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Sport NHL Power Rankings: Panthers take over top spot; Rangers, Oilers climb

22:00  25 october  2021
22:00  25 october  2021 Source:   nbcsports.com

Two very different eight-year contracts: Islanders’ Pelech, Oilers’ Nurse

  Two very different eight-year contracts: Islanders’ Pelech, Oilers’ Nurse One looks shrewd, the other falls in line with an offseason of defensive gambles.At the very least, the Islanders’ eight-year deal for Pelech feels like a steal compared to the rest, including the extension the Oilers handed to Nurse.

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we are still in that murky gray area of the NHL season where teams are producing some wildly unexpected results. There is a lot of noise at this point in the season where we try to sort out what is for real, what is a mirage, and who needs to start thinking about hitting the panic button.

  NHL Power Rankings: Panthers take over top spot; Rangers, Oilers climb © Provided by NBC Sports

One thing that does seem pretty clear, though? The Panthers look legit, and they take over the No. 1 spot in this week’s NHL Power Rankings thanks to a 5-0 start heading into Monday. Not only are they unbeaten, they have flat out dominated (what should be) some of the best teams in the league.

Canucks announce their home opener will be at full capacity

  Canucks announce their home opener will be at full capacity Vancouver’s home opener begins a seven-game homestand as the Canucks will try to gain traction in the Pacific Division standings. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.

The Oilers and  Rangers also make big jumps, while Vegas takes an unexpected fall. We take a look at all of that and more.

Where does your team rank?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1.  Florida Panthers (Last week: 2). They look fantastic. Maybe even better than the preseason expectations. It is okay to get excited, Panthers fans. Your team is legit.

2. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 1). If Frederik Andersen bounces back here that answers a big, important question for the Hurricanes.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 3). They have played without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and now are without Bryan Rust and Kris Letang. They are still scoring five goals per game and looking like their Stanley Cup window is still open.

4. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 13). When you have Connor McDavid and Leon Drasaitil you should be one of the best teams in the league. Not sure if the Oilers are anything close to that, but you can not argue with the start.

NHL Power Rankings: Panthers pounce on top spot behind play of Sergei Bobrovsky between pipes

  NHL Power Rankings: Panthers pounce on top spot behind play of Sergei Bobrovsky between pipes Bobrovsky has stopped 94.3% of the shots he's faced through four gamesThe Toronto Maple Leafs already have their fans sweating, but the team hasn't had many bounces go their way. On the other hand, teams like the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks are riding high on unsustainable shooting percentages.

5. St. Louis Blues (LW: 9). Jordan Kyrou looks like he is about to have a breakout season for the Blues, and that will be a welcome development.

6. New York Rangers (LW: 16). Now that Henrik Lundqvist is no longer there to steal games Igor Shesterkin has arrived to take over that role.

7. Boston Bruins (LW: 6). Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are picking right up where they left off — dominating. As long as that line is going, they have a chance on most nights.

8. Minnesota Wild (LW: 7). They are 4-1 entering the week despite getting so-so goaltending and zero goals (but five assists) from Kirill Kaprizov. The goaltending will get better and Kaprizov will start scoring goals.

9. Washington Capitals (LW: 10). The two big questions for the Capitals this season were goaltending and Evgeny Kuznetsov bouncing back. So far so good on both fronts.

10. New York Islanders (LW: 12). They are starting to put it together, and Ilya Sorokin is taking over the goaltending job. He is dominating.

NHL cold streaks: Matthews, Ehlers, others stuck at zero goals

  NHL cold streaks: Matthews, Ehlers, others stuck at zero goals Tough starts that are bound to get at least a little bit better around the NHL.In an 82-game NHL season, though? Even the best of teams will go through peaks and valleys.

11. San Jose Sharks (LW: 26). A bounce back year for Erik Karlsson seems like a must for this team to be competitive. He has six points in five games so far.

12. Dallas Stars (LW: 14). They needed Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov back in the lineup. Now they need them to start scoring goals.

13. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 5). They have not yet found their game. Their only two wins came in overtime and they have not actually played with a lead during any game this season this season.

14. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 4). Do not get used to this spot. They are going to get this right. But they are not there yet.

15. New Jersey Devils (LW: 19). Jack Hughes‘ injury takes a little wind out of the sails during a nice start. They need him.

16. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 17). Cam Atkinson looks like a perfect fit and Joel Farabee is at the very beginning of a major breakout season. All eyes shift to the goaltending, which has been very good so far!

17. Calgary Flames (LW: 20). What a great start for Elias Lindholm with six goals in the first four games.

18. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 23). They need Elvis Merzlikins and Patrik Laine to dominate to keep them in it. Both players have been very good so far.

Oilers top prospect Dmitri Samorukov medically cleared to return to AHL team

  Oilers top prospect Dmitri Samorukov medically cleared to return to AHL team Once Samorukov is back up to game speed, the rookie defender seems primed to finally crack the Edmonton roster at some point this season. Samorukov, 22, was a third-round pick of the Oilers in 2017 out of the OHL and he continued to boost his prospect stock in the years following with continual improvement at the junior level. He turned pro in 2019-20 and recorded 10 points in 47 AHL games. Last year, he spent the season on loan in the KHL and produced eight points and a plus-24 rating in 48 games.

[Related: Laine, Merzlikins powering Blue Jackets’ strong start]

19. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 25). It is going to be remembered as the Conor Garland trade and not the Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade.

20. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 27). Great sign for the Jets: Pierre-Luc Dubois is off to a fantastic start.

21. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 22). Get excited about Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. These are going to be the players to turn this thing around.

22. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 8). If there is a team that does not deserve the benefit of the doubt early in the season it is this team.

23. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 11). The main problem here is injuries. A lot of them. To significant players. That better be the problem, anyway.

24. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 24). It was a fun start but reality is going to start setting in here.

25. Ottawa Senators (LW: 21). Even with .925 goaltending this season they have still only won two of their first five games. Not a great sign.

26. Seattle Kraken (LW: 15). They have lost two third period leads during this four-game losing streak entering the week. They spent a lot of money on defense and goaltending to protect those leads.

27. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 18). Anze Kopitar is still great but things have really gone down hill since that big season opening win against the Golden Knights.

28. Nashville Predators (LW: 29). Big win against Minnesota on Sunday night, but still not sure about this team if Juuse Saros is not superman in net.

Kings reportedly seeking trade for depth right-shot defender

  Kings reportedly seeking trade for depth right-shot defender With Drew Doughty out for at least the next eight weeks due to a knee contusion and Sean Walker out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL, the defensive depth for the Kings has certainly taken a hit, particularly on the right side.  To that end, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports in the latest TSN "Insider Trading" segment that Los Angeles is looking to add a depth right-shot defender at a minimum.

29. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 28). Nice start for John Gibson, and there is some promising young talent here. That makes for a promising future. Present is still pretty bleak for the Ducks.

30. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 31). Offense finally woke up against Detroit. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield combining for zero goals and two assists through six games is making it difficult on the offense.

31. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 30). Not sure what else to say here except this has to be what everybody expected this season.

32. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 32). Not sure what else to say here except this has been the absolute worst team in the league so far and every game seems to be a new embarrassment for them. Record setting.

More NHL News

Devils’ Mackenzie Blackwood gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine Blackhawks get embarrassed again; set record for early season futility Kraken open first home game with ceremony, retire number 32

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Power Rankings: Panthers take over top spot; Rangers, Oilers climb originally appeared on NBCSports.com

NHL Power Rankings: Hurricanes back on top; Markstrom drives Flames’ climb .
The Hurricanes are back on top while Markstrom helps the Flames make a big climb.Elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues continue to benefit from a trade they did not make, while the Calgary Flames make a big climb thanks to Jacob Markstrom turning into a brick wall.

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