NHL Power Rankings: October 18th

1 If Jason Chimera keeps playing like he has, he might soon enough get Ovechkin money (kidding). However, injury to Neuvirth is cause for concern.
2   Wings have had no faults so far, going a perfect 4-0-0 and allowing only 5 goals.
3   The Varly trade now looks to be trending in favor of the Avs—who woulda thunk it? He’s been great and they are 4-1-0—far from the sure lottery position many thought they’d be in.
4   Bryzgalov has been all Philly fans hoped he’d be, going 3-0-1. A loss to former captain Mike Richards hurts, however.
5   Phil Kessel has wowed with 5 goals. But even moreso, he has shown improved hustle and commitment. He even asked to be on the PK. He has the Leafs trending upward (at least until their usual collapse).
6   John Tavares has been outstanding,  recording a hat trick the other night against their NY rivals, the Rangers. Plus solid goaltending from Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov—quite an eccentric duo.
7   The big spending has worked so far, but the best play has come from a young gun, Luke Adam, who looks to contend for the Calder with 3 G so far.
8   Ducks have won 4 straight and look poised to continue their impressive form from last season.
9   I thought they’d be a bland team. But Kari Lehtonen has supplied outstanding goaltending (.955 SV%) and the D is scoring to make up for the forwards’ lack of offense.
10   Losing Evgeni Malkin again, not having Sid Crosby back, and now having Kris Letang suspended for 2 games has the Pens trending downward.
11   Geezer Johan Hedberg has filled in nicely while Brodeur is injured. Prized rookie Adam Larsson has 0 pts and is a -1.
12   Although they’ve only played 3 games, Florida’s looked good, however real test comes this week with games vs. Washington and Buffalo. New D-man Brian Campbell has 7 helpers (!)
13   Will this be the year the Preds have some offense? David Legwand leads the league with 8 points.
14   They beat Philly, but losing Drew Doughty really hurts, no matter how long he is out for (right now, it looks to be short).
15   The ‘Yotes have won 2 in a row after losing 6-3 to San Jose to start the season.  Probable trade deadline bait Shane Doan has 7 points. Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera both (surprisingly) have .920 SV%.
16   Defense has been the story, and not for a good reason: they’ve allowed 16 goals in 5 games. However, they’re getting Ryan Kesler back for their next game, so that will definitely help.
17   It’s been up-and-down so far for Minny. However, they have 6 points—not bad. Koivu, Heatley and Setoguchi have only 7 pts combined—that will have to improve.
18   The offense has been lacking for Carolina after the departure of Erik Cole as they have only 13 goals in 5 games. They’ve also surrendered 32 shots a game on Cam Ward, which doesn’t help.
19   They split 2 games with Dallas, beat the atrocious Jets, and lost to Boston. Not very impressive. However, Crawford has less than 2 GAA, .930 SV%.
20   They’ve had to play without Martin Havlat and Antti Niemi to start the year. Team leaders of points have 3.
21   Good win vs. San Jose, but goaltending’s been awful, especially Halak, who has .857 SV%.
22   No. 1 overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has wowed so far, including a hat trick the other night against Vancouver. The future is bright—just not yet.
23   TBL are suffering from East Finals hangover, most recently losing 7-4 to the Panthers to add to their 1-3-2 record. One bright spot is Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has 2G and 6A, but who is well-known to be a defensive liability.
24   Habs have been bit by the injury bug yet again, as 3 of their top 6 defensemen are now injured. Erik Cole started they year on the third line and was terrible, but he’s been bumped up to the top 6 and played a good game against the Avs. Price has not been great, either. Mike Cammalleri is injured as well. OY!
25   Bruins look to be suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover.  They are 2-3-0.  PP is once again garbage, going 1-for-20.
26   Rangers have yet to win a game, as they sit at 0-1-2. Richards and Gaborik have 5 pts combined (not good by any means), but the rest of the roster has only 7 combined. Their offense needs to get going to support Henrik Lundqvist.
27   James Wisniewski was suspended for the first 8 games. Now Jeff Carter is injured and has been put on IR. The Jackets are 0-4-1 and are on the verge of complete disaster.
28   It’s another below-average year for the Flames, complete with anemic offense. They’ve only scored 11 goals. And Jay Feaster says he wants to get rid of some of the better players. Can you say lottery?
29   The Jets only now picked up their first win after losing their first 3 games. It will be a long season. But no one in the ‘Peg really cares.
30   The Senators are 1-4-0 and with mostly not-quite-there-yet young players (and Daniel Alfredsson), and absolutely horrible goaltending from Craig Anderson. They are the worst team in the League right now.

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