Another week, another edition of NHL Power Rankings. Things have certainly changed this week, so buckle up for some big and unexpected movers and shakers. Remember, as always, a loss or win doesn’t always mean that one team will be ranked higher than a team they beat or lost to. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 11/14
No.32: Arizona Coyotes (+0)
Man, this team is bad. They are the only team in the league that scored less than 25 goals. Not to mention they still have an atrocious goal differential sitting at -37. At least Shayne Gostisbehere has 12 points. The less time spent on this team the better, so let’s just move on.
No.31: Seattle Kraken (-3)
No, this isn’t a typo. The Blackhawks are not here. The Kraken have been on a downward spiral as of late. Riding a four-game losing streak and being outscored 20-12 in that span definitely will continue that. Not to mention Seattle is second-worst in goals against per game averaging 3.67. The only team worse? The Arizona Coyotes. They definitely belong here.
No.30: Ottawa Senators(-1)
It’s not the Canadiens, but another Canadian team lands here at 30 in the Ottawa Senators. They’re still struggling to score goals in the nation’s capital, sitting at a -16 goal differential. They are also third worst in goals against per game averaging 3.47. Drake Batherson continues to be an impressive offensive player with 16 points in 14 games. Perhaps after all of their injured players are back, which includes four players on the Covid-19 protocol, they can start to make their way back up the rankings.
No.29: Montreal Canadiens (+1)
Look who’s making some positive movement. The Canadiens have had a very interesting month so far. They haven’t been able to build a streak, winning or losing, and that along with other teams struggling is what causes them to move up in the rankings this week. They still have defensive issues though, sitting fifth-worst in the NHL in goals against per game averaging 3.31.
No.28: Chicago Blackhawks (+3)
Well, how the tables have turned. The Blackhawks have made their way out of the 30s. They have raised a few eyebrows with a three-game winning streak outscoring opponents in that stretch 7-4. They also fired Jeremy Colliton which should hopefully help things. Continuing the trend of the stat of choice for this week, Chicago is fourth-worst in the league in goals against per game averaging 3.40, so they still have some work to do.
No.27: Vancouver Canucks (+0)
With movement all around them, the Canucks stand pat at 27. The Canucks are on a two-game losing streak and, at the time of writing this, are currently down 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks. If that score holds, the Canucks will have been outscored 17-6. Ouch. But man, J.T. Miller has been great with 17 points in 15 games. Guess what stat is back? Goals against per game. The Canucks sit at sixth-worst averaging 3.27 goals.
No.26: New York Islanders (-10)
Well, this was a fall that was unexpected. The Islanders don’t have issues with their defense, but their offense is a major concern. They are currently sixth-worst in goals for per game averaging 2.45 goals. Ilya Sorokin though has been great with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. But the main thing with this Islanders team is they need to get that offense back to the point where fans believed they were before the season as a Stanley Cup contender.
No.25: Dallas Stars (+0)
In our third non-mover of this week’s rankings, the Stars stay put at 25. Their offense hasn’t been there at all for them this season averaging 2.38 goals for per game, fourth-worst in the league. When the only player on your team with an offensive points share above 1.0 is a defenseman in Miro Heiskanen, that’s an issue. If they can get that offense going, they could maybe move up the rankings next week.
No.24: Colorado Avalanche (+2)
The Avalanche move up as many spots as their current winning streak of two games. Nazem Kadri has also stepped up his game, currently leading the team in points with 14. But the defense needs to improve. The stat of the week is back with the Avalanche averaging 3.25 goals against per game, eight-worst in the NHL. When Gabriel Landeskog has a higher defensive point share than some of your defensemen, there’s some reason for concern. But Colorado is certainly trending in the right direction
No.23: Pittsburgh Penguins (+1)
The Penguins take a baby step up the rankings this week to 23. Evgeni Malkin has still not played a game yet for the Pens, and Sidney Crosby is just coming back from the Covid-19 list, so the depth is needing to step up on the offensive end. Evan Rodrigues currently leads the team in points with 11 in 13 games. Tristan Jarry has been good with a 2.23 GAA and a .929 save percentage. But, the stat of the week is back. They currently sit sixth-worst in goals against per game averaging 3.29 goals. If the depth can keep this up once Malkin is back in the lineup and Crosby is back at full speed, this could be a dangerous team again.
No.22: Buffalo Sabres (-2)
The Sabres continue their fall from last week, this time sitting at 22. They’ve been sputtering a bit in their last ten games, going 3-5-2 in that stretch. But their main issue is they aren’t getting a lot of shots on net, averaging 29.3 shots per game which is tied for sixth-worst in the league. And in the NHL, you can’t score without putting pucks to the net. Nice to see Jeff Skinner coming back this year though with nine points in 14 games, good enough for third on the team.
No.21: Columbus Blue Jackets (-11)
Well, another unexpected fall takes the Blue Jackets out of the top ten down here to 21. Their offense has been solid, averaging 3.08 goals per game, but that number is also the goals against per game they are averaging. In that category, they are tenth-worst in the league. Jakub Voracek has joined the fountain of youth club with 12 points in as many games.
No.20: Philadelphia Flyers (-13)
Back to back unexpected falls takes the Flyers out of the top ten down to twenty. Their defensive prowess is still there, but their offense is still struggling which is eleventh-worst in goals for per game with 2.77. Their division is very competitive, so that makes this look like a fast fall, but they will more than likely be at the top again soon.
No.19: San Jose Sharks (-4)
The Sharks continue their stumble down to 20. Their defense has taken a step backward from last week, averaging 2.86 goals per game against which is 15th in the league. They are also on a two-game losing streak in which they have been outscored 10-3. Yikes. San Jose seems to be shaping up to be a middle-of-the-road team if they can stop this skid.
No.18: Boston Bruins (+3)
The Bruins finally move out of 21, and even better it’s a positive movement to 18. Currently, on a two-game win streak outscoring opponents 10-4, that Bruins offense is starting to fire on all cylinders again. Brad Marchand has 18 points in 12 games leading the team, which is the offensive firepower they needed. Let’s hope they can continue with this momentum.
No.17: New Jersey Devils (+0)
The Devils stand pat this week at 17. In their last ten, they are 4-3-3, which is a middle-of-the-road record. Dougie Hamilton has come back to the lineup and their offense is slowly but surely getting better. There’s a good chance their slide won’t last for much longer.
No.16: Tampa Bay Lightning (-5)
Falling a good bit this week is the Lightning. Tampa Bay has one of the league’s best penalty kill units sitting at 84 percent, tenth-best in the league but their other stats currently are middle-of-the-road. Steven Stamkos continues to be one of the founding members of the fountain of youth club with 15 points in 13 games, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is continuing his impressive start with a 2.31 GAA and a .921 save percentage.
No.15: Detroit Red Wings (+4)
For the second straight week, the Red Wings move up this time to 16. They are also ninth-worst in the league in the stat of the week averaging 3.13 goals against per game, but they have scored 46 goals which is eighth-best in the league. Also, Tyler Bertuzzi has been impressive with 16 points in 13 games. Not to mention, Lucas Raymond has 15 points in 16 games. A Calder favorite for sure.
No.14: Los Angeles Kings (+9)
Look who’s up in the top half of the league this week. The Kings are slowly but surely making their way up the rankings again. While their offense is struggling with 2.73 goals for per game, their defense has been among the best with 2.47 goals against per game sitting at fourth-best in the league. Their goaltending has been excellent and Anze Kopitar is still on top of the fountain of youth club with 16 points in 15 games.
No.13: Vegas Golden Knights (+9)
The Golden Knights are slowly starting to find their way. Even with all the injuries they have, they are currently on a three-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 14-8. Their statistical categories still have a ways to go, but this is a fantastic sign for Golden Knights fans.
No.12: St. Louis Blues (-7)
The Blues have taken their first trip out of the top five this week coming in at 12. A three-game losing streak in which they have been outscored 12-9 will certainly make you slide down a bit. They have also gone 4-4-2 in their last ten. They still are one of the best teams statistically in the league, but they need to figure out how to end this skid and quickly.
No.11: Winnipeg Jets (-3)
The top ten continues to be unseated this week as the Jets come down to eleven. They are still a great team, but they have some penalty kill issues to work on. They are also on a two-game winning streak, so they will probably be back in the top ten soon.
No.10: Nashville Predators (+8)
The Predators have been impressive as of late, and they will start off the top ten this week. They have the fifth-best power play at 26.8 percent and are eighth-best in goals against per game averaging 2.60 goals. They also have Matt Duchene, Roman Josi, and Mikael Granlund tied for first on the team in points with 16.
No.9: Calgary Flames (-5)
The next couple of teams are simply victims of other teams getting hot. Pun intended with the Flames. They are second in the league in goals against per game with an average of 2.13 goals, and tenth-best in goals for per game averaging 3.20 goals. They’ll be back in the top five in no time.
No.8: Minnesota Wild (-2)
The Wild are another team that is a victim of the hot streaks lately. They had a very convincing win over the Kraken in which Rem Pitlick got a natural hat trick. They are the eighth-best in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.36 goals. Also, Ryan Hartman is showing that first-round pick potential with 11 points in 14 games.
No.7: New York Rangers (+6)
Welcome back to the top ten New York. Nice to see you again. The Rangers are currently on a three-game winning streak in which they are outscoring opponents 13-9. This is exactly what they needed to get back on track. Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox are both tied with 15 points, the team lead. Igor Shesterkin has also been phenomenal all season long.
No.6: Toronto Maple Leafs (+3)
The Maple Leafs just miss the top five landing at six this week. They have some of the best special teams units in the league ranking fourth-best in penalty kill percentage and seventh-best in power-play percentage. If they can increase their goals for per game, they will get into the top five.
No.5: Anaheim Ducks (+9)
Wow, look at the Ducks. They’re awful might right now. A seven-game win streak will catapult you into the top ten. Outscoring your opponents 30-11 in that stretch will have you a lock in the top five. With the fourth-best power play in the league, the Ducks are looking like a dangerous team. Troy Terry continues to be a star with 19 points in 14 games.
No.4: Washington Capitals (+8)
It feels only right that an Alex Ovechkin-led team is in the top five in the rankings. They are currently third-best in the league in goals against per game averaging 2.40 goals and third-best in goals for per game averaging 3.60 goals. Not to mention Ovi watch just got extremely serious.
No.3: Edmonton Oilers (+0)
For the first time in quite a while, a team stays put with the Oilers at number three. Of course, they are an offensive dynamo averaging 4.14 goals per game, which is first in the NHL. Their power play is also first in the league at an astounding 41.9 percent, and their penalty kill is second best at 88.1 percent. They are by far the best team in the Western Conference right now.
No.2: Florida Panthers (-1)
The Panthers fall back to number two this week. Don’t get it twisted, however, this is still a very talented team. They are second in goals for per game averaging 3.73 goals. Sergei Bobrovsky has been excellent for the Panthers with a 1.88 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Andrew Brunette has done an excellent job as the interim coach so far. We’ll see if that success continues.
No.1: Carolina Hurricanes (+1)
The Hurricanes storm in at number one once again this week. It was a very difficult decision with these last two teams. They are first in goals against per game, averaging 1.92 goals, sixth in goals for per game, ninth in power play percentage, and fifth in the penalty kill. When you’re top ten in that many categories, you make a pretty great case for the top spot.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
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