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Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Week 3

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: October 16, 2018, 12:21 pm ET

As there is every season, there is plenty of movement in the first few weeks of the season as far as the power rankings are concerned.


The Maple Leafs jumped to the top of the standings while Detroit dipped to the bottom. The Vegas Golden Knights went to the Cup Final last season but have been floundering this season thus far.


The first record is the seasonal mark. The record in brackets is over the last seven days.


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1. Toronto


Record: 6-1-0 (4-0)


Last Week 6 


The Maple Leafs are on a five-game winning streak that includes a perfect 4-0 on the road. They are scoring goals by the boatload and the one concern is that their defense is too leaky has been alleviated in the last two games as they have given up a total of three goals. Their goal differential of plus-10 is tied for tops in the NHL.


2, Boston


Record: 4-1-0 (2-0)


Last Week 5 


The Bruins won both games over the last seven games as they beat Detroit and Edmonton. While not the strongest teams in the NHL, the Bruins have been strong since a blowout loss opening night. The top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have combined for 30 points in their last four games.


3. Nashville


Record: 5-1-0 (3-1)


Last Week 3


The Predators move to the top of the West as they went 3-1, losing to Calgary but beating their top rival in Winnipeg, the Islanders and Minnesota. They were the top team in the West last season during the regular season and it looks like this season could be the exact same.


4. Tampa Bay


Record: 2-1-0 (1-1)


Last Week 1


The Lightning drop to fourth as they lost to Vancouver at home before regrouping and whipping the Blue Jackets. The Lightning did not look great in their first two games but they looked very good Saturday night and their slow start should be behind them. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid in net in all three games, with a 1.64 GAA and a .951 save percentage.


5. New Jersey


Record: 3-0-0 (2-0)


Last Week 20 


The Devils were a big surprise team last season and continue to be so in the early going this season. They have yet to lose and are tied with Toronto with a plus-10 goal differential. New Jersey has had a trio of two goal games from Kyle Palmieri to start the season. Cory Schneider continues to practice but the goaltending of Keith Kinkaid as been superb as he has given up only four goals in the three games.


6. Winnipeg 


Record: 3-2-0 (2-1)


Last Week 2


The Jets dropped their only game to Nashville and that caused them to drop down the power rankings this week. The Jets should bounce back and be near the top of the rankings in the not-to-distant future. Wins over Los Angeles and Carolina helped this week but there is still plenty of work to do as they gave up 43 shots in the 3-1 win over the Hurricanes.


7. Pittsburgh


Record: 2-1-1 (1-0-1)


Last Week 8 


The Penguins would be fine if they didn’t have to play Montreal this season as the Canadiens are responsible for Pittsburgh’s only regulation loss as well as their shootout loss. Sidney Crosby has yet to find the back of the net, just one year removed from leading the NHL in goals. The Penguins took a big hit on Saturday when Justin Schultz suffered a broken leg that will keep him out of action for four months.


8. Anaheim


Record: 4-1-1 (1-1-1)


Last Week 9 


The Ducks had an even week in beating the Blues, losing to Dallas and losing in a shootout to Arizona. They are looking to get a bit healthier as Ryan Kesler is back and Ryan Getzlaf is close. That will certainly help them down the middle. Six of their next nine games are at home and that will help.


 9. Washington


Record: 2-2-1 (1-2)


Last Week 7


It’s hard when everyone is gunning for you and that is what is happening to the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. A couple of losses to Toronto and New Jersey ended the week poorly as the Caps opened the week defeating their fellow Cup finalists Vegas Golden Knights. The Capitals will have this problem all season but such is the price you pay for winning it all.


10. San Jose


Record: 2-3-1 (1-1-1)


Last Week 10


The Sharks finished an Eastern swing Sunday with a loss to the Devils after dropping an overtime game to the Rangers. The one redeeming factor this week was the big win over Philadelphia to the tune of 8-2. The Sharks could get Joe Thornton back this week and that will help the cause. The Sharks are one of the better teams in the NHL despite their slow start.


11. Dallas


Record: 3-2-0 (1-2)


Last Week 4


The Stars looked so good in winning their first two games of the season but came back to reality this week, losses to Toronto and Ottawa sandwiched a win over Anaheim. The Stars have scored 18 goals but only two have come from their bottom three lines as Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov have been great as their top unit. If the Stars are going to do any damage this season, their second line as well as their bottom-six forwards have to do something.


12. Colorado


Record: 3-1-1 (1-1-1)


Last Week 16


The Avalanche lost to the Blue Jackets before beating Buffalo and losing in a shootout to Calgary. Nathan MacKinnon, who broke through in a big way last season, continued his dominance this season as he has scored in all five games in tying the franchise record to start the season. That was done while the team was still in Quebec City by Mats Sundin. Semyon Varlamov has been strong to start the season at 3-0-1 with a 1.75 GAA and a .946 save percentage.


13. Carolina


Record: 4-1-1 (2-1)


Last Week 21 

The Hurricanes had a couple of nice wins over Vancouver and Minnesota and then dropped a tough 3-2 game to Winnipeg despite blasting the Jets with 43 shots on goal. It was their first regulation loss of the season and the Hurricanes are currently sitting pretty atop the Metropolitan Division with nine points. Sebastian Aho is looking more and more like a star. 


14. Columbus


Record: 3-2-0 (2-1)


Last Week 12



The Blue Jackets have a winning record but are a minus-three in goal differential thanks to an 8-2 beating put on them by the Lightning. The Blue Jackets are still missing their top blueliner in Seth Jones but he should be back in the next one-three weeks and that will help.


15. Chicago


Record: 3-0-2 (1-0-1)


Last Week 22 


The Blackhawks continue to play surprisingly well despite not having Corey Crawford in the lineup. Cam Ward has started every game and while he has a stellar record, his 4.07 GAA and .879 save percentage leave a lot to be desired. Alex DeBrincat has nine points in five games. Brandon Saad has only two assists in five games and the trade in the summer of 2017 when Artemi Panarin is looking very bad. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks are off to a great start.


16. Calgary


Record: 3-2-0 (2-1)


Last Week 18 


The Flames beat the Predators and the Avalanche and lost to the Blues this week.  Mike Smith was sharp in the Predators win as he stopped all 43 shots for the shutout. Sam Bennett could be coming around with a goal and an assist in his last two games. Elias Lindholm has two power play goals this season after getting only picking up only 18 in five seasons with Carolina. Mikael Backlund has missed practice twice in less than a week.       

17. Philadelphia


Record: 2-3-0 (1-2)


Last Week 11


The Flyers are struggling early on. Brian Elliott is off to a tough start with a 1-3 record. He has a 3.80 GAA and a .883 save percentage. Scott Laughton is tied for the goal scoring lead with Wayne Simmonds at three and that is a problem if you are looking to make the playoffs. Nolan Patrick should be back this week but with a minus-five rating and no points in four games, he needs to play better. If the Flyers continue to play this way, they will slide deeper in the rankings in the coming weeks.


18. Minnesota


Last Week 15


Record: 1-2-2 (1-1-1)


The Wild beat the Blackhawks in overtime for their first win of the season but then lost in OT to Carolina before losing on Monday to Nashville. The Wild are struggling despite good goaltending from Devan Dubnyk. Zach Parise is off to a great start, reminiscent of years gone by when he was a star in the NHL. He has a goal and seven points in five games.


19. Los Angeles


Record: 2-3-1 (1-3-0)


Last Week 13


It was a tough time for the Kings this week on their road trip to Canada. They beat the Canadiens but lost to Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto. The Kings have scored only 12 goals in six games and have yet to score on the power play. Jonathan Quick is still out but Jack Campbell has been serviceable in goal thus far. Alex Iafallo leads the Kings in points with five. That should say a lot.


20. Vegas


Record: 2-4-0 (1-2)


Last Week 17


As great a start as the Golden Knights had last season, it has been 180 degrees this season as they are 2-4 after losing to Pittsburgh and Washington before beating the Flyers 1-0 on a late goal from Cody Eakin. Marc-Andre Fleury is inconsistent, playing great in two wins while being awful in the three losses. Coming home for five straight games should help. Paul Stastny is out for two months and that won't help.


21. Florida


Record: 0-2-1 (0-2)


Last Week 11


The Panthers lost both games this week at home to Columbus and Vancouver and are one of only two NHL teams without a win this season. (Detroit is the other and both reside in the Atlantic Division). James Reimer is the starter with Roberto Luongo on the shelf. Micheal Haley is in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program and has taken a leave of absence from the team. The Panthers play five of their next six games on the road and that could help the team bond.


22. Buffalo


Record: 3-2-0 (1-1)


Last Week 19


The Sabres beat Arizona on the road after losing to Colorado and continue their long road trip this week, going to Vegas and California. Carter Hutton has been solid in net for the Sabres. Buffalo moved rookie Casey Mittelstadt up the depth chart and placed him between Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo on the second line.


23. Montreal


Record: 3-1-1 (2-1)


Last Week 25 


Another good week and the Habs will climb the rankings. They have not had Carey Price the last two games and managed to win both as he is out with an illness. The Canadiens lost to the Kings to open the week and then won their second of the season against Pittsburgh before upending the Red Wings on Monday.  Tomas Tatar has seven points in five games after being a huge disappointment for Vegas during his short stay there.


24. Edmonton


Record: 1-2-0 (1-1)


Last Week 23


The Oilers have scored five goals and not surprisingly Connor McDavid has had a part in all. The Oilers have not been at home yet this season and play in Winnipeg Tuesday before returning to Edmonton for four straight home games. The Oilers picked up their first win of the season against the Rangers on Saturday after losing to the Bruins earlier in the week.


25. Ottawa


Record: 3-2-1 (2-1)


Last Week 29 


Another one of the surprise teams this season, the Senators were thought by many to be a bottom-three team in the NHL but the play of rookies Brady Tkachuk and Maxime Lajoie has made the Senators a tough team to play. Wins over Dallas and the Kings and a loss to the Flyers give the Senators a 3-2-1 mark this season. Craig Anderson had a tough season in 2017-18 but aside from the six goals given up to the Flyers, he has been strong as he is 3-1-1.


26. Vancouver


Record: 3-2-0 (2-1)


Last Week 27 


Another team destined to be at the bottom of the standings, the Canucks have played quite well this season and won a couple of games on the road this past week. The Canucks went into Florida and beat the Lightning and Panthers after losing to the Hurricanes earlier in the week. The loss of rookie sensation Elias Pettersson will hurt but he should be out of action for a week-to-10 days. Anders Nilsson has been great in net, winning both games with a 1.51 GAA.


27. St. Louis


Record: 1-2-2 (1-1-1)


Last Week 24


The Blues beat Calgary, lost in overtime to Chicago and lost to the Anaheim Ducks over the last seven days. Jake Allen has been thus far this season as he is 1-1-2 with a 4.13 GAA and a .878 save percentage. Every year it seems, the Blues try and anoint Allen as their number one goalie and every season there seems to be a problem. David Perron has four goals in five games including a hat trick versus the Calgary Flames.


28. New York Islanders


Record: 2-2-0 (0-1)


Last Week 26


 The Islanders lost their only game of the week to the Predators. Andrew Ladd replaced Anthony Beauvillier on the top line with Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey with Beauvillier playing alongside Valtteri Filppula and Cal Clutterbuck. The Islanders head out west this week to play all three games in sunny California.


29. New York Rangers


Record: 1-4-0 (1-1)


Last Week 31 

 Look what one win gets you. A move up in the power rankings. The Rangers defeated San Jose in overtime for their first win for new head coach David Quinn. The Rangers will use this season to give their youth a chance to paly and gain valuable NHL experience and that will help as the season goes on and in the  future, but it will likely be a long year in New York.


30. Arizona


Record: 1-3-0 (1-1)


Last Week 30


The good news is that whenever the Coyotes score, they win. Unfortunately, Arizona has been shut out in three of their first four games, despite putting 107 shots on net in the three losses. They need to get healthy and having Alex Galchenyuk and Jakob Chychrun skating and practicing, bodes well for the rest of the season.


31. Detroit


Record: 0-4-2 (0-3)


Last Week 28



The Red Wings are the worst team in the NHL at this time as they have a minus-16 goal differential, eight more than the second worst team, the Golden Knights. There is some young talent in Detroit but it’s going to be a long season in the Motor City.

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.