Power Rankings Top Five In The NHL
1. San Jose Sharks
Secondary scoring is crucial to finding success in the NHL and the Sharks have plenty of it. Tomas Hertl has a two goal lead on everyone else in the league thanks to a four goal outburst against the Rangers (which also included an unreal through the legs move) and Logan Couture continues to build on what already is a very impressive resume for a 24-year-old.
Through five games, the Sharks have yet to lose and have given up just seven goals. As Herb Brooks said about Vladislav Tretiak, if you score on Antti Niemi keep the puck. Any team can beat anyone in the NHL on any given night, but if the Sharks sneak past the Blues on Tuesday, the winning streak could very easily reach eight games to start the year with matchups against the Stars and Flames ahead.
2. St. Louis Blues
Somehow, some way, the Blues continue to live in the top of the West. There’s nothing flashy about this team. Some would argue they don’t have a bona fide star player (those people have not been paying enough attention to Alex Pietrangelo). Sound defensive coverage and players buying into Ken Hitchcock’s system results in the Blues starting the year with four wins and zero losses through Monday.
Around the league, there’s a lot of chatter about goalie Jaroslav Halak, and for good reason as he’s playing as confident as ever. As long as he avoids costly mental errors that plagued him last year, the ceiling for this team is the Stanley Cup.
3. Anaheim Ducks
If you didn’t catch throwback night in Anaheim do yourself a favor and check out the sweetest unis of all-time. Rocking the purple and teal Mighty Ducks colors, Anaheim beat the Senators on Sunday night to improve their record to four and one, and that’s with a power play that has scored just once.
This may have to be the year to go all in for the Ducks as Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu are expected to retire at the end of the season. All the pieces are there with a deep lineup. In fact, the only starter with a negative plus/minus is defenseman Cam Fowler. If the second line of Silfverberg, Perreault, and Penner keep up their scoring pace, the Ducks could slide even higher up.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
Regardless of where the Penguins are on this list, their season relies on one thing: the health of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. If that tandem can stay healthy, a Stanley Cup run is realistic even with an unreliable Marc-Andre Fleury.
During last year’s playoff push, it seemed as if the Penguins had too much star power. Now filled out with role players as well as scorers, Dan Bylsma’s team is coming along nicely even if they haven’t faced the stiffest of competition. The coach has to be circling the Canucks and Avalanche games as early season tests for him to gauge where his team truly is.
5. Colorado Avalanche
10 different players have already netted a goal for the Avs through five games. That’s more than five teams have on the season. Nathan MacKinnon is the real deal, already dishing out assists all over the place, particularly with some good hands around the net. And how does four goals given up through five games sound? Patrick Roy is smiling somewhere behind all that fire.
With an absurd .970 save percentage, Semyon Varlamov is playing out of his mind, possibly feeling the pressure to perform well heading into the Olympics in his home country. Although it’s a great start for the team, it is hard to imagine his team maintaining their level of play and hanging around much longer in the top five.
Just missed: Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings