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Power Rankings: Blues bludgeon Oilers and take over top spot

Ken Campbell
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Power Rankings: Blues bludgeon Oilers and take over top spot

Joel Edmundson, Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn Image by: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Power Rankings: Blues bludgeon Oilers and take over top spot

Ken Campbell
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Thanks to Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues have been unstoppable recently. The Coyotes and Golden Knights also make big moves in this week's Power Rankings.

Perhaps Vladimir Tarasenko should have gotten himself into a second fight in Wednesday night’s 8-3 drubbing of the Edmonton Oilers. Had that happened, he would have recorded the extremely rare Double Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

With two goals, two assists and a fight – wonder how much Blues coach Mike Yeo was sweating during that one – Tarasenko did everything for the Blues, combining with linemates Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz for five goals and 12 points in the game. For his part, Schenn extended his career-high points streak to eight games, a span in which he has scored a mind-boggling six goals and 18 points.

The rest of the Blues have followed the lead established by the top line, which has propelled them to the top of thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. Last week’s rankings in parentheses:

THE CREAM OF THE CROP
1. St. Louis Blues (11)
2. Columbus Blue Jackets (12)
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (1)
4. Nashville Predators (3)
5. Calgary Flames (7)
6. Vegas Golden Knights (28)
7. Anaheim Ducks (21)
8. Winnipeg Jets (10)
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (4)
10. New York Islanders (13)

The return of Jay Bouwmeester from injury in training camp has created a logjam on the Blues’ talented blueline…The early returns on the Jackets’ newly formed top line of Pierre-Luc Dubois between Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson have been encouraging…Asked about how he deals with the best team in the NHL, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, “You just get out of the way.”…These are not your father’s Predators. They’ve won seven of their past eight and scored at least five goals in five of those games…Johnny Gaudreau is riding a 10-game point streak and has multiple points in each of his past five games for the Flames…Turns out a $500 million expansion fee gives you the chance to get players like William Karlsson, who is making the most of his chance in Vegas…Goalie Reto Berra got his first NHL win in almost two years when the Ducks outlasted San Jose 3-2 in a shootout Monday night…The Jets have historically fallen with the leaves and the temperatures in November, but this season they’re 5-1-1 so far this month…Leafs coach Mike Babcock called out his young stars after a 4-1 loss to Arizona Monday night. And Auston Matthews agreed: “I didn’t play very well.”…With 19 points in 20 games, Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal has injected himself prominently into the race for the Calder Trophy.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. New Jersey Devils (9)
12. Arizona Coyotes (31)
13. Carolina Hurricanes (16)
14. Chicago Blackhawks (27)
15. New York Rangers (2)
16. Pittsburgh Penguins (14)
17. Dallas Stars (18)
18. Boston Bruins (23)
19. Vancouver Canucks (26)
20. Ottawa Senators (8)

Defenseman Jon Moore, as usual, scored in overtime when the Devils beat Minnesota 4-3 Monday night. He has scored the Devils’ two OT goals this season and has six since the league went to 3-on-3 overtime in 2015-16…The Coyotes left for another road trip without a win in regulation in their first 20 games and came back with three straight triumphs, two of them in regulation. They’ve already played 15 games on the road…It’s no coincidence that the Hurricanes have been consistently better since Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen have picked up their games…Defenseman Brent Seabrook played just over 16 minutes in each of his past two games, and given the Blackhawks won both games and Seabrook looked more effective with less work, it’s a trend worth watching…Captain Ryan McDonagh, a standout this season, will miss tonight’s game in Carolina with an abdominal strain…Speaking of injuries, Evgeni Malkin will miss tonight’s home game against Vancouver with an upper-body injury…The Stars have the second-best power play in the league, but they’d like to use it more. They’re in the bottom five in power-play opportunities with just 65 through 21 games…Brad Marchand has missed five of the past seven games with a suspected concussion and won’t play tonight against the Devils. That doesn’t sound very good…Canucks coach Travis Green said he was “brutally honest” with rookie Brock Boeser in a conversation during development camp in the summer and both credited the words with the rookie’s strong start…Right about now might be a good time for Matt Duchene to start producing. Since coming to the Senators, he has zero points and is minus-6 in five games. 

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Detroit Red Wings (22) 
22. Washington Capitals (15)
23. Minnesota Wild (5)
24. Los Angeles Kings (20)
25. San Jose Sharks (6)
26. Colorado Avalanche (24)
27. Florida Panthers (25)
28. Philadelphia Flyers (29)
29. Edmonton Oilers (19)
30. Buffalo Sabres (30)
31. Montreal Canadiens (17)

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg hasn’t scored a goal in 14 straight games…The Capitals’ line of Evgeny Kuznetsov between Alex Ovechkin and Devante Smith-Pelly hasn’t scored an even-strength goal in six games…The Wild dispatched struggling rookies Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek to the minors on Tuesday…The Kings continue to lead the league in penalty killing, but they’ve frittered away a surprisingly great start with five losses in their past six games…The Sharks have just five goals in their past four games and have scored more than two in only two of eight games this month, but coach Peter DeBoer quickly threw water on the possibility of Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns taking some shifts at forward…Teenage defenseman Samuel Girard, acquired in the Matt Duchene trade, was told over the weekend by the Avalanche to move out of the team hotel and get a place of his own…The Panthers are by far the worst special-teams squad in the NHL. Their power play is clicking at just 16.7 percent and their penalty-kill is second-worst in the NHL at 72 percent. That total of 88.7 is easily the worst in the league…One silver lining in an otherwise pretty lousy year in Philadelphia – the emergence of Ivan Provorov in his second season as an elite NHL defenseman…After their 8-3 loss to St. Louis Wednesday night, coach Todd McLellan was blunt about his team and how he poorly he prepared it. “In every facet of the game we were second and it wasn’t close,” he said. He went on to say: “That’s about as poor I’ve seen a group of defensemen play in my three years here.”…Let’s focus on the positive here. The Sabres have not allowed a single power-play goal in the 26 times they’ve been shorthanded at home this season. Aside from that, it’s a mess…Here’s everything you need to know about the pressures of playing in Montreal. A website had the following headline Wednesday: ‘Carey Price update: Practices with Canadiens, not getting divorced’.

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Power Rankings: Blues bludgeon Oilers and take over top spot