NHL / pittsburgh penguins

Bwar's NHL Power Rankings - Week 3
Source I thought that this list was going to become easier to make the deeper we got into the season. Right now we have two teams emerging from the pack and then there is a clump of about a dozen teams that you could make an argument for being third but also make an argument for leaving them off the list. I pondered my order for a while this morning before giving in and accepting that is list is going to be extremely fluid for the next while and to not obsess over it. This list is going to be vastly different in a week from now and all that means is that we have a massive amount of parity in the NHL right now, I don't think any other professional sports league comes close. So what does that mean? Any team can win a game on any given night and every team has a chance to make the playoffs this season. I've got a few teams for my honorable mentions this week. The rankings were so close I feel bad for leaving a few teams off. Boston, Montreal, Winnipeg and San Jose are the honorable mentions this week. One more win from any of these teams and they are likely in the top half of our rankings this week. It's crazy to think that Winnipeg, San Jose and Boston aren't in the top 10 in the league. Montreal will miss our list for the first time this season after a fantastic start. There is really very little separating these four teams from our third place team this week and I love seeing how tight the standings are right now. 10. Colorado Avalanche (14gp 7-4-3 17pts) LW: 4 - A weird week for Colorado. They played two games, scored 13 goals in those two games and yet somehow managed to lose both games. Rantanen still leads the league with 24 points and MacKinnon is tied for second at 21. The Avalanche are going to need a bit more help defensively if they want to stay in the playoff hunt. The offense is clearly there, Colorado are third in the league with 3.7 goals per game, but allowing 6 goals one game and then following that up with 7 against the next isn't going to cut it. 9. Vancouver Canucks (15gp 9-6-0 18pts) LW: NR - Elias Pettersson is back for the Canucks and is looking like the best rookie in hockey. 15 points in just 9 games played puts him in an elite group of players in terms of points per game. The Canucks are young and exciting to watch this season and I'm interested to see just how high Pettersson can elevate the club. 8. Pittsburgh Penguins (12gp 6-3-3 15pts) LW: 1 - Pretty sharp drop for the Penguins this week as they've managed to lose their last three games. The Penguins have mostly been in the news this past week for the support they've shown to the victims of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. A tragedy that has deeply effected the Pittsburgh area. It's good to see athlete's supporting their community and I hope their efforts help to ease the burden of this tragedy. 7. Edmonton Oiler's (13gp 8-4-1 17pts) LW: 10 - Back to back wins by backup goalie Mikko Koskinen have the Oiler's rolling again. Back up goalies have historically been a nightmare in Edmonton so it will be refreshing if Koskinen can be relied on in relief. Koskinen is now 3-0 on the year and I expect him to start getting a few more games while he is playing well. Looks like the Oiler's may not need to rely on Talbot to play 70+ games this season which could mean a healthy, well rested netminder come playoffs. 6. New York Islanders (13gp 8-4-1 17pts) LW: NR - Wait who's the top team in the Atlantic? Not Pittsburgh, not Washington but the New York Islanders. Five wins in a row this early in the season will catapult you up the standings and that's exactly what's happening in New York. Back to back wins over the Penguins right in the middle of that streak is pretty damn nice as well. The Islanders are looking like they will be OK in the post-Tavares era. 5. Toronto Maple Leafs (14gp 9-5-0 18pts) LW: 6 - Speaking of Tavares, his new club is fifth on our rankings this week. Despite still being without Auston Matthews and still being unable to sign WIlliam Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs are hanging on and doing just enough to stay high in the standings. Their special teams have been excellent and players like Nazem Kadri and Kasperi Kapanen have step up in Matthews' absence. 4. Calgary Flames (15gp 9-5-1 19pts) LW: NR - NHL's first star of the week was Calgary's Sean Monahan, who has two point's in each of his last four games. Coincidentally the Flames are on a four game winning streak and are sitting in first place in the Pacific Division. The Flames are being led by Gaudreau and Monahan but the rest of the lineup has been contributing and the Flames are looking like a real force this season. 3. Minnesota Wild (13gp 8-3-2 18pts) LW: 9 - The oldest team in the league winds up as the top team from a very close group of twelve teams. It's crazy to think that there is a two point difference between Minnesota and Boston and that difference means Minnesota is third this week and Boston didn't even make the list. The Wild are 7-1 in their last 8 games as they seem to be building momentum as we get deeper in the season. The Central division is going to get real nasty in the second half of the season so any team off to a good start puts themselves at a huge advantage. 2. Tampa Bay Lightning (14gp 10-3-1 21pts) LW: 2 - Busy week for the Lightning who played four games this past week. The Lightning have been scoring by committee and already have 7 players with 10 or more points. Brayden Point has been a real highlight for the team this season and sits at the top of team scoring with 17 points through 14 games. Tampa Bay has to be in contention for the best roster in the league. They have a shocking amount of depth and have to be considered a Stanley Cup favorite this season. 1 .Nashville Predators (14gp 11-3-0 22pts) LW: 3 - The only team to beat the Lightning this past week, the Nashville Predators are our top team this week. The Predators has some good news this with Pekka Rinne returning from injury and also signing a very team friendly 2 year $10 million contract. The Predators are very much being led by their defensive group and Pekka Rinne is a big part of that. Player's like PK Subban, Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi might steal some of that spotlight from Rinne but the fact still remains that Rinne is one of the best goalies in the game. Big surprise of the week is probably once again the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last week they jumped all the way to #1 after not being ranked the previous week and then follow that up by dropping down to #10 and barely making the list this week. It really seems like Tampa Bay and Nashville separated themselves from the rest of the group this week and it will take a real effort for any team to cross the gap and catch up to them. With how close the standings still are, every game has an impact right now and it's making this season very exciting right now.

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