The weekly NoVa Caps Team Power Rankings continue this week. It was another exciting week of NHL action. Who will make the Top 10 cut this week?
Let’s look at the new Top 10 in the NHL. Which teams remain on the list from last week? Which teams are no longer ranked in the Top 10?
1. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (1)
2. ST. LOUIS BLUES (3)
3. LOS ANGELES KINGS (5)
4. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (4)
5. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (9)
6. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (2)
7. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (7)
8. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NR)
9. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (10)
10. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (NR)
Note: These rankings will change every week
*(#) indicates last week’s ranking
*”NR” indicates “Not Ranked”
News and notes around the NHL:
1. Chicago Blackhawks (4-1-1) – The Blackhawks split two on the road and two at home this week. They closed out the week with 5 out of a possible 8 points. Brandon Saad, who was brought back over the summer, already has 6 goals, which leads the club.
2. St. Louis Blues (4-2-0) – The Blues have been road warriors to begin their season. The Blues only have 2 home games in their first 9 games. They currently have a 3-2 road record, and have to make a visit to Colorado and Vegas later this week. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is off to a good start, with 8 points in the first 6 games.
3. Los Angeles Kings (4-0-1) – Home cooking has been kind to the Kings early. The Kings lost a heartbreaker to the Flames in overtime earlier this week, in a game where Kings defenseman Drew Doughty continued his explosive rivalry with Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. The Kings rebounded over the weekend and defeated Eastern Conference opponents Buffalo Sabres and NY Islanders. The Kings have one more home game this week, before they embark on a lengthy 6-game road trip.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0) – It appears that every Leafs game has been high scoring this year. The Leafs had a thriller against Montreal on Saturday night, and they were able to steal a victory in overtime. Auston Matthews continues to lead the way for the Leafs, as he has 8 points in 5 games.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (4-1-0) – The Lightning had an impressive week at home. They knocked off Washington in overtime, and Pittsburgh and St. Louis in regulation. They have another long week ahead with a 4 game slate that includes 3 road games and a weekend finisher with Pittsburgh at home. Keep an eye on youngster Brayden Point, as he is one of the team leaders with 8 points.
6. Washington Capitals (3-2-1) – The Capitals took a huge blow earlier this week, as they lost defenseman Matt Niskanen to a slash against the New Jersey Devils. Niskanen has been placed on LTIR, and will likely miss at least 10 games. Overall, it was not a kind week to the Capitals as they lost to Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, and they got steamrolled in Philadelphia over the weekend.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (3-2-1) – The Penguins have not been lukewarm out of the gate. The Penguins have a minus team goal differential, and most of their star players are in the negative. A little “Stanley Cup” hangover might be surrounding the club right now, but the Penguins can get hot at any point in the season.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-1-0) – The Jackets are quietly off to a good start. Artemi Panarin is leading the way for the Jackets with 7 points. The Jackets play their next 5 of 7 games in Columbus. They will have tough tests this week as they face Tampa Bay and Los Angeles at home.
9. Vegas Golden Knights (4-1-0) – The Golden Knights had a wonderful inaugural home game against Arizona this week, as they defeated the Coyotes 5-2 on a very emotional evening. They suffered some tough blows to their lineup, as Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Marchessault were placed on injured reserve this week. The Golden Knights will now have to depend on Malcom Subban in goal for the time being. Their home stand will continue for 4 more games.
10. New Jersey Devils (4-1-0) – The Devils had a strong week, as they only lost 1 game to the Washington Capitals. The Devils won tough road games against Toronto and New York Rangers, and defeated Buffalo earlier in the week. They will have 2 of 3 at home this week. Rookie defenseman Will Butcher is leading the way with 8 points for the club.
By: George Foussekis
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