Written by: Tanner Henkel – Staff Writing Intern (@thenkel)
Another week has passed in the NHL schedule and thanks to a huge upset on Friday, a couple extended winning streaks, and lengthy losing skids, there were some rumblings in this week’s NHL power rankings.
30. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 26): Losers of their last six games, The Canucks have managed only 4 goals in that stretch. It’s time for GM Jim Benning to panic.
29. Carolina Hurricanes (29): They beat the New York Rangers in the last week. But that’s their only win in the last week. Not enough to move up on the list.
28. Arizona Coyotes (30): They were trending up after surprise wins against San José and Nashville, but quickly fell off with a 5-1 L to Anaheim.
27. Nashville Predators (22): With one win in their last five, the Preds have been too inconsistent to rank any higher.
26. Colorado Avalanche (15): It’s deceiving to see the Avs in the middle of the NHL standings. In their last four games, they’ve only scored three goals, a big reason they have a -8 goal differential to date.
25. New York Islanders (18): Better than their 4-6-1 record indicates, but how long before they play up their potential?
24. Buffalo Sabres (27): Allowing 24 goals in 11 games is good, but they’ve only scored 23. Did I say they miss Jack Eichel?
23. Toronto Maple Leafs (28): Frederik Andersen made 40+ saves twice this week. First beating Edmonton in overtime, and then Buffalo in regulation. Maybe he is a true number one goalie after all.
22. LA Kings (19): 1-4 on the road so far this season; The Kings have to turn it around on a five game road swing next week. That will be hard to do with a -9 goal differential. Safe to say this team misses Jonathan Quick.
21. Winnipeg Jets (25): This team is competitive thanks to Patrick Laine. With 10 points in 12 games Laine looks like he might be the next Ovechkin, and Ovi agrees.
20. Calgary Flames: Brian Elliot has been an upgrade in goal, but losing Kris Russell has hurt more than anticipated. The team has allowed 42 goals in 12 games.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (24): Scoring ten goals and handing the league leading Canadiens their first loss of the season is a good week, let alone a night.
18. Dallas Stars (13): This team is capable of scoring way more than they are. Losing Alec Hemsky hurts them offensively, but Jamie Benn needs to score at a point per game pace. And he’s more than capable of this.
17. Anaheim Ducks (23): Four goals against the Kings, five against Nashville showed us what the Ducks are capable of offensively. But they allowed five against the Penguins. If Anaheim can find offensive consistency they can be at the top of this list.
16. New Jersey Devils (16): The Devils are relying on Taylor Hall offensively and unless he regains his form as an elite scorer they won’t move. Hard to tell after the Devils went 1-1 in the last week.
15. Florida Panthers (11): The Panthers will need a more balanced offensive attack to move up on this list, they can’t rely on the 37-year old Roberto Luongo to bail them out all season.
14. Boston Bruins (20): With Tuukka Rask back in goal, the Bruins avoided an early season goaltending storm and instead turned in three straight wins. If the Bruins keep this up they will continue to climb the NHL standings.
13. Philidelphia Flyers (17): Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds are among the league’s point leaders, and they have to keep up this pace because The Flyers have allowed the most goals in the NHL. Regardless, the Flyers are winners of three straight.
12. Ottawas Senators (14): Unfortunately it took some terrible news, but Craig Andersen was playing inspired hockey before taking a leave of absence to be with his family. Will Mike Condon be able to hold down the fort?
11. San Jose Sharks (6): It’s impossible to stay in the top ten after losing to Arizona and Calgary in the same week. We will see what the Sharks are made of in a Stanley Cup rematch against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
10. Detroit Red Wings (4): Losing four straight games is bad, but what’s worse is all the teams were below them in the standings.
9. St. Louis Blues (10): A -8 goal differential has the Blues third in the Central Division. The good news is they’re only 3 points back of first place Chicago. Expect these three teams to go back and forth all season.
8. Minnesota Wild (8): A loss to Buffalo hurts but Minnesota is still right where they belong, chasing Chicago in the Central Division.
7. Edmonton Oilers (2): The Oilers regressed to the mean in the last week, losing to Ottawa, Toronto and then New York. They will get a chance to redeem themselves against the Islanders Saturday.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (3): The Bolts have lost four of their last five, but it’s very encouraging to see Steven Stamkos at the top of the NHL’s scoring race again.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (7): Winners in four of their last five, the Penguins sit in third place overall. A big test will come this weekend when the defending champs will travel to San Jose for a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh.
4. Chicago Blackhawks (12): Four straight wins saw the Blackhawks climb the standings last week. What’s scary is they’re doing this without production from their big guns.
3. Washington Capitals (9): The Caps recorded four straight wins on their western Canada road trip. This isn’t really a surprise with such a deep group of forwards and one of the best goalies in the game. The Caps are scary good.
2. Montreal Canadiens (1): No team can give up 10 goals in a game and retain the number 1 spot. The reason they didn’t drop further? Friday marked the Habs first regulation loss this season.
1. New Yorks Rangers (5): Three straight wins, and a plus 20 goal differential has the Rangers first on this list, and second in the NHL’s standings. But the Rangers have only played three road games. They will be tested on Saturday when they travel to Boston.
Who do you think is the best team in the NHL? Leave a comment or send me a tweet @thenkel!