The Montreal Canadiens continue atop the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers.
Teams moving up this week include the Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.
Teams falling this week include the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers. For one of those teams, it cost someone a job.
1. MONTREAL CANADIENS 16-4-2
THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 1
GF: 3.05 GA: 2.14 SA CF%: 50.6
PP%: 22.4 PK%: 83.1
The Habs cling to top spot with a 3-3-1 record in the past seven games, but it’s fair to wonder if those three wins all coming by a 2-1 score are indicative of some offensive troubles that could pose problems. They’re in California, which has tended to be a tough spot to score, too.
Key Injuries: LW Charles Hudon (sternum), D Nathan Beaulieu (neck).
2. WASHINGTON CAPITALS 13-6-2
THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 4
GF: 2.71 GA: 2.24 SA CF%: 53.7
PP%: 15.6 PK%: 82.6
The Capitals have been good, controlling play and putting up decent results, but they are doing this with dramatically reduced production from C Evgeny Kuznetsov (3 G, 6 A in 21 GP) and RW Justin Williams (2 G, 2 A in 21 GP).
Key Injuries: RW T.J. Oshie (upper body), D Matt Niskanen (lower body).
3. NEW YORK RANGERS 15-7-1
THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 2
GF: 3.70 GA: 2.43 SA CF%: 47.5
PP%: 20.3 PK%: 85.0
The Rangers have won two of the past six games, and one of those wins was a Lundqvist steal against Philadelphia, when the Blueshirts were outshot 42-23 yet won 3-2. They’ve been scoring a bunch in the first quarter of the season, but that can’t continue if the Rangers continue to get outshot so consistently.
Key Injuries: C Mika Zibanejad (fibula), RW Pavel Buchnevich (back).
4. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 14-6-3
THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 3
GF: 2.83 GA: 2.52 SA CF%: 51.1
PP%: 17.7 PK%: 70.8
Returning home from the Circus Trip, the Blackhawks went 3-3-1 on the road, and are missing the captain, Jonathan Toews. He has just 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in 21 games, but he’s still Jonathan Toews.
Key Injuries: C Jonathan Toews (upper body).
5. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 13-6-3
THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 7
GF: 2.91 GA: 2.91 SA CF%: 51.7
PP%: 20.0 PK%: 77.2
The Penguins have one regulation win in the past seven games, and are facing a decision in goal, because rookie Matt Murray (.939 SV%) has been clearly outplaying veteran Marc-Andre Fleury (.901 SV%).
Key Injuries: LW Chris Kunitz (lower body).
6. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 11-5-4
THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 5
GF: 3.10 GA: 2.30 SA CF%: 50.1
PP%: 28.3 PK%: 83.3
While the Blue Jackets have just one regulation loss in the past four games, they also have one regulation loss in the past eight games. Possession numbers are up to middle of the pack, which goes nicely with a good goaltender and killer power play.
Key Injuries: None.
7. MINNESOTA WILD 11-7-3
THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 9
GF: 2.76 GA: 1.95 SA CF%: 49.9
PP%: 19.0 PK%: 85.2
4-2-2 in the past eight games, the Wild have been riding great goaltending from Devan Dubnyk, but the power play has started clicking and RW Charlie Coyle is stepping up into a bigger role.
Key Injuries: None.
8. EDMONTON OILERS 12-9-2
THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 13
GF: 2.91 GA: 2.52 SA CF%: 52.4
PP%: 17.4 PK%: 87.7
3-1-1 in the past five games, the Oilers appear to have emerged from an early November slump, though getting one out of four points from Arizona is not quite ideal. Nevertheless, a team controlling more than 52% of the play is a new experience in Edmonton.
Key Injuries: D Brandon Davidson (lower body).
9. SAN JOSE SHARKS 12-9-1
THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 15
GF: 2.36 GA: 2.18 SA CF%: 53.0
PP%: 17.4 PK%: 84.9
3-1-1 in the past five games, the Sharks haven’t been able to score – Joe Thornton has 13 points (2 G, 11 A) in 22 games – and there hasn’t been enough coming from the supporting cast.
Key Injuries: LW Tomas Hertl (knee).
10. LOS ANGELES KINGS 12-9-1
THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 18
GF: 2.55 GA: 2.41 SA CF%: 53.6
PP%: 12.1 PK%: 82.4
The Kings remain a good possession team, but they aren’t great in that respect, as they had been in previous years, but they are getting healthier and have won five straight, so they’re not done yet.
Key Injuries: G Jonathan Quick (groin), D Brayden McNabb (arm).
11. ST. LOUIS BLUES 13-7-3
THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 10
GF: 2.65 GA: 2.70 SA CF%: 53.2
PP%: 21.5 PK%: 87.6
The Blues have won six of seven, but they’ve allowed more goals than they have scored so far, which limits their upside. Left wingers David Perron and Jaden Schwartz are hot, on eight and seven-game point streaks, respectively.
Key Injuries: LW Alexander Steen (concussion).
12. NASHVILLE PREDATORS 10-8-3
THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 20
GF: 2.86 GA: 2.48 SA CF%: 50.8
PP%: 23.8 PK%: 85.1
On an 8-3-2 run in November, the Predators appear to be on track after a slow start, though they are let with a couple of injuries – to leading goal-scorer James Neal, and No. 3 defenceman Ryan Ellis – to overcome.
Key Injuries: D Ryan Ellis (upper body), RW James Neal (upper body).
13. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 13-9-1
THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 8
GF: 3.00 GA: 2.57 SA CF%: 49.5
PP%: 23.5 PK%: 83.3
Maybe the Lightning aren’t impervious to injuries, as they have dropped three of four, and they may be running into a goaltending controversy soon, because Andrei Vasilevskiy (.951 SV%) is outperforming Ben Bishop (.902).
Key Injuries: C Steven Stamkos (knee), D Anton Stralman (upper body).
14. BOSTON BRUINS 12-10-0
THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 6
GF: 2.36 GA: 2.27 SA CF%: 54.2
PP%: 16.4 PK%: 86.7
The Bruins have lost three of four, and are now missing a couple of defencemen. Not ideal, and while they are the league’s best possession team, that is heavily tilted towards the top line, where Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are getting more than 60% of the shots at even strength.
Key Injuries: LW Frank Vatrano (foot), D Zdeno Chara (lower body), D John-Michael Liles (upper body).
15. OTTAWA SENATORS 14-7-1
THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 19
GF: 2.18 GA: 2.32 SA CF%: 46.8
PP%: 11.3 PK%: 86.2
The Senators can’t score, but G Craig Anderson has been great and has backstopped them to four straight wins, allowing a total of five goals in those four wins.
Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion).
16. ANAHEIM DUCKS 10-8-4
THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 14
GF: 2.59 GA: 2.41 SA CF%: 48.9
PP%: 22.2 PK%: 82.0
The Ducks are effectively treading water, but it should be getting better because C Rickard Rakell has put up 12 points in 13 games since signing, and D Hampus Lindholm is back to providing stellar possession numbers.
Key Injuries: D Simon Despres (concussion).
17. NEW JERSEY DEVILS 10-6-5
THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 11
GF: 2.43 GA: 2.57 SA CF%: 49.2
PP%: 14.5 PK%: 83.1
The Devils have one regulation win in the past 10 games, so they are probably missing one of their few proven scorers, Taylor Hall, but they’re also getting major production out of veteran LW Mike Cammalleri, who has 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in the past five games.
Key Injuries: LW Taylor Hall (knee).
18. FLORIDA PANTHERS 11-10-1
THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 12
GF: 2.50 GA: 2.59 SA CF%: 52.3
PP%: 14.7 PK%: 81.3
Did anything happen with the Panthers this week? Oh yeah, stuff happened.
Key Injuries: LW Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles), D Alex Petrovic (lower body).
19. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 9-8-4
THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 17
GF: 3.14 GA: 3.19 SA CF%: 50.6
PP%: 21.0 PK%: 83.1
Saturday’s win against Washington snapped a three-game winless stretch, but they are 7-4-1 in November and that appears to be progress; this while not necessarily optimizing their lineup, with journeyman Ben Smith still holding a regular spot on the fourth line, and regular appearances by Matt Hunwick and Roman Polak on the blueline.
Key Injuries: LW Joffrey Lupul (sports hernia).
20. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 10-10-3
THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 22
GF: 3.13 GA: 3.30 SA CF%: 52.6
PP%: 25.0 PK%: 79.7
Since this didn’t make it into Statistically Speaking, Flyers rookie G Anthony Stolarz made his NHL debut a successful one, stopping 29 of 32 shots in Sunday’s 5-3 win over Calgary. The 2012 second-round pick had a .927 save percentage in eight AHL games before getting the call.
Key Injuries: G Michal Neuvirth (knee), C Sean Couturier (knee), D Brandon Manning (concussion).
21. DALLAS STARS 9-8-6
THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 23
GF: 2.61 GA: 3.30 SA CF%: 47.3
PP%: 18.6 PK%: 78.5
The Stars have gone to overtime six times this month, but they’ve managed to record points in eight of the past 10 games. They’re still trying to sort out the blueline, don’t have a reliable answer in net and are still dealing with injuries up front. But otherwise things are great!
Key Injuries: LW Mattias Janmark (knee), RW Ales Hemsky (hip), RW Jiri Hudler (illness), D Johnny Oduya (lower body).
22. CAROLINA HURRICANES 9-8-4
THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 16
GF: 2.43 GA: 2.62 SA CF%: 53.2
PP%: 20.3 PK%: 91.1
The Hurricanes have won six of the past eight, with their most recent win coming with 35-year-old Michael Leighton between the pipes, but they also suffered a major loss, with terrific two-way centre Jordan Staal suffering a concussion. That’s going to leave a big hole in the lineup.
Key Injuries: C Jordan Staal (concussion).
23. COLORADO AVALANCHE 9-10-1
THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 25
GF: 2.20 GA: 2.85 SA CF%: 47.7
PP%: 15.6 PK%: 77.8
As the Avalanche are in desperate need of secondary scoring, especially when Jarome Iginla and Joe Colborne are both sitting on three goals, in comes rookie RW Mikko Rantanen, who has contributed six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past six games.
Key Injuries: LW Gabriel Landeskog (lower body), G Semyon Varlamov (upper body).
24. WINNIPEG JETS 10-12-2
THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 22
GF: 2.58 GA: 2.92 SA CF%: 47.5
PP%: 14.6 PK%: 79.5
Sunday’s win against Nashville snapped a five-game losing streak, and required G Connor Hellebuyck to post a 42-save shutout. Getting C Bryan Little back from injury ought to give this lineup a boost.
Key Injuries: D Tyler Myers (lower body), C Mathieu Perreault (upper body), RW Joel Armia (lower body), C Nic Petan (lower body).
25. DETROIT RED WINGS 10-10-2
THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 24
GF: 2.32 GA: 2.64 SA CF%: 46.7
PP%: 15.9 PK%: 78.6
Although the Red Wings won a couple of games last week, they have managed a single regulation win in the past 15 games.
Key Injuries: C Darren Helm (shoulder), LW Andreas Athanasiou (knee), G Jimmy Howard (groin), D Brendan Smith (knee).
26. BUFFALO SABRES 7-9-5
THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 26
GF: 1.81 GA: 2.38 SA CF%: 47.9
PP%: 20.0 PK%: 80.3
The Sabres haven’t been able to score, but help is on the way. Jack Eichel is set to play his first game of the season, after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the preseason and, coupled with a now-healthy Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres should finally have their desired 1-2 combo down the middle of the ice.
Key Injuries: D Zach Bogosian (knee), LW Tyler Ennis (groin), D Dmitry Kulikov (undisclosed).
27. CALGARY FLAMES 10-13-2
THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 26
GF: 2.24 GA: 3.04 SA CF%: 49.7
PP%: 10.4 PK%: 76.8
The Flames are 5-3-1 in the past nine games, which seems like progress, and yet rumblings are out there that D Dougie Hamilton is available.
Key Injuries: LW Johnny Gaudreau (finger).
28. VANCOUVER CANUCKS 9-11-2
THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 29
GF: 2.14 GA: 2.95 SA CF%: 48.5
PP%: 12.5 PK%: 85.2
The Canucks are also 5-3-1 in the past nine games, but injuries are taking a toll on the lineup, notably with both of their top pair defencemen now on the shelf.
Key Injuries: RW Anton Rodin (knee), D Chris Tanev (lower body), RW Jannik Hansen (rib), LW Sven Baertschi (foot), D Alexander Edler (hand).
29. ARIZONA COYOTES 8-10-2
THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 27
GF: 2.40 GA: 3.15 SA CF%: 45.0
PP%: 12.1 PK%: 79.7
The Coyotes have one regulation loss in the past six games, though Sunday’s win against Edmonton was their first in regulation since Nov. 1.
Key Injuries: C Brad Richardson (tiba/fibula).
30. NEW YORK ISLANDERS 7-10-4
THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 30
GF: 2.38 GA: 2.95 SA CF%: 45.3
PP%: 12.9 PK%: 80.0
The Isles are grinding out points, here and there, but have one regulation win in November. Tough to gain ground that way.
Key Injuries: C Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), D Dennis Seidenberg (jaw).
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com