SB Nation's NHL Power Rankings, Week 1: Caps Claim Top Spot

Powered by Alex Ovechkin the Washington Capitals have leaped into the top spot in our first official week of power rankings, despite impressive outings by Pittsburgh and Philadelphia over the weekend as well.

It's an interesting exercise in just how different Eastern and Western teams are viewed by the writers for teams from the opposite conference. Philadelphia was the clear number one in Eastern Conference voting, but overwhelming support for the Capitals by Western bloggers placed them into the top spot. The same goes for the West, as St. Louis is clearly viewed as a more formidable team by those on the East coast. As we start to get more games in and a clearer picture starts to form of which direction these teams are truly headed, the voting should start to even out a bit. With the Flyers facing the Capitals tonight, any questions about who deserves the top spot should be answered.

For this week, at least.

Surprise of the week: Colorado vaults into the tenth overall spot in the NHL after an extremely impressive weekend, powered by great goaltending and a suddenly potent offense. But can they sustain their ranking?

PLEASE READ: Western Conference rankings are determined by votes by Western Conference bloggers, Eastern Conference bloggers for Eastern rankings. The Top Ten Power Rankings are determined by a separate vote of Western and Eastern Conference bloggers.

NHL Top Ten Power Rankings

Rank Last Wk Team Record Comments
1 4 Washington Capitals 2-0-0

Off to a great start, but tough tests in Philly and Detroit this week will be good early-season measuring sticks.

- J.P. of Japers' Rink

2 7 Philadelphia Flyers 2-0-0

The penalties are still a bit out of control, but with the special teams playing almost flawless hockey, Ray Emery looking like a (very) early candidate for Vezina, and the goals coming from every corner of the offensive attack, the Flyers have been practically unbeatable in two games against solid Eastern Conference competition.

-Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey

3 3 Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0-0

The Penguins make a justified appearance in the Top 10 but it's not without concern. Sure, the record says 2-0, but they were forced to hang on to a lead against the Rangers (very close chances at times) and made a valiant comeback against the Islanders to push it to OT and ultimately a shootout to steal the win.

-Frank of Pensburgh

4 - St. Louis Blues 2-0-0

In just two games against the defending Western Conference champions, the Blues showed that the incredible run at the end of last season probably wasn't a mirage and this young team is ready to challenge for the division title. Maybe.

-Brad Lee of St. Louis Game Time
5 1 San Jose Sharks 1-1-0

It was a tale of two teams in San Jose this week, and will likely remain so for the majority of October- the loss of Joe Pavelski coupled with a top heavy blueline should produce a wide range of performances until the new additions begin to click.

- Mr. Plank of fearthefin.com

6 6 Chicago Blackhawks 1-0-1

After dropping the opening game in Finland, the Blackhawks stepped up every aspect of their play and made back-up goalie Antti Niemi look like the true #1 in the second, he's not though - if the Hawks play every game like that though, this is going to be a very good year.

-Matthew Dirt of Second City Hockey

7 9 Calgary Flames 2-0-0

Calgary's results from the first week were good, although their execution wasn't. The team parlayed good goaltending and some really favorable bounces to 2 straight victories, despite giving up a average of 37 shots against.

-Kent Wilson of Matchsticks and Gasoline

8 5 Boston Bruins 1-1-0 The B's looked like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde this week. That was a completely different team that took the ice on Saturday night then the one we saw get smoked by the Caps on opening night.

-Evan of Stanley Cup of Chowder
9
2 Detroit Red Wings 0-2-0

The Red Wings got off to a rough start, dropping back-to-back contests against the Blues in Sweden. Goaltending and defense was questionable, but the offense did score six goals in two games. This will either be a minor blip in the season or a sign of things to come.

-Christy Hammond of Winging It In Motown
10 - Colorado Avalanche 2-0-0

The Avs are playing better than expected in just about every facet of the game. They have a tough road trip coming up, though.

-David Driscoll-Carignan of Mile High Hockey

 

 

Western Conference

Biggest Winner: Colorado Avalanche (+7)

Biggest Loser: Anaheim Ducks (-6)

*Note: Voting completed before conclusion of last night's game between Vancouver and Columbus

Western Conference Power Rankings

Rk (Prev) Team Record SB Nation Blog
1 (1)
San Jose Sharks
1-1-0 Fear The Fin
2 (4)
Chicago Blackhawks
1-0-1 Second City Hockey
3 (7)
St. Louis Blues
2-0-0 St. Louis Game Time
4 (6)
Calgary Flames
2-0-0 Matchsticks and Gasoline
5 (2)
Detroit Red Wings
0-2-0 Winging It In Motown
6 (8)
Columbus Blue Jackets
2-0-0 The Cannon
7 (3)
Vancouver Canucks
0-3-0 Nucks Misconduct
8 (15)
Colorado  Avalanche
2-0-0 Mile High Hockey
9 (9)
Dallas Stars
0-0-1 Defending Big D
10 (13)
Nashville Predators
1-0-0 On the Forecheck
11 (5)
Anaheim Ducks
0-1-0 Battle of California
12 (12)
Minnesota Wild
0-1-0 Hockey Wilderness
13 (10)
Edmonton Oilers
0-1-0 The Copper & Blue
14 (14)
Phoenix Coyotes
1-0-0 Five For Howling
15 (11)
Los Angeles Kings
0-1-0 Battle of California

 


Eastern Conference

Biggest Winner: Atlanta Thrashers (+5)

Biggest Loser: Carolina Hurricanes (-6)

Eastern Conference Power Rankings

Rk (Prev) Team Record SB Nation Blog
1 (4)
Philadelphia Flyers
2-0-0 Broad Street Hockey
2 (2)
Washington Capitals
2-0-0 Japers' Rink
3 (1)
Pittsburgh Penguins
2-0-0 PensBurgh
4 (3)
Boston Bruins
1-1-0 Stanley Cup of Chowder
5 (7)
Montreal Canadiens
2-0-0 Habs Eyes On The Prize
6 (8)
NY Rangers
2-1-0 Blueshirt Banter
7 (9)
Buffalo Sabres
0-0-1 Die By The Blade
8 (11)
Florida Panthers
1-1-0 Litter Box Cats
9 (14)
Atlanta Thrashers
1-0-0 Bird Watchers Anonymous
10 (6)
New Jersey Devils
0-2-0 In Lou We Trust
11 (5)
Carolina Hurricanes
0-2-0 Canes Country
12 (15)
NY Islanders
1-0-0 Lighthouse Hockey
13 (10)
Toronto Maple Leafs
0-1-1 Pension Plan Puppets
14 (12)
Tampa Bay Lightning
0-1-0 Raw Charge
15 (13)
Ottawa Senators
0-1-0 Silver Seven
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