NHL Power Rankings For This Week: Montreal Is On The Rise

We're now through the first month of the 2018-19 NHL season, but it still seems a tad bit early to determine which teams are for real and which ones are bound to be letdowns this season.

A handful of teams are coming off impressive showings and saw major jumps in this week's power rankings. Our top-10 shifted quite a bit this week, and we have a new No. 31.

Read all about it below.

31. Los Angeles Kings (3-8-1)

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There's no denying who the worst team is in the NHL right now. The Kings are too old and slow to keep up. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been sidelined yet again with knee surgery, he captain Anze Kopitar has just five points in 11 games. There are little signs of them turning it around, too.

30. Detroit Red Wings (4-7-2)

The Red Wings have won three consecutive games, but it's safe to say their fans aren't used to simply celebrating "not being last in the NHL." The young players haven't scored enough, and unless that changes, they'll be in the lottery watch all season long.

29. Florida Panthers (3-5-3)

The Panthers split the Global Series set in Winnipeg, but they're still the second-worst team in the NHL. They had a strong second half last year and just missed the playoffs. Might be a good idea to turn it around a bit sooner this time.

28. Anaheim Ducks (5-6-3)

The Ducks' championship window is all but closed now. That's now seven straight losses for Anaheim, and the ageing core simply doesn't have much gas left. With other teams in the Pacific Division coming up, it could be a long year in Anaheim with no postseason.

27. St. Louis Blues (4-4-3)

The offseason reinforcements haven't done much to change the Blues' fortunes. You do wonder if Mike Yeo is on the hot seat, and if the Blues will think about a rebuild. They've allowed a whopping 42 goals in just 11 games.


26. Vegas Golden Knights (5-7-1)

This is going down as one of the most disappointing encores ever. From Stanley Cup Final in year one to a bottom-five team in the NHL? The Golden Knights better turn it around quickly, before they fall way out of the playoff race. It's officially time to panic, folks.

25. New York Rangers (5-7-1)

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After losing their first three games, the rebuilding Rangers started to play better all-around hockey. They picked up shootout wins over the Sharks and Ducks, taking two of three on the California road trip.

24. New Jersey Devils (5-4-1)

Following an impressive 4-0-0 start to the season, the Devils have lost five of their last six games. We'll soon find out what this team is made of, and if they can turn a corner quickly.

23. Buffalo Sabres (6-5-2)

After a surprising strong start, the Sabres offense has disappeared, and they've lost three straight. On the bright side, this team looks like it might avoid being a bottom-five team in the NHL.

22. Arizona Coyotes (6-5-0)

Four straight wins for the rebuilding Coyotes. For now, call it a mirage. We need to see more before they can be taken seriously.

21. Philadelphia Flyers (6-7-0)

The Flyers snapped a three-game losing skid and have won their first two games on the dreaded California road trip. Unless the goaltending gets better, however, they won't be vying for a playoff spot.

20. Ottawa Senators (5-5-2)

Well, they're not even close to being as horrible as the hockey world expected. The Sens are getting fine production out of fresh faces Chris Tierney (11 points), Mikkel Boedker (seven points), and young defenceman Thomas Chabot (15 points).

19. Washington Capitals (5-4-2)

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They won't be happy after allowing three goals in the last three minutes to fall 6-4 against the Canadiens on Thursday. The Capitals can ask most recent Cup winners what a Stanley Cup hangover feels like, though. They'll turn it around eventually.

18. Vancouver Canucks (8-6-0)

Elias Pettersson will run away with the Calder Trophy if he can avoid any more injuries. The Canucks are barely squeezing out victories despite a boatload of injuries to their defencemen. How much longer can they keep it up, though?

17. Carolina Hurricanes (6-5-1)

The new-look 'Canes are starting to fall back to earth after a promising start. They have lost five of their last seven games now. It'll be interesting to see how rookie head coach Rod Brind'Amour tries to get his team out of this slump.


16. Dallas Stars (7-5-0)

The Stars are coming off impressive road victories over the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Tyler Seguin is off to another strong start with 14 points in 12 games.

15. Chicago Blackhawks (6-5-3)

The Blackhawks have looked tired and sloppy on the western Canadian road trip, but they're still off to a solid start. Certainly, their fans will take this after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade last year.


14. San Jose Sharks (6-4-3)

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The Sharks aren't playing up to the level we expected. Prized pickup Erik Karlsson has seven assists but zero goals. So far, the Sharks look like a mediocre team. There's plenty of time to turn that around, though.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets (7-5-0)

The Jackets have won three out of their last four games, taking down the San Jose Sharks on the road following an ugly home loss to the Red Wings. Artemi Panarin is setting himself up fora fancy payday with 15 points in 12 games.

12. New York Islanders (7-4-1)

The Islanders swept a home-and-home against the Metropolitan rival Pittsburgh Penguins. Barry Trotz is at it again, making a mediocre team look like a contender - similar to what he did in Nashville.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-0)

Auston Matthews is out several weeks with a shoulder injury, meaning it's time for the other forwards to pick up the slack. Toronto has lost four of their last six games, looking completely lackluster in those contests.

10. Edmonton Oilers (7-4-1)

Following a sloppy 0-2 start to the season, Connor McDavid and the Oilers have gone on a hot streak. To the surprise of nobody, McDavid has 19 points and is in good position to win his third straight scoring title.

9. Colorado Avalanche (7-4-2)

Forget about that terrible unraveling in the third period against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. Colorado looks like a complete team, and they'll challenge the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators for the Pacific Division.

8. Boston Bruins (7-3-2)

Boston has scored 37 goals this season. The Bergeron-Pastrnak-Marchand line has 22 of them. Good on the Bruins' top line for carrying them, but the goaltending and other forwards must step up if Boston is to sustain this strong start.

7. Minnesota Wild (7-3-2)

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After losing four of their first five games, the Wild caught fire and won five straight games. Just when people were ready to bury this team, Minnesota finds new ways to win games. They won't be going away any time soon.

6. Calgary Flames (8-5-1)

Calgary trailed Colorado 4-1 at home through 40 minutes on Thursday night. And they scored five goals to win 6-5. That goes to show the character of this team. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each have 17 points. Sean Monahan has 16, and two others have 14.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2-3)

After a sluggish start, the Penguins got hot and won four consecutive games - including a sweep of the western Canadian road trip. Evgeni Malkin is red hot with 20 points in just 11 games. So yeah, this championship window is far from closed.

4. Montreal Canadiens (7-3-2)

You know you're a great team when your No. 1 defenceman hasn't played a game yet, and when your superstar goalie hasn't even found his form, and you still find a way to win. Offseason trade pickups Max Domi (12 points), and Tomas Tatar (11 points), are carrying an offense that looks 10 times better than it did at any point last season.

3. Winnipeg Jets (8-5-1)

The Jets traveled overseas to Finland to play Florida in a pair of games for the NHL Global Series. Patrik Laine regained his native form in his home land, scoring four goals in the two contests.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3-1)

No shame in losing to the Nashville Predators at home on Thursday. The Lightning remain the top team in the Eastern Conference until proven otherwise. Brayden Point leads the team with 14 points.

1. Nashville Predators (10-3-0)

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The Predators had a statement 4-1 road victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, asserting themselves as the league's best team right now. Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg have combined for 29 points this season, while backup goalie Juuse Saros looks excellent with a 6-2-0 record and .917 save percentage.


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