Yahoo! Sports NHL writer Ross McKeon ranks the league's teams 1 through 30. The power rankings will be updated every Tuesday.
1. Detroit Red Wings (9-2-1; Previous: 1) – Despite being a little banged up, the Wings are still on a roll with five straight wins, six of seven and eight of 10 entering Tuesday. Look at Chris Osgood's numbers: 5-0, 1.60 goals-against, .930 save percentage.
2. Ottawa Senators (9-1-0; Previous: 3) – Outscored opponents 15-6 during current four-game winning streak and are perfect on the road at 4-0 where they only venture once in their next seven games.
3. Carolina Hurricanes (7-2-3; Previous: 5) – Soccer outside the locker room, a pregame warm-up ritual for most if not all NHL teams, is what forward Erik Cole was doing when he landed funny and sprained an ankle.
4. Minnesota Wild (7-2-2; Previous: 2) – Groin injuries galore: Forwards Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra and goalie Niklas Backstrom are out and the Wild don't have the offense to avoid taking a step back.
5. Philadelphia Flyers (7-3-0; Previous: 4) – The emergence of Mike Richards as a star has begun: six goals, 12 points and a plus-6 in his first 10 games, in which the 22-year-old averaged a team-high 20:30 ice time among forwards.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (6-3-1; Previous: 16) – Goalie Pascal Leclaire is one away from franchise record five shutouts, but he's benefiting because team has bought into coach Ken Hitchcock's system of demanding details.
9. San Jose Sharks (6-5-1; Previous: 6) – Team's identity should be clear with its size and speed, but instead this team still appears fragile and immature despite efforts in the summer to toughen up mentally.
10. Colorado Avalanche (7-4-0; Previous: 20) – Ryan Smyth and Joe Sakic are starting to rekindle the kind of chemistry that made the pair successful while playing on the same line for Canada's recent Olympic gold-medal winners.
12. Boston Bruins (6-4-0; Previous: 10) – Defenseman Zdeno Chara earned respect by dropping his gloves for the first time as a Bruin and bloodying Blackhawks tough guy David Koci in the process. Boston fans would love to see a tough Bruins team again.
13. Dallas Stars (5-4-2; Previous: 12) – When you do as much travel as the Stars do, comfort is important. That's why the team's new jet includes 71 first-class seats, including 24 that fold into flat beds.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-4-1; Previous; 8) – Undefeated during regulation at home in six games yet winless in four on the road, and that's where they play five of their next seven.
15. Calgary Flames (5-3-3; Previous: 18) – Coach Mike Keenan said it best: "Just that inconsistency in our play is an indication to me that we're still a team that has a lot to learn moving forward."
16. New York Islanders (5-4-0; Previous: 9) – Special teams are special – 2nd in power-play (converting nearly 3-of-10 chances) and fifth on the kill (barely more than one allowed out of 10 short-handed challenges) – and keeping Isles afloat.
17. Chicago Blackhawks (5-6-0; Previous: 11) – Sergei Samsonov, making in excess of $3.5 million this season and without a goal in 10 games, is being sent a message with coach Denis Savard's decision to make him a healthy scratch.
19. New York Rangers (4-6-1; Previous: 21) – Penalty kill has been good of late (22-for-23) and it has had to be since modest three goals in win on Monday matched output of previous four games combined.
20. Vancouver Canucks (5-7-0; Previous: 22) – Key upcoming stretch includes nine straight against Northwest Division foes from Nov. 1-21, five of which are at home where Canucks are 1-5 while being outscored 23-13.
21. Washington Capitals (5-6-0; Previous: 23) – Newcomers Michael Nylander, Viktor Kozlov, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Poti, a combined six goals and 25 assists for 31 points through Monday, are adding a spark.
22. Anaheim Ducks (4-7-2; Previous: 14) – Injuries, Cup hangover and a snakebit group are forefront for the defending champs. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider has started to practice for the first time, but remains out along with forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Todd Bertuzzi and Rob Niedermayer.
23. Toronto Maple Leafs (5-5-3; Previous: 30) – On pace to allow 328 goals, most since permitting 358 while a member of the Clarence Campbell Conference's Norris Division in 1989-90, and that was a playoff team.
24. New Jersey Devils (3-6-1; Previous: 17) – Defense that recently has lost the likes of Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski now is crossing its fingers for Colin White, 29, whose month-old eye injury hasn't cleared up and threatens his career.
26. Edmonton Oilers (5-7-0; Previous: 26) – Two things must improve: an NHL-worst 3-for-48 power play and the fact that the Oilers have allowed at least one third-period goal in eight straight games through Oct. 28.
28. Nashville Predators (4-6-0; Previous: 25) – Free-agent pick-up Dan Ellis has provided a spark with consecutive wins in goal after former back-up turned No. 1 Chris Mason struggled with a 3.73 goals-against average and .873 save percentage in team's first eight games.
29. Atlanta Thrashers (3-8-0; Previous: 29) – GM Don Waddell taking his time with coaching replacement, which suggests he didn't have Bob Hartley's successor picked out beforehand, another questionable strategy.
30. Phoenix Coyotes (3-6-0; Previous: 28) – Gretzky & Co. willing to take their lumps in exchange for building from within and being patient with the time it takes to draft and develop.