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Exceeding expectations

The Toronto Maple Leafs have surprised everyone by earning nine out of a possible 10 points in their first five games. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have surprised everyone by earning nine out of a possible 10 points in their first five games. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

As is natural at the start of the NHL’s regular season, we’re seeing some significant fluctuation in THN.com’s early Power Rankings.

The upstart Maple Leafs and Stars have managed to maintain their torrid start to the year and remain near or at the top of our chart, while teams such as the Lightning, Hawks and Predators are climbing higher. Unfortunately for supporters of the Devils, Sabres and Senators, those franchises have yet to reverse their downward trajectories.

In any case, be sure to check back next Wednesday (and every Wednesday during the regular season) to keep track of where your team is ranked.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
THE SCOOP
1

Toronto Maple Leafs

3

4-0-1

Coach Ron Wilson deserves credit for Leafs’ resiliency

2

Tampa Bay Lightning

16

4-1-0

Steven Stamkos is a beast; what’s up with Simon Gagne and Ryan Malone having minus-7 ratings?

3

Chicago Blackhawks

13

4-2-1

Duncan Keith averaging more than 30 minutes of ice time a night

4

Detroit Red Wings

1

3-1-1

Wings third-best in league at shots allowed per game (25.6)

5

Dallas Stars

5

4-1-0

Only Anaheim averages more shots allowed than Stars’ 38.0

6

Washington Capitals

7

4-2-0

Michal Neuvirth making great case to platoon with Semyon Varlamov

7

Nashville Predators

15

3-0-2

Matthew Lombardi invisible so far, but steady Preds keep rolling

8

Los Angeles Kings

8

3-1-0

Imagine how good Kings would be if their power play was better than 6.2 percent efficiency

9

Boston Bruins

17

3-1-0

Stingy Bruins benefiting from rejuvenated Tim Thomas in net

10

New York Islanders

14

3-1-2

Isles third-best in league at faceoff percentage (55.6)

11

Montreal Canadiens

21

3-1-1

Formerly mighty Habs power play now NHL’s worst (5.9 percent)

12

Colorado Avalanche

10

4-2-0

Paul Stastny averaging just one second less per game (22:00) than Avs’ most-utilized defenseman

13

Pittsburgh Penguins

23

4-3-0

Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski making Pens fans forget about Sergei Gonchar

14

St. Louis Blues

6

2-1-2

No offense to Matt D’Agostini, but he should not be leading the Blues in scoring

15

Atlanta Thrashers

24

3-2-0

Ron Hainsey, the highest-paid Thrasher, has no points and is averaging 13:49 of ice time per game

16

Carolina Hurricanes

9

3-2-0

Special teams killing Canes after quick start

17

Edmonton Oilers

5

2-2-0

Oilers the league’s second-worst faceoff team (40.2 percent efficiency)

18

Philadelphia Flyers

2

2-2-1

Losses to Lightning, Pens underscore Flyers’ lack of discipline

19

Florida Panthers

27

2-2-0

Bryan McCabe playing his best hockey in years

20

Calgary Flames

22

3-2-0

Flames fourth overall in shots per game, 29th overall in goals per game

21

Vancouver Canucks

12

2-3-1

Nucks need goal-scoring Henrik Sedin, not just playmaking Henrik Sedin

22

Minnesota Wild

26

2-2-1

Signing of Matt Cullen (three goals, eight points) turning out to be a coup for Wild

23

Columbus Blue Jackets

20

2-2-0

Jackets need Rick Nash to step up in a big way

24

Anaheim Ducks

30

2-3-1

Ryan Getzlaf has two goals on 12 shots; Teemu Selanne has two goals on 28 shots

25

Phoenix Coyotes

18

1-2-1

Yotes facing tough four-games-in-six-nights stretch this week

26

San Jose Sharks

11

1-2-1

Joe Thornton is minus-6 so far; last year he was plus-17

27

New York Rangers

19

1-2-1

Injuries to Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury reveal Blueshirts’ dearth of depth

28

Buffalo Sabres

25

1-4-1

Patrick Lalime’s .810 save percentage not a good harbinger for role as Ryan Miller’s backup

29

New Jersey Devils

29

1-4-1

Jason Arnott, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner a combined minus-18

30

Ottawa Senators

28

1-4-1

Who goes to the unemployment line first: Cory Clouston or Bryan Murray?

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Wednesday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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