A look at Week 4 of the NHL season after the blockbuster trade we’ve all been waiting for finally happened.
Four weeks of the 2021-22 NHL season are now in the books, but the big stories keep on coming.
After months of drama, superstar center Jack Eichel was finally traded. The Buffalo Sabres sent their former captain as well as a third-round draft pick to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Alex Tuch, prospect Peyton Krebs, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick.
When Eichel is healthy enough to play, he’s going to a huge help to a Vegas team that’s struggling out of the gates.
Here’s an updated look at our power rankings for the week:
32. Arizona Coyotes
Week 4: 1-2-0, 6 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: PHI, ANA, SEA)
Previous Ranking: 32
Alert the press. The Coyotes have finally won their first game of the season.
31. Montreal Canadiens
Week 4: 1-2-0, 7 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: DET, NYI, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 30
It’s becoming more and more difficult to believe that this Canadiens team just played in the Stanley Cup Final.
30. Chicago Blackhawks
Week 4: 2-2-0, 11 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: OTT, CAR, WPG, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 31
Two whole wins for the Blackhawks. They must be turning things around. In all seriousness, how much will the firing of head coach Jeremy Colliton affect this team?
29. Ottawa Senators
Week 4: 0-3-1, 9 GF, 20 GA (Opponents: CHI, MIN, VGK, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 29
The Senators gave up a whopping five goals in each game they played this week. At least they had something to celebrate: Brady Tkachuk was named captain at the ripe age of 22.
28. Seattle Kraken
Week 4: 1-2-0, 11 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: EDM, BUF, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 25
Giving the Coyotes their first win of the season definitely ends with a drop in the rankings.
27. Colorado Avalanche
Week 4: 0-1-1, 6 GF, 9 GA (Opponent: CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 21
Mikko Rantanen’s return should and must be huge for an Avalanche team that’s struggling mightily.
26. Dallas Stars
Week 4: 1-1-1, 10 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: WPG, CGY, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 27
Few teams are having as much trouble scoring as the Stars, which is concerning given the players this organization employs.
25. Boston Bruins
Week 4: 1-1-0, 7 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: DET, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 22
Speaking of teams that are struggling to score, the Bruins are towards the top of that list. The fact that they have one of the best lines in the game makes it even more surprising (and worrying).
24. Pittsburgh Penguins
Week 4: 1-0-1, 7 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: PHI, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 24
The Penguins deserve praise for the way they handled their injury-riddled and COVID-19-affected start to the season, but that might not be enough to get them a spot in the playoffs.
23. Vancouver Canucks
Week 4: 2-1-0, 11 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: NYR, NSH, DAL)
Previous Ranking: 28
Some of Vancouver’s players are still trying to figure it out, but this week was a big improvement for the team as a whole: the power play looked much better and the offense was on fire.
22. Los Angeles Kings
Week 4: 2-0-0, 6 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: STL, NJD)
Previous Ranking: 26
We praise captain Anže Kopitar for the season he’s having, but let’s not ignore Alex Iafallo, who deserves a ton of credit for what he’s doing to help his team.
21. Buffalo Sabres
Week 4: 0-2-1, 8 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: SJS, SEA, DET)
Previous Ranking: 8
This is the worst week the Sabres have had since taking the league by storm a month ago. Upstate New York-native Alex Tuch, might be able to help get this team back on track.
20. New Jersey Devils
Week 4: 1-1-1, 5 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: ANA, LAK, SJS)
Previous Ranking: 17
P.K. Subban looks awful out there and fellow defenseman Ty Smith isn’t much better, but the Devils are still holding their own, even without important forwards Jack Hughes and Miles Wood.
19. Vegas Golden Knights
Week 4: 2-2-0, 12 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: TOR, OTT, MTL, DET)
Previous Ranking: 19
Like we said, Jack Eichel is going to be a crucial addition to this very hurt and struggling Knights team.
18. San Jose Sharks
Week 4: 1-1-1, 10 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: BUF, STL, NJD)
Previous Ranking: 12
The Sharks are still shorthanded because of COVID-19, but they’re racking up points, something that will prove to be important down the line.
17. Nashville Predators
Week 4: 2-1-1, 9 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: CGY, EDM, VAN, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 20
Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen are tired of being the laughing stock of their team. Both have been contributing to an offense that’s been uncharacteristically impressive.
16. New York Islanders
Week 4: 2-1-0, 10 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: MTL, WPG, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 23
The Islanders suffered a bad loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, putting an end to their point-streak, but have otherwise been trending in the right direction and have gone back to being one of the best defensive teams in the NHL.
15. Washington Capitals
Week 4: 0-2-1, 7 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: TBL, FLA, PHI)
Previous Ranking: 4
The good news: Alex Ovechkin is still elite and the team is in relatively good shape, standings-wise. The bad news: the goalies are really struggling and the the list of players on the team’s IR is long.
14. Detroit Red Wings
Week 4: 2-2-0, 10 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: MTL, BOS, BUF, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 11
The Red Wings’ rebuild is going swimmingly. Moritz Seider was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October.
13. Winnipeg Jets
Week 4: 2-1-0, 9 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: DAL, CHI, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 9
The Jets might be the strangest team in the league right now.
They’re winning games and are getting help from many players, but guys like Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are still struggling and the team is one of the worst in the league at even-strength. Superstar goalie Connor Hellebuyck has been losing starts to the red-hot Eric Comrie, too.
How sustainable is Winnipeg’s play?
12. Philadelphia Flyers
Week 4: 2-0-1, 7 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: ARI, PIT, WSH)
Previous Ranking: 14
The Flyers have had an excellent start to the season, mainly because they look like a completely different team.
Much-improved defense and goaltending is allowing them to win consistently and reestablish themselves as one of the best teams in their division.
11. Tampa Bay Lightning
Week 4: 2-0-1, 9 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: WSH, TOR, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 16
The Lightning’s slow start the season can be attributed to Nikita Kucherov’s absence as well as the loss of their entire third line.
They needed time to find their identity and they’re headed in the right direction, looking more and more like themselves with each passing week.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets
Week 4: 2-0-0, 9 GF, 6 GA (Opponent: COL)
Previous Ranking: 10
Patrick Laine’s injury that will keep him out of the lineup for about a month couldn’t have come at a worse time. How will the surprisingly good Blue Jackets fare without him?
9. New York Rangers
Week 4: 0-1-2, 7 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: VAN, EDM, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 5
The Rangers’ bad offense was inevitably going to be exposed against great teams. At least New York managed to get some points in these tough losses. The Rangers are going to need their top guys to wake up, fast.
8. St. Louis Blues
Week 4: 1-1-1, 8 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: LAK, SJS, ANA)
Previous Ranking: 6
The Blues made the right choice by hanging on to Vladimir Tarasenko even after he requested a trade. He’s been one of the team’s best players along with goaltender Jordan Binnington, who appears to has left his struggles in the past.
7. Anaheim Ducks
Week 4: 3-0-0, 11 GF, 2 GA (Opponents: NJD, ARI, STL)
Previous Ranking: 18
The Ducks’ four-game winning streak now has them as one of the best teams in their division and in our top-10. This might not be sustainable and their schedule hasn’t been the toughest, but this rebuilding Ducks team looks mighty, at least so far.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
Week 4: 3-0-0, 11 GF, 3 GA (Opponents: VGK, TBL, BOS)
Previous Ranking: 15
Welcome back to the top, Toronto. The fans owe gratitude to Mitch Marner who, after an incredibly slow start, has caught fire and is a significant reason why his team is soaring.
5. Minnesota Wild
Week 4: 3-0-0, 15 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: OTT, PIT, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 13
The Wild, who are welcoming some players back to the lineup, scored an impressive five goals in each of the three games they played this week. It’s one of the best offenses in the league for a reason.
4. Calgary Flames
Week 4: 1-0-2, 11 GF, 7 GA (Opponents: NSH, DAL, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 3
The Flames cooled down a bit this week, but were so good up to this point that they’re still one of the best teams in the league. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Jacob Markstrom have gone above and beyond for their team, so far.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Week 4: 1-1-0, 6 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: CHI, FLA)
Previous Ranking: 2
The Hurricanes lost their first game of the season this week. It took them about a month to do that. That’s how great this team is.
2. Edmonton Oilers
Week 4: 3-0-0, 16 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: SEA, NSH, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 7
Connor McDavid is not human. The same can probably be said for Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers’ goaltending is seriously the only thing preventing the team with the best offense and power play in the game from being the absolute best.
1. Florida Panthers
Week 4: 2-0-0, 10 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: WSH, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 1
The Panthers are still undefeated and still the best team in the league. It really does seem like no matter who this team plays, they’re going to win. We wait to see which team will be the one to hand these guys their first loss of the season.