Weekly Power Rankings: The Bruins are a MACHINE; release the Kraken?
Checking in with this week's NHL Power Rankings....
After a week long hiatus (sorry about that) the NHL Power Rankings are BACK, and the Boston Bruins are back in the top spot as they continue to just dismantle teams and build their lead in the Atlantic Division. While their actual points lead over Toronto is only five points entering play on Sunday, they still have two games in hand on the Maple Leafs.
Of all the aging teams in the Eastern Conference, Boston is the one that I had the most doubts about in the offseason. There was still the mystery as to whether or not they would get Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci back, Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand were set to miss time at the start of the year, they still have some depth scoring questions, and David Pastrnak’s contract situation is still looming large over everything.
In the end, Bergeron and Krejci returned and the other things have not mattered at all as they are off to an 18-3-0 start. That has them in the top spot of our Weekly NHL Power Rankings as the NHL season reaches the first quarter mark.
Where does everybody else sit?
To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!!
1. Boston Bruins. They are 12-0 at home but have a murderers row of contenders ahead with Vegas, Colorado, and Tampa Bay coming through.
2. New Jersey Devils. I keep waiting for the regression but it never happens. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hischier is quite a trio up front to build around. I am still concerned about the goaltending long-term and what happens when they start playing tougher teams.
3. Vegas Golden Knights. Better health has been huge for them, especially as it relates to Jack Eichel. Logan Thompson’s emergence as a capable starter has also been a game-changer.
4. Seattle Kraken. What a start for the Kraken in year two. Andre Burakvosky has been a big addition up front, while Matty Beniers (their first draft pick) looks like he is going to blossom into a star. The goaltending is still not great, but it has also not been a total disaster like it was a year ago and that has made a huge impact. This could be a playoff team this season.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs. The goaltending has been better than expected and they have really done a nice job shaking off a sluggish start. Fair or not, none of this matters until they do something in the playoffs.
6. Colorado Avalanche. It takes them about 10 games to really get on track. They won four of their first 10 games a year ago, and then dominated the league the rest of the year. Similar start this year. Already starting to dominate despite some significant injuries. The big story here: Alexandar Georgiev is excelling behind that defense and playing great hockey in goal. Was curious to see if that would play out that way, and it has.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning. They are starting to put it together even though Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy have not really been all that good. At least not yet. When Vasilevskiy gets back to his normal level, look out.
8. Dallas Stars. I want to see more scoring depth from them, but the top of their lineup is legit and gives them a chance.
9. Carolina Hurricanes. The talent is there. The process is there. The results have not been consistent yet. I would be worried about Jesperi Kotkaniemi, though. That is a huge investment in him and he needs to start providing some offense.
10. New York Islanders. Maybe they just really did need a fresh start and a new voice behind the bench. Or maybe Ilya Sorokin is a top-three goalie in the NHL and playing out of his mind. It could be both.
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