We’re less than a full week into the NHL season and things are starting to take shape. But every team has still played anywhere between one and three games, which isn’t very much.
I expect these rankings to change quite a bit over the next few weeks. If you’re a Red Wings or Sabres fan, enjoy this because it may not last!
Here are this week’s rankings:
1- Carolina Hurricanes (Up 5):
The Hurricanes put up six goals against an Islanders team that’s usually defensively sound and they won a tighter game against Nashville. Interestingly enough, the ‘Canes have scored nine goals, but they only have three different goal scorers (Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast).
2 – Tampa Bay Lightning (-):
Yes, the Bolts looked terrible in their opener against Pittsburgh and they started off slow against Detroit, but they managed to complete a crazy comeback in that game. The defending Stanley Cup Champs have won two of their first three games and they get the benefit of the doubt.
3 – Pittsburgh Penguins (Up 7):
How about the Sidney Crosby-less and Evgeni Malkin-less Penguins! The Pens took care of the Bolts on opening night and they dropped a game to Florida in OT before beating the Blackhawks on the weekend. Overall, Pittsburgh has looked pretty good. They already have 12 players with at least two points.
4 – Florida Panthers (Up 4):
The Panthers have only played two home games so far this season, but they managed to take down the Penguins and Islanders (both playoff teams last year). Florida has eight players with at least two points through two games. If they get the saves, they’ll be a tough out.
5 – Colorado Avalanche (Down 4):
The Avalanche were number one on my power rankings last week. After a 1-1-0 week, there’s no way I could drop them too far down the list. Nazem Kadri leads the team in scoring with four points, but that’s only because Nathan MacKinnon in on the Covid-19 list to start the year.
6 – Washington Capitals: (Down 1):
The Caps are 1-0-1 through two games, which isn’t terrible considering they played a young Rangers team and the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions. Captain Alex Ovechkin, who was banged up going into the opener, has picked up an impressive three goals and two assists already.
7 – Edmonton Oilers (Up 5):
It’s tough to argue with a 2-0-0 start. How good has Connor McDavid been so far in 2021-22? Well, he picked up a pair of assists in the first game against Vancouver and he scored a hat-trick against the Flames over the weekend.
8 – Vegas Golden Knights (Down 5):
The Golden Knights spoiled Seattle’s first game by beating them, but they dropped an ugly 6-2 decision to an improved LA Kings squad. Vegas got some tough news this week, as it sounds like they’ll be without Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty for a while.
9 – Boston Bruins (-):
The Bruins don’t move up the rankings, but they don’t move down either. Boston played one game and they took care of business against Dallas. Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 of 28 shots in that victory while Brad Marchand scored twice.
10 – Toronto Maple Leafs (Down 6):
The Leafs opened the season with three games against Canadian opponents. They beat Montreal and split a pair of games against Ottawa, which is a fairly good start especially when you consider they haven’t had Auston Matthews in their lineup. William Nylander has really picked up the slack in his absence.
11 – Minnesota Wild (Up 5):
The Wild opened the season with a pair of road games in California on Friday and Saturday night. They won a pair of one-goal games against the Ducks and Kings, and they’ve given up just three goals during that span. Kirill Kaprizov has two assists through two games.
12 – St. Louis Blues (Up 6):
The Blues opened the season with a three-game road trip and they managed to win the first game in Denver. They’ll take on Arizona and Vegas next before opening their home schedule at home against Los Angeles on Saturday. It’s just one game, but they managed to beat a good opponent on the road so they get to move up the rankings a little bit.
13 – Columbus Blue Jackets (Up 14):
Look, I don’t think the Blue Jackets are going to be good this year, but I’ve been wrong before. All I know, is that they managed to win a pair of games over Arizona (they’re bad) and Seattle (they’re new) and they’ve done with a plus-7 goal-differential (they were plus-six against the Coyotes).
14 – Ottawa Senators (Up 11):
The Sens won two of their first three games and they did it without Brady Tkachuk. The power forward has signed a new contract and he should be in the lineup soon. The up-and-coming Sens split a pair of games against the Leafs and they beat the Stars on Sunday. Can they sneak into the playoffs or are they another year away?
15 – New York Rangers (Down 2):
The Rangers are 1-1-1 through three games, as they managed to pick up two points in Montreal on Saturday night. Chris Kreider is off to a great start. He’s found the back of the net three times already. Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad also have three points so far in 2021-22.
16 – Detroit Red Wings (Up 14):
The Wings are another team I expect to drop off in the very near future, but it’s tough to argue with their start to the year. They nearly beat the Lightning in their first game and they took care of business against Vancouver on Saturday. Detroit is still a couple of years away from being competitive though.
17 – Seattle Kraken (Up 11):
The Kraken were down 3-0 in their first game against Vegas, but they battled back to tie the score before losing by a goal. They roster (on paper) isn’t overly impressive, but they’ve battled pretty hard in every game. They’re heading into Week 2 with a 1-1-1 record.
18 – Los Angeles Kings (Up 5):
The Kings took out the Golden Knights in their opener, but they dropped a one-goal decision to Minnesota on Saturday. The two biggest names on the Kings roster have been outstanding through two games. Anze Kopitar has seven points while Drew Doughty has six.
19 – Vancouver Canucks (Up 3):
The Canucks had a disappointing season last year and they’re off to an OK start in 2021-22. Vancouver has had some balanced scoring so far, as they’ve had seven different players score goals.
20 – Philadelphia Flyers (Down 6):
It’s tough to get a read on the Flyers after just one game. They were down 4-2 to Vancouver heading into the third period, but they managed to force OT thanks to goals by Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux. They were disappointed to miss out on the playoffs last year, but they have a legit shot of getting back there in 2021-22.
21 – Buffalo Sabres (Up 12):
Hey now! The Sabres are off to a perfect 2-0-0 start. Buffalo took care of Montreal rather easily on Thursday and they beat Arizona in a shootout over the weekend. The Sabres have the worst roster in the NHL, so it would be shocking to see them continue on this winning trend. For now, they deserve to be higher up the list.
22 – New York Islanders (Down 14):
The Islanders were ranked seventh on the list last week, but they’ve come tumbling down in a hurry. I’m not worried for them just yet, but they suffered two ugly losses to open this campaign. They’re usually solid defensively, but they’ve allowed 11 goals in two outings.
23 – Winnipeg Jets (Down 11):
The Jets are opening the season with a three-game road trip and it hasn’t gone well so far. They lost 4-1 to Anaheim and 4-3 to San Jose. Better days will be ahead for this Winnipeg team though. They’re too deep up front to be terrible.
24 – San Jose Sharks (Up 3):
The Sharks only got their season going at home on Saturday, as they beat the Jets 4-3. San Jose was down 2-0 to Winnipeg, but they managed to come back thanks to Tomas Hertl’s multi-point effort. The Sharks are about to embark on a five-game road trip that will see them go to Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Boston and Nashville.
25 – New Jersey Devils (-):
The Devils have the luxury of opening the season with a five-game homestand, but they’ve only played one game so far. They managed to beat Chicago in overtime thanks to Jack Hughes, who scored twice in that game. It’ll be interesting to see if New Jersey will make a leap forward in 2021-22.
26 – Anaheim Ducks (Up 4):
The Ducks are in the middle of a big rebuild, but they’re 1-1-0 to start the year. Anaheim has received a solid contribution from 18-year-old rookie Mason McTavish, as he scored a goal and an assist in the opener against Winnipeg. Will Anaheim keep McTavish beyond the nine-game mark or will they send him back to junior? That’s the biggest question surrounding the team right now.
27 – Dallas Stars (Down 12):
The Stars are three games into the year and they’re still searching for their first win. All three of those defeats have come on the road, but it’s still a less-than-ideal start. Alexander Radulov, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have combined for just two assists in three games. It’s way too early to write off the Stars though.
28 – Calgary Flames (Down 9):
The Flames had an opportunity to make a statement in their first game of the season. They hit the road to play their biggest rival, Edmonton, but they lost, 5-2. If things don’t go well for Calgary this year, it could be the end of the Johnny Hockey era in Alberta.
29 – Nashville Predators (Down 8):
There’s no reason to panic yet, but Nashville has dropped two home games to Seattle and Carolina. Both were one-goal defeats, but it’s still not ideal. They need Matt Duchene to produce more. He has no points in two games in 2021-22.
30 – Montreal Canadiens (Down 13):
The Habs are coming off a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, but a lot has changed. Shea Weber and Carey Price aren’t available right now and the team sure seems to be missing their leadership. Montreal suffered an ugly road loss in Buffalo on Thursday and they also dropped games in Toronto and at home to the Rangers. They have just three goals in three games.
31 – Chicago Blackhawks (Down 11):
Many expected the Blackhawks to be better this year, but they aren’t off to the best start. They’ve dropped three games (all on the road) to Colorado, New Jersey and Pittsburgh. Jonathan Toews, who missed all of last year, has no points and a minus-4 rating.
32 – Arizona Coyotes (Down 1):
The Coyotes opened their regular season by allowing a mediocre Blue Jackets team to score eight goals against them. Arizona simply isn’t good. Their roster is underwhelming and things probably won’t get much better for them this year. The ‘Yotes are about to begin a three-game homestand.