Local Hockey Power Rankings- Week 5
This week, we saw the end of October and the beginning of November. The Rangers pulled their record to .500, the Islanders’ win streak continues again and the Devils made a trade. This week, we had four voters including myself and unanimous rankings.
1. New York Islanders, 16 points (4 first-place votes) Last week: 1
Record: 10-3-0 (2-0-0 last week) Week MVP: Derick Brassard
The Islanders had some time off this week before returning to action against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, Nov. 1. They didn’t miss a beat, defeating the Bolts 5-2 at home. Anders Lee led the way with a goal and two assists while Josh Bailey, Mat Barzal and Derick Brassard each had a goal and an assist. Thomas Greiss was also strong with 33 saves. The next night, the Isles traveled to Buffalo to face the Sabres. It was a low scoring affair as Brassard extended his goal-scoring streak to five games with the game’s only goal from behind the Buffalo net. Semyon Varlamov picked up the shutout and the Islanders extended their win streak to nine, their second-longest in franchise history, matching a 9-0-0 mark from December 1989 to January 1990. This team is the hottest in the NHL right now, and they’ve had to be to keep pace in the competitive Metro. The Ottawa Senators will try to end the streak on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
2. New York Rangers, 12 points. Last week: 3
Record: 5-5-1 (2-0-0 last week) Week MVP: Filip Chytil
The Rangers had their best week of the season since the first week and the call-up of Filip Chytil was a huge catalyst. The forward scored the game-winner in his season debut, a 4-1 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 29, and the opening goal in Nashville on Nov. 2, a 2-1 victory. This week also saw two dominant performances from Alexandar Georgiev who stopped 61 of 63 shots thrown his way between the two contests. Ryan Strome has also collected a point in eight of his past nine games. A strong victory over the Lightning plus a statement win over a very good Predators team has renewed confidence in the fanbase. The Blueshirts will look to keep the streak going with a couple of games against weaker teams early in the week, Ottawa on Monday, Nov. 4 and Detroit on Wednesday, Nov. 6, both at the Garden.
3. Philadelphia Flyers, 8 points. Last week: 2
Record: 6-5-2 (1-1-1 last week) Week MVP: Sean Couturier
The Flyers began the week getting smacked 7-1 by the rival Penguins on Oct. 29. They would have a few days off to lick their wounds and came back against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 1. Joel Farabee tied the game in the third period with his first career NHL goal and Sean Couturier scored the only shootout goal to get Philly back on track. They finished the week on Nov. 2, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. This one went to an 11-round shootout before the Leafs came away with the victory, courtesy of Andreas Johnsson. The Flyers find themselves in contention after the first month and will look to stay in the hunt as the year goes on. They have a tough week ahead with four games, all against teams with winning records.
4. New Jersey Devils, 4 points. Last week: 4
Record: 3-5-4 (1-0-2 last week) Week MVP: Nico Hischier
This week was going like any other for the Devils. They blew a 5-3, third period lead to the Lightning, needing a goal from Kyle Palmieri with eight seconds left to get a point, before losing in overtime. They lost a 3-2, third period lead to Philadelphia before losing in a shootout. Then, it happened. PK Subban gave the Devils a 4-3 lead in the third period of their game with the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 2 and won. They held that lead for the final 16 minutes of the game, even tacking on an empty netter. Nico Hischier had a highlight-reel goal in that one and Jack Hughes has points in five of his last six games plus they traded for goaltender Louis Domingue, sending a conditional seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay. There’s a shred of optimism going into this week as New Jersey leaves for a Western Canada road trip.