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THN Power Rankings: Oilers Still Making Some Serious Noise

The top two teams from last week still remain at the top, but Edmonton's strong start is definitely spicing things up in Jason Chen's latest power rankings.
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Edmonton Oilers

The top two teams from last week still remain at the top, but Edmonton's strong start is definitely spicing things up in Jason Chen's latest power rankings.

(All fancy stats are 5v5 and courtesy naturalstattrick.com)

1. Carolina Hurricanes (10-1-0, +20 goal differential, CF%: 5th, xGF%: 9th. Last Week: 1)

The Canes hold on to the top spot with a league-best .909 points percentage, ranking in the top five in both goals scored per game and goals against per game, and also in the top 10 in power-play efficiency, penalty kill efficiency, shots per game and shots against per game. Going 4-for-4 on the PK against Tampa and limiting them to just one goal on 18 shots on Tuesday was an impressive win.

2. Florida Panthers (10-2-1, +17, CF%: 1st, xGF%: 10th. Last Week: 2)

A league-leading 11th win on Tuesday could’ve pushed the Panthers to the top spot, but instead, they were punished by the Devils in a 7-3 loss, allowing three goals in the third period and a 30th-ranked power play to score twice. Not sure why the Panthers made a game-time decision to dress Sergei Bobrovsky as the backup only to start Spencer Knight on back-to-back nights, but needless to say things didn’t quite work out.

3. Edmonton Oilers (9-2-0, +15, CF%: 18th, xGF%: 19th. Last Week: 5)

The Oilers’ four-game run was impressive: grinding out a road win against a red-hot Thatcher Demko, demolishing the Kraken and Preds by a combined 10-4 score and then watching Connor McDavid win a game by himself against the Rangers. Bonus points for a power play that is still scoring at an absurd 46.9 percent rate.

4. Washington Capitals (6-2-4, +10, CF%: 15th, xGF%: 6th. Last Week: 3)

5. Calgary Flames (7-2-3, +15, CF%: 5th, xGF%: 5th. Last Week: 4)

6. St. Louis Blues (8-2-1, +13, CF%: 3rd, xGF%: 25th. Last Week: 6)

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (7-5-1, -4, CF%: 4th, xGF%: 4th. Last Week: 11)

Admittedly, this feels generous. They were on a roll with five straight wins, including victories against Tampa in overtime and Boston, and hockey was fun again for Mitch Marner. But then they follow that up with a 5-1 dud against the visiting Kings, and you’re reminded that you just can’t get your hopes up too much with this team.

8. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3-3, -1, CF%: 11th, xGF%: 13th. Last Week: 7)

9. Winnipeg Jets (6-3-3, +4, CF%: 8th, xGF%: 14th. Last Week: 12)

10. New York Islanders (5-3-2, +2, CF%: 31st, xGF%: 16th. Last Week: 14)

A 5-2 loss to Minnesota in the second half of a back-to-back is their only blemish; otherwise, the Isles have won five of their past eight and the other two losses came in extra time. They’ve gone 5-3-2 and have three games remaining until their home opener at UBS Arena, and it’s a huge improvement over last season’s 11-13-4 road record. The Isles are giving themselves a nice cushion; 60 percent of their remaining games after the road trip will be played at home, including five of their final seven.

11. Philadelphia Flyers (6-2-2, +7, CF%: 23rd, xGF%: 23rd. Last Week: 16)

12. Boston Bruins (6-4-0, even. CF%: 2nd, xGF%: 3rd. Last Week: 9)

13. Minnesota Wild (8-3-0, +1, CF%: 3rd, xGF%: 1st. Last Week: 17)

14. Colorado Avalanche (4-5-1, -6, CF%: 17th, xGF%: 7th. Last Week: 8)

The Avs are a frustrating team to figure out. Are they really not good or are they really struggling because of various injuries and ailments? They had a chance to extend their winning streak to a season-high three games against Columbus at home after three days’ rest, only to lose in overtime and then suffer another loss – this time in regulation – in Columbus following another two days’ rest. The Avs have not lost the benefit of the doubt just yet but certainly seem further away from contending for the Cup than they ever did in the previous three seasons.

15. New York Rangers (7-3-3, -4, CF%: 32nd, xGF%: 31st. Last Week: 10)

A win against Florida redeemed a poor stretch by Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev and the goaltending will be a roller coaster all season. They’re talented but also inconsistent; they’ve allowed at least five goals in four of their six losses, and three of them have been by a margin of at least four goals. The analytics suggest when the Rangers don’t get quality goaltending, more likely than not it’s going to be a blowout loss.

16. Detroit Red Wings (7-5-2, -3, CF%: 28th, xGF%: 17th. Last Week: 25)

17. Vegas Golden Knights (7-6-0, -3, CF%: 21st, xGF%: 29th. Last Week: 18)

18. Anaheim Ducks (7-4-3, +6, CF%: 25th, xGF%: 24th. Last Week: 22)

19. Los Angeles Kings (7-5-1, +4, CF%: 14th, xGF%: 21st. Last Week: 23)

It’s been an impressive run by the I-5 freeway teams. The Ducks have won five straight thanks to awesome goaltending and the league’s fourth-best power play, while the Kings have won six straight but with no thanks to horrendous special teams. We should note both teams managed to beat the Habs, Sabres and Blues, though the Kings needed a bit more help with overtime and a shootout. With the Knights also struggling to win games, the Pacific is now wide open.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets (7-3-0, +4, CF%: 22nd, xGF%: 28th. Last Week: 19)

21. New Jersey Devils (6-3-2, even, CF%: 12th, xGF%: 12th. Last Week: 24)

22. Nashville Predators (6-5-1, -1, CF%: 19th, xGF%: 16th. Last Week: 15)

23. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-3-4, even. CF%: 7th, xGF%: 2nd. Last Week: 13)

It’s been a tough stretch losing five of their past six, and two of the most recent have come via shootout, but losses are losses and the Pens now sit last in the Metro. If luck works against you now, it may work for you in the future, and the Pens are the only last-place team that can still call itself a contender without an objection. Sidney Crosby’s return is imminent.

24. San Jose Sharks (7-4-1, +5, CF%: 27th, xGF%: 30th. Last Week: 20)

25. Vancouver Canucks (5-6-2, -1. CF%: 13th, xGF%: 27th. Last Week: 26)

26. Seattle Kraken (4-8-1, -8. CF%: 9th, xGF%: 8th. Last Week: 29)

The Kraken would be a lot higher if not for their horrendous goaltending. They allow the fewest shots per game and have the third-lowest expected goals against per 60 minutes, but ironically also allow the second-highest actual goals against per 60 minutes. Philipp Grubauer’s -7.72 goals saved above average ranks 71st out of 72 goalies who have played this season and he’s sinking the ship faster than a real kraken.

27. Buffalo Sabres (5-5-2, even. CF%: 16th, xGF%: 20th. Last Week: 21)

28. Ottawa Senators (3-8-1, -13. CF%: 29th, xGF%: 22nd. Last Week: 27)

29. Dallas Stars (4-5-2, -10. CF%: 24th, xGF%: 15th. Last Week: 28)

Was the hangover so bad it needed to last two seasons? (It certainly didn’t need two sequels.) The Stars are the worst versions of their identity: they can’t score, they defend just okay but their goaltending isn’t very good and the heart of their roster is getting really old. They’ve lost five of their past six and have yet to win a game in regulation. Even the Coyotes have one.

30. Montreal Canadiens (3-10-1, -20. CF%: 10th, xGF%: 11th. Last Week: 30)

31. Chicago Blackhawks (3-9-2, -19. CF%: 30th, xGF%: 32nd. Last Week: 31)

32. Arizona Coyotes (1-10-1, -30. CF%: 26th, xGF%: 26th. Last Week: 32)

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