Early season power rankings are always tough to do because it’s a very small sample size of actual games crossing with your expectations of a team for the season. Some in the division have gotten out to good starts, while others are already treading water.
1. Edmonton Oilers (3-0-0, 3-0-0)
Hot: James Neal (6 Goals in 3 Games)
Not: Ryan Nugent-Hopkings (0 Points in 3 Games)
Bleh. I hate saying this but the Oilers look quite good to start the season. They’ve scored 14 goals in three games and were even able to overcome some questionable Mike Smith puck handling to beat Los Angeles last weekend. They also the league’s leading goal scorer (double bleh) in James Neal who had a four goal game against the Islanders.
2. Anaheim Ducks (3-0-0, 3-0-0)
Hot: John Gibson (.970 SV%, 3 Wins in 3 Starts)
Not: Ryan Miller (He might never see the net at this rate)
Similar to last year, the Ducks are hot out of the gate, led once again by elite goaltender John Gibson. Gibson has only allowed three goals over three games, making 98 saves on 101 shots for a ridiculous .970 SV%. This happened with Anaheim last year with Gibson carrying them through the first part of the season, but eventually he fell off and Anaheim regressed significantly. Can they avoid a similar fate this year?
3. Vegas Golden Knights (2-1-0, 2-1-0)
Hot: Mark Stone (2G, 4A, in 3 Games)
Not: Paul Statsny (0 Points in 3 Games)
Vegas got two dominating wins over the hapless Sharks to start the 2019-20 campaign before suffering a 4-3 defeat to Boston last night in a very close game. The Knights look like they’ll be a top team in the division yet again, so long as Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t show any signs of slowing down with age as he turns 35 in November.
4. Los Angeles Kings (1-1-0, 1-1-0)
Hot: Ilya Kovalchuk (4 points in 2 Games)
Not: Jeff Carter (0 Points in 2 Games)
LA gets the edge over Calgary for simply being the better team last night and grabbing the overtime victory despite blowing a 3-0 lead. The Kings dominated the Flames in the first period and part of the second in probably one of the worst 30 minutes of the Bill Peters era. The Kings are showing that they might not be the pushover they were last year.
5. Calgary Flames (1-1-1, 1-1-1)
Hot: The Big 5 Scorers have 8 of Calgary’s goals this year
Not: The rest of the team combined has 1 goal
A spirited game against Colorado, a strong victory over Vancouver, a good comeback after a poor start against LA. It’s tough to get an early grasp on the Flames this year that have been mostly led by their big five players again (Gaudreau, Monahan, Lindholm, Giordano, Tkachuk). David Rittich has also been pretty strong in the three games he’s played. Calgary will need more depth scoring to start putting together some wins.
6. Vancouver Canucks (0-2-0, 0-2-0)
Hot: Tanner Pearson (I guess? 1G in 2 Games and 13 Shots)
Not: Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat (No Points)
Only two goals total in a pair of losses in Alberta leaves the Canucks in a hole to start the season. Sure two losses isn’t the end of the world, but for a young team trying to push back towards the playoffs this year, they can’t afford to leave too many points on the table early. Vancouver will need more out of Elias Pettersson who only has 3 shots in over 41 minutes of ice time in the first two games.
7. Arizona Coyotes (0-2-0, 0-2-0)
Hot: Darcy Kuemper (52 saves on 55 shots, .945 SV% in two losses)
Not: The Arizona Coyote Skaters
For a team that struggled to score last year, there was hope that the major addition of Phil Kessel would help get this team on the board more often. Through two games, they’ve scored one goal in 2-1 and 1-0 losses to Anaheim and Boston. If the Coyotes could just put the puck in that, they have a good enough defensive system and strong goaltending to do some damage.
8. San Jose Sharks (0-4-0, 0-4-0)
Hot: The San Jose weather
Not: The San Jose Sharks
I’m not totally surprised by San Jose’s poor start to the season, They’ve been getting the same subpar goaltending they had last year, and have struggled to score with only four goals in four games. A lot of people seemed to sweep them losing their captain and top goal scorer under the rug, but early on San Jose’s struggles are huge. Maybe another ancient player will turn them around.
What is team is the biggest surprise early in 2019-20?
This poll is closed
Edmonton is 3-0
Anaheim is 3-0
San Jose is 0-4