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  • Johnny Gaudreau's scoring tear has helped the Flames into our Top 10, while Teuvo Teravainen's offensive development has been key to the rise of the Hurricanes.
By Sam Page
November 20, 2017

You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotter scorer in the NHL right now than Johnny Gaudreau. The Calgary Flames sniper, better known as Johnny Hockey, has etched his name into the scoresheet in each of his last 10 games, the longest active streak in the league and the best so far of his young career.

With a goal and as assist in Monday’s win over the Capitals, the speedy forward also become the first Flames player to notch five straight multi-point games (6-6-12) since Jarome Iginla accomplished the feat in 2002. Gaudreau is now up to eight goals and 19 points during the 10-game stretch, putting him second league-wide in goals (21) and third in scoring (31 points), playing the flint to the Flames’ 7-3 record in that span. That’s helped them jump into the top-10 this week, putting them within striking distance of the Kings and Golden Knights for tops in the Pacific Division.

Here's how we see teams stacking up in the NHL, from 31-1 (stats and records through Monday's games):

31. Arizona Coyotes
Last Week: 31 (—)
Record: 5-15-3

#TrustTheProcess?

30. Buffalo Sabres
Last Week: 29 (-1)
Record: 5-12-4

Don’t blame Eichel: his relative struggles are the last of their problems.

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29. Edmonton Oilers
Last Week: 26 (-3)
Record: 7-11-2

Since we ranked them 26th last week, they lost four games and blew out the expansion team with the hurt goalie. A Cam Talbot slump is the last thing they need right now, but it’s what they’ve got.

28. Florida Panthers
Last Week: 30 (+2)
Record: 7-11-2

Secondary scoring in the post-Jonathan Marchessault era is a problem. Special teams is an even bigger one, albeit potentially easier to fix.

27. Philadelphia Flyers
Last Week: 18 (-9)
Record: 8-8-4

It’s mind-boggling that an offense with Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux could be shut out twice in a row. Hopefully Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk just has their number.

26. Montreal Canadiens
Last Week: 24 (-2)
Record: 8-11-2

Breathe. Carey Price is skating. The rest of the team is fine. These early month struggles could be nothing more than an explanation for why Monreal did so well in the playoffs as a low seed.

25. Vancouver Canucks
Last Week: 12 (-13)
Record: 9-8-3

After a strong October, November has probably shown us the real Canucks.

24. Dallas Stars
Last Week: 15 (-9)
Record: 10-9-1

Seven out of their eight games this month have been decided by three goals or more. Alternating between blowouts has kept their playoff hopes alive, but given their fans whiplash.

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23. Colorado Avalanche
Last Week: 25 (-2)
Record: 10-8-1

Their stats don’t portend a playoff run, but Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog being back on track automatically makes this season a success.

22. San Jose Sharks
Last Week: 14 (-8)
Record: 10-8-1

What a bizarre team: first in goals against, but 30th in power play efficiency. Nothing will change until Brent Burns scores that first goal and gets their entire man-advantage unit going.

21. Ottawa Senators
Last Week: 10 (-11)
Record: 8-5-6

The Sens went 0–11 on the power play in their last three games and have three straight losses to show for it.

20. Minnesota Wild
Last Week: 27 (+7)
Record: 9-8-3

Their 6-4 comeback against Nashville may have been an early-season Signature Win™, and essential proof that they can pull out games in which Devan Dubnyk doesn’t pitch a shutout.

19. New York Rangers
Last Week: 19 (—)
Record: 10-9-2

A .927 save percentage in November has put a hold on the Henrik Lundqvist decline narrative.

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18. Boston Bruins
Last Week: 22 (+4)
Record: 8-7-4

Tuukka Rask probably isn’t about to lose his job, but Anton Khudobin’s back-to-back one-goal-allowed performances against L.A. and San Jose has likely earned him some P.T.

17. Detroit Red Wings
Last Week: 20 (+3)
Record: 10-8-3

An 8–2 drubbing of the Flames was especially impressive. Eight years since he scored 76 points, is the long-awaited Mike Green rebound season finally upon us?

16. Chicago Blackhawks
Last Week: 16 (—)
Record: 10-8-2

You can’t keep a good dynasty down. Despite a forgettable loss to New Jersey, the Hawks have beat three good teams (the Hurricanes, Rangers and Penguins) in short order. Artem Anisimov’s hat trick against New York is a good sign for Patrick Kane’s line.

15. Anaheim Ducks
Last Week: 23 (+8)
Record: 10-7-3

Their top six is still brutal but John Gibson has cemented his status as an elite goaltender.

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14. Los Angeles Kings
Last Week: 3 (-11)
Record: 12-7-2

Jonathan Quick felt the bitter sting of the famed SI.com power rankings curse. He’s 0-5-0 in his last five games with a .894 save percentage. Darcy Kuemper relieved Quick against the lowly Panthers and provided with a much-needed shutout win.

13. Washington Capitals
Last Week: 17 (+4)
Record: 11-10-1

Despite an outlier game against Nashville in which he faced a barrage of tipped point shots, Braden Holtby has been his dominant self. He’s 6-2-0 in November.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins
Last Week: 5 (-7)
Record: 11-8 -3

Should fans in Pittsburgh be alarmed? The team ranks 25th in goals per game and 26th in goals allowed per game. This team is too talented to be this bad at even strength.

11. Carolina Hurricanes
Last Week: 28 (+17)
Record: 9-6-4

They’re 5-1-1 in their last seven, and Teuvo Teravainen is now scoring at a point-per-game pace. That trade was every bit as bad for Chicago as everyone expected.

10. Calgary Flames
Last Week: 21 (+11)
Record: 12-8-0

This team could break out soon. The underlying numbers are strong, the goaltending has been good at even strength and their young stars are scoring. The penalty kill is poor, but that’s more easily fixed than most teams’ Achilles heels.

9. New Jersey Devils
Last Week: 11 (+2)
Record: 12-5-3

There’s reason to be skeptical: New Jersey’s possession statistics are not great, and its offense relies heavily on a strong power play. But any team that can hang seven goals on the Blackhawks deserves some respect.

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8. New York Islanders
Last Week: 13 (+5)
Record: 11-7-2

Tomas Greiss has provided some much-needed goaltending recently, while the offense continues to dominate. Five points in his last three games has cemented Matthew Barzal as the 1B to John Tavares.

7. Vegas Golden Knights
Last Week: 7 (—)
Record: 12-6-1

While everyone waits for the Knights to come down to Earth, they knocked off division rival L.A. in convincing fashion Sunday. They’ll get Malcolm Subban back soon to relieve Maxime Lagace, who was mostly poor in 10 games in net.

6. Nashville Predators
Last Week: 8 (+2)
Record: 12-6-2

A third-period collapse against the Wild mars and otherwise strong pre-Thanksgiving run. Kyle Turris has slotted in nicely on Nashville’s No. 2 power-play and even-strength lines, providing three points through four games.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets
Last Week: 9 (+4)
Record: 13-7-1

As “Bob” goes, so go the Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed four goals in his last 244:51 on the ice, allowing the Jackets to eke out four straight wins despite nine total goals-for in those games.

4. St. Louis Blues
Last Week: 1 (-3)
Record: 15-5-1

Brayden Schenn has stayed hot, upping his total to 26 points in 21 games. Elliotte Friedman warned us this would happen after Schenn attended Andy O’Brien’s training camp.

3. Winnipeg Jets
Last Week: 6 (+3)
Record: 12-5-3

The only team as hot as the Maple Leafs are the Jets, who are 6-1-1 in the month of November. Connor Hellebuyck’s breakout in net has buoyed an offense that has attempted the fewest shots of any team in the NHL.

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2.Toronto Maple Leafs
Last Week: 4 (+2)
Record: 14-8-0

The Leafs couldn't lose since losing Auston Matthews—until Monday, anyway. Most of the credit goes to Frederick Andersen, who has two shutouts in his current five-game winning streak.  

1. Tampa Bay Lighting
Last Week: 2 (+1)
Record: 15-3-2

Here’s one way of sizing up the NHL’s best team: Their +28 goal differential so far beats the end-of-season mark of nine of last year’s playoff qualifiers.

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