The New York Rangers are a well-oiled machine right now.
A red-hot offense, strong defensive play and quality goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta have propelled the Blueshirts to the top of a competitive Metropolitan Division. It’s still very early in the season, but New York looks poised for another run to the Eastern Conference Final or beyond.
Let’s take a look at where the Rangers and the other 29 teams sit in the latest NHL power rankings. All records current as of Nov. 11.
1. Montreal Canadiens (13-2-1): Carey Price didn’t play last week and he won’t play this week because of lower body injury, but that hasn’t prevented Montreal from going 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.
2. New York Rangers (11-2-2): Six straight wins for the Blueshirts is quite impressive, and it’s encouraging for New York that backup goalie Antti Raanta is capable of playing well in relief of Henrik Lundqvist. The King needs to stay fresh for what the Rangers hope is another long playoff run.
3. Dallas Stars (12-4-0): Dallas is second in goals scored per game and second in power-play percentage, making them arguably the most fun team to watch on a nightly basis. It’s a winning formula, too, evidenced by its 7-3-0 record over the last 10 games.
4. St. Louis Blues (11-3-1): The Blues’ hallmark under head coach Ken Hitchcock has been strong defense, and that’s held up through 15 games. They are fourth in goals against per game and penalty killing.
5. Washington Capitals (10-3-1): Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin is having another impressive season with 16 points in 13 games, and he tied new Hockey Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov on Monday for the most goals scored by a Russian-born player.
6. Minnesota Wild (9-3-2): Wild starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk is receiving plenty of offensive support from a Minnesota team ranked fourth in goals scored per game. He wouldn’t lead the league with nine wins without it; just look at his lackluster .905 save percentage.
7. Nashville Predators (9-3-2): A 7-5 win over the Senators on Tuesday night reinforced the belief this Nashville team can score goals when elite netminder Pekka Rinne plays a rare bad game or needs a rest.
8. New York Islanders (8-5-3): The Islanders have the seventh-most points in the league, but a 4-4-2 mark in their last 10 games already has them sitting third in the Metropolitan Division.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (9-5-0): Sidney Crosby still is struggling offensively with only a pair of goals on the season, but his supporting cast — including Phil Kessel — has stepped up throughout the team’s current 8-2-0 run, which includes victories over quality teams such as the Capitals and Predators.
10. Los Angeles Kings (9-6-0): Defending the net hasn’t been a problem for L.A. It ranks fifth in goals against per game and eighth in penalty killing. Scoring goals on a consistent basis, however, is a problem. The Kings are 20th in goals per game and need more production from their bottom-six forwards.
11. Chicago Blackhawks (8-6-1): Patrick Kane might have won the Hart Trophy if he hadn’t suffered a broken left clavicle in February, but he’s doing his best to make a run for the award this campaign with a league-leading 23 points.
12. Winnipeg Jets (8-6-2): Three losses in its last four games is responsible for Winnipeg’s drop in these rankings. It’s still too early to panic, though.
13. Detroit Red Wings (8-6-1): Detroit is having trouble scoring — 25th in goals per game — but its goaltending has been solid over the last week, leading the team to four wins in its last five games. Backup netminder Petr Mrazek has allowed only two goals in his last two starts combined.
14. Boston Bruins (7-6-1): The Bruins ended a disappointing road trip on a positive note with a 2-1 win over the Islanders on Sunday. They now have an important five-game homestand that includes four beatable opponents, which represents a lot of valuable points the B’s cannot afford to drop.
15. Anaheim Ducks (5-7-3): Ducks general manager Bob Murray didn’t fire head coach Bruce Boudreau after a horrendous start, and now his patience is being rewarded with a five-game point streak that includes four wins.
16. New Jersey Devils (8-6-1): Only five teams have given up fewer even-strength goals than the Devils, which is a credit to the excellent play of No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider.
17. Ottawa Senators (7-5-3): Dropped points from a bad 3-2 overtime loss against Carolina and a 7-5 defeat to Nashville stung, but this team still should be in the mix for an Eastern Conference playoff spot throughout the campaign
18. Vancouver Canucks (7-4-5): The Canucks must improve at home (2-3-3 record) to compete for the Pacific Division title.
19. Florida Panthers (6-6-3): The Panthers are struggling in puck possession by controlling less than 50 percent of even-strength shot attempts, but they often have a chance to win because of Roberto Luongo’s .944 5-on-5 save percentage, sixth-best in the league.
20. Tampa Bay Lightning (7-8-2): The Lightning are 2-6-1 in their last nine games with just 12 goals scored in that span. That’s an incredibly low offensive output for one of the league’s deepest teams.
21. Arizona Coyotes (8-6-1): The Coyotes beat the Ducks on Sunday night by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to win in overtime, and then they beat the Kings 3-2 to sweep an Anaheim-L.A. back-to-back for the first time in franchise history.
22. San Jose Sharks (7-8-0): A 3-7-0 record in the last 10 games and new trade rumors surrounding veteran winger Patrick Marleau highlight a very critical stretch in the Sharks’ season. One team that could benefit from San Jose’s slide is the Bruins, who own the Sharks’ 2016 first-round draft pick.
23. Philadelphia Flyers (5-7-3): A 3-5-2 slide and a tough upcoming schedule featuring matchups with the Sharks, Senators, Capitals and Kings could sink the Flyers to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division.
24. Buffalo Sabres (7-8-0): Buffalo shot attempts reach the net a league-high 78 percent of the time, but it’s only translated to 2.3 goals per game, good for 22nd in the league. The Sabres need more traffic in front of the net.
25. Carolina Hurricanes (6-9-0): The Hurricanes begin a five-game homestand Tuesday that includes tough matchups against the Ducks, Kings and Wild. This period will tell us a lot about the quality of the ‘Canes.
26. Edmonton Oilers (5-10-0): The Oilers have scored just three goals and lost both games since No. 1 draft pick Connor McDavid suffered a fractured collarbone.
27. Colorado Avalanche (5-9-1): It’s very tough to score and win games when you rarely have possession of the puck, as Colorado’s 43.7 Corsi percentage at even strength perfectly illustrates.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (3-8-4): Toronto’s power play has shown improvement with goals in four of the last five games, but its even-strength scoring (21 goals in 15 games) isn’t good enough to consistently win games with average to below-average goaltending.
29. Calgary Flames (5-10-1): Giving up a league-high 46 even-strength goals is a one-way ticket to the bottom portion of the standings and the power rankings.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-12-0): An 0-6-0 mark at home and a minus-21 goal differential helps tell the story of this struggling franchise. The firing of Todd Richards and the hiring of John Tortorella as head coach has done very little to turn things around. This is a players problem, specifically on the blue line, where talent and depth have been thin going back to last season.
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save during the second period in game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports