Some positive movements this week in the Classy Power Rankings for teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames, while a few other teams like the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres took nose dives.
Without further delay, here are your rankings after week 6 of the NHL!
NHL Classy Power Rankings – Week 6
30. Carolina Hurricanes (2-11-3, 7 pts, last week: 30)
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s bad enough the club has lost 12 straight games and Eric Staal has an upper body injury. Then on Saturday night, Cam Ward suffered a cut to his left leg and is reportedly out for 3-4 weeks. Recently GM Jim Rutherford took blame for the Hurricanes struggles suggesting a few players might be traded. The Hurricanes next three games are at home against the Kings, Islanders and Wild. That’s probably a good thing considering the team is still winless on the road (0-7-2).
29. Florida Panthers (5-9-1, 11 pts, last week: 30)
Right now, I’m not liking the play of the Florida Panthers. They won one of their three games last week (against the Hurricanes…) and dropped both divisional games against the Capitals in a home-and-home battle. Losses of 4-1 and 7-4 shouldn’t sit well with the Panthers considering Alex Ovechkin wasn’t in the lineup for either game.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (3-7-5, 11 pts, last week: 29)
Prepare the parade, the Toronto Maple Leafs are well on their way to moving up the weekly Classy Rankings. Jonas Gustavsson has provided the Leafs with stable goaltending while the impact of Phil Kessel has been immediate. Believe it or not, the Leafs are actually 3-0-4 in their last seven games including winning back-to-back games against the Hurricanes and Red Wings on Friday and Saturday. The Leafs will look to continue their better play when meeting the Wild, Blackhawks and Flames this week.
27. St. Louis Blues (5-6-4, 14 pts, last week: 25)
The good news is the St. Louis Blues have picked up points in their last three games. The bad news is the Blues have lost each of those games in overtime or shootout. The Blues had a 2-0 lead against the Thrashers on Sunday night with about 8 minutes left in the game. With their next six games on home ice, the Blues need to improve on their current 2-5-1 home record. This marks the longest home-stand of the Blues this season and it starts this week with games against the Canucks, Predators and Sharks.
26. Atlanta Thrashers (7-6-1, 15 pts, last week: 22)
The Atlanta Thrashers won two and lost two this week including an impressive 3-2 shootout win (after trailing 2-0 in the 3rd) against the Blues. The Thrashers will play the Rangers and then host the Kings and Oilers later in the week. Scoring firstl in each of these games is critical for the Thrashers who win every game they score first in. Still no real time-table for Ilya Kovalchuk’s return – he’s expected back in a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
25. Minnesota Wild (6-10-0, 12 pts, last week: 26)
The Minnesota Wild are still having some issues with consistency, losing to the Canucks and then beating the Stars the following game. The Wild sport a 1-8-0 record on the road and that’s bad news considering their next four games are away against the Leafs, Lightning, Capitals and Hurricanes. Martin Havlat has just one goal and needs to get going for this team to be at all successful.
24. Edmonton Oilers (8-8-1, 17 pts, last week: 13)
The Edmonton Oilers are looking to move past the sick month of October, literally. After dropping games to the Islanders and Rangers, the Oilers began their five game road trip with an impressive 5-3 win against the Avalanche. The Oilers will play the Senators, Sabres, Thrashers and Blue Jackets before returning to Edmonton. A great opportunity to make up some points on division rivals.
23. Anaheim Ducks (6-7-2, 14 pts, last week: 27)
The Anaheim Ducks are riding a two game win streak as a result of beating the Predators and Coyotes last week. The Ducks will start a tough four game road trip against the Devils, Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Penguins. Despite only having one goal, Ryan Getzlaf has a team high 14 assists while Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne lead the way with 11 and 9 goals respectively. Congrats to Selanne for passing Habs great Jean Beliveau as the 38th all time NHL scorer.
22. Nashville Predators (7-7-1, 15 pts, last week: 18)
With news over the weekend that Michael Nylander had been placed on waivers by the Washington Capitals, rumors suggest the Predators could be interested in former sniper. Maybe he can help the Preds score more goals – as it stands, the Predators have scored an NHL low of 31 goals in 15 games this season (yes, even Carolina has scored more). Eight of those goals come from defensemen and Shea Weber leads the team with five! With that said, the Predators have won four of their last five and look to continue their strong play this week against the Sharks, Blues and Canadiens.
21. Ottawa Senators (7-5-2, 16 pts, last week: 17)
Penalties, penalties, penalties. The Ottawa Senators are the most penalized team in the NHL, averaging 20.1 minutes of penalties per game. That’s 1/3 of a game. The Senators enjoyed the return of Jason Spezza while Anton Volchenkov is still a week or two out. There’s a cause for concern in Ottawa with the Senators having difficulty holding leads after dropping a 2-0 lead to the Devils on Saturday. The Senators look to get back on track in games against the Oilers, Flyers and Rangers this week.
20. Montreal Canadiens (8-9-0, 16 pts, last week: 16)
Despite turning in one of his better performances in recent memory (against Boston), Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price was the subject of controversy from the twitter account of Jaroslav Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh on Saturday. Walsh twittered “Interesting stat of the night….Price is 10W, 32L in last 42 stars. Hmm.” Of course, this set off a fire storm (Kelly Hrudey went off during HNIC) all weekend. Let’s hope this circus dies down and one of Halak or Price plays well when the Canadiens meet up with the Flames, Coyotes and Predators this week.
19. Boston Bruins (7-7-2, 16 pts, last week: 22)
The Boston Bruins have one won of their last four games, have scored three goals in this rut and wouldn’t make the playoffs if the season ended today. Sloppy play and inconvenient injuries have taken their toll on the club. It won’t get much easier for the Bruins either, playing the Penguins twice this week with a game with the Panthers in between.
18. Detroit Red Wings (7-5-3, 17 pts, last week: 20)
After going 4-0-1 in their last five games, the Detroit Red Wings laid an egg on Saturday against the Leafs in a 5-1 loss. The Red Wings have some bad injury problems – Johan Franzen, Jason Williams, Valterri Filpulla are all long term injuries and the club is finding it difficult to get timely scoring from Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Chris Osgood needs to be better in goal, as well. The Red Wings have a difficult schedule coming up against the Blue Jackets, Canucks and Stars.
17. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-4-5, 17 pts, last week: 24)
Steve Stamkos continues to impress while Vincent Lecavalier finally scored his first goal of the year last week for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Scary moment for blue chip defenseman Victor Hedman who got knocked into next week by Chris Neil in a game in Ottawa. His status is listed as day-to-day, but is expected in the line up later this week when the Lightning play the Wild and Kings.
16. New York Islanders (6-6-5, 17 pts, last week: 21)
The New York Islanders have had a nice turnaround as of late, having pulled themselves up to a .500 record thanks to efforts from Matt Moulson, Jeff Tambellini and others. Though they were shutout at the hands of the Sabres (returning the favor from two weeks ago), the Islanders bounced back for a big win against the Thrashers on Saturday night. Islanders fans had an uneasy moment in the Thrashers game when number one pick John Tavares had the wind knocked out of him. Thankfully he is fine. Rumors of Rick DiPetro getting closer to recovery and rejoining the team are beginning to surface and word is Marty Biron will be the goalie on the move (a prearranged deal, according to Scott Morrison at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada). Teams that may be interested include the Blackhawks, Sabres and Red Wings.
15. Chicago Blackhawks (8-5-2, 18 pts, last week: 8 )
If they didn’t know before, the Chicago Blackhawks should be painfully aware how much they miss a solid goaltender. This team will continue to post regular records without a real number one goalie (see Biron and the Islanders above). That said, the loss of Jonathan Toews cannot be overlooked. The Hawks lost two tough games this week against the Coyotes and Avalanche – two teams that should act as healthy measuring stick. Coming up, the Hawks will do battle against the Kings, Avalanche, Leafs and Sharks this week, with each of these games at home. The Hawks expect both Toews and Ben Eager to return against the Kings while David Bolland is still day-to-day.
14. Buffalo Sabres (9-4-1, 19 pts, last week: 9)
After starting the season 8-1-1, the Buffalo Sabres have since gone 1-3, allowing 17 goals in those four games. The Sabres will look to get back on track this week when they meet the Oilers, Flames and Flyers.
13. Vancouver Canucks (10-8-0, last week: 15)
The Vancouver Canucks had a three game win streak snapped with a tough loss to the Stars on Friday night. So far, the Canucks are managing without Roberto Luongo as Andrew Raycroft has stepped in and done a wonderful job, with a record of 4-1-1 and a save percentage of .936. The Canucks are at the beginning of a four game road trip that see’s them play against Blues and Red Wings before wrapping up in Denver versus the Avalanche.
12. Dallas Stars (7-4-6, 20 pts, last week: 11)
The Dallas Stars have won just one of their last five games, despite picking up points in three of those outings. I find this team inconsistent and capable of more – the overtime loss last week against the Calgary Flames serves as a great example. The Stars haven’t won a game this season when trailing after the first period and simply need to get better in special teams. The Stars rank 22nd in the NHL on the penalty kill and 18th in the league while enjoying powerplays. The Stars will face off against the Sharks and Coyotes this week.
11. Phoenix Coyotes (10-7-0, 20 pts, last week: 6)
The Phoenix Coyotes have finally been sold to the NHL! Finally – there, I said it. After jumping out to a 6-2 record, the Coyotes stumbled going 4-5 in their next nine games with recent losses to the Kings, Avalanche and Ducks. Up next for the Coyotes are the Canadiens and Stars.
10. Philadelphia Flyers (9-4-1, 20 pts, last week: 18)
The Philadelphia Flyers are quietly enjoying a four game win streak that’s seen wins over Blues, Sabres, Lightning and Hurricanes. Impressively, the Flyers have allowed just six goals against during the four wins. Ray Emery is having a really solid season (9-3-1 record, 2.27 GAA and .922 save percentage) while Daniel Brierre and Simon Gagne continue to prove they cannot stay healthy. On deck for the Flyers this week: the Senators and Sabres.
9. New York Rangers (10-7-1, 21 pts, last week: 5)
The New York Rangers swing through Western Canada didn’t go so well, losing two of three to the Canucks and Flames. Add to that, the indefinite loss of Brandon Dubinsky (wrist) and Chris Drury (concussion), as well as Henrik Lundqvist being day-to-day with mild soreness (believed to be groin) and you have a recipe for potential disaster. The Rangers get a few days off and return to action against the Thrashers and Senators.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-5-2, 20 pts, last week: 12)
The Columbus Blue Jackets have won their last two games against the Thrashers and Hurricanes this week but dropped an important one to the Sharks in a shootout. The Jackets host the Red Wings, Ducks and Oilers in the next week. Rick Nash remains third in the NHL in points scored, just five back of the leader (Kopitar, Kings).
7. Los Angeles Kings (10-5-2, 22 pts, last week: 7)
After going 2-1 this week, the Los Angeles Kings gear up for a five game road trip playing the Blackhawks, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lightning and Panthers. This is an important swing for the Kings who should win 3-4 of these games and come back with 8 points or more. Look for the NHL’s point leader Anze Kopitar to have a big week and pick him up in your fantasy pools if you don’t already have him!
6. Calgary Flames (10-4-1, 21 pts, last week: 14)
After a week of bag-skates from coach Brent Sutter and H1N1 controversy, the Calgary Flames have put together three straight victories and have won four of their last five. Jarome Iginla has regained his scoring hand at the perfect time, helping add to Rene Bourque’s solid contributions. The Flames get set to play the Canadiens, Sabres and Leafs on the road this week.
5. Washington Capitals (10-3-4, 24 pts, last week: 4)
Despite losing Alex Ovechkin for what’s being rumored as 4-5 weeks, the Washington Capitals are managing OK with two solid wins over the Panthers. On Saturday, the Capitals placed Michael Nylander on waivers and have recently been mentioned as a potential destination for the once-a-year comeback story we’ve all grown tired of hearing: Peter Forsberg. The Caps will need to continue strong play and balanced scoring this week against the Islanders, Wild and Devils.
4. New Jersey Devils (11-4-0, 22 pts, last week: 10)
The New Jersey Devils are still undefeated on the road – perfect 8-0 this year, recently beating the Senators (other teams). As a whole, the Devils are riding a five game win streak and are playing very well. Patrik Elias has just returned from injury and the Devils are able to slowly ease him back into play. The Devils play the Ducks, Penguins and Capitals this week.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (12-5-0, 24 pts, last week: 1)
A bit of a rough week for the Pittsburgh Penguins – they’ve lost two games straight on the road (against the Sharks and Kings) and Sidney Crosby sat out of practice Sunday with some general soreness. With a schedule against the Bruins and Devils this week, Pittsburgh looks to turn this small losing streak around.
2. Colorado Avalanche (12-4-2, 26 pts, last week: 2)
Are the Colorado Avalanche cooling off? After ripping up the month of October, the Avs have started November a little slow, going 2-2 and losing to the Oilers on Sunday. The Avalanche have two big games against the Blackhawks and Canucks this week before setting out on a three game road trip to Western Canada the week after.
1. San Jose Sharks (12-4-2, 26 pts, last week: 3)
It’s not much of a surprise to anyone that the San Jose Sharks are off to another great start. Perhaps one of the Sharks nicer surprises is the play of Patrick Marleau who already has 22 points in 18 games, leading all Shark players. The Sharks have won seven of their last 8 games, including a 5-0 win over the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins on Saturday night. This week, the Sharks will face the Predators, Stars and Blues.
Stay classy, NHL rankings.