Hurricanes back on top; Markstrom drives Flames’ climb


In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Carolina Hurricanes are back in the top spot thanks to a perfect 8-0-0 start through the month of October.

Elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues continue to benefit from a trade they did not make, while the Calgary Flames make a big climb thanks to Jacob Markstrom turning into a brick wall.

We look at all of those teams and more.

Where does your team sit?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Carolina Hurricanes (Last week: 2). If Frederik Andersen is good, this team is going to be one of the league’s best. This start is no fluke.

2. Florida Panthers (LW: 1). Why did Joel Quenneville coach on Wednesday? A black eye on an otherwise great start to the season.

3. St. Louis Blues (LW: 5). Bet they are glad they did not trade Vladimir Tarasenko. Bet a lot of teams are wishing they had traded for Vladimir Tarasenko when they had the chance to buy low with him.

4. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 4). Since the start of the 2020-21 season Connor McDavid has 121 points in 63 regular season games. That is 1.92 points per game. That is a 158 point pace per 82 games. Ridiculous production.

5. Calgary Flames (LW: 17). Jacob Markstrom is almost entirely responsible for this current ranking and this six-game winning streak they are entering the week with.

6. New York Rangers (LW: 6). Igor Shesterkin is almost entirely responsible for this current ranking. The Rangers have some flaws and question marks, but they also have a lot of All-Stars and top-line talent. Shesterkin is the most game-changing of them all right now given the position he plays and its importance.

7. Washington Capitals (LW: 9). Alex Ovechkin enters the week with nine goals in his first eight games. He is 36 years old and not slowing down.

8. New York Islanders (LW: 10). After dropping back-to-back games to open the season the Islanders are on a five-game point streak, earning eight out of a possible 10 points in the process.

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 13). Slow start, but they are starting to get it together with or without Nikita Kucherov.

[Related: Lightning’s Kucherov to miss 8-10 weeks]

10. Boston Bruins (LW: 7). Linus Ullmark has been really good so far, which is a promising development.

11. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 16). They are getting the goaltending they need and Cam Atkinson has been a sensational pickup for them.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 3). They have lost three games in a row after a strong start, but they are finally starting to get some players back. That will help.

13. Colorado Avalanche (14). They are starting to stack points after a slow start. Still the most talented roster in the league.

14. New Jersey Devils (LW: 15). Jack Hughes being sidelined is a problem, but Dougie Hamilton has been a game-changer for their defense.

15. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 23). They are starting to trend in the right direction. Good sign for when they start getting their top players back in the lineup.

16. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 20). Kyle Connor is a star and Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ bounce back season continues. Both great signs for this team.

17. Minnesota Wild (LW: 8). Kirill Kaprizov has yet to score a goal this season, but he has 26 shots on goal. Eventually they will start going in the net.

18. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 18). They have not yet found any consistency but they are staying competitive thanks to some strong goaltending and Patrik Laine.

19. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 22). Even with back-to-back wins this team still seems like it is far away from where it needs to be and wants to be.

20. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 24). Still the most stunning start in the league, but it still seems like a mirage. Sorry, Buffalo. We have seen this from the Sabres before early in the season. I am not a believer here.

21. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 21). This team plays hard and has some actual building blocks. Better days are ahead, Red Wings fans.

22. San Jose Sharks (LW: 11). Strong start, but things are starting to rapidly cool off here. Roster still has a lot of flaws.

23. Nashville Predators (LW: 28). Nice little winning streak this week, but this is still going to be a goalie dependent team. And even with great goaltending they are still only .500 right now.

24. Seattle Kraken (LW: 26). They have been carrying the play a bit recently and showing some potential to be a competitive team this season. They are not going to be an easy win for anybody.

25. Dallas Stars (LW: 12). Very disappointing start for the Stars, who have yet to win a game in regulation this season. They need Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov to heat up soon.

26. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 19). Point of concern: They have .923 goaltending from Thatcher Demko and Jaroslav Halak and still only won three of their first nine games. That level of goaltending should produce more wins.

27. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 27). Some big injuries on defense are really going to put their depth there to the test.

[Related: Kings’ Doughty, Walker sidelined]

28. Ottawa Senators (LW: 25). Matt Murrary has the big contract, but Filip Gustavsson might be the answer in goal here.

29. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 29). At this point the only thing that matters here is Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Mason McTavish showing continued development.

30. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 30). The key for the Canadiens this season was going to be Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki taking big steps forward. They have zero goals — combined — in the first 10 games. And now Caufield has been sent down to the AHL.

31. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31). Just a badly overmatched roster pretty much every night. We knew this was going to be an ugly season. But this ugly?

32. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 32). How bad is this situation? Marc-Andre Fleury said this week it is difficult to keep smiling. Read that again. Marc-Andre Fleury is having trouble smiling.

More NHL News

NHL Rink Wrap: Shesterkin steals another for Rangers; Hurricanes win again Frederik Andersen’s early bounce back makes Hurricanes scary team NHL Commissioner meets with Kyle Beach, offers league’s help

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes back on top; Markstrom drives Flames’ climb originally appeared on NBCSports.com





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