The fun thing about power rankings early in the NHL season is they are essentially overreactions and no one really holds you to them, because it’s an impossible task. That’s really the most fun thing about them.

Like there’s no other time in the season where we can wonder, “What if the Buffalo Sabres are good?” without being laughed at. You could do that now, too, but the whole point of this is to have fun.

1. Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are surging, and somehow their goaltending situation has worked out. Maybe this is their year, but cue “I’ve seen this film before.”

2. Washington Capitals

At this rate Alex Ovechkin will have the goals record more like in December.

3. Edmonton Oilers

Once again, are the Oilers succeeding with smoke and mirrors? Connor McDavid isn’t, at least.

4. Minnesota Wild

That’s a good hockey team. It lost to the Kraken this week, but you can see the talent there.

Advertising

5. St. Louis Blues

If Jordan Binnington calms down for like, five minutes, watch out.

6. Florida Panthers

This week wasn’t about the on-ice stuff for them.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins

It’s kind of incredible how each year like, every Penguins player gets hurt and they’re still really good.

8. Calgary Flames

Hear me out: The Flames have started this season … on a good pace. You thought I was going to say on fire.

9. Winnipeg Jets

Kyle Connor’s offensive output is a good sign, but it’s another season in which the question is can someone not named Connor Hellebuyck step up later on.

10. San Jose Sharks

There’s no way the Sharks keep this pace, right? Right?

11. New York Islanders

Not a great start on the Isle, but if we’ve learned anything the past two seasons it is not to count out the Islanders.

12. Tampa Bay Lightning

No Nikita Kucherov until at least January will be a bummer, but, again, we should have learned from the past couple of seasons.

Advertising

13. Dallas Stars

One fun thing about the Stars is they somehow have every goalie in the NHL.

14. Buffalo Sabres

The early-season Buffalo Sabres are a heck of a thing.

15. Boston Bruins

Their offense is nowhere to be seen, but this could be an all-around overreaction.

16. Colorado Avalanche

Look at that roster and tell me they’re not going to come around.

17. Philadelphia Flyers

What if Carter Hart was fine this entire time, and the Flyers defense was letting him down?

18. Nashville Predators

Their leading scorer is a defenseman, but it’s Roman Josi so everything is the same as it ever was.

19. New York Rangers

I can never figure out this team, but a thought: What if it wasn’t actually all David Quinn’s fault?

Advertising

20. Seattle Kraken

The Kraken probably deserves to be a little higher, but overreacting about a team we still essentially know nothing about feels like a risk.

21. Vancouver Canucks

Thatcher Demko is probably the reason they’re not worse.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets

Maybe the Patrik Laine resurgence tour was a bit premature.

23. Detroit Red Wings

This is obviously not sustainable, but they play in fun games, at least.

24. Anaheim Ducks

Just keep letting Trevor Zegras do whatever he wants.

25. New Jersey Devils

The absence of Jack Hughes has been rough, but they’re also not a good team. So there’s that.

26. Vegas Golden Knights

They entered Friday without a power-play goal, which seems bad.

27. Los Angeles Kings

Anze Kopitar is fantastic but they’re not very good.

28. Ottawa Senators

Every year there is a point where it feels like, maybe this time Ottawa surprises us. Haven’t really had that feeling yet.

29. Toronto Maple Leafs

Literally nothing is going right for the Leafs. Nothing. It’s impossible to find a positive take-away. 

30. Montreal Canadiens

Turns out they might just not be a very good team. In like January feel free to call this out when they go on a run.

31. Arizona Coyotes

Hashtag Shame for Shane.

32. Chicago Blackhawks

Nothing good to say here.