Written by: Tanner Henkel – Staff Writing Intern (@thenkel)
With another week gone in the NHL schedule teams are starting to establish themselves in the standings. Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings going into Veteran’s Day Weekend.
30. Vancouver Canucks (LW:30): I think Willie Desjardins is feeling the heat a bit even though he’s not the only guy to blame for losing 10 of their last 11. Four home games next week might help the Canucks turn things around.
29. Carolina Hurricanes (29): One point in their last four games. They have established themselves in the bottom three of the league.
28. Arizona Coyotes (28): When they play their best they can compete, but the Coyotes have been too inconsistent to get out of the basement. Young guys like Duclair have yet to take a huge step forward. Also no number one goalie hurts.
27. Calgary Flames (20): Owners of the league’s worst -17 goal differential, and winners in one of their last five, the Flames are 28th in the standings. It doesn’t get easier for the Flames as they head to NYR on Saturday.
26. New York Islanders (25): Lost to Tampa and then Edmonton in a shootout, but they beat Vancouver. Right now the Isles are looking like a long shot to get back into the playoffs. An away game in Florida on Saturday will be a good indicator where they stand.
25. Colorado Avalanche (26): The Avalanche are struggling to score, which is surprising for a team with so much talent. Beating Winnipeg on Friday is a step in the right direction, they can to put something together if they beat Boston Sunday.
24. Buffalo Sabres (24): The Sabres have been riddled by injuries so far this year, and have lost their last two games in OT. Maybe the return of Evander Kane will help them. The Sabres have a tough schedule in the next week with games against New Jersey, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
23. Dallas Stars (18): An 8-2 loss to Winnipeg, a 6-2 loss against Dallas, and back to back losses against Chicago means Dallas has a long way to go before they can think about the playoffs.
22. Nashville Predators (27): With points in their last five, Nashville is showing glimpses of being an elite team most thought they were coming into the season. They need more consistency to move up the standings.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs (23): The Leafs bounced back from a 7-0 loss against LA with a 6-3 win over Philadelphia on Friday. More importantly the Leafs made a significant jump from the bottom to the middle of the league standings.
20. Winnipeg Jets (21): The Jets boast the leagues top goal scorer Patrick Laine (11), and points leader Mark Scheifele(19). They disposed of Dallas and squeaked by Arizona, but lost to the Rangers and fell to Colorado in OT. Not a bad week.
19. Florida Panthers (15): The Panthers look a lot closer to being a bottom ten team than a top ten team without Jonathan Huberdeau.
18.Philadelphia Flyers (13): The Flyers have allowed the most goals in the NHL (57), a big reason they’ve only earned one point of a possible six this week. A legitimate number one Goalie would do them wonders, maybe Vancouver’s Ryan Miller?
17. Columbus Blue Jackets (19): Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is on pace to have a career year, and that’s why the Jackets are overachieving. But can Bobrovsky carry them all season?
16. LA Kings (22): Started the week strong outscoring opponents 12-0, but snapped back to reality losing two straight. With 4 of their next 6 on the road, the Kings have to improve their 2-6-road record.
15. New Jersey Devils (16): Smack in the middle of the NHL standings they’re in the middle of this list as well. The Devils can move up on both lists if they win the second half of back-to-back games against Buffalo.
14. Ottawa Senators (12): Between Mike Condon and Craig Andersen the Sens goaltending has been great. With three home games next week, the Sens have a good opportunity to build on a modest two game winning streak.
13. Minnesota Wild (8): A back to back with Philadelphia and Ottawa this weekend will be a big test. Especially considering the Wild have struggled without Zach Parise. Are they an elite team without a first line winger?
12. Boston Bruins (14): With convincing wins over Buffalo and Columbus it’s easy to believe the Bruins could jump into the top ten. But losses to NYR and MTL proves the Bruins aren’t quite ready.
11. San Jose Sharks (11): They split games against Washington (3-0 W) and Pittsburgh (5-0L) last week, finding consistency against the Eastern Conference’s elite will go a long way in deciding where they stand. They have a test in Tampa this weekend.
10. Detroit Red Wings (10): Cooled off after a hot start, it looks like they will hover in an out of the top ten all year. Have a huge test in Montreal on Saturday.
9. Anaheim Ducks (17): The biggest mover on this list; the Ducks enter the top ten thanks to going 3-0-1 last week. The Ducks get a boost on the back-end with Hampus Lindholm returning to the line-up after a contract dispute.
8. Tampa Bay Lightning (6): The Bolts beat the Devils and the Islanders this week but fell to Florida. Not enough to jump into the top five with the Eastern Conference’s elite.
7. St. Louis Blues (9): After an overtime loss on Wednesday the Blues relinquished the Central Division lead to Chicago. Those two teams could go back and forth all season, but it’ll be interesting to see how long The Blues can hang in the NHL top ten if they give up more goals than they score.
6. Edmonton Oilers (7): I thought they would have fallen off by now, but the Oilers are 6-3-1 in the last ten, and still hanging around with the league’s elite. Their biggest test to date comes on Sunday at home against the Rangers.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (5): Pittsburgh’s goal differential is only +5 the lowest of any team in the top nine. This won’t matter if they keep winning. Can go toe to toe with anyone in the top five.
4. Washington Capitals (3): The Caps ended the Hawks seven game win streak on Friday in OT. They have two back-to-backs in 6 days, which is a challenge especially with Pittsburgh waiting on the back half.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (4): Had a seven game win streak before losing to Washington on Friday. It’s early but the Blackhawks look like the best in the West.
2. New York Rangers (1): 8-2 in the last ten, the Rangers outscored opponents 44-21 in that stretch. There’s not much the Rangers can’t do, and tf they keep this up they’ll go back and forth with Montreal all year.
1. Montreal Canadiens (2): The Habs are still on top of the standings, and are winners of three straight. When Carey Price is healthy and playing well, the Habs are the best team in the NHL.
Who do you think the best team is? Leave a comment or tweet me @thenkel!