Here is the first edition of my weekly NHL power rankings on PressBoxDC.com. I will take point totals, goal differential, strength of schedule, games played, injuries and off-the-ice issues (in no particular order) into account when creating each week's power rankings.
In the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche (12-2-0) are on top of the Central Division and seem to not be a fluke. The Anaheim Ducks (13-3-1) have also kept their strong start going, surpassing the San Jose Sharks (10-2-4) for the Pacific Division lead.
Although the Western Conference is collectively doing better than the Eastern Conference, the West still has some weak links. The Edmonton Oilers (4-11-2) are at the bottom of the division with a goal differential of -24. The Winnipeg Jets (6-9-2) and the Calgary Flames (6-8-2) round out the worst three in the Western Conference.
In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals (9-7-0) have been playing some quality hockey -- winning seven of their last 10 games. But the Pittsburgh Penguins (11-5-0) still remain the leader of the Metropolitan Division. A surprise to some, the Tampa Bay Lightning (11-4-0) has been cruising, winning eight of their last 10 games.
The Philadelphia Flyers (4-10-1) fired coach Peter Laviolette early on this season, and have not recovered. The Buffalo Sabres (3-14-1) fired their coach during the 2012-13 season and traded the team's two best players from last season in Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek. Now, the Sabres have a league-worst seven points in the standings. To round out the worst three of the East, the Florida Panthers (3-9-4) are not only 1-5-4 during their last 10 games, but also have a goal differential of -25 (worst in the league).
1. Anaheim Ducks (13-3-1)
2. Colorado Avalanche (12-2-0)
3. Chicago Blackhawks (10-2-4)
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (11-5-0)
5. St. Louis Blues (10-2-2)
6. San Jose Sharks (10-2-4)
7. Vancouver Canucks (11-5-2)
8. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-4-0)
9. Phoenix Coyotes (11-4-2)
10. Detroit Red Wings (9-5-3)
11. Minnesota Wild (9-4-4)
12. Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-0)
13. Boston Bruins (9-5-1)
14. Los Angeles Kings (10-6-0)
15. Washington Capitals (9-7-0)
16. Dallas Stars (8-6-2)
17. Nashville Predators (8-5-2)
18. Montreal Canadiens (8-8-1)
19. Ottawa Senators (6-6-4)
20. New York Rangers (8-8-0)
21. New York Islanders (6-7-3)
22. Carolina Hurricanes (6-7-3)
23. Calgary Flames (6-8-2)
24. Winnipeg Jets (6-9-2)
25. New Jersey Devils (4-7-4)
26. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-10-0)
27. Edmonton Oilers (4-11-2)
28. Florida Panthers (3-9-4)
29. Philadelphia Flyers (4-10-1)
30. Buffalo Sabres (3-14-1)