There were a few significant changes to this week’s rankings as Thanksgiving pushed the charts heavy on Wednesday and Friday, meaning we don’t have Tuesday’s games to take a close look at. dual.
However, there are interesting movements both in the middle and bottom of the pack. Meaty midfield has a host of teams that continue to underperform (e.g. Avalanche), outperform (e.g. Ducks) or struggle with consistency (too many to list), but also good enough to potentially make the playoffs deep into the spring.
Finally now is a three-team race between the Coyotes, Canadaiens and Senators, with the Kraken and Canucks – plenty for the lauded Pacific Northwest rivalry – possibly joining the fray. We know the Coyotes are trying to finish to get the highest possible picks, but Habs and Sens still seem to be refusing; they did not speculate publicly, and even Pierre Dorion famously said “the rebuilding is done.”
Once December and January begin, we’ll have a better idea of which teams will make reckless moves to win matches and which will struggle.
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers. Unfortunately, Power Rankings are still not good for your favorite team.
(All fancy stats are 5v5 and licensed by naturalstattrick.com)
first. Carolina Hurricanes (14-2-1, target difference +23. CF%: Monday, xGF%: 12. Last week: 1)
2. Florida Panthers (13-2-3, +24. CF%: 1, xGF%: 5. Last week: 3)
The Panthers are back in second place after winning 3-0 in three home games after four straight losses on the road. It’s been a really strong counterattack without Aleksander Barkov, and this kind of resilience will be crucial later in the season when injury season rolls around in December and January, and when the races come playoffs become tighter.
3. Edmonton Oilers (13-5-0, +15. CF%: 16, xGF%: 19. Last week: 2)
The Oilers, meanwhile, have lost some momentum with a 3-3-0 record over the past six and a waste of quality starting with Stuart Skinner as they suddenly failed to score. It will only be temporary, but the pretense situation could prevent the Oilers from moving even higher unless Skinner scraps a rookie of the month run.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-6-1, +6. CF%: 4, xGF%: 1. Last week: 5)
5. The Calgary Flames (12-3-5, +30. CF%: Tuesday, xGF%: Friday. Last week: 10)
The ultimate irony with these two Canadian teams (three, if Winnipeg is included) is that they were successful with their excellent scoring ability, but the Canadian Olympic team had a big question mark in the net. Four goalkeepers have combined for 11 (!) this season, and even if their scoring ability has faltered a bit, the Leafs are too talented and the Flames are too well trained to risk any which fall.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-4-3, +7. CF%: 11, xGF%: 8. Last week: 6)
7. Washington D.C. (11-3-5, +20. CF%: 14, xGF%: 11. Last week: 4)
8. New York Rangers (11-4-3, even. CF%: 30, xGF%: 30. Last week: 11)
9. Colorado Avalanche (9-5-1, +12. CF%: 12, xGF%: 7. Last week: 16)
The Avs are back in the top 10 with five straight wins after starting 4-5-1 in their first 10 games, although the winning streak is a bit less impressive when you realize three of the four teams they face may be bound by the lottery. It’s still very encouraging to see Avs dominating bad teams, and Nazem Kadri playing better than ever and Darcy Kuemper finally finding some consistency.
10. Anaheim Ducks (10-6-3, +12. CF%: 25, xGF%: 22. Last week: 9)
Is this the slip-up we’re looking for? The Ducks have lost two games in a row, both by one goal, after their eight-game winning streak was severed. Colorado, Toronto, Vegas and Calgary are coming, and those are going to be very tough tests. The Ducks’ possession isn’t particularly strong and their top scorers seem to be scoring at an unsustainable pace.
11. Minnesota Wild (11-6-1, +5. CF%: Friday, xGF%: Monday. Last week: 8)
It will be a tough week with four games and a series of weekends in a row against Florida and Tampa, but that still doesn’t excuse their sublime play. The Wild is like the Ducks version of Freaky Friday; analytics are good, but they never seem to pass the eye test and some of their top players have fallen short of expectations. The Wild is a shaky team that has had two separate and sprawling four-match winning streaks where losses piled up in clusters.
12. Boston Bruins (9-6-0, +3. CF%: Thursday, xGF%: Tuesday. Last week: 12)
13. Winnipeg Jets (9-5-4, +7. CF%: 7, xGF%: 10. Last week: 7)
It was a huge setback for the Jets, who had lost three games in a row and were suddenly having trouble scoring. They’re another middle-class team who go through passages where they look good and through passages where they look awful, but on any given night that could bring any Cup contender. What a good money making opportunity.
14. Nashville Predators (10-7-1, even CF%: 23, xGF%: 20. Last week: 17)
15. St. Louis Blues (10-6-2, +12. CF%: 18, xGF%: 23. Last week: 18)
16. Vegas Golden Knights (11-8-0, even. CF%: 21, xGF%: 25. Last week: 15)
17. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-6-0, +6. CF%: 19, xGF%: 15. Last week: 19)
18. Los Angeles Kings (8-7-3, +1. CF%: 10, xGF%: 21. Last week: 14)
The Kings are a team with a terrible streak, losing 6 games in a row at the beginning of the season before winning 7 games in a row, and now have lost 4 games in a row. No doubt that has to do with the decline of Anze Kopitar, who scored 13 points from nine games in October and so far has only four points from nine games in November.
19. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-6-4, +2. CF%: 8th, xGF%: Wednesday. Last week: 26)
The Pens took a 3-0 lead on their road trip and brought some momentum into their sequels including Canucks, Isles and Habs, giving them a chance to make up for some lost. Interestingly, Sidney Crosby averaged 18:06 per game. Whether this will be a season-long trend or Mike Sullivan is still helping him bounce back remains to be seen.
20. Dallas Stars (8-7-2, -5. CF%: 20, xGF%: 13. Last week: 24)
21. Philadelphia Flyers (8-6-3, -5. CF%: 22, xGF%: 28. Last week: 13)
22. New Jersey Devils (8-5-3, -1. CF%: 17, xGF%: 17. Last week: 21)
23. San Jose Sharks (9-8-1, -16. CF%: 29, xGF%: 27. Last week: 22)
24. Chicago Blackhawks (6-11-2, -21. CF%: 32, xGF%: 32. Last week: 27)
25. Buffalo Sabers (7-9-2, -8. CF%: 24, xGF%: 24. Last week: 23)
26. Detroit Red Wings (8-9-3, -13. CF%: 26, xGF%: 14. Last week: 20)
27. Seattle Kraken (5-12-1, -16. CF%: 9, xGF%: 9. Last week: 29)
28. New York Islanders (5-8-2, -16. CF%: 28, xGF%: 16. Last week: 25)
The odds are really against you when you play a defensive system and your scoring is terrible. An opening goal at home after a 13-game trip resulted in a loss, and then another loss the following night has now turned into a six-game losing streak. They’re basically missing the entire second line and their top pairing is Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock, which is also one of the best pairings in the league.
29. Vancouver Canucks (6-11-2, -16. CF%: 15, xGF%: 26. Last week: 30)
30. Arizona Coyotes (4-13-2, -35. CF%: 27, xGF%: 31. Last week: 31)
Three wins last week? No.3?!? Two of them require overtime, but I’m not picky as the Coyotes have actually done a pretty good job of limiting the goals conceded to two goalkeepers that no one has really heard of. Winning is fundamentally bad for the Coyotes, so we should celebrate when we can – it doesn’t happen often.
31. Montréal Canadianiens (5-13-2, -26. CF%: 13, xGF%: 18. Last week: 32)
The 6-3 win over the Preds yielded some regrets, but Habs continued to descend into disarray. Cole Caufield has failed to do anything in two games since being called up, and the Habs need a second four-goal period – essentially a quarter of the 15 goals they have scored. all seasons in the second stage – to prevent too little and too late return from Preds. Jake Allen is back, but I don’t know if that’s a positive thing or not.
32. Senator of Ottawa (4-11-1, -18. CF%: 31, xGF%: 29. Last week: 28)
The Senators have bottomed out, finding themselves at the bottom of the THN Power Rankings for the first time. The race for Shane Wright is much more interesting when more than one team – ahem, Arizona – is vying for #1, although unlike the tank work from the Coyotes (and presumably Habs as well), the Sens’ tank work wasn’t really by design. A COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined the Sens for a full week was not caused by them, but they only had one win in November and in their most recent game against Avs took the lead twice.
https://thehockeynews.com/news/thn-power-rankings-flames-rangers-avalanche-rise-to-the-occasion THN Power Rankings: Flames, Rangers, Avalanches that flare up on occasion