It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Power Rankings
1. Washington Capitals
After a thrilling overtime win, the Capitals will be tested this week with games against the Lightning and Penguins.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
In the season’s first three games, the Pens picked up five of a possible six points (in a four-day span) and scored five power play goals.
3. San Jose Sharks
With Antti Niemi on the shelf, Thomas Greiss will get a chance to prove himself early on this year. His Sharks beat up on Phoenix, 6-3, on Saturday.
4. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks have four games in six days this week. Look for Cory Schneider to see some time between the pipes.
5. Detroit Red Wings
Thanks to their balance, the Wings took care of two opponents they should beat. Good start for Mike Babcock and company in a difficult back-to-back, travel-wise.
6. Buffalo Sabres
Lindy Ruff’s bunch was impressive in Europe, beating the Kings and Ducks in regulation. Thomas Vanek (5 points) is off to a fast start.
7. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers’ top line – Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk – is quickly cementing itself among the NHL’s best.
8. Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand has not wasted any time making an impact, picking up three points in two games.
9. Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford is off to a nice start, stopping 50 of the 54 shots he faced in the back-to-back against Dallas.
10. Los Angeles Kings
Expect a big year from Anze Kopitar, who had three goals and an assist in the two games in Europe.
11. Nashville Predators
Pekka Rinne and David Legwand had big efforts over the weekend, but rookie Craig Smith was the storyline. He became the first Predator to score in each of his first two NHL games, helping Nashville claim two road wins.
12. Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan Malone has shown no ill effects from his off-season shoulder surgery, chipping in with a goal and an assist over the weekend.
13. Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim split their pair of games overseas without getting any points from its top line. GM Bob Murray acquired D Kyle Cumiskey from Colorado on Sunday for depth purposes.
14. New York Rangers
The Blueshirts departed Sweden without a victory in hand. Now they face a treacherous schedule for the rest of the month.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs
In the team’s first five periods, James Reimer stopped all 48 shots he faced. He then surrendered five goals on 16 shots in the sixth period, but fortunately for the Leafs, he had the proper goal support to give them a 2-0 record.
16. Montreal Canadiens
Good news: The Habs blew out Winnipeg on Sunday. Bad news: Injuries are already piling up. Michael Cammalleri and Jaroslav Spacek join Andrei Markov on the shelf.
17. Minnesota Wild
Two of the Wild’s four goals on Saturday were scored by Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi, the team’s marquee off-season additions.
18. St. Louis Blues
Jaroslav Halak and company failed to impress in its season opener. In the next three weeks, the Blues will play only two home games and make two separate trips out west.
19. New Jersey Devils
Zach Parise’s first game as captain didn’t go so well, as the Devils were shut out on home-ice by Philadelphia.
20. Carolina Hurricanes
The ‘Canes have scored four goals in two games. Who factored into each one of them? Jeff Skinner.
21. Dallas Stars
On Friday, Kari Lehtonen continued his dominance of Chicago, going to 4-1-0 in his career against the ‘Hawks. He also has a 1.58 GAA and .947 save percentage in those five games.
22. New York Islanders
The big storyline surrounding the Isles – at least to start the year – is the three-headed monster in net. Al Montoya got the start in the opener, but look for Evgeni Nabokov and Rick DiPietro to see some time soon.
23. Calgary Flames
After a frustrating home loss to Pittsburgh, the Flames head east to face St. Louis, Montreal and Toronto this week.
24. Winnipeg Jets
Understandably, the Jets looked nervous and up-tight in the Jets’ official return to the NHL. These are still the Thrashers, just with more fan support.
25. Columbus Blue Jackets
Steve Mason has a .870 save percentage in two games and was even pulled in Minnesota on Saturday. Not a great start for the goaltender that’s under pressure.
26. Florida Panthers
Jose Theodore (27-save shutout) and Brian Campbell (2 assists), two of Florida’s many off-season additions, had nice first impressions.
27. Edmonton Oilers
The young kids are alright. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in his first NHL game (assisted by Taylor Hall), while Devan Dubnyk stood tall in net. They will undoubtedly be exciting to watch this year.
28. Colorado Avalanche
The Avs’ opener started well with the retirement of Peter Forsberg’s jersey. Then it was all downhill from there…
29. Phoenix Coyotes
The good from Saturday: Phoenix scored three power play goals. The bad: Mike Smith allowed six goals. The ugly: The defense surrendered 52 shots to the Sharks.
30. Ottawa Senators
Goaltending, viewed as a strength with Craig Anderson in net, failed the Senators on opening weekend. Paul MacLean’s gang gave up 11 goals in two games. It’ll be a long year in Ottawa.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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