1. Washington Capitals
Far and away the league leaders in goals for, the Capitals have cemented their spot in first place for the time being. After thirteen straight games with at least a point earned, the Caps are nearly perfect right now. Three of their last four games have gone into extra time. While Washington keeps finding wins, its needs to start dominating in order to establish consistency.
Leader in Points: John Carlson (30)
Leader in Goals: Alex Ovechkin (13)
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
2. New York Islanders
The Islanders are completely sound when it comes to defense. The only way to describe it is to list statistics. New York holds its opponents to only 2.29 goals per game, while goaltender Thomas Greiss is allowing 1.88 goals on average. Good luck beating the Isles, who also have seven players with double digit point totals.
Leader in Points: Mathew Barzal (16)
Leader in Goals: Mathew Barzal (8)
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
3. St. Louis Blues
The Blues are slowly but surely making their fanbase believe in a Stanley Cup repeat. On Wednesday, St. Louis called up one of its premier forward prospects, Klim Kostin, from its San Antonio farm team. Kostin hopes to make an immediate impact on the offensive end, playing for an extended stay in the NHL.
Leader in Points: Ryan O’Reilly (19)
Leader in Goals: Brayden Schenn (10)
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
4. Boston Bruins
The Bruins of Boston, Massachusetts, are on a four-game losing streak. They lost to the Montréal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and the Florida Panthers. Three of these teams are in the Atlantic, while none of them have as many points as the Bruins. If Boston does not get its act together, it could end up slipping out of first in its crowded division.
Leader in Points: David Pastrnak (31)
Leader in Goals: David Pastrnak (16)
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
5. Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche, now with Nathan MacKinnon back from injury, have exceeded expectations for a team that is missing the majority of its top line. The player to watch in Denver is rookie phenom and top-pairing defenseman Cale Makar, who is making his case for the Calder Trophy. Makar is averaging a point per game and is on track for a 82-point season.
Leader in Points: Nathan MacKinnon (26)
Leader in Goals: Nathan MacKinnon (11)
Last Week’s Ranking: 9
6. Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton is so difficult to keep track of. On Sunday night, the Oilers went into Anaheim and destroyed the Ducks 6-2. Two nights later, they suffered a humiliating loss to the San Jose Sharks, also a 6-2 final. The craziest note of all? Leon Draisaitl is shelling out points at a faster pace than even Connor McDavid. Whatever works, I guess.
Leader in Points: Leon Draisaitl (36)
Leader in Goals: Leon Draisaitl (15)
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
7. Montréal Canadiens
Montréal is kicking butt and taking names. Well, more specifically, Carey Price is. With a defensive core in front of him that is mediocre at best (excluding captain Shea Weber), Price has totaled one shutout, a 2.65 goals allowed average and .916 save percentage. Price made a statement last week as the Canadiens took down the Bruins 5-4.
Leader in Points: Jonathan Drouin/Tomas Tatar (15)
Leader in Goals: Brendan Gallagher (8)
Last Week’s Ranking: 13
8. Arizona Coyotes
Arizona played spoiler twice this week, with two shootout wins against the past two Stanley Cup winners. On Monday, the Yotes ended the Washington Capitals’ winning streak 3-2. The following night, Arizona garnered up enough strength to take down the Blues 3-2 in St. Louis. If Arizona can avoid playing down to its lesser opponents, it should start accumulating more wins in the next month.
Leader in Points: Nick Schmaltz (15)
Leader in Goals: Conor Garland (8)
Last Week’s Ranking: 14
9. Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers like to shoot the puck. Trailing only the Los Angeles Kings, the Panthers have averaged the second-most shots in the NHL. Perennial “most underrated player” Aleksander Barkov cannot stop scoring points, and his Panthers are gaining the confidence needed to compete with powerhouses such as the Bruins, who they beat Tuesday night.
Leader in Points: Jonathan Huberdeau/Aleksander Barkov (24)
Leader in Goals: Jonathan Huberdeau (9)
Last Week’s Ranking: 10
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins just received some of the worst news they could have asked for. Captain and two-time Stanley Cup winner Sidney Crosby has been declared out for a minimum of six weeks because of a core muscle injury. If the Penguins want to stay on track for another season with playoffs, Evgeni Malkin needs to take the reigns as the top-line center.
Leader in Points: Sidney Crosby (17)
Leader in Goals: Jake Guentzel (8)
Last Week’s Ranking: 6
11. Philadelphia Flyers
12. Calgary Flames
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. Vancouver Canucks
15. Nashville Predators
16. Dallas Stars
17. New York Rangers
18. Tampa Bay Lightning
19. Carolina Hurricanes
20. Chicago Blackhawks
21. Vegas Golden Knights
22. Winnipeg Jets
23. San Jose Sharks
24. Buffalo Sabres
25. Detroit Red Wings
26. Ottawa Senators
27. Anaheim Ducks
28. New Jersey Devils
29. Columbus Blue Jackets
30. Los Angeles
31. Minnesota Wild