NHL Power Rankings: Top Ten Teams through October

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Taking into account what the Lightning have done through the month of October it is quite obvious why I have put them on the top of the leaderboards. If you take a look at the Lightning’s month of October and their schedule they did not play any easy teams and production has been phenomenal up and down the lineup. Take into consideration this is a given and there is no way anyone else could possibly be in consideration for number one, the rest of the list won’t be so easy.
  2. St. Louis Blues: I’m not sure many people had this team here during the offseason(guilty as can be) but the Blues have stomped out of the gates and with the addition of Brayden Schenn this top six looks to be deadly. Jaden Schwartz’s hot start is also a major reason this team ranks so high. Not to mention the other two MVP’s they have Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko. It seems like the Central and Western Conference will be the same as always but a few teams up and down in the standings and as of now St. Louis is comfortably in first with 21 points. This trend only seems likely to continue, with Jake Allen healthy and playing like he has plus this offense, the Blues are here to stay and easy early write off for the playoffs.
  3. Los Angeles Kings: Again, yet another team that if you came to me in June and said “Kings will lead the Pacific conference after October I would have laughed and shrugged it off. The Kings have the Vezina goalie back and are seeing production from two payers that were half asleep last season. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have stormed out the gates with a chip on their shoulder ready to silence the doubters. The Kings are seeing production from some unlikely players that have helped surge their early success. I cannot imagine this team to stay atop the Pacific division all year but with San Jose, Calgary and Edmonton the Kings chances of postseason play is more than likely an option right now.
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus has not been spectacular but this team has found ways to score goals and have such a deep team all around. On any given night it is a different player producing. Also with Sergei Bobrovsky in net, it helps alleviate some defensive issues they may have. But with a blueline lead by Zach Werenski and Seth Jones, the Blue Jackets are a young, explosive team that is slowly gaining more respect around the league. Postseason play is almost a guarantee for this team especially with how some of those Metropolitan teams are panning out.
  5. Ottawa Senators: Ignore the fact they lost 8-3 to Montreal. other than that this team has been firing on the front end starting with Mark Stone to Kyle Turris. Now with Erik Karlsson back and healthy, this team will be carried well into the playoffs again. The only problem this team faces year in and year out is staying consistent all year round. But I believe they are built for more and have a lot of depth on the front end. Another concern is the Senators defensive depth. Hoping Chris Weidman and Cody Ceci stand ground and actually can be a solid number four, five option this team is fine. I like the Senators early on but they won’t be in that two spot in the Atlantic much longer, imagining this team to be a number three or wild card team right now.
  6. Toronto Maple Leafs: Not the start we expected to see from the Maple Leafs they are only two games above .500 and have not been the team we expected. But with that said, they are still a young team going through some growing issues especially on the back end. But with the talent and youth, this team has it is almost impossible not see them in the top ten and or around here month after month. The Leafs are not a team that worries me in terms of production, they have the tools and goaltending to get the job done. Just a matter of time until this team goes on a win streak and with their upcoming month, they have a chance to do a lot better than October. Come postseason time we will see this team there again, but only time will tell.
  7. Pittsburgh Penguins: I think it is fair to say that Pittsburgh could easily be off this list for October but with who they are and the chances of them coming back even better this month has made me second guess myself to throw them on the list. The Penguins are simply just surrounded by talent and when “unknown” players come here they seem to perform quite well for them. The only downside has been Matt Murray’s performance as of late the fact that they dropped three games by a wide margin of goals. For a team that has an unsure defense and a key player hurt on the backend, those games will come. Like I said before though Pittsburgh is a team where you know what to expect from them and are bound to drop a few throughout the year. A sure playoff team but repeating the Stanley Cup champs for three years in a row, a long shot.
  8. New York Islanders: The Islanders have definitely surprised me to a degree I should say. I figured they would be a competitive team and be in the mix of things but being in the top ten for the first month of play is surprising to me. Some minor changes being made to the line up with Josh Ho-Sang to the AHL and Ryan Pulock in and out of the line up have left some Islander fans uneasy. Luckily John Tavares has been their go-to guy so far this season and has cashed in on many opportunities for this team already. The concern with New York is their power play, they have let up the most power play goals and have one of the worst power play percentages(16.3) in the league. The big draw from this team though has been Jaroslav Halak who seems to be getting the starting job back, after being sent down to the AHL at the end of last year, Halak has stepped up his game a bit and has not made it easy for Tomas Greiss to secure that number spot. The Islanders are a borderline playoff team it is still too early to judge but at the looks of it right now, take what comes with the Islanders on a monthly basis. We will re-address this conversation next month around this time.
  9. New Jersey Devils: The Devils are probably the biggest surprise of the 2017-18 season so far, no one expected them to be this good. They have shocked many good teams as well and have seen production from the most unlikely candidates. Rookies like Jesper Bratt, Will Butcher have been off to quite the start and players such as Brian Gibbons and Blake Coleman have been chipping for the Devils as well. Overall the Devils seem to riding high and on a wave of confidence to think this team can keep this up all year is absurd, they have a weak defense and players that are not capable of producing like this consistently all year. The only way I see this team making the playoffs is if the Flyers, Islanders or Capitals don’t make it. But right now enjoy it as it is, all credit to the Devils for landing in the top ten.
  10. Dallas Stars: For what was supposed to be of the Stars has yet to come, the Stars have still shown signs of being a top team in that Western Conference. Ben Bishop still has yet to play at his full capability as well as the Stars top six, give this team some time to jell together and get their power play going and this team will be in full form. It is still early, but the Stars deserve the recognition for what they have done as well they are going to be a team around the top ten/fifteen all season. Postseason play is in the works for the Stars, if the West continues to stay how it is right now the Stars are a shoe-in.
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