Surprises continue in early NHL Power Rankings

{eot} Staff
10/19/2009 2:43:56 PM
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The early-season NHL Power Rankings have more than a few surprises, as teams that were considered non-factors are exceeding expectations early.

There was no change at the top, as the New York Rangers maintained their lead over the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, but then the rankings start to reveal some early-season surprises. 

There's nothing to say that these teams are absolutely going to be this good all year long -- and it's quite possible they won't be -- but let's allow the results to play out on the ice before buryinng any early-season success, shall we?

The Phoenix Coyotes, backstopped by Ilya Bryzgalov's strong goaltending, are climbing, as are the defensively-stifling Columbus Blue Jackets as is the Ilya Kovalchuk show known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

"We've earned the record we have. It's not a fluke," Coyotes captain Shane Doan told the Associate Press. "We still have lots of areas where we can improve, but our goaltending has been phenomenal."

Obviously it's still very early, but it's nonetheless surprising to see the likes of Phoenix, Columbus, Atlanta and Colorado all in the top ten.

Close behind the Thrashers in making the biggest jump of the week, the Ottawa Senators are playing sound defensively and getting consistent goaltending and that's enough for the Sens to be the top-ranked Canadian team at No. 10.

Just as some teams move up based on strong play, there is a bottom portion of the rankings that has teams sliding early. 

Losing streaks in Montreal, Nashville, Minnesota, Long Island and Toronto make for a difficult start to a long season for those teams, while the Los Angeles Kings suffered the biggest drop of the week after losing three straight.  This early in the season, it doesn't take much for the stats to change dramatically.

Coyotes Celebrate (Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


(Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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