We're almost through the first two weeks of the 2018-19 NHL season. It's obviously too early to tell which teams are for real, and which ones are bound to disappoint this year.
This week's power rankings changed significantly. We based them on how the teams have fared, and how we expect them to play going forward. For example, the Lightning and Jets aren't in the top-10, strictly because they've played poorly. But we know they'll pick it up soon, and they'll climb into the top-five eventually.
Here's where all 31 teams stand.
31. Ottawa Senators (1-2-1)
A very uninspiring series of efforts from a Sens team that already looks like it can't wait for the season to end. It's not good that the attendance is also a problem this early. And a sad reminder, their 2019 first-rounder goes to the Colorado Avalanche via the Matt Duchene trade.
30. Edmonton Oilers (0-2-0)
Back-to-back losses to start the season, and it's another case of Connor McDavid having to carry the entire team. If things don't turn around by November, head coach Todd McLellan could lose his job. There are no more excuses for another bad year.
29. New York Rangers (1-3-0)
Pain was expected on Broadway, and such pain has come. The Rangers didn't sell out their home opener, and the team knows this rebuild is going to be a long and painful process. They'll in contention for a top-five selection.
28. Detroit Red Wings (0-2-2)
The Red Wings are still searching for their first win of the season. With captain Henrik Zetterberg retiring due to back injuries, Detroit is in need of a new leader and scoring. Dylan Larkin has shown he might be that guy.
27. Arizona Coyotes (1-2-0)
Through three games, nobody on the Coyotes has more than a single point this season. Dylan Strome is still transitioning into the big leagues, while a lower-body injury has prevented Alex Galchenyuk from making his Arizona debut. Once he returns, the offense will get better.
26. Buffalo Sabres (2-2-0)
Well, they don't look that horrible so far. The Sabres picked up home victories against the struggling Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights, only to fall 6-1 at home to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. But really, if the Sabres avoid a bottom-five finish this year, the fans will be happy.
25. Vegas Golden Knights (1-4-0)
Not exactly the encore we expected. The defending Western Conference champions have limped to a 1-4-0 start, with a horrible minus-nine goal differential. The only good news? There's 77 games left to figure it out.
24. Montreal Canadiens (1-1-1)
They stole a point in Toronto then crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on the road. But oh, the Habs laid an egg at home and lost 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. At least they probably won't start 1-6-1 like last year?
23. Vancouver Canucks (2-2-0)
Rookie Elias Pettersson is off to a sizzling start, with seven points through his first four NHL games. The Canucks upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Thursday. They're not a playoff team, but Vancouver is considerably better than the other bottom feeders.
22. Florida Panthers (0-1-1)
The Panthers are off to a slow start, but don't forget the hot second-half surge they had last season. This team always struggles out of the gate, but Aleksander Barkov and co. will take off soon. Too much talent for them to be mired in mediocrity again.
21. New York Islanders (2-1-0)
The post-John Tavares era hasn't been awful yet. The Islanders handed the Carolina Hurricanes their only thus far, then shut out the San Jose Sharks on Monday. They visit the Nashville Predators Saturday.
20. Minnesota Wild (1-1-1)
A big comeback win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday gave Minnesota their first win of the season. But the team looks quite sloppy, and it's no wonder many pegged them to miss the playoffs this season.
19. Philadelphia Flyers (2-2-0)
Yeesh. Goalie Brian Elliott owns a 4.70 goals against average with a .869 save percentage. James van Riemsdyk will miss over a month because of a lower-body injury. Even if they're 2-2, Flyers fans have good reason to worry about this season.
18. St. Louis Blues (1-1-1)
The Blues shrugged off a pair of opening losses by taking it to the Calgary Flames Thursday, winning 5-3. Newcomer Ryan O'Reilly leads the way with four points through the first three games.
17. Calgary Flames (2-2-0)
The Flames simply won't be a playoff team if goalie Mike Smith plays like this. He owns a 3.57 goals against average and .881 save percentage. The Flames have 15 goals through their first four games, but they can forget about the playoffs if the defense and goaltending doesn't pick it up.
16. Dallas Stars (2-1-0)
The Stars shut out the Arizona Coyotes in their season opener then hammered the Winnipeg Jets 5-1. That was followed by a 7-4 stinker at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs. At least goalie Ben Bishop looks solid so far.
15. New Jersey Devils (2-0-0)
A nice start to the season for New Jersey. They took down the Oilers 5-2 in the season opener (played in Gothenburg, Sweden), then crushed the defending champion Washington Capitals 6-0 on Thursday. We'll see if this offense is for real, or if it's just a lucky start.
14. Los Angeles Kings (2-1-1)
The Kings have taken seven of eight points, and their 2-1 road loss to the powerhouse Winnipeg Jets is nothing to worry about. The only concern is if this ageing core has enough gas in the tank for another run at the Cup.
13. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-0)
Not the best start for the Lightning, but we know they're going to pick it up. They're still a top-five team in the NHL, but they belong outside of the top-10 until we see them get it together again.
12. Pittsburgh Penguins (2-1-0)
The Penguins rebounded from an ugly 5-1 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens by taking down the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. This team tends to get hotter in the second half, so fans shouldn't worry if they struggle with consistency for the first couple of months.
11. Winnipeg Jets (2-2-0)
The Western Conference favorites need to be better. They took down the Los Angeles Kings in their home opener, but followed it up with an ugly road loss to the Nashville Predators. But not to worry, they'll get hot soon.
10. San Jose Sharks (2-2-1)
The Sharks have been up-and-down through their first five games. Newcomer Erik Karlsson has three assists through his first five games. The Sharks haven't played their best yet, but we know it's coming soon.
9. Washington Capitals (2-1-1)
A 2-1-1 start to the season isn't so bad, given the Stanley Cup hangover's legitimacy and a daunting schedule to start the season. Washington begins a three-game homestand on Saturday.
8. Colorado Avalanche (3-1-0)
The Avalanche have beaten up on three mediocre teams thus far, but they've done it in style. Mikko Rantanen leads the team with seven points. Semyon Varlamov is 3-0-0 with an impressive 1.55 GAA and .955 save percentage.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets (3-1-0)
Artemi Panarin unsurprisingly leads this team with seven points through the first four games. Are the Blue Jackets sure they don't want to meet his asking price? You don't want to lose him in free agency.
6. Anaheim Ducks (3-0-1)
No Corey Perry and an injured Ryan Kesler? No problem. Jakob Silfverberg leads the team with five points, and the Ducks look like the team that's won five of the last six Pacific Division titles.
5. Carolina Hurricanes (3-0-1)
The new-look Hurricanes are off to an impressive start, taking seven of a possible eight points. Sebastian Aho leads the team with six points, while newcomer Micheal Ferland has five points. Curtis McElhinney has won his first two starts. Just wait until new defenceman Dougie Hamilton picks it up, too.
4. Boston Bruins (3-1-0)
Boston's top line hasn't lost a beat. They had no problem brushing aside the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators or Edmonton Oilers after a 7-0 opening loss to Washington. Now, if only they could get some secondary scoring...
3. Chicago Blackhawks (2-0-2)
You never want to jump to conclusions this early in the season, but these look like the old Blackhawks that own three Stanley Cups this decade. Jonathan Toews has eight points through the first four games. Patrick Kane hasn't missed a beat; he has seven points and could contend for the scoring title.
2. Nashville Predators (3-1-0)
The Predators already look like the team many pegged to win the Stanley Cup. They avenged last season's heartbreaking playoff exit by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 on Thursday.
1. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0)
Nobody can stop this Toronto power play, it's that simple. Auston Matthews already has nine goals and 12 points. Morgan Rielly is tied with Matthews for the scoring lead. By the way, Mitch Marner and John Tavares each have 10 points.
Yeah, this offense is going to be hard to stop all year. We feel very sorry for the other 30 teams right now.