NHL Power Rankings: Extremely Small Sample Size Edition

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(Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings are the toast of the Atlantic Division, the Vancouver Canucks haven’t figured out how to lose, and Alex Ovechkin knows only two modes: hat trick or nadda.

More good news: By our calculations, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have their hands full with the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

That’s right, kids. It’s the NHL Power Rankings: Extremely Small Sample Size Edition, in which we use the trends of hockey’s first week to wildly and confidently extrapolate season-long conclusions.

All 31 teams are ranked in order of the power they’ve showed since Oct. 4. The write-ups glance into the future with the assumption that Week 1’s trends will only continue.

It’s science.

Rank Team Previous
1

The Blues suffer eight more serious injuries to members of their core and still win the Central Division race in a breeze.

13
2

The Maple Leafs’ offence goes down in history by scoring 519 goals. Most impressive? They have six different 50-goal scorers.

9
3

Jonathan Toews claims Plus/Minus Award with an incredible +164, smashing Bobby Orr’s all-time record of +124 (1970-71).

8
4

The Vegas Golden Knights make history by becoming the first expansion team in sports to go 82-0. James Neal pots every game-winner in dramatic fashion.

29
5

The offensive juggernaut known as the New Jersey Devils makes the playoffs and makes all pre-season prognosticators look like fools. Colorado draft pick Will Butcher is the key to the club’s 37.5 per cent power-play efficiency.

26
6

Alex Ovechkin will maintain a 38.9 shooting percentage en route to the NHL’s first 191-goal season, an utterly meaningless achievement if his team can’t deliver in the playoffs. (Meanwhile, Evgeny Kuznetsov captures the Art Ross despite registering just 55 shots on goal all year.)

11
7

Under a revamped front office and coaching staff, the L.A. Kings storm back into the playoffs on the strength of Jonathan Quick’s 41 shutouts. Drew Doughty sticks around to just win Cups, and Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown prove they’re worth every penny.

18
8

After finishing one-two in Blue Jackets scoring, Artemi Panarin and Sonny Milano join forces outside the rink and open up Panarin Milano—the cutest little bakeshop in Ohio. Their veal Parm is off the charts.

6
9

Dan Girardi is the recipient of 89 per cent of all NHL mean tweets.

5
10

The Calgary Flames don’t lose at Honda Center until 2030.

7
11

Frk leads all Red Wings forwards in scoring. Ken Holland creates a new policy: No more signing dudes with vowels.

30
12

Matt Duchene keeps up his point-per-game pace as he and Nail Yakupov fuel the Avalanche back to the post-season. Peter Forsberg eats his words.

31
13

Claude Giroux never plays centre again.

24
14

The Dallas Stars, a Ken Hitchcock production, maintain their average of 43 shots per night, surrender just 25.5, and still just win a third of their games.

10
15

The Hurricanes trade or sign eight more Chicago Blackhawks.

21
16

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin finish 12th and 13th, respectively, in average time on ice for Travis Green’s Canucks. Brock Boeser wins the NHL’s first Healthy Scratch Perfect Attendance Award.

27
17

Building on their quick commitment to young defenceman Mike Matheson, the Panthers believe they’ve seen enough to give Ian McCoshen seven years and $5.6 trillion.

14
18

The Oilers finish below the Canucks, Kings and Golden Knights in the NHL standings.

2
19

Due to a steady blanketing of seats, by January an attendance of 1,250 constitutes a sellout at Canadian Tire Centre.

15
20

April 7, 2018, comes and goes, and Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss still don’t know which one of them is the Islanders’ No. 1 goalie.

22
21

A rejuvenated Corey Perry maintains his point-a-game pace and delivers his best offensive output in six years.

3
22

Jake DeBrusk’s dad, Louie, cries publicly 41 times, needs an I.V. hooked up to his tear ducts.

19
23

The Preds go an underwhelming 27-55 and fall from Stanley Cup finalist to dead last in the Central.

12
24

Stumbling upon a recipe for success, head coach Paul Maurice healthy-scratches Dustin Byfuglien — the Jets’ highest-paid player, and it’s not really close — ahead of every victory.

17
25

Devan Dubnyk returns to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

4
26

Sidney Crosby is anointed President Trump’s minister of public relations. This doesn’t bother the Penguins because the appointment is completely apolitical.

1
27

You — yes, you reading these words — are surprised to answer the phone in late November and get an offer to become the Rangers’ second-line centre.

16
28

Dylan Strome, the third-overall draft pick of 2015, averages five NHL games played for the next 18 years and never scores a goal in the big leagues.

28
29

On pace for a win-free campaign, the Sharks decide to bolster their lottery chances and trade Joe Thornton to Toronto, finally solving the Leafs’ mystery at fourth-line centre.

20
30

Karl Alzner, brought to Montreal this summer for his defensive capabilities, finishes with a minus-82 rating. Somewhere, an advanced statistician tweets that plus/minus is a flawed metric.

25
31

Evander Kane’s 164-point season inspires hockey writers the world over to throw their old columns on the winger’s unrealized potential into a running shower.

23

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