We have finally hit November and the hot seat has turned up quickly this year. Just a few weeks into the season, John Stevens is out in Los Angeles and Chicago fired three-time Stanley Cup champion Joel Quenneville. These firings aren’t necessarily a sign of things to come for other struggling teams, but it should put a few other head coaches on notice. Should St. Louis, second-to-last in the West, boot Mike Yeo? Is Bob Boughner in trouble in Florida? If a few of those teams continue to slide off the rails, watch out.
31. Los Angeles Kings | Record: 4–8–1 | Previous Ranking: 29
The run, it’s safe to say, is officially over.
30. Detroit Red Wings | Record: 4–8–2 | Previous Ranking: 31
Things have been better after the awful start that saw seven straight losses. Dylan Larkin is coming on, but there is still plenty of work to be done.
29. New York Rangers | Record: 6–7–1 | Previous Ranking: 28
The Rangers have yet to be blown out. But they’ve also not taken advantage of in winnable games.
28. Florida Panthers | Record: 3–5–3 | Previous Ranking: 25
There’s too much offensive talent for Evgenii Dadonov to be the team’s leading scorer—or for Keith Yandle to be second.
27. Philadelphia Flyers | Record: 7–7–1 | Previous Ranking: 27
Brian Elliott just isn’t cutting it. There’s just not enough defensive support here.
26. St. Louis Blues | Record: 4–5–3 | Previous Ranking: 26
The heart of the issues: The Blues just aren’t a great defensive team.
25. Ottawa Senators | Record: 5–6–3 | Previous Ranking: 18
They’re weathering the post-Karlsson era better than anybody expected. That doesn’t mean that they’re good, though.
24. Vegas Golden Knights | Record: 6–7–1 | Previous Ranking: 12
There’s a talented team in here, obviously, but there doesn’t seem to be the unreal momentum that happened out of the gate last year.
23. Anaheim Ducks | Record: 6–6–3 | Previous Ranking: 17
Things have fallen off the rails a little bit, and health doesn’t help (Ryan Getzlaf is the latest victim to the team’s IR). The scarier question: Where would the Ducks be without John Gibson?
22. Arizona Coyotes | Record: 7–6–0 | Previous Ranking: 30
Well look at the little streak they had going! The Yotes are an offensive juggernaut! Okay, maybe not, but impressive nonetheless. A Monday night loss to the Flyers wasn’t the prettiest, but things are looking up in the dessert.
21. New Jersey Devils | Record: 6–5–1 | Previous Ranking: 16
20. Dallas Stars | Record: 8–5–1 | Previous Ranking: 22
For a team with so much firepower, it again appears that the offense is just not good enough. Ben Bishop has been good.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets | Record: 7–6–1 | Previous Ranking: 20
Right now, Joonas Korpisalo gives the Jackets the best chance to win. And he’s not really playing that great.
18. Chicago Blackhawks | Record: 6–6–3 | Previous Ranking: 19
Five straight losses, including going 0-for-3 in Western Canada. Was Corey Crawford’s hot start all for naught?
17. Washington Capitals | Record: 6–4–3 | Previous Ranking: 9
Things will turn around, but this is looking like mid-March Braden Holtby.
16. New York Islanders | Record: 8–4–2 | Previous Ranking: 24
It’s certainly a better defensive situation than last year. Both Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have been good. If the defense holds, can the offense find more outside its top scorers?
15. Carolina Hurricanes | Record: 6–6–2 | Previous Ranking: 13
Sebastian Aho, Hart Candidate? Not yet. But now the world can see just how good he is.
14. Buffalo Sabres | Record: 7–6–2 | Previous Ranking: 23
It’s pretty clear that Carter Hutton wasn’t a fluke last year. He and Linus Ullmark have been really good.
13. Edmonton Oilers | Record: 8–5–1 | Previous Ranking: 15
Things have certainly looked better, and this week’s test started with a road loss to Washington that will be followed up with a trip to Tampa Bay, and back home against Colorado.
12. Montreal Canadiens | Record: 8–4–2 | Previous Ranking: 14
The Canadiens continue to be one of the bigger surprises this season, primarily thanks to Carey Price. They have yet to post back-to-back losses, so let’s hope they can keep it up in a tough Atlantic division to keep things fun.
11. Pittsburgh Penguins | Record: 6–4–3 | Previous Ranking: 8
If you thought that after Sidney Crosby‘s recent scoring streak he would lead the Pens in scoring, you would be wrong. It’s Evgeni Malkin, with 20, followed by Kessel with 16. Crosby is third with 14. What a nice place to be in.
10. Calgary Flames | Record: 9–5–1 | Previous Ranking: 6
Elias Lindholm was an afterthought in the Dougie Hamilton trade. He was a quasi-bust. Turns out he just needed a change of scenery. Through 15 games, he has 17 points.
9. Vancouver Canucks | Record: 9–6–0 | Previous Ranking: 21
No way this continues, but it’s been fun watching the kids go to work. Elias Pettersson is ridiculous. Bo Horvat had been lost in the Sedin shuffle, but that will change.
8. San Jose Sharks | Record: 7–4–3 | Previous Ranking: 11
If you would’ve predicted that the Sharks would have two overtime losses to the Rangers, then you would probably be quite rich. If anything, the Sharks have to be excited by the play of Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl.
7. Winnipeg Jets | Record: 8–5–1 | Previous Ranking: 4
It’s odd to see Patrik Laine so low on the stat sheet. It seems implausible that he will remain there for long. He did have a hat trick in his native Finland. Not a bad way to get going.
6. Boston Bruins | Record: 8–4–2 | Previous Ranking: 7
Jaroslav Halak is throwing it back to 2010. But he’s been a big help for the B’s as Tuukka Rask finds himself. Remember, though, how last year Rask looked like he was on his way out? He rallied quickly.
5. Minnesota Wild | Record: 8–3–2 | Previous Ranking: 10
Another hot start from Minnesota that’s destined to fade by playoff time? Maybe. But this time, Zach Parise is playing the best he has in a few years.
4. Colorado Avalanche | Record: 7–4–3 | Previous Ranking: 5
Obviously they are loaded offensively. Don’t read too much into the seven goals allowed to Vancouver. That was a track-meet-type game. The combination of Seymon Varlamov and Phillipp Grubauer has been pretty good.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs | Record: 9–5–0 | Previous Ranking: 3
There’s certainly a little less oomph without Auston Matthews. But there’s so much other talent on this team. It will be interesting to see how John Tavares responds in Matthews’s absence.
2. Tampa Lightning | Record: 10–3–1 | Previous Ranking: 2
Tough loss against Nashville. We’ll see just how long Victor Hedman is out before changing our opinion on this team.
1. Nashville Predators | Record: 11–3–0 | Previous Ranking: 1
A statement win, of sorts, against Vegas. A definitive statement, with Pekka Rinne back no less, against Tampa.