NHL Power Rankings: Highlights and Lowlights of Week 9

In this week’s NHL Power Rankings, more coaches get fired, Jaccob Slavin breaks a net, and Mark Borowiecki thwarts a robbery.

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Welcome back to the NHL Power Rankings, along with highlights and lowlights from each team from this past week. Coaching changes are a running theme the last couple of weeks, with now a couple more hitting the streets for totally different reasons, which we’ll get into.

Also, quite a few teams are hitting hot streaks, so there are a few big jumps in the rankings this week. We’ll start at the top with a bunch of hot teams.

NHL Power Rankings

1. Boston Bruins (4-0-0, +6 Goal Differential)
Last Week: 1

Lowlight: Filip Chytil’s goal for the Rangers gave them a 2-0 lead midway through the game.

Highlight: Turning it around and scoring the next three to win in OT, with a winner by David Krejci.

2. Washington Capitals (4-0-0, +8 GD)
Last Week: 2

Highlight: The Great Eight starts the scoring against the Panthers in the only way he knows how, bombastically. Ovechkin deked straight through the Florida D and put it five hole on poor Sergei Bobrovsky.

Lowlight: Mikhail Sergachev following up his give-and-go shot that trickled through the five-hole of Braden Holtby and just tapping the puck over the line to give Tampa a 2-0 lead.

3. St. Louis Blues (4-0-0, +10 GD)
Last Week: 8

Lowlight: Sam Lafferty breaking the ankles of a Blues defender and scoring the tying goal in the second period for the Penguins.

Highlight: Nathan Walker scoring a baseball goal from between the circles later in that game for a lead they would run away with. Or cricket…or whatever bat and ball sport they play in Australia, Walker’s home country.

4. Philadelphia Flyers (4-0-0, +12 GD)
Last Week: 9

Lowlight: Carter Hart saving a shot from Leafs’ d-man Travis Dermott with the blocker, only to find the rebound hit him in the back and roll in for a third-period equalizer.

Highlight: Philadelphia would then get mad and pot five in the final 10 minutes to beat Toronto 6-1.

5. Colorado Avalanche (3-0-0, +10 GD)
Last Week: 10

Highlight: Mikko Rantanen is back and angry, scoring four points in his return game against the Blackhawks.

Lowlight: Gabe Landeskog is still making his way back. Be afraid of Colorado. Very afraid.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (1-2-0, -4 GD)
Last Week: 3

Highlight: The offense putting up a snowman against the Canucks, scoring eight to Vancouver’s six. This included five in the third period.

Lowlight: Nick Foligno picking off a drop pass by Evgeni Malkin, then charging in to score the go-ahead goal that opened the floodgates for the Jackets, the first of three in the second.

7. Carolina Hurricanes (1-3-0, -5 GD)
Last Week: 4

Highlight: Scoring three goals in the first period against the Lightning, then holding on for dear life the rest of the way to win in regulation.

Lowlight: Jaccob Slavin shooting a puck through the side of the net for what would’ve been the ice-breaker goal late in the second in Boston, before a further review took it off the board, correctly so. Carolina would lose 2-0.

8. New York Islanders (2-2-0, Even GD)
Last Week: 5

Highlight: Goaltending duo of Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov combining for a 39 save shutout of the Blue Jackets.

Lowlight: After Greiss got most of a Shea Weber bomb, the puck sat in the crease for an unguarded Brendan Gallagher to slide the puck into an unguarded net for a 2-0 Montreal lead.

9. Arizona Coyotes (2-1-1, Even GD)
Last Week: 12

Highlight: Christian Fischer’s bar-down snipe served as the go-ahead goal for the Coyotes in their 4-2 win at Columbus.

Lowlight: Brendan Guhle’s point shot hitting Ilya Lyubushkin in a possibly sensitive area and into the net for a tying goal for the Ducks.

10. Vegas Golden Knights (4-0-0, +5 GD)
Last Week: 17

Highlight: Jonathan Marchessault scoring a natural hat trick in New Jersey, taking the Knights from down 2-1 to up 4-2 in the first half of the third period. Vegas would hold on for a 4-3 win.

Lowlight: Matt Duchene scoring on a one-timer that came directly as a result from a failed clear to give Nashville a third period lead.

11. Nashville Predators (1-1-2, -2 GD)
Last Week: 11

Lowlight: That third period lead in Vegas’ lowlight? Erased by a buzzer beater by Max Pacioretty, who scored with 0.1 seconds left in the third to send the game to OT.

Highlight: Rocco Grimaldi chasing down a floating puck, and scoring on the ensuing breakaway for the GWG against Carolina, while Pekka Rinne held down the fort for a shutout win.

12. Edmonton Oilers (1-2-0, -5 GD)
Last Week: 6

Highlight: If it’s not a Connor McDavid highlight, it’s probably a Leon Draisaitl highlight, who scored two power-play goals to tie it then take the lead in the Oilers’ 3-2 win at Vancouver.

Lowlight: Nathan Mackinnon following the bouncing puck off of goalie Mikko Koskinen to score the dagger against the Oilers in the third.

13. Florida Panthers (1-2-0, Even GD)
Last Week: 13

Highlight: Chris Driedger shutting out the Nashville Predators in his NHL debut. No, I’ve never heard of him before, either.

Lowlight: After taking a 2-0 lead and vastly outshooting Minnesota, the Panthers would cave in and give up the next four to the Wild for a big fat L.

14. Vancouver Canucks (2-2-0, +3 GD)
Last Week: 14

Highlight: Loui Eriksson finally scoring his first of the year, putting home a one timer to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead in Edmonton.

Lowlight: They had a 6-3 lead in Pittsburgh partway through the third period, and then allowed the next five for an 8-6 loss. Which is bad.

15. Winnipeg Jets (3-1-0, +10 GD)
Last Week: 18

Highlight: Nikolaj Ehlers finishing off a hot-potato passing play for the Jets’ second of three goals in a shutout win in Anaheim.

Lowlight: Still not entirely sure how this puck ended up in front of the net with Nikolai Prokhorkin ready to slam home the rebound, but it did, and the Kings had all they needed to beat the Jets.

16. Dallas Stars (0-2-1, -6 GD)
Last Week: 7

Highlight: Roope Hintz jumped out of the penalty box and onto a 2-on-1 rush, got the puck, and snapped home a game-tying goal in the dying minutes of the game against the Blues.

Lowlight: 18 seconds later, while the PA guy was announcing the Hintz goal, Ryan O’Reilly put the Blues back on top finishing a rush play. St. Louis would win 3-1.

17. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-2-1, -2 GD)
Last Week: 15

Highlight: Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov combining for an OT winner in Nashville to get them back on the right track, after losing the first three games of the week.

Lowlight: The score was 3-2 Lightning in the third, Capitals were on a power play, and the puck got fed to the left point, manned by Alexander Ovechkin. You know what happens next here.

18. Montreal Canadiens (1-2-1, -3 GD)
Last Week: 16

Lowlight: Up 1-0 in the third, Montreal surrendered three goals in seven minutes, falling to the Bruins 3-1, and extending the winless streak to eight.

Highlight: Jeff Petry scoring on a wrist shot Thomas Greiss never saw to mercifully snap that losing streak for the Canadiens, despite the Islanders cutting it to a one goal lead later on.

19. Buffalo Sabres (2-0-2, +6 GD)
Last Week: 21

Highlight: Scoring four times in the second period against the Maple Leafs to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead, leading to a 6-4 win.

Lowlight: Falling in OT the next night in Toronto on John Tavares’ game winner.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs (2-2-0, Even GD)
Last Week: 19

Highlight: The entire 6-0 laugher at Detroit.

Lowlight: Jimmy Vesey intercepting a weak clear through the middle and slipping it five hole on Frederik Andersen for the Sabres’ eventual game winner.

21. Minnesota Wild (3-0-0, +7 GD)
Last Week: 29

Lowlight: Blake Comeau stealing the puck behind the net, then whipping in a wrist shot to give the Stars a late lead in the third.

Highlight: Zach Parise batting in a mid-air rebound to tie the game late against Dallas and keep the still going point streak alive.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets (1-3-0, -2 GD)
Last Week: 20

Highlight: Gustav Nyquist scoring a hat trick against the Penguins in the Jackets’ 5-2 win.

Lowlight: After finding a rebound between a slew of Columbus defenders, Tyler Pitlick found some room and slid the puck into the net to tie the game for the Flyers.

23. Los Angeles Kings (2-2-0, -1 GD)
Last Week: 24

Highlight: Matt Roy’s bomb from the point on a 4-on-4 put the Kings up 3-1 in the third against the Islanders, sealing the win.

Lowlight: After Drew Doughty took an obvious penalty, the Sharks set up, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic buried a slapper from the point for a 2-0 Sharks lead.

24. San Jose Sharks (2-2-0, -2 GD)
Last Week: 23

Highlight: Dylan Gambrell finding just enough room on Antti Raanta to score the tying goal in Arizona, helping fuel a 4-2 win for the Sharks.

Lowlight: Jakub Vrana following his own rebound to score the second Caps goal in just under a minute to give Washington the lead for good.

25. New York Rangers (2-1-1, +1 GD)
Last Week: 26

Highlight: Mika Zibanejad returned to the lineup against the Hurricanes, and immediately scored in his first period of play, helping the Rangers to a 3-2 win.

Lowlight: Alex Tuch’s wrist shot was mostly stopped by Henrik Lundqvist, and as it sat in the crease, Lundqvist turned around to cover it, and inadvertently nudged it over the line for the first of two goals for Tuch.

26. Calgary Flames (2-0-0, +3 GD)
Last Week: 28

Highlight: Firing Bill Peters.

Lowlight: The entire saga leading up to the firing.

27. Anaheim Ducks (1-1-1, -1 GD)
Last Week: 25

Highlight: Carter Rowney tapping home a pass with eyes from Hampus Lindholm to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead against the Kings.

Lowlight: An Alex Goligoski point shot nailing Hampus Lindholm in the back, then over the shoulder of Ryan Miller and in for the tying goal for Arizona.

28. Chicago Blackhawks (0-3-0, -11 GD)
Last Week: 22

Lowlight: Goaltending against Colorado. Pick either game, it was bad.

Highlight: Through all that, Patrick Kane managed to keep his point streak alive…until the Hawks got shutout by the Blues.

29. Ottawa Senators (0-4-0, -11 GD)
Last Week: 27

Lowlight: The second half of the game against Minnesota, giving up seven goals after the 10 minute mark in the second period for a 7-2 loss.

Highlight: Mark Borowiecki becoming a model citizen by thwarting a robbery attempt in downtown Vancouver. Hooray for vigilante justice!

30. New Jersey Devils (1-3-0, -9 GD)
Last Week: 30

Highlight: Nikita Gusev notching three primary assists in the Devils 6-4 Thanksgiving goal feast in Montreal.

Lowlight: Could be one of two things: The 0 for 8 power play against the Rangers, or the five goal first for the Sabres. Both catalysts for the timing of John Hynes’ dismissal as coach of the Devils.

31. Detroit Red Wings (0-4-0, -17 GD)
Last Week: 31

Highlight: Nothing.

Lowlight: Everything.

Team of the Week

There are many candidates for this week’s team of the week. The Wild and Avalanche each won all three of their games this week. The Bruins, Capitals, Blues, and Golden Knights each won four. This week’s team of the week is the Flyers, who just find ways to keep scoring points and finding wins.

No one thought they’d be this good at getting the extra point. No one thought they’d have just two regulation losses in November. Yet, here we are, and they’re white hot. They came back against Columbus, blew out the Red Wings (who doesn’t these days?), kept the Habs down with another extra time game, then blew the doors off the Maple Leafs in the third period last night.

Maybe, just maybe, this team is for real. Maybe, just maybe, we have our dark horse candidate from the East. They have goaltending now, and the offense is percolating quickly. Watch out. We may see Gritty in the playoffs.

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Team in the Box

It’s the Red Wings again. No one comes close. End of story.