1. Craig Anderson (Avalanche)

Craig Anderson back-stopped the 2008-09 last place Colorado Avalanche to their best start through October in team history with a record of 10-2-2 which is tops in the NHL believe it or not.

Craig led all goalies in the NHL in starts playing in all 15 games, as well as posting a .938 save percentage. His 2.10 goals against average was good for fourth in the league through October among goalies who started at least 10 games.

October stats: GP 14, Wins 10, Sv% .938, GAA, 2.10, SO 2

On pace: GP 82, Wins 54, Shutouts 10

2. Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals)

Alex went on a goal scoring tear in the month of October. He tied his best month ever with a total of 14 goals scored and 23 points in only 14 games played.

Alex had a total of six games with two or more goals scored which is the first time a player has had achieved this mark in one month since Brett Hull did it in the early 1990’s.

Alex’s success has the Capitals second in the Eastern conference with only two regulation losses which is tops in the NHL.

October stats: GP 14, Goals 14, Assists 9, Points 23

On pace: GP 82, Goals 82, Assists 52, Points 134

3. Dustin Penner (Oilers)

Dustin Penner is finally emerging as the power forward the Oilers expected him to be after signing him to a big offer sheet a few years ago from the Anaheim Ducks.

Dustin is off to his best start in his career with 9 goals and 10 assists in his first 14 games played, as well as a +9 which is amongst the best in the entire NHL. His hot October start has helped the Oilers maintain a spot within the top eight teams in the Western conference thus far, and the Oilers will need him to keep coming through if they are to contend for a playoff spot.

October stats: GP 14, Goals 9, Assists 10, Points 19

On pace: GP 82, Goals 52, Assists 58, Points 110


I’ve been saying this now for a while that the Islanders and Rangers games at Nassau need to have away sections that will separate Rangers fans from Isles fans, exactly like they do at European soccer games. Every game between these two clubs at Nassau, their is always fights in the stands, and their is always only two or maybe three security guards in the area who are unable to control the situation. Just watch the video above from last night to see exactly what I mean.

The formula for this power ranking system involves total team points, total goals scored, total goals allowed as well as additional points for away wins within the week. Tie-breaking ranking totals are decided on total wins first, then total goals scored (if tied then away team wins/goals scored within the week gets the advantage).

1. N.Y. Rangers (7-1-0) +32

Last week: 1

The Rangers have not lost since opening night in Pittsburgh. They are also the highest scoring team in the NHL. Will their high-paced play have them burnt out by the time December rolls around?

2. Colorado Avalanche (6-1-1) +27

Last week: 9

Colorado went 4-0-0 on the road this week behind the hot goaltending of Craig Anderson.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1-0) +26

Last week: 2

Pittsburgh dropped a spot at the expense of Colorado’s surge even though they didn’t drop any points this week.

4. Phoenix Coyotes (5-2-0) +19

Last week: 13

Even if no one in Arizona cares, it’s not looking like it is bothering the Yotes.

5. Chicago Blackhawks (5-2-1) +18

Last week: 11

Jonathan Toews finally got his first goal this week. However, Patrick Kane is still in a slump (3 points in last 6 games).

6. Ottawa Senators (5-2-0) +17

Last week: 14

Ottawa finished the week with two strong wins. One in Montreal where former Canadiens player Alexei Kovalev scored a goal en route to victory.

7. Edmonton Oilers (4-2-1) +17

Last week: 17

The Oilers this season are the team they were supposed to be last season.. Fast, entertaining and high scoring.

8. Atlanta Thrashers (4-1-0) +17

Last week: 12

Three out of Atlanta’s first four wins were earned on the road. I’m glad I picked this team to make the playoffs because they look legit.

9. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-1-0) +16

Last week: 7

Columbus is another team that dropped spots despite going 2-0-0 this week (at home).

10. Washington Capitals (4-2-2) +15

Last week: 10

Alex Ovechkin has four goals in three games playing with the likes of Brendan Morrison and Mike Knuble.

11. Buffalo Sabres (4-1-1) +15

Last week: 15

A couple six goal efforts this past week proves Buffalo can still put the puck in the net.

12. Dallas Stars (3-1-3) +14

Last week: 16

Dallas’ only one regulation loss this season came at the hands of the visiting Bruins.

13. San Jose Sharks (4-3-1) +12

Last week: 5

Only five goals in three games this past week.

14. St. Louis Blues (3-2-1) +12

Last week: 19

St. Louis finished the week strong with a 5-0 victory in Anaheim after losing three straight games.

15. Calgary Flames (5-2-1) +11

Last week: 3

With the defense and goaltending Calgary has, they shouldn’t be allowing 3.5 goals per game.

16. Philadelphia Flyers (3-2-1) +9
Last week: 4

Philly played once this week, which was a 4-2 loss in Florida.

17. N.J. Devils (4-3-0) +8

Last week: 20

New Jersey has only scored more than three goals once this season.

18. L.A. Kings (4-4-0) +5

Last week: 6

L.A. finished the week 0-3-0 after their hot start. All games were on the road against quality opponents, though.

19. Vancouver Canucks (3-4-0) +5

Last week: 21

Canucks move up at the expense of other teams after going 1-1-0 this week.

20. Detroit Red Wings (3-3-1) +4

Last week: 22

The ugliest of the Wings two losses this week came in Buffalo where they lost 6-2.

21. Boston Bruins (3-4-0) +4

Last week: 23

It looked like Boston could be back on track after shutting out Dallas 3-0 on their ice. Too bad they followed that up with a 4-1 loss in Phoenix.

22. Anaheim Ducks (3-3-1) +2

Last week: 8

After Anaheim crept by lowly Minnesota with a 3-2 win mid-week, they got their butts handed to them in a 5-0 shutout loss to St. louis.

23. Carolina Hurricanes (2-4-1) -2

Last week: 25

Like Vancouver, Carolina moves up at the expense of other teams misery despite only going 0-1-1 this week.

24. Tampa Bay Lightning (2-3-2) -4

Last week: 24

Tampa Bay will never get out of the gutter until the overrated Vinny Lecavalier becomes the franchise player he is supposed to be, or they trade him.

25. Florida Panthers (2-4-0) -4

Last week: 30

Impressive 4-2 against Philly this week after losing 3-2 to Tampa Bay.

26. Montreal Canadiens (2-5-0) -5

Last week: 27

Montreal are losers of five in a row. If you want the silver lining, Mike Cammalleri finally scored his first goal.

27. N.Y. Islanders (0-3-3) -7

Last week: 26

Who will first, the Islanders or Maple Leafs?

28. Nashville Predators (2-4-1) -8

Last week: 18

Four goals in four games this week is well on their way to a top three draft pick in 2010.

29. Minnesota Wild (1-6-0) -8

Last week: 28

Minnesota has already three one goal loss games. Maybe the addition of Chuck Kobasew will give them more scoring up front. I doubt it.

30. Toronto Maple Leafs (0-6-1) -17

Last week: 29

Toronto can’t score goals and they can’t stop other teams from scoring. This is the basic recipe for disaster.

Biggest increase in rank: Edmonton Oilers (10 spots)

Biggest decrease in rank: Anaheim Ducks (14 spots)

My take on the NHL’s 10 best rivalries for you to watch this season.

Click here for top 10 slideshow

This has to be one of the best saves I have seen in a while. It was also meaningful because the Canes soon after would tie it and force it to OT which gained them a point.

The formula for this power ranking system involves total team points, total goals scored, total goals allowed as well as additional points for away wins within the week. Tie-breaking ranking totals are decided on total wins first, then total goals scored (if tied then away team wins/goals scored within the week gets the advantage).

1. N.Y Rangers (4-1-0) +16

Last week: 12

The Rangers went 3-0-0 in week two. Two wins including road wins @ New Jersey and Washington.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1-0) +13

Last week: 7

Pittsburgh went undefeated this week highlighted by a huge win in Philadelphia.

3. Calgary Flames (4-1-0) +11

Last week: 6

Losing at home to Dallas 5-2 was the first loss for the Flames this season.

4. Philadelphia Flyers (3-1-1) +11
Last week: 1

Philly had a rough week losing at home to rival Pittsburgh, then blowing a late lead and losing to Anaheim the next day.

5. San Jose Sharks (3-2-0) +10

Last week: 14

The Sharks are moving up on the strength of their deadly one-two-punch of Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton.

6. L.A. Kings (3-1-0) +10

Last week: 25

The surprise Kings have not dropped points since opening night.

7. Columbus Blue Jackets (3-1-0) +10

Last week: 15

Columbus knew it would be tough starting three of their first four games on the road, but they have weathered the storm quite nicely.

8. Anaheim Ducks (2-2-1) +9

Last week: 28

Two big road wins this week against the likes of high quality opponents Philly and Boston.

9. Colorado Avalanche (2-1-1) +9

Last week: 3

Colorado has come back down to earth a little, but they have still been highly competitive in the games they’ve played in.

10. Washington Capitals (2-2-1) +8

Last week: 2

What has happened to to the Caps? Dropping points in every game since their hot start in week one.

11. Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1) +8

Last week: 8

Chicago have yet to find their groove, most notably Jonathan Toews who has one point in his first four games.

12. Atlanta Thrashers (2-1-0) +8

Last week: 10

After a big win in St. Louis, the Thrashers got handled pretty well in Ottawa in their following game.

13. Phoenix Coyotes (2-2-0) +8

Last week: 9

Phoenix is second in the league in goals against, but only fourth in goals scored.

14. Ottawa Senators (3-1-0) +7

Last week: 26

Ottawa has played well, but their lackluster offense will catch up with them once they play opponents of higher quality.

15. Buffalo Sabres (2-0-1) +7

Last week: 18

If you’re wondering why a team without any regulation-time losses is ranked 15th, just look at how many goals they have scored (four).

16. Dallas Stars (1-0-3) +6

Last week: 17

Dallas has already dropped a total of three points in the overtime/shootout.

17. Edmonton Oilers (2-1-1) +5

Last week: 20

The Oilers are both winning and losing close games. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing.

18. Nashville Predators (2-1-0) +5

Last week: 13

Similar to Buffalo, Nashville can’t score goals, but the good things is, they are not allowing many. Their luck won’t last forever.

19. St. Louis Blues (2-2-0) +4

Last week: 4

After St. Louis’ hot start, they have dropped two games in a row, both at home.

20. N.J. Devils (2-2-0) +4

Last week: 27

New Jersey completed a Florida sweep this week after an 0-2-0 start.

21. Vancouver Canucks (2-3-0) +3

Last week: 29

Good news is the Canucks have won two in a row after a terrible start. Bad news is Daniel Sedin will be out for at least one month.

22. Detroit Red Wings (2-2-0) +3

Last week: 23

Detroit got back on track this week, especially with a big against Washington. How the Wings will cope from here on out without goal scoring winger Johan Franzen is a big mystery.

23. Boston Bruins (2-2-0) +2

Last week: 11

Boston is a far-cry from the team that started off like gang-busters last season.

24. Tampa Bay Lightning (1-1-2) +2

Last week: 24

Tampa finally got their first win this week with the help of Ryan Malone’s hat-trick.

25. Carolina Hurricanes (2-3-0) 0

Last week: 30

Carolina has looked either really bad or really good. They need to find more consistency.

26. N.Y Islanders (0-0-3) 0

Last week: 16

The highlight of the Isles this week was their 3-0 lead on the Bruins with only eight minutes away from the end of regulation. Their lowlight was when they allowed the Bruins to storm back and win in a shootout.

27. Montreal Canadiens (2-3-0) -2

Last week: 5

Talk about hitting a wall. Montreal went o-3-0 on their Northwest road-trip this week.

28. Minnesota Wild (1-3-0) -3

Last week: 21

Minnesota has dropped three games in-a-row this week. At least now they are fun to watch while they are doing so.

29. Toronto Maple Leafs (0-3-1) -6

Last week: 22

Maybe Brian Burke should have concentrated on adding more skill instead of more toughness this off-season.

30. Florida Panthers (1-3-0) -7

Last week: 19

Outside of Florida’s opening-day win against Chicago, they have looked like an AHL team.

Biggest increase in rank: Anaheim Ducks (20 spots)

Biggest decrease in rank: Montreal Canadiens (22 spots)