NHL Power Rankings: Rangers fly up the board as Bruins, Blackhawks struggle
Both New York teams remain among the NHL's hottest in mid-November
New York has reclaimed the spotlight in the NHL, and that's not necessarily a bad thing for a league whose defending Stanley Cup champions can't seem to figure out how to piece two wins together.
The rise of the Big Apple hasn't just come for one team, either. It has come for two -- the same number of wins the Pittsburgh Penguins have compiled since the start of November. The Islanders, despite their daunting market concerns and even more daunting outlook on a contract for standout center John Tavares, are scoring at a clip similar to that of the division-leading New Jersey Devils. And the Rangers, damaged and disorganized goods at the start of the 2017-18 campaign, suddenly look like the NHL's team to beat with six consecutive victories and long-anticipated offensive prowess to fuel them.
Things aren't so hot across the league, of course, especially when it comes to the Boston Bruins. A 6-6-4 record through 16 games doesn't even sound as bad as it is, but three straight losses for the Atlantic Division boys have epitomized this heartbreaking -- or, better yet, embarrassing -- start to the season. There isn't quite as much panic with the Chicago Blackhawks, but that's another big-name club that took a dive in this week's edition of our NHL Power Rankings:
|1||Lightning||Just keep reading their top line. They run the East.||--||54-23|
|2||Blues||Imagine when Patrik Berglund finally returns.||--||44-32|
|3||Kings||Outside of the loss to Tampa Bay, they've been rock solid. Once again, props to Jonathan Quick.||--||45-29|
|4||Devils||Taylor Hall. Nico Hischier. Will Butcher. Miles Wood (!). These youngsters are for real.||1||44-29|
|5||Golden Knights||Their scoring has been so balanced it's unbelievable. Who says an expansion team can't be a playoff contender?||1||51-24|
|6||Maple Leafs||Back to the other side of the seesaw that reminds us the Maple Leafs can score. A lot. They have to for any shot at maintaining their streak.||5||49-26|
|7||Senators||Edging the Penguins this week would be killer for them. Not finding a new arena in Ottawa would also be THE killer for them.||1||28-43|
|8||Blue Jackets||Something has got to be done about helping Sergei Bobrovsky. The D-men like to come up, but at what cost?||4||45-30|
|9||Islanders||The Islanders need to find an audience, because John Tavares is still putting on a show.||2||35-37|
|10||Predators||The Kyle Turris move isn't the only thing to be excited about. They're streaking against some of the NHL's best.||4||53-18|
|11||Sharks||Hey, hey, hey. There's that top defense. Power-play problems are still an issue, though.||1||45-27|
|12||Jets||Connor Hellebuyck is mortal, after all.||--||52-20|
|13||Stars||Ken Hitchcock knows how to tweak things to get the best from his players.||--||42-32|
|14||Rangers||Kind of funny how the explosion of offense in turn aids Henrik Lundqvist. We're finally seeing the 'boom' side of this hit-or-miss team.||8||34-39|
|15||Capitals||This is right about where they belong -- the middle of the pack. How else do you describe losing to the Sabres and then easily handling the defending champions?||8||49-26|
|16||Flames||When Mike Smith and Travis Hamonic are back on the ice, here's a team on which to keep a close eye. Also, give Johnny Gaudreau some help.||--||37-35|
|17||Flyers||They're like the Capitals in that they can't figure out who they are. It's so Flyers to lose the offensive touch on a night they allow only one goal to Minnesota.||--||42-26|
|18||Blackhawks||The Devils just showed them why new-school talent can trump the old. You have to wonder whether this gets worse.||--||33-39|
|19||Canucks||So much for their five-goal outing vs. Calgary carrying over into the new week.||10||31-40|
|20||Avalanche||And here, ladies and gentlemen, we witness the avalanche of falling expectations in Colorado.||5||43-30|
|22||Ducks||No shame in losing 2-1 to Tampa, but the Ducks still have scoring problems and are now without Ryan Getzlaf.||1||44-25|
|23||Penguins||The Pens keep talking up their efforts like they don't know the importance of actually getting the W. Eventually, they will.||4||47-29|
|24||Red Wings||At least their loss to Columbus didn't come without some heroic efforts.||4||30-39|
|25||Canadiens||Guess they didn't want to be left out when the Rangers started streaking from the cellar.||3||29-40|
|26||Hurricanes||Changes are on the way, per the coaches. We hope so.||--||36-35|
|27||Bruins||Don't tell me this season isn't an absolute embarrassment for the Bruins.||2||50-20|
|28||Panthers||Dale Tallon out here trying to 'trust the process' in the NHL. 'It's a project,' he says of the Panthers.||1||44-30|
|29||Oilers||Connor McDavid cannot do this himself. Keep repeating it. Maybe Edmonton will hear.||--||36-40|
|30||Sabres||Will Evander Kane still be here after midseason?||--||25-45|
|31||Coyotes||Somehow, six regulation losses in their past 10 games actually seems like a step forward.||--||29-41|
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