Week three of the NHL season is in the books, and things are getting interesting.
Each team in the NHL has finally started its season, and things just seem to get more intriguing by the day. Good teams that got off to slow starts are beginning to heat up while others are seeing their expectations tempered.
Can the Oilers get something going? What’s happening with the New York Islanders? Will the Wild or Jets collapse?
Let’s see where each team stands three weeks into the 2021 season.
31. Ottawa Senators
Previous Ranking: 28
Are the Senators doing some things well? Sure. Does Tim Stützle look good? Absolutely. None of this takes away from the fact that the Senators have lost seven in a row and have been outscored 17-36. Oh, and Matt Murray couldn’t stop a puck to save his life.
30. Detroit Red Wings
Previous Ranking: 20
It looks like the Red Wings have taken a hit in the rankings, but this is where they belong. The Red Wings are on a four-game losing streak, have been outscored 16-29, and can’t seem to beat even some of the worst teams in the league like the Blackhawks.
29. New York Rangers
Previous Ranking: 19
The New York Rangers are strange in that their play has been much better than their record indicates, but poor finishing and shoddy goaltending have gotten them just two wins to begin the season. Henrik Lundqvist would be disappointed.
28. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous Ranking: 30
Even though Chicago has been scoring, their goaltending has been abysmal and is the reason they’ve been one of the worst teams in the NHL.
27. San Jose Sharks
Previous Ranking: 21
After a decent start to the season, the Sharks have reverted to their old ways and are sitting pretty (not) at the bottom of their division.
26. Edmonton Oilers
Previous Ranking: 22
Connor McDavid can’t catch a break. As usual, Edmonton is struggling mightily defensively and in net.
25. New York Islanders
Previous Ranking: 12
Yes, you’re reading this correctly.
The Islanders have dropped three in a row since last week’s power rankings came out and definitely don’t look like the team that went to the Eastern Conference Final just a few months ago. There must be something in the water in New York.
24. Calgary Flames
Previous Ranking: 7
Calgary’s time at the top didn’t last long. They, too, haven’t won a game since Jan. 22 and have scored just seven goals in that span while conceding 11.
23. New Jersey Devils
Previous Ranking: 18
An unfortunate two-game set against the Flyers ruined the New Jersey Devils’ hot start to the season. Even so, they’ve exceeded expectations and are getting healthy. This can potentially be a dangerous team.
22. Arizona Coyotes
Previous Ranking: 25
Phil Kessel and Derick Brassard have looked good for the Coyotes and their schedule has been tough, but their record of 3-4-1 really isn’t impressive.
21. Los Angeles Kings
Previous Ranking: 24
It looks like the Kings have been able to turn things around, at least for now. Andreas Athanasiou has been crucial in helping Los Angeles stack up points.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous Ranking: 17
Putting the Penguins so low with their elite offensive talent is tough, but their defense as well as Tristan Jarry’s terrible goaltending are costing them important games.
19. Anaheim Ducks
Previous Ranking: 29
The Ducks have had a nice stretch of play over the last week, losing just one game in regulation and winning two. They don’t score much, but they’re also one of the best teams in the league in terms of conceding goals.
18. Buffalo Sabres
Previous Ranking: 26
The Sabres haven’t lost a game in regulation time in a week, and this is primarily thanks to the dangerous duo of Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall.
17. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous Ranking: 27
Columbus’ much better play over the past week is proof that Pierre-Luc Dubois was a distraction. Now that Patrick Laine is here, the Blue Jackets should continue to improve day by day.
16. Vancouver Canucks
Previous Ranking: 23
The Canucks are another team that’s been able to turn things around lately. Since Jan. 22 they’ve gone 3-1, are on a three-game winning streak, and have a much-improved goal differential of zero.
15. Nashville Predators
Previous Ranking: 11
The Predators continue to do well at the blueline, but aren’t getting the offensive production they need. Guys like Matt Duchene have been disappointing to start the season and will need to step up if Nashville hopes to make it to the playoffs.
14. St. Louis Blues
Previous Ranking: 16
The Blues are scoring and do have a good record, but they concede more goals than most top teams. Jordan Binnington and the goaltending situation as a whole continues to be a serious issue.
13. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous Ranking: 10
The only reason the Hurricanes are so low is their small sample size: they’ve played just one game in the past week.
12. Florida Panthers
Previous Ranking: 13
The Panthers are also this low because they’ve only played four games. Or maybe they’re too high, especially considering the fact that their schedule hasn’t been tough.
11. Minnesota Wild
Previous Ranking: 5
The Wild are doing a lot of things right and Kirill Kaprizov looks like an absolute stud in the making. The Calder Trophy isn’t a reach for this impressive youngster.
10. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous Ranking: 4
The Flyers have won two in a row, but they also lost two in a row a few days ago and conceded 17 goals in four games. Rough start, eh, Carter?
9. Winnipeg Jets
Previous Ranking: 6
The Jets have continued their great start to the season and have now added Mr. Dubois to their productive group of players.
8. Colorado Avalanche
Previous Ranking: 8
It’s safe to say that we all expected more from the Avalanche to start the season, especially in terms of goal-scoring, but they’re still getting the job done.
If Nathan MacKinnon continues to terrorize his opponents, it’ll only be a matter of time before his teammates follow suit.
7. Boston Bruins
Previous Ranking: 15
The Bruins we all know and love (not really) are back to doing what they do best. After a rough beginning to the season, Boston has turned things around. Since Jan. 22, they’ve scored 13 goals, conceded four goals, and are on a four-game winning streak.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous Ranking: 2
The Lightning are only this low because they’re on a two-game losing streak and have scored just three goals since Jan. 22. This down period surely won’t last, especially once Nikita Kucherov makes his return.
5. Dallas Stars
Previous Ranking: N/R
The Stars have finally begun their season and they needed no time to get adjusted. They’ve won all four of their games and are outscoring opponents 19-6. The reigning Western Conference champions are proving why they hold that title.
A small sample size prevents them from being one on the list.
4. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous Ranking: 1
Losing two and being outscored 10-7 in the past week leads to Vegas falling a bit in the power rankings. Even so, this is arguably the most dangerous team in the league that will likely make a formidable playoff run.
3. Washington Capitals
Previous Ranking: 14
Last week’s power rankings mentioned that the Capitals would be in store for a tough stretch after getting themselves into COVID-19 trouble. Boy, was that wrong. The Capitals are missing some of their best players, but are yet to lose a game in regulation.
They’re doing captain Ovi proud.
2. Montreal Canadiens
Previous Ranking: 3
It’s beginning to look increasingly likely that Montreal’s hot start to the season wasn’t a fluke. The Canadiens are one of four teams that don’t have a regulation loss, so far. Tyler Toffoli is a scoring machine who can’t be stopped.
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous Ranking: 9
An already-great Maple Leafs team is just getting better and better. Toronto is on a four-game winning streak and boasts an elite power play as well as some truly clutch players. Could this finally be their year?