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NHL Power Rankings: Pastrnak’s return helps Bruins climb to top spot

Liam McHugh, Mike Babcock and Patrick Sharp break down the latest NHL Power Rankings, where David Pastrnak's return has powered Boston to the top spot while Florida's strong play has the Cats joining the top 10.

There is a new team at the top of this week’s NHL Power Rankings as the Bruins, powered by the return of David Pastrnak, climb to the top.

Our previous NHL Power Rankings No. 1, Montreal, has continued its winning ways but had its hands full over the weekend with Ottawa, which knocks it down a couple of spots as Boston, Tampa Bay, and Toronto continue to impress.

The Panthers also crack the top-10 for the first time, while the Canucks continue their roller coaster season and drop significantly after a very tough week defensively.

We look at all of that and more.

Where does your team sit this week?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Boston Bruins. They were already winning games, and then David Pastrnak came back and started scoring goals. A ton of them. What an in-season addition that is.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning. Even when you take away one of the best offensive players in hockey (Nikita Kucherov) this team is still too much for everybody else. There is no weakness on the roster.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs. I do not think Auston Matthews is going to score 50 goals in 56 games, but he is going to make it interesting.

4. Montreal Canadiens. Signing Josh Anderson to a seven-year contract after an injury-shortened season where he scored one goal in 26 games looked seriously risky. And it still is. But so far he has eight goals in 12 games. Not a bad start.

5. Carolina Hurricanes. Andrei Svechnikov is in the process of his major breakout season as most of us expected him to be, but do not overlook the performance of last year’s big trade deadline acquisition, Vincent Trocheck.

6. Colorado Avalanche. Injuries are mounting and they are one of the teams dealing with COVID at the moment, but when they do play they look really good.

7. Vegas Golden Knights. Mark Stone is on pace for nearly 90 points in a 56-game season. He is tremendous.

8. Florida Panthers. They finally lost a game in regulation ... to Detroit?! Still no idea what to make of this team, but they have mostly beaten the teams they are supposed to beat.

9. Washington Capitals. They drop down from the second spot a week. Their lineup is decimated at the moment due to injuries.

[Roundtable: Early season surprises and disappointments]

10. St. Louis Blues. No Robert Thomas for the next four-to-six weeks is going to be tough.

11. Philadelphia Flyers. They are getting points, and that is going to help them in the long run. But the defensive play and goaltending is going to have to get better. Offense and a sky-high shooting percentage are carrying them.

12. Winnipeg Jets. Little surprising they have been as good as they have been while only getting one game out of Patrik Laine (before trading him) and Connor Hellebuyck only being “good” instead of “great.”

13. Dallas Stars. They have cooled off a bit after that four-game winning streak to open the season by losing four of the next five games.

14. Calgary Flames. The best news for the Flames this season: Johnny Gaudreau looks awesome.

15. New York Rangers. They start the week on a four-game point streak with back-to-back impressive wins over Pittsburgh and Washington.

16. Arizona Coyotes. Give them credit, they are hanging around without their best defensemen (Oliver Ekman-Larsson) and Darcy Kuemper not yet finding his rhythm.

17. Minnesota Wild. We have not seem them for more than a week, but when we did see them the only thing you could really say about them is they have been consistently inconsistent.

18. Columbus Blue Jackets. It has only been three games but you can already see the potential that Laine brings to this lineup.

[MORE: Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

19. Chicago Blackhawks. After starting the season with four consecutive ugly losses they are have 14 out of the next 20 points in the standings. The key: Kevin Lankinen in goal. Bet you did not see that one coming.

20. Pittsburgh Penguins. Sloppy defense and lousy goaltending is going to result in too many losses in the standings.

21. Edmonton Oilers. If they miss the playoffs in this division, with these performances from Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, that would be a great big yikes.

22. New York Islanders. They finally snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday night, but this team is still a long way from where it wants to be.

23. New Jersey Devils. Hard to judge a team you have not seen play in more than a week.

24. Buffalo Sabres. Again, hard to judge a team you have not seen play in more than a week.

25. Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks best chance to compete this season is if they get great goaltending. It has been very good and kept a bad offense in a lot of games.

26. Nashville Predators. Really hard to see where the offense is going to come from here.

27. San Jose Sharks. Their week saw them get humiliated by Colorado and then struggle against a mediocre Ducks team.

28. Vancouver Canucks. This might be the worst defense in the NHL outside of Ottawa.

29. Los Angeles Kings. Anze Kopitar still has it. The rest of the team right now, not so much.

30. Detroit Red Wings. Sunday’s win against Florida snapped an eight-game losing streak. Going to be another long year.

31. Ottawa Senators. A positive season in Ottawa is seeing meaningful progress from young players. Even when they lose games. Which they will. Very often.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.