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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NHL North Division Power Rankings 1/28/21

NHL North Division Power Rankings 1/28/21

North Divison Power Rankings!
Publish Date: 01/28/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Another week and another edition of my North Division Power Rankings. There were
some highly charged battles in week two of the NHL season, let’s get right into it.

7. Ottawa Senators: 1-4-1 Overall (0-3-0 In the Last Week) (-2)

The Senators have lost five straight since their season-opening win against the Leafs
and haven’t looked great doing it. Matt Murray hasn’t been great and ultimately they just
haven’t been able to keep the puck out of their own net. I thought they would be last in
the division but I was hoping for a little more fight from the team I saw promise from in
game one. These reasons are why they fall two spots from last week.

6. Vancouver Canucks: 3-5-0 Overall (2-2-0 In the Last Week) (-)

The Canucks had one shootout win against the Habs on one side of the week and a
blowout victory over the Senators on the other. But in between, there was some ugly
hockey. Montreal dismantled the Canucks twice in the past week. The Canucks stars
simply aren’t playing well. Elias Pettersson has two points in eight games this year and
didn’t register a point against Ottawa despite a 7-1 win. They haven’t been great
defensively either. Quinn Hughes looks like a shell of himself from last year so far and
their win against Ottawa may have saved GM Jim Benning’s job…For now. Haven’t seen
much from the Canucks and they stand pat at 6th on my rankings this week.

5. Edmonton Oilers: 3-5-0 Overall (2-2-0 In The Last Week) (+2)

The Oilers move up two spots in my rankings this week but it’s not so much what they
did as opposed to what the Sens and Canucks didn’t. The Oilers still have bad
goaltending and their defense isn’t great oh and they still only have two players who can
consistently put up points (Nuge has looked pretty good too). But, because of those two
players, they managed to split two-game series’ with the Leafs and the Jets in the past
week. Their big power-play addition Tyson Barrie has one power-play point and is on the
ice for over 20 mins per game. Not great for the backend if he is eating those kinds of
minutes.

4. Calgary Flames: 2-2-1 Overall (0-2-0 In the Last Week) (-1)

The Flames only had two games in the last week and dropped both of them by one goal
to the Leafs. I thought they were the better team in the first meeting but couldn’t pull it
out. In the second meeting, they were just awful in the 1st period and were lucky the score was only 2-0 after one. They played much better the rest of the way but Matthews and the gang was able to sweep the two-game series. I don’t think there is much to panic about with this Flames squad but they have a tough couple of games this week against
Montreal and Winnipeg. We will see what this team is made of. The Flames drop one
spot in my rankings, as they are only one point behind Edmonton and Vancouver with
three games in hand.

3. Winnipeg Jets: 5-2-0 Overall (3-1-0 In the Last Week) (+1)

The Jets have surprised me a little bit to start the season. I knew their top six and goalie
were good but the defence hasn’t been bad and their bottom six is chipping in as well
(Adam Lowry four goals already, what a beauty). They made a huge trade bringing in
Pierre-Luc Dubois and they are now absolutely stacked down the middle (when he is
allowed to play). This Jets team is better than I gave them credit for and I think the
battle for four through six in the North Division standings might be easier for the Jets
than I thought it was going to be. The Jets jump the Flames into 3rd in my rankings this
week.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs: 6-2-0 Overall (3-1-0 In The Last Week) (-1)

The Leafs have played great to start the season and there could be an argument for
maintaining first in my rankings (more to come as to why they aren’t). Mitch Marner has
been a stud so far as have most of the usual Leafs suspects. It seems like the defence
has also been solidified for the most part. The one flaw I guess is that Freddie Andersen
could have better numbers but he has only played six games, plenty of time to improve
on those. The Leafs have done nothing wrong to make them drop one spot in my
rankings, it’s just what the next team has done so right.

1. Montreal Canadiens: 4-0-2 Overall: (2-0-1 In The Last Week)
(+1)

The Habs are the real deal it appears and that is why they have jumped the Leafs. They
have yet to lose in regulation through their first six games and lead the league in goal
differential and goals despite not playing the most amount of games. Montreal is on
just under a five-goal per game pace to start the season and the new additions have
been a big part of that. Tyler Toffoli scored five goals in three games against his former
team and was named the first star of the week in the NHL. Every single skater on the roster that has played more than one game has at least two points for this apparent offensive juggernaut. The Habs are in the middle of a five-day break so we will see if they can continue their offensive ways against the Flames on Thursday. Some minor movement in my rankings this week as we see more of what each team really has. I have really liked the Jets, Leafs, and Habs so far to start the season and just need to see a little more from the Flames to make a real judgment. As for the bottom three, they are going to have to figure it out fast because I see many holes in all three of their games. As always, thanks for reading!

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