NHL Power Rankings: Big shakeup in the Top 10 this week

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

NHL Power Rankings: Big shakeup in the Top 10 this week

Sure, the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs are months away, but it's never too soon to look ahead, right?

The competition for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference could be tight, as several teams have surged forward recently, including the Flyers, Panthers and Canadiens — all of which missed the playoffs a season ago.

The picture is also crowded out West, where not many teams have started to separate from the pack as of yet.

How are the Bruins stacking up after a four-game losing streak? And which teams are making leaps forward?

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Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Metro Division shows its strength

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Metro Division shows its strength


Everybody talks about the strength of the Atlantic Division.

But maybe we were all sleeping on the Metro Division headed into this season as the Maple Leafs and Lightning struggle in the opening weeks. The Washington Capitals have won four games in a row to push them to the top of the Metro, and John Carlson is off to the best start of his career while putting together a Norris Trophy-worth season. Alex Ovechkin has 11 goals in 16 games to lead the Caps and they are back to having a big, strong and skilled team.

The Isles have won an amazing 10 in a row and are proving that last season’s run to the second round was no fluke, and similarly, the Hurricanes are again in the top 10 of the power rankings after running all the way to the Eastern Conference Final last spring.

Maybe we should have expected all of those teams to be high caliber this season given last spring's playoffs and now they are showing it more than a month in the new hockey year.

Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Reality bites for sellers

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Reality bites for sellers

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