The first edition of NHL Power Rankings, the Rasmus Andersson suspension and latest player safety fallout
We start with the first NHL Power Rankings of the season.
Happy Monday. Here is what is ahead today.
The first edition of the NHL Power Rankings for the 2023-24 season. It is still early so there will be a lot of chaotic results and noisy rankings. Please try not to get too angry until at least a couple of weeks in. It is early! Results are weird!
NHL Player Safety actually handed out a stiff suspension and it was greeted with an appeal.
Connor McDavid is injured.
NHL Power Rankings: Vegas looks outstanding; Boston’s big start
The best of the best so far
1. Vegas Golden Knights. They look like they are well positioned for another deep run. I still think before the season is over that Logan Thompson is getting the bulk of the playing time in goal and that will make them even better than they were a year ago.
2. Colorado Avalanche. I think they fixed a lot of their depth problems that plagued them a year ago and Alexander Georgiev looks like the best goalie they have had in years. Scary combination.
3. Boston Bruins. Still not sold on them long-term this season, but credit where it is due: They are silencing any doubts early on and racking up wins.
4. Dallas Stars. My preseason Stanley Cup pick is off to a great start. I do not see many weaknesses here.
Likely contenders, but off to slow start
5. Carolina Hurricanes. The record is not great at the start, but they also missed Sebastian Aho for three games. You know what is encouraging here? Seth Jarvis, Jepseri Kotkaniemi and Teuvo Teravainen are finding the back of the net. A lot. Love the roster. They will be a top team all season.
6. New Jersey Devils. Jack Hughes is on another planet right now. MVP contender.
7. New York Rangers. Small sample size alert: Peter Laviolette has them playing a type of 5-on-5 hockey we have not seen from this group at any point over the past three years. That is a significant development. Still side-eyeing the production from the top-two picks.
8. Los Angeles Kings. They are dominating play at 5-on-5 from a scoring chance and expected goals perspective. Really like their roster. Still hate their goalie situation.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs. William Nylander probably hears a cash register sound with every goal and point he is accumulating. If he can hear it over the Ryan Reaves discourse, that is.
Better start than expected, but not ready to fully buy in yet
10. Detroit Red Wings. This might be the best stretch of hockey Red Wings fans have seen in the Steve Yzerman era. The underlying numbers are not great, but Alex DeBrincat has been incredible. Thought that was a steal of a trade the second they completed it.
11. Ottawa Senators. I do not think we fully appreciate how good Claude Giroux has been since joining the Senators. This team will score a lot of goals. But do they have a goalie that can stop other teams from doing the same?
12. New York Islanders. Man, I am never ready to fully buy into the Islanders but they refuse to go away. They are one of the few teams that can confidently rely on a goalie to lift them every single season. He usually does.
This will probably not last
13. Nashville Predators. I am still struggling to see what vision is here this season but they have looked pretty good through their first six games.
14. Philadelphia Flyers. If Sean Couturier is still good that would be a massive bonus. This is still probably not a team that is going to make much noise this season, but they have played very well early on.
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