Not all of these teams will go on their strong play.
PRO HOCKEY TALKPHT Select Team Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers Montreal Canadiens Ottawa Senators Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs Metropolitan Division Carolina Hurricanes Columbus Blue Jackets New Jersey Devils New York Islanders New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Washington Capitals Non-NHL Western Conference Central Division Chicago Blackhawks Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars Minnesota Wild Nashville Predators St. Louis Blues Winnipeg Jets Pacific Division Anaheim Ducks Arizona Coyotes Calgary Flames Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings San Jose Sharks Seattle Vancouver Canucks Vegas Golden Knights Subscribe: More from PHT THE BUZZER | PHT POWER RANKINGS | NHL ON NBC SCHEDULE NHL Power Rankings: Fast beginning s most apt to go on By Adam GretzOct 21, 2019, 2:16 PM EDT 3 Comments
In this week’s impression of the NHL Power Rankings we are fetching a look at 10 fast beginning s about the conference and which ones are most apt to go on, and which ones are most apt not to go on.
How are we shaping a fast beginning ? It’s beautiful simple, really — teams that as of Monday have a .640 points percent or amcomplete so far this time period. A .640 points percent over an 82-game time period would be a 105-point pace, so it is obviously beautiful high flat of play.
There are 10 teams that qualify, and not all of them will go on that flat of play doneout the time period. Just for comparisons sake, location were nine teams off to the same beginning done same date a year ago and three of them complete up lacking the playoffs. In 2017-18, four of the nine teams off to a akin beginning also complete up lacking. So it stands to ground that a handful of these teams are going to significantly cool off.
This isn’t necessarily a ranking of which of these teams has played the best so far, but a ranking of which ones are most apt to go on playing well.
Who is for real and who is not? To the rankings!
Fast beginning s that will go on
1. Colorado Avalanche. Entering play on Monday they are 7-0-1 on the time period and have the best record in the conference, earning 15 out of a possible 16 points in the standings. The scary thing about them? They may not be playing their best hockey just yet.
2. Carolina Hurricanes. Speaking of not playing their best hockey yet, the Hurricanes have won six out of their first nine games and have just three goals from the trio of Sebastian Aho, Nino Niederreiter, and Andrei Svechnikov. It is a testament to the depth they have assembled that three of their top players can be off to such a slow beginning and the team can still win the way it has.
3. Washington Capitals. They are the highest scoring team in the conference, have been one of the top possession teams, and still haven’t received great goaltending from Braden Holtby. The latter part should scare the rest of the Metropolitan Division because even if Holtby doesn’t return to his former Vezina Trophy form he can still be amcomplete than he has been.
4. Vegas Golden Knights. The top of their lineup is full of impact players (especially Mark Stone, who has been incredible to beginning the year) but one of the big wild cards on this team is the emergence of rookie Cody Glass. He already has six points in his first nine games.
Fast beginning s, but with some questions
5. Boston Bruins. The biggest question here is the same one they have had for the past two years — will they get enough secondary scoring after their top line? Right now if one of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, or Patrice Bergeron does not score a goal, no one is scoring. They managed to find enough secondary scoring to reach Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final a year ago, so it may not be a huge concern in the long-run, but this is still a very top-heavy team so far this time period.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins. Interesting team so far in the sense they have probably overachieved given the injury situation that has taken half of their forward lineup away. They are playing the way coach Mike Sullivan wants them to play, and they have played extremely well, but we still haven’t seen the Penguins as they were meant to look this time period. Still not entirely sold on the defense, and I question how much of this early success is entirely sustainable.
Fast beginning s, but with some real concerns
7. Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks won five of their first seven games last year — thanks mostly to John Gibson — before completely falling apart. The one thing that should give a little more optimism this time about is Dallas Eakins seems to have them playing a more sustainable style of hockey — one that does not rely entirely on goaltending — and they have really carried the play in some of their wins. The concern is I am just not sure location is enough offense here and their two goalies have a combined save percent of .940. What happens when that drops a bit?
8. Arizona Coyotes. They barely missed the playoffs a year ago and have probably been amcomplete than you realize at the beginning of the time period. The concerns here are the same as in Anaheim, where they are still very dependent on incredible goaltending and location is not a ton of offense to work with.
9. Buffalo Sabres. For the second year in a row the Sabres are one of the big stories in the NHL with a fast beginning , entering play on Monday with a 7-1-1 record. There is ground to believe they can avoid the total meltdown they experienced a year ago thanks to an improved roster (offtime period additions of Colin Miller, Henri Jokiharju, Marcus Johansson, while Rasmus Dahlin has a full time period in the NHL under his belt) and what seems to be a amcomplete coach. But location are also still some real concerns. Carter Hutton won’t keep stopping 95 percent of the shots he faces. Victor Olofsson won’t keep scoring on 30 percent of his shots. They still play in an extremely tough division. There is ground to expect some regression here as the time period goes on.
10. Edmonton Oilers. It’s been amazing beginning , but James Neal is not going to keep scoring on 30 percent of his shots and once that stops this team has the same problem it has had for years in that location is not enough depth after Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They have feasted on a light schedule so far (and those points still count) but this is a team that needs to prove it over a full time period before anyone fully buys into it.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
Let’s take a quick look about the NHL at five lines that are doing the most to carry their teams (or at least their offense) done the first month of the time period.
This is always kind of a good news/bad news situation because the good news is your team has a dominant top line that can change a game every night. The bad news, though, is that one line teams do not tend to do very well in the long run. Balance is important!
Right now these five teams are fairly dependent on these lines.
(Data in this post via Natural Stat Trick)
The Line: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zack Kassian
This line might be the definition of “heavy lifting.”
This trio has been on the ice for nearly 30 percent of the Oilers’ total 5-on-5 minutes, a substantial workload even by top line standards. Individually, McDavid and Draisaitl are the top-two forwards in the conference in even-strength ice-time per game (Kassian is 22nd), both averaging more than 18:30 per game (Mathew Barzal is the only other forward that plays more than 18 minutes of even-strength ice-time per game).
Then we get to the production.
In 124 minutes this trio has outscored teams by an 11-3 margin and been completely dominant. That is 60 percent of the team’s 5-on-5 goals, while the team has been outscored by a 6-8 margin at 5-on-5 when this trio is not on the ice.
It is the same story as it has always been for the Oilers where they need to skate McDavid and Draisaitl into the ground to compete. So far this time period it has worked. But we have seen over the past four years that it is not really the best long-term recipe for sustained success.
The Line: Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand
When these three are together they are as good as it gets in the NHL.
Bergeron and Marchand are two of the best all-about players in the conference, while Pastrnak is quickly turning into one of the most dangerous goal-scorers about . The big question for the Bruins has always been their depth about this line and if they can get enough offense from lines two done four to complement them. Through the first month of the 2019-20 time period that concern is still very much the same.
This line has only played 86 minutes of 5-on-5 ice-time together (about 22 percent of the team’s 5-on-5 total) and has already scored seven goals in those minutes. The Bruins have just six 5-on-5 goals in the remaining 306 minutes of 5-on-5 time that they have played this time period, and two of those goals came when Marchand and Pastrnak were together without Bergeron.
As this line goes, so go the Bruins.
The Line: Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler
With the Jets’ defense in shambles following the offtime period, the team has had to rely on the strength of its forwards to remain competitive.
The big line of Scheifele, Laine, and Wheeler has certainly done its part to make sure that happens. Not only in terms of their own production, but also in how much the rest of the team has struggled when they are not on the ice. In nearly 300 minutes of 5-on-5 play without any of these three on the ice, the Jets have managed a grand total of four goals.
The Line: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Dominik Simon
You could put together a beautiful good forward lineup with the players the Penguins have out of the lineup right now. One of the biggest grounds they have kept winning done all of the injuries has been the play of their top line of Crosby, Guentzel, and Simon.
The latter member of this line is a point of much contention in Pittsburgh because he never scores goals himself, but the team loves him on the top line alongside Crosby and Guentzel and the overall numbers justify his existence on that line (it scores more goals with him than it does without him). So far this time period Crosby is playing at an MVP flat, Guentzel is doing his best to show his 40-goal time period a year ago was no fluke, and Simon keeps making plays that keeps the play alive in the offensive zone and leads to offense. In 111 minutes together this trio has already combined to score eight of the the team’s 20 five-on-five goals this time period.
New York Rangers
The line: Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad
The third member of this line has mostly been Chris Kreider or Pavel Buchnevich at different times, but the main drivers here are Panarin and Zibanejad.
Panarin has already scored four goals in the team’s first six games and has been everything the Rangers could have expected and hoped when they signed him in free agency. Zibanejad, meanwhile, is off to one of the best offensive beginning s in franchise history with 11 points in six games. When that duo is together the Rangers have doubled up their opponents on the scoreboard and scored like one of the conference’s elite lines.
The problem with this Rangers team in the short-term was always going to be the lack of depth about them, and so far the Rangers have looked rather punchless at even-strength when their top duo is off the ice.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Stars player Tyler Seguin says his home was heavily damaged by severe storms that swept done Dallas, but no one was hurt.
The National Weather Service says at least one tornado struck the north Dallas area on Sunday night, and other possible tornadoes were reported as well.
Heavy damage is reported doneout much of the Dallas area, and tens of thousands of people are without power.
The hockey player said on Twitter that he had moved to another home and that the property damaged late Sunday was listed for sale. He wrote: ‘‘I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see.’’
Thanks to everyone reaching out about the news tonight, I am safe. Luckily this is my house for sale and I have moved into a new one. I just left the area and it is an extremely sad sight to see. Prayers to everyone affected by the tornado. https://t.co/wT6XlUBi8N
— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) October 21, 2019
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses were without power, including the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock. The airport says flights were still departing, though security screenings were being done manually.
Dallas Fire-Rescue says location have been no reports of fatalities or serious injuries in the aftermath of the tornado, but three people were hospitalized for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries.
The first few weeks of the NHL regular time period have been beautiful exciting. Not every game has been tight, but it appears as though the schedule has been filled with one-goal games and teams trailing by a goal or two seem to be able to come back more than ever before. This is what the NHL wanted. It’s all about parity and excitement.
Here are the PHT Face-off storylines for this week:
• Tight finishes:
As we mentioned above, a lot of games seem to be coming down to the wire. This is clearly the dream scenario for the NHL. According to NHL Public Relations, 53.1 percent of games have been decided by one goal or a two-goal margin following an empty-netter from the team with the lead. If you look at the boxscore from each of Sunday’s five contests, you’ll notice that all of them fell into that category.
The fact that the losing team isn’t really out of the game until the end more than half the time is beautiful impressive. We may not all be fans of the salary cap because it dismantles talented teams, but the parity flat in the NHL is at an all-time high as we speak.
• John Carlson is racking up points:
If you check the list of scoring leaders in the NHL, you may be a little surprise to find a defenseman at the top of the list. The Capitals blue liner is currently ahead of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, David Pastrnak, Mark Stone and everybody else in the conference when it comes to points scored.
Heading into this week, the 29-year-old has picked up three goals and 18 points in just 10 games. He’s registered at least one point in nine of his team’s 10 contests. The only team that has managed to keep him off the board is the Carolina Hurricanes.
John Carlson of the @Capitals is the third different defenseman in NHL history to record 18+ points done his team’s first 10 games in a time period. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/PF7FXc8JF6
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 21, 2019
It’s no coincidence that the Capitals have won three games in a row. Their success isn’t just because of Carlson, but he’s certainly a bit part of it.
“I’m just getting lucky,” Carlson said when asked how he’s leading the conference in points and assists. “Guys are making some good plays to me. The guys I’m passing to are scoring right now. Especially as a D, it’s beautiful streaky. You take it when you can. A lot of guys making a lot of plays out location.”
• J.T. Miller trade paying off for Canucks
Eyebrows were raised when the Canucks traded a future first-round draft pick to the Lightning for forward J.T. Miller. After all, Miller was coming off a 47-point time period, which is good, but that first-rounder had the potential to be a lottery pick down the road. To be clear, if the Canucks 2020 pick falls into the lottery, they will send their 2021 pick to Tampa, but that’s still a risky proposition for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in a while.
How has Miller fit in? Well, he’s been doing just fine on the Canucks’ top line with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser.
Through eight games, the 26-year-old has racked up four goals and four assists. He leads the team in goals and is tied with Pettersson for first in points.
“Our games are different, but I’ve played with some elite players before,” said Miller, per CBC.ca. “There are some things that I try to instill on them and help them out.
“I can retrieve pucks for them. I think I have enough skill to make plays at their flat. They are two really elite players. I just try to get the puck to them when they are open and get to the net.”
So far so good.
• Sidney Crosby is still good at hockey
After being swept by the New York Islanders in last year’s playoffs, many wondered whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins would still be able to compete in the Metropolitan Division. To make matters worse, they’ve been hit by the injury bug beautiful badly since the beginning of the year, as Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Bjugstad have all been out.
But somehow, some way, Sidney Crosby has found a way to keep the Penguins afloat. Sure, he’s had plenty of help, but the captain has also racked up four goals and 12 points in nine games, which puts him tied for fifth in NHL scoring.
Included in those four goals is this beauty which happened during last week’s nationally televised game against the Colorado Avalanche:
That’s just not fair.
It’s still WAY too early to be talking about Hart Trophy candidates, but if location was an MVP award for the first month of the time period, Crosby would definitely be in the mix.
• Are the Bolts dull?
Speaking of the Penguins, they’ll be on NBCSN again this week, as they’ll take on the Lightning on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET).
Many (including myself) expected the Bolts to finish at the top of the Atlantic Division standings this time period, and even though that still might happen, they haven’t looked like themselves just yet.
According to Sean Tierney’s awesome shot rate charts, the Lightning are right on the border of bad and dull. Who would’ve thought?
In lieu of popping champagne, let's have a team chart thread.
Good morning, everyone.
NYR and OTT no longer wish to be part of what we've going on here.
You can check for yourself here: https://t.co/OFYz09vPGM https://t.co/vikUXiJHVH pic.twitter.com/ZnsmFyI8iq
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) October 21, 2019
Nobody’s pushing the panic button. It’s still very early and they’re still an incredibly talented team, but it looks like they’re going to go done more adversity than they did last year. In the end, that might not be such a bad thing.
Tampa Bay currently owns a 4-3-1 record. After losing to Ottawa two weeks ago, they managed to beat Montreal and Boston before dropping a 6-2 home decision the Avs.
“Sometimes it turns into a game of mistakes, and the team that makes the most usually pays the price,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after the blowout loss to Colorado, per NHL.com. “I can’t sit here and say we made the most mistakes, but the ones we did make, it seemed like they put in the back of the net.”
What’s coming up this week?
• Bruins look to avenge Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs, Tue. Oct. 22, 7 p.m. ET.
• Alex Ovechkin vs. Connor McDavid, Thu. Oct. 24, 9 p.m. ET.
• Patrick Marleau and the San Jose Sharks return to Toronto, Fri. Oct. 25, 7 p.m. ET
WEDNESDAY NIGHT HOCKEY ON NBCSN
Penguins vs. Lightning, Wed. Oct. 23, 8 p.m. ET
NHL on NBCSN
Stanley Cup rematch alert: Blues vs. Bruins, Sat. Oct. 26, 7 p.m. ET.
Heritage Classic: Jets vs. Flames, Sat. Oct. 26, 10 p.m. ET.
Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.
Welcome to our weekly Adds/Drops column, where I focus on highlighting players you should consider grabbing or be concerned about in fantasy conferences. As always, the goal here isn’t to recommend 10 players you must add and five players that need to be dropped. Context is everything and the context of each conference is different. What this is instead is a guideline so that if you’re looking to make a change, you have potential players to target and if you see players I’ve suggested to drop, you can evaluate your potential alternates.
Players Worth Adding
Neal Pionk, Jets – D: The shift from the New York Rangers in 2018-19 to the Jets this time period has been to Pionk’s benefit so far. In terms of average ice time, he’s only jumped from 21:10 minutes to 22:58 minutes, but most of that increase has come from gaining additional power-play time. He’s gotten off to a strong beginning in 2019-20 with two goals and six points in 10 games and should go on to put up solid numbers this time period.
Jakob Silfverberg, Ducks – RW: Silfverberg couldn’t have asked for a amcomplete beginning with five goals and eight points in nine games. At the least he’s a nice gamble in the short-term, but he might be worth hanging on doneout the time period. Silfverberg has never gotten more than 49 points in a single time period, but new Ducks coach Dallas Eakins seems comfortable with giving him a sizeable role. As a result he’s averaging 18:13 minutes, up from 17:06 minutes in 2018-19, which is more than any other Anaheim forward.
Brock Nelson, Islanders – C/LW: Nelson has been in kind of an odd pattern in the early portion of the campaign. He’s scored in exactly every other game and for the last six games he’s alternated between recording 0 and 2 points. The end result is that he has four goals and seven points done eight contests this time period. He saw his ice time jump to 17:58 minutes in 2018-19 and set a new career-high with 53 points as a result. This time period his playing time has inched up further to 18:20 minutes and he might be able to flirt with new career-highs. One key benefit to him is his left wing eligibility despite his primary role being up the middle.
Marcus Pettersson, Penguins – D: Pettersson is might just be more of a short-term pickup to gamble on while he’s hot. He has registered four assists over his last four games. That being said, he is averaging 18:34 minutes this time period, including 1:33 minutes per game with the man advantage, so location is a chance that this will end up being a breakout campaign for him. Even if you decide not to grab him at this time, he’s worth checking back in on later to see how the 23-year-old has been developing with the Penguins.
Andre Burakovsky, Avalanche – LW/RW: Burakovsky is something of a roll of the dice at this stage. Burakovsky never recorded more than 38 points in a single time period with Colorado, but he already has four goals and eight points in eight games with Colorado. Perhaps this is a case of the change of scenery agreeing with him, but he’s also just averaging 13:49 minutes. Unless his role with the Avalanche expands, it’s hard to see him being a significant offensive contributor in the long run. Still, given how well he’s already done and the potential that the 24-year-old is fetching a step up this time period, it’s worth fetching a chance on him.
Adam Henrique, Ducks – C: This is mostly a case of riding the hot hand. Henrique has four goals and five points in his last four games, so he’s worthy of some short-term consideration. In the long run, he has fringe value in standard conferences. The limiting factor with him is his center-only eligibility given the glut of options up the middle.
Paul Stastny, Golden Knights – C: At this point, Max Pacioretty is owned in 84% of Yahoo conferences while Mark Stone is claimed in 97%, but Stastny is owned in just 38%. Stastny is skating on a line with that duo this time period and has done his part. Stastny has four goals and seven points in nine games. If he go ons to skate with Stone and Pacioretty, he should have a very good year.
[For more fantasy sports analysis, check out Rotoworld]
Marcus Johansson, Sabres – C/LW: Johansson is coming off two rough campaigns, but 2019-20 is shaping up to be different. After signing a two-year, $9 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres over the summer, he’s scored four goals and seven points in nine games. Johansson has typically been put on the ice with Jeff Skinner, who had 40 goals in his first time period with Buffalo and has added another five goals in nine contests in 2019-20. All three of Johansson’s assists so far have been on Skinner goals.
Ian Cole, Avalanche – D: Cole missed the beginning of the time period with a hip injury, but he made his return on Oct. 14th and has made up for lost time with four assists in his last three games. He’s not a particularly exciting defenseman from an offensive perspective, but you could gamble on him while he’s hot. It’s worth adding that he’s also one of the amcomplete sources of blocked shots out location, so if your conference cares about that category then that’s a great secondary ground to consider grabbing him while he’s hot.
Mikko Koskinen, Oilers – G: Koskinen’s first time period with the Edmonton Oilers left plenty to be desired, but he’s been a big part of their early time period success. He’s 4-0-0 with a 2.21 GAA and .934 save percent in four beginning s. He was a top-tier goaltender in the KHL and now that he’s had a full time period to adjust to North America, he might prove to be a solid goaltender in 2019-20.
Players You May Want To Drop
Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers – G: Lundqvist has been on the decline for several time periods now and that descent will apt go on at the age of 37. Through four beginning s, he’s 1-3-0 with a 3.57 GAA and .906 save percent. It doesn’t help that while the Rangers did get some very encouraging additions over the summer, they are still not quite a full force contender.
Boone Jenner, Blue Jackets – C/LW: Jenner didn’t exactly wow people last time period with his 16 goals and 38 points in 77 games, but the 2019-20 campaign might prove to be worse. Despite the Blue Jackets losing some key forwards over the summer, his ice time has tanked from an average of 17:04 minutes in 2018-19 to 14:27 minutes this time period. That’s his lowest minutes per game since 2013-14 when he was a rookie. He has just a goal and no assists done eight games.
Sammy Blais, Blues – LW/RW: Blais enjoyed a strong beginning to the time period with three goals and five points in five games, but he hasn’t recorded a point in three contests. If you picked him up during that hot streak, you should re-evaluate his role now. He’s averaging a modest 14:03 minutes per game, so it’s hard to see him being a major offensive force this time period. On the plus side, he is an excellent source of hits, so if you need help in that category, then maybe it’s worth your while to keep him even if he’s not contributing much in other areas.
Nino Niederreiter, Hurricanes – LW/RW: After Carolina acquired Niederreiter from Minnesota during the 2018-19 campaign, he went on a terrific run of 14 goals and 30 points in 36 games. However, a big part of that run was due to his increased role with the Hurricanes. He had averaged 14:37 minutes with Minnesota prior to the trade and 18:17 minutes for the rest of the time period. In his first full campaign with the Hurricanes, Niederreiter has fallen back to a flat of responsibility he’s more accustomed to. He’s averaging 15:39 minutes and has recorded no goals and three assists in nine games. With his playing time down, he’s also fetching fewer shots, from 2.86 shots per game in 2018-19 with Carolina to 2.22 this time period. His complete lack of goals can still be partially attributed to bad luck, but unless his role increases, he’s not going to return to the flats of production we saw during his post-trade time with Carolina last time period.
Cory Schneider, Devils – G: Schneider has had some highs and some extreme lows over the last few years, but on the whole he’s certainly left plenty to be desired. That trend has go ond this time period. He has a 0-3-0 record, 4.08 GAA, and .876 save percent in four games. To make things worse, at least for Schneider owners, Mackenzie Blackwood has rebounded from his own rough beginning to the campaign. It’s entirely possible that Blackwood will end up getting more beginning s than Schneider this time period. There’s just not a lot to like about Schneider’s outlook right now.
If you’re looking for fantasy hockey information, Rotoworld is a great resource. You can check the player news for the latest information on any player and insight into their fantasy outlook.
Every week Michael Finewax looks ahead at the schedule and offers team-by-team notes in The Week Ahead. I have a weekly Fantasy Nuggets column where I basically talk about whatever’s captured my attention that week. Gus Katsaros does an Analytics columns if you want to get into detailed statistical analysis. If you’re interested in rookies and prospects, location’s a weekly column on that written by McKeen’s Hockey.
For everything fantasy hockey, check out Rotoworld’s Player News, and follow @Rotoworld_ HK and @RyanDadoun on Twitter.