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.
It’s November, which means we are officially one month into the NHL season. Lots has happened in the TWC Power Rankings since Week 1, with the majority of teams jumping all over the place. This week, we have zeroed in on each team’s biggest concern that should have some fans worried for the near future. Rankings are still based on the normal criteria, with their biggest concerns not having an impact on where they fall. Enjoy!
31. Arizona Coyotes
| 1-12-1 | SAME | Last Week 1-3-0 |
Biggest Concern? The Whole Team (besides Clayton Keller) Sure they may have won their first game of the season, but only after blowing a 3-0 lead.
30. Edmonton Oilers
| 3-7-1 | -2 | LW 0-2-0
Biggest Concern? The Penalty Kill. Pick your poison Oilers fans. Sure you could say scoring is an issue, but the team is generating the second most shots per game – so the goals will come. That being said, a 68.3% execution on the PK is a gaping hole that needs to be patched up.
29. Buffalo Sabres
| 4-7-2 | -2| LW 1-1-0
Biggest Concern? The Defense. For a team that acquired some big name defensemen in the off season and hired a former all-star defenseman as their coach, the back end has produced zero goals this season. Rasmus Ristolainen has the most points with 4A in 12GP.
28. New York Rangers
| 5-7-2 | +1 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Potential Coaching Change. The rumors of Alain Vigneault being on the hot seat is only going to make things worse in the Big Apple. Having Lindy Ruff chomping at the bit must make things extra difficult.
27. Montreal Canadiens
| 4-8-1 | +3 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Fan Health. Continuously bad play has led to the fans revolting against everyone in the franchise, including showering their franchise goaltender with Bronx Cheers. Of course, after two wins, the fans flipped their sentiment and are now planning for a long playoff run. This roller coaster ride can’t be good for their hearts, but I guess they’re used to it.
26. Florida Panthers
| 4-7-1 | -3 | LW 0-2-1
Biggest Concern? Shots Allowed. This team is allowing the most shots per game out of any team which has turned into the second most goals allowed. Picking up Antti Niemi off of waivers sure isn’t going to help fix this stat, but not allowing shots to get there in the first place is the bigger issue. Oh, another 7 GA last night? Good grief.
25. Detroit Red Wings
| 6-7-1 | SAME | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Mediocrity. After ending a disastrous six game slide, the Red Wings had an average week. I guess that is the main problem, this team was supposed to be terrible, but is now just “ok”. Are they trying to make the playoffs? Are they going to tank later? They are in the middle of the pack of almost every stat category, so your guess is as good as mine.
24. Boston Bruins
| 5-3-3 | -3 | LW 1-0-2
Biggest Concern? Tuukka Rask. With Anton Khudobin having the highest share of wins at the moment, the Bruins need more from their number one guy. Currently with a 2.65 GAA and .907 SV%, his numbers are not where they normally are. The last second OT loss to the Kings was devastating, but the win against Vegas should help him trend in the right direction.
23. Minnesota Wild
| 4-4-2 | -1 | 1-1-0
Biggest Concern? Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin. Tough to see young players unable to replicate an outstanding previous season. The team opted to retain Dumba and Brodin, and trade Marco Scandella, which may not have been the smartest move. Whispers of Dumba being benched and terrible possession numbers for Brodin have Wild fans sweating. We’re hoping for a bounce back, but tough to judge based on their early performances. Wait what is that? A goal and an assist from Dumba last night? Ok I guess then its just Brodin.
22. Carolina Hurricanes
| 4-5-2 | -7 | LW 0-2-1
Biggest Concern? A little bit of everything. Scott Darling has a sub .900 SV%. Special teams ranks in the bottom third in both categories. They haven’t really played enough games to prove what kind of team they are. After a winless week, they take a bit of a tumble.
21. Colorado Avalanche
| 7-5-0 | -2| LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Matt Duchene’s Trade Value. Sure we are jumping on the bandwagon, but can you blame us? The Avalanche can’t be viewed as a legitimate contender and at this point it’s perplexing as to why Duchene is still in Colorado. Sure his stat line reads 3-5-8 right now, but it’s time he was traded. Cut your losses Joe Sakic.
20. Nashville Predators
| 5-5-2 | -4 | LW 1-2-0
Biggest Concern? Shots on Goal. You would think with both the forward and defensive group this team has, shots wouldn’t be a problem. Currently second last in average shots per game at 29, this team needs to find the net a lot more if they want to get another shot at the Cup.
19. Philadelphia Flyers
| 7-6-1 | -6 | LW 2-1-1
Biggest Concern? Brian Elliott. Flames fans know what Brian Elliott can be like, and right now it’s not that great. Moose was up and down all the time last season, and has continued that trend this season as well. He has to be more consistent if the Flyers want to keep pace in the Metro. Especially if Michal Neuvirth is shutting out the Blues.
18. Washington Capitals
| 6-6-1 | -1| LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Consistency. This team has shown flashes of brilliance promptly followed by flashes of incompetence, all in the same week. They are a good team with great players, but need to find some stability. After scoring seven times in his first two games, Alex Ovechkin only has three in his past ten. This team is more than it’s captain, though, and needs more from everyone.
17. Calgary Flames
|7-6-0 | +1 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Bottom Six Scoring. Kris Versteeg is the only bottom six player that has a goal this season. With Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and the 3M line shouldering most of the load offensively, the Flames find themselves with the second worst G/GP so far this season.
16. Anaheim Ducks
| 6-5-1 | +8 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Injuries. It sounds like a broken record at this point, but the injury bug is becoming too overwhelming. Add Ryan Getzlaf to the ever growing list of broken Ducks. This team should all start wearing non-contact jerseys in practice and use foam pucks.
15. Vancouver Canucks
| 6-4-2 | -4 | LW 0-1-1
Biggest Concern? A Mystic Veil of Improvement. I mean Derek Dorsett has six goals, this should cool the expectations for most people. The Canucks are getting solid performances out of unexpected players, giving the illusion that they are a playoff team. Give it a few more weeks.
14. Winnipeg Jets
| 7-3-2 | +6 | LW 3-0-1
Biggest Concern? Playing Steve Mason. Connor Hellebuyck has been an absolute stud lately. He has all six of the Jets wins this season. Sure they have spit OT losses, but you can imagine the stress level in Manitoba when Mason enters the crease next.
13. San Jose Sharks
| 7-5-0 | +13 | LW 3-0-0
Biggest Concern? Brent Burns. The Sharks are playing much better hockey at the moment, but they are missing their dynamite Wookie defenseman. This is a guy who was at the top of the league in points last season. To have zero goals to show for this season must be frustrating. He’s still perfect in our eyes, but put up some points Burnzie.
12. Vegas Golden Knights
| 8-4-0 | -7| LW 1-3-0
Biggest Concern? Goaltending. Maybe they shouldn’t have traded Calvin Pickard? Down to their fourth (!!!) string goaltender in Maxime Lagace and 2017 seventh rounder Dylan Ferguson, this team may have a tough time stopping pucks.
11. Dallas Stars
| 7-6-0 | +1 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Even Strength Play. The Stars are top three in both PK and PP, which makes you wonder whether or not they should just abandon 5v5 and go for special teams the entire game.
10. Chicago Blackhawks
| 6-5-2 | SAME | LW 1-2-0
Biggest Concern? Patrick Kane’s Power Play Play. Patrick Kane, one of the most gifted offensive players of his generation, has been limited to just two assists on the power play this season. Normally the PP is his bread and butter, but so far no luck. The Blackhawks are ranked 27th on the PP, which is absurdly out of the ordinary. Kane is the key to turn that around.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs
| 8-6-0 | -6 | LW 1-3-0
Biggest Concern? Early Season Expectations. This team is still good, but the Leafs have been knocked back down to reality. While still the second highest scoring offence, Frederik Andersen has not been as solid of late. After four losses in their last five games, worry is starting to grow in Toronto. That’t what happens when you come out of the gate blazing before the season truly even starts.
8. New York Islanders
| 7-5-1 | +6 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? John Tavares’ AAV. JT was always going to earn big bucks this offseason, but his MVP pace is causing that number to rise even further. The Isles want him, but every other team is already salivating at his potential free agency. The Isles need to extend him ASAP.
7. Ottawa Senators
| 6-2-5 | +1 | LW 2-1-1
Biggest Concern? Overtime Play. The Senators are apparently the Leafs of last year. Already with four overtime/shootout losses, that is four additional points this team could already use! Their play deserves two points, but at the moment only displays the “loser point”. I guess one is better than none?
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
| 8-5-2 | SAME | LW 1-2-1
Biggest Concern? Goals Against. Sure the Pens are higher up in the standings, but they boast the second highest GA/GP and have the worst goal differential for any team currently holding a playoff spot. Sure they have suffered some disastrous losses, but they can’t afford any more of them.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
| 9-4-0 | +2 | LW 3-1-0
Biggest Concern? The Power Play. Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno, Zach Werenski, Seth Jones. These are all the players that have been utilized on the power play. What do they have to show for it? A powerplay success rate of 8.6%. Not good enough.
4. New Jersey Devils
| 9-2-0 | +5 | 3-0-0
Biggest Concern? Nothing. This is the only cop out on this list because lets be completely honest, who saw this coming from the Devils. From a team that had zero expectations heading into the season, a month later they are flying high. Even Taylor Hall thinks he can pick up Selena Gomez. The Devils are the story of the season so far.
3. Los Angeles Kings
| 10-2-1 | -1 | LW 2-1-0
Biggest Concern? Who should be sent an apology card. Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, John Stevens, and Tyler Toffolli. We didn’t believe in you after missing the playoffs, and after a muddled offseason, we are sorry for that. Who should we make the apology card out to? Where should it be sent?
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
| 10-2-2 | -1 | LW 1-1-1
Biggest Concern? Deciding who will win the Art Ross. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are destroying the scoring race right now. Stamkos leads in points and Kucherov leads in goals. It’s going to be a challenge to decide which player takes home which award.
1. St. Louis Blues
| 10-3-1 |+3 | LW 3-1-0
Biggest Concern? When Jordan Kyrou will play for STL. Since the team is firing on all cylinders, not much to be concerned about. This means that since they are ranked #1 we are going to nitpick. So we turn our view to the future and look at when STL fans will be dying for this kid to play for the team. 34 points in 14 games played is bonkers. After last nights loss, I wonder how many fans tweeted out asking for him to be recalled? To rub a little salt in the wound for our Flames readers, he was drafted with a 2nd round pick acquired in the Brian Eillott trade. Good move, Doug Armstrong.
What are your thoughts? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below.