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The first month of the NHL season is in the books, and we’re starting to get more of an understanding of each team. Even though it’s still early, a couple of clear contenders are starting to emerge.

The NHL now has just one undefeated team left: the Carolina Hurricanes.

They have picked up right where they left off as one of the most dominant teams in the league. Also featured in the top five this week are the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The Battle for Alberta is setting up for some classic games this season.

At the other end of that spectrum, there are a few teams that already look lost. The Coyotes and Blackhawks remain winless, and the Canadiens keep getting shelled on a regular basis.

The real question that remains now is what to make of the teams in the middle. A number of teams have gotten off to inconsistent starts and are still looking for their identity, and that’s where a lot of the intrigue lies in weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Here are the full NHL power rankings as we enter the month of November:

Biggest Movers







The Hurricanes are the last remaining undefeated team in the NHL, and they were a perfect 8-0 in the month of October. Everything is clicking for Carolina, including the goaltending. Some eyes were rolled, including those of yours truly, when the Canes ditched a perfectly fine goaltending tandem to get Freddie Andersen. However, he’s been fantastic through seven starts. 2 8-0-0



Florida’s undefeated start came to an end with a shootout loss to the Bruins on Saturday, but the Panthers are still playing like an elite team. A big question moving forward will be how the team responds to the departure of head coach Joel Quenneville, who stepped down as a result of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal. 1 8-0-1



The engine driving this hot start for the Oilers is a power play that has converted on 47.8% of its opportunities. That number will come down throughout the year, but the trio of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisitl and Zach Hyman make that unit an absolute nightmare for even the grittiest penalty kill. 2 6-1-0



I’ve made it clear that I’m suspicious about this start from the Blues based on some of their underlying numbers, but they continue to win, and that should be rewarded. On top of that, Vladimir Tarasenko looks fully healthy and very motivated. That’s a dangerous combination. 7 6-1-0



Goaltender Jacob Markstrom is now making it look easy in net. He already has three shutouts on the season, and the Flames are playing improved defense in front of him. Combine that with a quick start from Johnny Gaudreau, and Calgary is quickly rising up the standings and these rankings. 10 6-1-1



The Rangers are now 6-1-0 in their last seven games, and they are being paced by reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox. He already has eight points and seems determined to build on his phenomenal 2020-21 season. 2 6-2-1



This might just become a weekly ode to Alex Ovechkin. He simply cannot stop scoring. The 36-year-old winger has nine goals and 15 points in eight games, and he is still a blast to watch. Ovi has the Capitals rolling right now, and they still haven’t lost in regulation. They’ll be tough to beat as long as Ovechkin is playing at this level. 2 5-0-3



Colorado went 2-1 this past week, and things are starting to look up in the Mile High City. The Avalanche played well in all three games, and Nathan MacKinnon is dishing to the tune of eight assists in six games played. Are the Avs starting to find their groove? If so, that’s bad news for the rest of the league. 2 4-4-0



The Bruins only notched one win in three games over the last seven days, but all three of those contests were against the top two teams in these power rankings. We won’t punish Boston too much for that. Plus, the Bruins were able to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season on Saturday night. 5 4-3-0



Minnesota has now lost three of their last four games, and they haven’t played very well in that stretch. Kirill Kaprizov has yet to find the back of the net, but that should change in the near future. He’s tied for the team lead in shots on goal, so expect his luck to turn in the near future. 8 5-3-0


Maple Leafs

The Leafs suffered a concerning loss to the Hurricanes last week, but fortunately for them they ran into one of the NHL’s best slump busters, the Blackhawks. Toronto scored a thrilling overtime win in that game before taking down the Red Wings over the weekend. The Maple Leafs will be tested more this week with games against three preseason Stanley Cup favorites. 1 4-4-1


Golden Knights

In last week’s rankings, I said that Vegas just needed to find ways to win until they get healthier. They did just that by winning three in a row. They weren’t all pretty, but the Golden Knights won’t be picky about how the wins come as they wait for some better health and/or a Jack Eichel trade. 2 4-4-0



The Lightning started last week by getting smacked, 5-1, at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. The Bolts washed that taste out of their mouths with a pair of 5-1 wins over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes. Can Tampa Bay build on those two victories and find a rhythm in November? 6 4-3-1



The Jets have played eight games and six of them have been against teams from California, including three against the Ducks. That scheduling quirk has worked out pretty well for them. Winnipeg is 4-0-1 in their last five games, and Pierre-Luc Dubois is making himself right at home after being traded to the Jets in less than ideal circumstances last season. 5 4-2-2



Do I think the Sabres are one of the best teams in the NHL? No. Am I having fun with their early success? Absolutely. I don’t expect Buffalo to keep picking up points at this rate, but if they do keep winning hockey games, I’ll keep moving them closer to that No. 1 spot. 6 5-2-1



This was a weird week for Philadelphia. It began with an impressive win over the Oilers and ended with a discouraging shutout loss to the Flames. Sandwiched in the middle was a low-scoring win against the Canucks. I can’t figure out what to make of the Flyers right now, but that will probably be the case all season. 1 4-2-1



If nothing else, the Islanders should be well-rested. They only played one game last week, and it was a shootout loss to the Predators. The Isles are in the middle of some time off at home to break up their monster 13-game road trip to open the season, but they’ll finally get back on the ice this Thursday. 4 3-2-2


Red Wings

The Red Wings deserve a lot of credit. They aren’t just going to roll over for anyone this season. What’s even more encouraging is that the young players are stepping up. Rookie defenseman Moritz Seider has notched eight assists already, and he has been one of the many bright spots in Detroit. 7 4-3-2



Jonathan Bernier is already looking like a smart addition for the Devils. His 95.5% save percentage at five-on-five ranks sixth among goalies who have played at least three games, and Bernier is earning more time in the crease for New Jersey. 3 4-2-1



The good news for the Penguins is that Sidney Crosby made his return last week. The bad news is pretty much everything else. Pittsburgh is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and they’ve been outscored 13-3 in that time. The scoring by committee the Pens had to start the season has slowed, so Crosby will have to pick up a lot of the slack. 10 3-3-2



Nashville has now rattled off three straight wins to get back to .500 by the end of October. The Preds haven’t exactly been playing the most exciting brand of hockey, but they have been effective, and the NHL standings don’t factor in style points. 5 4-4-0



The addition of Yanni Gourde to the Kraken’s lineup has already made a difference. He has made a positive impact on Seattle’s expected goals numbers, and he has tallied four points in five games. Seattle looked much improved last week, so maybe it just took some time for the players to gel with one another. 1 3-5-1


Blue Jackets

As a team, the Blue Jackets have been about what we expected prior to the season. However, goalie Elvis Merzlikins has been brilliant. He is tied for sixth in the NHL with 4.01 goals saved above average, and he has the chance to steal a win every time he starts for Columbus. 1 5-3-0



The Stars have been one of the most unlucky teams in the NHL through the first few weeks. They are 10th in the NHL in expected goals share (52.51%), but they have only scored on 3.70% of their shots at five-on-five. The wins are on their way in Dallas as long as the team keeps playing the way it is. 6 3-4-1



Ryan Getzlaf passed Teemu Selanne to become the team’s all-time points leader in the Ducks’ win over the Canadiens. He currently sits just 11 points away from 1,000 in his career. Getzlaf has been a leader of that franchise for 17 seasons, and now he’s been tasked with ushering in the next group of young stars. 4 3-4-3



The extended loss of Drew Doughty will be a tough one for the Kings. His play took a dip over the last couple of seasons, but he was off to a great start this year. Now, Los Angeles has to find someone who can eat some tough minutes in his absence. 1 3-5-1



If you’re going to be bad, at least be fun, and that’s what the Senators are. Ottawa provided some fireworks last week when they stormed back from down 4-1 to tie their game against the Capitals. The Sens ultimately lost that game, but young winger Drake Batherson notched his first career hat trick. 1 3-4-0



The Sharks are 1-3 since their 4-0 start, and they have allowed more expected goals than they’ve generated at five-on-five in each game since the season opener. Oddly enough, the lone win in that stretch came when the lineup was decimated by COVID-19 protocols. 8 5-3-0



Vancouver is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and the offense has suddenly dried up. Elias Pettersson has just one goal and three assists in the team’s first nine games. Once he gets going, that should solve a lot of the Canucks’ offensive woes. 7 3-5-1



The Canadiens continue to lose by wide margins, and their -15 goal differential through 10 games would be pretty eye-popping if the two teams below Montreal in these rankings hadn’t already blown that number out of the water. 2-8-0



They are a mess on the ice, but the Blackhawks have much bigger concerns when it comes to addressing the investigation into the alleged sexual assault of former first-round pick Kyle Beach by former video coach Brad Aldrich. 0-7-2



The goaltending duo of Carter Hutton and Karel Vejmelka is going about as well as you might expect. The Coyotes surrendered five goals in back-to-back losses to the Panthers and Lightning. To be fair, the offense hasn’t shown up at all. Arizona scored five goals in four games last week. 0-8-1