NHL Power Rankings: Sharks soar to top of Pacific


NHL Power Rankings: Sharks soar to top of Pacific

The Sharks have rolled off six consecutive wins during their six-game road trip, and have overtaken the No. 1 seed in the Pacific Division a week after trade rumors swirled around Patrick Marleau.

Meanwhile in the East, the Lightning snapped out of their offensive funk and will look to build off a 5-0 win over Anaheim on Saturday.

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 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 Week 6


Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 2

17-4-0, 34 points: The Stars have followed up each loss this season with winning streaks of five games, three, three, and five.

2   1

15-3-2, 32 points: Rick Nash has come alive (we think) after netting a hat trick in a win over Florida. He had two goals total in the Rangers' first 17 games.

3   3

16-4-2, 34 points: Carey Price beat the Islanders in back-to-back games in his first action since Oct. 29.

4   4

13-5-1, 27 points: The Capitals are 6-0-0 following a loss this season, and have outscored their opponents by 15 in those games.


13-6-2, 28 points: The Blues have cooled off a bit, going 2-3-1 in their last six games following an 11-3-1 start, but remain in control of the Central Division by three points.


12-8-0, 24 points: The Kings are far and away the best puck-possession team, controlling 56.6 of even-strength shot attempts, and rank in the top 10 in power play percentage (20.6) and penalty kill (84.6).


11-8-2, 24 points: Patrick Kane has more three-point games (3) than zero-point games (2) this season.

8   16 

13-8-0, 26 points: The Sharks went 6-0-0 during their six-game road trip, and have overtaken the No. 1 seed in the Pacific Division. Oh, and Logan Couture should return to the lineup any day now.


11-5-3, 25 points: The Wild 8-1-0 at home but 3-4-3 on the road this season. Luckily for them, five of their next six games are at Xcel Energy Center.

10    12

10-8-3, 23 points: The Islanders owned the No. 1 penalty kill unit during the first month, but have slipped to No. 11 after allowing at least a power play goal in seven of their last nine games.

11   11 

12-8-0, 24 points: It's time (way overdue) that Marc-Andre Fleury deserves recognition for the Vezina-type season he's having, saving the Penguins from free-falling in the standings.

12   13 

10-9-3, 23 points: The Lightning own the second-best goals against average this season at 2.18. Be patient with the offense. It'll come.


11-5-3, 25 points: The Predators' offense really dried up as they were shutout 4-0 on back-to-back nights against Columbus and Minnesota.

14   14 

10-5-5, 25 points: Back-to-back shutouts wins over Columbus and Philadelphia is a nice confidence builder for a team with a leaky defense.

15   18 

11-8-2, 24 points: Dylan Larkin is the first teenager to score a goal in four straight games for the Red Wings since Steve Yzerman in 1984-85, per Elias. He's the real deal.

16   15 

10-8-1, 21 points: Loui Eriksson has given the Bruins some pop on offense with 18 points in 19 games, including a hat trick in a win over Minnesota last Thursday.

17   10 

11-8-1, 23 points: The Devils came back down to earth, losing to the Flames and Oilers, where they were outshot by a combined 17 shots.

18   22 

8-8-4, 20 points: Roberto Luongo registered his 408th career win last Monday, which ranks tied for eighth-most in NHL history. Quietest milestone ever?

19   17 

10-9-1, 21 points: The Coyotes stole a win in Montreal last week then followed that up by letting one slip away against Winnipeg.

20   21 

8-8-6, 22 points: Henrik and Daniel Sedin combined for nine points in a win over the Blackhawks last weekend, reminding us they still have plenty left in the tank.

21   19 

7-10-4, 18 points: The Ducks went on a nice four-game winning streak after starting 1-7-2, but are 2-3-2 since then, reigniting discussion about Bruce Boudreau's job being in jeopardy.

22   24  10-9-2, 22 points: The Jets snapped a six-game losing streak with a pair of wins over Vancouver and Arizona to help steer the ship back in the right direction.
23   20 

8-10-2, 18 points: Evander Kane should give the Sabres a boost on offense after missing the last month with a knee injury, but they've lost both games since his return.

24   26 

7-10-4, 18 points: The Maple Leafs have picked up at least a point in eight of their last 11 games. Somebody tell them they're ruining the rebuilding process.

25   25 

7-10-3, 17 points: The Hurricanes are controlling 53.8 percent of even-strength shot attempts, which ranks second-best, yet have just one regulation win in their last nine games.

26   30 

8-12-1, 17 points: The Flames have won three of their last four games, and held the Blackhawks to a season-low 19 shots in goal in 2-1 overtime win on Friday.

27 26 

8-14-0, 16 points: A demoralizing 5-3 loss to the Sharks after leading 3-1 in the third period kicked the Blue Jackets back down when their fate appeared to be turning in their favor.

28 28

7-12-1, 15 points: Leon Draisaitl ranks second on the Oilers in scoring with 17 points, and has done so in just 10 games.

29   29 

6-9-5, 17 points: The Flyers' 2012 third-round pick Shayne Gostisbehere has made an immediate impact in his first four games, showing he could be a piece to build around on the blue line.

30 23 

7-12-1, 15 points: The Avalanche have a minus-9 goal differential during their three-game losing streak after winning their previous three games by a combined 10 goals. That didn't take long.

*Advanced stats courtesy of

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

The Blackhawks made sports history on Saturday after they appeared in their fifth straight overtime game to start the season.

No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. It also has never happened in the history of MLB, NBA or NFL, showing just how crazy this early season run has been for the Blackhawks, who have rallied from all five games and have come away with wins in three of them.

"We’ve had five games, every one of them have been extremely intense and the game’s been on the line from start to finish," coach Joel Quenneville said following a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. "Our group’s been competitive this year, the guys have been working hard for one another. I don’t know how many games we’ve been down in the third period, and coming back to win is special."

The Blackhawks appeared in 17 overtime/shootout games last season and won seven of them. They are one of six teams this season that have yet to pick up a regulation win.

On a separate note, Saturday marked the eighth time in Blackhawks history that one player scored a tying goal in the third period and scored in overtime (Alex DeBrincat), according to the NHL's PR department. It's the second time it's happened this year for the Blackhawks, with Jonathan Toews the other on Oct. 6 against St. Louis.

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Four takeaways: Alex DeBrincat salvages divisional game for Blackhawks in overtime on Duncan Keith’s special night

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on Saturday night:

1. Special night for Duncan Keith — and Brent Seabrook

The Blackhawks celebrated Keith's 1,000-game milestone in the perfect way. Every player wore a No. 2 jersey during warmups, his family was on the ice for the pregame ceremony, and Patrick Sharp made an appearance to present Keith with a silver stick. Seabrook was also paired with Keith among the starters, a great touch by Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff.

But it was also a historic day for Keith's partner and close friend Seabrook, who became the franchise leader in games played by a defenseman, surpassing Bob Murray who previously held that mark at 1,008. It's only fitting Keith and Seabrook shared that moment together.

"We've been riding shotgun together for our whole careers," Keith said. "I couldn't imagine my career, my 1,000 games without him and all the experiences and memories that I've had winning and even losing, and the fun times we've had off the ice. I owe a lot of my success, and I think the team does as well, to Brent and what he means to the team and what he brings to our friendship and as a teammate."

To put a bow on the game, Keith had a vintage Keith moment on the game-tying goal in the third period when he intercepted a pass in the neutral zone on his backhand, then fed Toews a dart leading him into the offensive zone that set up DeBrincat's goal. 

2. Alex DeBrincat's torrid start

The Blackhawks continued to get contributions from their top players such as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom extended their point streaks to five games to open the season. But DeBrincat has propelled himself into that conversation as a top player on this team.

He had a multi-goal effort for the second straight game, upping his goal total on the season to a team-leading six. His overtime winner is the first of his NHL career in that fashion.

DeBrincat didn't score his sixth goal until Nov. 12 last season, which was the 18th game. And he still finished with 28. While it's hard to envision him continuing to score at more than a goal-per-game pace, it's not hard to see him continuing to be one of the best players on the ice and generating offense and scoring chances on a nightly basis.

"I think I'm getting pretty lucky right now," DeBrincat said. "I'm playing with [Toews] and [Dominik] Kahun, they're making great plays and getting me the puck. It's pretty easy when you have those guys as your linemates. Even on that last goal, [Erik Gustafsson] made a great pass backdoor to me. Pretty easy tap in."

3. Squandering another two-goal lead

The Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead for the third straight game. And they squandered it for the third straight game, in large part because they committed five straight penalties in the second and third periods.

It's no longer a blip at this point and is becoming an alarming trend, even though the Blackhawks have come back to force overtime in each of those three games. That will be something the Blackhawks work on all season long.

But Quenneville would have liked to have seen the Blackhawks keep their foot on the gas pedal and cash in on their opportunities to make it a 3-0 game.

"Score the third goal," he said. "I loved the way we were playing. We had a lot of good things going. Eventually they’re going to get chances, get opportunities. But we had some great chances to get it to three. It was one of those nights, every game is kind of different how the leads changed."

4. Brotherly love

For the first time in the NHL, the Schmaltz brothers finally got their chance to go up against each other at the highest level. There had been a handful of other opportunities in the past, but it never lined up for a variety of reasons. 

They didn't see much of each other while on the ice — they were on together for only 1:30 of the game — but Nick did commit a penalty that led to Jordan assisting on the Blues' first goal on a delayed call. 

The best battles between Jordan, who turned 25 on Oct. 8, and Nick, 22, came when they were kids.

"We had a little roller rink downstairs in our house growing up," Nick said. "It would be me vs. my sister (Kylie) and my brother. Those were probably the best battles. Someone would usually come up crying or high-stick or puck to the face or something like that. A lot of good memories. Looking back at it, it was awesome to have that and work on each other’s game and push each other to get better."