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      NHL power rankings: Is Los Angeles the King of the NHL?

      The Kings are finally at the top of the rankings (much to Scott's relief), while the Predators make a massive jump up the list and the Wild appear to be in big trouble.

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      We’ve reached the unofficial American Thanksgiving threshold of the NHL season, where we start to get a better idea as to which…

      *insert paragraph off here*

      …teams are legit and which ones are probably going to be left in the rearview mirror. That means that this week’s rankings…

      *insert paragraph off here*

      …are an exact prediction of the playoff picture, and any differences will be seen as an egregious error on our part.

      Sorry about that, the NHL told me I had to put some random paragraphs with nothing in them due to scheduling conflicts or something. Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled article.

      Mike and I continue to navigate through the results so far with another week of our co-op power rankings. I have my same old system which I aggregate six stats (points %, 5-on-5 goal differential, 5-on-5 xGF/60, 5-on-5 xGA/60, power play xGF/60, and shorthanded xGA/60, all coming courtesy of Natural Stat Trick) to come up with a list that eliminates my own biases, along with a rule that no team can be above a team that’s more than five points ahead of them in the standings, regardless of where the aggregate places them. On the other hand, Mike goes off his own intellect and pure vibes, and together we find a way to combine it and meet in the middle.

      1. Los Angeles Kings

      Record: 13-3-3, +29
      Last Week: 3rd (+2)
      Mike’s Rank: 2nd
      Scott’s Rank: 1st

      Mike: I think it’s about time to give the Kings their due. I was far too low on them coming into this season. They’ve been nothing short of dominant with the puck to start the year, although they haven’t been scoring at an overwhelming clip. They’re just terrific defensively and have a ton of depth — and Cam Talbot is pulling his weight in goal. 

      Scott: *maniacal laughter*.

      2. Boston Bruins

      Record: 14-3-3, +19
      Last Week: 1st (-1)
      Mike’s Rank: 1st
      Scott’s Rank: 3rd

      Scott: Even as Mike is starting to cave to my demands of the Kings being the best team in the league, the aggregate continues to be a troublemaker and has now started picking a fight with the Bruins. It’s less so because of the losses in three of their last four, and more so because they’ve been relying on their superstars and goaltending a bit too much lately, or at least more so than the two teams I have ranked higher.

      Mike: I still think these Bruins need another top-six forward, but they’ve done a terrific job thus far of making do with the pieces they have. 

      3. New York Rangers

      Record: 15-3-1, +21
      Last Week: 7th (+4)
      Mike’s Rank: 3rd
      Scott’s Rank: 4th

      Mike: The Rangers have won three in a row, eight of their last 10, and 15 of their last 17, which I’m told is pretty good. Even with Mika Zibanejad, Blake Wheeler, and Kaapo Kakko off to so-so starts, this team just keeps winning games. And a large part of that can be attributed to Jonathan Quick, who has turned back the clock with a 6-0-1 record and a .930 save percentage through eight appearances to start the season.

      4. Colorado Avalanche

      Record: 14-6-0, +18
      Last Week: 5th (+1)
      Mike’s Rank: 5th
      Scott’s Rank: 2nd

      Scott: The Avs have won six of their last seven games, and regardless of their competition, they’ve started looking more and more like the dominant Avs team that we knew in the early 2020’s. They’ve been so good that they’re even making Jack Johnson look good, as he currently sits sixth among defensemen with 200+ minutes of ice time in 5v5 on-ice expected goals against per 60 minutes with 1.97.

      5. Vegas Golden Knights

      Record: 14-5-2, +19
      Last Week: 2nd (-3)
      Mike’s Rank: 4th
      Scott’s Rank: 7th

      Mike: The Golden Knights’ recent slide has finally knocked them out of the top spot on this list, but I don’t think they’ll be down here for long. Being shut out at home by the Arizona Coyotes isn’t a great sign, though. The Kings are on the verge of dethroning the Knights atop the division — they’re one point back with two games in hand.

      Scott: If only someone could have seen this coming. What a shame.

      6. Dallas Stars

      Record: 12-5-2, +9
      Last Week: 4th (-2)
      Mike’s Rank: 6th
      Scott’s Rank: 6th

      Scott: The Stars seem to be our common ground, as they’re once again the first team that we both gave the same ranking to. That said, we’re both slightly lower on Dallas than last week, but that will happen after losing three of their last four, especially spotting seven to a Flames team still trying to get their superstar awake.

      7. Florida Panthers

      Record: 12-7-1, +3
      Last Week: 6th (-1)
      Mike’s Rank: 7th
      Scott’s Rank: 5th

      Mike: Last year’s Stanley Cup finalists have won seven of their last 10 games, although they’re coming off back-to-back losses to the Bruins and Jets. It certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world to lose to either of those teams. The Cats really need more from Sam Bennett, who picked up his first goal (and point) of the season against the Oilers last Monday but hasn’t scored since.

      8. Vancouver Canucks

      Record: 14-7-1, +32
      Last Week: 12th (+4)
      Mike’s Rank: 9th
      Scott’s Rank: 9th

      Scott: The Canucks have sputtered a little bit these past couple weeks, with four losses in their last six games, including a loss to the lowly Sharks. They’d have to fall off the earth in order to miss the playoffs with the star-talent that they have, but they’re certainly falling back a bit into the team that they’re actually playing like.

      9. Carolina Hurricanes

      Record: 12-8-0, 0
      Last Week: 8th (-1)
      Mike’s Rank: 10th
      Scott’s Rank: 8th

      Mike: The Hurricanes continue to beat the teams they should beat, knocking off the Oilers and Blue Jackets this week but being trounced by the Lightning between that. This is such an odd team. When you really dissect them, they don’t really have any true superstar-level talent … but they’re just so deep. Antti Raanta giving up eight goals on 14 shots the other night against TB sure didn’t inspire much confidence in the goaltending rotation, however.

      10. Toronto Maple Leafs

      Record: 10-6-3, +1
      Last Week: 10th (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 8th
      Scott’s Rank: 11th

      Scott: The Leafs had a bit of a stereotypical Leafs week, as after taking their four-game winning streak back to North America, they spotted a 3-1 lead to the 31st-place Blackhawks to let them weep their season series, and then couldn’t get it done against Kyle Dubas’ Penguins. William Nylander’s points streak finally came to an end, and it’s exposed some of the flaws on the team again. They’ve only won two games in regulation in the last month as well, not the kind of numbers you want from this team.

      11. Winnipeg Jets

      Record: 12-6-2, +12
      Last Week: 11th (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 13th
      Scott’s Rank: 12th

      Mike: The Jets defeated both Florida teams this week before falling to the Predators on Sunday. It’s looking more and more like playoff hockey will be back in Winnipeg this spring as the Jets continue to create some separation between themselves and the rest of the Central Division pack. Connor Hellebuyck is beginning to pick things up and Kyle Connor remains one of the league leaders in goals, although he’s now gone three games without one.

      12. Philadelphia Flyers

      Record: 11-9-1, +6
      Last Week: 9th (-3)
      Mike’s Rank: 15th
      Scott’s Rank: 10th

      Scott: The Flyers had their five-game win streak snapped with back-to-back losses to New York teams before grinding out a 1-0 shootout win in a rematch against the Islanders. This team continues to hang around in the playoff race this far into the season and they have the numbers to justify it, so as long as the forwards can get the goals, it might be time to consider them a playoff contender. Big emphasis on might though.

      13. Detroit Red Wings

      Record: 11-6-3, +14
      Last Week: 18th (+5)
      Mike’s Rank: 11th
      Scott’s Rank: 16th

      Mike: The Red Wings might be back. They’ve now won three consecutive games, with the most recent coming on Sunday in the form of a 4–1 victory over the struggling Minnesota Wild. Alex DeBrincat hasn’t been able to maintain his ridiculous scoring pace from the start of the year, but the rest of this team is chugging along just fine. How about Shayne Gostisbehere? He has 18 points in his first 19 games as a Red Wing.

      14. Tampa Bay Lightning

      Record: 10-6-5, +4
      Last Week: 16th (-2)
      Mike’s Rank: 12th
      Scott’s Rank: 15th

      Scott: Nikita Kucherov continues to just be absolutely insane this season with eight points in three games this week. Now that Andrei Vasilevskiy is back, the Lightning’s playoff chances increase tenfold with them still well in the race, so Kucherov’s play in the early goings might get him some Hart consideration barring Connor McDavid returning to normal.

      15. Pittsburgh Penguins

      Record: 10-10-0, +11
      Last Week: 13th (-2)
      Mike’s Rank: 14th
      Scott’s Rank: 13th

      Mike: Sidney Crosby is off to one of the best statistical starts to any season in his illustrious career, collecting 13 goals and 24 points in his first 20 games. Jake Guentzel is just one point behind him. But while the Penguins boast a decent amount of star power, their depth isn’t quite up to snuff. Rickard Rakell and Jeff Carter have combined for zero goals and five points in 31 games to start the year — yikes!

      16. Nashville Predators

      Record: 10-10-0, +3
      Last Week: 28th (+12)
      Mike’s Rank: 18th
      Scott’s Rank: 14th

      Scott: Just as the Preds were looking to lose their place in the playoff race, they’ve strung together five wins to put them right back in it. The most impressive were their wins against much stronger teams in the Avs and the Jets, showing that they can grind out big wins when they need to, especially with Juuse Saros possibly getting back into form.

      17. New Jersey Devils

      Record: 9-9-1, -3
      Last Week: 15th (-2)
      Mike’s Rank: 16th
      Scott’s Rank: 17th

      Mike: The Devils looked like the Devils of yore in their 7-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen too much of that team to start this season. Part of that is due to Nico Hischier missing significant time, and he made his return with a pair of points in that big victory over Buffalo. Before that, this Devils team had dropped three consecutive games against the Rangers (alright), Red Wings (ehhh), and Blue Jackets (oh dear).

      Scott: As a frustrated fantasy owner that built a decent amount of their team on Devils players in the Hughes brothers, Timo Meier and Dougie Hamilton, I would appreciate it if they could stop being ungood please.

      18. Washington Capitals

      Record: 10-5-2, -5
      Last Week: 14th (-4)
      Mike’s Rank: 17th
      Scott’s Rank: 19th

      Scott: It was a light week for the Caps, so between that and the 5-0 blowout at the hands of the Oilers, they took a bit of a tumble down our list and dropped out of a playoff spot. Their start did look more like a team that was just hot for a bit and not an actual contender, but they certainly have the capability to stick around the race this season. 

      19. Arizona Coyotes

      Record: 9-9-2, +2
      Last Week: 19th (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 20th
      Scott’s Rank: 18th

      Mike: The Coyotes certainly aren’t out of the mix at this point of the season, which is a nice change of pace from recent years. Clayton Keller ended a brief scoring skid with the game-winning goal in Saturday’s 2-0 shutout win of the Golden Knights, which also saw Lawson Crouse pick up his 10th goal … of November. That victory put an end to a three-game losing streak for Arizona, which had previously occupied a Wildcard spot for much of the year to date.

      20. St. Louis Blues

      Record: 11-8-1, -2
      Last Week: 20th (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 19th
      Scott’s Rank: 22nd

      Scott: As much noise as the Blues seem to be making, they still seem to lack the consistency of a true contender. Even recently, they won three of their last four, but none were against surefire playoff teams, and their one loss was an 8-2 blowout to the Preds of all teams. They’re sticking around but they just haven’t impressed me that much so far.

      21. New York Islanders

      Record: 8-6-6, -10
      Last Week: 22nd (+1)
      Mike’s Rank: 22nd
      Scott’s Rank: 20th

      Mike: Tempted to revive my “It’s the Islanders, who cares?” bit right here, and so I will. It’s the Islanders. Who cares?

      22. Ottawa Senators

      Record: 8-8-0, +6
      Last Week: 17th (-6)
      Mike’s Rank: 21st
      Scott’s Rank: 23rd

      Scott: Out of solidarity for the Sens only playing three games in the last 16 days, I’m going to be refraining from commenting on them as a protest against the NHL’s schedule makers.

      Mike: As of this moment, the Ottawa Senators no longer exist. Say hello to Miguel Sanchez!

      23. Seattle Kraken

      Record: 8-9-5, -16
      Last Week: 23rd (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 23rd
      Scott’s Rank: 24th

      Mike: I like it – let’s go Kraken! I like it – let’s go Kraken! Oh, wait, this isn’t the goal song rankings. Seattle lost to Calgary and Vancouver last week but also beat San Jose, which doesn’t really tell us a whole lot about anything. Matty Beniers did not collect a point in those three games, which is pretty concerning. At least Shane Wright has produced at a strong clip in the AHL to start the year.

      24. Calgary Flames

      Record: 8-10-3, -12
      Last Week: 27th (+3)
      Mike’s Rank: 27th
      Scott’s Rank: 21st

      Scott: After a 2-7-1 start in their first 10 games, the Flames have been a much more reasonable 6-3-2 in their last 11. Not exactly a great stretch of play, but it at least shows that this team might be more of the middling team I seem to think they are than the bottomfeeder that Mike thinks they are. Then again, I don’t Watch the Games™ as much as he does.

      Mike: No, you’re probably correct, and it’s to the organization’s detriment: they’re not quite bad enough to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The Flames seem apprehensive about picking a direction and committing to it. It’s extremely frustrating from a fan’s perspective, but it allows them to put off having to make any difficult decisions about the future of the team.

      25. Buffalo Sabres

      Record: 9-10-2, -11
      Last Week: 21st (-4)
      Mike’s Rank: 25th
      Scott’s Rank: 26th

      Mike: Ouch. That loss to the Devils was, to put it mildly, something. The Sabres managed a grand total of 12 shots on goal and trailed for all but 1:31 of Saturday’s game in Newark, which saw the hosts put up a seven-spot on their foes from Buffalo. Combine that with Jalen Hurts throwing and rushing for five total touchdowns against the Bills on Sunday, and it just wasn’t a great weekend for Buffalo sports.

      26. Edmonton Oilers

      Record: 7-12-1, -8
      Last Week: 29th (+3)
      Mike’s Rank: 26th
      Scott’s Rank: 25th

      Scott: Mike said in the Daily Faceoff group chat on Wednesday, and I quote, “Oilers are the first team in the power rankings to finish 33rd.” They then went on to win their next two games and outscore their opposition 13-2. Albeit, it was against two weaker teams in the Caps and Ducks, and they had a rough stretch before that with three straight losses to more competitive teams in the Lightning, Panthers and Canes, but at least they’re starting to look a bit more alive. McDavid has nine points in his last two games as well, so it looks like that injury is starting to heal.

      Mike: Clearly, McDavid is just showcasing himself to other teams for potential trade talks. Right? Right!?

      27. Montreal Canadiens

      Record: 9-10-2, -16
      Last Week: 26th (-1)
      Mike’s Rank: 24th
      Scott’s Rank: 28th

      Mike: Here’s some good news: Juraj Slafkovsky is still starting to play a bit better. He doesn’t look like a recent No. 1 overall pick, but he’s definitely performing like a legit NHLer. That said, these Canadiens are coming off a stretch in which they only narrowly defeated the Ducks and Sharks before being dominated by an actually good team in the Kings, so make of that what you will. Josh Anderson may never score again.

      Scott: The Habs still have two games remaining against the Leafs, I’m sure Anderson will score three or four then.

      28. Columbus Blue Jackets

      Record: 6-12-4, -15
      Last Week: 31st (+3)
      Mike’s Rank: 28th
      Scott’s Rank: 27th

      Scott: Well, the Blue Jackets managed to snap their nine-game losing streak and be a much more respectable 2-1-0 last week. Sure, routing an even weaker Blackhawks team, grinding out a win over a struggling Devils team, and blowing a 2-0 lead to the Canes isn’t exactly a sign of significant progress, but it definitely beats losing that much.

      29. Anaheim Ducks

      Record: 9-12-0, -15
      Last Week: 25th (-4)
      Mike’s Rank: 29th
      Scott’s Rank: 30th

      Mike: They are what we thought they were! These Ducks are baaaaad. They’ve lost six in a row and eight of 10. Aside from Mason McTavish, Frankie Vatrano, and the rookies, pretty much everyone on this roster has underperformed. Jakob Silfverberg’s drop-off from a reliable 20-goal scorer to barely an NHLer needs to be studied. And as for Alex Killorn … well, in the first year of his massive UFA contract, he has one goal in 11 games.

      30. Minnesota Wild

      Record: 5-10-4, -20
      Last Week: 24th (-6)
      Mike’s Rank: 31st
      Scott’s Rank: 29th

      Scott: Random Calen Addison Fact #1: The Wild have yet to win a game since trading the defenseman and acquiring Zach Bogosian, and they’ve gone from a point outside of the playoffs to four points away from the Sharks. Not that it’s the entire reason, but it certainly makes that change look a bit worse so far.

      Mike: It feels like we’re rapidly careening to the point at which the Wild just say enough’s enough and trade everyone. What does a lightly used Kirill Kaprizov get you these days?

      Scott: Better yet, just call it quits on this season and finish last, keep the core around, finally get that franchise center in Macklin Celebrini, and then go back to dominance next season.

      31. Chicago Blackhawks

      Record: 6-13-0, -21
      Last Week: 30th (-1)
      Mike’s Rank: 30th
      Scott’s Rank: 31st

      Mike: What in the world is going on with Corey Perry? The Hawks said his abrupt and otherwise unexplained absence was a team decision; Perry’s agent appeared to indicate the opposite. Perry’s teammates are talking about him in hushed tones and seemingly in past tense, and at this rate, head coach Luke Richardson might not even acknowledge whether he still exists. Whatever is happening with Perry, we just hope everyone is alright. On the ice, the Blackhawks are coming off a week in which they lost to everyone except the Maple Leafs, which is par for the course by now.

      32. San Jose Sharks

      Record: 4-15-2, -55
      Last Week: 32nd (0)
      Mike’s Rank: 32nd
      Scott’s Rank: 32nd

      Scott: Random Calen Addison Fact #2: The Sharks have gone from looking like a historically-bad team at 1-10-1 to a more respectable 3-5-1 record since acquiring Addison and giving him some runway. Admittedly his 5v5 numbers have been some of the worst on the team since they acquired him, but he’s managed to make their power play an NHL-caliber one again. That’s a solid rebuilding move, because it gives the Sharks the ability to put their best trade assets on the unit to boost their numbers and get a better haul for them, while still being bad enough to hover near the bottom of the standings to get a top pick.

      _____

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