1. St. Louis (5): The Blues have won their past five straight games by a combined score of 20-5 and just when you think Alex Steen is going to return to reality, he picks up the pace with his mind-boggling scoring. The Blues are healthy and productive and not only beat you on the scoreboard, but they punish you too. There is nary a shortcoming in this lineup at the moment.
2. Chicago (6): Even though the Hawks hold down first place overall in the NHL, they’re almost, but not quite as hot as the Blues. The defending champs have won four in a row and outscored their opponents 18-7. All four wins, though, have come on the road. A 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames Wednesday night marked the first ever career start and victory for Antti Raanta and extended Patrick Kane’s point-scoring streak to 12 games. Read more
If the current trend continues, the Eastern Conference will establish an ignominious first in NHL history this season. Never before has one conference or division had its top team finish lower than sixth overall. And the only time that happened was in 1967-68 and 1969-70 when all the expansion teams were grouped in the same division.
Through one quarter of the season, though, the Boston Bruins are the top team in the Eastern Conference, but sit ninth in the overall standings. Thankfully, they’re not that far down this week’s Power Rankings. (Last week’s rank in parentheses.)
1. Los Angeles (11): The 2012 Stanley Cup champions will have to wear the scarlet letter of losing to Buffalo for eternity, but they’re the hottest team in the league at the moment with four straight wins and points in their past seven games. Jonathan Quick out a month with a wonky groin? Not a problem. We’ll just put in Ben Scrivens and watch him pitch two straight shutouts. Read more
The Buffalo Sabres have not yet climbed out of the NHL’s basement, but they have moved out of the depths of THN’s Power Rankings, at least for the moment.
That has as much to do with how badly the Edmonton Oilers have played lately as it has anything the Sabres have done, but the Sabres deserve some love after all they’ve been through to start the season. And we’re at least a little encouraged that they have cleaned house, firing GM Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston. New hockey ops president Pat LaFontaine said he will name a GM soon. Read more
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference this season. After all, that has been the case for the past couple of campaigns now.
But a 66-26-10 mark against the east through just a little more than one month of the season? Not sure anyone saw that coming. It’s clear the best hockey is being played in the west, which is why teams from the Western Conference hold down four of the top five spots and six of the top seven ranks in our weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.) Read more
A lot of those stats geeks will probably go out for Halloween tonight and somehow come up with a set of complex calculations that place more value on the homes that give kiss candies than the ones that distribute Snickers bars and bags of chips. Read more
Talk about consistency – and getting it right last week (fist pump) – the top six teams in our Power Rankings all hold the same spot this week. For that matter, the bottom two held on to their places of dishonor. Read more
Put your hand up if you saw this start coming for the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avs are a team with promise and got a new coach (Patrick Roy) and manager (Joe Sakic) who brought this team to prominence as Hall of Fame players. Now they’re turning straw into gold off the ice, but is this start sustainable? Read more