Nov 8, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) makes a glove save during the second period of the game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Here are the Blackhawk Up NHL power rankings for this week. How have things changed since last week, when the surprising Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers occupied our top two spots? Let’s find out.
The Nashville Predators were the talk of the offseason after acquiring P.K. Subban for Shea Weber. While their defense supposedly got stronger, their offense has gotten weaker. Filip Forsberg scored 33 goals with 31 assists last season. He is currently on pace for zero goals this season, according to ESPN’s forecaster. He hasn’t scored a goal as of yet and does not shoot. Some might blame Pekka Rinne‘s poor save percentage, but I blame the offense.
3-5-4Last rank: 29th
The Carolina Hurricanes are being let down by their goaltending issues. Cam Ward‘s save percentage is a .888 with a 3.11 goals-against average. Eddie Lack was supposed to be the future in Carolina and has been a huge disappointment. He is 1-2 with a .856 save percentage and a 3.80 goals-against average. Bottom line: Their goalies suck.
5-8-1Last rank: 28th
The Vancouver Canucks needs to go through a rebuild and not this holding pattern with bad moves from Jim Benning. The big free agent addition of Loui Eriksson has scored zero goals this season. The Canucks need to tear it all down and start over already.
5-7-0Last rank: 13th
The Colorado Avalanche might be missing their former leader, or maybe they are just a flawed team. Semyon Varlamov has suffered the most without Patrick Roy behind the bench. Varlamov’s save percentage is .881 with a 3.67 goals-against average. That could be the reason why the Avs are struggling.
5-8-1Last rank: 19th
The Flames were supposed to be better on defense with another season of Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano in action. The Flames also added a quality goaltender in Brian Elliott. Elliott is learning the hard way that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Elliott’s save percentage is .887 and his goals-against average is 3.33.
New York Islanders
5-6-2Last rank: 26th
The Islanders are bad and it is only a matter of time until Jack Capuano gets fired. The one silver lining is that John Tavares is still very very good.
November 6, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) and center Ryan Garbutt (16) celebrate the 4-1 victory against the Calgary Flames at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
6-5-2Last rank: 22nd
Randy Carlyle needs to start righting the ship. The Ducks’ goals-for mark is 30 and their goals-against is 35. Ryan Getzlaf has one goal and 11 assists.
Toronto Maple Leafs
5-5-3Last rank: 27th
The Maples Leafs are young and talented but still have room to improve. One area that needs to improve is their goaltending. Frederik Andersen has a save percentage below league average at .902 and a goals-against average of 3.20. The core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marnerand William Nylander is exciting to watch.
Detroit Red Wings
7-6-1Last rank: 9th
Who would have thought that Jimmy Howard would be the best goalie on the Red Wings? Howard leads the league in goals-against average at 1.12 and save percentage at .965.
Columbus Blue Jackets
5-3-2Last rank: 16th
The Columbus Blue Jackets have shocked many people with their play this season. The biggest reason for their success has been excellent goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky has a .947 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average.
Los Angeles Kings
7-6-0Last rank: 18th
The Kings are dealing with goaltending injuries. They have lost Jonathan Quick for the majority of the season. They lost Jeff Zatkoff and Jack Campbell for brief stints. With their goaltending in disarray, they should be counting on their offense. Jeff Carter is their leading score and only has three goals.
New Jersey Devils
6-3-3Last rank: 12th
The Devils might have gotten the steal of the offseason in Taylor Hall. Hall has not disappointed, scoring five goals with three assists. Another savvy move by the Devils was signing P.A. Parenteau, who has four goals and one assist on the season. It’s simple for the Devils: They have great goaltending, and they just need to score more goals.
San Jose Sharks
7-6-0Last rank: 4th
The Sharks’ biggest weakness this season has been goaltending. Martin Jones has been bad this season. Jones has a .900 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against average. The Sharks have scored 27 goals and allowed 34. Can’t win many games like that.
6-6-1Last rank: 14th
The Panthers are scoring just enough to win. They have 35 goals for and 33 goals against. James Reimer might have been a very savvy pickup for the Panthers, especially since Roberto Luongo might be close to the end of his run. Reimer needs to pick up his play to make the move look better.
6-4-1Last rank: 5th
The Minnesota Wild are playing better under new coach Bruce Boudreau. The Wild are 6-4-1 under their new coach, scoring 33 goals and allowing 22. The Wild are getting good production from Eric Staal and Chris Stewart.
6-6-2Last rank: 23rd
The Flyers have identical 3-3-1 records at home and on the road, and they’re getting those wins with offense. Philly’s 49 goals for ranks second in the league. However, they’re piling up losses behind porous goaltending, as the Flyers are tied for the most goals allowed in the league at 51.
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) stops a shot by the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
7-5-0Last rank: 17th
The Senators have 30 goals for and 31 goals against. They need more production from Derick Brassard. Brassard was brought in from the Rangers to provide a lift. He only has one goal and four assists.
7-6-0Last rank: 20th
The Bruins need to get more offensive from David Krejci. Krejci only has one goal and four assists on the season. The Bruins’ leading scorer is Davi Pastrnak with eight goals and four assists. The Bruins need more from their established stars.
8-3-1Last rank: 8th
The Caps have scored six more goals than they have allowed. That is the recipe for success during the regular season, but it hasn’t translated in the playoffs with this group.
St. Louis Blues
7-4-2Last rank: 7th
The St. Louis Blues have struggled to find a regular goalie. They traded away Brian Elliott and handed the keys to Jake Allen. Allen has rewarded them with a .903 save percentage and 2.39 goals-against average.
Tampa Bay Lightning
7-5-1Last rank: 10th
Should the Lightning consider trading Ben Bishop? They would be selling low, as his save percentage is .907. The Lightning havd won four in a row entering Tuesday’s action, so if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
9-4-1Last rank: 2nd
The Edmonton Oilers are the surprise of the NHL. They are getting good production from their young stars and good goaltending. Connor McDavid currently leads the NHL in assists with 12 and has 17 points. Cam Talbot leads the NHL in saves with 373 because he has faced the most shots. He also has a .921 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average.
9-2-2Last rank: 3rd
The Penguins are red-hot, winning 4 of 5. Sidney Crosby has proven that he is still the best player in the NHL.
The Rangers have gotten production from Brandon Pirri and Kevin Haynes, while Dan Girardi has not been awful. The King Henrik Lundqvist needs to setup his game. His save percentage is .908, which is not good by his standards.
11-1-1Last rank: 1st
The Montreal Canadiens are good as long as Carey Price is good, and Price has been really good this year. Price has a 1.53 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. Without him in net, the play drops off. Al Montoya gave up 10 to Columbus.