The Win Column Power Rankings is a weekly feature that will highlight the current rankings of all the NHL teams during that specific week. While their place in the standings will be taken into affect, each team’s’ weekly performances will have the greater effect on how high, or low, they end up ranking.
Back at it again. Three weeks in and some teams are starting to show their true colours (for better or worse). No drastic twenty place drops this week, but some moves among the middle crop. We also crowned a new #1 team that is most likely going to aggravate the other 30 fan-bases, but it was inevitable. Enjoy!
31. Arizona Coyotes
| 0-6-1 | SAME
Things could not be going worse in the desert right now. Antti Raanta is injured, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is a -10 already on the year, and getting Zac Rinaldo back seemed to be the highlight of their week. Sad sad times.
30. Buffalo Sabres
| 1-4-2 | SAME
Jack Eichel says that the team needs to start being sick of losing and so far they haven’t bucked the trend. They earned their first win of the season on Sunday in Anaheim, but this team isn’t trending enough in the right direction to warrant a move.
29. Montreal Canadiens
| 1-5-1 | -3
A winless week drops the Canadiens even further. The Habs haven’t won a game in regulation yet this year, with only a shootout win over Buffalo to boast. They supposedly have the best goaltender in the league, but sport the worst goal differential in the league (-16 through seven games). There aren’t enough NHL caliber players in front of Carey Price at the moment – which means a move needs to happen soon. My suggestion? A new GM. They could also use a young defenseman who can score, say a Mikhail Sergachev type player!
28. New York Rangers
| 1-5-2 | -5
The Rangers are only above Montreal because they beat them, same goes for Montreal over Buffalo. Take your pick of these three massive disappointments. The Rangers have lost five straight, the last two being in extra time. While they may have secured points from these two games, they need much more from everyone. I thought this team might regress, but not this much.
27. Vancouver Canucks
| 2-3-1 | +1
They somehow lost to the Flames after having seven power play opportunities, and they somehow shutout the Senators on Erik Karlsson day. The Canucks are still the Canucks. They play the Sabres tonight, which should be fun for no one, but then face a tough schedule this week. Glad to see Brock Boeser draw in and start to produce immediately.
26. Edmonton Oilers
| 2-4-0 | -4
Things have not been fun in Edmonton since their opening night win. The four game losing streak came to an end last night in Chicago, thanks to Connor McDavid, but they aren’t out of the woods quite yet. That win will most likely give them some momentum for the remainder of their road-trip, but they better hope Leon Draisaitl can return soon. Another side note, the bone-headedness displayed by Zack Kassian last night should be made an example of – no place left in the game for these types of plays. I am sure Edmonton fans would agree on this.
25. San Jose Sharks
| 2-3-0 | +4
The Sharks shouldn’t be nearly as bad as they have been so far, so a two win week (ignoring the quality of wins) helps them jump up a bit. Martin Jones has been ok, and Brent Burns appears to have joining his fellow Sasquatch, disappearing into the forest. If they can get their key players back to normalcy, they will continue to rise.
24. Florida Panthers
| 2-3-0 | -10
I was buying Panthers stock last week, and I’m selling hard this week. While they put up solid wins against tough opponents early on, this week was comprised of two straight losses. Heading into a back-to-back against Pittsburgh and Washington does not look good for these cats either. They are generating the most shots on net per game, and have the ninth highest GF/GP, but they also allow the third most GA/GP. At least they still have Roberto Luongo for comedic relief!
23. Anaheim Ducks
| 2-3-1 | -10
Tough week in Anaheim. Losses to Colorado and Buffalo cannot be fun to bear. This team dearly misses Ryan Kesler, Hampus Lindholm, and Sami Vatanen. Even Ryan Getzlaf isn’t at 100%. They don’t make up the team, but bring so many intangible factors that it’s becoming evident. Easy opponents this week shouldn’t be overlooked after the past seven days. On a side note, kudos to the Ducks organization for organizing the 21st Duck event. Always love these moments.
22. Minnesota Wild
| 1-1-2 | -6
The Wild have only played four games, but boast the highest SA/GP in the league. Not a recipe for success. Their boatload of injuries coming at the same time also does not help the team get off to a good start. This is not to say the Wild are a bad team, their lack of GP’s make it tough to rank them any higher. Four games against somewhat manageable opponents in the next week should have them back on track.
21. Boston Bruins
| 3-3-0 | SAME
They dominated the Canucks and Coyotes, but lost to the Golden Knights and their former first rounder Malcolm Subban. The return of Patrice Bergeron is a blessing, especially after his four point debut, but how long will Anton Khudobin be their starter? This compilation of events have the Bruins staying put, for now.
20. Colorado Avalanche
| 4-4-0 | -9
The Avalanche are falling fast, like some kind of snow mass accelerating down a steep incline. Three straight losses has pretty much erased their unbelievable start. I’m not ready to put the Nail in the coffin quite yet, but everyone in Colorado should be on high alert.
19. New York Islanders
| 3-3-1 | +5
The Islanders are such a mixed bag this year. Sitting at .500, I am not sure what this team has the potential to be. You’re almost hopeful they play well so that John Tavares is more inclined to stay, but the jury is still out on NYI. A 2-1 week will jump them into the teens, but they could sure use a Jordan Eberle goal sometime soon.
18. Winnipeg Jets
| 3-3-0 | +7
Please, Paul Maurice, keep Connor Hellebuyck in the crease. Three wins and a 2.11 GAA? What more could you want. Steve Mason? No wins and a 5.96 GAA. You have your starting goalie, now play him. This team has played better in front of Hellebuyck and you give yourself the best chance to win with him in net. Please, Paul, please.
17. Carolina Hurricanes
| 3-1-1 | +2
Finally the Hurricanes were able to play some games, and they looked very competitive. An Alberta sweep, mixed with a loss to the Jets, have given this team some footing. This is of course before they have to play the top three teams in the league at the moment back-to-back-to-back.
16. Dallas Stars
| 4-3-0 | +11
Were we too harsh on the Stars? Maybe. Should you think a three game winning streak gets you higher than 16th? No. The Stars finally look like the team we expected, but I’m not ready to glorify them yet. Their three wins came against Colorado and Arizona twice. Not the strongest sample size, but a step in the right direction. With more competitive opponents this coming week, I expect to see who the true Stars actually are.
15. Calgary Flames
|4-3-0 | -9
Mike Smith can’t keep everyone’s head above water for too long. His outstanding play has been the main reason for the Flames’ four wins. This past week they were annihilated by Ottawa, somehow beat Vancouver after so many penalties, and put up a listless effort against Carolina. If the Flames lose, they lose bad. We love our team, but they find themselves being the biggest loser this week. There are many things that they need to work on, especially heading into one of the most difficult stretches on their calendar.
14. Philadelphia Flyers
| 4-3-0 | +4
A solid goalie tandem is forming in Philly. Michal Neuvirth has the better numbers, but Brian Elliott has the higher share of wins. This should play in the team’s favor as stabilizing the position could lead to having two solid options night in and night out. Great to see Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakub Voracek rebound from tough outings last year. Dominant wins against Washington and Florida have the Flyers making a move up this week.
13. Nashville Predators
| 4-2-1 | +4
This is the team that we saw in the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Nashville has had somewhat of a return to form this past week with wins against Philly and Colorado. Even though they fell in OT to the Hawks, Pekka Rinne has provided outstanding goaltending allowing only 3GA in his past three starts. Scott Hartnell has provided a strong bargain buy so far with three goals, but will need more from the top players (I see you Nick Bonino) to ensure the offence picks up.
12. Ottawa Senators
| 3-1-3 | +8
Bulldozing their way through Alberta and the return of Erik Karlsson should have you buying a ton of Senators stock. Ignoring their loss to the Canucks, the Sens looked beyond dominant against Calgary and Edmonton. A point against the Devils, who should not be discounted, shows that this “boring” style of hockey can for sure threaten your favorite team’s’ record.
11. Washington Capitals
| 3-3-1 | -6
After a win against the Devils, the Caps were blasted by the Flyers and then shutout by the Leafs. They didn’t finish this week strong, but the Caps are still flying high. They do need more from their bottom six forward group, as they can’t rely on the top players all the time to produce offence.
10. Detroit Red Wings
| 4-3-0 | +5
Since last week’s rankings, the Wings ruined the Knights undefeated record and suffered losses to Tampa and Toronto. Why do we have them so high after back-to-back losses? Detroit has shown an immense amount of potential. Mike Green has sparked the offence from the backend, and Henrik Zetterberg appears to be having a mini renaissance. It’s early, but they may not be a lottery team after all.
9. Vegas Golden Knights
| 5-1-0 | +1
Once again, yes the Knights are 5-1, but they have yet to face a true contender yet. No shot against the teams they have faced, but Arizona x 2, Buffalo, and a Patrice Bergeron-less Bruins do not spark enough to rank the Knights higher. Great to see Malcolm Subban get his first win against his former team – could end up being a solid move for the team.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins
| 4-2-1 | +4
A two win week makes it feel like the Penguins are back to being the Penguins. A cause for concern? Pittsburgh is the highest ranked team with a negative goal differential. They are second in GA/GP with 4.14, which is second to only the Coyotes. There is work to be done, but the Penguins are still a top ten team moving forward.
7. Chicago Blackhawks
| 4-2-2 | -5
Not their finest week, especially after last night’s OT loss to the Oilers, but this team cannot drop that far. A fairly easy upcoming week should earn them back to back wins, of course that is just assuming this team continues to perform at the same level. Not much else to say about this team, but here is another excuse to post the Connor McDavid vs. Duncan Keith goal. Sorry Hawks fans.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
| 5-2-0 | +1
A valiant effort against the Lightning last night ended in a shutout, but this team should not be disappointed in their effort this past week. Wins against Winnipeg and Minnesota helped them reach 2nd in the Metropolitan Division. They face a tough test in the Kings on Saturday, but could be the ones to send them to their first regulation loss. They would be first in their division if it wasn’t for the…
5. New Jersey Devils
| 6-1-0 | +3
This team is so fun to watch. The biggest surprise of the season keeps on rolling. Just when you thought they were going to lose to Tampa, they come back to win in a shootout. Just when you thought losing Cory Schneider would cost them the game last night, they come back to win in overtime. At this point I’m going to stop underestimating this team and enjoy the ride*.
*That is of course unless Cory Schneider is out for an extended period of time.
4. St. Louis Blues
| 6-2-0 | -3
By no fault of their own, the Blues fall a few spots this week. This team is still easily one of the best groups in the league, especially after dispatching the Hawks in convincing fashion. Jaden Schwartz, who has always been underrated, is having a breakout start; leading the team in both goals (6) and points (12). Having Carter Hutton win both of his starts and give Jake Allen a break is a pure luxury so far into the season. Fear not about this ranking Blues fans, there is just not enough room at the top!
3. Los Angeles Kings
| 5-0-1 | +6
The Kings are the only team left in the league without a regulation loss – who saw that coming? Preseason expectations were almost an insult to this team as they are playing amazing hockey, especially after an undefeated week. Their PK is operating at a miraculous 95.8% (!!). While unsustainable, the team has been able to adapt quickly to the new systems and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The loss of Jeff Carter may be a cause for concern, but this week’s performance will keep them in the top three.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
| 6-1-1 | +2
Tampa is currently leading the league by one point, and also has the top two scorers in the league with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. A shutout win over a very strong Columbus team capped a 3-0-1 week for the team. I would expect to see them in the number one spot very soon.
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
| 6-1-0 | +2
Highest scoring offence. Check. Best goal differential. Check. Three game winning streak. Check. Everything is clicking right now in Toronto. Maybe Mitch Marner should stay on the fourth line forever? While the rest of the league hates to put Toronto on a pedestal, there is not much to hate about the Leafs game at the moment. They are by far the best team in the league and 100% deserve the #1 ranking this week.
What are your thoughts? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below.