The week is only two weeks old, but some trends are already showing up. On to the rankings . . .
#31 Detroit Red Wings (0-4-2, -16, LW: 29)
The Red Wings are on their way to a fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs after 26 straight seasons with at least one round of postseason hockey. They’ve given up 20 goals in their last three games and they have a goal differential of -14 (not including shootout losses as a -1 goal) after just six games. It’s going a long winter in Hockeytown, U.S.A.
#30 New York Rangers (1-4-0, -6, LW: 31)
#29 Vegas Golden Knights (2-4-0, -8, LW: 27)
#28 Florida Panthers (0-2-1, -3, LW: 19)
#27 Arizona Coyotes (1-3-0, -6, LW: 29)
#26 Minnesota Wild (1-2-2, -6, LW: 26)
#25 St. Louis Blues (1-2-2, -5, LW: 28)
#24 San Jose Sharks (2-3-1, -2, LW: 18)
#23 Los Angeles Kings (2-3-1, -4, LW: 21)
#22 Philadelphia Flyers (2-3-0, -4, LW: 25)
#21 Edmonton Oilers (1-2-0, -5, LW: 24)
#20 Washington Capitals (2-2-1, +1, LW: 14)
#19 New York Islanders (2-2-0, +1, LW: 12)
#18 Chicago Blackhawks (3-0-2, +1, LW: 14)
#17 Ottawa Senators (3-2-1, +2, LW: 22)
#16 Dallas Stars (3-2-0, +3, LW: 4)
#15 Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-1, -2, LW: 20)
Phil Kessel was the fifth overall pick by the Bruins in the 2006 draft out of the University of Minnesota. After three productive seasons in Boston (126 points) he was traded to Toronto for three draft picks (Tyler Seguin was the first one in 2010). He racked up 394 points in six season. Then before the 2015-16 season he was again traded, this time to the Penguins involving a bunch more picks. He has racked up another 228 points for the Penguins, contributing to both Stanley Cup championships. Malkin and Crosby get the headlines, but Kessel just keeps on chugging, and last Thursday recorded his sixth career hat trick against the Golden Knights. The Penguins should be around for at least the second round again, and one of the biggest reasons will be Kessel’s contributions.
#14 Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0, +4, LW: 17)
#13 Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2-0, -3, LW: 13)
#12 Calgary Flames (3-2-0, +2, LW: 5)
#11 Montreal Canadiens (3-1-1, +5, LW: 16)
#10 Buffalo Sabres (3-2-0, -2, LW: 9)
#9 Colorado Avalanche (3-1-1, +7, LW: 5)
#8 Winnipeg Jets (3-2-0, 0, LW: 8)
The Jets had an amazing run last season and seem poised for another one this season. The scary thing is that they might have an even brighter future. Since relocating from Atlanta in 2011 they have been one of the most successful teams in the draft and have more young talent coming through the AHL pipeline. It still seems unlikely with so many quality teams in the league, but an All-Canada Stanley Cup Final between the Leafs and Jets. Hey! You heard it here first!!!
#7 Vancouver Canucks (3-2-0, +2, LW: 23)
#6 Anaheim Ducks (4-1-1, +3, LW: 2)
#5 Carolina Hurricanes (4-1-1, +5, LW: 1)
#4 New Jersey Devils (3-0-0, +10, LW: 5)
#3 Boston Bruins (4-1-0, +9, LW: 9)
After the defending Cup champs celebrated with a 7-0 win on opening night the Bruins have beaten their next four opponents by a combined score of 22-6. They have gotten out to big starts, outscoring their opponents 8-3 in the first period. Then they close out strong, outscoring opponents 9-4 in the third. The East is loaded, with at least six teams you can make a strong case for winning the Cup. Boston is one of those teams.
#2 Nashville Predators (5-1-0, +7, LW: 11)
#1 Toronto Maple Leafs (6-1-0, +10, LW: 3)
Today I want to propose a new way of awarding points in the standings. I liked the old way of two points for a win and one for a tie, but then we had to screw it up and go with the shootout and award one point to teams that lose after regulation. This has put a damper on the standings because wins don’t catch a team up as quickly as they should. So I propose this system:
3 points for a regulation win
2 points for an OT/SO win
1 point for an OT/SO loss
0 points for a regulation loss.
Simply put, this puts an emphasis on winning in regulation, it allows teams to catch up with regulation wins, and it makes every game worth the same amount of points. I know that it won’t go back to the old way, so why not improve it? That’s my simple point for this week . . .