NHL 2022-23 Power Rankings: Week 9

Welcome to this edition of the 2022-23 weekly Power Rankings for The Hockey Writers. We’ll rank the teams from last to first. Rankings are focused on the overall record, each team’s record of the last week, and the overall feel surrounding each club.

American Thanksgiving has come and gone, as we’re now officially past the quarter-mark for the NHL season for most of the league. Teams like the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils have quite a bit to be thankful for, while others like the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks seem to be stuck at the kids’ table.

The Hockey Writers NHL Power Rankings
The Hockey Writers NHL Power Rankings (The Hockey Writers)

32-26

32. Anaheim Ducks (Last week: 32, 6-15-1, 13 points)

31. Chicago Blackhawks (Last week: 27, 6-11-4, 16 points)

30. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last week: 28, 7-12-2, 16 points)

29. Philadelphia Flyers (Last week: 23, 7-10-5, 19 points)

28. San Jose Sharks (Last week: 26, 7-13-4, 18 points)

27. Arizona Coyotes (Last week: 31, 7-10-3, 17 points)

26. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 30, 8-12-1, 17 points)

For the second week in a row, the Anaheim Ducks find themselves at the bottom of the weekly power rankings. Not much has gone right for them over the last seven days, and possess the league’s worst goal differential (-36). Right behind them in that regard are the Chicago Blackhawks (-26) and Columbus Blues Jackets (-27). To put the cherry on top of the week for Columbus, they had a game postponed over the weekend due to a water main bursting at Nationwide Arena.

John Tortorella Philadelphia Flyers
John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Things have gone from bad to worse in the “City of Brotherly Love” as the Philadelphia Flyers are winless in their last 10 (0-7-3). There’s tension brewing within the locker room as this team continues to bottom out. The San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, and Ottawa Senators have each done little to separate themselves from each other over the last week or so, other than the Sharks’ Reverse Retro 2.0 jerseys getting some much-deserved respect.

25 – 21

25. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week: 29, 9-12-1, 19 points)

24. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 25, 9-11-3, 21 points)

23. Vancouver Canucks (Last Week: 24, 9-10-3, 21 points)

22. Calgary Flames (Last Week: 19, 9-9-3, 21 points)

21. Nashville Predators (Last Week: 21, 9-9-2, 20 points)

Even though they’ve moved up four spots from last week, the tailspin in Buffalo is continuing for the Sabres after losing eight of their last 10 (2-7-1). The Washington Capitals continue to tread water thanks to Alex Ovechkin (21 points) and Darcy Kuemper (.914 save percentage, 2.60 goals against average) doing just enough to keep the team relevant. Injuries are mounting for the Caps, and it’s beginning to take a toll. Slowly righting the ship, the Vancouver Canucks should still be looking to make some moves in an attempt to gain a higher lottery pick come June 2023. However, this team is fifth overall in goals scored per game (3.59) and could look to add defensively in hopes of a solid second quarter.

Tage Thompson Buffalo Sabres
Tage Thompson, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Calgary Flames have had an issue scoring lately, with just eight goals in their four games last week while only giving up 11, going 1-3-1 in the process. Meanwhile, in Nashville, the Predators have been plagued by inconsistency, whether it’s the goaltending duo of Juuse Saros and Kevin Lankinen or their offense as a whole (29th in the league with 2.55 goals per game).

20 – 16

20. Minnesota Wild (Last Week: 22, 10-9-2, 22 points)

19. St. Louis Blues (Last Week: 18, 11-11-0, 22 points)

18. Florida Panthers (Last Week: 17, 10-8-4, 24 points)

17. Montreal Canadiens (Last Week: 20, 11-9-1, 23 points)

16. New York Rangers (Last Week: 13, 10-9-4, 24 points)

The Minnesota Wild have acquired veteran enforcer Ryan Reaves in an effort to give the team an identity while reuniting him with old friend Marc-Andre Fleury. They still need help scoring, as they’re 22nd in scoring (2.90 goals scored per game) and 11th in goals allowed per game (also at 2.90). At least they’re being consistent in that regard. The St. Louis Blues’ latest winning streak stopped at seven and have gone 1-3 in the four games since. Center Robert Thomas was injured (lower body) on Nov. 26 against the Panthers, and no timetable has been given yet for his return. However, Pavel Buchnevich and Jordan Kyrou are heating up after a slow start.

Matthew Tkachuk Florida Panthers
Matthew Tkachuk, Florida Panthers (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Florida Panthers have “won” the Matthew Tkachuk blockbuster trade as of now (10 goals, 19 assists in 20 games), but he’s been the least of their issues this season. They have taken the most shots in the league (872) but have the fifth-worst shooting percentage (S%) at 8.6%. The Montreal Canadiens continue to defy logic by not embracing the tank, but as we saw toward the end of 2021-22, this team is unified under head coach Martin St. Louis and continue to make progress. In New York, goalie Igor Shesterkin hasn’t been as lights out as he was last season, as they’ve lost three in a row and are 4-5-1 in their last 10.

15 – 11

15. Edmonton Oilers (Last Week: 16, 12-10-0, 24 points)

14. Los Angeles Kings (Last Week: 11, 12-9-3, 27 points)

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: 15, 11-8-3, 25 points)

12. Carolina Hurricanes (Last Week: 8, 11-6-5, 27 points)

11. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last Week: 6, 13-7-1, 27 points)

Connor McDavid (league-best 39 points) and Leon Draisaitl (fourth in NHL with 33 points) are still doing their thing in Edmonton, yet the Oilers’ struggles in net continue as they’ve allowed the seventh most goals (78). The loss of Evander Kane has softened their team as a whole and has them looking around the league for “edgy forwards” according to Elliotte Friedman. The Los Angeles Kings continue to slide despite their winning record, going 1-1-1 over the last week and 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The leaders of the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to fight father time as they try to keep this team trending upward. Sidney Crosby (29 points), Evgeni Malkin (20 points), and Kris Letang (12 points) are carrying the Pens as they sport the oldest roster in hockey (30.24 years). The Carolina Hurricanes are sputtering a bit at the moment, with their offense seemingly drying up and uncertainty in net with Frederik Andersen and Antti Ranta being usurped by Pyotr Kochetov. Dropping out of the top 10, we’ve got the Tampa Bay Lightning. But they didn’t drop because of their play (7-3-0 in the last 10), but because of the impressive play by the team below.

10. Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: 14, 11-6-4, 26 points)

The Detroit Red Wings have cracked the top ten in this week’s rankings. With the additions of Dominik Kubalik (22 points), David Perron (16 points), and Ville Husso (9-3-3, .912 SV%, 2.58 GAA) all playing well to go along with core players Dylan Larkin (24 points), Filip Hronek (18 points) and Moritz Seider (11 points), things are rolling in the right direction in the Motor City.

Dylan Larkin Detroit Red Wings
Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman has constructed a solid roster. They may be overperforming a bit right now, but new head coach Derek Lalonde has this team playing with the right mindset. It’s still early, and some numbers may suggest their offense is a bit lucky right now, but it’s hard not to root for this Original Six team to return to glory.

9. Winnipeg Jets (Last Week: 10, 13-6-1, 27 points)

Connor Hellebuyck’s return to form continues to prop up the Winnipeg Jets while their offense continues to gel and take form. He’s faced the second most shots (523) in the NHL but has also made the second most saves (484) and owns the third-best SV% (.925). The offense has begun to come around, making the jump over the last seven days from 2.41 goals per game (22nd) to 3.15 (16th). Defenseman Josh Morrissey was the NHL’s second star of the week, recording seven points (three goals, four assists), including two overtime winners.

8. Dallas Stars (Last Week: 4, 13-6-4, 30 points)

Speaking of NHL Stars of the Week, the first star went to Jason Robertson, who is propelling the Dallas Stars right now with MVP-level play. He’s currently leading the league in goals scored (19), is second in points (36), seventh in shots on goal (97) and is currently on a 16-game point streak.

The team as a whole has scored the most goals in the league (88) and have the third-best goal differential (+22). Jamie Benn (26 points) is pacing for his best season since 2017-18 when he scored 79 points. The newly-extended Roope Hintz (24 points) is looking to best his career high in points (72) from last season.

7. New York Islanders (Last Week: 12, 15-8-0, 30 points)

The New York Islanders are one of the hotter teams in the league, going 3-0 over the last seven days, winners of four in a row, and are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. Matthew Barzal continues to have an impressive start to the year, with his 23 assists ranking second in the league. But the true star so far for the Isles has been goalie Ilya Sorokin, who earned the league’s third star of the week after going 3-0-0, stopping 103 of 107 shots, compiling a .963 SV%, and a 1.32 GAA in the process while also recording a shutout, his second of the year.

6. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 7, 12-6-1, 25 points)

The lack of points is deceiving here, as the Colorado Avalanche’s 19 games played are the fewest in the NHL right now. But that alone doesn’t diminish how good this team is, and that they’re starting to get on a roll. They’re 8-2-0 in their last 10 games.

Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Led by Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen, they still possess the league’s top power-play unit at 33.8%. Goalie Alexandar Georgiev continues to impress in net, as he’s 10-2-1 in 13 starts with a 2.29 GAA (fifth overall) and a .933 SV% (second overall).

5. Seattle Kraken (Last Week: 9, 13-5-3, 29 points)

I know, I know. I agree with you. This is weird. This can’t be right. But as we sit with 25% of the season behind us, still with a lot of hockey left to play mind you, the success of the Seattle Kraken can no longer be ignored. With the whole Shane Wright playing time ordeal currently on hold after he was sent down on Nov. 20, the Kraken have been one of the best teams in hockey.

Matty Beniers Seattle Kraken
Matty Beniers, Seattle Kraken (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Their five wins in a row set a franchise record. Since The start of November, this team is 9-1-1 and have given up the second-fewest goals (26) in that span. With rookie Matty Beniers looking like a Calder Trophy favorite, the Kraken are dangerous and fun to watch.

4. Vegas Golden Knights (Last Week: 3, 17-6-1, 35 points)

The Vegas Golden Knights dropped one spot this week, going 2-2-0 last week and 5-4-1 over their last 10. Even with that, they still remain the top team in both the Pacific Divisions and the Western Conference, as a whole. They continue to get strong play from their unlikely goalie tandem of starter Logan Thompson and backup Adin Hill, combining for the sixth-fewest goals allowed at 2.63. Their special team’s units continue to struggle (21st-ranked power play, 24th-ranked penalty kill), but they’ve scored the second most even-strength goals in the NHL (56).

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (Last Week: 5, 14-5-5, 33 points)

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a big week, going 4-0-0 (7-1-2 in their last 10), outscoring their opponents 16-7, and thus allowing them to jump ahead to the number three spot in this week’s power rankings. Mitch Marner is currently riding a 17-game point streak, during which he’s recorded 23 points (six goals, 17 assists). Even with the multitude of injuries to their defense alone (TJ Brodie, Jake Muzzin, Carl Dahlstrom, Morgan Rielly, Jordie Benn), Sheldon Keefe and the Leafs continue to jam it to the rest of the league, winning four in a row and seven of their last 10.

2. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 2, 19-4-0, 38 points)

Even with their franchise-record-tying 13-game winning streak ending in a bizarre and somewhat embarrassing fashion, the New Jersey Devils have hopped right back into their winning ways and stuck around at the number two spot. Vitek Vanecek has been perhaps the biggest surprise for the Devils, allowing a lowly 2.12 goals per game while providing the franchise with the stability in net they’ve lacked for years.

Jack Hughes New Jersey Devils
Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt (both with 26 points) are pacing the offense, while Hughes himself is sixth in the league in shots (100) and tied for third overall in rush attempts (14). As a team, they went 3-1-0 last week and 9-1-0 in their last 10. They’re this close to leapfrogging the Bruins atop this list.

1. Boston Bruins (Last Week: 1, 18-3-0, 36 points)

As the case is with the Ducks bookending the bottom of this list, once again, the Boston Bruins will bookend the top. Even though they went 1-1-0 in their two games over the last week, the Bruins are still 8-2-0 in their last 10 games while scoring an average of 4.00 goals per game. Goalie Linus Ullmark is providing them with elite production in the crease with his league-leading .935 save percentage, while as a team, they’re allowing the second-fewest goals per game at 2.24. Led by David Pastrnak (14 goals, 18 assists) and the league’s second-ranked power play and penalty kill units, this spot belongs to the Bruins for at least another week.

The NHL standings at the time of American Thanksgiving are more often than not a sign of who will be in (and out) when the playoffs inevitably come around. Dating back to 2005-06, 76.3% of the teams in playoff position at the time of U.S. Thanksgiving made the playoffs. Undoubtedly there will be some teams who slide while others will rise as the season rolls on. A big week could have the Devils supplanting the Bruins for the top spot, while the Sabres’ struggles could inevitably bury them before Christmas.



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