NHL Power Rankings: The Sabres and Oilers Surprise; The Wild are Plummeting

NHL-Craig-Berube
Photo: NHL Via Getty Images

The 2019-20 regular season is off to a roaring start.  Teams are beginning to get close to the 10-game mark, and the first month of NHL action is almost in the books.

With the NHL quickly approaching the end of October, which teams are doing the best and the worst?  Which teams are surprising the hockey world right now?  Which teams should be doing better their records indicate?

Let’s dive in to the NHL Power Rankings:

1. Colorado Avalanche
Analysis: This Avalanche team is very good. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen form one of the most potent top lines in the NHL. They have wins over Washington, Boston, and Calgary to begin the new year.

2. Carolina Hurricanes
Analysis: The Hurricanes have surged to the top of the Metropolitan Division standings to start the year. They have wins over Washington, Tampa Bay, and the New York Islanders so far.

3. Buffalo Sabres
Analysis: While Buffalo has recorded the most points of any team in the standings, let’s not get too far ahead just yet. Victor Olofsson has been riding shotgun with Jack Eichel, and has already recorded 6 goals and 8 points to start the new season.

4. Boston Bruins
Analysis: David Pastrnak is on a scoring tear. He recorded 4 goals against Anaheim on Monday, and followed it up with 2 more goals against Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Bruins are showing no signs of a hangover to begin the season.

5. Edmonton Oilers
Analysis: Like the Sabres, let’s not get too far ahead here. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and James Neal have all sparked an early Oiler offense. After those three players mentioned, there has not been much offense in the rest of the lineup.

6. Vegas Golden Knights
Analysis: Mark Stone does everything for the Golden Knights. He can score goals, assist on goals, hit, and drop the gloves. The Golden Knights special teams units have been excellent to begin the new season.

7. Washington Capitals
Analysis: The Capitals have let a few points and wins slip away.  They rebounded nicely against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. John Carlson is among the NHL’s leaders in points, as he has recorded 14 points in 8 games.

8. Pittsburgh Penguins
Analysis: The Penguins started slow, but have rallied with 4 straight wins. Evgeni Malkin will be out for a little bit, but Sidney Crosby currently has 12 points in 7 games.

9. St. Louis Blues
Analysis: The Blues have not suffered too much of a hangover to begin. They are only 2 points behind the Avalanche to start the new year. The Blues penalty kill has been red hot to start, as it is 94.1% effective.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning
Analysis: The Lightning have won their last 2 games. Their biggest surprise so far has been Kevin Shattenkirk. After being bought out by the Rangers, Shattenkirk signed with the Lightning and is off to a good start.  He has recorded 4 goals and 5 points through 7 games.

11. Anaheim Ducks
Analysis: The Ducks have been a bit of a surprise so far. Goaltender John Gibson has only surrendered 11 goals in 6 starts.

12. Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: There is some bad news out of Toronto, as Captain John Tavares sustained a broken finger against the Capitals on Wednesday. He is expected to miss a couple of weeks.

13. Calgary Flames
Analysis: The Flames have won 2 in a row. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuck both lead the Flames with 7 points.

14. Nashville Predators
Analysis: Signing Matt Duchene to a big contract during the offseason is already paying off for the Predators. Duchene has recorded 9 points in 7 games, which leads their club.

15. New York Islanders
Analysis: Semyon Varlamov has come into the Islanders net, and has performed well. Varlamov has recorded a 2.55 goals against average and .923 save percentage in 4 starts. The Islanders have won their last 3 in a row.

16. Winnipeg Jets
Analysis: Patrik Laine got re-signed to his bridge deal very late, but it is paying off for the Jets. He has recorded 12 points in 9 games. Many people wondered if he would remain a Jet after last season, but it looks like the Jets gamble to keep Laine is paying off.

17. Vancouver Canucks
Analysis: After a slow start, the Canucks have rallied for 4 straight wins. J.T. Miller is leading the way with 4 goals and 8 points to start the season.

18. Arizona Coyotes
Analysis: After a slow start, Phil Kessel has picked it up the last couple of outings. He recorded an assist against Winnipeg on Tuesday, and followed it up with 2 goals against Nashville on Thursday.

19. Montreal Canadiens
Analysis: The Canadiens are getting some scoring on their powerplay. It is 23.1% effective through 7 games. While their powerplay has been solid, their penalty kill has been struggling.  They are only 69.6% effective down a man.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets
Analysis: As expected, the Blue Jackets offense is abysmal out of the gate. After losing Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene over the summer, one can only wonder if things will get better.

21. Florida Panthers
Analysis: The Panthers are off to a slow start after many expected them to be competitive off the bat. Mike Hoffman currently leads the club with 5 goals and 8 points.

22. New York Rangers
Analysis: The Rangers have only played 4 games, and Artemi Panarin has recorded 4 points in 4 games. Alexander Georgiev has given them some solid outings in the net.

23. Chicago Blackhawks
Analysis: The Blackhawks have only played in 4 games. Through 4 games, they have only scored 12 goals. They have only surrendered 13 games.  Patrick Kane has 5 points in 4 games.

24. Philadelphia Flyers
Analysis: Through 5 games, the Flyers powerplay is clicking at 30% effectiveness. Travis Konecny has 7 points in 5 games.

25. San Jose Sharks
Analysis: The Sharks are surprisingly off to a slow start. The bearded wonder Brent Burns has recorded 7 points in 7 games from the blueline. The good news for the Sharks is that their penalty kill has been hot to start, as it is 91.7% effective.

26. Detroit Red Wings
Analysis: Anthony Manta is off to a hot start for the Red Wings. He has recorded 6 goals and 10 points in the first 7 games. Despite Mantha’s hot start, the Red Wings are struggling in all areas of special teams.

27. Los Angeles Kings
Analysis: What is the status of Jonathan Quick? In his first 3 games, he has a 6.44 goals against average. Is he on the down swing of his career?

28. New Jersey Devils
Analysis: #1 overall pick Jack Hughes has gotten off to a slow start, but he recorded his first NHL point against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. The Devils are struggling with their powerplay, as it is only 4% effective through 6 games.

29. Dallas Stars
Analysis: The Stars are off to a surprisingly slow start. 22-year old Roope Hintz is giving the Stars a boost in scoring behnd Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov. Hintz is becoming a player fans should take note of now.

30. Ottawa Senators
Analysis: Through the first 6 games, the Senators do not have a powerplay goal. The attendance figures for the Senators are also beginning to hit rock bottom.

31. Minnesota Wild
Analysis: Everything is going wrong for the Wild.  They have only scored 14 goals in 7 games and the goaltending has been cold.  They have also played 6 of 7 games on the road to begin the season.  Could Bruce Boudreau be on the hotseat?

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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2 Responses to NHL Power Rankings: The Sabres and Oilers Surprise; The Wild are Plummeting

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    It’s hard being an NHL fan. Your team has a 96.8% chance of being a disappointment at the end of the season!

    Like

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