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.
Lots of movement among the teams in the middle of the pack once again as so much
parity competitive balance still exists. Also, the number of teams whose identities are still up in the air after roller coaster performances made it very difficult to pick out the contenders and the pretenders, but a few teams do stick out from the rest. Enjoy this week’s rankings!
31. Arizona Coyotes
| 3-15-3 | SAME | Last Week 1-2-0 |
After 21 long games, the Coyotes finally have a regulation win. This of course doesn’t help much in their rankings this week as they are still by far the worst team in the league right now, and now hold the record for the worst start in league history. Small victories can only go so far.
30. Buffalo Sabres
| 5-9-4 | -1| LW 0-1-2
A winless week, including a loss to probably the second worst team in the league, does not do the Sabres any good in this weeks rankings. While they were able to get two points out of the last two losses, they still are still struggling mightily with two wins in their past nine games. Jack Eichel only has one goal over the same stretch. They need more from their $10M man.
29. Montreal Canadiens
| 8-10-2 | -5 | LW 1-1-1
I mean you let the Coyotes beat you in regulation. Sure it was inevitable they would win at least once, but you never want to be that team. After pushing their previous two games into overtime, and splitting the results, last night’s game against Arizona was far from spectacular. With Carey Price out with one of the most mysterious injury situations, GM of the Year Marc Bergervin went out and got the next best thing in Antti Niemi. This might just be the worst 1-1-1 week a team has endured, and things don’t look to be turning around.
28. Philadelphia Flyers
| 8-8-3 | -8 | LW 0-2-1
Being shutout by the Wild twice in one week has got to sting, but being up 2-0 only to lose in a shootout has to sting even more. Not a pretty week for the Flyers who really looked out of sorts the past few games. With little offense coming outside of their top line, the Flyers will need more from their young forwards in their lineup. This includes the recently healed Nolan Patrick, which is amazing to see. The Flyers once again are now overshadowed by the maliciousness of Radko Gudas, who once again leaves us asking the question: Why is this guy still an NHLer?
27. Edmonton Oilers
| 7-10-2 | -2 | LW 1-2-1
Those few months of “Edmonton Oilers – Stanley Cup Favorites” headlines plasters across the majority of news sites must feel like ages ago. Even after their somewhat successful road trip, everyone thought they had turned the corner. I still don’t think they have. I still expect them to compete down the road, but that assumption is quickly dwindling. They were able to thrash the Golden Knights on home ice, but I would hardly consider that to be a defining win on the season. The Oilers now head out on a five game road trip, starting in Dallas on Saturday, and you have to wonder when the light switch finally goes off?
26. Boston Bruins
| 7-7-4 | SAME | LW 1-2-1
The Bruins were able to salvage a disappointing week with a 2-1 victory against the Kings on their own back-to-back. This of course comes after losing both games of a home and home series to the Maple Leafs, which had to have taken a lot of gas out of the tank. You’ve got to wonder if Don Sweeney’s seat is getting hotter as every passing game goes by, as this team has yet to find their identity. When looking at the team stats, it has to be painful to see Matt Beleskey plunked right at the bottom of the list with 0’s across the board and a -7 rating in only 13 games.
25. Anaheim Ducks
| 8-7-3 | -4| LW 1-1-0
A relatively quiet week for the Ducks, with a loss to the Lightning and a win against the Bruins. They won’t play again until Sunday, but then play five games in seven days. These three days of rest will be essential for a team struggling to find a consistent lineup due to injuries. The win against the Bruins was even bigger for John Gibson, who stopped 40 of 42 shots he faced and earned his first win after losing his previous three starts.
24. Colorado Avalanche
| 9-7-1 | -1| LW 1-1-1
After losing both games overseas to their former teammate, the Avalanche returned home to thrash the Captials 6-2. With a majority of the teams offense coming from Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen, the future looks bright for the once maligned franchise. While there is still ample amount work to be done, the win was a bright spot that ended a three game losing streak. Gotta feel for Vladislav Kamanev, who in his first game in Colorado uniform after being traded suffered a broken arm and will be out of the lineup for at least the next few months. Tough game.
23. Vancouver Canucks
| 9-8-2 | -7 | LW 1-2-0
The Canucks have to be the most confusing team in the league at the moment. If you look at each game played, they can go from masterful to disastrous in the same week. Take the past seven days for example. In a 5-0 loss to San Jose they looked quite unproductive. The very next game against the Kings they were physical, strong on the power play, and a strong performance from Anders Nilsson led to a victory. Last night though, they were outplayed mightily by the Golden Knights, who themselves were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Oilers. Consistent isn’t really in their vocabulary. Unless of course you mean consistently inconsistent.
22. Florida Panthers
| 7-9-2 | +8 | LW 3-1-0
While the Panthers find themselves still near the bottom of the standings, a 3-1 week will have them jump up in the rankings. Having Roberto Luongo back will help immensely as their shots allowed and goals allowed are still some of the highest in the NHL. Florida’s young trio of stars, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trochek, and Aleksander Barkov all find themselves in the top thirty in league scoring. For a team that was predicted to struggle offensively, they have their young guns to keep them going.
21. Carolina Hurricanes
| 7-6-4 | +7 | LW 2-1-1
It was a busy week for the Hurricanes as they played four games and went 2-1-1 with many individual accomplishments along the way. Sebastian Aho finally lit the lamp (twice) and Teuvo Teravainen had eight points (3G 5A). While there was hope to see Scott Darling beat his former team, he came so close to no avail. They may have collapsed the third period of last night’s contest, the Canes will move up this week after two strong outings and some long overdue consistent play. Their penalty kill work is also a sight to behold.
20. Detroit Red Wings
| 9-8-2 | +2 | LW 1-0-1
The Red Wings extracted a ton of revenge against the Flames on Wednesday night with an 8-2 thrashing. That combined with a shootout loss to Columbus will have Detroit making another small jump in this weeks rankings. You have to marvel at the performance of Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha who are both on track for career years. With a combined six points against the Flames, both forwards should be on every team’s radar next time they face the Wings.
19. Dallas Stars
| 9-9-1 | -7 | LW 1-2-1
A strong 5-0 win against the Islanders a week ago was completely washed away with three consecutive losses (0-2-1). During those three losses the Stars gave up 14 GA, with 11 coming at the hands of Ben Bishop. While lots of criticism has gone to Jason Spezza and his lack of production (and deservedly so), Tyler Seguin has slowed down with no goals in his last five games. They need more from their star player. Fairly easy competition this upcoming week should see the Stars rebound, but they find themselves falling this week.
18. New York Rangers
| 9-8-2 | -5 | LW 1-1-0
All good things must come to an end. After extending their winning streak to six games last Saturday, the Rangers fell to the Blackhawks on Wednesday night 6-3. Nothing to get discouraged about, as the team has catapulted itself back into the playoff conversation after being discounted early on. Pavel Buchnevich has quietly put together an extremely strong campaign so far, with 8G and 8A. With other New York mainstays not producing as much as usual, Buchnevich has been a pleasant surprise.
17. Calgary Flames
| 10-8-0 | +2 | LW 1-1-0
While the Flames at 19 last week was a controversial ranking, the aforementioned clobbering by the Red Wings makes it tough to put them much higher. It is one game, but what is this team without Mike Smith? With the goaltender status still up in the air, it is tough to imagine Eddie Lack getting the start against the Flyers after giving up 5G on 15 shots. The last thing the Flames need right now is another goalie carousel. On a positive note, the bottom six forwards put forth a masterful performance in the dominant win against the Blues. Makes you wonder what type of team the Flames are again.
16. Minnesota Wild
| 9-7-2 | +11 | 3-0-0
After losing three straight games in regulation, the Wild have won their past four games. The majority of that credit should be going to Devan Dubnyk, who went three straight games without allowing a goal. Sure he can’t keep that up forever, but the Wild were still able to beat a strong Nashville team in a higher scoring affair last night. Eric Staal continues to be one of the best bargain buys that a team has made in the last little while, and continues his strong season with five points in his past two games. The Wild are the biggest gainers this week as they jump 11 spots.
15. Washington Capitals
| 8-7-1 | +3| LW 2-2-0
In last week’s rankings we said that a win against the Penguins would be a huge boost for the team. That win only led to a one game boost, as the Capitals went 2-2, being outscored 12-5 in the two losses. The once impermeable Braden Holtby struggled hard against Nashville, with Philip Grubauer not fairing much better. That being said, their victories against Pittsburgh and Edmonton were solid outings that shouldn’t be ignored. This of course makes it extremely difficult to sense what kind of week the Capitals actually had.
14. San Jose Sharks
| 10-7-0 | +3 | LW 2-1-0
Excluding the shutout loss to Florida last night, the Sharks had two very impressive outings against Vancouver and LA. Backup goaltender Aaron Dell earned the shutout against Vancouver, while Martin Jones backstopped them the next night. With strong offensive performances from Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, the Sharks continue to trend in the right direction after a rough start. Unfortunately the Sasquatch Goal Watch is still ongoing in San Jose, keep your eyes peeled!
13. Chicago Blackhawks
| 9-8-2 | +3 | LW 2-1-0
Chicago’s offence has been on a tear this past week. With 15 GF in the three games played, albeit five coming in a 7-5 loss, the team looked to be unstoppable in the offensive end. Artem Anisimov netted a hat trick and Nick Schmaltz netted five assists in the past two games. This offensive momentum will be key as the Hawks “quiet” week comes against the Penguins and Lightning.
12. Los Angeles Kings
| 11-6-2 | -8| LW 0-3-0
Just when their lead atop the Pacific Division looked to be unreachable for other teams, the Kings have imploded with four straight losses. While their PK is still tops in the league, LA has only scored 6 goals in its last four games. I wouldn’t say that this slide is going to be permanent, as they are still the strongest team in their division, it does lead to come concerns. The acquisition of Jussi Jokinen was extremely smart for a team looking for goals. He is a favorite among the advanced stats community, and should be able to help the Kings rebound. Unfortunately, LA still finds themselves falling hard in this week’s rankings.
11. Ottawa Senators
| 8-4-5 | -1 | LW 2-1-0
A sweep in Sweden was sweet for the Sens. Say that five times fast. After returning home from a long successful road trip, the Senators had a quiet week with their only other game being a loss to the Penguins. Matt Duchene has yet to register a point for the team, but I would say the unique schedule and circumstances of the trade has played a factor. Also very interesting to see Chris Wideman make the move to forward after the team lost key defenceman in the off season.
10. Vegas Golden Knights
| 11-6-1 | +4 | LW 2-1-0
I seriously don’t know what to think anymore about what is going on in Vegas. Good for the team that they were able to bounce back and beat the Canucks 5-2 last night. An additional 5-2 victory over the Jets last week was also extremely impressive. Then again they lost 8-2 to the lowly Oilers, and are STILL playing their fourth string goalie. The whole league was ready to toss in the towel after that game, but clearly Vegas was not. I want to stop doubting them, but it’s extremely difficult not to be cautious. They are back in the top 10 out of pure confusion.
9. Columbus Blue Jackets
| 11-7-1 | +2 | LW 2-1-0
The power play is still dead last in the league, but the Blue Jackets continue to power through the competition. With another Vezina caliber season from Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus will most likely continue to keep pace for the Metropolitan division lead. The highlight of the week came last night, as Cam Atkinson signed a 7-Year, 5.75AAV contract which has to be one of the the most team friendly contracts signed in the last little bit. For a guy that scored 35G last season, the contract is a win-win for both sides should he continue to play at the same level.
8. New York Islanders
| 10-6-2 | -2 | LW 2-1-0
John Tavares and his crew were able to bounce back from a weak outing against the Blues to beat St. Louis and Carolina in much better form. The Islanders now rank second in the league in GF/GP with 3.61, which is extremely impressive after some slow starters. Anders Lee has nine, Jordan Eberle has amassed six, and of course JT is leading the way with 13 of his own. Thomas Greiss, who has won his last three starts, should be relied upon more as the season progresses. Should be an fantastic game Saturday against Tampa, with the two highest scoring offences meeting for a showdown that will probably end in a 1-0 game.
7. Nashville Predators
| 10-6-2 | +1 | LW 2-1-0
Wins against Pittsburgh and Washington alone have the Predators rising slightly this week. They may have fell to the Wild last night, but Nashville is back to firing on all cylinders again. Ryan Johansen finally got the monkey off his back, netting his first goal of the season last night in a three point effort. With some injuries affecting their lineup, and Ryan Ellis still out, I don’t believe the Predators have reached their full potential quite yet. It would be safe to say that they are the early winner of the Duchene trade, as Kyle Turris has been a PPG player in his first three games.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
|11-7-3 | -1 | LW 2-1-1
Everyone’s concerns over the Penguins losing steam seem to be a little over exaggerated. They hold a -15 goal differential, but excluding the Niemi debacles against Chicago and Tampa, that number falls to 0. Sidney Crosby has three points in his last two games, not MVP levels, but its a trend in the right direction. Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin are both in the top 15 in league scoring, more than making up for Crosby’s early season absence. They may not have been as dominant as in the past, but you would be foolish to doubt the Penguins.
5. New Jersey Devils
|11-4-3 | +4 | 2-0-1
The Devils returned to form this week, earning points in all three games. If it weren’t for and outstanding goalie performance from Toronto and last second goal, the Devils may have gone undefeated. Their flurry of tallies against the Hawks was dazzling to watch, and the team is getting strong performances up and down their lineup. Brian Gibbons, Miles Wood, and Drew Stafford have combined for 19 goals this season, which has helped fuel the Devils up the standings and our power rankings.
4. St. Louis Blues
| 14-5-1 |-2 | LW 1-2-0
Two lopsided losses to New York and Calgary were somewhat avenged by a strong win against Edmonton last night. The Blues are still the second best team in the league for the moment, but will find themselves falling a bit in our rankings due to other teams having better weeks. Early MVP for the Blues this season? Carter Hutton. In four games he is 4-0-0 and holds the best GAA and SV% in the league. Its a small sample size, but exactly what a team needs in a backup goaltender.
3. Winnipeg Jets
| 11-4-3 | +1 | LW 3-1-0
Seems like forever ago that the Jets were near the bottom of this list. It’s a mind blowing turnaround. This team appears to have finally made it over the hump and established their number one goaltender. Sure two of their wins came against the Coyotes this week, but last nights comeback against the Flyers was extremely impressive to watch. Bold prediction for the end of the season? Mark Scheifele wins the Lady Byng Trophy. 22P, 2PIM so far this season. Can’t be more gentlemanly than that.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
| 13-7-0 | +5 | LW 3-0-0
An undefeated week? Five straight wins, four without Auston Matthews? Man this team is deep. Their lull in previous weeks seem to be long gone, as the Leafs have returned to being a top three team in the league. William Nylander scored the OT winner last night, which is a huge relief for himself and fans. Fredrik Andersen played out of body last night, continuing his potential Vezina prowess. The Leafs have by far one of the easiest schedules this coming week, so don’t be surprised to see the win streak extended.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
| 15-2-2 | SAME | LW 2-0-0
Ho-hum. Five game winning streak. +30 goal differential. Best duo in the league by a long shot. Not much else to say about this team, except for the fact that they are in a league of their own. They easily retain the number one ranking this week. Fun question to pose, what is more likely to happen for Nikita Kucherov? 50 in 50 or 60 goals?
What are your thoughts? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below.