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  • There's only a few certainties so far this season while the majority of the teams try figure out the rest of the league.
By Jeremy Fuchs
November 28, 2017

We're post-Thanksgiving and the picture is not any clearer.

Take a look at the Kings, a constant at the top of the rankings so far. They're 3-6-1 in their last 10. Same goes for the Senators, with big-name acquisition Matt Duchene still figuring things out in his new digs and having just one goal in eight games since coming to Ottawa.

Meanwhile, the Blues and Lightning continue to lead the way, the Devils keep finding ways to get points and Edmonton... continues to be a mystery. Get ready for a long and confusing winter. 

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: 6-17-3

Progress: They beat the Maples Leafs in Toronto and won three straight! Still, they’re the worst team in the league.

30. Buffalo Sabres
Last Week: 30 (-)
Record: 6-14-4

Nice win against Edmonton, but a bad loss to Montreal. So goes the Sabres' season.

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29. Florida Panthers
Last Week: 28 (-1)
Record: 9-12-2

They’re a nice offensive team and a bad defensive team and there's your story.

28. Edmonton Oilers
Last Week: 29 (+1)
Record: 9-13-2

It's a shame they've been so bad, because Connor McDavid has been really good and he's getting no help at all. It was nice to see the Oilers win against Boston without a McDavid goal.

27. Montreal Canadiens
Last Week: 26 (-1)
Record: 10-12-3

Good to see Carey Price back and already playing well. At this point, that's the best that can be said.

26. Carolina Hurricanes
Last Week: 11 (-15)
Record: 10-8-4

Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho are a nice duo, but Jeff Skinner has stopped scoring. Defenseman Justin Faulk never started.

25. Philadelphia Flyers
Last Week: 27 (+2)
Record: 8-9-7

Goalie Brian Elliott has been better recently, but not good enough. You have to think Michal Neurvirth is worth a look.

24. Ottawa Senators
Last Week: 21 (-3)
Record: 8-8-6

It was a really rough week going winless against the Rangers, Capitals, Blue Jackets and Islanders, while getting very little so far from Matt Duchene.

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23. Boston Bruins
Last Week: 18 (-5)
Record: 10-8-4

The youth on this Bruins team has shown a lot in stepping in for injured veterans and will make for a really tough beat in two or three years. Right now, Boston is stuck in a weird transition mode.

22. Colorado Avalanche
Last Week: 23 (-1)
Record: 11-9-2

They’re weathering the post-Duchene storm, and it has to do largely with Nathan MacKinnon playing like he did in his Calder Trophy-winning season.

21. Anaheim Ducks
Last Week: 15 (-6)
Record: 10-10-4

Rickard Rakell is a really good player and Corey Perry is heating up, but there is simply no secondary scoring. There won't be until the Ducks get healthy.

20. Vancouver Canucks
Last Week: 25 (+5)
Record: 11-9-4

Brock Boeser is quickly climbing the list of early Calder Trophy contenders and Sven Baertschi is playing well. But this is a team that desperately needs defenders. Michael Del Zotto and Ben Hutton are not first-pair blueliners.

19. Dallas Stars
Last Week: 24 (+5)
Record: 12-10-1

Quietly good seasons so from Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and a really good year from Alexander Radulov. After that, well, can't say that about many more guys.

18. Minnesota Wild
Last Week: 20 (+2)
Record: 11-10-3

The resurgence of Eric Staal is the story, but don't sleep on Mikael Granlund. The Finnish forward is quietly having a nice season.

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17. Detroit Red Wings
Last Week: 17 (-)
Record: 10-9-5

Goalie Jimmy Howard is back to being Jimmy Howard. Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha will be a wonder duo for years to come. If they could win some games in OT, they'd be a lot higher.

16. Chicago Blackhawks
Last Week: 16 (-)
Record: 12-8-3

Alex DeBrincat will turn 20 in a few weeks, but already he's established himself as a legit NHL scorer in his first big-league season.

15. San Jose Sharks
Last Week: 22 (+7)
Record: 12-8-2

They shut out Winnipeg, stopping some of the bleeding from the previous week. Martin Jones is among leading Vezina candidates. Remarkable season.

14. New York Rangers
Last Week: 19 (+5)
Record: 13-9-2

Super-hot right now, and Henrik Lundqvist is playing so much better. They need more from some of the guys who were good last season—namely Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey, who potted game-tying goal and shootout winner Sunday against Vancouver.

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13. Pittsburgh Penguins
Last Week: 12 (-1)
Record: 13-10-3

Great win against Tampa Bay, but it came after three straight losses. Can't believe it’s being written: they need more from Crosby and Malkin.

12. Calgary Flames
Last Week: 10 (-3)
Record: 13-9-1

Johnny Gaudreau for the Hart Trophy? It's possible. All of Alberta (well, maybe not Edmonton) is hoping for Sam Bennett to find something. That could be the difference-maker.

11. Washington Capitals
Last Week: 13 (+2)
Record: 14-10-1

Good win against the Leafs. T.J. Oshie is heating up, John Carlson is getting some help from Dmitry Orlov and Braden Holtby has stabilized in net.

10. New York Islanders
Last Week: 8 (-2)
Record: 14-7-2

Do you believe Josh Bailey has more points than John Tavares? His total of 28 has him tied for ninth in scoring, while his 23 assists are good for second. This is the best offensive team no one talks about.

9. Los Angeles Kings
Last Week: 14 (+5)
Record: 13-8-3

Bad spell here. A boost needs to come from secondary scoring. Both Tyler Toffoli (16 points) and Tanner Pearson (12) have another level they can get to.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets
Last Week: 5 (-3)
Record: 15-8-1

Artemi Panarin is heating up and when he gets going, they’ll take off. The Jackets need some more offense, but with Sergei Bobrovsky back at Vezina level again, they can afford to be patient.

7. Vegas Golden Knights
Last Week: 7 (-)
Record: 15-6-1

William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron, Reilly Smith: George McPhee put on a masterclass in expansion drafting. It’s hard to believe even he could have expected this.

6. Nashville Predators
Last Week: 6 (-)
Record: 14-6-3

Kyle Turris is fitting in beautifully and the Preds are the hottest team in hockey. Ryan Johansen is starting to pick up his game and P.K. Subban is a Norris candidate. When both Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson play to their capability, watch out.

5. New Jersey Devils
Last Week: 9 (+4)
Record: 14-6-4

Talk about the play of the rookies all you want, but it's Taylor Hall that is leading the charge. We seem to forget how good he is, but this is the best hockey he's played.

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4. Winnipeg Jets
Last Week: 3 (-1)
Record: 15-6-3

Probably higher on the Jets that most, even after being blanked by the Sharks. It's the offense that impresses: they have four legitimate top scorers and can get more from Bryan Little and even Dustin Byfuglien.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs
Last Week: 2 (-1)
Record: 15-9-1

Lost in how good Auston Matthews has been is the play of Nazem Kadri: He's second on the team in points and become such an integral player.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Last Week: 1 (-1)
Record: 16-5-2

It was a bad loss to Pittsburgh, but no reason to worry. We do wonder if they are too reliant on Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Secondary scorers Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson have been far too quiet recently with a combined four assists in their last five games.

1. St. Louis Blues
Last Week: 4 (+3)
Record: 17-6-1

Jaden Schwartz is a Hart candidate and Brayden Schenn might not be far behind. Colton Parayko has picked his game up after a slow start and Jake Allen has been really good net. There's room for improvement on special teams, too. The Blues are for real.

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