Throw Everything You Know Out the Window! NHL Power Rankings Week 6
By Kevin Mejia
BIGGEST JUMP: Colorado Avalanche, 15
BIGGEST DROP: Vegas Golden Knights, 12
- Washington Capitals (13-2-4) (UP 1) – After winning 6 in a row, the Capitals lost to the Coyotes. The Caps rattled off an overtime victory versus Florida and a complete game against Vegas before biting the dust against the Yotes. Down 3-0, Evgeny Kuznetsov sparked the team as he played out of his mind, scoring twice. Kuznetsov has 18 points in 16 games. John Carlson leads defenseman with 29 points. The Caps have a huge game against a hot Philly team tonight.
- St. Louis Blues (12-3-4) (UP 2) – All good things must come to an end but losing in a shootout (it’s a gimmick for the fans and it’s not real hockey!) blows. The Blues 7-game win streak came to a close last night as the Coyotes tied things up early in the 3rd and beat the Blues. Before this loss, the Blues smacked Edmonton 5-2 and beat Calgary in overtime thanks to David Perron. Jordan Binnington has played well with a .921 save percentage.
- New York Islanders (12-3-1) (NO MOVEMENT) – While the Isles lost their 10-game win streak to the Pens last Thursday, they proved to be capable by recording a solid 2-1 win versus the Panthers Saturday. Blowing a 3-0 lead to the Penguins stings, but fans must take positives out of that game. Semyon Varlamov did his best to stall the march of the Penguins as they outshot the Isles 39-23. The offense cannot take their foot off the pedal. JT91 and co. come to town tonight.
- Colorado Avalanche (11-5-2) (UP 15) – Coming in hot after a 17-spot drop, the Avs have won 3 straight games. It’s a writer’s curse. In their 3 games, the Avs have outscored their opponents 17-6. It looks like the boys in Denver have figured out how to play with 3 of their leaders hurt. Over the course of his last 3 games defenseman Cale Makar has put up 4 goals and 2 assists. Makar is one of the top rookies in the league. Philipp Grubauer maybe back Thursday.
- Boston Bruins (11-3-4) (DOWN 4) – After holding steady to begin the season, the Bruins have dropped 4 games in a row, the last 2 coming in shootouts. What is happening to the Bruins? The B’s dropped a 4-goal lead in the 3rd period to the Panthers last night. The Red Wings outplayed the Bruins last Friday. Boston needs more than just David Pastrňák and Brad Marchand to produce to win. The Bruins have a back to back this weekend; heading to Toronto and hosting D.C.
- Arizona Coyotes (11-6-2) (UP 1) – Interesting week for the Coyotes. 2 losses to the Blue Jackets and Wild were followed with solid performances against Washington and St. Louis, both shootout victories. The Yotes seem to be able to play with the best teams in the league, as they held their own against Washington and St. Louis. The Coyotes are 7-2-2 away from Gila River Arena, maybe suggesting they don’t like playing in the desert (move the team (it’s a joke)). Darcy Kuemper has a .931 save percent. #DarcyForVezina
- Florida Panthers (9-4-5) (UP 5) – After losing 2 games in a row, the Panthers rebounded to win their next 2. Losses to Washington and N.Y.I. were followed by shootout wins against N.Y.R. and Boston. In their game against Boston, the Cats came back from a 4-0 hole. The offense has been firing over their last 4, as they’ve averaged 3.75 goals a game in this stretch. If the Panthers could get a save from Sergei Bobrovsky (.881 save percent), they could be dangerous.
- Edmonton Oilers (12-6-2) (NO MOVEMENT) – First of all, Connor McDavid is the best player in the league. However, his linemate Leon Draisaitl can make the case he is better (points wise by 5), but McDavid’s skill is undeniable, as shown by his hat trick against Anaheim. The Oilers split their 4 games over the past week, beating New Jersey and Anaheim and losing to St. Louis and San Jose. Secondary scoring needs to step up for the Oilers. The Oilers have Colorado tomorrow night.
- Philadelphia Flyers (10-5-2) (UP 12) – The Flyers are up to something… they’ve strung together a 4-game win streak. 3 of the 4 games have needed extra time, with 2 of those 3 requiring shootouts. Sean Couturier provided the Flyers with their 2nd win in a row with a sneaky OT winner against Carey Price. Carter Hart provided .917 and .929 save percentages against the Canadiens and Bruins. Things are getting sunny in Philadelphia as we head to the winter. The Flyers take on the Capitals tonight.
- Montreal Canadiens (10-5-3) (UP 7) – An outstanding and gritty effort from this team over the past week. Fighting back from 2-0 against Philadelphia and 2-1 with under a minute to-go against Columbus shows great confidence in this team. Tomas Tatar scored a dandy of a one-timer to tie the game against Columbus, which would propel the team to victory in a shootout. Carey Price is giving the Habs a fighting chance every game with a .916 save percent. The Canadiens go to Washington Friday.
- Vancouver Canucks (10-6-3) (DOWN 6) – Tough business for the Canucks. Before last night, the Canucks had dropped 4 in a row before narrowly escaping the grasp of Nashville. Vancouver has clearly been outplayed by their opponents over the course of their last 5 games. The inexperienced roster might be showing its youth a bit over the last 5. Thatcher Demko has thrown his helmet into the circle for rookie of the year, supporting the Canucks with a .931 save percent. The Avs come to town Saturday.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (10-6-2) (UP 8) – The Penguins have the fun fact of the week: In their last 3 matches, opponents of the Penguins have scored all their goals before the Pens scored once in regulation (3-0 Isles, 2-0 Blackhawks, 2-0 Rangers). Bless it be that the Penguins took down the Islanders and their 10-game win streak. The Penguins win against Chicago marked the first time since early 2014 that Pittsburgh had beaten the Hawks. Pittsburgh welcomes in Toronto this Saturday night.
- Calgary Flames (10-7-3) (DOWN 2) – Calgary split their 2 games over the past week, recording a possible 3 out of 4 points versus the Devils and Blues. Coming back from 2-0 defeicit against the Blues says a lot about the Flames, as both goals came in the 3rd period in a struggle. If Calgary can get a win against Dallas tonight, they might set themselves up nicely for the remainder of the year. Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau must pick up their slack.
- Carolina Hurricanes (10-7-1) (DOWN 1) – Carolina hammered Ottawa 8-2 to end a 4-game losing streak. Thursday provided a loss to the Rangers while Saturday was a loss to the Sens in Ottawa. The Canes clearly outplayed the Senators both games, but in game 1 Carolina was stonewalled by Anders Nilsson. 2nd year forward Andrei Svechnikov is 2nd on the team in scoring with 18 points in 18 games. Watch for a big matchup versus Buffalo tomorrow.
- Nashville Predators (9-6-3) (DOWN 9) – Since the announcement of one of the ugliest Winter Classic jerseys of all-time, the Predators have gone 0-3, losing by a combined score of 16-8. Getting pounded by the Avalanche 9-4, losing a nail biter to San Jose by 1, and being defeated by Vancouver 5-3 is not a remedy for winning. If you guessed it, Pekka Rinne started against the Avs and Canucks, providing a .806 save percentage over the 2 losses. All-time blunder right there. The Predators must take advantage of Chicago Saturday.
- Toronto Maple Leafs (9-6-4) (DOWN 2) – Toronto has had a tough go of it over their last 3 games, losing Mitch Marner for 4 weeks to an ankle injury and losing their past 2 games as well. After a great effort versus Vegas, the Leafs dropped a game to Flyers in the shootout while getting outrun by Chicago, 5-4. The Leafs just have not been able to win on the second half of back to backs. Auston Matthews is playing like an $11.634 million player.
- Tampa Bay Lightning (8-5-2) (UP 6) – This is just what the doctor ordered. A successful trip to Stockholm against Buffalo might propel the Lightning and their season. Victor Hedman recorded a goal and an assist in his home country. The Lightning will come home to face the Rangers. Andrei Vasilevskiy must play better than his .905 save percent for the Lightning to be contenders. Steven Stamkos leads the team with 15 points and also has a 63.68 faceoff percent. Keep an eye on this team.
- Winnipeg Jets (10-8-1) (NO MOVEMENT) – The Jets had a decent week to say the least, winning 2 out of their 3 games. The Jets took down a great Canucks team 4-1 and beat Dallas 3-2 in overtime off a Mark Scheifele snipe. Most recently, the Jets got shutout by a red-hot Avalanche squad. This young team needs to win now as their window seems to be closing quick. Dustin Byfuglien is still a huge questionmark. Connor Hellebuyck is outstanding with a .928 save percent.
- New York Rangers (8-6-2) (UP 6) – Well… acquiring 7 of their last 8 possible points isn’t terrible. Rookie Adam Fox has looked great and so has number 2 overall pick Kaapo Kakko. Kakko is coming off a 2-goal performance against the Penguins, including the game-winner in overtime off a dynamic pass from Fox. The King has provided adequate goaltending with a .915 save percent, while his apprentice Alex Georgiev has a .917. The Rangers head down to Florida to take on the Lightning and Panthers this weekend.
- Buffalo Sabres (9-6-2) (DOWN 10) – The biggest fear of Buffalo fans? Having their teams be pretenders. Whether it’s the Bills or the Sabres, Buffalo is shifting to an all-time panic. Friday and Saturday’s games in Sweden looked sloppy and inefficient. Linus Ullmark posted a .912 save percent while Carter Hutton slacked with a .875. The Sabres were just not prepared for the games. However, Sam Reinhart looked like the only Sabre to show up, posting 3 goals and 1 assist. The Sabres play Carolina tomorrow.
- Vegas Golden Knights (9-7-3) (DOWN 12) – The Golden Knights bet the house this past week, and they lost EVERYTHING. After an OT loss to Toronto, the Knights lost to the Capitals and Red Wings. Max Pacioretty scored in all 3 games for the Knights, but it seems that the rest of the team forgot how to score, as the Knights only put up 5 goals in the 3 games. Against the Red Wings, the Knights had 19 shots and lost as Anthony Mantha scored with 31 seconds left. Big oof.
- Dallas Stars (8-8-2) (DOWN 6) – Dallas played 1 game over the course of the past week, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Jets. After going down 1-0, the Stars scored 2 goals and then let in the tying goal to Andrew Copp. 21 seconds into overtime, Mark Scheifele scored the game winner. Radek Faksa and Mattias Janmark provided the two tallies for the Stars. Anton Khudobin provided a lackluster .897 save percent. At least the Stars Winter Classic uniforms are absolutely gorgeous.
- San Jose Sharks (8-10-1) (UP 4) – Well, well, well… 1 of 2 teams in the league with a 4-game win streak. With the goaltending still trash (both goalies under .890 save percent), the offense has picked up the slack over the win streak. The Sharks are eating as they’ve scored 18 goals over their last 4 games. Beating Minnesota, Nashville, and Edmonton in the past few days looks great. I’m just asking Martin Jones to stop a beach ball. Division rival Anaheim is next.
- Detroit Red Wings (7-12-1) (UP 7) – Hold the phone Detroit… since acquiring Robby Fabbri from St. Louis the Wings are… undefeated… against Boston, Vegas, and Anaheim! Holy moly what a deal Stevie Y has just pulled. Let’s not overreact here. Detroit is still a low tier team. Last night, the Wings came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Ducks, including a late goal from Dylan Larkin. It’s possible, as in a chance, that Detroit continues their win streak against Los Angeles, San Jose, and Ottawa.
- Anaheim Ducks (9-8-2) (DOWN 10) – That’s 4 in a row for the Ducks, and it’s not on the good side of the puck. The Ducks suffered 2 hard losses over the past week as Edmonton took it to them 6-2 and blew a 3-1 lead against Detroit. John Gibson’s back is caving in from carrying this team; in his last 2 starts he had save percentages of .880 (Wild) and .806 (Oilers). Ryan Miller needs to step up… he had a .889 against Detroit.
- Chicago Blackhawks (6-7-4) (NO MOVEMENT) – Corey Crawford has heard my call for him to lose his starting job, and this week, he responded, big time. Crawford posted a .942 combined save percent against Vancouver and Pittsburgh. Robin Lehner continues to be great, shocking absolutely no one with a .930 save percent, 53 save performance against Toronto. Patrick Kane is putting this team on his back with 20 points. Chicago has a big week ahead of them, playing Vegas, Nashville, Buffalo, and Carolina.
- Columbus Blue Jackets (6-8-4) (DOWN 3) – Not the best week for Columbus. A win on the road against the Yotes was huge but losing 2 in a row to Colorado and Montreal stings. After going up late against the Habs, the Jackets quickly surrendered the game tying goal with 39 seconds left. The Blue Jackets couldn’t finish in the shootout. There are problems all over the ice for the Jackets, as both goalies have save percentages under .900 and the leading scorer, Pierre-Luc Dubois has 11 points.
- New Jersey Devils (5-7-4) (DOWN 6) – The backend of the Western Canada road trip may have provided a bit of hope but going 0-2 against Calgary and Edmonton just hurts. In their last 3 games, the Devils have only scored 4 goals. Jack Hughes is starting to come into his own with 9 points in 16 games. Mackenzie Blackwood now sits in the starting role, taking over for Cory Schneider. Blackwood played 2 very different games against the Flames and Canucks, posting save percentages of .868 and .968, respectively. Wowie.
- Ottawa Senators (6-10-1) (UP 1) – The Senators pulled 2 out of their 3 games over the past week. This comes as a shock to most fans as 2 of the 3 games were played against Carolina. The Sens won an OT match versus L.A. with Jean-Gabriel Pageau scoring the winner. The Sens managed to score 2 goals in 4 seconds in the first game against Carolina. Anders Nilsson provided a .974 save percent in game 1. To say the least, the Sens got shellacked in game 2.
- Los Angeles Kings (6-11-1) (DOWN 1) – After losing 3 in a row, L.A. found some Hollywood magic against the Wild. Jonathan Quick looked like the Quick of old, posting a .964 save percent. However, L.A. is terrible as they dropped games to Ottawa and Montreal over the course of the week. Ilya Kovalchuk will no longer play (“foreseeable future”, sounds like a trade ) for the Kings, as the Kings are shaking things up. Los Angeles welcomes in a piping hot Detroit tomorrow.
- Minnesota Wild (6-11-1) (DOWN 3) – Minnesota has lost 2 of their last 3 games. Those 2 losses came to 2 of the worst teams in the league, San Jose and Los Angeles. Somehow, the Wild managed to beat the Coyotes on the road. Devan Dubnyk has a .893 save percent. Even when he does play well (.941 save percent against Kings), the Wild offense is stupefied and cannot put anything together. The state of hockey is in a state of emergency.
Canucks Photo Credit: (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Blues Photo Credit: (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Oilers Photo Credit: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Penguins Photo Credit: Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Rangers Photo Credit: (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
Sharks Photo Credit: (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
Blackhawks Photo Credit: Credit: Bill Smith/Chicago Blackhawks