Boston Powers to Number 1

Michael Finewax
Rotoworld

Well the first week is over and as usual there were many surprises, the biggest one being the play of the San Jose Sharks who fell like a stone as they scored only three goals while giving up 12 in losing all three games. The Golden Knights, Buffalo and Carolina are shooting up the rankings while Dallas and the Sharks dropped.

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1. Boston 

Record: 2-0

(Last Week -3)

Boston won both road games as they knocked off Dallas before Jaroslav Halak was sensational in shutting out the Arizona Coyotes Saturday. Boston finishes off their trip to the Southwest with games against Vegas and Colorado before returning home on the weekend to face New Jersey in their home opener.   

2. Tampa Bay

Record: 1-1-1

(Last Week -1)

It was not a good week for the President Cup champions as they split with the Florida Panthers and were lucky enough to pick up a point against Carolina despite being outshot 44-13. The Lightning had only two shots on goal in the last 42 minutes of action. This week, the Lightning play in Toronto and Ottawa and hope to turn their fortunes around.

3. St. Louis

Record: 1-0-1

(Last Week -2)

The Blues opened the season with a 3-2 overtime loss to Washington but came back and beat Dallas by the same score. They take on Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal this week in their only trip to Eastern Canada this season.  

4. Vegas

Record: 2-0-0

(Last Week -11)

The Golden Knights were great last week, beating the San Jose Sharks twice and soundly at that. Vegas scored three shorthanded goals in the two contests. This week they play four games as they host Boston and Calgary while heading to Arizona and Los Angeles. They are moving upwards in the rankings.

5. Calgary

Record: 1-1-0

(Last Week -4)

The Flames opened the season as they ended it last year, losing to Colorado but they came home and shut out the Canucks 3-0. It’s a big week for Calgary as they play four games including three on the road. They will face Los Angeles at home before returning to the road and play in Dallas, Vegas and San Jose.  

6. Washington

Record: 2-0-1

(Last Week -6)

The Capitals opened the season with a couple of wins against the Blues and Islanders before dropping a 3-2 overtime game to Carolina Saturday. This week, the Capitals play the Dallas Stars twice and are in Nashville. They get Evgeny Kuznetsov back from suspension for cocaine use and that will help the second line as well as the power play.

7. Colorado

Record: 2-0

(Last Week -8)

The Avalanche won both games this week as they beat Calgary and Minnesota at home. The schedule remains kind as both games this week are in Denver as they face Boston and Arizona. The Avs are led thus far by Mikko Rantanen who has four points including three goals in the two games.

8. Toronto

Record: 2-0-1

(Last Week -5) 

Toronto beat Ottawa and Columbus before falling apart and losing in a shootout to Montreal. The Maple Leafs play three games this week, facing St. Louis and Tampa Bay at home and heading to Detroit to play the Red Wings. Despite the good record to start the season, Toronto looked very vulnerable at times, especially against lowly Ottawa and then blew a 4-1 third period lead against the Habs, losing 6-5 in the shootout. Auston Matthews leads the NHL in goals with five, continuing his outstanding career play in October as he has 30 goals in 35 games.

9. Nashville

Record: 1-1-0

(Last Week -7)

A win against Minnesota and a loss to the Red Wings summed up the week for the Predators. This week they face San Jose and Washington at home before heading out to the West Coast for a meeting with Los Angeles. Matt Duchene, their big off-season free agency signing, has five assists in his first two games with the Predators.

10. Carolina

Record:3-0-0

(Last Week -16)

The Hurricanes won all three games and came back in all three, winning over Montreal in a shootout and then defeating both Washington and Tampa Bay in overtime. They outplayed the Lightning by a large margin, giving up only two shots on goal after the first period. This week they play Florida, the New York Islanders and Columbus. Andrei Svechnikov has a couple of two-assist nights while Dougie Hamilton has a goal and three helpers. Sebastian Aho has yet to pick up a point in three games.

11. Pittsburgh

Record: 1-1-0

(Last Week -10)

The Penguins did not look good in their opener as they lost to the Sabres but bounced back nicely with a 7-2 win over Columbus. The win may have been costly as Evgeni Malkin suffered an undisclosed injury in the second period and did not return. Jared McCann took over his spot on the second line and performed admirably. He is tied for the Pens scoring lead with Sidney Crosby at three. Pittsburgh plays four games this week including home matches against Winnipeg and Anaheim before heading out on the road for the first time to play in Minnesota and Winnipeg.

12. New York Rangers

Record: 2-0-0

(Last Week -18)

It was a great week for the Rangers as they defeated Winnipeg 6-4 and Ottawa 4-1. The star of the week was Mika Zibanejad who had a goal and three assists against Winnipeg and a hat trick and an assist against his former team in Ottawa. The Rangers only play once this week as they are home to face the Oilers.

13. Florida

Record: 1-1-0

(Last Week -12)

The Panthers played twice this week, and split the home-and-home series with Tampa Bay. Mike Hoffman had a great week, scoring four of the Panthers six goals. This week, the Panthers face Carolina at home before leaving the state of Florida for the first time to take on Buffalo and the New York Islanders. Sergei Bobrovsky will give them great goaltending all season, something they did not have last year.

14. Buffalo  

Record: 2-0-0

(Last Week -27)

The Sabres looked great this week as they defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 in the opener and then came home to beat New Jersey 7-2. This week they are in Columbus Monday and come home to face Montreal and Florida. Sophomore defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, a budding superstar, leads the Sabres with four points including a goal, while Jack Eichel has a goal and two assists.

15. New York Islanders

Record: 1-1-0

(Last Week -15)

New York lost to Washington but beat Winnipeg Sunday to even their record at one. This week the Islanders face Edmonton, Carolina and Florida. Anthony Beauvillier leads the team in points with three. Thomas Greiss was great, stopping 35 shots in the 4-1 win over the Jets.

16. Montreal

Record: 1-0-1

(Last Week -20)

The Canadiens picked up three of a possible four points in the opening week as they lost in a shootout to Carolina before coming back to tie Toronto and then beating them in a shootout 6-5. This week the Habs are in Buffalo before coming home for their opener at the Bell Centre where they take on Detroit and St. Louis. Brendan Gallagher leads Montreal with a goal and two assists.

17. Winnipeg

Record: 1-2-0

(Last Week -13)

The Jets were in the New York area all week, sandwiching losses to the Rangers and Islanders around a great come-from-behind win over New Jersey in a shootout. This week the Jets play four games as they play the Penguins twice while also facing Minnesota and Chicago. Dustin Byfuglien is still considering retirement and the Jets are not rushing his decision. Nikolaj Ehlers has four assists in three games and Patrik Laine scored his first of the season Sunday.

18. Philadelphia  

Record: 1-0-0

(Last Week -24)

The Flyers won their lone game of the week in Prague, beating the Blackhawks 4-3. They return to North America to play twice as the Flyers are home to New Jersey and Vancouver. Travis Konecny scored twice in the win and Kevin Hayes was held off the scoresheet in his Philadelphia debut. Oskar Lindblom scored on the power play.

19. Edmonton

Record: 2-0-0

(Last Week -26)

The Oilers won both games this week as they knocked off Vancouver 3-2 and Los Angeles 6-5. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid each have five points in their first two games, picking up where they left off last season. James Neal has a pair of goals in his first two games and it looks like he has regained his scoring touch after picking up only seven goals last season for Calgary in 63 games. The Oilers are in the New York region this week with games against the Islanders, New Jersey and the Rangers.

20. Detroit

Record: 2-0-0

(Last Week -28)

The Red Wings knocked off both Nashville and Dallas to start the season off perfectly. The big star was Anthony Mantha who has five goals in two games including all four against Dallas. He is tied for the NHL goal scoring lead with Toronto’s Auston Matthews. Detroit play Anaheim and Toronto at home this week and travel to Montreal.

21. Arizona

Record: 0-2-0

(Last Week -19)

The Coyotes dropped both games this week, scoring only once as Anaheim beat them 2-1 and Boston picked up a 1-0 shutout. Despite the loss to Boston, the Coyotes outplayed them. This week Arizona has a couple of tough matchups as they are home to Vegas and in Colorado. Derek Stepan has the lone Arizona goal.

22. Dallas

Record: 0-3-0

(Last Week -9)

The Stars had a bad start to the season as they dropped all three games, losing to Boston, St. Louis and Detroit. The schedule is tough this week with a pair of games against Washington as well as a home encounter with Calgary. Mattias Janmark leads the Stars in points with three as does Roope Hintz who has three goals.

23. Anaheim 

Record:2-0-0

(Last Week -30)

John Gibson was amazing this week as he held the Coyotes and Sharks to only one goal apiece as Anaheim won their first two games. He stopped 67-of-69 shots and is the major building block of the Ducks if they have any chance to make the post-season. This week Anaheim travels to Detroit, Pittsburgh and Columbus. Hampus Lindholm and Ondrej Kase lead the Ducks with two assists each.

24. San Jose

Record: 0-3-0

(Last Week -14)

It was not a good week for the Sharks as they dropped all three games and were outscored 12-3. They lost twice to Vegas and once to the Ducks where John Gibson stoned them. This week they are in Nashville and Chicago before returning home to play Calgary. The Sharks get Evander Kane back this week after he finished his three-game suspension for abuse of officials.

25. Chicago

Record: 0-1-0

 (Last Week -22)

The Blackhawks only played once this week as they lost to Philadelphia 4-3 in Prague. They are eased back into the schedule as they return from Europe to play a pair of home games against San Jose and Winnipeg. Patrick Kane led the way with a goal and two assists while Erik Gustafsson picked up where he left off last season and had a pair of helpers.

26. New Jersey  

Record: 0-1-1

(Last Week -17)

The Devils blew a 4-0 lead and lost in a shootout to Winnipeg. They then dropped a 7-2 decision to Buffalo. Blake Coleman scored what could be the goal of the year and leads the team with three points. Jack Hughes has yet to find the scoresheet in two games and is a minus-three. This week the Devils play in Philadelphia and Boston as well as at home against Edmonton.

27. Vancouver

Record:0-2-0

(Last Week -21)

The Canucks dropped both games this week, losing 3-2 to Edmonton before being shut out by Calgary 3-0 on Saturday night. Elias Pettersson is off to a slow start with nary a point in his first two games. Alexander Edler and Tanner Pearson are the Canucks two goal scorers and Pearson had 11 shots on goal in the opener against the Oilers. The Canucks play Los Angeles at home and Philadelphia on the road this week.

28. Minnesota

Record:0-2-0

(Last Week -25)

It could be a long season in Minnesota and it did not get off on the right foot as the Wild dropped both games, losing to Nashville and Colorado on the road. This week the Wild face Winnipeg and come home for their opener against Pittsburgh on Saturday. It was a bad week for Eric Staal who was pointless in two games and was a minus-five. The offensive stars were defensemen Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba who had a goal and two assists and a goal and an assist respectively.

29. Columbus

Record: 0-2-0

(Last Week -23)

It was not a good week for the Blue Jackets as they lost to Toronto 4-1 as well as Pittsburgh 7-2. Elvis Merzlikins made his NHL debut against Pittsburgh and it was far from memorable for the Latvian goalie who gave up all seven goals on 40 shots. He should get a chance to redeem himself this week as the Blue Jackets host Buffalo and Anaheim and are in Carolina Saturday. He should get one start with Joonas Korpisalo getting a pair.  

30. Los Angeles  

Record:0-1-0

(Last Week 29)

The Kings lost their only game of the week as Edmonton defeated Los Angeles 6-5. This week the Kings play four games as they continue their Western Canada journey with games against Calgary and Vancouver and then get their home schedule started with games against Nashville and Vegas. Jonathan Quick gave up all six goals on only 31 shots. Defenseman Tobias Bjornfot made his NHL debut Saturday, playing 15:02 and was a minus-one.

31. Ottawa  

Record:0-2-0

(Last Week -31)

The Senators lost both games this week, losing to two Original Six teams, Toronto and the New York Rangers. They play twice this week against St. Louis and Tampa Bay so things are not going to get any easier. Brady Tkachuk leads Ottawa with two goals and Scott Sabourin scored on opening night, his first career NHL goal.

 

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