A familiar team has re-emerged as No. 1 in the NHL. Here’s a look at our totally subjective weekly ranking of the league’s 30 clubs:
1. Detroit Red Wings. Brian Rafalski was a great off-season addition by GM Ken Holland.
2. Dallas Stars. They’ve been scorching hot since the front office shakeup.
3. New York Rangers. Averaging less than two goals against per game. Impressive.
4. Ottawa Senators. Fans are getting restless in the Canadian capital.
5. Minnesota Wild. Wes Walz gave his all for this franchise. He’ll be missed.
6. St. Louis Blues. It’s hard to believe that three NHL teams have already traded away Brad Boyes. He’s on pace for 50 goals.
7. Carolina Hurricanes. No team has a deeper group of forwards.
8. Vancouver Canucks. Roberto Luongo … need we say more?
9. New Jersey Devils. Brent Sutter’s team has seven straight wins.
10. San Jose Sharks. Jeremy Roenick has the game-winning goal in five of San Jose’s 13 victories. Jeremy Roenick!
11. Montreal Canadiens. Prediction – Carey Price will be the No. 1 man before the end of the season.
12. Chicago Blackhawks. Teenager Jonathan Toews wearing an ‘A’ this month.
13. Philadelphia Flyers. For those keeping score, that’s five suspensions totalling 52 games. The NHL is watching closely.
14. Boston Bruins. Quietly off to a solid start.
15. Anaheim Ducks. Still waiting on Scott Niedermayer.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets. Nikolai Zherdev coming into his own.
17. Nashville Predators. Heart-stopping wins in Ottawa and Montreal.
18. Atlanta Thrashers. Bonus points if you knew that rookie defenceman Tobias Enstrom was third in team scoring.
19. Buffalo Sabres. Derek Roy turning into a go-to guy.
20. Colorado Avalanche. Might be time to trade for a goalie.
21. Pittsburgh Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury reels off three straight wins.
22. New York Islanders. Bill Guerin has been held pointless in 14 straight games.
23. Edmonton Oilers. Three wins in three games against Brian Burke’s Ducks this year.
24. Toronto Maple Leafs. Will Mats Sundin finish the season in Toronto?
25. Tampa Bay Lightning. Vincent Lecavalier might be the best player in the league.
26. Calgary Flames. Simply not living up to expectations.
27. Phoenix Coyotes. Tough road trip for this up-and-down team.
28. Florida Panthers. Jacques Martin is trying everything from long hard practices to sports psychologists.
29. Los Angeles Kings. Just 2-6-2 in their last 10. Ouch.
30. Washington Capitals. The good news? Alex Ovechkin is still as exciting as they come.