Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Settling in at the top – Yahoo Sports

It’s a few weeks into the regular season and the cream is beginning to rise to the top with the Predators, Lightning and Winnipeg Jets pushing toward the top of the rankings. The Preds and Lightning have lost only once in regulation and the Maple Leafs continue to look like the best offense in the entire NHL.

  • MORE BRUINS – What we learned from B’s loss to Canucks – injuries mount 

    The other end of the spectrum is equally interesting as the Sharks, Kings and Golden Knights – playoff teams with high hopes this season – are all rounding out in the bottom third of the league. It’s still early yet for both ends to meet somewhere in the middle, but it’s not going to be too early much more with Thanksgiving about a month away.

    At that point, things in the standings will begin to cement a little bit, so there are just a few more weeks for underachieving teams to get things in gear.  

    Anyway, without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:

    predators_filip_forsberg_011217.jpgView photos

    1. Nashville Predators (7-1-0, rank last week: 3) – The Predators are allowing under two goals per game, Filip Forsberg has picked up the pace offensively and Peter Laviolette is wearing bull masks. All is right in Music City. 

    2. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-1-1, LW: 15) – The Lightning are on a roll now with four players scoring at a point-per-game clip and the offense averaging four goals per game.

    3. Colorado Avalanche (5-1-2, LW: 7) – Nathan MacKinnon off to a torrid start for the Avs, who look like they’re finally ready to take that step to a legitimate contender this season. The eight goals and 14 points in eight games are pretty darn good.

    4. New Jersey Devils (4-2-0, LW: 6) – Taylor Hall

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    PHT Power Rankings: Best starts to 2018-19 NHL season – Yahoo Sports

    In this week’s PHT Power Rankings we take a break from the overall team rankings to look at the best and most impressive individual performances to start the 2018-19 season.

    The best individual performance (so far) does not reside in Edmonton or Toronto where there is a “best player” argument unfolding (actually, that argument is probably only taking place in Toronto), or in Washington, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh or Boston where some of the league’s best teams reside.

    The best performance is currently in …  Anaheim.

    There might be one or two other surprises in there.

    To the rankings, where we take especially in-depth looks at the top-five…

    The best of the best … so far

    1. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks — If you take a quick at the Ducks’ record on Monday and see them sitting at 5-3-1 and in first place in the Pacific Division you might think, “hey, that is a pretty impressive start for a team that has been without three of its best forwards for most of the season.”

    And it is an impressive start … if you look at only the record.

    But here is the harsh truth about this team so far: It has stunk, and it has stunk bad. Part of that is due to only getting four total man-games from the trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ondrej Kase (all four of them belonging to Getzlaf), three of the team’s top-five scorers from a year ago. But no matter the reason the team that is taking the ice every night has stunk.

    They have spent the entire season getting absolutely caved in in terms of shots against and scoring chances against, they are giving up close to 40 shots per night, and they aren’t really great offensively.

    The only reason the record does not reflect how much this

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    Bourne: Why more NHL players are moving away from canned quotes and instead are giving honest answers – The Athletic (Toronto)

    Sometime around the middle of last week, I had something of an epiphany. Was it just me, I wondered, or are NHLers starting to say some pretty interesting stuff in interviews? This is a league where being a bland quote wasn’t just the norm, it was an expectation from teammates, opponents and organizations. In years past, Sean Avery regularly said things that didn’t fall within hockey’s beige oral parameters and he found himself a pariah in a hurry (justifiably, I’d argue, but still). Basically any time a team heard a single player on another team suggest their team wasn’t great, the quote was blown up to poster-size and used as a rallying cry. Creating “bulletin board material” was seen as one of the games biggest sins.

    Part of this was certainly the buttoned-up culture of the game, but also, it served a tangible purpose. If you were the player who decided to speak up and air a grievance, or give a negative opinion about an opposing team, all you did was make…

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    NHL Power Rankings: Caps' offense and defense are going in different directions – NBCSports.com

    It’s going to be a late night. The Caps are in Vancouver to take on the Canucks (10 p.m., NBC Sports Washington Plus) for the first of a four-game swing through Canada. Grab your coffee, here are four things you need to watch.

    Offensive firepower

    Washington enters Monday’s game with the top offense in the NHL with 4.14 goals per game. Vancouver had one of the worst defenses in the league last year. They have looked much improved at the start of this season, but they are still giving up 3.00 goals per game. Washington’s high-powered superstars should be able to take advantage and get some points on the board.

    Adjusted lines

    The fact that Washington has the top offense in the NHL is surprising considering how much their depth forwards have struggled to produce. Prior to Friday’s game against the Florida Panthers, the Caps had gotten only two goals from the bottom six and both had come in the season-opener. After seeing his team go down 4-1 against Florida, head coach Todd Reirden shuffled up the lines and it seemed to create a spark for the offense.

    Reirden indicated Sunday he will stick with those lines and he kept them together for Monday’s morning skate:

    Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Devante Smith-Pelly
    Chandler Stephenson – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
    Jakub Vrana – Lars Eller – Brett Connolly
    Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Andre Burakovsky

    Vrana, Connolly and Smith-Pelly all scored after the change. Per the Caps’ PR team, the third line of Vrana, Eller and Connolly produced two goals, eight shot attempts and allowed just three shot attempts in over six minutes of five-on-five play.

    Special teams

    In addition to having the top offense in the NHL, the Caps also boast the top power play. With the extra man,

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    Rangers' Alexandar Georgiev: Brought back to NHL – CBSSports.com

    Georgiev was recalled from AHL Hartford on Monday.

    During his brief stint in the minors, Georgiev went 1-1-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .905 save percentage for the Wolf Pack. While the move was intended to get the Bulgarian some game action, he may not see a start until the Rangers‘ next back-to-back, which doesn’t come until mid-November — although the coaching staff could decide to give Henrik Lundqvist a night off before then.

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