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Power Rankings: Really, it's Thanksgiving, not Opposite Day

Columbus Blue Jacket fans have a lot to be thankful for these days. Now if they'd just start coming out to their team's games...

When people were projecting the Columbus Blue Jackets to make the playoffs last season, it all seemed to make perfect sense. That was until they dropped the puck and the Blue Jackets became, well, the Blue Jackets. And when people were predicting another moribund season for the Blue Jackets in 2016-17, that made a lot of sense too. Their coach was coming off the World Cup disaster with Team USA and there was little to believe the Blue Jackets would change their underachieving ways.

But here the Blue Jackets go defying conventional thinking again. They’ve lost once in regulation time in the month of November and in terms of points percentage, are fourth overall in the NHL. The only reason they’re only in the wildcard spot is that they’ve played a league-low 17 games, along with the Arizona Coyotes.

And for that reason, ladies and gentlemen, the Columbus Blue Jackets find themselves at the top of’s weekly Power Rankings. Yes, the Columbus Blue Jackets. And the Detroit Red Wings are last. Who'd have thunk it? (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.):


1. Columbus Blue Jackets (8)

2. St. Louis Blues (14)

3. Los Angeles Kings (25)

4. Carolina Hurricanes (19)

5. New York Rangers (1)

6. Montreal Canadiens (3)

7. Chicago Blackhawks (4)

8. Pittsburgh Penguins (7)

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (6)

10. Edmonton Oilers (21)

After coming off a road trip in which they had won all four games, the Blue Jackets had an announced crowd of just 10,063 for their 3-2 overtime loss to Colorado on home ice Tuesday night. It was their third crowd of under 11,000 in November, a month in which they've gone 7-1-2. Clearly, the Blue Jackets still have a lot to prove to their fan base…If the Blues are going to be a serious contender, they’re going to have to be as good on the road as they are at home…Jeff Carter scored his 599th, 600th and 601st career points in the Kings’ 3-2 win over Anaheim Sunday night…The more rumors of relocation surface in Carolina, the better the Hurricanes play…Antti Raanta is 5-0-0 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .937 save percentage for the Rangers this season. Goaltending controversy? Nah…The Alexander Radulov signing continues to pay dividends for the Canadiens. After missing two games with an illness, Radulov scored three goals in his next two games. Alex Galchenyuk seems to like him, too…The NHL’s worst penalty-killing team gave up two more power play goals in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-0 loss to Edmonton Monday night...Rookie Jake Guentzel scored two goals in his NHL debut in the Penguins’ 5-2 loss to the Rangers Monday night…The Lightning had a 4-1-0 road trip played entirely without defenseman Anton Stralman and without Steven Stamkos for the final three games…Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom has three goals this season, one in each of the past three games.


11. Ottawa Senators (9)

12. Washington Capitals (12)

13. Boston Bruins (5)

14. Dallas Stars (20)

15. Philadelphia Flyers (18)

16. Anaheim Ducks (13)

17. Colorado Avalanche (24)

18. San Jose Sharks (16)

19. Minnesota Wild (17)

20. Buffalo Sabres (29)

The Senators went into Tuesday night’s game against the Canadiens the second-worst offensive team in the NHL and not having scored more than two goals in a game in almost a month, then put four by Carey Price and handed the Habs their first regulation defeat at the Bell Centre this season…The Capitals will need some of their secondary scorers to step up with T.J. Oshie out week-to-week with an upper-body injury…Defenseman Zdeno Chara left the Bruins’ 4-2 loss to St. Louis Tuesday night with an undisclosed injury…The Stars went with youngsters Julius Honka, Esa Lindell and Jamie Oleksiak on defense for their 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota Monday night after John Klingberg was scratched for missing a team meeting…The news surrounding Sean Couturier and the knee injury he suffered in Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Florida doesn’t sound terribly encouraging. Couturier is being flown back to Philadelphia, where he’ll be examined to determine whether he needs surgery…The Ducks felt they were cheated out of a point Tuesday night over a shootout goal by Thomas Hickey of the Islanders that appeared as though Hickey pushed Jonathan Bernier’s pad across the goal line. “They made the call,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “We’ll do our necessary phone calls behind the scenes. We’ll have a conversation with some people and see what they have to say about it.”…After missing four games with a concussion, Matt Duchene scored the overtime winner for the Avalanche Monday night in a 3-2 victory over red-hot Columbus…Defenseman Brent Burns on the eight-year deal he signed with the Sharks that will take him past his 40th birthday. “Hopefully the beard’s still there. Probably will have a little bit of gray in it, but the body will still be tight.”…Defenseman Marco Scandella is expected back in the lineup tonight against Winnipeg after missing 10 games with a high ankle sprain…When the Sabres beat Calgary 4-2 Monday night, it marked the first time in November they had scored more than two goals in a game.


21. Florida Panthers (10)

22. Toronto Maple Leafs (15)

23. Nashville Predators (22)

24. New Jersey Devils (2)

25. New York Islanders (27)

26. Arizona Coyotes (30)

27. Vancouver Canucks (28)

28. Calgary Flames (26)

29. Winnipeg Jets (11)

30. Detroit Red Wings (23)

Nick Bjugstad made his season debut for the Panthers, playing 12:15 with two shots, in a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia Tuesday night. He had been out since breaking his hand in the pre-season…Going into their game in New Jersey tonight, the Leafs have only four points on the road this season (1-5-3). The only teams with fewer are the Islanders and Canucks…The Predators received a huge scare when defenseman Roman Josi took a blindside hit from J.T. Brown in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay Monday night. Josi was removed from the game by the concussion spotter but said he felt fine afterward…Devils’ left winger Michael Cammalleri returns to the lineup tonight against Toronto after missing six games tending to his daughter, Chloe, who had suffered a very serious case of pneumonia…The Islanders have a modest 1-0-1 record since GM Garth Snow gave coach Jack Capuano a vote of confidence last week…The Coyotes have been involved in five straight one-goal games, with three of those being decided in overtime. They’re 1-2-2 in those games, which is basically a bogus .500…The Canucks start a three-game road trip tonight in Arizona with a league-worst 1-4-1 record on the road…One of the few bright spots in a maddeningly inconsistent and disappointing season for the Flames is the play of Michael Frolik, who has consistently been their best player…Drew Stafford is expected to be in the lineup tonight in Minnesota after missing the past 15 games with (you guessed it) an upper-body injury…This is not a misprint and you are not holding your computer upside-down. The Detroit Red Wings are ranked 30th. That’s what happens when you lose four straight in regulation and get shut out twice in the process.



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