Every week in the NHL power rankings we ask the same question — “is this team good?” We don’t really know, it’s November, almost every prediction likely will be wrong.
The good news is this week we got Taylor Swift’s rerelease of her “Red” album, so instead of wondering which NHL teams have their acts together we can do that and pair them with the perfect Taylor lyric to catch the vibe, and that’s what the power rankings are all about.
1. Florida Panthers
“Are we out of the woods yet?” It’s believing in the Florida Panthers season. All in. Cup contenders. Forget the Lightning are coming at them, it’s the Panthers’ year this time.*
* — I absolutely also said this last season.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” No one ever quite believes in the Hurricanes enough, and they’re also just slightly overhyped enough at the same time.
3. Edmonton Oilers
“I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be all right. They say, I don’t know.” I don’t know if the Oilers finally do it in the playoffs, but they sure look great right now.
4. Minnesota Wild
“We’re so young, but we’re on the road to ruin.” Kirill Kaprizov and the Minnesota Wild might be the dark-horse contender of the season. But maybe they’re too good to be called a dark horse.
5. Washington Capitals
“And all the pieces fall. Right into place.” Zach Fucale posted a shutout in his NHL debut Thursday night.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
“I knew you’d miss me once the thrill expired.” The defending Cup champions are going to be there for the long haul, make no mistake.
7. St. Louis Blues
“I’m really gonna miss you picking fights.” It’s kind of funny the Blues are legit good and synonymous with being big mad.
8. New York Rangers
“And baby, now we’ve got bad blood.” The Rangers have a feud with everyone; everyone else just doesn’t know it.
9. Calgary Flames
“And I said, stay, stay, stay.” Now that the Flames lost out on Jack Eichel they can go back to being worried about keeping Johnny Gaudreau.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs
“I think I’ve seen this film before, And I didn’t like the ending.” Should be the official motto of the Maple Leafs.
11. San Jose Sharks
“Didn’t they tell us don’t rush into things?” The Sharks keep not being horrible.
12. Columbus Blue Jackets
“All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation.” The age-old question “Are the Blue Jackets good?” Based off their 27th ranked expected goals (shot quality), I would say probably not.
13. Winnipeg Jets
“I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night, Rough on the surface but you cut through like a knife.” Not buying that the Jets defense will not crumble when it comes down to it.
14. Anaheim Ducks
“But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend.” Maybe the young Ducks don’t go anywhere, but for now they’re fun to watch.
15. Detroit Red Wings
“I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting.” Moritz Seider might be one of the most fun young defenders in the game, but let’s be real. The Wings are going nowhere again.
16. Los Angeles Kings
“Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it.” It has been a while since the Kings were serious contenders. Anze Kopitar, though, is frozen in time.
17. Pittsburgh Penguins
“Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.” Whatever we think of the Penguins now we know they’ll be the scariest team going into the playoffs.
18. Boston Bruins
“I forgot that you existed. And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t.” Well, Tuukka Rask skated this week as a free agent so maybe they didn’t forget. But Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have done the job there.
19. Colorado Avalanche
“So shame on me now.” Obviously the Avalanche are better than 19th in the league, but with all the guys out of the lineup, it is what it is.
20. Philadelphia Flyers
“I hit my peak at seven.” The Flyers are seeking their first Cup since their seventh season. Don’t think it’s happening.
21. Nashville Predators
“But I don’t like a gold rush.” The Predators might be kind of OK, actually, at 8-5-0 entering Friday but they’re also just kind of there. Is anyone scared of the Predators? I don’t think so.
22. Vegas Golden Knights
“Canceled plans just in case you’d call.” The masters of adding superstars did it again, getting Jack Eichel.
23. Vancouver Canucks
“It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.” The Canucks seem to have been flatlining for about eight years, and this season feels the same.
24. New York Islanders
“You’ve got a girl at home.” They’re finally going to get a home game! Finally! It’s November!
25. Seattle Kraken
“Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?” It’s only the first season! So that means no expectations, right? Well, maybe not. But perhaps they aren’t like the Golden Knights after all.
26. Dallas Stars
“You drew stars around my scars. But now I’m bleeding.” This isn’t going well for them. If Roope Hintz started scoring maybe, but even then, meh.
27. New Jersey Devils
“Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes.” The Devils are probably not very good, but Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton are very fun to watch.
28. Buffalo Sabres
“He said, ‘Let’s get out of this town.’ ” The Sabres are bad again, all is right. And now they don’t have Eichel.
29. Montreal Canadiens
“I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end.” Rough go of it for the Habs after a Cup Final.
30. Arizona Coyotes
“Second, third, and hundredth chances.” It might be the Coyotes’ last season in the desert, but at least they’re also unwatchable.
31. Ottawa Senators
“This is me trying.” The poor Senators had nine players in COVID-19 protocol this week.
32. Chicago Blackhawks
“You look like my next mistake.” Seth Jones scored a goal finally, but he’s still been pretty bad for that $9.5 million price tag.