Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey for this season.
The NHL’s regular season is underway as we are about a month into the season now. If you look a the standings you will notice some teams you did not expect up there. One team especially is on a bit of a roll, to say the least.
There are the usual suspects up there as well to balance the surprises to start the season. On the other side of the ledger, there are some teams that are already out of it as it will be hard to dig out the holes they put themselves into. While the rest of the teams in the league are still trying to find their way and hoping it is not too late.
Time to dive into the NHL Power Rankings and find out where these teams stand in this second edition.
NHL Power Rankings
1. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 3)
The Devils are the hottest team in the NHL right now and hold the top spot in this week’s NHL Power Rankings. They are on a 10-game winning streak with no signs of slowing down. Don’t think anyone had the Devils atop the Metro Division when the season started. Balanced scoring and good goaltending has carried this team as they find different ways to win each night. For now, at least they are number one.
2. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 2)
Now you can argue the Boston Bruins deserve to be at the top spot. They have been one of the most consistent teams this year. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Bruins are in first place in the Atlantic Division and playing like champions. Such a well-balanced oil machine.
3. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 1)
The Golden Knights are a healthy team once again and look like one of the best teams in the NHL. They have hit a little bit of a hiccup after returning from a long road trip. Good thing is they know what it takes to right the ship with Jack Eichel playing some of his best hockey in years.
4. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 13)
The Islanders are playing well and showing they can win even when they do not play their best. 8-2 over their last 10 games and sitting second in the Metro Division. Noah Dobson is a rising star on defence and gaining more and more confidence. Could still use a goal scorer, but goaltending and defence is still their bread and butter.
5. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 5)
The Hurricanes continue to fly under the radar. Nobody really talks about them much. Yes a sexy pick to win the Stanley Cup, but they continue to go about their business by winning. Andrei Svechnikov has already two hat tricks on the season. A well-balanced lineup and plays the way their coach did. Carolina is always in the conversation for the Stanley Cup.
6. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 9)
The Avalanche are starting to look like the team that won the Stanley Cup last year and the team everyone thought could repeat this season. Colorado continues to deal with injuries, but Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon are putting the team on their backs as they inch their way to the top of the Central.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning (Previous Ranking 7)
The Lightning are showing why you should never count them out. The big boys are heating up Nikita Kucherov was on a heater recording 20 points over an 11-game point streak. Players are settling into roles as the Lightning march their way up the standings.
8. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 6)
Connor Hellebuyck is looking strong between the pipes for the Winning Jets. He is playing at a Vezina Trophy level again. The Jets continue to outperform expectations. But can they keep it up is the real question?
9. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 12)
How about the young players in LA? Gabriel Vilardi continues his stellar play alongside Arthur Kaliyev, but it is Kevin Fiala who has taken the next step turning into the goal scorer everyone expected him to be. The question can they keep relying on Jonathan Quick to win games?
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 11)
The Maple Leafs are starting to turn around their season. John Tavares remains red hot for the blue and white. Toronto is playing with a bit more structure these days with injuries to their backend. November has always been a good month for them.
11. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 4)
Stars have slowed some since the beginning of the year. But you have to recognize what the ageless wonder Joe Pavelski continues to do. The fountain of youth that Pavelski has found has rubbed off on Jamie Benn, who is off to a blistering start finding a new on this team.
12. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 10)
You knew it wouldn’t last long, but Seattle continues to hang out as teams in the Pacific struggle. Martin Jones has been a big reason why along with balanced scoring.
13. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 8)
Edmonton offensively is fine with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the questions are more between the pipes. Has Stuart Skinner taken the number one spot from $5 million dollar man Jack Campbell? Looks that way. Oilers need Campbell to play better.
14. New York Rangers ( Previous Ranking 15)
The Rangers continue to have their struggles especially offensively. They need to give their backup Jaroslav Halak more goal support. Halak has kept them in games when called upon, the guys in front of him have to do more.
15. Florida Panthers (Previous Ranking 16)
The Panthers are slowly putting things together after an overhaul this summer. Matthew Tkachuk has fit in nicely and the Panthers may have one of the best goalies duos in the league as Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight are pushing each other night in and night out.
16. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 14)
Flames are starting to turn things around after a seven-game losing streak. Jonathan Huberdeau looks healthier after being sidelined by an injury. This team is still making too many mistakes that are very uncharacteristic of them especially with Darryl Sutter as their head coach.
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17. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 27)
After a seven-game losing streak, the Blues have won four in a row. Jordan Binnington is looking like his old self and gaining confidence with each and every game. Over this winning streak, Jordan Kyrou is finding his production again as the Blues inch closer to a wild card spot. Something about a Mom’s trip that brings the team together.
18. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 23)
The Penguins ended their seven-game losing streak. However, the Penguins still have issues defensively. Not to mention in between the pipes. Yes, it is still early, but with the way teams are performing ahead of them, they need to start winning some games.
19. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 20)
Did we expect Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Roman Josi to have career seasons again? Of course not. Hopefully, after a strong performance by Juuse Saros, the Predators can find the game they left in Europe because they need to pick up points with the way St. Louis is playing in front of them.
20. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 21)
Something feels off in Minnesota this year. Marc-Andre Fleury is now out with an injury. Offensively just so inconsistent. Though Kirill Kaprizov is still putting up numbers. You have to wonder if those buyouts were worth it.
21. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 25)
The Canadiens are a fun team to watch. Head coach Martin St. Louis is allowing the kids of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Kirby Dach to have fun playing hockey again. Especially Dach, who is developing into the player everyone thought he would be when he was selected third overall.
22. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 22)
Good on the players for playing hard each and every night for Luke Richardson. He is a good coach in a tough situation. At least there is some hope in the Windy City. But again all eyes will be on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews come the deadline.
23. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 17)
Detroit has expectations of making the playoffs or at least taking the next step, they are hanging in there, but they need a long winning streak to inch closer or it will be another year of the draft lottery. Don’t think Steve Yzerman wants that with the players he added in the offseason.
24. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 24)
Injuries are piling up for the Washington Capitals. This defence is not as good as the one in Colorado and Darcy Kuemper is finding that out the hard way. Kuemper is just an average goalie when you fire the puck on him. The decision to get rid of Samsonov and Vanecek looks worse and worse.
25. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 31)
The Sharks have won three in a row. Timo Meier and Logan Couture have stepped their game up. Not to mention Erik Karlsson remains red hot. The Sharks are open for trade business so you have to wonder if Karlsson gets moved.
26. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 18)
The Flyers have come back to Earth some, but one thing is clear under Tortorella, this team will not be outworked. However, Torts can’t be happy with the way his team has performed especially at the beginning of games.
27. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 26)
Right now Ottawa is low on the Rankings and many expected them to be better than this, especially with the summer they had. Ottawa needs to get good goaltending with Cam Talbot back. There is still time to right the ship, but many expected better. Again there is still time.
28. Arizona Coyotes (Previous Ranking 28)
Arizona is finding some success on the road. 3-2 thus far on their 14-game road trip. One bright spot in the desert is their power play. It is a lock every time to score.
29. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 19)
After another good start, another long losing streak. Many thought it was going to be different this year in Buffalo instead it is more of the same losing. The culture has to change for Buffalo to take the next step. Losing is draining.
30. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 29)
The Ducks are a bad team. Yes, they have young pieces in Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, Mason McTavish, and Jamie Drysdale, but it is going to take time before they are a contender again. You have to wonder how long before John Gibson wants out.
31. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 30)
Despite their awful start to the season, the Canucks are somewhat not out of it just yet. They still have major issues defensively but are starting to put wins and points together. They just need Thatcher Demko to be better. But he can’t hide their defensive issues any longer.
32. Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus is in a tailspin. The Blue Jackets are not a good team at all. Yes, they have Johnny Gaudreau, who is living up to his contract. But injuries are piling up and they are already out of it in a tough Eastern Conference.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned more another edition of NHL Power Rankings in a few weeks when the season really gets going.
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