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Columnists

MORE From TSN'S Hockey COLUMNISTS

Oct 16, 2017

Turning over a new Leaf in 7-Eleven Power Rankings

Toronto’s meteoric rise from worst to first is complete. At least in TSN Hockey’s 7-Eleven Power Rankings. The Maple Leafs, last overall in 2015-16, are first overall in this week’s consensus rankings

Auston Matthews, William Nylander

Toronto’s meteoric rise from worst to first is complete.

At least in TSN Hockey’s 7-Eleven Power Rankings.

The Maple Leafs, last overall in 2015-16, are first overall in this week’s consensus rankings formulated by the TSN Power Ranking panel of Ray Ferraro, Jeff O'Neill, Jamie McLennan, Craig Button and Darren Dreger.

Toronto’s reward for finishing 30th two seasons ago was Auston Matthews in the 2016 Draft. He hasn’t just lived up to expectations, he has exceeded them.

After a 40-goal rookie season, Matthews has five goals, including two 3-on-3 winners, and eight points in five games this season.

Rounding out the top five are No. 2 Los Angeles, one of the year’s biggest early season surprises, No. 3 Chicago, No. 4 Tampa Bay and No. 5 Ottawa, which is off to a remarkable 3-0-2 start without captain and best player Erik Karlsson.

Conversely, Edmonton has plunged down the rankings ­– from No. 3 in the preseason to No. 6 in week one and now to No. 22 in week three.

Check out TSN Hockey's full list below, along with each team's Score-Adjusted Corsi.

 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs
1. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    57.1%
  • LAST WEEK
    3

Auston Matthews scored his second overtime goal of the season to give Toronto a 4-3 win in Montreal and end a 14-game winless streak against the Canadiens dating back to January 2014. 

Los Angeles Kings
2. Los Angeles Kings

  • 2017-18
    4-0-1
  • POSSESSION
    51.8%
  • LAST WEEK
    4

After an injury-plagued season in which he played in just 17 games, Jonathan Quick has returned to form, going undefeated in his first four games and sporting a .943 save percentage. 

Chicago Blackhawks
3. Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2017-18
    4-1-1
  • POSSESSION
    47.9%
  • LAST WEEK
    1

The goal-scoring exploits of their first two games (15 goals) couldn’t continue, but it doesn’t matter because veteran Corey Crawford leads the league with a .960 save percentage. 

Tampa Bay Lightning
4. Tampa Bay Lightning

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    52.5%
  • LAST WEEK
    10

The Lightning are off to a good start, in no small part thanks to Nikita Kucherov, the first Lightning player to score a goal in each of their first five games. Brayden Point has eight points in five games.

Ottawa Senators
5. Ottawa Senators

  • 2017-18
    3-0-2
  • POSSESSION
    44.7%
  • LAST WEEK
    20

Still without a loss and without Erik Karlsson, the Sens pulled off a Western Canadian sweep for the first time in franchise history, outscoring the Canucks 3-2, Flames 6-0 and Oilers 6-1. 

Columbus Blue Jackets
6. Columbus Blue Jackets

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    55%
  • LAST WEEK
    7

Both the Jackets and Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky have picked up where they left off last season. Bobrovsky is 4-0 with a .952 save percentage. New addition Artemi Panarin has seven points.

New Jersey Devils
7. New Jersey Devils

  • 2017-18
    6-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    48.2%
  • LAST WEEK
    7
Detroit Red Wings
8. Detroit Red Wings

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    48.7%
  • LAST WEEK
    12

The impressive part is that four of their five games have been played on the road, where the Wings have three of their four wins. Henrik Zetterberg has seven points while bluelliner Mike Green has eight.

Vegas Golden Knights
9. Vegas Golden Knights

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    49.3%
  • LAST WEEK
    11

Vegas is the first expansion team to win their first three games, although expansion teams rarely start off with Stanley Cup finalists such as James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury in their lineup. 

Washington Capitals
10. Washington Capitals

  • 2017-18
    4-1-0
  • POSSESSION
    46.9%
  • LAST WEEK
    2

Great individual numbers highlight the early going, with nine goals by Ovechkin, 11 assists by Kuznetsov, and 11 points from Backstrom to take the top-three NHL points leader spots. 

Pittsburgh Penguins
11. Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 2017-18
    3-2-1
  • POSSESSION
    47.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    13

Matt Murray hasn’t disappointed in his No. 1 role, starting off the season with a 3-0-1 record between the pipes. And Sidney Crosby is back to form, scoring twice Saturday against the Panthers.

St. Louis Blues
12. St. Louis Blues

  • 2017-18
    4-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    44.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    5

After starting the season 4-0 for only the second time in franchise history, the Blues headed to the state of Florida and lost two straight, with offensive production that has plummeted since opening night. 

Calgary Flames
13. Calgary Flames

  • 2017-18
    4-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    49%
  • LAST WEEK
    15

Mike Smith earned a shutout last week that snapped an NHL record 25-game skid in Anaheim that dated back to 2004. Jaromir Jagr recorded his first point as a Flame on Saturday.

Winnipeg Jets
14. Winnipeg Jets

  • 2017-18
    3-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    46.2%
  • LAST WEEK
    31

It’s been quite a turnaround for the Jets, winning three in a row after opening with two losses in which they were outscored 15-7. Great Dane Nikolaj Ehlers has five goals in five games. 

Colorado Avalanche
15. Colorado Avalanche

  • 2017-18
    4-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    51.5%
  • LAST WEEK
    26

Four wins in six games is a surprise, as is the team’s top goal scorers with three each: ex-Oiler No. 1 Nail Yakupov, ex-Habs pick Sven Andrighetto, and supposed-to-have-been traded Matt Duchene. 

Philadelphia Flyers
16. Philadelphia Flyers

  • 2017-18
    3-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    49.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    9

The Flyers lit up Washington in their home opener, winning 8-2, scoring the most goals they’ve had in a home opener since notching nine in 1982. Red-hot Jakub Voracek has nine points in five games.

Carolina Hurricanes
17. Carolina Hurricanes

  • 2017-18
    1-1-1
  • POSSESSION
    55.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    16

It’s only three games into their season, but managing just one goal in two of those games is not positive. Justin Williams (just two assists) and Jeff Skinner (just two goals) need to up their game.

Florida Panthers
18. Florida Panthers

  • 2017-18
    2-2-0
  • POSSESSION
    55.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    18

Although Bob Boughner's charges are only outscoring teams by one goal, they’ve outshot them by an average of 10.2 per game, and lead the league with an average of 42 shots per game. 

Anaheim Ducks
19. Anaheim Ducks

  • 2017-18
    2-3-1
  • POSSESSION
    45.2%
  • LAST WEEK
    8

The Ducks, losers of two straight, have battled injuries and a weak power play to start the season. They’ve failed to score with the man advantage over their first six games in 21 opportunities. 

Minnesota Wild
20. Minnesota Wild

  • 2017-18
    1-1-2
  • POSSESSION
    47.1%
  • LAST WEEK
    21

The bad news is the Wild won just one of their first four. The good news is they earned points in three of those games. The worst news? Injuries to Parise, Niederreiter, Coyle, Foligno and Granlund.

Nashville Predators
21. Nashville Predators

  • 2017-18
    2-2-1
  • POSSESSION
    50.11
  • LAST WEEK
    27

The Stanley Cup finalists got off to a poor 0-2 start, but quickly rebounded last week with two wins and an overtime loss in Chicago. Forsberg and Subban both have seven points in five games. 

Edmonton Oilers
22. Edmonton Oilers

  • 2017-18
    2-5-0
  • POSSESSION
    55.1%
  • LAST WEEK
    22
Boston Bruins
23. Boston Bruins

  • 2017-18
    2-3-0
  • POSSESSION
    50.9%
  • LAST WEEK
    14

Still no Patrice Bergeron to provide some goal scoring, and finishing off a bad week by coming within 30 seconds of being shut out by castoff Malcolm Subban in a 3-1 loss in Vegas really hurt the Bruins.

Dallas Stars
24. Dallas Stars

  • 2017-18
    2-3-0
  • POSSESSION
    57%
  • LAST WEEK
    24

The offence hasn’t been explosive with just 11 goals, but the goaltending has been better this season with Ben Bishop, and the Stars have scored a power play goal in each of their first five games. 

New York Islanders
25. New York Islanders

  • 2017-18
    2-3-1
  • POSSESSION
    50.7%
  • LAST WEEK
    25

The Islanders’ power play is off to a rocky start, going 0-for-20 over their first six games, but they have managed to score two shorthanded goals. Time for Tavares, with just three points, to spark the offence.

Montreal Canadiens
26. Montreal Canadiens

  • 2017-18
    1-3-1
  • POSSESSION
    55.1%
  • LAST WEEK
    23

The Canadiens have yet to win a game in regulation time - they’re averaging 1.40 goals per game - and Carey Price has a save percentage of .885. Will they finally turn it around on the road this week?

New York Rangers
27. New York Rangers

  • 2017-18
    1-5-0
  • POSSESSION
    46.7%
  • LAST WEEK
    22

Goal scoring has been a problem for the Rangers, who are averaging 2.17 goals per game after finishing fourth last year with 3.09 per game. Should bench boss Alain Vigneault be updating his resume? 

San Jose Sharks
28. San Jose Sharks

  • 2017-18
    1-3-0
  • POSSESSION
    55.2%
  • LAST WEEK
    29

A four-game homestand to start the year hasn’t benefitted the Sharks, who have only one player (Kevin Lebanc) with more than one goal. Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns and Joe Thornton have just a point apiece.

Vancouver Canucks
29. Vancouver Canucks

  • 2017-18
    1-3-1
  • POSSESSION
    47.6%
  • LAST WEEK
    19

Some early oddities: No player has more than two points, and Henrik Sedin (28 PIM last year) had three minor penalties at three different times over 10 minutes in one period versus Calgary Saturday.  

Buffalo Sabres
30. Buffalo Sabres

  • 2017-18
    1-4-1
  • POSSESSION
    44.7%
  • LAST WEEK
    28

The Sabres finally got into the win column with a 3-1 defeat of Anaheim in their sixth game, thanks to three different players scoring their first goal of 2017. Did Jack Eichel's 'sick of losing' rant pay off?

Arizona Coyotes
31. Arizona Coyotes

  • 2016-17 RECORD
    0-4-1
  • POSSESSION
    48.9%
  • LAST WEEK
    30

The last remaining winless team has been outscored 22-11. The 4.40 goals per game they’ve allowed is worst in the league. And new head coach Rick Tocchet has already apologized to the fans.