It’s a lot of the same old suspects this week among the NHL’s top ten teams, but the Colorado Avalanche continue to show that they belong with the big boys. The top spot belongs to the San Jose Sharks until further notice given the way that they’re straight embarrassing teams, but that’s been a similar pattern for the talented Sharks over the last few years.
Clearly it’s still early in the power rankings season, and time will tell with a lot of these teams:
30. Buffalo Sabres (1-8-1, last week: 30) – All you need to know is that “Fire Darcy” has become the en vogue chant at the First Niagara Center. The GM that created this mess, Darcy Regier, really has to go at this point.
29. Philadelphia Flyers (1-7-0, last week: 16) – Out of shape and unprepared to start the NHL season is no way to go through hockey life, son.
28. Edmonton Oilers (2-6-1, last week: 14) – Maybe the win this weekend is all they needed, but a legitimate goaltender would certainly help matters. What’s the harm in trying Bryz on for size?
27. New Jersey Devils (1-4-3, last week: 27) – Sad to watch Martin Brodeur these days when he probably should have gone out after the Stanley Cup Final berth a couple of years ago.
26. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-5-0, last week: 21) – There may not be much for Nathan Horton to come back to when he returns from his shoulder surgery rehab in January.
25. New York Rangers (2-5-0, last week: 10) – Losing Ryan Callahan for a month is exactly what this team didn’t need. Could Alain Vigneault already be in trouble?
24. Florida Panthers (3-6-0, last week: 18) – The Panthers have still allowed the most goals (32) in the Eastern Conference despite the presence of Tim Thomas. Life without Zdeno Chara isn’t easy.
23. Dallas Stars (3-4-0, last week: 26) – Tyler Seguin is tearing it up with 10 points, but the Stars are in last place. That’s about how the Bruins envisioned the 22-year-old turning into a stat god for a non-playoff hockey team.
22. Washington Capitals (3-5-0, last week: 8) – Another year and another slow start for the Capitals, who should start to rise in a very mediocre Metropolitan Division.
21. Winnipeg Jets (4-4-0, last week: 22) – Amazing that the Jets front office locks all of their players up to long term deals, and the urgency suddenly goes away from a team that hasn’t even made the playoffs yet. Hope the Winnipeg fan base remembers that I called this one over the summer.
20. Minnesota Wild (3-3-3, last week: 17) – Mike Yeo may be in trouble soon coaching a team that’s stuck in neutral with a fading star in Dany Heatley that looks like he’s pretty close to done.
19. New York Islanders (3-3-2, last week: 19) – Not great, and not horrible. Yup, that sounds like the Islanders.
18. Calgary Flames (3-2-2, last week: 29) – I don’t quite understand why you’d want to send a promising youngster like Sean Monahan back to junior hockey when he’s proven he can play at the NHL level. It seems like Calgary might surprise a few people this year.
17. Ottawa Senators (3-3-2, last week: 7) – Surprising that Erik Karlsson has struggled a bit out of the starting gate, and that’s reflected in Ottawa’s mediocre record.
16. Nashville Predators (4-3-1, last week: 25) – Could this be the year the Predators fall out of the playoff picture? At least it appears that Seth Jones is progressing nicely.
15. Carolina Hurricanes (4-2-3, last week: 23) – Mark my words, Anton Khudobin will be the starter here before the year is out.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-0, last week: 28) – The Bolts look like they’ve found their guy in Ben Bishop. Now they just need some defensemen.
13. Montreal Canadiens (5-3-0, last week: 13) – Montreal is off to a decent start, but injuries to Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust over the weekend could be a concern to the Habs.
12. Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1, last week: 11) – Looks like Vancouver is starting to take to the Tortorella Rules. Who would have thought?
11. Boston Bruins (5-2-0, last week 2) – The win over Tampa showed exactly what the Bruins are capable of when they’re playing up to potential. Tuukka Rask has taken it to another level this season.
10. St. Louis Blues (5-1-1, last week: 6) – They were off to a good start in St. Louis, but got slapped around by the Sharks last week.
9. Phoenix Coyotes (5-2-2, last week: 15) – The Desert Dogs just keep on rolling along, anonymously and efficiently.
8. Los Angeles Kings (6-3-0, last week: 4) – The Kings are just pacing themselves during the regular season, but everybody knows how much talent lies in wait there.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs (6-3-0, last week: 12) – The Leafs were off to one of the best starts in recent franchise history, and look to be a playoff team again this season. Guess signing Phil Kessel was the right move.
6. Detroit Red Wings (6-3-0, last week: 5) – The Wings are liking their new Atlantic Division digs already. The Winged Wheels impressed in their second go-round in Boston last week.
5. Anaheim Ducks (6-1-0, last week: 24) – The Ducks have been one of the hottest teams in hockey since getting spanked by Colorado on opening night.
4. Chicago Blackhawks (5-1-2, last week: 1) – The reigning champs are just going about their business, and haven’t shown one iota of a hangover.
3. Colorado Avalanche (7-1-0, last week: 20) – The power of Patrick Roy and a bunch of former No. 1 picks is doing wonders along the Rocky Mountain Hockey Way.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1-0, last week: 3) – Right now the Penguins are riding a resurgent Marc-Andre Fleury, but we’ll see how long the Flower stays in bloom this season.
1. San Jose Sharks (7-0-1, last week: 9) – Cocky Joe Thornton and the rest of the Sharks are off to another incendiary start. We’ve seen this before, so the question remains as to how long they’ll sustain it. The Sharks have nothing to prove in the regular season.