Monday, November 15, 2021

Weekend rankings: A few things we know and a whole lot we still don’t after one month

We’re over a month into the season now, so we should know a few things. Not everything, obviously. There’s still plenty of time for twists and turns and there will be more than a few surprises by the time we get to the games that actually matter. But a month of hockey is a long time, and that means we should be pretty sure on at least a few things by now.

For example… uh…

(Checks list.)

The Coyotes are bad. Connor McDavid is good. The Hurricanes are probably good too.

(Checks list again.)

(Turns list upside down.)

(Shrugs dramatically.)

I mean, what else have we got that you actually feel confident about right now? The Panthers were probably on that list a week ago, but haven’t won since. The Avs, Knights and Lightning were all supposed to be elite contenders, and maybe they still are, but they’ve certainly made us wonder at a few points along the way. The Islanders and Bruins seem OK but were supposed to be more. Calgary and Edmonton are better than expected. Who knows about the Penguins, Maple Leafs and Flyers. The Caps, Wild and Jets are maybe about right, I guess?

At the other end of the spectrum, other than the Coyotes pretty much all the teams who were supposed to be bad have been decent other than maybe Ottawa. The Hawks looked awful but were better this week. The Habs are a mess but we’re still waiting to see what they’ll look like when Carey Price is back. Dallas and Vancouver both seems to be almost out of chances. And maybe one of the biggest surprises is that an expansion team looks like an expansion team, which we probably should have all expected but here we are.

Basically, the first month has been a whole lot of “huh”. Depending on your perspective, that might make all of this frustrating or a lot more fun.

Anyway, it’s my job to understand the NHL and explain it to you but I really have no idea what’s going on right now. Please enjoy the power rankings anyway…

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