NHL Power Rankings — Week 4

  • Puckhead
  • Dante A. Ciampaglia
  • October 28, 2013, 4:50 PM

nhl power rankings week four tampa bay lightning


ITKCheck out this week's NHL Power Rankings and tell us in the comments section where you think your team should be ranked!

san jose sharks 1. San Jose Sharks (10-1-1, Last Week: 1)

The Sharks are looking like the best team in the West, and right now that's good enough to be considered the best team in the NHL. San Jose has dropped two out of six games after opening the season with a six-game win streak, but those losses have been close (a shootout to Dallas and by one goal to the stingy Bruins). More importantly, the wins are coming against good teams. If San Jose can keep it up, the road to the Cup might run through California.

colorado avalanche 2. Colorado Avalanche (10-1-0, Last Week: 2)

No one could see this coming. One of the worst teams last season, the Avalanche are making a move for the best record in the NHL. This team isn't flashy — it won't put up big numbers — but it's rough and tumble and ridiculously good in net. How good? Backup goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 34 shots to shutout the high-scoring Penguins 1-0. This team looks like the real deal.

toronto maple leafs 3. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-4-0, Last Week: 8)

Toronto is setting the pace in the Atlantic, and while the team might not be very consistent it's finding ways to win. The Leafs have a few quality wins so far, but they've mostly faced lower-tier competition. And since the East has, so far, been pretty weak as a conference, this team might be able to skate into the postseason with less-than-stellar numbers. But they better watch out: The Lightning looks ready to make a move.

anaheim ducks 4. Anaheim Ducks (9-3-0, Last Week: 4)

After opening the season with a loss to Colorado, the Ducks have gone 9-2 and are looking like a legit threat to the Sharks in the Pacific. Like a lot of teams in the West, the Ducks' wins are coming against underachieving Eastern Conference teams. But those are games this team should win, and they are. If Anaheim can stay consistent, the race for the Pacific might be the best in the NHL this season.

pittsburgh penguins 5. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-4-0, Last Week: 2)

After opening the season 7-1, the Pens dropped three straight to the Avs, Islanders, and Leafs by a combined score of 9-4. There are shades of last year's Eastern Conference Finals collapse in those numbers, but with Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and Evgeni Malkin firing on all cylinders, this should just be a blip. And with Pittsburgh getting defenseman Kris Letang back, the ship should be righted quickly.

Tampa Bay Lightning 6. Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3-0, Last Week: 16)

Don't look now, but the Lightning are getting hot. Steven Stamkos is racking up points, while as a team they're climbing the Atlantic Division ladder. Tampa Bay has lost to Boston twice, and if it hopes to win the division it will need to find ways to defeat that Atlantic rival. But those would be considered good losses for a team that was looking for an identity at the start of the season. It looks like the Lightning might be finding one.

vancouver canucks 7. Vancouver Canucks (8-4-1, Last Week: 11)

The Canucks are winning more than they're losing, but they're still wildly inconsistent. Plus, they're losing games they need to win. Just in the first 13 games they were defeated twice by division foe the Sharks by a combined score of 8-2. If Vancouver wants to win the Pacific, it will need to find ways to defeat San Jose. Otherwise, this will be another underachieving season for the Canucks.

boston bruins 8. Boston Bruins (7-3-0, Last Week: 9)

Boston is winning this season the way it did in the playoffs: With goaltending. The Bruins have only scored more than four goals twice so far, and have only allowed more than three goals once. The Bs play a shutdown style of hockey, which keeps them competitive but could also be dangerous. If other teams figure goalie Tuukka Rask out, Boston will be in trouble.

chicago blackhawks 9. Chicago Blackhawks (6-2-3, Last Week: 5)

So far, the defending champs have struggled to find a rhythm. The Hawks have allowed five games to go into overtime or shootouts, and in those games they're 2-3. Chicago is still winning, but they're not doing a ton of scoring. It could be a Cup hangover, but if any team can shake itself out of it it's this one.

detroit red wings 10. Detroit Red Wings (6-4-2, Last Week: 10)

Detroit is a strange team right now. After going 6-2 in its first eight games, it dropped four in a row, including a 1-0 shootout loss to San Jose. The Red Wings must be thanking the hockey gods they were moved into the East because that kind of play in the West would doom them. Instead, they're in the thick of the Atlantic Division race.  


11. St. Louis Blues (6-1-2, Last Week: 6)
The Blues started hot with four straight wins, but since have cooled off going 2-3, including two losses in overtime.

12. Phoenix Coyotes (5-2-2, Last Week: 12)
Phoenix is looking more and more like a team that's ready to make a run. If so, the West has just gotten way more competitive.

13. Los Angeles Kings (8-4-0, Last Week: 7)
After an uneven start, the Kings look to be back on track. The Pacific better watch out.

14. Montreal Canadiens (7-5-0, Last Week: 14)
The Habs have a four-game win streak this season, but since then have gone 1-3.

15. Minnesota Wild (6-3-3, Last Week: 19)
Minnesota has some kind of symmetry happening: Three straight losses, three straight wins, three straight losses, three straight wins.

16. New York Islanders (4-4-3, Last Week: 15)
The Isles want desperately to be a contender. But they need to start playing better than .500 hockey to make that happen.

17. Nashville Predators (6-5-1, Last Week: 17)
The Predators are a young team just starting to gel. If they can find a groove, they could make things interesting in the Central.

18. Carolina Hurricanes (4-5-3, Last Week: 13)
Carolina was hanging around the top of the Metropolitan Division. But losing five of seven will do a lot to your place in the standings. 

19. Calgary Flames (5-4-2, Last Week: 18)
It's been an up-and-down start to the season for a Calgary team looking for a new identity.

20. Washington Capitals (5-6-0, Last Week: 24)
The Caps are righting the ship, and just in time to take advantage of a dismal Metro division.

21. Winnipeg Jets (5-6-2, Last Week: 20)
A pair of three-game losing streaks this early in the season is not a good sign for this Jets team.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-6-0, Last Week: 26)
Columbus followed a four-game losing streak with three straight wins. Will the real Blue Jackets please stand up?

23. Dallas Stars (5-5-1, Last Week: 22)
Dallas' mantra this season might as well be, "You win some, you lose some."

24. Ottawa Senators (4-5-2, Last Week: 21)
Stealing a win from the Red Wings is nice, but the wins are going to be scarce this season.

25. Edmonton Oilers (3-8-2, Last Week: 25)
Edmonton is finally showing signs of being a team on the rebuild.

26. Florida Panthers (3-7-2, Last Week: 23)
The Panthers have lost to both the Flyers and the Sabres. Yikes.

27. New Jersey Devils (2-5-4, Last Week: 27)
New Jersey is entering a new era, and the growing pains are going to be painful.

28.New York Rangers (3-7-0, Last Week: 28)
Starting the season with nine straight road games is never easy, and New York is slowly clawing its way out of the early hole it dug itself.

29. Philadelphia Flyers (3-7-0, Last Week: 29)
The Flyers are looking for anything to turn around what has quickly becoming a lost season.

30. Buffalo Sabres (2-11-1, Last Week: 30)
Yep. Still the worst team in the NHL.

Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26) celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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