It’s Week 3 of THN.com’s NHL Power Rankings – and for the third straight week, there’s a new team atop the mountain.
To that end, congratulations are in order for the Washington Capitals, who dispatched last week’s No. 1 team (Detroit) with a 7-1 demolishing over the weekend and have also beaten powerhouses Philadelphia and Pittsburgh thus far. The star-studded Caps are being led in many statistical areas by non-stars – Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera are tops on the team with four goals apiece, while Mathieu Perreault is a team-best plus-six – and have yet to lose. Washington is enjoying a four-day break, which will be followed by a mini-Western road swing through Edmonton and Vancouver Thursday and Saturday before it starts a November schedule that includes 14 games in 30 days.
Here is our newest ranking of the 30 NHL teams. Be sure to check back each and every Monday throughout the regular season for the latest list.
|1||2||7-0-0||Surging Capitals’ goal differential is +16 – double the next-best number (Pittsburgh’s +8)|
|2||1||5-1-0||Thumping by Caps stung, but still loads to like on this team|
|3||4||6-2-2||Injury to Zbynek Michalek latest obstacle in plucky Pens’ way|
|4||8||5-1-1||Thanks to Quick, Kings haven’t allowed a goal since Oct. 15 and can continue that streak with two games against teams (Stars, Coyotes) they shut out last week (plus a meeting with the Devils)|
|5||5||5-2-0||Jason Pominville second on Sabres in shots (19), but first in assists (7)|
|6||6||4-3-1||Trade for David Booth adds to Canucks’ embarrassment of offense-producing riches|
|7||3||4-2-1||Four games in six nights this week, all against teams Flyers should beat (Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Carolina)|
|8||12||6-2-0||Games vs. Flames, Oilers this week a warmup for big showdown Sunday against Kings|
|9||11||6-2-0||Both Stars losses came with Kari Lehtonen out of the lineup|
|10||9||4-1-2||Hawks’ plus-minus leader is Dan Carcillo at plus-5?|
|11||13||5-1-1||Soon-to-be-UFA Mikhail Grabovski earning himself a solid raise|
|12||7||4-3-0||Jonas Hiller having Jekyll-and-Hyde start to season: in three games, he has a save percentage of .933 or higher; in other three, .842 or lower|
|13||16||3-3-0||Successful-so-far six-game road trip continues this week with tilts against Preds, Wings, Isles|
|14||18||3-3-2||Mathieu Garon (2-1-1, 1.51 goals-against average, .948 save percentage) getting Bolts on track|
|15||10||3-2-1||Only five Devils have scored in six games|
|16||20||4-4-0||Jason Arnott leads Blues in assists (four), points (seven) despite just 14:42 of average ice time|
|17||15||3-5-0||Just a home-and-home series against hated rival Habs this week for inconsistent Bruins|
|18||14||3-3-0||Only Pens, Hawks have a more effective penalty kill than Isles (91.7 percent)|
|19||19||3-3-2||Eric Staal’s league-worst minus-10 is ugly; Tim Gleason’s team-best plus-6 is not|
|20||17||3-3-1||Preds have a gaudy (for them, anyway) 2.71 GAA|
|21||22||4-3-0||David Booth was a team-worst minus-six before trade to Vancouver; two guys Panthers got in return (Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm) a combined minus-six with Canucks|
|22||24||3-3-1||Tough week ahead with home games against Stars, Devils, Kings|
|23||26||2-2-2||Coach John Tortorella’s 16-second post-game press conference an ominous harbinger|
|24||25||3-2-2||Oilers’ next four opponents: Canucks, Capitals, Avs, Blues. Good luck with that|
|25||23||3-2-3||Wild are third-most physical NHL team (222 hits), but still looking for first two-game win streak of season|
|26||21||1-4-2||Minor weekend trade could lead to bigger moves if Canadiens don’t reverse losing spiral|
|27||29||2-4-1||Only Ducks (44.8), Canes (45.8) have worse faceoff percentage than Jets (46.7 percent)|
|28||27||2-4-1||Almost time for roster overhaul? It should be if Flames can’t get at least one win out of relatively light schedule this week (home games against Avs, Blues)|
|29||30||3-5-0||Beat soft-touch Jackets, Jets, but destroyed by Flyers last week|
|30||28||0-7-1||Late-game collapse vs. Sens as bad as it gets; changes coming soon|
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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