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NHL Power Rankings: What Each Team Should Be Thankful For

Pass the cranberry sauce and prepare for a special Thanksgiving edition of the power rankings. Teams have plenty to be grateful for, from a sparkling new arena to a bold new jersey, from emerging young talents to reliable veterans.

This comes a month too late for the seven Canadian teams, but here’s what every team should be thankful for this (holiday) season.


32. Ottawa Senators

Last week: 31
Record: 4-11-1

Tim Stützle. The 19-year-old forward could get his first chance at center in Wednesday’s game against the Sharks. On a line with Nick Paul and Connor Brown, Stützle could provide the team with a spark after a 1-7-1 skid.

31. Arizona Coyotes

Last Week: 32
Record: 4-13-2

The trade deadline. The Coyotes may not have lofty aspirations for this season, but they have plenty of enticing pieces (Phil Kessel, Ilya Lyubushkin, et al.) they could flip for picks and prospects at the trade deadline.

30. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: 29
Record: 6-11-2

Quinn Hughes. The strong start to the season by the 22-year-old defenseman (14 points through 18 games) helps make up for the comparatively slower start from 23-year-old forward Elias Petterson.

29. Montreal Canadiens

Last week: 30
Record: 5-13-2

A shorter injury report. Jake Allen, Joel Edmundson and Cedric Paquette are all nearing return, which would bolster a depleted lineup.

28. Buffalo Sabres

Last week: 25
Record: 7-9-2

Developing prospects. Jack Quinn has 18 points in 14 games for Buffalo’s AHL affiliate, the third-most in the league, and Josh Bloom has 20 points in 15 games in the OHL.

27. Detroit Red Wings

Last week: 26
Record: 8-9-3

A top-tier top line. Dylan Larkin, Todd Bertuzzi and Lucas Raymond are the top three players on the Red Wings in terms of point production, with 52 points between them. The problem? They’re not receiving much production from the rest of their forwards.

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26. Seattle Kraken

Last week: 28
Record: 5-12-1

Regression to the mean. Philipp Grubauer, who was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, has just a .882 save percentage through 15 games this season, but his performance should stabilize at some point—or that’s what the Kraken will have to hope for.

25. San Jose Sharks

Last week: 24
Record: 9-8-1

Alexander Barabanov’s overtime goal. In Monday’s game against the Hurricanes, Kevin Labanc scored in the third period to tie the game, and then Barbanov scored the winner in overtime to give the Sharks a 2–1 victory against one of the best teams in the league.

24. Chicago Blackhawks

Last week: 27
Record: 6-11-2

Derek King. The Blackhawks are 5-2-0 since King took over as interim head coach. King, who had been the coach of Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford Icehogs, took the helm when Jeremy Colliton was fired after the team’s 1-9-2 start.

23. Los Angeles Kings

Last week: 21
Record: 8-7-3

Jonathan Quick. The veteran goaltender boasts a .939 save percentage across 10 starts, the fourth-best mark in the league.

22. New York Islanders

Last week: 18
Record: 5-8-2

UBS Arena. After starting the season with a 13-game road trip, the Islanders returned to a brand-new, $1.1 billion home arena.

21. Philadelphia Flyers

Last week: 16
Record: 8-6-3

Improved defense. The Flyers finished worst in the league in goals-against average last season (3.52), but this season they rank 10th (2.71).

20. Columbus Blue Jackets

Last week: 23
Record: 10-6-0

Yegor Chinakhov’s first goal. A week later, Blue Jackets fans could be forgiven for still replaying Chinakhov’s debut goal, which he put between Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss’s legs in Columbus’s 5–3 win against Detroit.

19. New Jersey Devils

Last week: 19
Record: 8-5-3

The Jersey jersey. The Devils introduced a new alternate jersey emblazoned with “Jersey” in script across the chest, a nod to the team’s home state … but also the name of the item itself, which led to plenty of jokes at the Devils’ expense. Luckily, they’re not afraid to poke fun at themselves.

18. Dallas Stars

Last week: 22
Record: 8-7-2

Miro Heiskanen. The 22-year-old is tied for ninth in the league in scoring among defensemen with three goals and 11 assists through 17 games.

17. Nashville Predators

Last week: 17
Record: 10-7-1

A Dolly Parton–inspired jersey. While the fringed jersey imagined by artist @arsonandhockey is not a reality (…yet), it did receive the seal of approval from the official Predators Twitter account.

16. Pittsburgh Penguins

Last week: 20
Record: 8-6-4

A stalwart penalty kill. The Penguins have prevented their opponents from scoring on a league-best 90% of power-play opportunities, including 1-of-4 opportunities on their recent three-game winning streak.

15. Anaheim Ducks

Last week: 15
Record: 10-6-3

Troy Terry. While the 24-year-old forward’s 16-game point streak ended in Monday’s loss to the Predators, he has already surpassed his previous career bests in goals and points.

14. Winnipeg Jets

Last week: 13
Record: 9-5-4

Revival of Pierre-Luc Dubois. Dubois struggled last season after getting traded from the Blue Jackets, finishing with just 20 points in 41 games for the Jets. This season, he already has 16 points through 18 games.

13. St. Louis Blues

Last week: 11
Record: 10-6-2

Jordan Kyrou’s emergence. The 23-year-old center leads the Blues with 18 points (eight goals and 10 assists) through 18 games.

12. Minnesota Wild

Last week: 12
Record: 11-6-1

Scoring first. The Wild are 6–1 this season in games in which they have scored the first goal, but they have allowed their opponents to strike first in nearly two-thirds of their games so far.

11. New York Rangers

Last week: 9
Record: 11-4-3

Line shakeups. Rangers coach Gerard Gallant elevated forward Dryden Hunt from the fourth line to the first in the middle of Sunday’s game against the Sabres, and the move helped spark the team to a 5–4 comeback victory. Hunt is set to start on the top line again Wednesday against the Islanders.

10. Calgary Flames

Last week: 14
Record: 12-3-5

Andrew Mangiapane’s lethal shot. The 25-year-old winger is scoring on an improbable 30.6% of his shots. Mangiapane is tied with Alex Ovechkin for second in the league with 15 goals, but he has just 49 shots to Ovechkin’s 82.

9. Vegas Golden Knights

Last week: 10
Record: 11-8-0

Chandler Stephenson. Acquired from the Capitals for a fifth-round pick in 2019, Stephenson serves as the top-line center for the Golden Knights and leads the team with 17 points.

8. Boston Bruins

Last week: 7
Record: 9-6-0

Ballet. Jeremy Swayman took a ballet class at the University of Maine, which he credits with improving his flexibility. The second-year goalie has a 5–3 record for the Bruins this season, including a four-game winning streak earlier this month.

7. Washington Capitals

Last week: 6
Record: 11-3-5

Alex Ovechkin. Yes, this pick is a gimme, but the Capitals (and the rest of us) could do worse than take a moment to stop and appreciate the 36-year-old superstar’s historic goal-scoring prowess.

6. Colorado Avalanche

Last week: 8
Record: 9-5-1

Nazem Kadri’s hot streak. The 31-year-old center has 13 points (three goals and 10 assists) to lead the Avalanche on their current five-game winning streak.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last week: 3
Record: 11-4-3

Top-line Steven Stamkos. Brayden Point, who had occupied the top-line spot, is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury, but Stamkos filled in admirably with a goal and two assists in Tampa Bay’s 4–0 win over the Flyers.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last week: 5
Record: 13-6-1

Shining stars. The Maple Leafs feature a daunting quartet of star forwards in Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander and Auston Matthews, who have combined for 64 points (28 goals and 36 assists).

3. Florida Panthers

Last week: 4
Record: 13-2-3

Home sweet home. With a 5–4 win Saturday against the Wild in Sunrise, Fla., the Panthers improved to a perfect 10-0-0 on their home ice.

2. Edmonton Oilers

Last week: 2
Record: 13-5-0

A formidable power play. The Oilers have scored on 21 of their 55 power-play opportunities this season, and that 38% success rate is nine percentage points higher than any other team.

1. Carolina Hurricanes

Last week: 1
Record: 14-2-1

Andrei Svechnikov’s contract extension. The 21-year-old signed an eight-year extension in the offseason, and he has looked every bit the franchise player since then, with 19 points in 17 games.

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• Nazem Kadri Is Playing the Best Hockey of His Career