NHL Power Rankings: Bruins and Knights lead the way to start the season

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The Daily Goal Horn’s Top Ten NHL Power Rankings takes a look at the top teams during the first month of the 2022-23 season.

When we looked at teams during the preseason, the rankings were based on the following criteria:

  • Last season’s performance
  • Offseason moves
  • Training Camp news
  • Exhibition play

Now, we have several teams playing at least 7 or more regular-season games to update the rankings. Let’s dive in.

NHL Power Rankings

2022-23 Top 10 Teams (October):

  1. Boston Bruins (8-1-0) NEW
  2. Vegas Golden Knights (8-2-0) NEW
  3. Edmonton Oilers (6-3-0) ⬆️
  4. Calgary Flames (5-2-0)
  5. Dallas Stars (5-3-1) NEW
  6. Florida Panthers (5-3-1) ⬇️
  7. Carolina Hurricanes (5-2-1) ⬇️
  8. New York Rangers (5-3-2) ⬇️
  9. New Jersey Devils (6-3-0) NEW
  10. Philadelphia Flyers (5-2-1) NEW

2022-23 Top 10 Teams (September):

  1. Colorado Avalanche
  2. New York Rangers
  3. Florida Panthers
  4. Calgary Flames
  5. Carolina Hurricanes
  6. Toronto Maple Leafs
  7. Edmonton Oilers
  8. Tampa Bay Lightning
  9. Minnesota Wild
  10. St. Louis Blues

Daily Goal Horn Power Rankings Breakdown

nhl recaps jack eichel
Oct 30, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) reacts after scoring a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during an overtime period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

1. Boston Bruins: What a start to the season for new head coach Jim Montgomery. The B’s came out of the gate strong despite a handful of injuries that included forward Brad Marchand. Well, he’s back ahead of schedule and Boston may actually get better. Currently, David Pastrnak is second in the NHL in scoring with 17 points. Linus Ullmark is also one of the league’s best goalies with a 6-0-0 record (1.70 GAA, .945 SV%).

2. Vegas Golden Knights: Speaking of new head coaches off to a good start, Bruce Cassidy, who was fired by the Bruins has Vegas humming. There was massive concern heading into this season with Robin Lehner unable to play, but Logan Thompson has been rock solid in his place with a 4-2-0 record (1.69 GAA, .943 SV%). The Knights are also getting offensive contributions from many players but Jack Eichel looks to be in top form. He leads them with 10 points in 10 games.

3. Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to destroy opposing goalies. McDavid once again leads the league in scoring with 18 points and Draisaitl is tied for third at 16. Jack Campbell and the Oilers defense were expected to be better this season. If they can find their way, I’d expect the Oilers to stay in the top 10. If not, they may drop like a boulder in the sea.

4. Calgary Flames: GM Brad Treliving should really be considered for GM of the Year after losing Johnny Gaudreau via free agency, and then Matthew Tkachuk because he refused to sign longterm forcing a trade. His replacement, Jonathan Huberdeau has been solid and should only improve. Nazem Kadri, who signed late as a UFA leads the team in scoring with 9 points in 7 games.

5. Dallas Stars: Once again, another new head coach has gotten off to a solid start. Peter DeBoer was fired by Vegas and promptly landed on his feet in Dallas. The Stars lead a competitive Central Division for now as the Colorado Avalanche have started poorly by their standards. Unfortunately, key injuries to Jake Oettinger and Miro Heiskanen may slow their roll.

6. Florida Panthers: The Panthers are offensively talented but once again defenseman Aaron Ekblad is on the injured list. However, Matthew Tkachuk is everything they could’ve hoped for after the blockbuster deal that sent Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar to Calgary. He has 13 points in the Panthers first 9 games.

7. Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes are still one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the acquisition of Brent Burns is already paying off. Rod Brind’Amour has his Canes playing competitive hockey in the Metro where some surprise teams are at the top of the standings. Of course, Carolina should only move up once Max Pacioretty returns from Achilles surgery later this year.

8. New York Rangers: The Rangers came out of the gate firing on all cylinders but stumbled during a 4-game stretch where they went 0-2-2. Their high flying offense was getting tons of chances but not converting. They turned the corner late with two consecutive wins, including giving Dallas their first home loss of the season. Artemi Panarin is tied for third in scoring with 16 points and last year’s Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin has yet to lose in regulation (5-0-2, 2.55 GAA, .913 SV%). You can expect the Rangers to stay in the top 10 all year.

9. New Jersey Devils: One of the early surprises in October are the young Devils. Of course, no one really believes they will continue to lead the Metro as they are now. But a fast start could keep them stay in contention for a wild card if they can keep playing above their heads. Jesper Bratt leads NJ in scoring with 15 points in 9 contests.

10. Philadelphia Flyers: Another new coach, another fast start. John Tortorella has lived up to his billing and turned the Flyers into one of the hardest working teams in the NHL. That should hold true all season, but will their place in the standings? The loss of James van Riemsdyk won’t help that but the Flyers are no longer an easy team to play against.