NHL Power Rankings: How about those Blues?
NHL Power Rankings: Week 6
Don't look now, but the Blues have moved into first place in the Western Conference and are tied for the best goal differential in the conference at plus-14.
31. Arizona Coyotes (2-14-3, 7 points)
The Coyotes have scored the first goal in 13 of 19 games this season, which is tied for the league lead. They are only 2-9-2 in those contests though.
(Last week: 31)
30. Buffalo Sabres (5-9-3, 13 points)
The Sabres rank 29th in goals per game (2.35) and 28th in goals allowed per game (3.47). It's possible to overcome one or the other, but both? That's a difficult task, especially for a young team looking to take the next step.
(Last week: 30)
29. Florida Panthers (5-9-2, 12 points)
The Panthers are 1-4-2 in their last seven games, and have a minus-8 goal differential during that span. They're going backwards in a season they should be going the other way.
(Last week: 29)
28. Boston Bruins (6-6-4, 16 points)
Torey Krug has two goals and seven assists during his seven-game point streak after having just two points in his first eight games. He's a valuable part of that blue line core.
(Last week: 23)
27. Detroit Red Wings (8-8-2, 18 points)
The Red Wings knocked off the Blue Jackets 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday, which started a stretch where they play 13 of their next 15 at home.
(Last week: 24)
26. Edmonton Oilers (6-9-2, 14 points)
The Oilers recalled top prospect Jesse Puljujarvi over the weekend to help solve some of their issues at wing, and he scored a goal in his season debut. It would be a huge boost if they could get him to flash his potential this season rather than the Oilers seeking outside help.
(Last week: 28)
25. Anaheim Ducks (7-7-3, 17 points)
The Ducks are 1-3-2 in their last six games after starting the season 6-4-1. The injuries are starting to become too much to handle all at once.
(Last week: 25)
24. Carolina Hurricanes (6-5-4, 16 points)
The Hurricanes are 2-0-2 in their last four games despite having not scored a power play goal in five straight. They're collecting points, which is important early on when you reside in the Metropolitan Division.
(Last week: 27)
23. Colorado Avalanche (8-7-1, 17 points)
Before going pointless in a 4-3 loss to Ottawa on Saturday, Nathan MacKinnon had a five-game point streak, four of which were multi-point efforts. He needs to continue playing at that kind of level, grab control of this franchise and evolve into an elite player the league has been waiting to see from him.
(Last week: 18)
22. Chicago Blackhawks (8-8-2, 18 points)
It appeared that the Blackhawks were back on track when they overcame a pair of two-goal deficits in a 4-3 overtime win over Carolina on Saturday, then got up 4-1 on New Jersey, but they squandered that lead in the final two periods in a 7-5 loss on Sunday.
(Last week: 21)
21. Montreal Canadiens (8-9-1, 17 points)
The Canadiens have now won six of their last eight games after starting the season 2-7-1, and are due to get Carey Price back soon. Are they simply riding the hot streak or can they actually evolve into a playoff contender?
(Last week: 20)
20. Minnesota Wild (7-7-2, 16 points)
Jason Zucker was named the NHL's first star of the week after scoring six goals and adding an assist to help the Wild snap a three-game losing streak. Devan Dubnyk also had back-to-back shutouts in road wins over Montreal and Philadelphia by stopping a combined 73 shots.
(Last week: 22)
19. Vancouver Canucks (8-7-2, 18 points)
The Canucks are 2-4-1 since their four-game winning streak, and are 2-for-21 (9.5 percent) on the power play in their last six games and 14-for-21 (66.7 percent) on the penalty kill during that span.
(Last week: 13)
18. New York Rangers (9-7-2, 20 points)
The Rangers won four games in their first 12 to start the season. They've won six in a row, and are tied for a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. What a quick turn of events.
(Last week: 26)
17. Philadelphia Flyers (8-7-2, 18 points)
The Flyers were shut out for the fourth time this season in a 1-0 loss to Minnesota on Saturday, which came two days after their top line accounted for all three goals in a 3-1 win over Chicago. Depth scoring is an issue.
(Last week: 16)
16. Dallas Stars (9-7-0, 18 points)
John Klingberg had a terrific week. He scored a goal and added six assists in three games, and now leads all NHL defensemen with 18 points (four goals, 14 assists).
(Last week: 12)
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (9-7-3, 21 points)
Phil Kessel has seven goals and 15 assists in 19 games, and has been one of few bright spots for the Penguins this season. Meanwhile, Sidney Crosby's goal drought has reached 11 games.
(Last week: 10)
14. Calgary Flames (9-7-0, 18 points)
Johnny Gaudreau has four goals and six assists during his six-game point streak, and is tied for fourth in the league with 22 points. Is this the year he takes that step into superstar status?
(Last week: 14)
13. New York Islanders (9-6-2, 20 points)
The Islanders recorded a season-low 14 shots on goal in a 5-0 loss to Dallas on Friday, but bounced back with a strong 5-2 win against St. Louis on the road.
(Last week: 8)
12. Washington Capitals (10-7-1, 21 points)
Braden Holtby has allowed two or fewer goals in his last four games. He only did that four times in his first nine appearances to start the season. With that, he bumped his save percentage ro .942 in November compared to .919 in October.
(Last week: 19)
11. Nashville Predators (9-5-2, 20 points)
The Predators' special teams is weird. They rank first in power play percentage (40.0) at home but 27th on the road (11.6) while their penalty kill percentage ranks 26th (72.0) at home and third (90.4) on the road.
(Last week: 17)
10. San Jose Sharks (10-6-0, 20 points)
Martin Jones is 5-3-0 with a 2.74 goals against average and .899 save percentage at home. He's 3-1-0 with a 1.01 GAA and .967 save percentage, including a shutout, on the road. Call him the Road Warrior.
(Last week: 9)
9. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-7-1, 21 points)
After losing four straight, the Blue Jackets got back on track by beating Detroit 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. They improved to 5-0-1 in overtime or shootouts this season, which is certainly going to look great when looking at the standings at the end of the year. They're making sure not to leave any points on the table.
(Last week: 4)
8. Toronto Maple Leafs (12-7-0, 24 points)
After picking up only one win in their last six games, the Maple Leafs have strung together four consecutive victories, three of which were without Auston Matthews. Great sign of adversity.
(Last week: 15)
7. Ottawa Senators (8-3-5, 21 points)
Mike Hoffman, Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone have been on absolute tears as of late. Hoffman has three goals and eight assists during his eight-game point streak, Karlsson has one goal and 10 assists during his seven-game point streak and Stone has nine goals and four assists in his last nine games.
(Last week: 11)
6. Vegas Golden Knights (10-5-1, 21 points)
Just when you thought the Golden Knights would slow down, they pick up at least a point in three of their last four games, including wins against two of the hottest teams in Ottawa and Winnipeg.
(Last week: 7)
5. New Jersey Devils (11-4-2, 24 points)
The Devils had arguably their best win of the season when they rallied from three down to beat the Blackhawks 7-5 on Sunday. It showed the true guts of this team, and being made up of the right stuff is what separates you from being a contender and pretender. And they are also expected to get Travis Zajac back, which would be a huge boost both on and off the ice.
(Last week: 6)
4. Winnipeg Jets (9-4-3, 21 points)
Patrik Laine has a goal in five straight games after starting the season with only four in his first 11. He joins Nikita Kucherov as the only two players so far this season to have scored at least five goals in a row. The sniper is back.
(Last week: 5)
3. Los Angeles Kings (11-4-2, 24 points)
The Kings are 2-2-1 in their last five games after starting the season 9-2-1. They were bound to came back down to earth a little bit, but they're still playing the right way. It also didn't help that they ran into a red-hot Lightning team this past week.
(Last week: 2)
2. St. Louis Blues (13-4-1, 27 points)
The Blues have won at least three in a row three times already this season, and have only lost back-to-back games once. They look to stay hot when they kick off a three-game road trip in Canada Monday against Calgary.
(Last week: 3)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-2-2, 30 points)
Nikita Kucherov has 16 goals in 18 games this season. He reached the 16-goal mark in his 34th game last season (Jan. 7), and still finished second in the NHL with 40 goals. That's unreal. He essentially has gotten a 16-game head start to top what he did last season.
(Last week: 1)