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NHL Power Rankings Week 1: Crazy Things Happen in One Week of Hockey

Power rankings are back! With a new season comes new rankings, but the same formula. If you recall from last year, the formula looks at non-shootout win point totals per game, and multiplies that by five-on-five goal ratio. The numbers end up between 0 and 2 normally, but in the early season, those numbers are highly volatile.

In any event, here we go:


Eastern Conference

This Week Last Week Rationale
Flyers_medium 1 -- The Flyers are off to a fantastic start, one of only four NHL teams without a regulation loss so far this year. Their 5-on-5 goal differential puts them just above Toronto so far.
Maple_leafs_medium 2 -- Toronto is off to a blazing fast start so far, but falls short of the number 1 spot due to being one-third of a goal behind the Flyers' 5-on-5 differential.
Sabres_medium 3 -- The Sabres have three players with three goals in four games. Tomas Vanek and Drew Stafford are common names, but Luke Adam is a surprise.
Capitals_medium 4
The Capitals are the lowest ranked undefeated team according to the formula, largely because they have a shootout win and a mediocre 5-on-5 goal differential.
Islanders_medium 5
The Islanders have gotten some excellent play from John Tavares and Al Montoya so far this year, and they look to surprise a lot of people this season. 2.100
Canadiens_medium 6
Montreal is off to a slow start, with only one win in four games. But they're winning the even-strength battle.
Rangers_medium 7
The Rangers have yet to win a game this year, but have an OT loss and a SO loss. With a mediocre 5-on-5 ratio, they stay afloat in the East.
  Devils_medium 8
The Devils have six points in four games, but they won two of them in the shootout. Coupled with their below-average 5-on-5 ratio, and you have a middling team.
Penguins_medium 9
Pittsburgh is sitting on three wins and eight points, putting them 5th in the NHL, but with a worse 5-on-5 ratio than Carolina, they aren't looking very good early.
Lightning_medium 10
Tampa Bay has only one win in five games and has a negative goal differential, just like last year. Sign of trouble to come? 0.640
Bruins_medium 11
The Bruins will probably hear about a Stanley Cup hangover, but with an even 5-on-5 ratio, there are signs of another good team.
Florida has four points in three games, a sign of a successful overhaul. But their 5-on-5 ratio is dragging them down here.
Hurricanes_medium 13
The Hurricanes have two wins and five points - the same as Vancouver - but a miserable 5-on-5 ratio is keeping them near the bottom of the league.
Senators_medium 14 -- Ottawa has two points in five games, but even that win came in the shootout. The league-worst 5-on-5 ratio means the Senators are likely the worst team in the NHL this year.
15 -- The Jets haven't won a game yet, as they sit 0-3. They have the second-worst 5-on-5 ratio this year, barely above Ottawa's, so they will be challenging for worst team in the NHL.


Western Conference

This Week Last Week Rationale
Red_wings_medium 1 -- The Red Wings are off to a crazy good start, winning all four of their games in regulation and having a 3.67 goal ratio at 5-on-5. They are the only Western Conference team without a regulation loss.
Blackhawks_medium 2 -- Chicago won two games in regulation out of four and have a good 5-on-5 ratio. Dave Bolland also has three goals in three games, which is unexpected
Ducks_medium 3
The Ducks are struggling with offense, but their defense has been stingy. Two regulation wins and only one loss puts them in a good spot with a mediocre 5-on-5 ratio.
Coyotes_medium 4
Phoenix has seen their first round pick in 2009 score three goals in four games. From the blueline. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been a pleasant surprise while Shane Doan continues to carry the team.
Stars_medium 5
The Stars have won four of five games, but they have an even 5-on-5 ratio. Don't expect them to win 80% of their games going forward.
Blues_medium 6
St. Louis has the second best 5-on-5 goal differential in the West but have only won two of five games. Look for one to change in the other direction.
Canucks_medium 7
The Canucks are off to a mediocre start, winning two of five games with a mediocre 5-on-5 ratio. Don't expect that to last.
Avalanche_medium 8
Colorado is surprising a lot of people behind the strong pay of Semyon Varlamov. Four wins in five games, but they're being outscored at 5-on-5. Something has to change.
The Kings have a rather weak 5-on-5 ratio, but they managed to win two of four games. After the long road trip to the season, the Kings look forward to returning home.
Wild_medium 10
Minnesota is off to a pretty good start, winning two of five games, losing another two in the shootout. With an even 5-on-5 ratio, the Wild are hanging tough.
Sharks_medium 11
The Sharks have a really good 5-on-5 ratio, but only one win in three games. Look for the Sharks to improve soon.
Nashville has a miserable 5-on-5 ratio, yet they've still managed to collect 5 points in 4 games. David Legwand is currently at a 2.00 points per game pace. Neither will last.
Oilers_medium 13
The Oilers are showing signs of improvement, with an even 5-on-5 ratio and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring 4 goals in three games. It's about to get exciting in Edmonton.
Flames_medium 14
Calgary only has one win in four games, but their 5-on-5 ratio suggest they aren't that bad. Still bad, yes, but not that bad.
Blue_jackets_medium 15 -- The Blue Jackets are win-less in five tries. And they just found out Jeff Carter has a hairline fracture in his foot while also sending Matt Calvert down to the AHL. Clearly, they're in trouble.