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Power (rankings) to the people

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What does everybody want? RANKINGS! How do we want them categorized? By POWER!

NHL: OCT 16 Avalanche at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Gather ‘round, boys and girls, for it is once again time to rank things!

And these aren’t just any rankings. Oh no. These are POWER rankings. That’s right. All 31 teams. One list. Most powerful to least powerful. An unbelievably original, unique concept. I know. I’m an innovator.

Ok, I’m done. Let’s just get into it.

  1. Colorado Avalanche {Last week: 7; +6}

(7-0-1)

The Avs have picked up 15 of 16 points thus far, while leading the league in goals scored, and goals-per-game. More surprising, however, is how few goals they’ve given up- 2.63 per game, top-ten in the league.

Philip Grubauer is doing his part (2.79 GAA; .919 save-percentage), and 29-year-old rookie backup Pavel Francouz is more than holding his own (1.95 GAA, .951 save-percentage), making 34 saves against the Coyotes last week, and 44 saves on Saturday night against Tampa Bay. Francouz has an interesting story, having come over to North America last season, playing mostly with AHL Colorado Eagles, although he did make a couple of appearances off the bench last year and stopped 33 of 35 shots he faced. Check out Francouz’s numbers in the Czech Republic and KHL. Colorado may have a true 1A behind Grubauer.

And oh yeah, that offense.

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each have 11 points. Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog have each picked up 7. Tyson Jost (4 goals, 1 assist), Nazem Kadri (3 goals, 2 assists), Matt Calvert (1 goal, 4 assists), Joonas Donskoi (3 goals, 3 assists), and Andre Burakovsky (4 goals, 4 assists) have all produced.

This is a deep team with a high-flying offense and a couple of netminders who’ve been stoning everybody- a combination that has lead to the best goal differential (plus-14) and points-percentage (.938) in the league.

2) Vegas Golden Knights {Last week: 1; -1}

(6-3-0)

Steph Driver’s Glitter Knights have a top-ten offense (3.44 goals-per-game) and Marc-Andre Fleury has been dominant, and just shut out his former team, stopping all 29 of the Penguins’ shots on Saturday night.

Mark Stone (6 goals), Reilly Smith (6 goals), and Paul Stastny (4 goals) are all shooting over 20%, but William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault have each only scored once. Even when the inevitable regression comes for the hot starters, the reinforcements could start to heat up.

3) Carolina Hurricanes {Last week: 2; -1}

(6-3-0)

The ‘Canes have lost a couple in a row but still managed to dominate the puck, out-shooting the Sharks 38-22 in a 5-2 loss and out-shooting the Ducks 24-20 in a 4-2 loss. James Reimer got lit up by San Jose, but has been good otherwise (2.67 GAA, .918 save-percentage). Petr Mrazek, for some inexplicable reason, has made five of the team’s nine starts and has been dreadful. Most recently he allowed four goals on 13 shots to Anaheim, his third game with a sub-.900 save-percentage.

This team is good, but they’re going to have to figure out what they’re doing in net if they’re going to stay viable near the top of these ever-important rankings.

4) Edmonton Oilers {Last week: 8; +4}

(7-1-0)

Brandon f’n Manning scored a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers. It happened. It wasn’t a nightmare. Goddammit.

Also, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined for 33 points. They’ve played eight freakin’ games.

5) Buffalo Sabres {Last week: 14; +9}

(7-1-1)

I can’t believe they’re continuing to move up. The Sabres have the second-best goal-differential in hockey (plus-13), the fourth-best power play (31.4%), and have seven skater with at least six points through nine games.

They’re giving up 33 shots-per-game, but Carter Hutton is undefeated in five starts, and already has a couple of shutouts, while Linus Ullmark has been good, too.

Can Buffalo keep this going? They had a pretty good start last season as well, going 17-6-2 through their first 25. But I think they learned a lesson from their past selves, who went into the future and laid the groundwork for success this year.

6) Boston Bruins {Last week: 6}

(5-1-2)

Boston is only scoring 2.75 goals-per-game, really struggling with secondary scoring. David Pastrnak is off to a crazy good start with nine goals and 15 points. Brad Marchand (4 goals, 8 assists), Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, 6 assists), and Torey Krug (1 goal, 5 assists) are doing their jobs but nobody else in the Spoked B has more than two points.

Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak both have save-percentages over .930, splitting the workload with four starts apiece. The top line and great goaltending can keep this team winning for now, but they’re giving up as many shots as they’re taking and are going to need contributions from their depth if they’re going to keep up in Buffalo’s stacked division.

7) Anaheim Ducks {Last week: 13; +6}

(6-2-0)

The Ducks have given up 14 goals in eight games. John Gibson has been insane (4-2-0, 1.85 GAA, .941 save-percentage), and Ryan Miller has been good, too. The offense hasn’t really been there (2.75 goals-per-game), but as if their jerseys weren’t proof enough, Anaheim is cool with being ugly.

8) St. Louis Blues {Last week: 3; -5}

(3-2-3)

They haven’t been great (nine points through eight games), but I just believe in this roster and I don’t think they’ve been bad enough to drop them out of the top ten just yet.

Brayden Schenn has 5 goals and 8 assists, because of course, but Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly have combined for 3 goals. That’ll change. Jordan Binnington has kept his team in games (three losses after regulation in six starts) but hasn’t been the monster he was down the stretch last season, posting a .909 save-percentage.

9) Washington Capitals {Last week: 5; -4}

(5-2-2)

Brayden Holtby picked up his first win since opening night on Friday, also posting a save-percentage over .900 for the first time since that October 2nd contest in St. Louis.

This team has a lot of really good players. I don’t know what else to say about them. I still love T.J. Oshie.

10) Pittsburgh Penguins {Last week: 22; +12}

(6-3-0)

These bastards will never die.

11) Tampa Bay Lightning {Last week: 4; -7}

(4-3-1)

Tampa Bay has scored 28 goals, and they’ve given up 27. Their record is a perfect reflection of that number, but I’m struggling moving them down in the power rankings, because I just think they’re better than they’re playing.

12) Toronto Maple Leafs {Last week: 9; -3}

(5-3-1)

The Leaves are ahead of the Lightning in the standings, they just beat Boston in OT, and they’ve won three of four since getting blown out by the Bolts last week. They’re still allowing too many goals when they play good teams, but it feels like they could still score more despite their 3.89 goals-per-game rating third in the league.

13) Montreal Canadiens {Last week: 19; +6}

(4-2-2)

Carey Price hasn’t been awesome, but the offense has been getting it done. Only seven teams have scored more goals, and none have done it in fewer games.

Max Domi (3 goals, 5 assists), Jonathan Drouin (3 goals, 5 assists), and Brendan Gallagher (4 goals, 4 assists) are all at a point-per-game pace, with five other players with at least five points. I wasn’t a big believer in the Habs and thought their division was going to be too much for them, but they’re ahead of Tampa in the standings, and their points-percentage is better than Toronto’s.

It’s still early, but Montreal looks like they’re going to be able to keep climbing up this prestigious list.

14) Nashville Predators {Last week: 10; -4}

(4-3-1)

The Preds are 0-3-1 in their last four, having allowed 19 goals (plus a shootout winner on Saturday for the 20th) over that span, after their 3-1-0 start.

Some loser sent me a Facebook message a couple of weeks ago that I just happened to see the other day, complaining about my preseason ranking and ranting nonsensically about how I must hate the Predators, so now I am rooting against them, despite liking a lot of their players and Lavy. So, suck it, guy who DMs people on Facebook.

15) New York Islanders {Last week: 20; +5}

(5-3-0)

After a rough start, the Isles have won four straight, albeit one in a shootout and two in OT.

Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss have both been very good, surrendering 2.50 goals-per-game. Unfortunately, the Islanders are scoring at the same rate they’re being scored upon. If the offense picks up a bit and the goaltending holds this could once again be a good team.

I don’t think this roster is awful, but I don’t believe it’s good enough to replicate last year’s results. Clearly, this is a well coached, strong defensive team. But can Barry Trotz really squeeze another run out of this team?

16) Arizona Coyotes {Last week: 30; +14}

(4-2-1)

The Desert Dogs really aren’t that bad. They’ve won three straight, and are 4-0-1 since dropping the opening two games of the season. After scoring one goal through those first two losses, the ‘Yotes have averaged four goals in these last five games.

Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta have both posted good numbers, and the offense is coming around. I’m interested in seeing how ‘Zona looks in games next week against Buffalo (10/28) and Montreal (10/30).

17) Los Angeles Kings {Last week: 27; +10}

(3-5-0)

Honestly, this move up the rankings is because they’re just not nearly as bad as I thought. The Kings definitely aren’t good, having lost three straight (including back-to-back shutouts) prior to a win on Saturday over Calgary.

Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell have both posted sub-.900 save-percentages, despite LA allowing the third fewest shots against per game in the league (28), while taking the second-most themselves (37.6). I haven’t seen enough of Los Angeles to speak to the quality of these corsi events (that’s just fun to say), but if this team started getting some semblance of quality goaltending, they could be a bubble playoff team.

18) Calgary Flames {Last week: 15; -3}

(4-4-1)

They lost to the Kings on Saturday, following a pair of convincing wins over Philly and Detroit in the middle of the week, which followed a loss to a struggling Sharks squad. This is an uneven start for a good team looking to find its footing.

The Flames have a ton of talent, but have no players at a point-per-game pace through the first nine, and their offense is bottom-ten, while David Rittich is basically replicating last season’s “not bad” numbers. Cam Talbot has only made one start and he hasn’t been particularly good.

Following a Western Conference-leading 107 points and 289 goals, Calgary’s start has been a major disappointment.

19) Florida Panthers {Last week: 23; +4}

(3-2-3)

Following a 6-3 loss to Carolina, Florida has managed points in five straight. Sure, they’re 2-0-3 in that span, but the good news is they may have found their answer between the pipes.

No, it’s not the $70 million man they call Bob, but a nearly 23-year-old goaltender named Sam Montembeault, who has made three appearances (two starts) and posted a .933 save-percentage, most recently defeating Nashville in a shootout on Saturday.

Florida has a middling offense and they’re allowing the eighth-most goals-per-game, so clearly Joel Quenneville is really making a gigantic impact in Sunshine.

20) Philadelphia Flyers {Last week: 11; -9}

(2-3-1)

I really don’t think they’ve played poorly enough to have gone 0-3-1 since winning their first two, but here we are. Just, like, come on guys. Seriously. Like, just... come on.

21) San Jose Sharks {Last week: 16; -5}

(3-5-0)

The Sharks aren’t scoring, and they’re giving up a whole bunch of goals. That said, they were actually better since the last time the rankings were published, going 3-1-0, although their only impressive win came against Carolina. They fell 4-3 to Buffalo on Saturday to snap a three-game winning streak. Their fall in the rankings can be more attributed to other teams moving up than anything wrong with San Jose.

Martin Jones appeared to finally be figuring out his game earlier this week, stopping 68 of 71 shots in wins over Calgary and Carolina, but fell right back into form on Saturday, giving up four goals in a loss to the Sabres.

San Jose just hasn’t looked the same this year, basically breaking even at 5v5 from a shot attempt differential standpoint. Last year, SJ was second in the league with a 54.49 CF%, and third in the league, accounting for 54.05% of the expected goals and 53.80% of the scoring chances.

This year, the Sharks have been out-chanced 166-152, and there’s no way Jones (3.39 GAA, .899 save-percentage) or Aaron Dell (3.48 GAA, .884 save-percentage) can hold up behind that level of “defense.”

22) Detroit Red Wings {Last week: 17; -5}

(3-5-0)

Is this the least interesting team in the league? I think so.

The Red Wings aren’t good, and we knew they wouldn’t be. Anthony Mantha (6 goals, 4 assists), Tyler Bertuzzi (3 goals, 5 assists), Dylan Larkin (2 goals, 5 assists) have produced. Nobody else really has. Andreas Happy-To-See-You (30 goals, 54 points in 2018-19) has 1 assist so far.

Detroit is just kind of there.

23) Vancouver Canucks {Last week: 28; +4}

(5-3-0)

Vancouver beat the Rangers on Sunday during the writing of this article, so I called an audible and moved them ahead of New York. Originally these teams were reversed, and honestly, maybe they shouldn’t have been even before the head-to-head.

Jacob Markstrom (.932 save-percentage) and Thatcher Demko (.943 save-percentage) have both been good, and the fun youngsters have started off well- Elias Pettersson has 8 points and Brock Boesser has 7.

I can see Vancouver making a big jump by the next rankings, with a spotlight on the game against Washington on 10/25. Still, they’re 5-0-1 since dropping their first two games, with big wins over Detroit and LA and a shootout victory against the Blues.

I’m fully recognizing this team is underrated based on their performance thus far, and I apologize to any Canuckleheads reading this column.

24) New York Rangers {Last week: 12; -11}

(2-3-0)

How the hell have they played the same number of games (as of Sunday) as the Flyers?

What kind of ridiculous scheduling is this?

25) Chicago Blackhawks {Last week: 21; -4}

(2-2-1)

They actually beat Edmonton earlier in the week, which is impressive, but the team overall just isn’t.

For some reason Corey Crawford has made more starts than Robin Lehner, and Lehner has seriously out-played Crawford.

I thought the Blackhawks would be better than cellar-dwellers this season, but so far they’re just not an inspiring group. Their 15 goals for and 15 goals against, paired next to their 2-2-1 record, explain exactly who this team is.

26) Columbus Blue Jackets {Last week: 24; -2}

(3-3-2)

In the running with Detroit for least interesting team. Nobody has more than 4 points through eight games, and I just don’t care about them.

27) Winnipeg Jets {Last week: 18; -9}

(4-5-0)

If you’re going to be bad, at least be interesting. What they lack in on-ice results, they make up for with noise surrounding the team.

The Jacob Trouba trade. Dustin Byfuglien stepping away. Patrik Laine’s and Kyle Connor’s contracts. Paul Maurice’s hot seat. At least there’s a reason to pay attention to the Jets.

On the ice they followed a three-game winning streak with a current three-game losing streak, and are playing the Oilers in a few minutes. So they could be .500 with an impressive win over a hot team, or they could be two games under. Either way, they’re far from the Cup contenders they’ve been over the last couple of years. The window might have closed.

28) Dallas Stars {Last week: 26; -2}

(2-7-1)

DALLAS SUCKS! DALLAS SUCKS! DALLAS SUCKS! DALLAS SUCKS!

29) Minnesota Wild {Last week: 29}

(1-6-0)

Last place in the league, one point ahead of the Sens. Worst goal differential (-15) in the NHL. Fewest goals scored. They’re going to screw Ottawa out of the Alexis Lafrenière sweepstakes and I’m going to get a big kick out of it.

30) New Jersey Devils {Last week: 25; -5}

(2-4-2)

I have them below the Wild because 1) it’s my list and I can do whatever the hell I want. LOL.

No, but seriously, it’s more about my own expectations, and I thought they were going to be a lot better. I didn’t think they were going to be in the Eastern Conference Final or anything, but I thought they’d be decent.

They’ve got six of 16 standings points, they can’t score and they get scored on a lot. Taylor Hall only has 1 goal, and nobody else in the lineup has more than 4 points. Wayne Simmonds hasn’t scored a goal and has one assist to his name. Will Butcher has 1 goal and no assists. Nico Hischier has 2 assists. Jack Hughes has 2 points, and P.K. Subban has 3.

In summary, things aren’t really going well in Newark. Real shame. Gotta feel for those die hards up there.

31) Ottawa Senators {Last week: 30}

(1-5-1)

Vladislav Namestnikov actually doesn’t look too bad.

It’s time to rank other stuff now. The best suggestion in the comments last week came from Awesomesaucy, so let’s rate some supporting sitcom characters. Now, there are only a few sitcoms I’ve ever liked, so this should be good.

SITCOM SUPPORTING CHARACTER POWER RANKINGS

  1. Janitor - Scrubs

Easily the funniest character on a show I’ve seen all the way though probably ten times. He steals every scene he’s in, and even now that the show is a little played out for me, I love when he’s on the screen.

2. Marshall - How I Met Your Mother

Hilarious, and the heart of the gang. His reactions and facial expressions when he’s not the focal point of a scene are great. Legit badass, you don’t want to fight Marshall.

3. Charlie Kelly - It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Who’s funnier than Charlie? Really? I can’t think of anyone. I don’t know if he qualifies as a “supporting” character because of the ensemble nature of the cast, but I feel like Dennis and Dee and Frank are the “main” characters. Charlie Work is my favorite episode, so he’s making the list.

4. Jared - Silicon Valley

I love this dude (Zach Woods) in everything.

5. Creed - The Office

I’m not a big fan of The Office but I always say their strength was a great fourth line. Gabe (Zach Woods again), Toby, Meredith, Ryan Howard, Darryl... but Creed, man. Just a legend. Without a doubt the best part of the show, which isn’t actually good.

That’s it. Thanks for reading almost 3200 words. Now treat yourself and listen to the newest feature on the Broad Street Hockey podcast, BSH Brief.