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Power Rankings - Oct. 14

The Buffalo Sabres won their first two games and sit 12th in our Power Rankings. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Buffalo Sabres won their first two games and sit 12th in our Power Rankings. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Maybe Buffalo’s bounce-back year was just a season in the making.
 
Even after the Sabres lost Chris Drury and Daniel Briere just hours apart in the summer of 2007, most pundits thought there was enough talent left for the team to slide into a playoff spot. That didn’t happen, of course, and expectations for Buffalo this year weren’t overly optimistic.
 
However, the Sabres are still a very speedy bunch with a good coach and a great goalie; perhaps even a great goalie tandem. Last year Lindy Ruff felt he couldn’t trust backup Jocelyn Thibault and Ryan Miller ended up playing way too much. But new No. 2 Patrick Lalime already has one of the Sabres’ two wins, while Thomas Vanek has netted three goals.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
-
2-1-0
Opening night stumble, but champs showed their mettle with late road win over Ottawa.
2
New York Rangers
-
5-0-0
Hard to focus on best start in team history after tragic news of young Alexei Cherepanov’s passing.
3
San Jose Sharks
-
3-0-0
Quick start for Jonathan Cheechoo could signal good things.
4
Montreal Canadiens
-
2-0-1
Picked up five of six points during three-game road trip to start the season.
5
Washington Capitals
-
2-1-0
The “other Alex” lighting it up as Semin has three goals and six points after three contests.
6
Dallas Stars
-
0-1-1
No wins through two games, but this team won’t be on the mat long.
7
Anaheim Ducks
-
0-2-0
Lost to the Sharks on opening night, then played what used to be a gimme against Phoenix and lost that one, too.
8
Pittsburgh Penguins
-
1-1-1
Gave up 49 shots in first game back after European excursion. Think that blueline doesn’t miss Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney?
9
New Jersey Devils
-
2-1-0
Two wins, but have yet to score more than two goals in a game through three contests.
10
Philadelphia Flyers
-
0-2-0
The Flyers have one of the deepest forward crews in the biz; they just need to tighten up defensively.
11
Nashville Predators
-
2-1-0
Ever seen the movie Rounders? The Preds have “alligator blood,” meaning they’re always just hanging around and refuse to go away.
12
Buffalo Sabres
-
2-0-0
Lindy Ruff says it’s his goal to make Thomas Vanek the best two-way player in hockey and the Austrian already has his first shorthanded goal ever – yes, ever.
13
Phoenix Coyotes
-
2-0-0
Rookies Kyle Turris and Mikkel Boedker each added to their puck collections with their first NHL goals.
14
Carolina Hurricanes
-
2-1-0
Nice Canes debut for Joni Pitkanen, who has a goal and three points through three games.
15
Edmonton Oilers
-
1-0-0
Only played one game, but looked good winning it simply by virtue of those vintage orange and blue uniforms.
16
Ottawa Senators
-
1-1-1
Dany Heatley wearing the ‘C’ in Daniel Alfredsson’s absence, has three goals in three games.
17
Vancouver Canucks
-
2-1-0
Came out blastin' against Calgary for two games, but managed just 10 shots versus the Caps.
18
Minnesota Wild
-
1-0-0
Marian Gaborik trade talk will only get louder unless he signs an extension – and that in no way appears imminent.
19
Boston Bruins
-
1-1-0
B’s play eight of their first 11 away from home, so they’d be thrilled with a .500 October.
20
Chicago Blackhawks
-
0-2-1
Team is built, fans have come, now the Hawks have to start delivering.
21
Calgary Flames
-
0-1-1
The Flames have one plus-player after two games; that would be Andre Roy at plus-1.
22
St. Louis Blues
-
2-1-0
Hot pre-season carries over for Andy McDonald, but despite six assists, the center is minus-4.
23
Columbus Blue Jackets
-
1-1-0
Rookie Jakub Voracek gives hope for the secondary scoring with a goal and two points in two games.
24
Colorado Avalanche
-
0-2-0
How ‘bout a .795 save percentage for Peter Budaj after two games?
25
Florida Panthers
-
1-1-0
The Hockey News pegged David Booth as a player to watch this year and he’s making us look smart with three goals through two games.
26
Atlanta Thrashers
-
1-0-1
Letting in soft OT goals like the one he allowed against Florida won’t quiet any of Kari Lehtonen’s critics.
27
Toronto Maple Leafs
-
1-1-1
Went into Detroit and beat the champs, but reality was waiting for them upon leaving Michigan.
28
New York Islanders
-
1-2-0
Goalie Joey MacDonald was hanging in there until Buffalo hammered the Isles 7-1.
29
Tampa Bay Lightning
-
0-2-1
Giving up 42 shots a game so far; do Len Barrie and Oren Koules have any buddies who are goalie psychologists?
30
Los Angeles Kings
-
0-2-0
At least signing Anze Kopitar long-term bodes well for future rankings.
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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