Power Rankings: Capitals take top spot

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The Washington Capitals are the top dogs in the league right now. They've looked really good and they deserve to be in this spot.

The Hurricanes and Panthers, who have been high up on this list have taken a bit of a hit, but it's nothing too drastic.

Find out where your favorite team lands in this week's edition of the Power Rankings:

1 -Washington Capitals (No. 3 last week):

The Capitals have won three games in a row and they’re 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. That’s good enough to earn them the top spot in the Power Rankings for the first time this season. How about Alex Ovechkin? He has seven goals in his last five games and he failed to score in just one of those contests. What did he do in that goalless game? Well, he collected three assists. Ridiculous.

2- Carolina Hurricanes (No. 1 last week):

It wasn’t the easiest of weeks for Carolina, as they dropped three games to San Jose, Seattle and Washington. But they still deserve the benefit of the doubt after their great start to the season. Through 20 games, they still have the top points percentage in the NHL at .775. Don’t worry Hurricanes Nation, things are going to be just fine.

3- Toronto Maple Leafs (No. 6 last week):

Pop quiz: How many teams have collected more points than the Leafs this year? The answer: zero. Toronto is off to a 16-6-1 start, but nobody in Leaf Land really cares what they accomplish during the regular season. But it has to be said: The Leafs look legit so far this season.

4- Edmonton Oilers (No. 4 last week):

The Oilers are 20 games into their season and they already have two players that have hit the 35-point mark. Leon Draisaitl (40) and Connor McDavid (36) are both offensive juggernauts this season. Edmonton is the first Western Conference team to 30 points. The team has won four of their last five.

5- New York Rangers (No. 9 last week):

The Rangers have won three games in a row and they have a solid .725 points percentage through 20 games. The fact that Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox are both rolling at a point-per-game pace helps, but goalie Igor Shesterkin has also made a huge impact on the roster this year. The Rangers are solid, and it looks like they’re going to be good for a while.

6 – Florida Panthers (No. 2 last week):

The Panthers are taking a bit of dip in this week’s rankings because they dropped back-to-back games to Washington and Seattle on Friday and Saturday. They’ll get a rematch against Washington on Tuesday night. Not having Aleksander Barkov (knee) in the lineup definitely hurts.

7 – Minnesota Wild (No. 8 last week):

You might not find the Wild “sexy” but you can’t deny that they’ve been impressive this year. Kirill Kaprizov has upped his production in a big say, as he has 12 points in his last six contests. In the West, only Edmonton has more points and more victories than Minnesota so far in 2021-22. The Wild are tied for the team lead in goals scored, with 78.

8 – Calgary Flames (No. 5 last week):

The Flames saw their four-game winning streak come to an end against Winnipeg on Saturday night. Calgary has conceded the fewest amount of goals (42), but it’s really surprising to see a Darryl Sutter-coached team to be seventh in goals scored (70). Goalie Jacob Markstrom already has five shutouts in 16 appearances.

9 – Colorado Avalanche (No. 11 last week):

The Avs got off to a rocky start in October, but they turned in around in a big way this month. They’ve won seven of their last eight outings and they’ve scored at least four goals in every one of those victories. The Nazem Kadri story is unbelievable. He has an impressive 27 points in 18 contests to lead the team.

10 – Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 19 last week):

Hockey is a funny game sometimes. The Penguins beat the Canadiens 6-0 in Montreal less than two weeks ago, but the lowly Habs also ended their five-game winning streak on Saturday night. Jake Guentzel is on fire. The Pens forward is currently riding a nine-game point streak. He leads the team in points, with 18 points in 20 games.

11 – Dallas Stars (No. 24 last week):

This is a huge jump for the Stars. Dallas’ four-game winning streak is currently the longest one in the NHL (tied with Toronto). They’ve beaten some pretty good teams during this stretch too (St. Louis, Edmonton and Colorado were three of their victims). Dallas are getting balanced scoring, as no one of their team has more than 15 points.

12 – Tampa Bay Lightning (No. 7 last week):

The Bolts saw their three-game winning streak end Sunday in Minnesota, but things are looking up for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Despite not having Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, the Lightning are still 7-2-1 in their last 10 contests. Steven Stamkos is leading the way with 11 goals and 24 points in just 20 games.

13 – Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 23 last week):

Don’t look now but the Blue Jackets have won three of their last four games and they have the 11th best points percentage in the NHL at .632. Nobody really expected this from them in 2021-22. First-year head coach Brad Larsen deserves a lot of credit for making the Jackets difficult to play against. Off-season acquisition Jakub Voracek only has one goal on the year, but he’s picked up 17 assists in 19 games.

14 – Boston Bruins (No. 17 last week):

The Bruins have won five of their last seven outings. They currently aren’t sitting in a playoff spot, but they’re just two points behind Columbus and Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference. Boston still needs to show that they can play with a certain level of consistency though.

15 – Vegas Golden Knights (No. 14 last week):

The good news for Vegas is that they got Max Pacioretty back in their lineup two games ago. With Pacioretty and Mark Stone both back, the Golden Knights will be a tough out. Vegas has dropped two of their last three games and they’ll play road games in Anaheim and Arizona this week. They’ll follow that up with a four-game homestand.

16 – Seattle Kraken (No. 30 last week):

This expansion team hasn’t had it easy in their first year, but they’re moving up this week’s rankings because they’ve won three of their last four. Believe it or not, they managed to beat Washington, Carolina and Florida during this recent stretch. Shoutout to Jordan Eberle, who has 11 goals in 21 games.

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17 – St. Louis Blues (No. 15 last week):

The Blues have a 2-1-1 record in their last four games, which is an improvement on what they had been doing recently (they had one win in their previous six games). Jordan Kyrou continues to impress, as he has 22 points in 21 games this season.

18 – San Jose Sharks (No. 22 last week):

The Sharks are a little hard to figure out, but they’re currently tied with the Avs for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference (Colorado has three games in hand) and they’re two points behind Anaheim for third in the Pacific. I’m still not sure if they’re actually good or not though. Some nights they look like the Sharks of old and other nights they look like a team that should rebuild.

19 – Winnipeg Jets (No. 12 last week):

The Jets have hit the skids lately. They were able to take down the high-flying Calgary Flames on Saturday night, but they dropped five games in a row before that. In those five defeats, they only managed to score five goals.

20 – New Jersey Devils (No. 18 last week):

The Devils went into last night’s action with one win in their previous six games, but they took care of the Flyers in New Jersey. Andreas Johnsson, who was acquired from Toronto before last season, has been a pleasant surprise. In 50 games with New Jersey in 2020-21, he had five goals and six assists. Through 19 games this year, he’s already up to nine goals and eight assists.

21 – Chicago Blackhawks (No. 28 last week):

Based on their start to the season, it was easy to assume that the Blackhawks were going to be really bad. But in their defense, they’ve made some improvements. They own a 6-3-0 record in their last nine games. I know you can only beat the team in front of you, but they did have a bit of a softer schedule, as they beat Nashville, Arizona, Seattle and Vancouver.

22 – Detroit Red Wings (No. 25 last week):

Don’t look now but the Red Wings have won back-to-back games. Coming up, they’ll get an up-and-down Boston team on the road, but they’re going to come back home to play a very beatable Seattle Kraken team and New York Islanders team. Detroit’s home/road splits are very different. They are 7-2-2 at home but just 3-7-1 on the road.

23 – Anaheim Ducks (No. 10 last week):

The Ducks found themselves in the top 10 of this list last week, but they’ve come tumbling down in a hurry. Anaheim shut out Ottawa on Friday night, but that’s their only victory in five games. Even though they went on a nice winning streak just a few weeks ago, I still think this rebuild isn’t over.

24 – Buffalo Sabres (No. 26 last week):

The Sabres’ good start is a thing of the past. If you remove Friday night’s win over Montreal from the equation, Buffalo hasn’t looked good at all over the last couple of weeks. Again, the start was nice, but there was no way they could sustain that with the roster they have. It’s nice to see a young player like Tage Thompson improve as much as he has though.

25 – Nashville Predators (No. 20 last week):

The Preds are another team that is hard to figure out, but their latest results would indicate that their championship window has officially closed. Yes, they beat New Jersey and Anaheim in the last few days, but they’ve been handled rather easily by some of the better teams in the league.

26 – Los Angeles Kings (No. 16 last week):

The Kings managed to beat the Senators on Saturday night, but they had dropped five consecutive games before that point. Their last two victories have both come against (spoiler alert) the team in the basement of these Power Rankings.

27 – Philadelphia Flyers (No. 13 last week):

This is a significant drop for a Flyers team that has just two wins in their last 10 outings. Claude Giroux has arguably been the Flyers’ most consistent forward, but he has just one assist in his last four outings. He finished Sunday’s game against the Devils with a minus-4 rating.

28 – Montreal Canadiens (No. 29 last week):

Well, the Canadiens made a major front-office shakeup over the weekend. GM Marc Bergevin is out and Jeff Gorton is going to get an opportunity to fix this organization. The Habs slowed down a red-hot Penguins team in Pittsburgh on Saturday and they’ll look to win back-to-back games for the first time all season.

29 – Vancouver Canucks (No. 27 last week):

The situation is getting messier by the day in Vancouver. It sure seems like head coach Travis Green is on very thin ice and he has to be the odds-on favorite to be the next coach fired. It’s going to be tough for the Canucks to win games when Elias Pettersson only has 10 points in 22 outings.

30 – Arizona Coyotes (No. 32 last week):

Only the Senators and Coyotes have yet to hit the five-win mark in 2021-22. It’s entirely possible that they have the worst roster in the NHL and the on-ice results kind of prove that. The ‘Yotes have played 21 games this season and they still don’t have a forward with more than 13 points.

31 – New York Islanders (No. 21 last week):

Things have been really rough for the Isles. Not only are they riding an eight-game losing streak after a lengthy road trip, they’ve also been shut down because of a Covid-19 outbreak within the team. Hopefully for the Islanders, a good amount of home games the rest of the way will make things easier on this team.

32 – Ottawa Senators (No. 31 last week):

Wanna know how bad things are going in Ottawa? They just put their $6-million goalie on waivers. The Sens were supposed to be improved this year, but they’re currently the only team in the NHL that hasn’t hit the 10-point mark. Yes, they have games in hand on almost all the teams ahead of them. Things are still bad though.