Every so often different sports agencies put out Power Rankings for NHL teams in which each team is ranked from where the person ranking believes the team – currently – should be placed from the top of the league to the bottom.
Here is NHL TradeTalk.com’s power rankings for January 24, 2021 – with plenty of help from CBS Sports NHL Power Rankings from late last week, including a number of other comments.
Toronto Maple Leafs
#1 in North #5 in NHL
CBS ranked the Maple Leafs #5 in the NHL, but they are ranked the highest in the North Division. CBS Sports noted that “The North is going to be an incredibly fun division this year. I wasn’t so high on the Maple Leafs as favorites to come out on top in that group but they look pretty damn good to start the year.”
The NHL’s current points leader Mitch Marner with 10 points (four goals and six assists) in seven games.
#2 in North #6 in NHL
As CBS Sports noted, “Not surprisingly, this team is promising to be tons of fun. Alexander Romanov had himself an exciting coming out party, but the real story on this team is Nick Suzuki. That kid is on his way to becoming a superstar.”
In addition, Tyler Toffoli has been a great addition. He scored five goals and an assist against his old Vancouver Canucks team. The Canadiens haven’t lost in regulation yet this season.
#3 in North Division #7 in the NHL
CBS noted that “It’s only been three games but the Jacob Markstrom signing has looked good early. If this team actually gets consistently strong goaltending, they’re gonna be legit.”
The Flames are scoring well on the power play (seven-for-twenty chances) and six different players have scored power-play goals – Dillon Dube, Johnny Gaudream, Mark Giordano, Elias Lindholm (twice), Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk.
#4 in the North Division #17 in the NHL
The Oilers didn’t get off the start many expected. CBS noted “Wait, are you trying to tell me that the Oilers are overly relying on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to mask their depth/defense/goaltending issues? And they’re doing it to mixed results? Well, I just don’t buy that…”
In Sunday night’s game Draisaitl scored the game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets with less than a second left in regulation. The Hart Trophy winner from last season is on a three-game goal steak, and the team is starting to play better. Still the team might not have the depth, the defense, or the goalie play to help McDavid and Draisaitl carry the team.
#5 in the North Division and #18 in the NHL
As CBS sports notes, “This might be the same old team from last year, aka a weak defensive team that will only be carried as far as its top forwards and goaltending can take it.”
However, over the weekend the Jets traded for center Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Columbus Blue Jackets. They now might have the best 1-2 centers in the entire league with Mark Scheifele lining up ahead of Dubois. The question is: which Dubois will show up?
The Jets started well but have been slowing down. But Connor Hellebuyck is still great and Kyle Connor can score.
#6 in the North Division and #19 in the NHL
As CBS sports noted, “Elias Pettersson (as the) Hart pick isn’t looking so hot.” He has only one point in five games, and “the Canucks have been kind of a mess in the early going. They’re a wreck defensively and on special teams. The young talent is still there and they may very well figure it out, but they don’t want to dig themselves too deep a hole.”
The Canucks have given up the most goals in the NHL (33 goals in seven games). Pettersson only has two points. The team doesn’t have whatever it had during last season’s playoffs where they looked so so close to contending.
#7 in the North Division and #21 in the NHL
As CBS Sports notes, “For better or for worse, this team seems like it could be kind of fun this year. Also, through three games, their points leader is…Nikita Zaitsev? Okay then.”
After the Senators beat the Maple Leafs in their first game of the season, they’ve not won. The team hasn’t played poorly, it just hasn’t played that well. They are good at five-on-five hockey, not so good with their special teams. They should improve.
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