After reviewing a lot of comments and input I have decided to tweak how I judge and compile these power rankings for the future. This mean’s each team’s relation to their ranking last week may be a bit fuzzy, but bear with me. Thanks to all who have helped me polish these rankings and remember that the “breakdowns” are meant to be just a few sentences about the team, not a polished paragraph. Enjoy reading and please comment!
Check back every Monday for updated Power Rankings!
Last Week’s Ranking: 29
This Week’s Schedule: @Anaheim, @Detriot, @St. Louis, @Chicago
Breakdown: The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to struggle, losing 5 of their last 6 games. During that 6 game span the Blue Jackets are allowing opponents to score 3.33 goals per game on average. In his past 4 starts goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has a .855 SV% and has been struggling behind a questionable Blue Jackets defensive unit. The Blue Jackets also have the second worst goal differential in the NHL with a -14 differential.
Last Week’s Ranking: 21
This Week’s Schedule: @Buffalo, @Carolina, @Philadelphia, @New Jersey
Breakdown: The Winnipeg Jets have lost 4 of their last 5 games and continue to struggle killing off penalties. During their last 3 losses, the Winnipeg Jets’ opponents were able to score on 3 of their 8 power play attempts (38%). Center Olli Jokinen continues to struggle this season as he has been held scoreless for the team’s last 7 games and has compiled only 4 points (2G 2A) so far this season.
Last Week’s Ranking: 26
This Week’s Schedule: Nashville, St. Louis, @Los Angeles, @Anaheim
Breakdown: The Colorado Avalanche have lost 4 of their last 5 games as the team continues to battle injuries. During that 5 game span, the Avalanche were outscored 18-12. The Avalanche currently have the 3rd worst power play in the NHL, converting only 11.6% of their chances. However, forward Matt Duchene is beginning to step up offensively, recording 5 points (3G 2A) in the team’s last 3 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 25
This Week’s Schedule: Toronto, @Philadelphia, @Pittsburgh, Boston
Breakdown: The Florida Panthers continue to be their own worst enemy this season, losing 3 straight games in overtime and blowing a two-goal lead twice during that span to put them in that position. The Panthers’ goaltending and defense continue to be their biggest weakness as the team has allowed 18 goals during their past 4 games and currently have the worst goal differential in the NHL (-18).
Last Week’s Ranking: 30
This Week’s Schedule: New Jersey, New Jersey
Breakdown: After sitting in last place for a while, the Washington Capitals have begun to show signs of improvement while winning 3 of their last 6 games. However, winning 2 games against the questionable Florida Panthers is hardly a reason to believe that the Capitals are destined for future success just yet. Mike Ribero continues to be the team’s most consistent offensive talent, scoring 7 points (2G 5A) in the team’s last 6 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 24
This Week’s Schedule: Winnipeg, @Toronto, NY Islanders
Breakdown: The Buffalo Sabres have lost 3 of their last 5 games even with the stellar play of forward Thomas Vanek. Vanek currently leads the entire NHL in scoring with 25 points so far this season. Defenseman Jordan Leopold and Tyler Myers continue to be disappointing this season as they have combined for only 7 points (3G 4A) and a combined +/- rating of -14.
Last Week’s Ranking: 22
This Week’s Schedule: @NY Islanders, @Pittsburgh, Florida,Winnipeg
Breakdown: The Philadelphia Flyers have lost 4 of 6 games while struggling to show any signs of consistency. After being one of the most dangerous offensive units last season, Flyers’ forwards have struggled to repeat their past offensive successes – scoring just 2.38 goals per game on average. Forwards Sean Courtier, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds have only been able to compile 23 points combined so far this season.
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
This Week’s Schedule: @St. Louis, @Chicago, @Dallas
Breakdown: After being one of the premier teams for the first two weeks of the season, the San Jose Sharks have since fallen from grace – losing their last 7 games straight. In those 7 games the Sharks have only been able to score 10 goals and have been shutout twice. After being an early favorite to win the Hart Trophy this season, Patrick Marleau has only recorded 1 point in his last 8 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 16
This Week’s Schedule: Toronto, Boston, @Carolina, @Pittsburgh
Breakdown: After losing 6 straight games, the Tampa Bay Lightning needed overtime against the Florida Panthers to get finally get back into the win column. In their last 5 games, the Lightning have allowed 22 goals (4.40 per game). While the team may posses one of the best offenses in the game (3.93 goals per game), they will need to address their defensive issues if they hope to contend the rest of the season.
Last Week’s Ranking: 10
This Week’s Schedule: @New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Toronto
Breakdown: After what seemed like a promising season, the Ottawa Senators have become one of the most unlucky teams in the NHL as both of their top scorers, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, will most likely be out of the rest of the season. Even with goaltender Craig Anderson playing very well in net, the Senators have still lost 4 of 5 and will most likely struggle to score the rest of the season. The offensive responsibilities now fall on Daniel Alfredsson and Kyle Turris who have combined 19 points so far this season.
Last Week’s Ranking: 28
This Week’s Schedule: @Edmonton, @Calgary, Colorado
Breakdown: The Los Angeles Kings are finally starting to show a sense of urgency this season as they have been able to win 3 of their last 6 games. After struggling early on this season, Kings’ forward Anze Kopitar has recorded a point in the team’s last 4 games. After being inept for the early stages of this season, the Kings may have finally figured out their power play, converting on 20% of their opportunities over their last 4 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 23
This Week’s Schedule: Philadelphia, @Ottawa, @Montreal, @Buffalo, Carolina
Breakdown: After losing 5 games in a row, the New York Islanders have rebounded with impressive wins over both the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. In their last 3 games the Islanders have scored an impressive 13 goals or 4.33 goals per game. John Tavares and Matt Moulson continue to give the Islanders an impressive 1-2 punch on offense and have combined for 37 points so far this season. The team has a tough week ahead, playing 5 games over the next 7 days.
Last Week’s Ranking: 27
This Week’s Schedule: @Phoenix, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Phoenix
Breakdown: Look out, here come the Flames! After being one of the worst teams in the league during the first few weeks of the season, the Flames have won 4 of their last 7 games. Pardon the pun, but the Flames’ offense has been on fire over their last 3 games, scoring 13 goals in total over that span. Forward Mike Cammalleri has been outstanding recently, scoring 9 points (4G 5A) over the team’s last 4 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 17
This Week’s Schedule: Los Angeles, Minnesota, Phoenix
Breakdown: The Edmonton Oilers continue to be a middle of the pack team, winning 2 of their last 4 games. The Oilers’ once promising power play unit has struggled recently, converting on only 14% of their opportunities over their last 4 games. However, during that same 4 game span, the Oilers’ penalty kill unit has killed off 86% of opponents power play chances. The Oilers are a good team, but will need to make some changes if they hope to be great.
Last Week’s Ranking: 8
This Week’s Schedule: @Nashville, Columbus, Nashville, Vancouver
Breakdown: Currently in the midst of a 3 game losing streak, the Detroit Red Wings’ power play has begun to struggle – converting only 9% of their chances during their 3 recent losses. In his last 2 starts, goaltender Jimmy Howard has allowed 8 goals on just 61 shots. The Red Wings’ offense will be put to the test this upcoming week as they face elite goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Roberto Luongo.
Last Week’s Ranking: 20
This Week’s Schedule: @Edmonton, @Calgary
Breakdown: After winning 3 of their last 5 games, the Minnesota Wild are succeeding behind good defense and stalwart goaltending. Over their past 5 games the Minnesota Wild have only allowed 10 goals, or 2.00 goals per game. In his last 3 games, goaltender Niklas Backstrom has allowed only 5 goals and saved 77 of 82 shots faced.
Last Week’s Ranking: 15
This Week’s Schedule: Vancouver, San Jose
Breakdown: The Dallas Stars have won 5 of their last 7 games, with their only two losses coming to the Calgary Flames oddly enough. During that 7 game span, the Dallas Stars’ offense has been very impressive, averaging 3.43 goals per game on average. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen continues to be spectacular for the Stars, winning his last 4 straight starts with a 1.50 GAA.
Last Week’s Ranking: 18
This Week’s Schedule: Calgary, @Edmonton, @Calgary
Breakdown: Led by reliable goaltending and defense, the Phoenix Coyotes have been able to win 5 of their last 7 games. During that 7 game span the Coyotes have only allowed 15 goals, 6 of which came during a blowout at the hands of the first-place Chicago Blackhawks. On offense, forward Shane Doan has been fairly quiet this season so far, compiling only 7 points (4G 3A) through the teams first 15 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 13
This Week’s Schedule: San Jose, @Colorado, Columbus
Breakdown: After losing 5 straight games, the St. Louis Blues have rebounded nicely winning their last 3 contests. In those 3 victories, the Blues’ offense has been fantastic – scoring 13 goals total during that span. On offense, forward Alexander Steen is starting to emerge as an important piece, scoring 9 points (4G 5A) over his last 6 games. In net, backup goaltender Jake Allen has been able to win all 3 of his starts while filling in for the injured Jaroslav Halak.
Last Week’s Ranking: 11
This Week’s Schedule: @Colorado, Detroit, Vancouver, @Detroit
Breakdown: The Nashville Predators continue to ride their outstanding defense and goaltending to consistent points, however they still struggle to get capitalize on overtime victories. The Preds have been able to obtain points in 4 of their last 5 games, including 2 overtime losses. The team currently allows the least amount of goals per game in the NHL, giving up just 1.67 goals per game on average. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been outstanding lately, recording a 3 shutouts in his last 5 starts. If they can mange to find some offense there is no telling how far this team could go.
Last Week’s Ranking: 14
This Week’s Schedule: Montreal, @Ottawa, @Montreal
Breakdown: The New York Rangers have been able to win 5 of their last 7 games behind timely scoring and solid goaltending. While the Rangers’ offense has been average over their past 7 games (2.57 goals per game), they have been able to score timely and important goals when needed. However, the team still has the worst power play in the entire NHL, converting on only 11.3% of their chances. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been outstanding in his past 4 starts, allowing only 6 goals and stopping 110 of 116 shots faced.
Last Week’s Ranking: 12
This Week’s Schedule: Carolina, @NY Rangers, NY Islanders, NY Rangers
Breakdown: The Montreal Canadiens are currently on a 3 game winning streak and have been stifling opponent’s offenses during recent games. However, the team’s power play has become stagnant over their last 4 games, converting on only 1 of 18 attempts with an extra skater. The Canadiens are currently allowing only 2.36 goals per game on average, good enough for 8th in the entire NHL.
Last Week’s Ranking: 9
This Week’s Schedule: @Florida, @Tampa Bay, Buffalo, @Ottawa
Breakdown: The Toronto Maple Leafs have won 5 of their last 6 overall and continue to climb the standings. In their last 5 games, the Maple Leafs’ penalty killing unit has been spectacular, killing off 17 of 18 power plays opportunities. Since starting goaltender James Reimer went down with an injury, backup Ben Scrivens has played well, stopping 96 of 100 shots faced.
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
This Week’s Schedule: Ottawa, @Washington, @Washington, Winnipeg
Breakdown: Winners of 5 of their last 7 games, the New Jersey Devils continue to win behind their fantastic defense and the talented scoring trio of Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson. The Devils are currently allowing opponents to only score 2.33 goals per game on average – good enough for 7th place in the entire NHL. While David Clarkson was the Devils’ offensive standout early on this season, it looks as if Patrik Elias may be the man to watch for the next few weeks. Over his past 4 games, Elias has compiled 6 points (1G 5A).
Last Week’s Ranking: 6
This Week’s Schedule: @Chicago, @Dallas, @Nashville, @Detroit
Breakdown: Even though they lost their last 2 games by a combined 2 goals, the Vancouver Canucks have still managed to win 6 of their last 8 games overall. Goaltender Roberto Luongo continues to be outstanding in net for the Canucks, compiling a 1.63 GAA /.934 SV%. Also, there is very good news for the Canucks’ offense – in the 2 games since his return from injury, forward Ryan Kesler has been able to compile 2 points (1G 1A) and should be a great help to the team’s offensive efforts.
Last Week’s Ranking: 19
This Week’s Schedule: @Montreal, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, @NY Islanders
Breakdown: The Carolina Hurricanes have risen to the top of the Southeast Division after winning 5 of their last 6 games. During those 6 games, the Hurricanes are outscoring their opponents by a combined scored of 23-14. Forward Eric Staal has been the most important player for the Hurricanes on offense, scoring points in an astounding 11 straight games. In those 11 games Staal has 8 goals and 9 assists.
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
This Week’s Schedule: @Tampa Bay, @Florida
Breakdown: The Boston Bruins have won 4 of their last 6 games behind consistently solid defense and goaltending. The Bruins still have the best penalty killing unit in the entire NHL, killing off opponents chances 94.1% of the time. In his last 4 starts, goaltender Tuukka Rask has only allowed 6 goals and recorded one shutout. On offense forward Brad Marchand has been fantastic in recent games, scoring goals in 3 of his last 4 games.
Last Week’s Ranking: 7
This Week’s Schedule: Philadelphia, Florida, Tampa Bay
Breakdown: The Penguins are currently on a 3 game winning streak and have won 8 of their last 10 overall. The Penguins’ offense is currently the 5th highest scoring unit in the NHL, averaging 3.19 goals per game. During the team’s most recent winning streak, the offense has leaned heavily on the efforts of superstar Sidney Crosby. In his last 3 games, Crosby has compiled 7 points (2G 5A) – good enough to lead all Penguins’ skaters.
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
This Week’s Schedule: Columbus, Colorado
Breakdown: Currently on a 4 game winning streak, the Anaheim Ducks are controlling games with a well balanced offense and solid goaltending. Amazingly, the Ducks have 9 players who currently have 4 or more goals so far this season – a testament to their offensive depth. Goaltender Viktor Fasth has clearly cemented his place as the team’s new number one goalie as he remains an astounding 8-0-0 with a 1.78 GAA/ .933 SV%.
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
This Week’s Schedule: Vancouver, San Jose, Columbus
Breakdown: A full month into the 2013 NHL season and the Chicago Blackhawks still remain undefeated in regulation. Over their past 5 games, the Blackhawks have outscored opponents 18-7 and been thoroughly dominant in most contests. The team currently ranks 2nd in the NHL in both goals per game (3.33) and goals allowed per game (1.87). On offense, forward Jonathan Toews is beginning to heat up – scoring 6 points (3G 3A) in the team’s last 5 games.
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