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NHL Power Rankings: Week Four

Colorado Avalanche v Washington CapitalsWith nearly all 30 NHL teams having played ten games, a clearer picture is coming into focus. Lenny Rowe and Eric Russo break down all 30 in this edition of NHL Power Rankings. 

1.) Colorado Avalanche (10-1-0; 20 points) (#3, Week Three):  

The Avs don’t appear to be slowing down. They have won four straight and remain atop the Central Division. Patrick Roy’s squad is leading the league in goals against, as they are allowing a mere 1.5 a game. – Eric Russo

2.) San Jose Sharks (10-1-1; 21 points) (#1, Week Three):   

The Sharks are tearing it up with the best offense in the league with 48 goals in 12 games played. That Antti Niemi guy is a brick wall with a .933 save percentage and a 1.53 GAA. Now am I the only one wondering what Joe Thornton will do when he scores four goals? – Lenny Rowe

3.) Anaheim Ducks (9-3-0; 18 points) (#4, Week Three):  

The Ducks have won 8 of 10 after starting 1-2-0 and are undefeated at home. I don’t know if they’ll hang around the top of the rankings all year, but for now they belong. – ER

4.) Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3-0; 16 points) (#19, Week Three):  

This team is sneakily climbing up the standings. Ashley and Ricky had them number 19 last week! This team is lighting it up on the power play, tied for second place in PPG with 8. Ben Bishop has been inconsistent in net, but good enough to let Martin St. Louis (7-7-14) and Steven Stamkos (8-9-17) do their thing. – LR

5.) St. Louis Blues (6-1-2; 14 points) (#5, Week Three):  

The Blues have played nine games, the fewest in the league – some teams have played as many as 14…weird. The extra time off hasn’t hurt the Blues, though. Their power play is clicking at an astronomical 30.3 percent, first in the NHL. – ER

6.) Boston Bruins (7-3-0; 14 points) (#6, Week Three):  

Former winners of four straight, the Bruins saw their streak snapped by the Devils on Saturday. Besides blowing that lead, this team has been very good. The Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line has been dominant in all areas of play, while Tuukka Rask is third in the league for save percentage (.947) and GAA (1.56). Boston will be tested by the Penguins Wednesday and the Ducks Thursday. Let’s see how they survive this upcoming stretch – LR

7.)  Los Angeles Kings (8-4-0; 16 points) (#9, Week Three):  

The Kings are fifth in the Pacific division, yet they would be third in the Central and tied for first in the Metropolitan and Atlantic. More evidence that the Pacific is, by far, the best division in the NHL. – ER

8.) Chicago Blackhawks (7-2-3; 17 points) (#7, Week Three):

Crawford might still be hungover, but the rest of the team isn’t doing that bad. I feel like the Hawks are due for a big streak. – LR

9.) Toronto Leafs (8-4-0; 16 points) (#20, Week Three):  

The Leafs are hanging around. Their 8-4-0 start is impressive and old friend Phil Kessel is living up to his new mega contract. The winger has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 12 games. – ER

10.) Vancouver Canucks (9-4-1; 19 points) (#12, Week Three):  

I really thought John Tortorella’s defense-first system would help Luongo and the Canucks. If Luongo doesn’t get his tires pumped soon, I think Vancouver’s backup might become the starter (again). – LR

11.) Pittsburgh Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points) (#2, Week Three):

The Penguins aren’t off to a blazing start. But they still sit atop the Metro. They rank 10th in goals per game (kind of low for them) and 16th on the power play (really low for them). But Sidney Crosby still has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 12 games. The guy is just…ridiculous. – ER

12.) Detroit Red Wings (6-4-2; 14 points) (#8, Week Three):  

With the Wings on a four game skid, I feel like they might return to their winning ways. Edmonton and Calgary might help them. – LR

13.) Phoenix Coyotes (7-3-2; 16 points) (#11, Week Three):  

How about the ‘Yotes? Pretty nice start for them. But giving up 3.2 goals a game (25th in the league) means they won’t be this high for much longer. Time to shore up the defense. – ER

14.) Minnesota Wild (6-4-3; 15 points) (#16, Week Three):

 Ricky said last week that threes are Wild. They’ve won three, lost three, and won three. With last night’s 5-1 loss to Chicago, I have them losing. Sorry, Wild fans. – LR

15.) Montreal Canadiens (7-5-0; 14 points) (#10, Week Three):

The Canadiens are 4-1-0 on the road, but just 3-4-0 at Bell Centre. The natives must be getting restless. — ER

16.) New York Islanders (4-4-3; 11 points) (#13, Week Three):  

The Isles effectively broke apart their only line by sending Matt Moulson and draft picks to the Sabres, in exchange for Thomas Vanek. Vanek is a solid player, and will certainly fit in with John Tavares, but how long will it take for them to build chemistry? I think the Isles might temporarily slip. – LR

17.) Nashville Predators (6-5-1; 13 points) (#17, Week Three):  

The Predators are scoring 1.9 goals a game (27th in the league). Yuck. – ER

18.) Winnipeg Jets (5-6-2; 12 points) (#26, Week Three):  

The Jets are stalling out. The future does not look bright for this team. – LR

19.) Calgary Flames (5-4-2; 12 points) (#23, Week Three):  

Offense good (3.1 GPG, 8th in the league), defense bad, very bad (3.5 goals against a game, 28th). – ER

20.) Carolina Hurricanes(4-5-3; 11 points) (#15, Week Three):

Cam Ward out, Anton Khudobin out. Looks like the Canes are also going to drop this week. – LR

21.) Washington Capitals (5-6-0; 10 points) (#18, Week Three):  

Alex Ovechkin has come to play this year. No. 8 has 10 goals and 15 points in 12 games. Doesn’t anyone want to join him? – ER

22.) Ottawa Senators (4-5-2; 10 points) (#14, Week Three):  

Craig Anderson, Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan, and Jason Spezza are carrying this team. It’s just a matter of everyone else stepping up. I think the Sens are on a downward slide. — LR

23.) Columbus Blue Jackets (5-6-0; 10 points) (#25, Week Three):  

The Blue Jackets have a plus-2 goal differential. So. yeah. They have that going for them. – ER

24.) Dallas Stars (5-5-1; 11 points) (#21, Week Three):

Lindy has it Ruff. (See what I did there?) I don’t know what to think of this team. Kari Lehtonen has returned to the lineup, so it’s only up from here for the Stars. – LR

25.) Edmonton Oilers (3-8-2; 8 points) (#27, Week Three):  

What a disappointing start. Thought the Oilers would be a legit playoff contender this year with all of their talent. But they sit last in the Pacific and last in goals against a game (3.8). Their power play (24th) and penalty kill (29th) are not good. Taylor Hall is out for a month and nobody else is scoring. Woof. – ER

26.) New Jersey Devils (2-5-4; 8 points) (#22, Week Three):  

Martin Brodeur has had a remarkable career. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t have it anymore. Cory Schneider is on his way up, but he just needs more experience. I do not want to write off this team just yet.  – LR

27.) Florida Panthers (3-7-2; 8 points) (#28, Week Three):  

Tim Thomas is hurt – again. Guess that’s what happens when you take a year off at 38. And there’s this: the Panthers are 26th in goals per game (2.1), 27th in goals against (3.3), 29th on the power play (9.8%), and 21st on the PK (78.4). Yikes, no wonder why nobody wants to go to their games. – ER

28.) Philadelphia Flyers (3-7-0; 6 points) (#29, Week Three):  

Despite the dismal record, Steve Mason is killing it. Fantasy sleeper anyone? Giroux and Lecavalier on the same line might help bolster the offense.

29.) NY Rangers (3-6-0; 6 points) (#24, Week Three):  

The Rangers have a minus-20 goal differential. They are last in scoring (1.5 goals a game) and second to last in goals against (3.5). Tough to win when you give up a ton of goals and don’t score. – ER

30.) Buffalo Sabres (2-10-1; 5 points) (#30, Week Three):  

Blow up the team and start over. Where’s Ryan Miller going to end up? I think Florida. – LR

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