Sports NHL Power Rankings: Lightning, Bruins hungry for redemption
Ranking the NHL's 5 best offenses
The NHL saw an uptick in scoring last season for a variety of reasons. Sure, goaltenders were forced to wear smaller equipment, but the overall speed and skill of the game are at an all-time high - and it's arguably never been more fun to watch. With a new season just around the corner, we rank the top five offenses in the league. If you're a fan of high-scoring hockey, the following teams make for can't-miss TV. GF = Goals For PP% = Power Play
This is the first edition of theScore's NHL Power Rankings for 2019-20. Check back for updated rankings every second Monday during the regular season.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Last year's infamous first-round sweep was a massive disappointment, but theremain as deep and dangerous as they were during a historically dominant 2018-19 regular season. Tampa Bay still boasts the NHL's most potent roster, and thus begins the season as the prohibitive Stanley Cup favorite.
2. Boston Bruins
Thecame within one win of the Stanley Cup in June and return for 2019-20 with the core intact. After extending blue-liners and , the reigning Eastern Conference champions are well-positioned for another deep run.
RFA defensemen signings now lay groundwork for Lightning signings later
Ivan Provorov, Zach Werenski, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo signings give basis for Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak contracts next summerDefensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak will both be restricted free agents following this season. Sergachev will be completing his third season in the NHL. Through his first two seasons, he had put up a 40 and 32 point season and should be expected to be back in that range for a third straight season. Cernak will be completing his second full NHL season and posted 16 points last season.
3. St. Louis Blues
Though few expect theto repeat, the defending champs also enter the new campaign with virtually the same core that won a title this past spring. The acquisition of raises some , but it does give the team even more defensive depth. St. Louis remains a well-rounded club with strength in all three positional groups.
4. San Jose Sharks
San Jose lost some firepower over the summer but still has plenty of it. Withnow signed for the long haul and and both inked at reasonable rates, the are once again poised to be one of the NHL's top clubs.
5. Vegas Golden Knights
Thewill be as motivated as any team in 2019-20 after last season's controversial first-round exit. Trading away cap casualties Nikita Gusev and might sting, but Vegas still boasts a dangerous top six, a solid top four on the blue line, and the ever-dependable in the crease.
Canucks' Brock Boeser, Oscar Fantenberg placed in concussion protocol
The Vancouver Canucks have announced that both Brock Boeser and Oscar Fantenberg have been placed in the concussion protocol, but gave no update on their recovery timeline. Boeser was crunched into the boards by Ottawa Senators forward Chris Tierney Tuesday night, which is likely when he suffered the concussion. The Ottawa player received a two-minute minor, but Boeser did return to the game. This is terrible news for a team looking to compete for the playoffs this season and a player that has struggled with injury throughout his young career.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
With's contract situation resolved, the again enter the season with one of the league's most talented stables of forwards. Will the defense-bolstering addition of and continued development of the young core be enough to get them over the first-round hump this spring?
7. Calgary Flames
Thegot their own high-profile restricted free agent, , signed to a new deal last week, but a few questions loom large: Can shoulder a starter's workload in net? Can avoid a big regression? Will make a positive impact following the worst season of his NHL career?
8. Nashville Predators
should help improve the league's worst powerplay of 2018-19. P.K. Subban is gone, but general manager David Poile felt comfortable making that trade partly because of what he's seen from . Nashville's vaunted blue line likely won't be significantly worse this season.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang named in NHL Network’s ‘Top 50 Players Right Now’
The Penguins core stars show up on a list of the league’s best at the current momentSidney Crosby ranks highest on the list among Penguins players, coming in at #3, while Malkin and Letang come in at #28 and #46, respectively.
9. Colorado Avalanche
An utterly fearsome top line, a potential Calder Trophy candidate in, and some new depth up front have the poised to take a big step forward in 2019-20. is going to exceed last season's career-high 37 appearances; if he can provide stability over the course of a full schedule, Colorado should be one of the NHL's most dangerous teams.
10. Carolina Hurricanes
There's been some turnover for thefollowing their run to the Eastern Conference Final. The team will still ice one of the NHL's deepest defensive groups, however, as well as a trio of promising young forwards. "Storm Surge" or not, Carolina will be a tough out once again.
11. Washington Capitals
A first-round playoff exit followed by a fairly uneventful offseason in D.C. has cast some doubt on the' chances of returning to their 2017-2018 championship form. They'll be more intimidating, with joining a team that already features , but will that ultimately matter?
12. Dallas Stars
Thecould be legitimate contenders in 2019-20. If can get back on track and takes another step forward in his development, Dallas should improve on last season's wild-card finish and make some noise come playoff time.
NHL top 25 under 25: Ranking hockey's best young stars for 2019-20
The NHL's youth movement is here and these young guns are set to carry the NHL for the next two decades.The players listed below belong to an elite group of performers who bear the responsibility of carrying the league to greater heights. They draw crowds, sell jerseys, dominate late-night highlights and stretch the history of their profession from common to legendary. Each player has shown their warts, but those shortcomings far outweigh their excitability, dynamism and most importantly, their production.
13. Florida Panthers
What a difference an offseason makes. Sure, thedidn't get Artemi Panarin, but and new head coach Joel Quenneville should turn Florida into a quasi-contender before long, especially considering the talent already on the roster.
14. Pittsburgh Penguins
Changes were clearly coming for theafter they were swept out of the first round in the spring, but general manager Jim Rutherford raised eyebrows when he traded Phil Kessel for and signed to a six-year deal. The Penguins' window isn't closed yet, but it's starting to slide shut.
15. New Jersey Devils
Thealready possessed a solid collection of talent before putting together an incredible offseason. Adding , , and to a group that includes , , and all but ensures this New Jersey squad will be much better than the one that finished with the NHL's third-worst record in 2018-19.
16. Winnipeg Jets
and are back in the fold, but 's future is still up in the air and the ' defense is depleted regardless of whether the hulking blue-liner returns. Winnipeg has the talent to remain competitive, but this team will be in tough keeping pace in the ultra-tight Central Division.
Edmonton Oilers linked to Hurricanes’ Julien Gauthier
Edmonton Oilers might have their mindset on acquiring the up-and-coming power forward Julien Gauthier.The Edmonton Oilers may have a solution to the situation: a trade. The Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins reports that there continues to be interest out of Edmonton in acquiring Gauthier. This is not the first time that his name has come up as an Oilers target, as it was previously noted that his name popped up as a possible swap for divorced prospect Jesse Puljujarvi.
17. Montreal Canadiens
Montreal only missed the playoffs by two points and had incredible underlying numbers throughout the year. An infusion of new young talent inand combined with healthy seasons from and could be enough to get the Habs over the hump this time around.
18. New York Islanders
Thehad a relatively quiet summer - aside from losing their best player from a season ago. Is reliable enough to mask New York's deficiencies as effectively as did? Time will tell.
19. New York Rangers
, , , and . How the ' new players impact their playoff chances remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Things just got way more entertaining on Broadway.
20. Philadelphia Flyers
It was a busy offseason in Philly. The Flyers hired a new coach, signedto one of the summer's most lucrative free-agent contracts, and made a pair of trades to shore up the blue line. Most importantly, though, goaltender had a .982 save percentage in the preseason and remains this squad's best hope for a postseason appearance.
21. Chicago Blackhawks
Thewill be an interesting team to watch this year. Jeremy Colliton has a full season to make his mark and a few new pieces at his disposal. That said, he has his work cut out for him as this aging roster eyes a playoff berth in the stacked Central.
NHL 2019-20 season: Best shots from the action on the ice
The 2019-20 NHL season is underway. The best photos from every night as teams begin the quest for the Stanley Cup.
22. Arizona Coyotes
Thecame within four points of the playoffs in 2018-19 despite being ravaged by injuries. With a healthy roster and in the mix, Arizona might be good enough to squeak in this time.
23. Vancouver Canucks
Expectations are high in Vancouver as thelook to take a step forward this season. The young core is talented, and the front office added , , and to help build a more complete roster. Anything less than a stake in the wild-card race will be a disappointment.
24. Buffalo Sabres
General manager Jason Botterill has made a series of shrewd moves to bolster the' blue line, but offensive depth remains a serious concern. It's tough to see how this club makes noise in the Atlantic relying solely on the contributions of and .
25. Edmonton Oilers
Speaking of lackluster offensive depth, theseemed destined to repeat last year's playoff miss unless and (once again) put together some truly stellar numbers.
26. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota is a team stuck in the middle, but with good health, thecould be sneaky. The club's veteran forwards are still quietly productive and the blue line remains solid. The lack of star power might be an issue, though, especially in the Central.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets
If theare to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, they'll have to do so through hard work and grit. Columbus lost too much talent this summer to be considered a true threat, but it'd be unwise to discount John Tortorella's ability to rally his troops.
28. Anaheim Ducks
Theare in the midst of a retool but still have a handful of quality pieces. If Dallas Eakins is the right fit behind the bench and does what John Gibson does in goal, maybe Anaheim can surprise.
29. Los Angeles Kings
Outside ofand , the are running seriously low on talent. Another high draft pick is the best-case scenario in Hollywood this season.
30. Detroit Red Wings
Steve Yzerman's first year back in Motown is likely to be a long one as the' rebuild is still in its infancy. At least and should be fun to watch.
31. Ottawa Senators
The Senators sold all their veterans last season and enter the 2019-20 campaign in true scorched-earth form. The wins will be few and far between, but there are some nice pieces to develop this year., , , and comprise a genuinely promising young core in Ottawa.
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Canadiens squander strong start, fall 3-1 to Lightning at the Bell Centre .
The Canadiens played 16 minutes of inspired hockey, but that’s not nearly enough when they’re matched against the high-octane Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay spotted the Canadiens a 1-0 lead, but roared back to score three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens came out strong in the first period and used an aggressive forecheck to keep the play in the Lightning zone. The shots were 8-2 in Montreal’s favour when Yanni Gourde was sent off for slashing Joel Armia and the new and improved Montreal power play went into action.
NHL Power Rankings: Lightning, Bruins hungry for redemption
Monday, September 30, 2019 NHL Power Rankings: Lightning, Bruins hungry for redemption | Helpful Problem This is the first edition of theScore's NHL Power ...