Week Two of the NHL Power Rankings is here! Though it’s still plenty early in the year, with most teams having played just five games, we’re already starting to see some separation between teams who have it and teams who don’t.

Here’s where the teams fall for Week 2 of the NHL Power Rankings as of 1:00 PM Eastern on 10/25/21:

Teams in Trouble – NHL Power Rankings: Teams #32-21

32. Arizona Coyotes (0-4-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 32

Arizona retains the bottom spot this week. They’re the only team in the league with a single-digit goal total, and they’ve got the league’s worst goal differential at -17. The schedule is only going to get tougher as they embark on a six-game road trip beginning on Monday.

31. Chicago Blackhawks (0-5-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 26

Chicago is the only team to have played without a lead at any point this season, and they’ve set an NHL record by going 360:57 without a lead to begin the season. The Hawks faithful has booed the team off the ice in each of the first three home games. Even worse, the players brought in to improve the club haven’t so far. In 100 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey this season, the Blackhawks have been outscored 10-0 with Seth Jones on the ice. Marc-André Fleury has the highest GAA (5.75) of any goaltender with at least three starts.

30. Montreal Canadiens (1-5-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 24

Montreal was able to end the week with an impressive 6-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, breaking out of their funk to begin the season. However, the Canadiens are still floundering. Cole Caufield has one point through six games, Tyler Toffoli has scored just one goal, and the 8.7% power play unit is the second-worst in the league.

29. Seattle Kraken (1-4-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 14

The Kraken need more out of Philipp Grubauer, who hasn’t played anywhere near his Vezina Trophy finalist level from last season. Getting Yanni Gourde back into the lineup will help, but this team is still gelling. Playing a few more games at Climate Pledge Arena after starting the season with a five-game road trip will help.

28. Los Angeles Kings (1-3-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 17

Los Angeles has a good roster that just hasn’t put together results yet. Despite their record, they have just a -3 goal differential this season. The wins will come, especially as Cal Petersen continues to play well in net, but it may be a struggle for the next few weeks while waiting for Drew Doughty, Quinton Byfield, Lias Andersson, and Andreas Athanasiou to return from the injured list.

27. Anaheim Ducks (2-3-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 30

Anaheim has a Top 5 power play this season at 33.3%. While it’s still early, the Ducks set a league record for the lowest season-long power play last year at 8.9%. That may not be enough to save Dallas Eakins’ job in the long run, especially while Trevor Zegras struggles (no goals, one assist through six games), but the Ducks’ strategy of making no significant changes to the roster and hoping for a different result is actually working so far.

26. Ottawa Senators (2-3-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 16

Ottawa lost both games this week, but they traded for Sharks center Dylan Gambrell to add depth to the roster. Matt Murray returned and was injured once again after taking a knee to the head against the Rangers. Murray is expected to travel with the team on the upcoming road trip but he’s not expected to play Monday against the Washington Capitals.

25. Nashville Predators (2-4-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 25

No movement in the NHL Power Rankings for the Preds this week as Nashville won two and lost two. Connor Ingram won his first NHL start in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, making 33 saves in the process.

24. Vegas Golden Knights (1-4-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Even without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alex Tuch, there’s no excuse for how putrid the Golden Knights have been to begin the season. Vegas’ offense has disappeared, scoring 2.00 goals per game while allowing 3.80, tied for sixth-highest.

23. Calgary Flames (2-1-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 27

After back-to-back losses to begin the season, Calgary picked up a shutout win over Detroit and an overtime win against the Washington Capitals, spurred by Elias Lindholm’s hat trick. Dan Vladar also picked up his first win as a member of the Flames in the Washington win.

22. Vancouver Canucks (3-2-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 20

The loss to Buffalo was a major stinger, but responding with wins over Chicago and Seattle was a good way to get the momentum back. Vancouver has both scored and allowed 17 goals, but this team is capable of much better than that. A breakout from Vasily Podkolzin would help as well.

21. Winnipeg Jets (2-2-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 28

Completing the run of three straight Canadian teams, the Jets just missed the Top 20 in this week’s NHL Power Rankings. Winnipeg has scored the seventh-most goals per game this season, which is particularly surprising considering Nikolaj Ehlers has yet to find the goal column. Once he does, I’m expecting a breakout, as Ehlers has been a consistent threat to score throughout his career.

Movers in the Middle – NHL Power Rankings: Teams #20-11

20. Buffalo Sabres (3-1-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 31

Buffalo’s offense has been markedly better this season, though as bad as things were last season, there wasn’t much room to go but up. Even without Jack Eichel, the Sabres are generating more shots per game and from higher-danger scoring areas. I still won’t buy in on Buffalo as any kind of serious contender, but they’ll get credit for their performance to this point with a move inside the Top 20 of the NHL power rankings.

19. Philadelphia Flyers (2-1-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 23

The Flyers followed up back-to-back six goal games against Seattle and Boston with a 4-2 loss against the Florida Panthers, a contest in which Philadelphia had a 2-1 lead. Dealing with a bunch of injuries early on, the Flyers will be a dangerous team if they can get healthy.

18.Toronto Maple Leafs (2-3-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 10

It’s not time to hit the panic button in Toronto…yet. However, the slow start is incredibly concerning, especially losing 7-1 to an injury-decimated Penguins team, especially after a 5-3 loss to the Sharks in the previous game. But is it really so bad it’s worth throwing jerseys onto the ice? One Leafs fan sure seemed to think so:

17. Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 15

Columbus’ defense was nonexistent Saturday night during a 5-1 loss to the Hurricanes. It was the second blowout loss of the week, following a 4-1 loss last Tuesday against Detroit. That said, Cole Sillinger’s first NHL goal was a thing of beauty:

16. San Jose Sharks (4-1-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 29

Was I sleeping on the Sharks in last week’s NHL Power Rankings? Perhaps a bit. I’m still not sold on this team for the long run, but it’s hard to deny the impressive start to the season. Logan Couture and Timo Meier each have three goals and five assists, and rookies William Eklund and Jonathan Dahlén have three points each.

15. Colorado Avalanche (2-3-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Colorado is still a dangerous team, but the goaltending to begin the year has been concerning. Darcy Kuemper’s .894 save percentage and 3.51 GAA are troubling, and Jonas Johansson wasn’t much better in relief. Getting Devon Toews back will help defensively which could also boost Kuemper’s numbers, but the Avalanche look vulnerable.

14. Dallas Stars (3-2-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 18

Braden Holtby looks completely rejuvenated with his new team. The former Capitals and Canucks goaltender is 2-1-0 to start the season with a .950 save percentage and a stingy 1.78 GAA. Jason Robertson is finally practicing again, and he should kickstart the offense. Dallas is averaging just two goals per game this season, only ahead of Montreal and Arizona.

13. Tampa Bay Lightning (2-2-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Tampa Bay is still sluggish, and with Kucherov out long-term once again, their offense has taken a hit. However, the Lightning are still one of the deeper rosters in the league, and Steven Stamkos (four goals, five assists) is in the Top 5 in points. A juicy matchup against Buffalo on Monday could right the ship.

12. New York Islanders (3-2-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 21

Back-to-back shutouts from Ilya Sorokin have stabilized things for the Islanders, who are just under halfway through their 15-game road trip to begin the season. Semyon Varlamov is nearing a return as well and could be back as early as this week.

11. Detroit Red Wings (3-2-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 22

Tyler Bertuzzi is on a tear with six goals and three assists already, and Lucas Raymond’s hat trick against Chicago has given him the lead among all rookie goal scorers with four. For a team missing its best goal scorer in Jakub Vrána through February, Detroit’s offense has impressed so far.

Cream of the Crop – NHL Power Rankings: Teams #10-1

10. New Jersey Devils (3-1-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Though it’s a small sample size, the Devils are allowing 2.50 goals per game this season, down from 3.38 last season. While Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves have helped in that regard, Jonathan Bernier and Nico Daws have been excellent while Mackenzie Blackwood is in COVID-19 protocol. Blackwood has been holding out on getting vaccinated, but the team confirmed he received his first dose on Monday and will now be eligible to cross the border and play international games, something unvaccinated players aren’t allowed to do.

9. New York Rangers (4-1-1), Last Week’s Ranking: 19

The Rangers have rattled off four straight wins, bumping them up into the Top 10 in this week’s NHL Power Rankings. Chris Kreider’s four goals lead the team, Sammy Blais and Alexis Lafrenière each have three points, and Igor Shesterkin leads the league in save percentage (.953) among goaltenders with at least three starts.

8. Minnesota Wild (4-1-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Minnesota’s disappointing loss to Nashville on Sunday eliminated the hopes of being the last undefeated team to begin the season. However, the fourth line of Brandon Duhaime, Nico Sturm, and Nick Bjugstad dazzled as they accounted for both Wild goals in a 5-2 defeat. Duhaime also scored one of the craziest first career goals you’ll ever see:

7. Boston (3-1-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Linus Ullmark has won each of his first two starts with his new team after spending his career in Buffalo until this year. A dark horse candidate for the Vezina Trophy, keep an eye on Ullmark. Brad Marchand (four goals, three assists) is 12th in the league in points per game.

6. Washington Capitals (3-0-2), Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Alex Ovechkin is scoring at a goal a game pace. While that’s probably not sustainable, the Great 8 is showing no signs of slowing down as he continues to pursue Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 goals (Ovechkin is at 735).

5. St. Louis Blues (4-0-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 13

The Blues lead the league in goals per game (5.50), though allowing four goals against the Coyotes was a concern. Jordan Kyrou is once again off to a great start with two goals and six assists to begin the campaign.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (3-0-2), Last Week’s Ranking: 5

The Penguins beat the Maple Leafs 7-1 while playing without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jeff Carter, Bryan Rust, and Kris Letang. We need to be having a serious conversation about Mike Sullivan for the Jack Adams, especially if Pittsburgh can go on to win the division or finish in the Top 5 in points.

3. Carolina Hurricanes (4-0-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Carolina hasn’t necessarily done anything wrong to slide down two spots in the rankings, I’ve just been more impressed by what the two teams ahead of them have done. Carolina is still off to an impressive start, and Frederik Andersen is third in the NHL in save percentage (.944) and is fourth in GAA (1.75) among goaltenders with at least three starts.

2. Edmonton Oilers (5-0-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Edmonton gets the edge over Carolina because of the dominance of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The pair has finished first and second in the league in points in each of the past two seasons (Draisaitl took first in 2020, McDavid first last season), and they’re on pace to repeat that performance this year. McDavid has 13 points (six goals, seven assists), while Draisaitl has four goals and seven assists to complement.

1. Florida Panthers (5-0-0), Last Week’s Ranking: 2

There’s a new #1 in this week’s NHL Power Rankings! Sergei Bobrovsky looks much improved from last season, and Spencer Knight already seemed confident and comfortable between the pipes. Anton Lundell ranks second among rookies in points (two goals, three assists in five games), and six skaters are at a point-per-game or better pace. My pick to win the Stanley Cup this season, Florida looks quite impressive so far.

 

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Dan Bradley is a hockey broadcaster and sportswriter originally from New Brighton, MN and currently living in Cincinnati. Dan graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL, with a B.S. in Sports Communication in 2014. He previously worked in television in Duluth, MN, as well as in youth and adult sports administration in St. Paul. When not watching or writing about sports, Dan enjoys making music, fishing, and watching Jeopardy, where he hopes to someday be a contestant.

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