NHL Top 10 Power Rankings Week 7
10. Montreal Canadiens
After fighting back from two goals down, the Habs could not secure two points in the City of Brotherly Love last week. They did find solace by coming home and holding off the Los Angeles Kings. Former Nashville Predator Shea Weber struck twice in the first period. In between his tallies, Nate Thompson found the net for the first time in the 2019-20 NHL season. Carey Price was just a bit better than his counterpart Jonathan Quick in net and Montreal won 3-2. Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar each responded in the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets and regulation was not enough to separate the two sides. Jonathan Drouin came up with the goods in the shootout on Tuesday evening in Quebec. Their next test is against the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup winning Capitals before hosting New Jersey and traveling to Ohio’s capital city this upcoming week.
9. Colorado Avalanche
It was a memorable Thursday night in Denver as the Avalanche found the net six times in the second period. After Matt Duchene gave the visiting Nashville Predators a 3-2 lead, Joonas Donskoi started and ended the twelve and a half minute flurry with goals six and seven. He would get his hat trick later during his side’s 9-4 win. Ryan Graves, Andre Burakovsky, Matt Nieto, Matt Calvert all got in the act during the middle period, humbling the two Nashville goaltenders in Juuse Saros and Pekka Rinne. Colorado followed it up against Columbus thanks to a double from Cale Makar in a 4-2 decision Saturday. After Tuesday’s fixture in Winnipeg, they travel to Edmonton before stops in Vancouver and Calgary in the coming days.
8. Philadelphia Flyers
Against the Montréal Canadiens, the Flyers got off to a good start thanks to Philippe Myers’ initial goal of the campaign which was unassisted. He is in his second season after appearing in twenty-one games last term. James Van Riemsdyk in the midst of his second stint in Philadelphia made it two goals to none less than a minute into period two. They could not make the lead stand as Ben Chiarot and Shea Weber evened the game at two. Sean Couturier stepped up fifty-five seconds into overtime for a hard-earned victory. The trend of getting a two-goal lead before winning the past sixty-minutes echoed in Toronto. Myers and Oskar Lindblom were the goal scorers in the first, canceled out by Travis Dermott and William Nylander. Claude Giroux struck first in the shootout. After Nylander answered for the Leafs, it was Sean Couturier once again having the final word in the proceedings for Philadelphia’s third straight win.
Incredibly, the goal pattern in regulation held form for a third straight game in Boston. Travis Konecny and Myers scored late in period one while Danton Heinen and Brad Marchand made it two-all. This time in the shootout, only one goal was needed. It came off the blade of the stick of Joel Farabee, the second Flyers skater of the one-on-one drill. With a lot of energy used, they needed two off days before hockey viewers get to see them host Washington Wednesday before paying a visit to Ottawa two nights later. Saturday, Philadelphia welcomes the red hot Islanders before going to Sunrise, Florida three days after that.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs entertained the Knights prior to the weekend. There were no goals to report in forty-four minutes until former Canadiens player Max Pacioretty initiated the scoring. San Ramon, California’s Auston Matthews pegged Toronto level moments after William Carrier went to the box for Vegas. John Tavares completed the come from behind win on a slap shot midway through overtime for their third win in the trot. They lost a heartbreaker to Philadelphia but picked up a solitary point and we’re not as fortunate in their comeback efforts in Chicago, a game in which the Leafs peppered fifty-seven shots on Blackhawks netminder Robin Lehner. The bright spot was that William Nylander put in two goals for Toronto. The Leafs get the New York Islanders next, then host Boston before visits to Pittsburgh and Las Vegas.
6. Calgary Flames
Last Thursday, Calgary fell behind New Jersey on Jack Hughes’ fourth tally in the first period. Derek Ryan pulled the Flames level early in the second on a backhand shot. After Nikita Gusev scored, the home side was chasing the game again. It was not a problem because they had a multitude of scoring. Sean Monahan put Calgary back on level footing, then power-play goals from Mikael Backlund and Noah Hanifin helped give the Flames a cushion. Johnny Gaudreau capped off the 5-2 victory on his fifth midway through the final period. They managed to scrape a point after falling behind against the NHL Stanley Cup holders Saturday night. Up next are the Dallas Stars Wednesday before a trip to Glendale Saturday afternoon. They fly to Vegas for an early Sunday night encounter with the Golden Knights, then return to Canada against the Avalanche.
5. Boston Bruins
The Bruins started quickly in Detroit Thursday as David Krejci scored only to watch Dylan Larkin answer shortly thereafter. The Red Wings added two more goals from Robby Fabbri, the former Saint Louis Blue. Patrice Bergeron gave Boston a lifeline, but Detroit was able to finish this NHL game off with an empty-net goal by Anthony Mantha. The Flyers came in strong but the Bruins managed to force the game past regulation only to be stifled by Carter Heart in the shootout in a third straight defeat. Just when things appeared heading back in the right direction, they let a four-goal lead dissipate in the third period in a 5-4 loss following another shootout. There were eight different goal scorers during regulation play. David Pastrnak found the net a sixteenth time just past the midway point of the second period. Ultimately Mike Hoffman’s goal in the fourth round was the tiebreaker. Boston tries to correct the error of their ways Friday in Ontario versus the Leafs, then the New Jersey Devils await them on Tuesday.
4. Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers fans got to see a goal from Connor McDavid on the power play Wednesday night not long after taking their seats. He later set up Zack Kassian in the third period to get the home team within 3-2. Two empty-net goals made the margin greater than what it was. Edmonton went back to work Friday hosting New Jersey and Leon Draisaitl moved the twine for the fourteenth time. James Neal picked up goal number twelve. Both were part of a three-goal middle frame in a 4-0 shutout. Mikko Koskinen was unfazed, stopping all twenty-nine shots. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid were very active Sunday in Anaheim. Each of them solved John Gibson two times in a runaway win, 6-2. After playing the Sharks Tuesday, they have a home-stand against Colorado and Dallas before going back to San Jose for a nationally televised NHL game late on the 19th.
3. Saint Louis Blues
Saint Louis beat Edmonton Wednesday and the night belonged to Alex Pietrangelo, who set up two goals while scoring another. The Blues pulled away late, 5-2. In Calgary, Saint Louis got the jump thanks to Ivan Barbashev wraparound and Ryan O’Reilly’s snapshot on the man advantage. They could not see it out in regulation to the credit of Matthew Tkachuk and Travis Hamonic in the back half of the third period. David Perron’s eighth goal separated the two sides as Saint Louis needed more than sixty minutes to leave with the win Saturday. They played another tight game against Arizona, but this time the Coyotes pulled level twice after Jaden Schwartz and Colton Parayko each tickled the twine. Nick Schmaltz and Garland came through in the one-on-one skill competition forcing Saint Louis to settle for one point. A flight to Columbus is next on Friday night, then back home against the Ducks and Lightning in the days to follow.
2. New York Islanders
The streak had to end sometime, but certainly hard to believe how it happened Thursday hosting the Penguins. Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and Adam Pelech got on the scoresheet and led by three after forty minutes, but in a span of seven minutes and ten seconds, Pittsburgh hit back with three. Jared McCann factored in the three Pittsburgh goals, scoring one and two helpers. Bryan Rust scored the game-winning goal during the extra session for his second goal of the contest. The good news for New York is that they did not have to wait long to return to the ice. Thomas Greiss stopped thirty-seven shots while he got to watch Mathew Barzal add a goal and an assist to his total on the other end of the rink. Scott Mayfield restored the Islanders lead less than fourteen minutes from time, one that held up at the final horn in a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. The Maple Leafs visit Nassau Coliseum Wednesday before the Islanders visit Philly Saturday. New York gets another shot at Pittsburgh three nights later in western Pennsylvania.
1. Washington Capitals
The Capitals showed great character after trailing for much of the game on Wednesday. Down 3-1 in the second period, Alex Ovechkin scored goals twelve and thirteen. Just when it looked like Washington was set to take control, Evgenii Dadonov struck on the power play before the end of the frame. The Caps came out strong on a fresh sheet of NHL ice, getting back level on Tom Wilson’s wrist shot in the third. Early in overtime, he netted home the winner. They did not stop Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights, not did Wilson, scoring Washington’s second goal after Evgeny Kuznetsov. Twice the Knights fought within one, but Nicklas Backstrom made sure the Capitals took the two points in regulation in a 5-2 decision.
On Monday, they dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out against the Coyotes despite avoiding a regulation loss. Kuznetsov scored a pair of goals before T.J. Oshie made it three-all. Neither Washington scorer was able to score in the shootout while Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland solved netminder Ilya Samsonov. The Caps will try to bounce back as they face their fierce rivals in Philadelphia Wednesday before hosting the Montreal Canadiens two nights later, then the Bruins on the back end of a back-to-back. They remain busy with a Monday date versus the Anaheim Ducks.
How would you rank the top 10 teams in the NHL heading into week 7? Leave a comment below.
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Works cited: NHL app