ESNY’s NHL Power Rankings: Dec. 6 Update

Who have been the best and worst teams in the NHL since Thanksgiving?

Leen Amin

Leen Amin

We’re back with our post-Week 8 NHL power rankings. Much has changed in the league over the past week and a half or so.

The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are competing to see who can go the longest without winning a game. A blow-up in Vancouver could be on the horizon. The Seattle Kraken are beginning to make noise.

The Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and New York Rangers are all on six-game winning streaks while the Carolina Hurricanes fall out of the top-five.

This edition of ESNY’s NHL power rankings are based on the week of Nov. 26th to Dec. 5th. For last week’s power rankings, click here.

32. Arizona Coyotes

11/26-12/5: 1-3-0, 6 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: DAL, WPG, MIN, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 32

The Coyotes are back to being bad and struggling to score after their best stretch of the season.

31. Ottawa Senators

11/26-12/5: 2-3-0, 13 GF, 21 GA (Opponents: ANA, LAK, VAN, CAR, COL)
Previous Ranking: 31

Captain Brady Tkachuk is averaging over a point per game since being bitten by Los Angeles Kings forward Brendan Lemieux.

30. New York Islanders

11/26-12/5: 0-1-3, 6 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: PIT, SJS, DET, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 26

Things couldn’t be going much worse for the Islanders.

They’re on a league-worst 11-game losing streak (tied for the longest in franchise history), are still missing important players, and too many of their top guys are underperforming. At least they have a three-game point streak going?

29. Montreal Canadiens

11/26-12/5: 1-3-1, 12 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: BUF, PIT, VAN, COL, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 30

As if this disastrous team needed any more bad news: Brendan Gallagher is out for at least five games after testing positive for COVID-19.

28. Vancouver Canucks

11/26-12/5: 2-3-0, 13 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: CBJ, BOS, MTL, OTT, PIT)
Previous Ranking: 28

The Canucks have been in the news because of how disappointing their season has been. Are they going to blow it all up?

27. Buffalo Sabres

11/26-12/5: 1-3-1, 16 GF, 24 GA (Opponents: MTL, DET, SEA, FLA, CAR)
Previous Ranking: 25

Buffalo’s goaltending problem is growing to be unbelievable. They experimented with Malcolm Subban on Saturday, but that didn’t go well. He gave up six goals before leaving the game with an injury. Boy, does this team miss Craig Anderson.

26. Philadelphia Flyers

11/26-12/5: 0-4-0, 7 GF, 24 GA (Opponents: CAR, NJD, NYR, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 22

The Flyers are on an eight-game losing streak and head coach Alain Vigneault is running out of excuses. It’s hard to believe he’ll keep his job for much longer if the team doesn’t turn a corner.

25. Chicago Blackhawks

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 12 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: STL, SJS, WSH, NYR, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 27

It’s impressive that the Blachkawks have improved as much as they have given the poor play of key guys like Jonathan Toews, Dominik Kubalík, Dylan Strome, and Kevin Lankinen.

24. Seattle Kraken

11/26-12/5: 3-1-1, 18 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: TBL, FLA, BUF, DET, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 29

The Kraken are becoming a team to watch. It’s nice to see Philipp Grubauer rebounding after his truly terrible start to the season. He’s a key reason why the Kraken have been able to win more.

23. New Jersey Devils

11/26-12/5: 1-4-0, 15 GF, 24 GA (Opponents: NSH, PHI, SJS, MIN, WPG)
Previous Ranking: 21

A rough week for the Devils was made easier with the return of star center Jack Hughes and his subsequent eight-year, $64 million deal.

22. Los Angeles Kings

11/26-12/5: 2-1-1,15 GF, 11 GA (Opponents: OTT, ANA, CGY, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 23

The cherry on top of a good week for the Kings? Star defenseman Drew Doughty is back and due to celebrate his 1,000th career game sooner rather than later.

21. Boston Bruins

11/26-12/5: 2-2-0, 10 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: NYR, VAN, DET, NSH, TBL)
Previous Ranking: 20

Jake DeBrusk (trade request) and Brad Marchand (suspension) have been the focal points of an underwhelming Bruins team, lately.

20. Columbus Blue Jackets

11/26-12/5: 2-4-0, 16 GF, 24 GA (Opponents: VAN, STL, NSH, DAL, WSH, SJS)
Previous Ranking: 13

The Blue Jackets are in an uncharacteristically poor defensive stretch, including back-to-back games in which they allowed six goals each.

19. Colorado Avalanche

11/26-12/5: 2-3-0, 19 GF, 20 GA (Opponents: DAL, NSH, TOR, MTL, OTT)
Previous Ranking: 16

Darcy Kuemper has been one of the worst goaltenders in the NHL this season, which we’re seeing during stretches like this.

18. Vegas Golden Knights

11/26-12/5: 2-2-0, 17 GF, 12 GA (Opponents: EDM, ANA, ARI, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 10

The Golden Knights continue to look better and better and the return of Max Pacioretty is only helping.

17. Dallas Stars

11/26-12/5: 4-0-0, 13 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: COL, ARI, CAR, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 24

The Stars are on an impressive six-game winning streak and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league.

Special credit must be given to goaltender Braden Holtby and center Roope Hintz, who is scoring at a better rate than most players in the NHL.

16. Pittsburgh Penguins

11/26-12/5: 2-2-1, 11 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: NYI, MTL, CGY, EDM, VAN)
Previous Ranking: 12

This is a Tristan Jarry appreciation blurb. He looks nothing like Mr. Inconsistent (Mr. More Bad Than Good, if we’re being honest) of last season.

15. San Jose Sharks

11/26-12/5: 3-3-0, 14 GF, 14 GA (Opponents: TOR, CHI, NJD, NYI, NYR, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 17

It’s nice to see Erik Karlsson getting back on track.

14. Nashville Predators

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 16 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: NJD, COL, CBJ, BOS, MTL)
Previous Ranking: 18

The Predators have been benefiting from several players bouncing back. It’s now Filip Forsberg’s turn, who’s been unstoppable since returning from injury.

13. St. Louis Blues

11/26-12/5: 2-2-1, 17 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: CHI, CBJ, TBL x2, FLA)
Previous Ranking: 14

The Blues have been very inconsistent lately. They’re looking to forget about that and continue to build chemistry and improve.

12. Winnipeg Jets

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 19 GF, 17 GA (Opponents: MIN, CGY, ARI, NJD, T0R)
Previous Ranking: 15

The Jets are also one of the more inconsistent teams in the league. Let’s see if the offense can maintain the explosiveness we’ve seen over the past few games.

11. Detroit Red Wings

11/26-12/5: 4-0-0, 13 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: BUF, BOS, SEA, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 19

Shoutout to Lucas Raymond, who was November’s NHL Rookie of the Month.

10. Anaheim Ducks

11/26-12/5: 3-1-1, 19 GF, 18 GA (Opponents: OTT, TOR, LAK, VGK, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 11

The Ducks are back to their winning ways, but had a strange week. They scored at a very high rate, but also gave up too many goals.

9. Edmonton Oilers

11/26-12/5: 2-2-0, 12 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: VGK, PIT, SEA, LAK)
Previous Ranking: 6

The Oilers gave up more goals than usual during this most recent stretch. Darnell Nurse couldn’t have timed his return more perfectly.

8. Carolina Hurricanes

11/26-12/5: 2-3-0, 17 GF, 16 GA (Opponents: PHI, WSH, DAL, OTT, BUF)
Previous Ranking: 4

The Hurricanes have found themselves in a bit of a slump. They gave up a lot of goals to inferior teams this week, something that’s uncharacteristic of them.

7. Tampa Bay Lightning

11/26-12/5: 4-1-1, 22 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: SEA, MIN, STL x2, BOS, PHI)
Previous Ranking: 8

The Lightning are rolling and are getting contributions from everyone. Corey Perry is finally scoring at a high rate, Erik Černák is back from injury, and Gabriel Fortier made his NHL debut this week.

6. Calgary Flames

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 13 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: WPG, PIT, LAK, ANA, VGK)
Previous Ranking: 2

The Flames have been so good in their own zone this season that 13 GA seems like the worst thing in the world for them.

5. New York Rangers

11/26-12/5: 4-0-0, 13 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: BOS, PHI, SJS, CHI)
Previous Ranking: 7

The Rangers remain one of the top teams in the league, but they’ll have to face a new challenge. How will they fare while their best player, Igor Shesterkin, is on IR?

4. Minnesota Wild

11/26-12/5: 5-0-0, 25 GF, 10 GA (Opponents: WPG, TBL, ARI, NJD, TOR)
Previous Ranking: 9

That goals for to goals against ratio speaks for itself. What a team.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 23 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: SJS, ANA, COL, MIN, WPG)
Previous Ranking: 3

Toronto’s offense has been one of the best AND the team is getting help in net with Petr Mrázek’s return approaching?! It just isn’t fair.

2. Washington Capitals

11/26-12/5: 3-1-1, 18 GF, 15 GA (Opponents: FLA x2, CAR, CHI, CBJ)
Previous Ranking: 5

Between Alex Ovechkin scoring at such a rate and being one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Capitals are literally firing on all cylinders.

1. Florida Panthers

11/26-12/5: 3-2-0, 20 GF, 19 GA (Opponents: WSH x2, SEA, BUF, STL)
Previous Ranking: 1

The Panthers are still the best of the best, even though they’ve been giving up more goals lately.

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