1. Colorado Avalanche (12-1-0, Last week: 2)
Wanted to put Colorado at No. 1 last week and now have a chance to this week. While Semyon Varlamov's situation can't be overlooked, the Avalanche have been nothing but a feel-good story on the ice. The team entered competition on Monday night with the best penalty kill in the league.
Last week: W, 3-2 vs. Jets; OTW, 3-2 @ Stars; W, 4-1 vs. Canadiens.
2. San Jose Sharks (10-1-3, Last week: 1)
The Sharks are still performing well but two overtime losses this week knocked them down a spot behind Colorado.
Last week: OTL, 4-3 @ Kings; SOL, 3-2 vs. Coyotes.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (10-4-0, Last week: 3)
Tampa Bay could probably be knocked down a spot or two after losing to New Jersey at the start of the week but a shutout of the Hurricanes and an impressive win over the Blues maintained their standing.
Last week: L, 2-1 @ Devils; W, 3-0 @ Hurricanes; W, 4-2 vs. Blues.
4. Phoenix Coyotes (10-3-2, Last week: 9)
Phoenix has been red hot fire, registering points in 11 of their last 12. That includes a four-game winning streak, which accounts for three wins since our last ranking.
Last week: W, 3-1 vs. Kings; SOW, 5-4 vs. Predators; W, 3-2 vs. Sharks.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (11-4-0, Last week: 12)
Pittsburgh is also on a four-game winning streak and as much as some might argue for them to be higher, two of the wins came against the struggling Blue Jackets. Besides that, Phoenix's point streak won out between the two.
Last week: W, 3-2 vs. Bruins; W, 4-2 vs. Blue Jackets; W, 3-0 vs. Blue Jackets.
6. Vancouver Canucks (10-5-1, Last week: 5)
Vancouver has won five of six, which included a 4-0 shutout of the Maple Leafs. While they did lose this week, their sustained success is enough to keep them within striking distance of the top-five.
Last week: L, vs. Red Wings; W, 4-0 vs. Maple Leafs.
7. St. Louis Blues (8-2-2, Last week: 4)
St. Louis won twice this week, but the quality of their competition was not strong enough to give them a boost compared with the teams ahead of them.
Last week: W, 3-2 vs. Jets; W, 4-0 @ Panthers; L, 4-2 @ Lightning.
8. Anaheim Ducks (11-3-1, Last week: 6)
Despite the injuries piling up, the Ducks have done a great job of maintaining success. However, a shootout loss to Boston pushed them back a bit the rankings, in addition to improved performance from teams like Pittsburgh and Phoenix.
Last week: W, 3-2 @ Flyers; SOL, 3-2 @ Bruins; W, 6-2 @ Sabres.
9. Chicago Blackhawks (9-2-4, Last week: 10)
Chicago scored a lot of goals this week but lost to Calgary in overtime. The only reason they moved up instead of down is because the loss came in a back-to-back after they had combined for 11 goals in their previous two contests.
Last week: W, 6-5 vs. Senators; W, 5-1 @ Jets; OTL, 3-2 vs. Flames.
10. Minnesota Wild (8-4-3, Last week: 13)
Easy week for the Minnesota as they registered two victories and scored four goals in each contest. The team has now won five of their last six.
Last week: W, 4-3 vs. Canadiens; W, 4-0 vs. Devils.
11. Boston Bruins (8-5-0, Last week: 7)
Rough week for the Bruins, who are having a relatively rough start in general. Three games this week, two losses and a drop in the rankings.
Last week: L, 3-2 @ Penguins; SOW, 3-2 vs. Ducks; L, 3-1 @ Islanders.
12. Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-0, Last week: 11)
The Maple Leafs made this a difficult decision; they won two games convincingly against the Flames and Oilers but were blown out against the Canucks. It's good Toronto beat teams they're supposed to, but it would have been better to see a stronger performance against the Canucks.
Last week: W, 4-0 @ Oilers; W, 4-2 @ Flames; L, 4-0 @ Canucks.
13. Detroit Red Wings (9-4-2, Last week: 15)
Mike Babcock said they'd be better and they were. Had they been better last week then they would have passed Toronto given that they faced virtually the same slate.
Last week: W, 2-1 @ Canucks; W, 4-3 @ Flames; W, 5-0 @ Oilers.
14. Los Angeles Kings (9-6-0, Last week: 8)
Los Angeles is sliding a bit and it shows in the rankings.
Last week: L, 3-1 @ Coyotes; OTW, 3-2 vs. Sharks; L, 4-3 vs. Predators.
15. New York Islanders (6-5-3, Last week: 16)
Almost a perfect week for the Islanders except for a home loss against the Rangers. However, consecutive wins acting as redemption for New York's other squad.
Last week: L, 3-2 vs. Rangers; SOW, 5-4 @ Senators; W, 3-1 vs. Bruins.
16. Nashville Predators (7-5-2, Last week: 17)
The Predators performed well this week by earning points in both contests, which came against two quality opponents.
Last week: SOW, 5-4 @ Coyotes; W, 4-3 @ Kings.
17. Montreal Canadiens (8-7-0, Last week: 14)
After a win against the Stars, the Canadiens dropped two straight where they allowed four goals against in consecutive contests.
Last week: W, 2-1 vs. Stars; L, 4-3 @ Wild; L, 4-1 @ Avalanche.
18. Calgary Flames (6-6-2, Last week: 18)
Calgary is playing far above what many expected this year. While they're not tearing things up, they're certainly showing a competitive edge, which is more than can be said about a lot of other teams at the end of this ranking.
Last week: L, 4-2 vs. Maple Leafs; L, 4-3 vs. Red Wings; OTW, 3-2 vs. Blackhawks.
19. Washington Capitals (7-7-0, Last week: 22)
The Capitals smoked the Flyers on Friday night and then concluded the weekend with a win over the Panthers. Both wins came without the aide of captain Alex Ovechkin, who is set to return on Tuesday (probably). Good things on the way for Washington?
Last week: W, 7-0 @ Flyers, SOW, 3-2 vs. Panthers.
20. New York Rangers (6-7-0, Last week: 26)
Is this too high of a bump for the Rangers? Maybe. But this team had so much adversity to start the year that it's too difficult to know what they are. Beyond their nine-game road trip (which included a trip to Banff), the team had to adjust to a new system and a new coach while pushing through several injuries to key players.
Last week: W, 2-0 vs. Sabres; W, 5-1 vs. Hurricanes.
21. Dallas Stars (6-6-2, Last week: 24)
By no means perfect, but Dallas has registered points in two straight and took the top team in the rankings to overtime. That and the other teams are playing terribly.
Last week: L, 2-1 @ Canadiens; OTL, 3-2 vs. Avalanche; SOW, 4-3 @ Senators.
22. Ottawa Senators (4-6-4, Last week: 19)
Ottawa's been gathering points but things are still rocky. Hopefully Craig Anderson won't miss too much time due to his latest injury, which is reportedly only a stiff neck.
Last week: L, 6-5 @ Blackhawks; SOL, 5-4 vs. Islanders; SOL, 4-3 vs. Stars
23. Winnipeg Jets (5-8-2, Last week: 23)
Three games, three losses. Winnipeg is in a tough spot right now and coach Claude Noel's seat is reportedly getting hotter and hotter and hotter...
Last week: L, 3-2 @ Avalanche; L, 3-2 @ Blues; L, 5-1 vs. Blackhawks.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-8-0, Last week: 21)
Columbus has lost three straight after winning three straight.
Last week: L, 4-2 @ Penguins; L, 3-0 vs. Penguins.
25. Carolina Hurricanes (4-7-3, Last week: 20)
Carolina has been outscored 8-1 since our last ranking and has lost five straight games heading into their contest on Tuesday night.
Last week: L, 3-0 vs. Lightning; L, 5-1 @ Rangers.
26. Philadelphia Flyers (4-9-0, Last week: 25)
Things have gotten ugly in Philadelphia and that was on full display during the unfortunate situation involving goaltender Ray Emery. The team managed to rebound the following night with a win against the Devils, but still only managed a single goal.
Last week: L, 3-2 vs. Ducks; L, 7-0 vs. Capitals; W, 1-0 @ Devils.
27. New Jersey Devils (3-7-4, Last week: 27)
The Metropolitan Division is easily the worst division in hockey. New Jersey and Philadelphia are interchangeable for this spot. The Flyers win is the only reason they're ranked higher, but it's really a toss up.
Last week: W, 2-1 vs. Lightning; L, 1-0 vs. Flyers; L, 4-0 @ Wild.
28. Florida Panthers (3-8-3, Last week: 29)
The Panthers moved up a spot and almost beat the Capitals. That's pretty cool!
Last week: L, 4-0 vs. Blues; SOL, 3-2 @ Capitals.
29. Edmonton Oilers (3-10-2, Last week: 28)
The Oilers had scored a total of 36 goals as of our last ranking. The Oilers have scored 36 goals as of this ranking.
Last week: L, 4-0 vs. Maple Leafs; L, 5-0 @ Red Wings.
30. Buffalo Sabres (2-13-1, Last week: 30)
"Connor McDavid is only one draft class away ... Connor McDavid is only one draft class away."
Last week: L, 2-0 @ Rangers; L, 6-3 vs. Ducks.