{{ currentSportDisplayName }}
  • nhl
  • mlb
  • cfl
  • nfl
  • mls
  • nba

Scoreboard

{{ currentSportDisplayName }}
  • nhl
  • mlb
  • cfl
  • nfl
  • mls
  • nba

Oct 2, 2017

Pens, Lightning battle it out in first 7-Eleven Power Rankings of 2017-18

The Reporters: NHL season preview

VIDEO SIGN OUT

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ bid to become just the third team in more than half a century to three-peat begins with them sharing top billing in the 7-Eleven Power Rankings alongside Tampa Bay.

Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay enter the 2017-18 season as the NHL’s most powerful teams according to the TSN Power Ranking panel of Ray Ferraro, Jeff O'Neill, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button and Darren Dreger.

Two-time defending champion Pittsburgh retains its position at No. 1, while Tampa Bay rises all the way from No. 17 in the final 2016-17 power ranking.

The last three teams to win at least three Cups in a row were Toronto (1962-64), Montreal (1976-79) and the New York Islanders (1980-83).

Rounding out the top grouping in the first instalment of weekly rankings are No. 3 Edmonton, No. 4 Chicago – climbing from No. 15 – and No. 5 Washington.

The Oilers, fuelled by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, are the top-rated Canadian team after coming within one victory of reaching the third round in 2017. Meanwhile, the Senators drop from No. 3 in last year’s final ranking to No. 12 after coming within one overtime goal of beating Pittsburgh in the third round.

The Senators start the season in a cluster of five Canadian teams in a span of six ranking slots: No. 10 Toronto, No. 11 Calgary, No. 12 Ottawa, No. 13 Minnesota, No. 14 Montreal and No. 15 Winnipeg.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins
1. Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    50-21-11
  • PLAYOFFS
    Won Stanley Cup
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    1

A number of veterans (Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Cullen, Mark Streit to name a few) are gone, but consecutive Stanley Cups prove the Penguins have the ability to plug any holes in their lineup. 

Tampa Bay Lightning
1. Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    42-30-10
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    17

Drouin will be difficult to replace, but the return of Steven Stamkos (after playing just 17 games last season) and Nikita Kucherov’s scoring touch, plus Dan Girardi and Chris Kunitz, will pay dividends. 

Edmonton Oilers
3. Edmonton Oilers

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    47-26-9
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 2nd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    6

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, along with the stellar netminding of Cam Talbot, rookie Kailer Yamamoto, new addition Jussi Jokinen and a trimmer Milan Lucic, should carry them deep in 2018.

Chicago Blackhawks
4. Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    50-23-9
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    15

Same old deal, it’s Kane, Toews, Keith and Seabrook and then fill in the blanks. The return of Brandon Saad and the addition of blueliner Connor Murphy will be key for them to get past Round 1.

Washington Capitals
5. Washington Capitals

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    55-19-8
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 2nd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    5

One of the league’s strongest cores is still intact - Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Carlson and Holtby - but two straight Presidents’ Trophy wins mean nothing if you can’t at least reach the East final.

Columbus Blue Jackets
6. Columbus Blue Jackets

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    50-24-8
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    14

Losing four regular forwards means adding more youth into the lineup of a team that is coming off the best regular season in franchise history, but has yet to won a playoff series. Artemi Panarin will help.

Nashville Predators
7. Nashville Predators

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    41-29-12
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost Cup Final
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    2

Key veterans (Nick Bonino, Scott Hartnell) replace other key veterans (Neal, Fisher) after a great playoff run following a mediocre regular season. Can Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban help do it all over again?

Anaheim Ducks
8. Anaheim Ducks

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    46-23-13
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 3rd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    4

The Ducks return most of the same team that nearly reached the Stanley Cup Final, but must tough out the start of the season minus injured Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm. 

Dallas Stars
9. Dallas Stars

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    34-37-11
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    24

One of the most improved teams in the league with a new coach (Ken Hitchcock), new goalie (Ben Bishop), new defence (led by Marc Methot) and new winger (Alexander Radulov).

Toronto Maple Leafs
10. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    40-27-15
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    9

The kids (Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander) get some old age security in Patrick Marleau and will need to rely on Frederik Andersen to be effective playing at least 50 games. 

Calgary Flames
11. Calgary Flames

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    45-33-4
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    16

Mike Smith is the latest candidate in the annual search for a reliable No. 1 goalie, and the late signing of Jaromir Jagr as well as the addition of blueliner Travis Hamonic should help out in Calgary.

Ottawa Senators
12. Ottawa Senators

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    44-28-10
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 3rd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    3

Few changes for the team that went to double OT in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The key will be keeping Erik Karlsson in the lineup and healthy after his off-season ankle surgery.

Minnesota Wild
13. Minnesota Wild

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    49-25-8
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    13

Coming off the best season in franchise history, but can head coach Bruce Boudreau get them past the first round of the playoffs with newcomers Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno and Matt Cullen in the lineup?

Montreal Canadiens
14. Montreal Canadiens

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    47-26-9
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    14

The addition of Jonathan Drouin is expected to make the offence more meaningful and the overhauled defence includes Mark Streit, Karl Azner, David Schlemko and possibly 19-year-old Victor Mete.

Winnipeg Jets
15. Winnipeg Jets

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    40-35-7
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    19

Goal scoring is not a problem with Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele on board. Will inconsistent Steve Mason be an upgrade over inconsistent goaltending that has hurt Paul Maurice the last three years?

Carolina Hurricanes
16. Carolina Hurricanes

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    36-31-15
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    21

After 11 years as the No. 1 goalie and 295 wins, Cam Ward is backup and Scott Darling takes over for a rising team. The returning Justin Williams in the lineup leads a talented young defensive corps.

Boston Bruins
17. Boston Bruins

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    44-31-7
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    11

Very little has changed in Boston with the re-signing of scoring machine David Pastrnak, except that they will have 2016-17 Calder Trophy candidate Charlie McAvoy for the entire season.

New York Rangers
18. New York Rangers

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    48-28-6
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 2nd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    7

A strong, mobile blueline gets stronger with the addition of Kevin Shattenkirk, but aging goalie Henrik Lundqvist really needs to rebound from a disappointing season. 

Los Angeles Kings
19. Los Angeles Kings

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    39-35-8
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    22

With Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty on the roster, it’s up to new coach John Stevens to return this team to the recent glory of two Stanley Cups in the last six seasons.

St. Louis Blues
20. St. Louis Blues

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    46-29-7
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 2nd Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    8

The loss of Robby Fabbri for the season is a big blow, but the Blues may have filled their need for a No. 1 centre with the addition of Brayden Schenn. However, making the playoffs won’t be easy.

San Jose Sharks
21. San Jose Sharks

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    46-29-7
  • PLAYOFFS
    Lost 1st Round
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    12

Little change in their lineup means little change likely in their fortunes, but it will be up to the two Joes - Thornton and Pavelski - and Norris winner Brent Burns to have any hope beyond Game No. 82.

Florida Panthers
22. Florida Panthers

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    35-36-11
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    25

The Panthers, with new coach Bob Boughner, must have a lot of confidence in largely the same roster if they allow 30-goal man Jonathan Marchessault to go to Vegas. Could still challenge for a playoff spot.

New York Islanders
23. New York Islanders

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    41-29-12
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    18

Not much else matters this season until one thing happens: Getting John Tavares signed. The acquisition of Jordan Eberle and his soft hands should help Tavares have a shot at a 30-goal season.

Philadelphia Flyers
24. Philadelphia Flyers

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    39-33-10
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    20

It seems as though the Flyers are always searching for a reliable No.1 goalie – so is Brian Elliott the answer? No. 2 overall draft pick Nolan Patrick will have to fend off injuries to help this team contend.

Buffalo Sabres
25. Buffalo Sabres

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    33-37-12
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    26

The new management team led by Jason Botterill and coach Phil Housley will try to turn around a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in six years - can Jack Eichel be the difference this season?

New Jersey Devils
26. New Jersey Devils

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    28-40-14
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    28

No. 1 pick Nico Hischier should spark some life into the Eastern Conference’s last-place team, and Marcus Johansson will also help, but Cory Schneider needs to bounce back from a bad season.

Arizona Coyotes
27. Arizona Coyotes

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    30-42-10
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    27

Only two teams allowed more goals last year, so adding shutdown defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson, puck-moving D-man Jason Demers and others will make the blueline among the league's best.

Detroit Red Wings
28. Detroit Red Wings

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    33-36-13
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    23

After missing the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, the Red Wings have made few changes, almost ensuring it will be the second time in 27 years. It’s time to replenish this roster with a Top 5 pick.

Vancouver Canucks
29. Vancouver Canucks

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    30-43-9
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    29

The Sedins are 37 and the best addition to the Canucks roster (with Travis Green now behind the bench) is prospect Brock Boeser, so other than that there’s not much to really get excited about. 

Colorado Avalanche
30. Colorado Avalanche

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    22-56-4
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    30

With few changes in their lineup, the Avs need to make up 19 points - and that’s just to be tied for the second-worst record. Matt Duchene is also in limbo, so Nathan MacKinnon will need to return to form.

Vegas Golden Knights
31. Vegas Golden Knights

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    -
  • PLAYOFFS
    -
  • FINAL POWER RANKING
    -

Have the potential to be a competitive team in their first NHL season thanks to GM George McPhee landing Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal and an overall good mix of veterans and young talent.

Latest NHL Videos