NHL Power Rankings Through 15 Games

What are Power Rankings?

That definition, which doesn’t really exist, certainly isn’t universal and may even be evolving, has been debated more than any individual ranking through three editions to date — preseason, five games and 10 games.

So, it’s time to elaborate on the determining factors — and there are many — for these Power Rankings, in particular.

Recent performance plays a big role, especially in the movement from one edition to the next — what have you done for me lately?

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist
(Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers have won a league-high six in a row — resulting in a double-digit leap up the Power Rankings.

Overall records are obviously weighed heavily, but it would be lazy to copy-and-paste the overall standings as a starting point.

Strength of schedule — past, present and future — also has to be taken into account, applying at least a bit of foresight while acknowledging hindsight is always 20/20.

There has to be a balance between results and expectations, but that can be a fine line and a moving target as the season progresses. It has to be a hybrid of sorts.

Rosters are scoured regularly for injuries and alterations — trades, waiver claims, call-ups.

Coaching changes, if and when they happen, must also be noted and analyzed.

At the end of the day, Power Rankings will always be a matter of opinion and discretion — be it solely of the author, as has been the case here, or a collective group in the form of a consensus.

For me, the preseason rankings were essentially my Stanley Cup odds. I wasn’t about to throw those out the window after five games. I was reluctant to drop my perceived contenders too far and I tried to pump the brakes on my projected lottery teams instead of pumping their tires. Rightly or wrongly, I was sticking to my guns for the most part at that stage.

Connor McDavid Oilers
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Truth be told, I had Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers topping my preseason Power Rankings, but that look on McDavid’s face says it all. Things aren’t going as anticipated for my predictions, nor the Oilers.

As the calendar turned to November, nearly a month into the season and at the 10-game mark, I was much more willing to give credit where it was due and to eat crow if warranted as well. There was admittedly a lot of the latter — this has been a humbling exercise in a strangely unpredictable season — but I evidently overreacted or overcompensated to some extent.

It’s proving tricky in trying to find that balance while avoiding preconceived biases, but the further we go, the more meaningful the results and standings will become. At times, when torn or all things appear equal, I’ll ask myself: ‘could Team A beat Team B in a seven-game series starting tomorrow?’

With that said, here’s how I have the NHL’s 31 teams stacking up as of today — my Power Rankings through 15 games:

1) Tampa Bay Lightning




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-0-1-0 — 2-1 win over Anaheim, 5-2 win over Los Angeles, 5-1 win over San Jose, 5-4 shootout win over Columbus, 2-1 overtime loss to New York Rangers

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Dallas on Thursday, home to New York Islanders on Saturday, home to Chicago on Nov. 22, at Washington on Nov. 24, at Pittsburgh on Nov. 25

ANALYSIS: Rolling right along on their third four-game winning streak of the season, the Lightning will try to make it five in a row for the first time. Fresh off sweeping the California swing in regulation — a rather remarkable feat — Tampa Bay heads home for three straight, but the schedule doesn’t get a whole lot easier. Then again, the Lightning’s top line is making it look easy against everyone and anyone.

2) Nashville Predators

LAST RANKED: 14 (+12)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 5-4 shootout win over Pittsburgh, 3-1 win over Columbus, 4-3 overtime win over Los Angeles, 5-3 win over Anaheim, 4-1 loss to San Jose

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Washington on Tuesday, at Minnesota on Thursday, home to Colorado on Saturday, home to Winnipeg on Nov. 20, home to Montreal on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Kyle Turris made a positive first impression, scoring a goal and adding an assist in his Preds’ debut that doubled as a rematch of this year’s Stanley Cup Final. Definitely a nice way to endear himself to the Nashville faithful. David Poile has successfully pulled off three of the biggest blockbusters in recent years, acquiring his top two centres in Ryan Johansen and now Turris, plus a top-pairing defenceman in P.K. Subban. Poile has also negotiated some terrific value contracts — Mattias Ekholm, Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok, to name a few — which should keep the window-to-win wide open for the Predators. With Ryan Ellis eventually returning, you have to like Nashville’s chances again this season.

3) Ottawa Senators




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 3-2-0-0 — 4-3 win over Colorado, 4-3 overtime win over Colorado, 5-4 loss to Vegas, 3-1 win over Detroit, 8-3 loss to Montreal

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Pittsburgh on Thursday, home to Arizona on Saturday, at New York Rangers on Sunday, at Washington on Nov. 22, at Columbus on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: Matt Duchene debuted by beating his former team not once, but twice in Sweden. Duchene wasn’t necessarily the difference on the scoresheet, but he won some key faceoffs and did the little things to help the Senators return home with four points. It’s debatable how much of an upgrade Duchene is on Turris, but Ottawa does appear to be a better team today. A Cup contender again? Time will tell.

4) Winnipeg Jets

LAST RANKED: 17 (+13)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 3-1-1-0 — 4-1 win over Arizona, 5-2 loss to Vegas, 4-1 win over Dallas, 5-4 overtime loss to Montreal, 5-2 win over Dallas

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Arizona on Tuesday, home to Philadelphia on Thursday, home to New Jersey on Saturday, at Nashville on Nov. 20, at Los Angeles on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Patrik Laine has scored in five straight games since calling himself out for struggling at “ice hockey”, and the Jets have taken off in general. Kyle Connor has complemented Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele on the top line, adding another element to that potent offence. Steve Mason finally got his first win with Winnipeg on the weekend, right after Connor Hellebuyck finally lost for the first time in regulation. Besides that bad game, Hellebuyck has been the biggest reason for Winnipeg’s success, so the Jets have to hope he shakes it off and bounces back this week.

5) Los Angeles Kings




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-1-0 — 2-1 loss to San Jose, 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay, 4-3 overtime win over Anaheim, 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville, 5-3 win over Toronto

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Vancouver on Tuesday, home to Boston on Thursday, home to Florida on Saturday, at Vegas on Sunday, home to Winnipeg on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Mixed results as of late, but Los Angeles is still looking legit. Dustin Brown and the Kings are back to being contenders this season. Marian Gaborik could be back soon — don’t hold your breath for that return — but Jeff Carter is still out long-term and perhaps his absence is starting to take a slight toll on L.A. In saying that, the schedule lightens up this week, so expect the Kings to heat right back up.

6) St. Louis Blues




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 3-2-0-0 — 5-2 loss to New York Islanders, 3-2 shootout win over Arizona, 3-1 win over New Jersey, 6-4 win over Toronto, 2-0 loss to Philadelphia

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Calgary on Monday, at Edmonton on Thursday, at Vancouver on Saturday, home to Edmonton on Nov. 21, home to Nashville on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: There are some stacked top lines in the league this season and the Blues certainly boast one of them. Brayden Schenn has been a great fit between Vladimir Taransenko and Jaden Schwartz, while Alex Pietrangelo might be the leading candidate for the Norris and Jake Allen is the Vezina conversation so far too. St. Louis will try to keep the pedal down as it makes the rounds through Western Canada this week.

7) Toronto Maple Leafs




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 4-1 win over Boston, 3-2 overtime win over Boston, 4-2 win over Minnesota, 4-3 shootout win over Vegas, 6-4 loss to St. Louis

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to New Jersey on Thursday, at Montreal on Saturday, home to Arizona on Nov. 20, at Florida on Nov. 22, at Carolina on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: On a four-game winning streak and proving they can win without Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs have shown some character in the face of adversity. That is to be expected from a Mike Babcock-coached team, and it should be noted that young Mitch Marner has stepped it up since Matthews went down. All good signs for Toronto.

8) New York Rangers

LAST RANKED: 30 (+22)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 5-0-0-0 — 4-2 win over Edmonton, 4-2 win over Boston, 5-3 win over Columbus, 5-4 overtime win over Florida, 2-1 overtime win over Tampa Bay

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Chicago on Wednesday, at Columbus on Friday, home to Ottawa on Sunday, at Carolina on Nov. 22, home to Detroit on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: The Rangers are on a six-game winning streak — ever since that terrorist attack on a New York City sidewalk — and their power play is a force to be reckoned with right now. Pavel Buchnevich is breaking out and Rick Nash is bouncing back. Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Shattenkirk are producing as hoped, and Henrik Lundqvist has ramped up his play for the Rangers too. Who knows how long all that will last for, but no team has been better than the Rangers in November (5-0) — not even Tampa Bay (4-1), with the Lightning’s lone loss of the month coming against, you guessed it, the Rangers.

9) San Jose Sharks

LAST RANKED: 23 (+14)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 2-1 win over Los Angeles, 5-0 win over Vancouver, 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay, 2-1 shootout win over Anaheim, 4-1 win over Nashville

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Florida on Thursday, home to Boston on Saturday, home to Anaheim on Nov. 20, at Arizona on Nov. 22, at Vegas on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: The Sharks are killing it lately too, having won six of their last seven and seven of their last 10. This, despite Brent Burns having yet to score a goal through 16 games. That’s shocking since Burns led all NHL defencemen in goals in each of the past two seasons with 29 and 27, respectively. Led by Logan Couture this season, the Sharks have been scoring by committee for the most part. San Jose’s goaltending has also been by committee, with Martin Jones and Aaron Dell forming a quality tandem.

10) New Jersey Devils




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-1-1-1 — 7-5 win over Chicago, 2-1 win over Florida, 3-2 overtime loss to Edmonton, 3-1 loss to St. Louis, 5-4 shootout loss to Calgary

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Toronto on Thursday, at Winnipeg on Saturday, at Minnesota on Nov. 20, home to Boston on Nov. 22, home to Vancouver on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: The Devils keep bagging points and have managed to stay atop the Metro longer than anyone could have imagined prior to the season. Impressively, New Jersey’s away record (6-1-0-1) is even better than its home record (5-3-1-0). All in all, Taylor Hall and the Devils have to be taken seriously the rest of the way.

11) Calgary Flames

LAST RANKED: 19 (+8)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 6-3 win over Detroit, 5-3 loss to Vancouver, 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey, 2-1 overtime win over Pittsburgh, 2-1 win over Washington

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to St. Louis on Monday, at Detroit on Wednesday, at Philadelphia on Saturday, at Washington on Nov. 20, at Columbus on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: The Flames have made the most of this seven-game homestand, which wraps up tonight against St. Louis. Mike Smith has continued to provide solid goaltending, and Calgary is getting a balanced attack up front — led by the dynamic duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, as well as the 3M line of Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik. More promising, the new-look line of Jaromir Jagr, Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski. Jagr and Jankowski both scored their first goals as Flames in the win over Detroit, while Bennett finally got on the scoresheet with an assist after going 15 games without a point to start the season. If that trio heats up, the Flames could be really cooking.

12) Dallas Stars

LAST RANKED: 11 (-1)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 3-2-0-0 — 5-0 win over New York Islanders, 4-1 loss to Winnipeg, 5-1 win over Buffalo, 5-2 loss to Winnipeg, 2-1 overtime win over Vancouver

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Carolina on Monday, at Florida on Tuesday, at Tampa Bay on Thursday, home to Edmonton on Saturday, home to Montreal on Nov. 21

ANALYSIS: Ben Bishop now has his first shutout as a member of the Stars and Jason Spezza finally has his first goal of the season, so Dallas should trend up if those two keep it up. John Klingberg has ascended to the top of the league in defence scoring — though Erik Karlsson is hot on his heels — but Esa Lindell is quietly becoming a player for the Stars too. Lots to like in Dallas going forward.

13) Washington Capitals

LAST RANKED: 20 (+7)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 2-1 shootout win over Edmonton, 4-1 win over Pittsburgh, 3-1 loss to Buffalo, 3-2 overtime win over Arizona, 3-2 win over Boston

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Nashville on Tuesday, at Colorado on Thursday, home to Minnesota on Saturday, home to Calgary on Nov. 20, home to Ottawa on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Albeit not the strongest of competition in this recent sample size, but the Capitals have been stringing together some better results in winning five of their last six — going back to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders to start November. Braden Holtby has actually won six straight starts — bookended by a 5-2 decision over Edmonton on Oct. 28 — with Philipp Grubauer on the hook for Washington’s two losses over that span of eight games. Alex Ovechkin has cooled off considerably — with only three goals in his last 10 games, coming in three straight contests earlier this month — but as long as Holtby stays hot, that bodes well for the Capitals.

14) New York Islanders

LAST RANKED: 13 (-1)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-1-0 — 5-2 win over St. Louis, 5-0 loss to Dallas, 2-1 overtime loss to Edmonton, 6-4 win over Colorado, 4-3 loss to Washington

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Carolina on Thursday, at Tampa Bay on Saturday, at Carolina on Sunday, home to Philadelphia on Nov. 22, at Philadelphia on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: Josh Bailey has been benefitting from flanking John Tavares, but Jordan Eberle and Matt Barzal are developing some impressive chemistry that is making the Islanders that much harder to defend. They laid an egg in getting blanked by Dallas, but bounced back to beat St. Louis. A real good sign for Doug Weight, that his players were determined to right that wrong — especially with some big games on the horizon against division rivals.

15) Vegas Golden Knights

LAST RANKED: 3 (-12)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-0-1 — 5-2 win over Winnipeg, 3-2 loss to Montreal, 4-3 shootout loss to Toronto, 5-4 win over Ottawa, 2-1 loss to Boston

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Edmonton on Tuesday, at Vancouver on Thursday, home to Los Angeles on Sunday, at Anaheim on Nov. 22, at San Jose on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: Coming off a humbling six-game road trip that produced only one victory and three points (1-4-0-1), the Golden Knights got back to their winning ways at home. Vegas is now 7-1 at the friendly confines of T-Mobile Arena, and even fourth-string goalie Max Lagace backstopped a ‘W’ there. Vegas’ only home loss came in the game that Marc-Andre Fleury got concussed. For all their injury woes in net, the Golden Knights are continuing to impress the masses. This isn’t your daddy’s expansion team.

16) Philadelphia Flyers




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-0-1 — 1-0 loss to Minnesota, 3-1 win over Chicago, 5-4 shootout loss to Colorado, 2-0 win over St. Louis, 3-0 loss to Chicago

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Minnesota on Tuesday, at Winnipeg on Thursday, home to Calgary on Saturday, home to Vancouver on Nov. 21, at New York Islanders on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Philly avenged its loss to Chicago, but it continues to be an up-and-down season for the Flyers. Other teams are enjoying higher highs in the present, but Philadelphia isn’t necessarily trending down in the big picture. If the Flyers could get a bump in secondary scoring — from those forwards playing behind the Ginger Line, comprised of Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier — that would give Philadelphia a boost in both the standings and these Power Rankings.

17) Montreal Canadiens

LAST RANKED: 25 (+8)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 4-1-0-0 — 2-1 overtime win over Buffalo, 3-0 loss to Minnesota, 3-2 win over Vegas, 2-0 win over Chicago, 5-4 overtime win over Winnipeg

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Columbus on Tuesday, home to Arizona on Thursday, home to Toronto on Saturday, at Dallas on Nov. 21, at Nashville on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Charlie Lindgren to the rescue, the rookie goalie might have saved Montreal’s season. But does Claude Julien continue to ride his hot hand, or do the Canadiens go back to Carey Price as soon as he’s healthy despite his early-season struggles? There isn’t a goaltending controversy in Montreal by any means — Price is still going to be the man there — but it will make for some interesting decisions in the next week or two, especially while Al Montoya is concussed. Outside of the crease, the Canadiens’ offence is coming around and their defence seems to be improving in Price’s absence as well.

18) Pittsburgh Penguins

LAST RANKED: 10 (-8)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-2-1-1 — 5-4 shootout loss to Nashville, 4-1 loss to Washington, 3-1 win over Arizona, 4-2 loss to Vancouver, 2-1 overtime loss to Calgary

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Buffalo on Tuesday, at Ottawa on Thursday, home to Chicago on Saturday, home to Vancouver on Nov. 22, at Boston on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: Sidney Crosby has now gone 11 games without scoring a goal — and doesn’t have a multi-point effort over that span either. What’s worse? Crosby and fellow Penguins star Kris Letang are tied for the league’s worst plus/minus rating at minus-14. Chalk it up to a lingering Stanley Cup hangover because Crosby, Letang and Pittsburgh as a whole are certain to get out of this funk. They are too good to stay this bad. Once Crosby gets one, expect the reigning Rocket Richard winner to start scoring in bunches again. And, in turn, expect the Penguins to start stringing together victories again.

19) Columbus Blue Jackets

LAST RANKED: 12 (-7)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-3-0-1 — 2-1 shootout win over Detroit, 3-1 loss to Carolina, 3-1 loss to Nashville, 5-3 loss to New York Rangers, 5-4 shootout loss to Tampa Bay

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Montreal on Tuesday, home to New York Rangers on Friday, at Buffalo on Nov. 20, home to Calgary on Nov. 22, home to Ottawa on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: It took nine rounds of a shootout on Saturday, but Columbus halted its four-game losing skid. That’s a positive, obviously, but more encouraging for the Blue Jackets has been the progress of youngsters Oliver Bjorkstrand — a budding star — and Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has also been showing up on the scoresheet in recent games. Artemi Panarin is starting to light the lamp again too — even without Alexander Wennberg performing to his potential as a set-up man — but that secondary scoring will continue to be key for Columbus.

20) Chicago Blackhawks

LAST RANKED: 15 (-5)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-3-0-0 — 7-5 loss to New Jersey, 4-3 overtime win over Carolina, 3-1 loss to Philadelphia, 2-0 loss to Montreal, 2-0 win over Minnesota

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to New York Rangers on Wednesday, at Pittsburgh on Saturday, at Tampa Bay on Nov. 22, at Florida on Nov. 25, home to Anaheim on Nov. 27

ANALYSIS: Corey Crawford has gone from consecutive shutouts to giving up a touchdown, but at least Patrick Kane got off the snide in snapping out of his seven-game goalless drought on Sunday. The Blackhawks will regroup to host the league’s hottest team, the Rangers, on Wednesday. That should be interesting, almost as intriguing as the line combinations that Joel Quenneville’s blender will churn out next.

21) Anaheim Ducks

LAST RANKED: 8 (-13)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-2-1-1 — 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay, 4-1 win over Vancouver, 4-3 overtime loss to Los Angeles, 2-1 shootout loss to San Jose, 5-3 loss to Nashville

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Boston on Wednesday, home to Florida on Sunday, at San Jose on Nov. 20, home to Vegas on Nov. 22, home to Winnipeg on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: Let’s cut the Ducks some slack. This team will be without its top two centres — Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler — until Christmas, and has also played much of the season without three of its top-four defencemen in Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen and the still injured Cam Fowler. Both goalies have been hurt at times too, though thankfully John Gibson is back between the pipes. The fact Anaheim is still around .500 can only be seen as a positive, with better days to come in the second half. However, in terms of the Power Rankings, the Ducks are trending down for the time being.

22) Vancouver Canucks

LAST RANKED: 6 (-16)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-3-0-0 — 5-0 loss to San Jose, 4-1 loss to Anaheim, 5-3 win over Calgary, 3-2 loss to Detroit, 4-2 win over Pittsburgh

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Los Angeles on Tuesday, home to Vegas on Thursday, home to St. Louis on Saturday, at Philadelphia on Nov. 21, at Pittsburgh on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Derek Dorsett and the Canucks are starting to slow down — starting to show signs of the offensively challenged team that most anticipated — but that new top line of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Brock Boeser can do plenty of damage on any given night. Chris Tanev joined Troy Stecher on the sidelines just as Alex Edler returned to Vancouver’s defence corps. This next stretch might be more telling and may give us a better read on the Canucks, but they seem like a team destined to hang around .500 for the foreseeable future.

23) Minnesota Wild

LAST RANKED: 18 (-5)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-3-0-0 — 1-0 win over Philadelphia, 3-0 win over Montreal, 4-2 loss to Toronto, 5-3 loss to Boston, 2-0 loss to Chicago

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Philadelphia on Tuesday, home to Nashville on Thursday, at Washington on Saturday, home to New Jersey on Nov. 20, at Buffalo on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Devan Dubnyk has posted consecutive shutouts and will try for three straight in facing Philadelphia again. Easier said than done, of course, but Dubnyk will also be hoping for more run support from his teammates, with the Wild still struggling to score despite getting healthier. If Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter can hit their stride, Minnesota could start trending up as long as Dubnyk stays at the top of his game.

24) Carolina Hurricanes




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-1-1-1 — 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago, 3-1 win over Columbus, 3-1 win over Florida, 2-1 shootout loss to Arizona, 5-3 loss to Colorado

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Dallas on Monday, at New York Islanders on Thursday, at Buffalo on Saturday, home to New York Islanders on Sunday, home to New York Rangers on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Having played the fewest games of any team — 15 on the dot — Carolina could get back into the mix in the Metro by winning its games in hand. In saying that, the Hurricanes have been inconsistent to date and haven’t been able to win more than two in a row thus far. Now would be a good time to start clicking, with some key divisional games on the horizon.

25) Detroit Red Wings

LAST RANKED: 29 (+4)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-0-1 — 2-1 shootout loss to Columbus, 6-3 loss to Calgary, 3-2 win over Vancouver, 4-0 win over Edmonton, 3-1 loss to Ottawa

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Calgary on Wednesday, home to Buffalo on Friday, home to Colorado on Sunday, home to Edmonton on Nov. 22, at New York Rangers on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: A bit of a streaky team, Detroit’s eight wins have all come in twos thus far, but the Red Wings haven’t been able to make it three straight. They did lose six in a row last month but have won four of seven since and are playing better to the eye. It’s just tough to see Detroit gaining much traction in the standings with that roster.

26) Edmonton Oilers

LAST RANKED: 21 (-5)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-0-1 — 2-1 shootout loss to Washington, 4-2 loss to New York Rangers, 3-2 overtime win over New Jersey, 2-1 overtime win over New York Islanders, 4-0 loss to Detroit

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Vegas on Tuesday, home to St. Louis on Thursday, at Dallas on Saturday, at St. Louis on Nov. 21, at Detroit on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl ran out of overtime magic in Washington after producing highlight-reel heroics against the Islanders and Devils to start Edmonton’s Eastern road trip. In the end, the Oilers managed five of eight points, which could be viewed as good or bad depending on whether you consider the glass half full or half empty. From the half-full perspective, the Oilers got a point against the Capitals on a back-to-back with seldom-used Laurent Brossoit in net and now return home just four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Edmonton also won consecutive games for the first time all season, so that’s good — granted both were in overtime. From the half-empty outlook, it was essentially a .500 road trip, which isn’t going to be good enough in the long run, with Edmonton needing to make up ground in order to make the playoffs. There are still six teams between Edmonton and the second wild card, and the Oilers only have three regulation wins through 17 games. And, yes, the Oilers are still the league’s lowest-scoring team — averaging just 2.24 goals per game — behind lowly Arizona (2.32).

27) Boston Bruins

LAST RANKED: 22 (-5)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-3-1-0 — 4-1 loss to Toronto, 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto, 4-2 loss to New York Rangers, 5-3 win over Minnesota, 3-2 loss to Washington

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Anaheim on Wednesday, at Los Angeles on Thursday, at San Jose on Saturday, at New Jersey on Nov. 22, home to Pittsburgh on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: On a three-game losing skid with only three wins in their last 10, the Bruins are becoming more and more mediocre. They aren’t getting blown out and do have four loser points over that stretch, but Boston has fallen back in the Atlantic standings with Detroit, Montreal and others improving as of late. Injuries are partially to blame, but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better for the Bruins — based on their upcoming schedule.

28) Florida Panthers

LAST RANKED: 26 (-2)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-3-1-0 — 2-1 loss to New Jersey, 4-1 win over Buffalo, 3-1 loss to Carolina, 5-4 overtime loss to New York Rangers, 7-3 loss to Columbus

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Dallas on Tuesday, at San Jose on Thursday, at Los Angeles on Saturday, at Anaheim on Sunday, home to Toronto on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: The Panthers have lost six of their last seven and seven of their last 10, partly because Roberto Luongo was sidelined by injury. He missed seven games and James Reimer only managed two wins, while Antti Niemi was awful in relief. Fortunately for Florida, Luongo has since returned and won his latest start over Buffalo, but that looming California trip may not be kind to the Panthers. They are at the bottom of the Atlantic and will have a tough time clawing their way up.

29) Colorado Avalanche

LAST RANKED: 27 (-2)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-1-0 — 4-3 loss to Ottawa, 4-3 overtime loss to Ottawa, 6-4 loss to New York Islanders, 5-4 shootout win over Philadelphia, 5-3 win over Carolina

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: Home to Washington on Thursday, at Nashville on Saturday, at Detroit on Sunday, home to Dallas on Nov. 22, at Minnesota on Nov. 24

ANALYSIS: The bad news is the Avs are on a three-game losing skid without Duchene. The good news is Joe Sakic seemingly did well in waiting out that trade, receiving a whopping seven assets for a disgruntled player who no longer wanted to be in Colorado. The prized piece, at least in the present, is promising puck-moving defenceman Samuel Girard, who was a bright spot in Sweden and could stick with the Avalanche this season rather than returning to junior. He’s played seven games now, so that decision may come this weekend, but Girard showed off the potential that has some believing he could turn into the best player from that three-way deal — yes, better than Duchene and Turris down the road. As of today, it’s a setback for Colorado when it comes to these Power Rankings.

30) Buffalo Sabres

LAST RANKED: 28 (-2)



LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 2-2-1-0 — 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal, 4-1 loss to Florida, 3-1 win over Washington, 5-1 loss to Dallas, 5-4 win over Arizona

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday, at Detroit on Friday, home to Carolina on Saturday, home to Columbus on Nov. 20, home to Minnesota on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Jack Eichel isn’t performing like a $10-million man, now without a goal in eight straight games and with only four on the season through 17 games. Granted that rich extension doesn’t start until next season, but the Sabres had to be expecting more from Eichel in this his third campaign as the second overall pick in 2015 behind McDavid. Sam Reinhart, the second overall pick in 2014 ahead of Draisaitl, has just two goals and five points to begin his third full season for Buffalo as well. Disappointing to say the least, and that injury-depleted defence isn’t helping matters for Phil Housley and the Sabres. Then again, it could always be worse. . . .

31) Arizona Coyotes




LAST 5 GAMES RECORD: 1-2-1-1 — 4-1 loss to Winnipeg, 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis, 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh, 3-2 overtime loss to Washington, 2-1 shootout win over Carolina

NEXT 5 GAMES SCHEDULE: At Winnipeg on Tuesday, at Montreal on Thursday, at Ottawa on Saturday, at Toronto on Nov. 20, home to San Jose on Nov. 22

ANALYSIS: Yet to win in regulation through 19 games, the Coyotes are currently on another four-game losing skid after starting the season with 11 straight defeats. All they have to show for their efforts is an overtime win against Philadelphia on Oct. 30 and that shootout win over Carolina on Nov. 4, plus a few loser points along the way. Rick Tocchet doesn’t seem like the “moral victories” type, but Arizona was “competitive” in losing to some good teams over the last week. And the Coyotes have been getting better goaltending from Antti Raanta since he’s returned from injury to start five of their six games in November. But Raanta’s play hasn’t been good enough to make a difference in the results (1-3-0-1). At this point, we can start asking a couple questions: Will Arizona be worse than Colorado was last season (22-56-2-2)? And for John Chayka, the whiz-kid general manager: Rasmus Dahlin or Andrei Svechnikov?

Updated Power Rankings Through 15 Games

1) Tampa Bay Lightning

2) Nashville Predators

3) Ottawa Senators

4) Winnipeg Jets

5) Los Angeles Kings

6) St. Louis Blues

7) Toronto Maple Leafs

8) New York Rangers

9) San Jose Sharks

10) New Jersey Devils

11) Calgary Flames

12) Dallas Stars

13) Washington Capitals

14) New York Islanders

15) Vegas Golden Knights

16) Philadelphia Flyers

17) Montreal Canadiens

18) Pittsburgh Penguins

19) Columbus Blue Jackets

20) Chicago Blackhawks

21) Anaheim Ducks

22) Vancouver Canucks

23) Minnesota Wild

24) Carolina Hurricanes

25) Detroit Red Wings

26) Edmonton Oilers

27) Boston Bruins

28) Florida Panthers

29) Colorado Avalanche

30) Buffalo Sabres

31) Arizona Coyotes

Power Rankings Through 10 Games

1) Tampa Bay Lightning

2) Los Angeles Kings

3) Vegas Golden Knights

4) St. Louis Blues

5) New Jersey Devils

6) Vancouver Canucks

7) Ottawa Senators

8) Anaheim Ducks

9) Toronto Maple Leafs

10) Pittsburgh Penguins

11) Dallas Stars

12) Columbus Blue Jackets

13) New York Islanders

14) Nashville Predators

15) Chicago Blackhawks

16) Philadelphia Flyers

17) Winnipeg Jets

18) Minnesota Wild

19) Calgary Flames

20) Washington Capitals

21) Edmonton Oilers

22) Boston Bruins

23) San Jose Sharks

24) Carolina Hurricanes

25) Montreal Canadiens

26) Florida Panthers

27) Colorado Avalanche

28) Buffalo Sabres

29) Detroit Red Wings

30) New York Rangers

31) Arizona Coyotes

Preseason Power Rankings

1) Edmonton Oilers

2) Pittsburgh Penguins

3) Dallas Stars

4) Tampa Bay Lightning

5) Washington Capitals

6) Chicago Blackhawks

7) Columbus Blue Jackets

8) Toronto Maple Leafs

9) Winnipeg Jets

10) Anaheim Ducks

11) Minnesota Wild

12) Nashville Predators

13) Montreal Canadiens

14) Calgary Flames

15) Buffalo Sabres

16) Philadelphia Flyers

17) New York Islanders

18) New York Rangers

19) San Jose Sharks

20) Boston Bruins

21) Carolina Hurricanes

22) Vancouver Canucks

23) Los Angeles Kings

24) St. Louis Blues

25) Florida Panthers

26) Arizona Coyotes

27) New Jersey Devils

28) Ottawa Senators

29) Colorado Avalanche

30) Detroit Red Wings

31) Vegas Golden Knights