The NHL lockout ended, making way for an abbreviated regular season, one in which some teams are already six games into. While the cuts in the ice are still fresh, it’s never too early to explore the stat lines, making way for a fresh set of NHL Power Rankings.
In the inaugural ranking of this season, the San Jose Sharks land in the top spot, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators.
Here’s how the rankings fall into place, featuring a few stats, tidbits and thoughts, as well as a comparison to how each team finished last season. Oh, and obviously, the point totals are the ratings calculations, and have no correlation to the team’s actual point totals in the standings.
KP’s NHL Power Rankings: January 28, 2013
*Stats and figures as of January 28, 2013 at 5pm Eastern time
1. San Jose Sharks (93 points) – Finished Last Season: #12
The Sharks are off to an explosive start offensively. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton each have 13 points, which tops the league.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (87 points) – Finished Last Season: #11
Patrick Kane is off to a hot start, leading the team in points (9) and assists (7).
3. St. Louis Blues (77 points) – Finished Last Season: #5
The Blues have a +11 goal differential, which is tied for the second best mark in the NHL.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (69 points) – Finished Last Season: #24
Tampa Bay’s 24 goals are the most in the Eastern Conference and tied for the most in the NHL. It also is currently the top goals per game average.
5. Ottawa Senators (67 points) – Finished Last Season: #14
Give a lot of credit to goalie Craig Anderson for Ottawa’s strong start. Anderson’s goals against average (0.74) and save percentage (.975) currently lead the NHL.
6. New Jersey Devils (65 points) – Finished Last Season: #8
The ageless 40-year-old Martin Brodeur is off to a solid start, posting a 1.69 GAA, which is currently ranked third in the NHL.
7. Boston Bruins (64 points) – Finished Last Season: #2
The Bruins have shown balance on its roster, with nine players totaling either two or three points in its first four games of the season.
8. Montreal Canadiens (64 points) – Finished Last Season: #21
Montreal has scored four goals in each of its last three games, all victories.
9. Winnipeg Jets (47 points) – Finished Last Season: #22
Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Evander Kane each have six total points in Winnipeg’s first five games of the season.
10. Anaheim Ducks (44 points) – Finished Last Season: #25
The Ducks have allowed 14 goals in four games, yet have managed a 3-1 record.
11. Vancouver Canucks (42 points) – Finished Last Season: #1
The Sedin brothers have combined for ten points (2 goals, 8 assists) in Vancouver’s first five games.
12. Pittsburgh Penguins (41 points) – Finished Last Season: #4
The Penguins opened the season on the road for four of its first five games, winning three of those contests.
13. New York Islanders (41 points) – Finished Last Season: #29
In five games, the Islanders have scored 18 goals, while allowing the same total amount.
14. Minnesota Wild (35 points) – Finished Last Season: #27
In his first five games with the Wild, Zach Parise has nine points and five goals.
15. Dallas Stars (31 points) – Finished Last Season: #18
With just five games played, it’s early, but no member of the Stars has more than three goals or three assists on the season.
16. Colorado Avalanche (30 points) – Finished Last Season: #19
Even this early in the season, Colorado is the only team in the NHL to be undefeated at home (2-0-0) and winless or without a tie on the road (0-2-0).
17. Nashville Predators (27 points) – Finished Last Season: #7
The Predators have lost three shootouts in its first five games. No other team has lost more than one.
18. Carolina Hurricanes (26 points) – Finished Last Season: #23
Goalie Dan Ellis is off to a solid start for the Hurricanes, posting a 1.20 GAA and a .963 save percentage, good for second in the NHL.
19. New York Rangers (26 points) – Finished Last Season: #3
Henrik Lundqvist is off to a slow start, posting a 3.14 GAA in his first five games.
20. Buffalo Sabres (25 points) – Finished Last Season: #17
Thomas Vanek leads the team in points (9), goals (3) and assists (6).
21. Toronto Maple Leafs (22 points) – Finished Last Season: #26
The Leafs have given up twelve goals combined over its last two games, both losses.
22. Edmonton Oilers (20 points) – Finished Last Season: #28
Finishing last season ranked 28th in the Power Rankings, the Oilers are off to a better start, posting a quality road shootout win against the Canucks and an overtime win over the Kings.
23. Philadelphia Flyers (17 points) – Finished Last Season: #6
Set aside Philly’s 7-1 win against the Panthers and the Flyers have scored just six goals in its other five games, while allowing seventeen to opposing teams.
24. Los Angeles Kings (15 points) – Finished Last Season: #13
The defending Stanley Cup champs are off to a slow start, finally winning its first game of the season, a 4-2 win over the Coyotes on Saturday the 26th.
25. Detroit Red Wings (14 points) – Finished Last Season: #9
Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall each have four assists in Detroit’s first five games.
26. Calgary Flames (14 points) – Finished Last Season: #20
Curtis Glencross leads the team in points (5), goals (3) and penalty minutes (4).
27. Phoenix Coyotes (12 points) – Finished Last Season: #10
The Coyotes have given up four or more goals in each of its four losses.
28. Columbus Blue Jackets (-2 points) – Finished Last Season: #30
Columbus’ -9 goal differential is currently the worst mark in the Western conference.
29. Washington Capitals (-7 points) – Finished Last Season: #15
Alexander Ovechkin’s first goal finally came in Washington’s last game (its 5th of the season).
30. Florida Panthers (-13 points) – Finished Last Season: #16
The Panthers have scored 8 goals in its first five games, the fewest in the Eastern Conference. Florida’s -11 goal differential is also the worst mark in the East.
* All stats per NHL.com
The Wife Hates Sports NHL Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and defense, too.
They have some offensive talent, that’s for sure.
Mr. Power Rankings… you know, you should think about doing them every now and again – just not as much as me. A group of us could and link them together. They actually do get good reads… well the NASCAR ones, especially. They are just easy to calculate and piece together, so when I’m short on time, they are pretty easy to get out there with no research.
Considering the season just started, none.
I figured Mr. Power Rankings would know that.
Seriously though, the Lightning are the only team in the Bay Area that can draw.
It’s one of the reasons they want so badly to bring the Rays over to that part of town.
I’m serious, dude. That team is pretty good. Look for them to do some damage this year.
That would be cool. How do the folks in Tampa show up for the Lightning? How many games have you been to?
I’m going out on a limb here and picking the Lightning to win the Cup.
I think they shored up some of their last-season issues and the shortened season might work to their advantage.
BRING THE CUP BACK TO TAMPA BABY!!!