The 2022-23 NHL season is under way, and here are our Week 1 NHL power rankings entering Friday’s games (previous ranking in parentheses):
1. (1) Colorado Avalanche
Yes, they lost a game. So what? It was close, at Calgary, to Pacific Division champs. Walloped Blackhawks as expected.
2. (3) Carolina Hurricanes
Steamrolled Columbus with ease in opener, which is what contenders do.
3. (4) Florida Panthers
A win in a close game on the road against good Islanders team gives them temporary Florida bragging rights.
4. (7) New York Rangers
Stellar defense gave up just 47 total shot attempts — including blocks and misses — to Lightning despite ample Tampa Bay power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 2 minutes. They later manhandled Wild in Minnesota.
5. (2) Tampa Bay Lightning
Looked flat against Rangers, and vaunted power play was missing in action.
6. (5) Toronto Maple Leafs
Losing to rival Montreal isn’t unusual, but against this year’s Canadiens? Good thing they beat Washington.
7. (9) Calgary Flames
Beating the defending champs at home sends a message last season was no fluke.
8. (8) Edmonton Oilers
That Connor McDavid guy is pretty good. He had to be to help Oilers overcome 3-0 deficit and potential home embarrassment to Canucks.
9. (6) Minnesota Wild
Getting blown out in home opener doesn’t exactly inspire confidence this season’s playoffs will go better than past six.
10. (10) St. Louis Blues
Should dock them for not playing a game before this update. Goaltending still needs bounce back.
11. (11) Boston Bruins
Still too old and beat a Caps team that is also getting old. But looked young doing it.
12. (12) Pittsburgh Penguins
Beating Coyotes doesn’t count. Arizona offered up all the resistance of a college team, which, well, look at their home arena.
13. (14) Vegas Golden Knights
Needed to score a bunch to beat L.A., then shut out Blackhawks 1-0. The worst undefeated two-game team in hockey.
14. (16) Nashville Predators
Beating Sharks twice in Europe is what boxers do with palookas to inflate records. Dallas brought them down a notch.
15. (13) New York Islanders
Had the Panthers where they wanted in third period but gave it away too quick.
16. (19) Dallas Stars
Can this Jake Oettinger guy be for real in nets? Or were the Predators team he stopped 31 of 32 against just a pretender preying on Sharks?
17. (20) Seattle Kraken
Matty Beniers is for real, power play is improved. Should have been perfect in California but still took three of four road points.
18. (17) Vancouver Canucks
For one-plus periods in Edmonton, you wanted to believe in these guys. Then a 3-0 road lead turned into 2015-21 all over again.
19. (15) Washington Capitals
Need to score more than two goals per game, even when playing Boston and Toronto. Especially when playing Boston and Toronto.
20. (18) Los Angeles Kings
Thought they were overrated. Playing like it in dropping first two to a pair of division rivals.
21. (23) Buffalo Sabres
A 41-year-old goalie? What’s not to like about Craig Anderson, especially when beating Senators team that talked up a storm all summer?
22. (26) Anaheim Ducks
The Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras show was alive and kicking against the Kraken. Anaheim’s youth movement is a formidable one.
23. (21) Ottawa Senators
Young talent got stymied by a “Boomer” in nets. Learning how to win will take more than a single goal per night.
24. (24) Winnipeg Jets
Another annoying team that hasn’t played. Want to drop them lower but can’t until they take the ice.
25. (25) Detroit Red Wings
You want Steve Yzerman’s rebuild to go faster? His team hasn’t even played yet. No wonder it’s taking so long.
26. (22) New Jersey Devils
That ticking sound next to coach Lindy Ruff isn’t his alarm clock. Though somebody needs to wake team up after loss to Flyers.
27. (28) Philadelphia Flyers
New coach John Tortorella obviously frightened his team into winning a game. It tends to eventually get old.
28. (27) Columbus Blue Jackets
After scoring team’s season-opening goal, Patrik Laine left because of elbow injury — meaning Johnny Gaudreau really might have to do it all by himself.
29. (31) Montreal Canadiens
Kept blowing leads, then pulled it out late over Toronto. Montreal’s equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup this season.
30. (29) Chicago Blackhawks
Two games, two losses. But 1-0 loss to Vegas was too close for Connor Bedard comfort while figuring out how to trade Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
31. (30) San Jose Sharks
There’s a centuries old clock in the Prague city center that’s right at least twice a day. Sharks were wrong all day in two losses to Nashville in Czech Republic capital.
32. (32) Arizona Coyotes
Seriously, who are we kidding? A college team could probably beat these guys in their college arena.