NHL Power Rankings: Islanders climb, Bruins hold at top and Red Wings hit rock bottom

The opening month of the NHL season is officially behind us and now we're really cooking with gas. November is typically when we start to believe the league landscape comes into clearer focus (though don't tell that to last year's Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues) as many teams regress -- or progress-- towards the mean and settle into trends. 

Each team has at least a dozen games under their belt at this point and it finally feels like we're getting to the point where we have enough of a sample size to start getting a feel for squads across the league. There's still time for hot starts to fall apart rather quickly (just ask the 2018-2019 Buffalo Sabres) but we've got some legs to stand on right now and that's always a good thing, especially when it comes to weekly power rankings. 

In this week's installment, the Boston Bruins remain atop the league, holding tightly onto the throne they seized a week ago. Any concerns regarding a Stanley Cup Final hangover and short offseason have been quickly cast aside, as Boston -- carried by an insanely hot top line -- have refused to lose through the first month of the year. David Pastrnak is scoring at a goal-per-game clip and is on pace to finish the year with 170 points. Pretty good, if you ask me. 

Though the Bruins remain static in the top spot, there's been plenty of moving and shaking behind them over the past week, so let's get to the rest of the rankings. 

Biggest Movers
6 Islanders
7 Sabres
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Bruins I mean, what can you say really? One regulation loss in 14 games to start the year. The top line is scary good. The power play is scary good. The goaltending... scary good. It's the Bruins and everyone else right now. --12-3
2 Capitals You have to credit the Caps for setting the tone when it comes to D.C. championship celebrations. The only thing buzzing harder than the Caps right now is the entire Nationals' roster. 315-3
3 Oilers Imagine how good this team might be if Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl weren't complemented with a bunch of low-rate party clowns. 113-6
4 Islanders Not entirely sure how sustainable this success is going to be but they've won nine in a row and have gotten back to what made them successful last season: Shutting down opponents and scoring just enough to win. 614-3
5 Hurricanes Their stars are starting to produce like stars and their Storm Surges are back to being A+ material. Look out. 212-7
6 Predators They were punched in the gut by Matthew Tkachuk and the Flames, then followed it up with a loss to the Rangers. That being said, the offense is still humming and they've picked up points in seven of eight. 29-7
7 Blues They've won four straight, each coming by a single goal (three in overtime). They're scraping by without Tarasenko right now, but wins are wins. 412-4
8 Canucks They've got points in seven straight games and have scored five-plus goals in five of those games. Pettersson and Boeser are making dreams come true. Even if you're not buying them as legitimate contenders, they're still one of the league's most fun teams to watch. 510-7
9 Sabres Three straight losses but they all came against pretty good teams (Coyotes, Caps, Islanders) so perhaps it's still too soon to say the slide has begun. But the slide has probably begun. 710-6
10 Avalanche Lost four in a row so it turns out missing two-thirds of your top line might be bad. Nathan MacKinnon is doing his best to hold it together. 712-6
11 Golden Knights Still very, very good in many facets of the game. "Holding leads" is not one of those facets, though. 59-9
12 Coyotes They're 8-2-0 in their last 10 while giving up very little defensively and getting great goaltending. Their offense isn't ripping it up but it doesn't have to when they play like this. 312-7
13 Penguins They were back to full strength for exactly two periods before Patric Hornqvist headed to IR with a long-term injury. What's one more hurdle, I guess? 411-7
14 Panthers They had a brutal start to the season but are starting to hit their stride under Joel Quenneville. At 7-3-4, it's the third-best start in franchise history - though that probably says more about the franchise than this particular team. 310-5
15 Ducks They've scored two goals or less in six of their last eight games. Somebody please give John Gibson some help. 110-9
16 Canadiens The most frustrating part about this team is that they seem to play to the level of their competition. It's hard to escape the fact that they've now been beaten by the Red Wings, Sharks, Wild and Stars. 211-5
17 Maple Leafs They still have yet to beat a good team in regulation this season. It's November. 39-9
18 Lightning This team continues to look like a shell of the powerhouse that dominated the league last season. They continue to be mentally fragile and maybe it's not so crazy to suggest that a change of leadership may be needed if things don't turn around soon. 69-6
19 Flames Matthew Tkachuk scored the goal of the year and Milan Lucic took himself out of the lineup for a few games. Just a couple of good things that happened this week. --10-9
20 Jets It's still pretty hard to figure these guys out but, at the very least, they're scrappy. They just earned six out of a possible eight points on a four-game road trip, so you'll take that. 112-8
21 Flyers They've got to start getting more from their top guys if they want to have any real shot to contend. Also, Justin Braun has been on the ice for 17 even-strength goals against through 13 games. Holy crap. 110-6
22 Stars It was a miserable start to the year but maybe they are snapping out of it? They've won six of seven, though they're still not scoring a ton (two goals or fewer in four of those seven) but the second line and power play have been better while defense/goaltending is holding. 311-8
23 Blackhawks They're apparently really not afraid to call on the kids to save them, so that should be interesting to watch. Feels safe to expect plenty of growing pains. 18-7
24 Devils It's only November and they've already blown more multi-goal leads than Taylor Hall has blown open-book tests. Goaltending is worse than we thought it'd be, and that's saying something. 27-8
25 Rangers They won three of four then promptly got blown out by the Senators. That's one way to make sure you stay humble. 28-8
26 Blue Jackets "I thought we were supposed to suck this year?" said John Tortorella shortly before losing four straight games. 37-8
27 Wild They've lost four of five, though they kinda got screwed during their overtime loss against the Blues. The defense is maybe coming around a bit, but this team is still in pretty rough shape. 17-11
28 Kings They gave up five goals in four straight games (all losses) before finally getting a dub against Chicago. Their goaltending is still league-worst and the Tyler Toffoli trade rumors are already swirling. At least they're not as bad as the Sharks! 18-11
29 Sharks At this point I'm starting to wonder if Justin Braun might actually provide an upgrade to their defense. 710-10
30 Senators The Sens ranking anywhere other than 31 is basically Team USA beating the Soviets in 1980. 18-11
31 Red Wings A monumental level of suck was required to kick Ottawa out of the basement but the Red Wings have won exactly one (1) game since the opening week of the season. 17-12

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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