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NHL 2018-2019 Power Rankings For Week 4: A New Top Dog Emerges

We're almost through the first month of the 2018-19 season, and it's been a beauty so far.

Over the past week, a number of teams have regressed after surprisingly strong starts. On the flip side, some of the top teams are turning it around after disappointing early showings.

Here is where each team stands as we head into the final weekend of October.

31. Detroit Red Wings (1-7-2)

Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings picked up their first win of the season against the Florida Panthers last week. But it's been overly 30 years since the good fans in Detroit last saw such a porous hockey team. This will be a very long year.

30. Los Angeles Kings (2-7-1)

Well, the Kings are going to regret not rebuilding now. Anze Kopitar has just three points (all goals), this season. Newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk has been ineffective. The Kings are too old and slow to keep up with today's NHL - built entirely around speed.

29. St. Louis Blues (2-4-3)

What on earth is wrong with the Blues? They added Tyler Bozak, David Perron and Ryan O'Reilly to complement Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn. The Blues aren't scoring, and their defense is lows.

28 New York Rangers (3-6-1)

After a sluggish 0-3-0 start, the Rangers have started to come together and are stringing out some wins. Mika Zibanejad leads the team with nine points in 10 games. Could he be a possible trade candidate for the rebuilding Blueshirts?

27. Philadelphia Flyers (4-6-0)

The Flyers are scoring in bunches as usual. Jakub Voracek leads the way with 12 points, but this group won't be going to the playoffs until the goaltending improves. Brian Elliott has a 2-5-0 GAA and .886 save percentage.

26. New York Islanders (3-4-1)

Head coach Barry Trotz deserves credit for making the most out of a thin roster. The Islanders are keeping themselves in games with sound defensive play, but they've lost four of their last five games.

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25. Florida Panthers (2-3-3)

The Panthers started out slow last year, only to fall just shy of a playoff berth. The entire unit is just finding its groove now. Don't be surprised if they start getting hot soon. Evgenii Dadonov is surging with nine points through eight games.

24. Arizona Coyotes (4-5-0)

Alex Galchenyuk picked up his first point as a Coyote, but this team isn't getting enough out of its young guys. It figures to be another long, slow and painful rebuilding year in The Desert.

23. Ottawa Senators (4-4-1)

The Senators were supposed to be the worst team in the NHL this season, but their young guys won't have any of it. Defenceman Thomas Chabot has 11 points, while Chris Tierney has 10 of his own. Ottawa fans have to be pleased with the non-disastrous start, to say the least.

22. Vegas Golden Knights (4-5-1)

Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Most Vegas players enjoyed career years last season, but all of them are off to slow starts this year. 43-goal man William Karlsson has just three goals, while offseason pickup Max Pacioretty has a mere two goals.

21. Calgary Flames (5-5-0)

The Flames would be a Stanley Cup contender if they had quality goaltending and above-average defending. But the same problems persist, as evidenced by Thursday's ugly 9-1 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Maybe Glen Gulutzan wasn't the problem.

20. Edmonton Oilers (4-3-1)

Connor McDavid is once again carrying the offense. The Oilers need more secondary scoring, more defending and better goaltending. That's easier said than done, but if it happens, they'll be a Cup contender again.

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19. New Jersey Devils (4-2-1)

After winning their first four games, New Jersey has dropped three straight. Kyle Palmieri is off to an excellent start with 11 points through his first seven games. New Jersey will need others to start scoring soon.

18. Dallas Stars (5-4-0)

Business as usual for the starts. The defending and goaltending are lackluster at best. Not enough secondary scoring. Good thing their big stars are still putting up impressive numbers, and thus keeping this team out of the basement in the Western Conference.

17. Anaheim Ducks (5-5-1)

After a blistering 5-1-1 start, the Ducks have now dropped four straight. Goalie John Gibson is playing great, but Anaheim's lack of scoring is worrisome. We'll see if this ageing core can get hot again soon.

16.Washington Capitals (4-3-2)

Call it the Stanley Cup hangover. The Capitals have been mired in mediocrity to start the season. Blueliner John Carlson leads the team with 14 points thus far. Alex Ovechkin has eight goals in nine games. Gold as ever.

15. Vancouver Canucks (6-5-0)

The Canucks have to be happy with their start, considering that rookie star Elias Pettersson has been out for three weeks. But it may only be a matter of time until they start to slip, especially as the injuries pile up.

14. Carolina Hurricanes (6-3-1)

Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Hurricanes have slipped a bit since a surging start, but at least they don't look mediocre for once. Sebastian Aho leads the group with 15 points, while newcomer Michael Ferland has 10 points.

14. San Jose Sharks (5-3-2)

The Sharks' top forwards are getting it done, but newcomer Erik Karlsson has just six points through his first 10 games. Goalie Martin Jones has struggled, too. The Sharks are playing fine for the most part, but not as good as most of us expected after landing Karlsson.

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13. Montreal Canadiens (5-2-2)

A tough road loss against the Buffalo Sabres hurts, but the Habs have exceeded expectations. Newcomers Max Domi and Tomas Tatar have 10 and eight points, respectively. The Habs look like a legitimate playoff contender right now.

11. Buffalo Sabres (6-4-0)

Finally, the Sabres don't look horrible. They took two of three on the brutal California road trip, then returned home for a gutsy 4-3 comeback win against the Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres look better than the have at any point over the last five years. Seriously.

10. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-4-0)

Most teams in the Metropolitan Division have been mired in mediocrity. Such is the case with the Blue Jackets, but getting top blueliner Seth Jones back will do wonders. They should start playing up to their normal standards soon.

9. Minnesota Wild (5-2-2)

Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After picking up just one win through their first five games, the Wild have been rolling. They've won four consecutive games now, and three of those victories saw the opponent score just one goal. Now, if the Wild can just stay consistent...

8. Chicago Blackhawks (6-2-2)

Blackhawks fans have to be satisfied with this surprising start. Both Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane have 14 points. Can Chicago sustain this early success in a brutal division? We'll soon find out.

7. Winnipeg Jets (7-3-1)

With the exception of Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg's top players haven't gotten it going yet. But yet they're sitting pretty at 7-3-1. This team is living up to the early expectations. They'll get on a hot streak any day now.

6. Boston Bruins (6-2-2)

The Bruins were swept on the Western Canadian road trip, but they pulled off convincing wins against the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers. That top line hasn't missed a beat.

5. Colorado Avalanche (7-2-2)

Last season was no fluke, apparently. The Avalanche have gone from surprise playoff team to a top dog in the Western Conference. All of their young players are coming together and playing great end-to-end hockey.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning (7-1-1)

Tampa Bay has taken five of their last six games. In Sunday's 6-3 road win over the Chicago Blackhawks, they tallied a whopping 33 shots in the second frame. Consider them the team to beat in the East.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (7-3-0)

After ugly back-to-back home losses, the Maple Leafs settled down and thrashed the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on the road Wednesday. Auston Matthews has to be considered the early Hart Trophy favorite.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (5-1-2)

After a slow 2-1-2 start to the season, the Penguins are rolling. Sidney Crosby scored two filthy backhand goals this week - against the Oilers and the Flames. Pittsburgh won 9-1 in Calgary on Thursday. They'll try to pull the Western Canadian sweep against Vancouver on Saturday.

1. Nashville Predators (8-2-0)

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There's no denying who the class of the NHL is right now. The surging Predators sit pretty a 8-2-0, having a six-game winning streak snapped against the San Jose Sharks. Filip Forsberg is pacing the offense with 11 points. Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson each have 10 points.

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