1. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 1 The Kings didn’t really miss a beat without Drew Doughty, but now have him and Matt Greene back in the lineup. Don’t look for them to slow down anytime soon. 2. Washington Capitals… LW: 2 Remember the name Braden Holtby. He is just the latest young goaltender to come through the system, and many think he’s better than Neuvirth and Varlamov. 3. St. Louis Blues… LW: 6 Davis Payne and company can’t lose! They have now won seven in a row and have given up just 18 goals in 12 games (lowest in the NHL). 4. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 3 The Wings had a successful Western Canada swing, and will now enjoy a six-game home-stand. 5. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 8 Through the first month or so, the Flyers look like the best club in the Atlantic Division. The power play went 9-for-20 on their recent six-game win streak. 6. Boston Bruins… LW: 4 Tim Thomas has shockingly returned to earth by surrendering five goals in the last five periods! 7. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 13 Vancouver probably had the best week throughout the league, going 4-0 and taking care of business against Detroit. 8. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 5 The Pens have a chance to turn things around with five of their next six on home-ice. 9. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 7 Guy Boucher’s high-powered man advantage is just 3-for-23 in the last six games.
10. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 14Milan Hejduk has very quietly racked up 13 points in the last eight games. 11. Dallas Stars… LW: 15 In the Stars’ two blowout wins last week, Loui Eriksson netted four goals and seven points. 12. San Jose Sharks… LW: 10While the offense has been up-and-down, Antero Niittymaki has been rock-solid in net. The 30-year-old Finn is 5-1-1 with a 1.78 GAA. 13. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 12Though the power play has struggled, Montreal’s penalty kill has been dynamite this season (ranked 5th, 87.9%). 14. Minnesota Wild… LW: 28Besides being out-shot in all but one game thus far, the Wild have bounced back from a rough start. 15. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 21Center Derick Brassard, who is currently on a seven-game point streak, is finally coming around for Columbus with a team-leading nine points. 16. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 9Chicago has 17 points in 17 games, which means they are on pace for 81 points. There has been no consistency whatsoever for the defending champs. 17. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 17The ‘Canes are dead-last in the league with a putrid 38.1-percent faceoff percentage. Ouch. 18. Atlanta Thrashers… LW: 16We’ll know a lot more about Atlanta after Dec. 4th. Between now and then, they get to play Washington (thrice), Pittsburgh (twice), Detroit, and Boston. 19. Ottawa Senators… LW: 23The streaky Sens have started to find a groove, winning three in a row behind stellar goaltending from Brian Elliott. 20. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 25Starting Tuesday, Anaheim will play six games in nine days. Their current hot streak will be put to the test. 21. Nashville Predators… LW: 11Say what you will about their offense, the back end has been horrendous on their current road trip with 18 goals allowed in four games. 22. New York Rangers… LW: 22Who is tied for second for the league lead in goals? Brandon Dubinsky, with 10. 23. Calgary Flames… LW: 18Here comes possibly the biggest stretch of the year for Calgary – eight of their next 10 games are away from the Saddledome. 24. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 20This Coyotes club is a shadow of what it was in 2009/10. One difference is that they are losing those close games that they won last season. 25. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 19Saturday was a tough loss for these Leafs as they coughed up two points to Buffalo. The calls for Ron Wilson from the fan base have already started. 26. Florida Panthers… LW: 26Summer acquisition Dennis Wideman has fit in nicely with the Panthers, tallying eight points and a plus-2 rating. 27. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 27True fact: half of the Oilers’ wins have come in the United Center this year. 28. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 29I don’t know if it will matter when Ryan Miller returns from injury; the Sabres’ schedule for the rest of the month is pretty damn difficult. 29. New Jersey Devils… LW: 30Here’s an interesting stat: the Devils have a -16 goal differential in the second period alone. 30. New York Islanders… LW: 24Their 4-1-2 start seems like a long time ago due to a seven-game losing streak. Is Scott Gordon’s job in jeopardy?
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.