Week 2 Power Rankings
1. San Jose Sharks (7-0-1) (up 1)
It’s really a toss up between Chicago and San Jose for the top spot in my power rankings this week, but I’m going to go with the Sharks. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have cooled off as of late, but the Sharks still have two other players in double-digit scoring (Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture). Anti Niemi still hasn’t lost a game in regulation; his only loss came in a shootout on Saturday in which he recorded a .958 save percentage and gave up just one goal.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (7-0-2) (down 1)
The only reason why Chicago isn’t the number one team in this week’s power rankings is because they don’t have four players who have ten or more points like San Jose. However, Patrick Kane is still keeping up his impressive point production (13 points) and Marian Hossa looks better than ever, tying up the score in Saturday’s eventual shootout win with just three seconds left.
3. Boston Bruins (6-1-1) (up 1)
The B’s went 3-1 this week, including a nice shootout win against the Devils. Nathan Horton and David Krejci led the way with four points each as Boston looks to be as deep as they have been in recent years. Tyler Seguin hasn’t yet claimed the superstar lab he was supposed to take this year, but there’s not much reason to worry since guys like Krejci, Horton, and Brad Marchand have picked up the slack.
4. St. Louis Blues (6-2) (down 1)
The Blues went 2-1 this week, losing on Friday night to their division rival Detroit Red Wings, but also beating a tough opponent, the Wild, in overtime. Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko is still leading the way, currently on a five game point streak and producing highlight-reel goals. They face three tough opponents this week in the Ducks, Red Wings, and Predators and will be tested.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (6-3) (up 10)
Superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have finally picked up the slack and have propelled the Pens into third place in the Eastern Conference, combining for a total of fourteen points in their last four games. Unlikely hero Chris Kunitz is also riding a hot streak of his own with seven points in his last two games, including a four-goal performance yesterday against Washington. Look for the Penguins to continue last week’s dominance this week with a couple of fairly easy games against the Capitals and Islanders.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-2) (up 2)
Who would’ve thought that we’d be talking about the Lightning as a top ten team so early in the season? Tampa scored a total of twenty goals in a week in which they went 3-1, destroying the Panthers, Flyers, and Jets. Steven Stamkos continues to lead the charge with sixteen points, good for second in the league, as the Lightning have four players with at least ten points. The Bolts are currently the only team in the Southeastern Division in the playoff picture and could clinch the division in just forty games if this dominance keeps up.
7. Montreal Canadiens (6-2) (up 5)
This year’s Montreal team is the best that we’ve seen in years. The Habs have lost just one game since their season opener and went 3-1 this week. Their blueline looks solidified behind Andrei Markov and sophomore Raphael Diaz and rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher have developed tremendous chemistry, combining for twelve points. If Carey Price can continue his strong play in net, the Canadiens will remain a top team in the Eastern Conference.
8. Anaheim Ducks (5-1-1) (up 3)
The Ducks are another team that has taken the entire league by surprise this season. It looks like Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf have gotten it back together, both of who have seven points. Nonetheless, the Ducks’ superstars aren’t the ones who are entirely responsible for the team’s success; it’s the veterans who deserve most of the credit. The top point getters on the team are Finnish veterans Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, whose are a combined eighty years old. Another unlikely hero, Daniel Winnik, has contributed to the team’s success as well, scoring five goals and seven points in Anaheim’s first seven games.
9. Vancouver Canucks (4-2-2) (down 2)
The Canucks fared well this week, going 2-1-1 against some tough opponents in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Jose. It looks as though Alain Vigneault will ride the hot hand in goal for the remainder of the season, which could either be a great strength or failure depending on how Schneider and Luongo respond.
10. New Jersey Devils (4-1-3) (down 5)
The only reason why New Jersey is in the top ten is because they have just one loss. The Devils looked awesome last week, but since then have just one victory in regulation. Ilya Kovalchuk had zero points last week; that’s not going to fill the void left by Zach Parise.
11. Ottawa Senators (5-3-1) (down 2)
The Sens opened up the week strong with two wins, but then lost their next two games. Not much should be thought of those losses though, as they were without their best player, Jason Spezza, and only gave up three goals. Craig Anderson is continuing to perform like a top five goaltender, which will help Ottawa get through these next few games without Sergei Gonchar and Spezza.
12. Minnesota Wild (4-3-1) (up 1)
The Wild look like the best nine-point team in the Western Conference behind strong play from their top line of Heatley, Koivu, and Parise, who have combined for 23 points this season. Their only weakness is their depth and it remains unknown whether or not that will be a problem later on in this abbreviated season.
13. New York Rangers (4-4)
The Blueshirts redeemed themselves this week, winning two games while losing just one. It looks like their slow start was due to a lack of chemistry between their newly created superstar top line of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Rick Nash. Coach John Tortorella broke them up the line earlier last week, moving speedy winger Carl Hagelin up and Rick Nash down to the second line. It also looks like King Henry has regained the conditioning he is accustomed to play with, as he’s averaging a 2.00 GAA in his last four games.
14. Detroit Red Wings (4-3-1) (up 5)
The Wings look like the team everyone thought they’d be this season, just above average. They went 2-1-1 this week and will look to finish this week likewise with four games in seven days.
15. Nashville Predators (3-2-3) (up 1)
With only three wins, the Preds are currently sitting in ninth place in the West, but they only have two losses. Nashville opened up the week with a blowout loss to Phoenix, but bounced back nicely with shootout wins over the Kings and Sharks. The lack of point production has been a big problem for them (their leading scorer has just four points).
16. Edmonton Oilers (4-3-1) (up 5)
The Oilers’ rookies and second year players continue to play exceptionally well. This team has scary potential for the future, but isn’t overly scary right now.
17. New York Islanders (4-3-1) (up 7)
The Isles looked much better during the first week of the season than the second. This could be their last week in the top twenty.
18. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-4) (up 8 )
Ontario’s favorite team rounds out the top eight in the Eastern Conference. If Phil Kessel (4 assists, no goals, -4) doesn’t pick it up soon, the Leafs are going to start losing a lot more games.
19. Phoenix Coyotes (3-4-2) (up 8 )
The Coyotes looked a lot more like themselves last week, recording a 3-0-1 record.
20. Colorado Avalanche (4-4) (up 3)
The Avalanche were average again last week (2-2 record) and probably won’t fare too well without captain Gabriel Landeskog, who was just placed on the IR with a head injury.
21. Los Angeles Kings (2-3-2) (down 4)
The defending Stanley Cup Champions get the benefit of the doubt here not being ranked lower. They only had one win last week.
22. Florida Panthers (3-5) (up 6)
The Panthers are riding a nice two game win streak and new addition Peter Mueller has a goal in each of his last four games.
23. Dallas Stars (3-5-1) (down 13)
Falling thirteen spots this week, the Stars look surprisingly even worse with All-Star Jamie Benn back in the lineup.
24. Buffalo Sabres (3-5-1) (down 2)
The Sabres are slowly dropping despite having the league’s top point scorer, Thomas Vanek (19 points). They gave up three unanswered goals yesterday at home against the Panthers en route to losing their fourth game of the week.
25. Winnipeg Jets (3-4-1) (down 11)
The NHL’s newest team looked solid two weeks ago, but won just one game this week.
26. Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-1) (up 3)
Columbus doesn’t really look terrible this year, but they aren’t good enough to be a top half team yet.
27. Carolina Hurricanes (3-4) (down 7)
The Staal project doesn’t look like it’s working out; the Canes lost all three of their games last week.
28. Philadelphia Flyers (3-6) (down 10)
It’s mind-boggling how bad the talented Flyers are this season; they just lost power forward Wayne Simmonds too.
29. Washington Capitals (2-6-1) (up 1)
John Carlson’s fluke goal yesterday just sums up their entire year: pathetic.
30. Calgary Flames (1-3-2) (down 5)
A lack of a big scoring presence continues to plague the last-place Flames. The entire team is just merely average.
Last week’s rankings can be found here for reference to how teams’ positions changed: