Eric Stephens’ NHL power rankings (Nov. 27, 2017)
If you’re wondering why the rankings seem static from last week, it’s because they largely are.
The top teams may have traded a place or two but they’re still at the top. Those at the bottom are bunking in for the winter. If anything, the expected fall of the Vegas Golden Knights or New Jersey Devils has not arrived.
Will that fall actually come? Maybe it will or maybe it won’t but the Knights and Devils continue to be two of the great surprising stories for a league that can always use some.
Gary Bettman wanted a competitive team right away in Las Vegas and he’s got one. Put a good coach – Gerard Gallant – with a chip on his shoulder (Hi, Florida!) on a team full of players with chips on theirs and you’ve got a new headliner playing in the desert. (Records in parentheses are as of Sunday’s games).
1. Blues (17-6-1): The top line of Jaden Schwartz-Brayden Schenn-Vladimir Tarasenko has been nearly unstoppable. Try 35 goals and 55 assists in 24 games. (2).
2. Predators (14-6-3): Just one regulation loss in their last 11. Once again getting offense from the blue line as Roman Josi, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm have a combined 14 goals. (3)
3. Lightning (16-5-2): Now past the quarter mark, they’re facing their first mini-slump of the season with three losses in their last four. Many others would take that in a heartbeat. (1)
4. Blue Jackets (15-7-1): No team has scored more than two goals against these guys since Carolina got three Nov. 10. That’s one way to have a six-game winning streak, currently the NHL’s longest. (5)
5. Maple Leafs (15-9-1): Not the best week with two regulation home losses and a shutout defeat but Patrick Marleau has nine goals and 16 points. Think the Ducks can use […]