We are through the extended first week of the regular season and have seen some early surprises. The young New Jersey Devils have started off the season scorching hot with a 4-1 record, while having the third-best goal differential at +8. The Chicago Blackhawks have the best goal differential at +12 thanks to a 10-1 beat down of the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres have the worst goal differential at -11. Each week the power rankings will not include the games from Sunday night, as I conduct my rankings before the games have finished. Without further ado, here are the power rankings for week two of the NHL season.
Vegas Golden Knights: Up 19 spots from 31 to 12
Edmonton Oilers: Down 19 spots from 4 to 23
31.) Arizona Coyotes (27) (0-4-1) 30.) Buffalo Sabres (22) (0-4-1) 29.)Vancouver Canucks (30) (1-2-1) 28.) Carolina Hurricanes (26) (1-1-1) 27.) New York Rangers (13) (1-5) 26.) Montreal Canadians (7) (1-3-1) 25.) San Jose Sharks (15) (1-3) 24.) Florida Panthers (28) (2-2) 23.) Edmonton Oilers (4) (1-3) 22.) Dallas Stars (19) (2-3) 21.) Boston Bruins (16) (2-2) 20.) New York Islanders (24) (2-2-1) 19.) Nashville Predators (2) (2-2-1) 18.) Minnesota Wild (14) (1-1-2) 17.) Anaheim Ducks (11) (2-2-1) 16.) Winnipeg Jets (25) (3-2) 15.) Philadelphia Flyers (20) (3-2) 14.) Pittsburgh Penguins (1) (3-2-1) 13.) Washington Capitals (3) (3-2-1) 12.) Vegas Golden Knights (31) (3-1) 11.) Detroit Red Wings (21) (4-1)
10.) Ottawa Senators (12) (3-0-2)
The Senators started the season a little slow, losing their first two games in overtime, but have rebounded by winning three-straight games, outscoring the opponent 15-3. After pounding the Edmonton Oilers 6-1, the Senators will return home for a five-game home stand starting Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. The Senators are awaiting the return of star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who had offseason surgery on his foot. He could return as early as Tuesday.
9.) New Jersey Devils (29) (4-1)
The Devils have started the season extremely hot, scoring six goals on two different occasions. They have received scoring from unexpected sources, as rookie Jesper Bratt has scored three goals while also having three assists. Will Butcher, another young rookie, leads the team with eight assists and eight points. The Devils continue to get consistent goalie play from Cory Schneider, and if they continue to get the scoring outburst from their young players, the Devils have an opportunity to be a sleeper team all season. They will play their next game Tuesday against the Tamp Bay Lightning on NBCSN.
8.) Colorado Avalanche (23) (4-2)
Speaking of another young team, the Colorado Avalanche are also off to a hot start. They have won tough games against the Ducks and Stars in the early going, and have done it with their young nucleus. Matt Duchene, a player who has was part of trade rumors in the offseason, leads the team with three goals and six points, while Nail Yakupov, looking to get his career on track, is second on the team with five points. The Avalanche have also been getting better play from goaltender Semyon Varlamov. They will head to Nashville to take on the Predators on Tuesday night.
7.) Calgary Flames (18) (4-2)
The Flames have been shut out twice, but in the other four games, you can see how dangerous the offense can be. Johnny Gaudreau (Johnny Hockey) has picked up right where he left off last season, leading the team in goals (2), assists (6), and points (8) through six games. After a down season, defenseman T.J. Brodie seems to have found his offensive game again, with two goals and six points, while forward Matthew Tkachuk has been the straw that stirs the drink often playing against the other teams top offense unit. The Flames will get a couple days off before taking on the struggling Carolina Hurricanes at home on Thursday.
6.) Los Angeles Kings (17) (3-0-1)
The Kings look like the team that rode goaltender Jonathon Quick to multiple Stanley Cups. The top line of Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar look primed for bounce-back years, and Quick is making stop after stop, giving up only two or less goals in all three of their victories. The Kings will take on the Montreal Canadians on Wednesday at home, another team that struggles to put the puck in the net.
5.) Tampa Bay Lightning (5) (4-1)
The Lightning seem to be back. After struggling for 80% of last season, the Lightning are playing with the fire we saw them play with at the end of the year, and their latest game was their best all around game so far. Steven Stamkos scored his first goal in months after missing almost all of last season with an injury, and Nikita Kucherov has scored a goal in each of their five games. Kucherov is tied for the team lead with eight points, with Brayden Point, whose breakout season last year looks like anything but a fluke. The Lightning will begin a stretch of three straight games on the road, as they head to Detroit on Monday to take on the Red Wings.
4.) Columbus Blue Jackets (9) (4-1)
Many people thought Columbus would take a step back this season, but through the first week, they have done anything but that. The Blue Jackets seem primed for another big season behind the goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky and the offensive fire power of a balanced offense. Sonny Milano leads the team in goals with four, while offseason acquisition Artemi Panarin leads the team in assists with six and points with seven. If the Blue Jackets continue to get offense from all four of their lines and continue to get solid goaltending from Bobrovsky, they have a chance to make a run at the cup. They will look to continue their strong start on Tuesday when they head to Winnipeg to take on the Jets.
3.) St Louis Blues (8) (4-2)
The Blues look like the real deal that I thought they would look like. Jake Allen seems to be the goaltender I predicted to win the Vezina Trophy (top goaltender), and the offense has the ability to score from multiple sources. Alex Pietrangelo looks like a top defensemen and Mike Yeo seems to have this team ready for what could be their best season in years. Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team with four goals, while Jaden Schwartz leads the way with eight points so far. The Blues will get a home game on Wednesday, as they welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to town.
2.) Toronto Maple Leafs (6) (4-1)
The Maple Leafs look like the offensive juggernaut that we all thought they might look like. They have scored 26 goals through their first five games and have gotten the scoring from everyone. Auston Matthews leads the way with five goals and eight points, while linemate William Nylander leads the team with four assists. The question for Toronto continues to be if the goaltending from Frederik Anderson will be good enough. So far, it has been very sub par. It will have to be much better if the Maple Leafs want to make a run at the cup like many people believe they can. Toronto will head on the road to take on the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
1.) Chicago Blackhawks (10) (4-1-1)
The number one team from the first week is none other than the Chicago Blackhawks. Even with the loss of Panarin, the Blackhawks offense has not missed a beat, and they look ready to make a run at the cup after a first round exit last season. The addition of Brandon Saad seems to be paying dividends early, as he leads the team with six goals and eight points after he had four goals in their opening week 10-1 onslaught of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Patrick Kane looks primed for another big season, as he also has eight points. Ryan Hartman has been a pleasant surprise in the early going, slotting into the line, with Kane and Saad and also contributing eight points in the early going. The Blackhawks will get a home date with the St Louis Blue on Wednesday in a game that can be seen on NBCSN.
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