www.thesportster.com

NHL Power Rankings: Wild And Sabres Keep On Rolling

It was another crazy week in the NHL, as some of the league's top teams from October are starting to slide way down the standings now.

On the flip side, other teams are starting to come around after slow starts. We saw a big shake-up in the top-10 this week. Did somebody unseat the Tampa Bay Lightning? Who else climbed into the top-10?

Enjoy this week's power rankings.

31. Los Angeles Kings (7-13-1)

New head coach Willie Desjardins hasn't been able to get anything out of this group. Teams are out-skating the old and slow Kings. It's time for a massive rebuild in Hollywood.

30. Vancouver Canucks (10-13-2)

Welp, so much for being a sleeper team. The Canucks have now lost eight in a row and look destined for another terrible finish. You wonder if GM Jim Benning is on the hot seat, even though he got an extension at the start of the year.

29. St. Louis Blues (8-10-3)

Head coach Mike Yeo was fired. Only question now is when will they hire Joel Quenneville?

28. Florida Panthers (8-9-3)

The Panthers can't afford to wait until the second half to get hot again. They're rapidly falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race - which could feature five teams from the Atlantic Division.

27. Arizona Coyotes (9-10-2)

They've lost seven out of their last 10, following a solid start to the season. And so, it looks like another year of praying for some draft lottery luck.

26. Chicago Blackhawks (8-10-5)

Do they regret firing Joel Quenneville yet? Clearly, coaching wasn't the problem. This is an ageing roster with no reinforcements on the way. Ah well, at least they won three championships this decade.

25. Ottawa Senators (9-11-3)

The good news: The Sens can score a bunch. The bad news: They can't stop surrendering goals, and owner Eugene Melnyk is up to his ridiculous games again. Sens fans deserve better.

24. New Jersey Devils (9-9-3)

New Jersey endured a horrible slump after a 4-0 start to the season, but they've picked up points in five of their last six games. The Metropolitan Division has been weak so far, so they haven't lost much ground in the playoff race.

23. Philadelphia Flyers (10-10-2)

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Back and forth the Flyers go, with no consistency whatsoever. Claude Giroux has 28 points through his first 22 games, but the goaltending has been terrible. Head coach Dave Hakstol has to be feeling the heat of the hot seat.

22. Edmonton Oilers (10-10-2)

Just when it looked like the Oilers would quickly turn it around under Ken Hitchcock, they blow a big game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. Unless Connor McDavid has a 130-point season, the Oilers are sure to waste another one of his prime years without a playoff  berth.

RELATED: WITH HITCHCOCK AT THE HELM, WATCH THE OILERS PLAY A MORE PHYSICAL GAME MOVING FORWARD

21. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-8-5)

Yes, they've been awful over the last two weeks. But last time I checked, it's a silly idea to bet against a team led by Sidney Crosby. We all know they'll catch fire soon and book another trip to the playoffs.

20. Detroit Red Wings (10-10-2)

The Red Wings lost their first seven games of the season, but they've now won nine of their last 12 games. They won't make the playoffs, but at least the rebuilding Wings are giving their fan a look at the promising future.

19. Vegas Golden Knights (11-12-1)

The Golden Knights are starting to find some consistency, and offseason pickup Max Pacioretty is finally coming around. He has four goals and one assist over his last four games.

18. Carolina Hurricanes (11-8-3)

They're not first in the standings, but the Hurricanes win when it comes to post-game celebrations. You gotta love this.

17. Dallas Stars (12-9-2)

The Stars continue to rely on Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn to carry the workload. Nothing has changed. Fortunately, this duo is good enough to keep them in the playoff race.

16. Anaheim Ducks (10-9-5)

Who knows what to make of this team anymore. The Ducks look like a washed up team with past-their-prime players on some nights. On others, they look like the club that's made the playoffs in six straight years. Big wins against the Canucks and Oilers to get them back in the playoff race.

15. New York Rangers (12-9-2)

The Rangers admitted last season that they were undergoing a rebuilding project. Surely, fans on Broadway have to be happy with the fact this team is in the running for a playoff spot. Chris Kreider is leading the way with 12 goals and 20 points on the season.

14. Montreal Canadiens (11-7-5)

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

To think if the Habs had some decent goaltending and defensive play, they'd be in the running for the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens will start unraveling soon if the play in their own end doesn't get better.

13. San Jose Sharks (12-7-4)

Offseason pickup Erik Karlsson has finally found his scoring touch on the west coast. Predictably so, the Sharks are now taking off and look like the favorite to win the Pacific Division.

12. New York Islanders (11-8-2)

The Metropolitan Division is full of parity, so the John Tavares-less Islanders have a good shot at it. They picked up a huge 4-3 overtime win in New Jersey on Friday to snap a two-game losing skid.

11. Calgary Flames (13-9-1)

Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Flames finally have their No. 1 goalie in David Rittich. If he sustains this early success, they should be able to win their first division title since the 2005-06 season.

10. Boston Bruins (12-6-4)

Losing Patrice Bergeron for several weeks is a big blow, but the Bruins have stayed the course and are holding onto a playoff spot. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has done an excellent job keeping this injury-ravaged group focused.

9. Colorado Avalanche (12-6-4)

Move over, Boston. The Avalanche have the best line in the NHL now. Mikko Rantanen (36 points), and Nate MacKinnon (33 points), are first and second in scoring, respectively.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-7-2)

The Jackets are coming off an impressive 4-2 win over Toronto on Friday. They're 6-2-2 in their last 10 and are making a serious run at the Metropolitan Division. Side note: It'd be wise to extend Artemi Panarin soon.

7. Winnipeg Jets (12-7-2)

The Jets had a pathetic third period on Friday against the Minnesota Wild, and it cost them a crucial two points. Connor Hellebuyck needs to be better, and the defence has to start finding its 2017-18 form. Their record is solid, but the Jets should be better than this.

6. Washington Capitals (12-7-3)

The defending Stanley Cup champions are finally regaining their momentum. They've won four games in a row. Alexander Ovechkin (shocker!) is in the race for both the Hart and Art Ross Trophies.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (15-8-0)

Auston Matthews is still injured and William Nylander still hasn't signed. And yet, the Leafs are vying for the best record in the NHL. This team is going to be very scare once they return to full health.

4. Minnesota Wild (14-7-2)

The Wild erased 2-0 deficit in the third period and scored four unanswered goals Friday to upset the Winnipeg Jets. But Minnesota has unraveled late in the last two regular seasons - leading to first round eliminations. Will 2018-19 be different?

3. Buffalo Sabres (15-6-2)

Unbelievable. Eight straight wins for the Sabres now. If this keeps up, Phil Housley will run away with the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year. Just an unbelievable turnaround. Good for the Sabres and their long-suffering fans.

2. Nashville Predators (16-6-1)

They lost 6-2 to the Blues on Friday, but the Preds are undoubtedly the team to beat in the West right now. Ryan Johansen leads the team with 21 points.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (16-6-1)

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

They retain the top spot after another impressive week, having won their last two games now. The Lightning have performed just fine without star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Credit Louis Domingue for holding down the fort.

NEXT: MIKE BABCOCK CONFIDENT MAPLE LEAFS WILL RE-SIGN WILLIAM NYLANDER

The Tease For A Bray Wyatt vs Aleister Black Dream Match Has Begun

More in NHL