The Edmonton Oilers are on the rise, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are still the kings of the NHL in the debut of the NHL power rankings.
10. Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers are off to a hot start. Connor McDavid is a contender to win the Art Ross Trophy, especially with Sidney Crosby inactive. With Taylor Hall playing in New Jersey, the Oilers are great on offense. The offense is decent enough to get them into a postseason berth.
9. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Tampa Bay Lightning are low in these rankings due to them coming back in their first two games of the season. It concerns me because they were trailing against the Detroit Red Wings and the New Jersey Devils. What's the problem? First-period issues. They can't do this every game. Jon Cooper has to fix these issues and the players as well, so maybe it's a trend to start getting better.
8. Dallas Stars: The Stars are 1-1-0 in their young NHL campaign. Sure, the Stars are Stanley Cup favorites, but let's get to their body of work. The Stars had a great opening night against the Anaheim Ducks, but goaltending became an issue against the Colorado Avalanche. Dallas does have injury concerns, but with that said, Dallas needs a pick me up. Hopefully, the matchup against the Avalanche was a true example of that.
7. Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers have been decent thus far. But I think this is a better club. Fans should be excited on their body of work so far. They looked great against the Los Angeles Kings, though Jonathan Quick was inactive for that contest. I also like the youth this team has.
6. Vancouver Canucks: I got to give credit to the Canucks. I know it's a young season, but I had this team dead last in the Pacific, and it's making me eat that humble pie. Their 2-0-0 in the first two games. Could Vancouver be out of these rankings next week? Of course. But until then, they deserve to be in my top-ten.
5. Florida Panthers: The Panthers have been good this season. Despite winning in overtime against the Devils, they were sharp against the Red Wings. While neither team is very good, the Panthers have looked pretty good against their two opponents. I think the best is yet to come for this hockey team. The Panthers need to work on some chemistry on the blue line. Once they get these issues resolved, it's going to be tough to beat them.
4. San Jose Sharks: Despite being defeated 7-4 by the New York Rangers last night, the Sharks look to be in good shape. A 2-1-0 record with notable wins coming from the Los Angeles Kings and the Columbus Blue Jackets. It's an east coast schedule this week where the Sharks visit the New York Islanders, the Pittsburgh Penguins in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch and the Detroit Red Wings. Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski lead the Sharks in points. Martin Jones has a .896 save percentage, and that is not good.
3. Washington Capitals: The Caps are off to a great start with a 1-0-1 record. They were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a shootout last Thursday, but they were impressive in that game. But the Caps got their first win over the Islanders in a 2-1 victory. While the power play is struggling, they'll be okay in the long term. The team is still good on paper to be in these power rankings next week.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins are off to a strong start in trying to repeat as Stanley Cup winners, despite losing to the Colorado Avalanche in overtime. The Pens have done great despite Sidney Crosby being inactive. But they have a murderers row schedule this week with the Sharks coming to town, and playing the Nashville Predators. Once Crosby is active, they will be a top team in the Eastern Conference.
1. St. Louis Blues: With David Backes, Troy Brouwer, and Brian Elliott playing for other NHL clubs this season, the St. Louis Blues are No. 1 in my power rankings this week. So far, they're 3-0-0 with wins over the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, and New York Rangers. I've been impressed with this team in this young NHL season. Paul Stastny leads the Blues with six points, and Vladimir Tarasenko is the Blues leader in goals.