Local Hockey Power Rankings- Week 2
Hockey season is in full swing with the first full week of the season behind us and it’s time for another edition of the local power rankings. As a reminder, each team gets four points for a first-place vote, three for a second-place vote and so on. This week, we had three voters, including myself, so, without further ado, here are the week one power rankings.
1. New York Rangers (11 points, 2 first-place votes) Last week: 1
Record: 2-1-0 (0-1-0 last week) Week MVP: Kaapo Kakko
After a week off, the Rangers hosted the red-hot Edmonton Oilers and the time off showed. After Kaapo Kakko started the scoring with his first career NHL goal, the Oilers big guns took over with Connor McDavid (1G, 1A) and Leon Draisaitl (2G, 1A) leading the Oilers to a 4-1 victory. The Rangers have a big bounce-back opportunity in their next matchup on Oct. 17 against the winless New Jersey Devils.
2. Philadelphia Flyers (9 points, 1 first-place vote) Last week: 2
Record 2-0-1 (1-0-1 last week) Week MVP: Carter Hart
The Flyers returned to North America this week and started the week with a dominating 4-0 win over the Devils. The game also marked Carter Hart’s first career shutout and included Kevin Hayes‘ first goal as a Flyer. They then headed out on the road for a Western Canada road-trip, opening it up with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks. On the plus side, 2016 third-round pick Carson Twarynski scored his first career NHL goal in that one. The Flyers continue the road trip on Oct. 15 in Calgary before concluding it in Edmonton on Oct. 16.
3. New York Islanders (7 points) Last week: 3
Record: 2-3-0 (1-2-0 last week) Week MVP: Josh Bailey
The Islanders have struggled so far this season against quality opponents, their three losses have come against teams who are, as of Oct. 13, a combined 13-2-2. This week, they dropped back to back 5-2 decisions at home to Edmonton and in Carolina. They were able to bounce back on Oct. 12 against the Panthers as Semyon Varlamov got his first victory as an Islander, stopping all three shooters in the shootout en route to a 3-2 SO win. The Islanders will try to bring their record to .500 in an afternoon tilt with the defending champs on Oct. 14.
4. New Jersey Devils (3 points) Last week: 4
Record: 0-3-2 (0-2-1 last week) Week MVP: Taylor Hall
This season just keeps getting worse for the Devils as everything from offense to goaltending leaves much to be desired. The team was shut out twice this past week and gave up the game-tying goal with 1:06 to go in their other game. In the Devils’ defense, the teams they played this week are a combined 10-1-0 as of Oct. 13. I hate to say that there are must-win games in October but the Devils REALLY need this next one against a struggling Panthers squad at home on Oct. 14.