32. Columbus Blue Jackets
Average Rank: 31.33 (31.31.32)
A team with so much hope of making strides this year has just sunk to the bottom. Even with Johnny Gaudreau’s great individual efforts, this team is nowhere close to moving up in the Metro. Goaltending has been beyond terrible and Laine post-injury hasn’t been able to score. The Jackets could have themselves a king year ahead of them if they continue to spiral like this.
31. Arizona Coyotes
Average Rank: 30.33 (28,30,32)
It’s crazy to think the Coyotes aren’t the worst team on this list. They are about to go on a brutal 13 game road trip, and you can only expect so much from a team with hopes of getting Connor Bedard in the draft this upcoming year. But someone is still worse than them right now.
30. Anaheim Ducks
Average Rank: 29.33 (29,29,30)
We expected the Ducks to be pretty mediocre, but they are way beyond that. They look lost offensively outside of Troy Terry and now Trevor Zegras, who looks to have his scoring touch back. They get dominated on a nightly basis and need to find some structure as a team to turn things around.
29. St. Louis Blues
Average Rank: 28.67 (25,29,32)
This sharp drop by the Blues is the result of a five-game losing streak, with all the losses coming by multiple goals, often in blowouts. Throughout this losing streak, St. Louis has been on the wrong end of a combined score of 25-8. It’s tough to find any positives for the Blues right now.
28. San Jose Sharks
Average Rank: 28.33 (27,28,30)
Erik Karlsson has been lights out for the Sharks fresh off of a redemption tour. Karlsson is giving shades of his Norris Trophy winning self, leading the league in scoring for defenseman with 19 points. He is second in the league in scoring with 10 goals only behind McDavid who has 12 goals. Besides that, the Sharks have struggled massively on the offensive end. Not much was expected from the Sharks this year, but some improvements offensively should lead to a slightly more enjoyable season for the team in the midst of a difficult rebuild.
27. Vancouver Canucks
Average Rank: 26.67 (26,27,27)
Nothing is going right in Vancouver. As much as the Canucks wished to become a contender this year, this team in its current state is nowhere close to that. The front office is going to have to make some major changes to figure out the direction of this team going forward.
26. Montreal Canadiens
Average Rank: 26.33 (24,25,30)
One of the most fun young teams to watch, the Canadiens have been able to make the most of their young star power. Their first line of Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach, and Nick Suzuki through the past four games have scored 22 points. Although they are far from a team that can reach the Cup Final like they did a couple years ago, they are making the right developmental strides under Martin St. Louis.
25. Chicago Blackhawks
Average Rank: 24.33 (23,24,26)
Chicago, despite their place in the standings, have made themselves entertaining. With how dreary things looked in Chicago last season, this year looks to cover it up like it never happened. The Blackhawks don’t appear to be in tip-top shape to push for the playoffs but they will look to try and be competitive for their stars. Until they fully commit to their rebuild and trade Kane, the Hawks will be mediocre at best.
24. Nashville Predators
Average Rank: 23.33 (21,24,25)
A super disappointing start for the Predators. After a season filled with individual accomplishments everything has fallen flat in Smashville. Saros has been forced to sustain a heavier workload especially with how miserable Nashville’s defense has been. John Hynes doesn’t seem to have a major solution for this team yet, but hopefully they bounce back sooner rather than later if they want to contend.
23. Pittsburgh Penguins
Average Rank: 22 (21,22,23)
Is this the year the Penguins finally slow down? Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have aged like fine wine. Yet the team as a whole has struggled massively out of the gate. They aren’t particularly good in any major area and don’t seem to have a solution in sight. It’s hard to doubt a team with a healthy Crosby, but how far can this team go?
22. Ottawa Senators
Average Rank: 21.33 (15,23,26)
Ottawa has lost five straight games and has taken more penalties than any team in the league. Offensively, the Sens look strong, ranking top 10 in goals, expected goals, rush chances, and inner slot shots. Defensively they are a work in progress, as their roster on the backend isn’t as strong as they like it to be. Ottawa hasn’t been terrible but are below average in most meaningful key performance areas.
The team needs to string some wins together sooner than later to avoid falling further out of contention.
21. Philadelphia Flyers
Average Rank: 20.67 (16.18,28)
John Tortorella had the Flyers running through walls to start the season. Carter Hart has been the main proponent of the Flyers so far as he is playing out of his damn mind so far. But as a whole, they have terrible underlying numbers. Especially scoring at 5v5 and their 5v5 goal share. They can’t rely on Carter Hart carrying them forever or they will fall just as fast as they rose.
20. Minnesota Wild
Average Rank: 20.67 (19,21,22)
After a season which saw many franchise records broken, the Wild have plummeted. The Wild have a very big flaw at center, as they don’t have their center depth to be one of the most competitive teams in the Central Division and even the NHL. They have started to turn things around and with Kirill Kaprizov on the roster, there is reason to believe they can still make something out of this season.
19. Washington Capitals
Average Rank: 20 (Unanimous)
While having the most exciting forwards in Alex Ovechkin in their squad, the Capitals just aren’t holding up so far this year. The absences of Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson have been glaring holes in their roster. But even worse is just how battered the Capitals are, as they have John Carlson, Connor Brown, T.J. Oshie, and Carl Hagelin all injured. The success of this roster truly depends on how healthy this roster can be this season.
18. Calgary Flames
Average Rank: 16.33 (11,19,19)
Goaltending inconsistencies have been a major problem for the Flames. Not to mention, the team’s offensive stars have been struggling to break out. Jonathan Huberdeau has just one goal and five points in 10 games and Elias Lindholm has just six points in 10 games. The Flames sit middle of the pack in goals per game but rank 22nd in expected goals, 23rd in net-front, inner-slot shots, and 27th in offensive zone puck possession. Calgary’s volume shooting approach along with woeful individual efforts have not led to enough meaningful scoring opportunities this season.
17. Los Angeles Kings
Average Rank: 15.33 (11,17,18)
The Kings have yet to prove that they add legitimate threat in the Pacific Division. They are averaging 3.50 goals for per game, while also averaging 3.92 goals against per game.
Currently the team relies too much on their scoring output to win them games. Once they fix their defensive shortcomings, they can become a real problem out West.
16. Buffalo Sabres
Average Rank: 14.67 (12,14,18)
Tage Thompson has proven himself to be the real deal for the Sabres, and is paying dividends for them with his scoring. Rasmus Dahlin looks to make his case for the Norris this year with how well he has been scoring to start off the year. Everything just looks to be going right for the Sabres as they look to try and squeeze into the playoffs this year. The Sabres look to be on the right track this season and in their rebuild.
15. New York Rangers
Average Rank: 14.33 (12,15,16)
The Rangers still remain in the hunt but have fallen a bit back down to Earth from last season. Their power play isn’t as potent, Igor Shesterkin looks to be overworked, and Kreider has not been the same on the goal scoring front. Even with all these downsides, the Rangers still look super competitive.
14. New York Islanders
Average Rank: 13.33 (13,13,14)
The Islanders have been surprising many jumping this far up the standings. Starting the year looking like a bottom feeder, the Isles have proven they can capitalize on a wide open Metro Division. Barzal has been playing phenomenally, dishing 14 assists through 13 games. Once he finds the back of the net, this average team could have the potential to skyrocket up the standings.
13. Winnipeg Jets
Average Rank: 13 (7,10,22)
Through 11 games, Winnipeg has been dominating defensively. They have the third lowest goals-against average and sit sixth in penalty kill percentage. With Connor Hellebuyck around, he makes an average defensive team look amazing. The Jets should get better, especially when Kyle Connor breaks the goal seal and stops having an unlucky scoring break with a 4.9 shooting percentage.
12. Edmonton Oilers
Average Rank: 12 (9,12,15)
McDavid and Draisaitl once again prove they are the best duo in the National Hockey League. With a great supporting cast, they could capitalize on the gains they made last year and repeat another deep playoff run. Assuming Jack Campbell bounces back from his abysmal start, and with the way Stuart Skinner has been playing, the Oilers may have found their goaltending solution they have been searching for.
11. Colorado Avalanche
Average Rank: 12 (5,14,17)
The Avalanche are for sure suffering from a major Stanley Cup hangover. But after sweeping the Blue Jackets in Finland for the Global Series, they Avs are starting to click again. This team has an extremely competitive roster with a recent championship in tow. There is no reason to believe Colorado won’t bounce back.
10. Florida Panthers
Average Rank: 11.33 (10,11,13)
Matthew Tkachuk has been an absolute rockstar for the Panthers, scoring 17 points in 12 games. His play has made up for the loss of Hubderdeau and Weegar. Yet even with his excellent play, the Panthers need to fix their power play which ranks 30th in the league converting at a 11.4% rate.
9. Seattle Kraken
Average Rank: 10.67 (8,8,16)
Seattle has been very good in the early going. The Kraken has rebounded well from its 1-2-2 start and are 6-2-0 in its last eight games. This includes a four-game winning streak and a perfect 3-0-0 road trip. Seattle opens a six game homestand this week with some very winnable games. This is turning into a young and exciting team very quickly.
8. Detroit Red Wings
Average Rank: 9.67 (5,7,17)
It seems like they got their head coaching hire correct. The Red Wings are off to a great start and will be a team to watch come the trade deadline. It’s nice to see this historic franchise playing good hockey once again.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning
Average Rank: 8 (6,9,9)
It’s business as usual in Tampa Bay. Emphasis is placed on the postseason as the Bolts know they will be making it to the playoffs. Tampa’s 7-4-1 record is casual for the club but have been on fire at 6-1-1 after a 1-3-0 start. The Lightning aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
Average Rank: 7.67 (6,7,10)
After a slow start to the season the Leafs have slowly started to stabilize. They are one of the hottest teams on home ice with a record of 5-1 and have now won three straight. The Leafs have been very unlucky with their goal scoring which should start to shoot up soon with the excellent core talent they have in Toronto.
5. Dallas Stars
Average Rank: 6 (4,6,8)
The Stars have been surprisingly good to start the year. All eight of the Dallas wins have come by two or more goals, while three of its four losses have been by multiple goals. There could be an argument for the Stars to be dropped out of the top five, but I will stick to their strength of victory as the decisive factor here.
4. New Jersey Devils
Average Rank: 3.67 (3,3,5)
New Jersey has been red hot lately, being the winners of six straight. Averaging 39.1 shots for per game, the Devils are an offensive dynamo. The Trio of Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Jesper Bratt are looking to bring the Devils back to the playoffs since 2018.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Average Rank: 3.67 (3,4,4)
With the roster upgrades they got in the offseason, it is no surprise to see how high up Carolina is in the power rankings. They play an exciting brand of hockey and have shown the league they mean business this season. With a record of 8-3-1, it’s easy to see this team contending for a division title and maybe even a President’s Trophy.
2. Vegas Golden Knights
Average Rank: 1.67 (1,2,2)
Vegas surprised many with how successful they have played without Robin Lehner in the lineup. Logan Thompson has stepped up big time in net, alongside backup Adin Hill to keep the Knights competitive. Assuming the goaltending holds up, the Golden KNights are going to be a juggernaut.
1. Boston Bruins
Average Rank: 1.33 (1,1,2)
The Bruins have been playing a smothering brand of hockey to start the season. When Boston is clicking, their opponents have no time to breathe defensively as the B’s come in waves. Boston is averaging 4.25 goals per game and have shown that they can morph to play and win any type of game.