The 2017-18 NHL regular season is finally underway and 31 teams are chasing to win the Stanley Cup. Over the last few days, there has been exciting high scoring games around the league.
Every week, NoVa Caps will feature a Top 10 rankings of the best 10 teams in the NHL. So, who makes the cut this week? Who is off to a fast start to the new season?
- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
- WASHINGTON CAPITALS
- ST. LOUIS BLUES
- TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
- LOS ANGELES KINGS
- ANAHEIM DUCKS
- PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- EDMONTON OILERS
- TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
- VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Note: These power rankings will adjust every week.
News and notes around the NHL:
- Chicago Blackhawks (2-0-0) – The Blackhawks came out of the gate swinging with a 10-1 home victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets over the weekend. The Hawks face a tough week ahead as they will face 4 playoff teams from last year – Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota, and Nashville.
- Washington Capitals (2-0-0) – The Capitals came out of the gate strong. Alex Ovechkin scored a whopping 7 goals in his first 2 games, which helped propel the Capitals to victory over Ottawa and Montreal. The Capitals will see the Penguins for the first time since the playoffs on Wednesday night.
- St. Louis Blues (3-0-0) – The Blues are banged up, but they won in Pittsburgh on opening night and defeated an improved Dallas Stars team. The Blues opened their 4-game Eastern road trip with a 3-2 shootout victory over the NY Islanders on Monday. Even though they are facing a lot of injuries to start, I still like their chances to make the playoffs.
- Toronto Maple Leafs (2-0-0) – Goals, goals, and more goals. The Leafs scored 7 goals against Winnipeg on opening night, and 8 goals against the New York Rangers over the weekend. The Leafs are young and quick, and are well coached. They should remain in the power rankings for most of the season.
- Los Angeles Kings (2-0-0) – The Kings are off to a good start under new Head Coach John Stevens. They defeated the Flyers at home, and won a big game in San Jose over the weekend. While the Kings will likely be on the playoff bubble, their next 4 games are at home.
- Anaheim Ducks (1-0-1) – The Ducks are also banged up, but they have won the Pacific Division 5 years in a row. They had a feisty, exciting game against the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (1-1-1) – The Penguins were not prepared for the game against Chicago. The Penguins could be facing a little bit of the Stanley Cup hangover right now, but this team will be fine. They are shooting for a 3-peat, and they still have the pieces to get it done.
- Edmonton Oilers (1-1-0) – The Oilers beat a quality Flames team at home, and lost to a rebuilding Canucks team on the road. The Oilers have 3 home games coming up against Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Carolina. These games are winnable for them.
- Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0) – The Lightning split a home and home series with the Florida Panthers over the weekend. The Lightning will now begin a tough 3 game home stand, as they face Washington, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. Steven Stamkos is back and looking good, and Nikita Kucherov is continuing his great production. The Lightning will be improved this year.
- Vegas Golden Knights (2-0-0) – The newest team to the NHL is off to a 2-0 start. However, I do not expect the Golden Knights to stay up in the power rankings for very long. The Knights need more than James Neal to score their goals for them.
By: George Foussekis