Welcome to the fifth edition of my weekly NHL Power Rankings for The Hockey Writers, where the league’s top half is evaluated. These rankings will evaluate how teams performed over the past week. They will also consider their overall strength and where they stand at the moment in the standings. With that said, let’s take a look at the top 16 teams in the league at this moment.
16. Boston Bruins (9-6-0)
Last Weeks Rank: NA
The Bruins have had a slow start to their season but are slowly moving in the right directions. While Sunday night’s 4-0 loss versus the Calgary Flames was ugly, they were able to defeat both the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens in convincing fashion earlier in the week.
One player they could More information availableTaylor Hall is an average player in the beginning with only four goals and nine points in 15 contests. Although he is not the Hart Trophy-caliber player he was in 2017-18, he still has tons of talent and is capable to produce more.
15. Philadelphia Flyers (8-5-3).
Last Weeks Rank: 16
Flyers fans have to be thrilled with Carter Hart’s start to the season. He had a terrible 3.67 goals-against-average (GAA) in 2020-21 and a.877 save rate (SV%) in 27 starts. The 23-year old has made a huge turnaround. Through 11 starts, he now has a 2.25 GAA as well as a sparkling.932SV%.
Similar: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings Week 5
Claude Giroux, Derick Brassard and Derick Farabee have been excellent players. However, this roster is too full. For this team to contend for the Stanley Cup, it will require players like Travis Konecny (Joel Farabee) and James Van Riemsdyk.
14. Colorado Avalanche (8-5-1)
Last Weeks Rank: 14
The Avalanche played only two games this week, and it was a quiet one for them. Both were solid wins, with the Avalanche beating the Vancouver Canucks by 4-2 and the Seattle Kraken by 7-3. Those are two teams that are really struggling, however, hence the Avs remaining in the same slot on this week’s ranking.
On Sunday, the Avalanche received very positive news from Nathan MacKinnon who resumed skating after sustaining a lower-body injury two weeks ago. Though an exact date isn’t clear, he is expected to Return to the lineup soonThis will undoubtedly help this team a lot.
13. Anaheim Ducks (10-5-3)
Last Weeks Rank: 15
What is the story? As a team that could win the lottery, the Ducks were seen as a lottery team going into the 2021-22 seasons. The Ducks are currently third in the Pacific Division, thanks to an 8-game winning streak.
Troy Terry is a big reason for their success. He currently has a 16-game point streak, and has 22 points this season. Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique and Adam Henrique are both playing great hockey for the Ducks. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue, but this team is one the most impressive stories of the 2021-22 season.
12. St. Louis Blues (9-2-2)
Last Weeks Rank: 8
The Blues are having a difficult time lately after a great start to the season. They are currently just 3-5-2 in 10 of their last 10 games. The Blues also lost two of the three previous weeks to very bad teams in Arizona Coyotes.
On paper, this appears to be a solid team, so it shouldn’t surprise anybody if they are able to figure things out. They were able to breathe a little easier after their great start, but they need to move quickly as they are now third in the Central Division.
11. Winnipeg Jets (9-4-44)
Last Weeks Rank: 9
The Jets began the week well with a win of 5-2 over Edmonton Oilers. Two nights later, the Oilers won their next matchup 2-1 in a shootout. On Friday, they lost to a Canucks team in trouble.
This group hasn’t quite hit their stride yet but is so talented that they have a very solid record regardless. Blake Wheeler is a player who has struggled, and has only five helpers in 12 games.
10. Vegas Golden Knights (11-7-0)
Last Weeks Rank: 11
The Golden Knights Slowly becoming healthierThey have started to get better from their slow start. They’ll be facing a tough test on Saturday night when they face the Oilers.
Related: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings – Week 4
They have managed 11 wins despite their injury problems early in the season, which shows how deep this team truly is. They will be a formidable team if they can get back to full fitness and will likely be in contention to win the Stanley Cup.
9. Minnesota Wild (11-6-1)
Last Weeks Rank: 5
While the Wild have had a fantastic start to their season so far, it is difficult to ignore that they have had a nice schedule. This past week gave them two of their toughest opponents yet in the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and while they didn’t look overmatched in either contest, they did drop both.
The problem with the Wild up to now has been their goaltending. Kaapo Kahkonen and Cam Talbot have both struggled. Talbot’s track record suggests he should be able to turn things around, but it is a bit of a concerning start from the 34-year-old.
8. Calgary Flames (11-3-5).
Last Weeks Rank: 13
The Flames scored 14 goals in their remaining three games after a 2-1 overtime loss against the Flyers Tuesday night. This team seems more confident than ever about the 2020-21 season.
Jacob Markstrom, while many Flames players have had strong start to their seasons is what is being most talked about. Jacob Markstrom, 31, has an incredible five shutouts in only 14 starts. He is likely to be the frontrunner for this year’s Vezina Trophy.
7. New York Rangers (11-4-3)
Last Weeks Rank: 10
The Rangers won two of their games against lesser teams such as the Buffalo Sabres or Montreal Canadiens but lost the other one to the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, it was another solid week from a team most people agree is the best this season.
This team’s biggest concern right now is Alex Georgiev’s play as backup goaltender. He has a worrying 4.08 GAA, and a.858SV% through six starts. Thankfully Igor Shesterkin has been stellar as the team’s number one, but the Rangers will need Georgiev to be better moving forward so they can give Shesterkin some rest.
6. Washington Capitals (11-3-5).
Last Weeks Rank: 4
The Capitals were expected to rise after back-to-back wins against the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. The Capitals were pushed down slightly by a loss of 5-2 to the Seattle Kraken.
The Capitals’ loss to the Kraken occurred in the second half of a back–to-back. There is nothing to worry about with it, as this team, led by Alex Ovechkin’s ridiculous 15 goals and 30 points, are true Stanley Cup contenders.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-31-1
Last Weeks Rank: 2
The week was solid for the Maple Leafs, and especially their goaltenders who let only three goals in four games. With 27 points, they are now second in the Pacific Division.
Jack Campbell has been this team’s MVP to this point, as his 1.66 GAA along with his .944 SV% have him getting some Vezina talk as well. Both Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews haven’t been great for their standards, and that should change soon. This team is even more dangerous if/when they do.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (10-4-3)
Last Weeks Rank: 7
The Lightning seem to be getting better. They won three of the four games this week and currently sit in third place in Atlantic Division.
It is important to keep an eye on how the team handles injuries. They are currently without Nikita Kucherov, and will remain so for some time. This is an extremely difficult pill to swallow. However, it got worse on Sunday when it was revealed that they were without Nikita Kucherov. Brayden Point remains indefinitely. They have a strong roster. But, that’s only half the good news.
3. Edmonton Oilers (13-4-4)
Last Weeks Rank: 6
They were swept by them in playoffs. It seemed like the Jets really had the Oilers under control after defeating them so easily on Tuesday night. The Oilers won the game against the Jets thanks to some last-minute magic by Connor McDavid.
Related: NHL 2021-22 Power Rankings, Week 3
They won the 5-2 game over the Chicago Blackhawks to follow up their win against Jets. What both McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are doing right now is something the NHL hasn’t seen in decades, as they have a combined 67 points in just 34 games. This team is the best in the league at the moment.
2. Florida Panthers (13-2-33)
Last Weeks Rank: 3
I predicted last week that the Panthers would win all three games, and they did. Their offense was outstanding in all three games, scoring a total of 15 goals.
The Panthers faced a major problem with ananaplasma. Injury to Aleksander BarkovScott Mayfield, New York Islanders Scott Mayfield took a nasty knee to Barkov. Barkov will be out of action for approximately three to four weeks. However, that seems like a blessing considering the severity of the injury. Also, he was spotted at a Saturday practice, which suggests that he could return to skating sooner than originally believed.
1. Carolina Hurricanes (14-2-0)
Last Weeks Rank: 1
It’s difficult to find any flaws in this Carolina Hurricanes team at the moment. They won all three of their games and have now scored a league-leading fourteen victories.
Some believed that losing Dougie Hamilton to free agency would hurt this team, but that hasn’t been the case as Tony DeAngelo has been a terrific replacement with 15 points in 16 games. Their defense, offense and goaltending are all performing well at the moment and it is not unreasonable to expect them to improve.
There are changes to come
As each team experiences highs or lows, the rankings will be subject to change. The true contenders will probably always be on the list. However, where they rank could change each week. You can see the changes by tuning in next week at this time!
Colton Pankiw, a former Jr. A hockey player, now shares his knowledge through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer with the Calgary Flames, but also contributes features to other teams in the league. The following are his other writing contributions: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.comAnd Markerzone.com. Colton is also co-host of both Oilers Overtime Flames faceoff podcasts. He can also be reached for content and interview requests. Twitter. You can see his work here.