The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost two games in a row for the first time this season, but they have not lost the top spot in the USA TODAY NHL Power Rankings.
The Lightning are still the NHL’s most dangerous team when you consider all areas, although their hold on the top spot seems less secure than it was two weeks ago.
Here is our ranking:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning have a premium offense, led by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, a premium defensive group led by Victor Hedman and an elite goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bullish on coach Jon Cooper as well.
2. St. Louis Blues
They're almost at a dead heat with the Lightning. Even their goal differential is close. The Blues have one more regulation loss. Coach Mike Yeo is pulling the right levers.
3. Vegas Golden Knights
With almost 30% of the regular season in the books, isn’t it time to accept that coach Gerard Gallant’s Golden Knights are a quality team? They are 9-1 at home.
4. Nashville Predators
With all of the moves general manager David Poile has made, the Predators are much stronger offensively than they were when they reached the Stanley Cup Final last season.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has given up two or fewer goals in each of his past seven starts and in 13 of 19 appearances overall.
6. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets’ strength is their offense, but they rank fifth with 363 blocked shots.
7. New Jersey Devils
Rookies Will Butcher (2-16—18), Nico Hischier (4-13—17) and Jesper Bratt (6-8—14) hold down three of the top five positions in the Devils scoring statistics.
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8. New York Islanders
Could the Islanders trade potential free agents John Tavares or Josh Bailey with the team playing this well? Don’t see it happening.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs were good, then bad, then sharp and now sloppy. Consistency is always the last piece to the puzzle.
10. Los Angeles Kings
Anze Kopitar remains on an 85-point pace. He has reached 80 points once, and that was in 2009-10.
11. New York Rangers
With Kevin Shattenkirk sitting at 18 points in 24 games, the Rangers are getting exactly what they needed to get from their primary offseason acquisition.
12. Washington Capitals
The Caps rank 20th in team goals-against average (3.00) and that isn’t what you expect from a Barry Trotz-coached team.
13. Calgary Flames
Sean Monahan (6-4—10) and Johnny Gaudreau (3-5—8) have combined for 18 points in their past five games. And we didn't think anyone could look as dangerous as Stamkos and Kucherov did early in the season.
14. Chicago Blackhawks
You are lying if you say you expected that Artem Anisimov would be leading the Blackhawks in goals (10) at this point in the season.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins
Big win against Tampa Bay. Sidney Crosby has seven points in past five games. Signs that the Penguins are finding their game.
16. San Jose Sharks
With a 5-2-1 record, the Sharks have been the best road team in the Pacific Division
17. Minnesota Wild
Even losing Zach Parise to injury, the Wild are averaging three goals per game, ranking them 13th. The issue has been a 2.87 goals-against-per-game average.
18. Dallas Stars
Jason Spezza’s three goals in 23 game ranks among the biggest disappointments at quarter pole of this NHL season. He’s only receiving an average of 13 minutes, 18 seconds of playing time from coach Ken Hitchcock now.
19. Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser has 11 goals, tying him with Clayton Keller for the NHL rookie goal-scoring lead.
20. Colorado Avalanche
After finishing as the NHL’s worst team last season, the Avalanche rank sixth in scoring this season (3.27 per game) and 24th in goals-against average (3.18). They'll be without captain Gabriel Landeskog (suspension) for four games.
21. Carolina Hurricanes
Defenseman Justin Faulk has scored 15 or more goals in each of the past three seasons and this season has one goal in 22 games.
22. Boston Bruins
No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask is having a miserable season (3-8-2 with 2.91 goals-against average and .899 save percentage) while backup Anton Khudobin has been sharp (9-7-2, 2.22, .932).
23. Detroit Red Wings
With 11 goals, Anthony Mantha has one fewer goal than Auston Matthews, Tyler Seguin and Vladimir Tarasenko and the same number of goals as Patrik Laine, Phil Kessel and Gaudreau.
24. Anaheim Ducks
With six goals, 13 points and a +6 rating, defenseman Brandon Mantour deserves a place on the NHL’s most underrated list.
25. Ottawa Senators
Since the Senators acquired Matt Duchene, he has one goal in eight games. He’s also minus 10. They desperately need Duchene to find his way.
26. Edmonton Oilers
As disastrously as the Oilers have performed, they are six points out of a playoff position.
27. Montreal Canadiens
Can a healthy Carey Price be the spark the Canadiens need to turn around their season?
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28. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have won twice in regulation over the past 10 games, but they have earned nine points.
29. Florida Panthers
The Panthers’ situation would be far worse without goalie Roberto Luongo’s .928 save percentage.
30. Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres rank last in goals per game (2.29) and 29th in goals-against average (3.42). That explains everything.
31. Arizona Coyotes
We’ve seen an indication that the Coyotes can be competitive if Antti Raanta can stay healthy. He's out again.