What have I learned so far from three weeks of NHL North Division play? That there is two really good teams, one really bad team and four teams that might be battling until the last day of the regular season for a playoff spot. Let’s see where I put the seven Canadian teams this week.
- Ottawa Senators: 1-8-1 Overall (0-4-0 In the Last Week) (–)
The Senators are bad. They got outscored 21-9 in the last week and haven’t won since their season opener against the Leafs. They can’t get a save from whichever goalie is in net and it’s leading to blowouts. They need a goalie to step up if they want any shot at winning some games this year and it certainly hasn’t happened yet. That Matt Murray contract is not looking so great right now. The Senators stay in my power rankings basement this week.
- Vancouver Canucks: 6-7-0 Overall (3-2-0 In The Last Week) (–)
The Canucks had a great start to the week beating up on the Sen’s twice before taking out the Jets. However, the Habs once again dominated them in back to back games to end the week. Vancouver looks a lot better than they did a week ago with their stars starting to shine, but I’m still not so sure about them defensively or in net. My reason for keeping them in the six spot this week is that they have the most games played in the division but still aren’t in a playoff spot based on win percentage. I’m going to need to see a little more from them this week if they want to move up my rankings.
- Calgary Flames: 4-4-1 Overall (2-2-0 In The Last Week (-1)
The Flames fall in my rankings by one for the second straight week. They had a big win against Montreal this week and a pretty good showing against Winnipeg in their first matchup but in their losses to both teams, I didn’t think they were great. Once again with the Flames this year you just never know which team you are going to get and they can’t seem to put a full 60 minutes in. Markstrom has been great, Tanev and Hanifin have been great and Gaudreau is way better than he was last year already. I have liked Calgary defensively but their bottom-six has done almost nothing 5 on 5. The stars need some scoring help and this team needs to learn how to be more consistent.
- Edmonton Oilers: 6-6-0 Overall (3-1-0 In the Last Week) (+1)
The Oilers stars carried them to positive results in the past week. McDavid and Draisaitl are on pace for 100+ points despite the shortened season and are at the top in NHL scoring by quite a margin already. Some of their depth players stepped up in the last week and Evan Bouchard joining the lineup is a boost to the defence, he might already be top four on the team. The rest of the defence and goaltending still have to improve if they want to be a competitive team but this week was a step in the right direction for the Oilers. That is why they jumped the Flames. The two teams square off in their first battle of Alberta on Saturday. It should be interesting!
- Winnipeg Jets: 6-3-1 Overall (1-1-1 In The Last Week) (–)
It wasn’t a heavy schedule for Winnipeg since my last rankings and despite losing two of three I didn’t think they deserved to drop. They did have some trouble with Vancouver but were able to pull three of four points against the Flames. Im excited to see what this team looks like once Pierre-Luc Dubois joins the lineup. Their next two games are against the same Flames, Thursday and then a five day break before playing them again on Tuesday. A Couple wins against Calgary and they would be sitting pretty in the North. I’m Still questioning them defensively a little bit but their offence and goaltending cover up for it.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 7-2-1 Overall (1-0-1 In The Last Week) (–)
The Leafs are in the tail-end of a five day break and only played two games in the last week taking three of four points against the Oilers. Not a whole lot to take from them considering they haven’t played since Saturday but it was a very successful Alberta road trip taking seven of eight possible points. The Leafs are back in action Thursday against Vancouver for three straight. Let’s see if they can dominate them the same way the Canadiens have.
- Montreal Canadiens 7-1-2 Overall (3-1-0 In The Last Week) (–)
The Habs continue to roll. They probably wish they could play Vancouver all season as they seem to have their number. Tyler Toffoli has eight goals in five games against his former team so far and leads the NHL with nine goals this season. It has been a storybook start to the Canadiens seasons with no noticeable faults. Their D is solid, their goaltending tandem probably one of the best in the NHL and everyone is scoring so far. The Canadiens have just two games against Ottawa in the next week and can’t afford any letdown games with Toronto still breathing down their neck.
Not a whole lot of movement in my rankings this week but I could see that changing big time by next Wednesday. As always, thanks for reading!