, LW: 14) – Ben Hutton, Jared McCann and Bo Horvat are giving the Canucks a wealth of young talent on their roster right now, so the future is indeed very bright in Vancouver.
12. Chicago Blackhawks (7-5-1, LW: 10) – Patrick Kane has been Chicago’s leading scorer since the start of this season and now it appears the dark cloud hovering over him is finally clearing up as well.
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-4-0, LW: 17) – Pittsburgh has won five games in a row, but Sidney Crosby has two goals in 10 games. It’s becoming a real mystery as to what’s going on with the NHL superstar.
14. Ottawa Senators (6-4-2, LW: 20) – Kyle Turris off to another strong start for the Senators after finishing things off with such a strong second half last season.
15. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-6-2, LW: 11) – Three wins in their past 10 games, and a weird feeling that something isn’t quite right with the Bolts. They are better than their numbers show to this point in the season.
16. Boston Bruins (6-4-1, LW: 19) – They aren’t as bad as the team that dropped three embarrassing games to start the season, and they’re not as good as the team that went 6-0-1 over a seven-game stretch that recently concluded. There’s still plenty to figure out about this Boston hockey team.
17. Detroit Red Wings (6-5-1, LW: 21) – Rookie Dylan Larkin off to a strong start in Detroit after impressing the Bruins players in a couple of preseason games between the Bruins and Red Wings.
18. Florida Panthers (5-4-3, LW: 12) – Reilly Smith is off to a solid start for the Panthers after a very muted goodbye with the Bruins last spring.
19. New Jersey Devils (6-5-1, LW: 22) – It’s good to see good guy Lee Stempniak hook on with the Devils, and find an NHL job after working out with the Bruins players throughout this summer.
20. San Jose Sharks (6-6-0, LW: 13) – Seven goals and 11 points in 12 games for Joel Ward with the Sharks…what a veteran pickup for San Jose.
21. Arizona Coyotes (5-5-1, LW: 15) – The Coyotes have lost a couple of games, and are coming back to Earth after a mostly successful, long East Coast trip. It’s such a tough division for the skilled young guys to keep things rolling, but they are most definitely better than last year.
22. Edmonton Oilers (5-8-0, LW: 25) – The Connor McDavid injury is a damned shame just as he seemed to finally raising the stakes for everybody out in Edmonton.
23. Buffalo Sabres (5-7-0, LW: 23) – Ryan O’Reilly is leading the Sabres in points, and the Tim Horton’s across from the Buffalo Airport is still standing and in one piece. I’d call that some kind of progress.
24. Carolina Hurricanes (5-7-0, LW: 28) – Kris Versteeg is leading the Hurricanes in points this season, and that explains quite a bit about the less-than-spectacular brand of hockey going on in Carolina.
25. Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-2, LW: 16) – Dave Hakstol finally blamed himself for a Flyers’ loss this past week. The early returns are that the former college hockey coach might be in over his head behind the NHL bench in Philly. The shots on net and offense in general are anemic.
26. Colorado Avalanche (4-7-1, LW: 26) – Jarome Iginla must look around and wonder what the heck happened to the high-powered Avalanche he originally signed a free agent contract with a couple of years ago. The Avs are more than what they have become.
27. Calgary Flames (3-9-1, LW: 27) – There are a couple of surprises in the Western Conference, both good and bad, and the languishing Flames are certainly one of the biggest ones on the negative side this season.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (2-8-2, LW: 28) – Identical road and home records of 1-4-1 demonstrate that the Maple Leafs are equally futile no matter where the puck is dropped, and who the opponent is going to be.
29. Columbus Blue Jackets (3-10-0, LW: 29) – You can’t help but feel badly for the Columbus hockey fans that expected a gritty, successful group while rebounding from last year’s injury problems. Spoiler Alert: They’re not getting it right now.
30. Anaheim Ducks (3-7-2, LW: 30) – GM Bob Murray doled out the “vote of confidence” for his sputtering Anaheim Ducks last week, so trades, firings and shakeups could be on the horizon if things don’t stabilize quickly.