NHL Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Through First Month of Season
The 2013 NHL season is only a month old, but already a third of the season is in the books. Thanks to the lockout, teams have just 30 or so games left to make a push for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Four teams have already begun separating themselves from the rest of the pack, though, and look to be legitimate Stanley Cup favorites. Whether they're dominating on the offensive end, shutting down opponents on defense or mixing in a little bit of both, these teams have discovered a championship formula.
But whether they can maintain their current pace remains to be seen.
So, where does your team stand through the first four weeks of the season?
No. 1. Chicago Blackhawks (29 points, 13-0-3)
Chicago is the only team in the NHL to have earned a point in each of its first 16 games this season. The Blackhawks have yet to drop a game in regulation, and have won 13 of their first 16 to lead the league with 29 points.
No. 2. Anaheim Ducks (25 points, 12-2-1)
The Ducks have won five in a row on the strength of their goal scoring prowess. Anaheim ranks third in goals per game this season, averaging more than three per outing.
No. 3. Montreal Canadiens (23 points, 11-4-1)
Tomas Plekanec and the Canadiens are on fire at the moment, having won five in a row to take the lead in the Eastern Conference standings.
No. 4. Pittsburgh Penguins (22 points, 11-5-0)
Only Anaheim and Chicago have been stronger than Pittsburgh over the last 10 games of the season. After a shaky start out of the gate, the Penguins have won eight of their last 10 overall and find themselves only a point out of first place in the East.
Sidney Crosby (24 points) is making a strong case for the Hart Memorial Trophy as well.
No. 5. Boston Bruins (20 points, 9-2-2)
Boston may not be setting the league on fire offensively this season, but the Bruins do rank eighth in goals against and first in penalty kill percentage.
Which 20-point team is the best in your eyes?
No. 6. Vancouver Canucks (20 points, 8-3-4)
The Canucks may have lost three in a row, but they are still one of the top contenders in the Western Conference. Vancouver ranks in the Top 10 in goals against and in power play percentage.
No. 7. Toronto Maple Leafs (20 points, 10-7-0)
Toronto is one of only five NHL teams to have won at least 10 games this season. The other four make up the top four in these power rankings.
No. 8. New Jersey Devils (22 points, 9-3-4)
The Devils have beaten the Penguins twice already this season (twice in one weekend actually). They are also extremely potent on the power play.
No. 9. Tampa Bay Lightning (17 points, 8-6-1)
Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and company are a lethal bunch offensively this season, pouring in nearly four goals per game to lead the NHL. Although the Lightning aren't excelling in terms of points, they do rank fourth in the league with a +12 scoring differential.
Which is the second-best team in the Central division?
No. 10. Nashville Predators (21 points, 8-4-5)
Nashville could be one of the NHL's top teams if it could get more scoring from Colin Wilson and company. The Preds rank third in goals against but just 29th in goals per game.
No. 11. Ottawa Senators (20 points, 9-6-2)
Craig Anderson and the Senators haven't given up an inch this season, ranking first in goals against and second in penalty kill percentage. Anderson ranks first in the NHL in goals against average and save percentage.
Like Nashville, Ottawa just needs the offense to catch up.
No. 12. St. Louis Blues (19 points, 9-6-1)
Although the Blues' five-game losing streak to open February certainly set them back a bit, they still possess the most lethal power play in the NHL, scoring nearly 33 percent of the time.
No. 13. San Jose Sharks (19 points, 8-4-3)
San Jose is doing it on defense this season, ranking fifth in goals against and penalty kill percentage. Patrick Marleau has slowed down after a quick start, but he still ranks fourth in the NHL with 10 goals this season.
No. 14. Phoenix Coyotes (18 points, 8-6-2)
The Coyotes aren't among the NHL's elite just yet, but they are headed there, having won six of their past eight after a 2-4-2 start to the year.
No. 15. Carolina Hurricanes (17 points (8-5-1)
Carolina may be leading the Southeast division this season, but it's hands-down the worst division in the NHL. The Hurricanes are going to have to step up defensively the rest of the way in order to ensure that they earn a top playoff seed in the East.
No. 16. New York Rangers (17 points, 8-6-1)
The Rangers have some work to do if they want to get back to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013. New York ranks dead last in power play percentage, converting on just 11 percent so far this season.
No. 17. Dallas Stars (17 points, 8-7-1)
Things could be much better for the Dallas Stars. After all, the 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr is leading the team with 11 points this season. If there's good news, though, it's that Dallas has played 10 of its first 16 games on the road.
No. 18. Minnesota Wild (16 points, 7-6-2)
Minnesota is one of the worst road teams in the league this season, having won just once away from home all year. But the Wild's biggest concern has to be goal scoring. It ranks dead last in the NHL in goals per game despite acquiring left winger Zach Parise this past offseason.
He has seven goals thus far this season to lead Minnesota.
No. 19. Philadelphia Flyers (15 points, 7-9-1)
Philly is 5-3-1 in its last nine games, but only managed four points on its recent five-game road trip.
No. 20. Detroit Red Wings (17 points, 7-6-3)
The Red Wings have lost four straight games and are falling farther back in the Western Conference. A perennial playoff contender, it's only a matter of time before Detroit turns things around.
Which team has a better shot at getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013?
No. 21. Los Angeles Kings (14 points, 6-6-2)
The defending Stanley Cup champions are off to a sluggish start this season and must find a spark in order to avoid missing the playoffs in 2013. The Kings have been sub-par on both sides of the ice, ranking 26th in goals per game and just 15th in goals against.
No. 22. Edmonton Oilers (15 points, 6-6-3)
Edmonton excels on the power play and killing penalties, but for some reason the Oilers can't score at even strength, ranking just 24th in goals per game this season. Right winger Nail Yakupov has just five goals through the club's first 15 games this year.
No. 23. Colorado Avalanche (13 points, 6-7-1)
Colorado hasn't been strong in any particular regard this season, but the Avalanche are a much better team at home (4-2-1) compared to on the road (2-5-0). Ryan O'Reilly's holdout has certainly dealt a huge blow to this team.
No. 24. Buffalo Sabres (13 points, 6-10-1)
Buffalo continues to struggle this season despite the superb play of Thomas Vanek, who leads the league in points and goals with 25 and 12, respectively.
Head coach Lindy Ruff has been let go after the rough start.
No. 25. Winnipeg Jets (13 points, 6-8-1)
Following an impressive 3-1-1 start to the season, the Jets have gone just 3-7 over their last 10 games, giving up a ton of goals in the process.
No. 26. Washington Capitals (11 points, 5-9-1)
Through 15 games, the Caps sit at dead last in the Eastern Conference. Washington will have its work cut out for it the rest of the way as Adam Oates' squad ranks just 27th in goals against and 25th in penalty kill percentage.
No. 27. Calgary Flames (13 points, 5-6-3)
Only Florida and Columbus boast a worse scoring differential than Calgary this season. The Flames rank 28th in the league in goals against, having surrendered 51 in 14 games.
No. 28. New York Islanders (13 points, 6-10-1)
The Islanders have allowed more goals this season than any other team in the NHL. New York has let in 57 shots this season and is likely headed for another early offseason if it can't figure things out on the defensive end soon.
No. 29. Columbus Blue Jackets (10 points, 4-10-2)
No team in the league has fewer points through the first month of the season than Columbus. The Blue Jackets have just 10 through 16 games, and have dropped their last three overall.
No. 30. Florida Panthers (12 points, 4-7-4)
The Panthers have lost five in a row, the longest active losing streak in the NHL right now.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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