Greetings! I have returned for my next instalment of power rankings. If you have read the first one, then you'll be familiar with what I am about to say: these power rankings are based entirely on statistical performances and they are churned out by a python code that examines every game in the last ten regular season weeks played (bleeding into the last year for now). Now that we have that out of the way once more, let us resume, shall we?
1. Boston Bruins 6-1-2 POWER 134 LW: 3
The Bruins have reaped the benefits of playing their rivals, the Leafs, twice this year already on the second of a back-to-back. The scheduling has been their friend. Aside that, however, they have still showed that they are likely to finish top two in the East, if not take the top spot this year, and if not take the President's trophy. No Stanley Cup hangover for these bunch (yes, yes, they didn't win it, but they still played all the games and had a lengthy post-season!).
2. Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3-1 POWER 128 LW: 2
Tampa Bay, however, have already three regulation losses this year. What up, Lightning? In the whole of last year during the regular season, they only had 16. At this rate, they'll have passed that by January. #waytooearlypredictions
3. Montreal Canadiens 4-3-2 POWER 128 LW: 5
The Canadiens have been benefiting from a late season charge last year in these stats. They play in many close games, and they can beat the best and lose to the worst. If they the "losing to the worst" part, they'll get this season going. However, I do believe they will establish their defensive game and power themselves to a 100+ point season. I do not believe that they will remain a top 5 team on this list.
4. St. Louis Blues 4-2-3 POWER 124 LW: 1
The Blues, particularly Binnington, have not been great so far this year. You may want to hold off on taking Binnington on your draft kings - try a goaltender that faces a lot of shots against a team with a low shooting percentage, like the Wild or the Coyotes. Oh yeah, the Blues... they're probably just tanking until January again. Then they'll be like "Hey guys, we're almost in last... think we should play a little harder now?"
5. Washington Capitals 7-2-2 POWER 123 LW: 10
The Caps are looking rock solid this year, and Carlson is on a tear. Nice to see that when some players get huge contracts, they play as though they merit being paid that much. Some certain other defencemen - and we shant name names! - have some work to do. I fully believe they are still cup contenders, and expect them to hang around the top 5 all season.
6. Florida Panthers 4-2-3 POWER 117 LW: 4
Their start could be better, but it could also be worse. Some games they play like everyone expected them to be, and others they don't and get leaky. If they can gum plug their leaks, they should get it going in no time.
7. Dallas Stars 3-7-1 POWER 113 LW: 7
What are they doing here? Good question. The team is playing like they're a bottom ten NHL team right now, and it won't take very long for these power rankings to reflect that.
8. Calgary Flames 5-5-1 POWER 112 LW: 8
To be fair, I'm "kind of" seeing them returning to form. This is one of the teams I expected to start out a little better, to be honest. And is David Rittich really the answer for them? Is he the best they could do? If I were them, I'd be looking around for disgruntled starters. Why weren't they all over Lehner?
9. Colorado Avalanche 7-1-1 POWER 111 LW: 17
Up eight spots, as I knew they would be, these guys are icing a complete team. They were the last team to be beaten. Top five, here we come. Can Avalanches go ... up mountains? Because I feel like that is what's going on here.
10. Edmonton Oilers 7-2-1 POWER 110 LW: 11
They Oilers had a really good start. Then things got slick. Edmonton's front line is like Alberta's economy to the rest of Canada: when things start to go bad there, things will start to go bad everywhere. They haven't scored in over a hundred fifty minutes! I guess the game plan is to "cover James Neal" and you're playing the Oilers from last season.
11. Vancouver Canucks 6-3-0 POWER 107 LW: 24
Up thirteen spots, naturally. I have already had to dispute with family members with how good these guys are going to be. Last night it was "I'm not sure Bo Horvat is ready to be a captain", but that was before the third period. Then he scored a "crown trick", which is what I'll call your first hat trick after you've been named a captain... then again, that would be more appropriate for the Kings. A C-trick, yes, get it? Because their logo is a C, and they're next to the sea... I'll shut up now.
12. Carolina Hurricanes 6-3-0 POWER 106 LW: 8
I mean they didn't play much and they lost both games. Road trips will probably dip you a little in these standings, unless you're the Colorado Avalanche. Hamilton is one of those defenceman reaping in the fantasy points, so I'm sure some guys are frothing for his return.
13. Arizona Coyotes 5-2-1 POWER 106 LW: 18
Their team philosophy is take a thousand shots: some of them are bound to go in. If NHL records were based on outshooting your opponents, they'd probably be 8-0 right now. Sadly, there's this inconvenient stat called shooting percentage that likes guys with huge one-timers and wicked wrist shots like Ovechkin, Stamkos, et al. Man, if they had one of those on their team!
14. New York Islanders 5-3-0 POWER 105 LW: 16
I wouldn't expect the Islanders to go away any time soon. Trotz and Lou are still playing this team as tight as the coast guard around three mile island.
15. Anaheim Ducks 6-4-0 POWER 102 LW: 13
Much as you like their defence... most games, let's excuse last night... they're still a little dry for forward talent. Henrique and Silfverberg aren't exactly the guys you're going to see in Bauer or Gatorade commercials. Devils fans still love you, Henrique!
16. Buffalo Sabres 8-1-1 POWER 101 LW: 26
While their offence continues to cut up their opponents and "skin" them alive, they're going to continue to rise. Catholics have Saint Michael who has the big sword, but the Sabres have "saint" Eichel.
17. Minnesota Wild 3-6-0 POWER 99 LW: 29
Remember when I said their offense looked like toothless kittens last week? It seems their claws were sharpened and their teeth were grown.
18. Vegas Golden Knights 7-4-0 POWER 99 LW: 25
They're starting to win more 5-2 games than they are losing them.
19. Philadelphia Flyers 3-3-1 POWER 98 LW: 22
I have a bad feeling that the Flyers will be floating about in the margins all season. Sellers at the deadline? Quite possibly - an aging core up front and very little to show for it, remaining average. Can they be a top ten team? I simply don't think so.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4-0 POWER 98 LW: 9
They've been "pretty" good this season, and this 20th place should be only temporary, but Malkin's injury isn't doing their offense any favours. What is soft-tissue damage anyway? Far cry from the "lower body injury" we're used to hearing.
21. Ottawa Senators 1-6-1 POWER 96 LW: 30
I mean they're bad. And this is probably the highest power ranking they'll have all season. But teams that currently tie them in goal differential include the Devils and the Red Wings. Chabot and B.Tkachuk have been blessings for them, little rays of hope.
22. Nashville Predators 5-3-1 POWER 96 LW: 19
They'll be on the rise soon. The end of last season wasn't a great finish for them. This team is, however, geared to be a top 5 team in the league, poised to rise. Oh and Duchene loves country music, and also likes getting points.
23. Chicago Blackhawks 2-3-2 POWER 94 LW: 15
Kirby Dach used to be a goalless player, but then he took a puck in the knee. The Blackhawks could have taken a few more pucks in the knee last night, though, because that was the only goal they scored. The once juggernaut team on defence has looked pretty vulnerable. Lehner's looked real good so far, though.
24. New York Rangers 2-4-1 POWER 94 LW: 12
On the plus side, Trouba's been getting many, many fantasy points. And that's about the only plus side for this team right now. Remember when they were 2-0 to start the season? Pepperidge farm remembers.
25. Winnipeg Jets 5-6-0 POWER 94 LW: 20
A few years ago, the Sharks had an off year, so Wilson said they were re-tooling. If the Jets have an off year, could you say that they were... re-fueling?
26. Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3-2 POWER 93 LW: 14
They're not doing terrible; they're not doing great either. It might be typing this status for them all season.
27. San Jose Sharks 3-5-1 POWER 87 LW: 23
Wilson might have had the magic in signing Labanc to that cheap contract, and re-signing Erik Karlsson, but they could use some of that magic on the ice. They're starting to show a little more bite.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4-2 POWER 86 LW: 21
I swear I'm not doing this on purpose; Toronto is more powerful than 28th though they could certainly use Tavares back sooner than later. Toronto was in the early 2000s the most entertaining team to watch in the NHL, though it was more because their players played high event hockey in causing shenanigans. This year, they're the most entertaining team to watch, because again, they play high event hockey: many goals scored, many goals scored against. But how about that schedule, giving them two second-half back to backs against the Bruins, whom they got locked against in the standings last year in February. Maybe they should just shorten the season (play fewer games) so that teams don't have to play back to backs? The Leafs would then be primed to do some real damage in the standings.
29. Detroit Red Wings 3-6-0 POWER 82 LW: 28
I think the only thing their fans are hoping they win this year is the draft lottery.
30. New Jersey Devils 2-4-2 POWER 81 LW: 31
Is this the beginning of a long rise for the Devils, or are they just climbing to hockey hell, which is that dead zone between 17th place and 26th place where you lose a season but get a three-year-project draft pick while the other guys who missed the playoffs get the shining stars.
31. Los Angeles Kings 4-5-0 POWER 79 LW: 29
Where's your crown, king nothing? No, no, they're not really a last place team! They did get one of the best players of last year's draft in Alex Turcotte. Okay, Metallica was maybe the wrong choice: maybe Megadeth? Kill the king, the king is dead, long liv...
That's all for this week. Thank you for reading.