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NHL Power Rankings: The Wild & Pens Reign, Leafs & Jets In The Top 10?

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Two teams we're not accustomed to seeing at the top of the standings have made their way into the top 10

Shawn Coates-USA TODAY Sports

First off - there have been some bizarre proclamations made about teams already, both from statheads and traditionalists alike.  Fellas, relax, we're just 10 games into the season.

About these rankings:

Two seasons ago, I set out to eliminate the non-sense behind power rankings by building a power rankings model based on underlying statistics and their predictive ability. The rankings were built on points earned, special teams, even strength play and goaltending, so they were constantly in flux.

I'm still playing around with the model, but here is my best effort at predicting the standings and playoff pairings at the end of the season. One item of note - 38% of the game is luck, and I don't attempt to predict or model that 38%, and I don't plan to.

Rank Team Share Last Week Delta
1 Minnesota Wild 1.8 1 0
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 2.8 5 3
3 Vancouver Canucks 4.5 8 5
4 St. Louis Blues 5.4 3 -1
5 Chicago Blackhawks 5.5 4 -1
6 Washington Capitals 5.8 2 -4
7 Anaheim Ducks 7.1 6 -1
8 Nashville Predators 7.9 12 4
9 Winnipeg Jets 8.2 14 5
10 Toronto Maple Leafs 8.7 17 7
11 New York Islanders 9.1 7 -4
12 Tampa Bay Lightning 9.1 18 6
13 Boston Bruins 9.5 9 -4
14 New York Rangers 9.6 11 -3
15 Montreal Canadiens 10.9 10 -5
16 New Jersey Devils 10.9 13 -3
17 San Jose Sharks 10.9 23 6
18 Florida Panthers 11.2 19 1
19 Dallas Stars 11.2 15 -4
20 Detroit Red Wings 12.1 20 0
21 Arizona Coyotes 12.1 16 -5
22 Los Angeles Kings 12.1 26 4
23 Calgary Flames 12.2 24 1
24 Ottawa Senators 12.5 22 -2
25 Philadelphia Flyers 15.1 21 -4
26 Edmonton Oilers 15.2 27 1
27 Columbus Blue Jackets 15.4 25 -2
28 Buffalo Sabres 16.9 28 0
29 Carolina Hurricanes 17.3 29 0
30 Colorado Avalanche 17.8 30 0
  • The big gainers this week:  The Pens, Canucks, Preds, Jets, Leafs, Lightning and Sharks.
  • The big losers this week:  The Caps, Islanders, Bruins, Canadiens, Stars, Coyotes and Flyers.
  • The bottom three teams were unchanged.

Western Conference Rankings

Rank Team Share
1 Minnesota Wild 1.8
3 Vancouver Canucks 4.5
4 St. Louis Blues 5.4
5 Chicago Blackhawks 5.5
7 Anaheim Ducks 7.1
8 Nashville Predators 7.9
9 Winnipeg Jets 8.2
17 San Jose Sharks 10.9
19 Dallas Stars 11.2
21 Arizona Coyotes 12.1
22 Los Angeles Kings 12.1
23 Calgary Flames 12.2
26 Edmonton Oilers 15.2
30 Colorado Avalanche 17.8
  • Vancouver looks like a solid team, beginning the season 8-3, but remember, 6 of their 11 games and 5 of their 8 wins have come against teams ranked in the bottom 8 of the league. When their schedule stiffens, the Canucks should slide down the rankings.
  • Dallas continues to struggle on special teams with the 30th-ranked power play and 17th-ranked penalty kill.
  • Colorado has been a bad hockey team so far - power play: 25th, penalty kill: 26th, even strength: 28th.
  • The Jets, meanwhile are killing it on special teams, 2nd only to Minnesota, with the 9th-ranked power play and 2nd-ranked penalty kill.

Eastern Conference Rankings

Rank Team Share
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 2.8
6 Washington Capitals 5.8
10 Toronto Maple Leafs 8.7
11 New York Islanders 9.1
12 Tampa Bay Lightning 9.1
13 Boston Bruins 9.5
14 New York Rangers 9.6
15 Montreal Canadiens 10.9
16 New Jersey Devils 10.9
18 Florida Panthers 11.2
20 Detroit Red Wings 12.1
24 Ottawa Senators 12.5
25 Philadelphia Flyers 15.1
27 Columbus Blue Jackets 15.4
28 Buffalo Sabres 16.9
29 Carolina Hurricanes 17.3
  • The Sabres and Hurricanes are tripping over each other to land Connor McDavid.  Lucky for them, Taylor Hall isn't done for the season.
  • My favorite item to watch for the rest of the season: how long with Marc-Andre Fleury give the Pens top 10 goaltending?  And if it lasts for awhile, how much money will the Pens offer him?  Is infinity too much?
  • The Bruins are still killers at even strength, but their goaltending has been shaky which should come around.  Something significant to watch in Boston is special teams.  They've had an absolutely rotten start on the penalty kill, an area where the skaters in front of Tuukka Rask have excelled in previous seasons.

Playoff Matchups:

Western Conference
Central Pacific
1 Minnesota Wild 3 Vancouver Canucks
8 Nashville Predators 9 Winnipeg Jets
4 St. Louis Blues 7 Anaheim Ducks
5 Chicago Blackhawks 17 San Jose Sharks

  • Wild vs. Predators and Canucks vs. Jets - the series no one wants to see.
Eastern Conference
Metropolitan Atlantic
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 10 Toronto Maple Leafs
14 New York Rangers 15 Montreal Canadiens
6 Washington Capitals 12 Tampa Bay Lightning
11 New York Islanders 13 Boston Bruins