EDIT: After giving it thought, while the initial idea was to put a bow on the previous month with these, probably makes more sense to title them according to where we are now. Hence the date change in case ANYONE cares which I’m sure you don’t.
Uhhhhhhh, power rankings. I’m not sure that there is anything more ridiculous than power rankings. In theory, they should be great. But in reality, nobody seems to do them right. You’ll see major websites have power rankings done weekly, and essentially they just look at what a team did during the week. WHAT?!? So if you beat up on Arizona, Detroit and Ottawa one week you’re a good team?!? Shut up. So I decided to come up with my own. Full disclosure, a lot of this is just “feel”. Analytics fans won’t like reading that and probably have already stopped reading. I definitely take them into consideration, as I will circumstances, strength of schedule, expectations, etc. I’m not going to just randomly throw some team getting lucky up at the top, and I’m not going to overly punish a good team who I really like just because they aren’t going good. The big question I’m asking myself is after each month “who are the teams I like best to win the Cup?” So with this being said, here we go.
31. Detroit – It’s bad, and I’m not sure if it’s going to get better anytime soon. The ideal season will be winning the top pick to get Jack Hughes, and Steve Yzerman stepping in as the new GM in the spring.
30. NY Rangers – Similar to the Wings, though neither Jeff Gorton or David Quinn are going to go anywhere.
29. Los Angeles – It’s really bad. I knew it was bad heading into this season, but it’s worse than I thought. And now Quick is likely done for the year. Drew Doughty, enjoy that new contract brotha…
28. Anaheim – Their record looks WAY better than the way they’ve played. I can’t believe how awful they’ve been to this point. Lots of time to turn it around, and I believe they have the talent to do so, but so far I badly regret being higher on them then most.
27. Arizona – Some impressive wins on paper of late over Vancouver, Tampa, and Ottawa. The former two were on the 2nd half of back to backs and none of the wins were while facing a starting goaltender. I’m still not much of a believer but at least they’re going good lately.
26. Ottawa – Pretty much how I felt they’d start, isn’t helping that Brady Tkachuk is out. If they can stick around .500 until he gets back, I believe they can stay in the race.
25. Vegas – Watching them in a few games thus far, they don’t look anywhere near what they did and teams appear ready to play in Vegas this season. And to top it off, they probably still have a ton of confidence thanks to last years run, what will they look like if that goes?! Worst PDO in the league, but can’t help but wonder if that’s just balancing out what they did last season?
24. Philadelphia – Don’t fire Dave Hakstol when your goaltending is this horrific. I really don’t know what Ron Hextall is going to do about this. Is there anyone he can trade for now that Jonathan Quick is likely done for the year? And that was probably a long shot to begin with. It’s not pretty.
23. Chicago – Hawks are much better than I thought they’d be to this point, but it’s fools gold. Their wins? Ottawa on the road in OT, St. Louis on the road in OT, St. Louis again at home in OT, Columbus on the road (the one quality win), and Anaheim at home. 5 of the 6 vs teams I personally have 21 or lower. 3 in OT. It’s fools gold, they aren’t that good. Now that I’ve said this, they’ll kick the shit out of the Oilers tonight, go put money on it.
22. NY Islanders – No Tavares, no problem?! Something to know though, their PDO is nearly 106, best in the league. So it’s highly unlikely they keep it up.
21. Buffalo – So far so good! Bad loss to Calgary Tuesday, can’t let that happen when they’re off a back to back and you’re up 1-0 late, but like the Oilers if you had told me the Sabres would be 6-4-2 right now I would have said that’s a great start for them! Remember with teams like the Sabres and Oilers, their winning record at this point is much more of a massive deal than others because of the confidence both lack.
20. St. Louis – Another team with absolutely horrific goaltending. If they get it fixed, they’ll be fine. Here’s the thing to remember with their bad goaltending though: Jake Allen can get just as hot as he can be awful. The guy is seemingly unstable between the ears, but when he’s hot he is terrific.
19. Vancouver – I’ll still need more time on buying that their goaltending and blueline are legit. But I am LOVING Bo Horvat, and LOVING Elias Pettersson obviously, and Brock Boeser hasn’t got it going yet. I do believe this is a bit different from their start a year ago, but again…the blueline and Markstrom still scare me.
18. Carolina – ABOUT where I figured they’d be. Looked great, tailed off a bit lately, still more of a wait and see.
17. Columbus – Uh oh. Now, will Bobrovsky remain this weak between the pipes? I doubt it, but then again the contract might be an issue. My issue? They really haven’t had anything of a tough schedule so far and are only 6-5-0. I’ve never been very high on them, but this isn’t a promising start at all.
16. Dallas – 6-5-0, not the start I really expected from them, but I still like them. Thing is, it’s a one line team, with a very talented/high potential blueline, but is that potential going to be reached this season? Probably not. And then Ben Bishop is pretty inconsistent in goal. Feel as though they’ll be around this 14-19 area all season.
15. Montreal – Hey, they have been great to this point, and have had some great performances! I counted four great performances and only one dog. That’s impressive! I still don’t trust the mix they have to maintain this. I hope I’m wrong, and I still have them in a playoff spot if we’re going by who the top 16 is, but
14. Minnesota – I know they came into Edmonton the other night and got a comeback win, and I know their record looks good, they only won that game in Edmonton because the Oilers were disgusting on special teams. They were dominated 5 on 5 for 50 minutes of the game. You won’t win much playing that way. I’m a massive believer in Bruce Boudreau, but I just still see them falling right off at some point.
13. Calgary – From here to 9 I feel like you could mix the teams up in any order and it be fair. Had I done this on Monday morning the Flames would be much lower, but the back to back wins and 5 of 6 points in their last 3 has me feeling much better about them. I know on paper that the goaltending SHOULD be fine, the blueline has quite a bit of talent, and the depth is much improved, but what worries me is this team doesn’t have one thing (at the moment) that is elite. So are they good at everything, great at nothing? Or are they average at everything, good at nothing?
12. Florida – They’ve hardly played and had no Roberto Luongo, so I have trouble dropping them far because this roster is still great. Obviously some people will look at me sideways for having them above the Habs for example, but I’ll need to see a lot more. This roster is great, I’m not going to penalize them just because Luongo has been out.
11. New Jersey – Below Edmonton. Didn’t think I’d be having it that way three weeks ago. They’ve comeback to earth, mainly Keith Kinkaid has. What will Cory Schneider be like when he returns? If he’s the Schneider of old, they should be fine. If not, this could fall apart on them.
10. Colorado – PDO is 103.29. So they’ll come back a bit, and they still don’t have much depth or much of a blueline, but holy shit Nathan MacKinnon gets underrated up here. How underrated? In my opinion, if Auston Matthews is being compared to McDavid, MacKinnon better damn well be compared to him too because in this idiot bloggers opinion he’s a hair better than Matthews.
9. Edmonton – By their record alone, they should be lower. But then you consider the schedule they’ve played, which was the toughest schedule of the month. All but one of the 11 games were against teams who had a .600 record or better going in (although the Hawks are now below that). All but two of them didn’t make the playoffs last season. Yet they’re 6-4-1, 7-3-1 if they aren’t so awful on special teams Tuesday night. The effort is what is most impressive. They’re bringing it every night. They aren’t living off puck luck, not getting ridiculous goaltending, special teams have been just ok, and they’re 6-4-1 having faced that beast of a schedule. Still a LOT of things that can get much better.
8. Washington – They’ve been hot and cold, but I really believe that they couldn’t care less about the regular season and that this is all about just getting in and going on another deep run. Playing with house money when they do.
7. Winnipeg – So they’re playing like SHIT. The wins they’ve had have been them getting by on their depth and talent, and they’ve had a lot of games where they’ve blown leads or no showed in general. They’re just like the Oilers were last season. However, they’re much better than the Oilers were and they’ll be able to get by because of their insane talent, and likely will be better for this come the spring.
6. San Jose – They are likely going to obliterate the Pacific division. Their PDO is 96.75 (29th) and they’re still 6-3-3. They’re real good, but much more so than that is who is going to challenge them? I got the Oilers 9th, and to me the Oilers are an ocean away from the Caps at 8. Because the rest of the division looks so weak, winning the President’s trophy wouldn’t shock me in the least.
5. Toronto – No Matthews for a month definitely is going to sting, but even without him, even without Nylander, this team is still elite. They likely won’t be dominant for the next 4-6 weeks, but they’ll maintain a spot high in the standings.
4. Boston – I feel as though they’ll get figured out by the league eventually, but so far it doesn’t seem as though they have. One of the smallest teams in the league and they run just about everyone’s show, talk about living off past reputations. Goaltending is interesting here though because it’s all Halak right now, Rask is struggling. So can Rask get back to form? If not, can Halak keep it up?
3. Nashville – They’re so good, but I hate that I’m seeing a lot of the same garbage I saw late last season where they don’t bother to show up until they feel like it. They would benefit from a few key injuries and/or some shitty puck luck for a while. Not a shocker, their PDO is 2nd in the league at 104.57. They’re tremendous, just need a wake up call.
2. Tampa Bay – By points percentage they’re the top team in the league. I love them, just not as much as who I have at number one.
1. Pittsburgh – Without Matt Murray for a few games, without Justin Schultz, they’ve started to really dominate. Forget the massacre of Western Canada, how about the 3-0 in Toronto? The game against the Islanders, whatever. Home off a roadie, bad night for Matt Murray, whatever. They’re awesome and they’re going to add at some point this season. Jim Rutherford knows this window is going to slam shut after this season or the next so he is going to push every chip he can to the middle.
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