Welcome to the first edition of NHL Power Rankings where we’ll take a look around the league and break down each team on weekly basis. It may be early, but every point counts in the end and teams struggling out of the gate could miss the postseason due to dismal starts on the season.
We’re seven games into the young season and the panic button has already been pushed in our Nation’s Capital and the City of Brotherly Love. Combined, the Capitals and Flyers are 3-9-1 on the year with 27 total goals 42 goals allowed. Meanwhile, in New Jersey the Devils are showing life without Zach Parise isn’t all that bad by taking points in all five games, while the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins struggle to start the season.
The biggest surprise in the East is in Tampa where the Lightning have got off to a fast 5-1 start with usual suspects Martin St.Louis and Steven Stamkos leading the way. However, the best looking team in the East is the Boston Bruins, who are the only team taking points in all six games played. The transition away from Tim Thomas has been a successful one for the Bruins who rank tied for third in the Eastern Conference in total goals allowed.
In the Western Conference, San Jose and Chicago have dominated opponents in all six games played to remain undefeated. Both teams are lighting up scoreboards, but goaltenders Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford lay claim to the lowest goals against averages in the league in the league. In Vancouver, we’re seeing the train get back on track after a disastrous opening night which saw Cory Schneider get pulled after surrendering five goals on 14 shots. Also experiencing a troubling start to the season is prized free agent acquisition, Ryan Suter, who is a -5 in six games played. Lastly, the banner was finally raised in Los Angeles but the play of the Kings was not, resulting in a 5-2 spanking from the Blackhawks on opening night.
Before we dive into this week’s rankings, let’s just say, thank god hockey is back.