NHL Power Rankings - Week 8: Predators move into top 10, Oilers drop to 29

John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

1. Los Angeles Kings

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
11-6-4 +8 1

The Los Angeles Kings have spent much of the season carrying almost $10 million in dead salary cap space. The NHL and the NHLPA agreed to give them a break on Slava Voynov's $4-million plus salary this week, but Mike Richards' contract remains on the books.

2. Chicago Blackhawks

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
12-8-1 +19 2

Beating up on the Oilers is a cinch for the Blackhawks now that Sam Gagner is in Arizona.

3. St. Louis Blues

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
14-6-1 +14 3

Jay Bouwmeester's 737 game "ironman" streak came to an end this weekend, having outlasted his "never made the playoffs" streak by 102 games. 

4. Tampa Bay Lightning 

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
14-6-2 +17 4

All the chaps agree the Lightning would be bloody barmy to rush Victor Hedman back. 

Jon Cooper added: "Once Hedman returns we'll have a cracking good team. The rest of the East is buggered, govnah!" 

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
13-4-2 +25 5

Aside from their inability to handle Matt Martin's goal scoring prowess, the Penguins are a pretty great team. 

6. Minnesota Wild

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
11-8-0 +11 8

The addition of mumps and rubella to the Wild's defense corps has really shored up the club's otherwise weak top four. 

7. Anaheim Ducks

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
13-4-5 +6 7

Ducks forward Pat Maroon is struggling in the early going, but at least he's a serious contender for Movember stache of the year: 

More like Pat Mo'roon. 

8. Montreal Canadiens

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
16-6-1 +4 6

Peter Budaj. Travis Moen. Rene Bourque.

Marc Bergevin's ability to sell trash to the dump is uncanny. 

9. New York Islanders

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
14-6-0 +11 10

After a decade of mismanagement the Islanders are for real. Speaking of which ... 

Oh, snap!

10. Nashville Predators

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
13-5-2 +15 12

Sure Filip Forsberg's NHL leading PDO won't last, but he's still running unopposed for the Calder Trophy as far as we can tell. 

11. Boston Bruins

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
13-9-0 +3 9

Bruins forward Milan Lucic was accused of whining when he criticized Dalton Prout for one-punching him on the weekend. Lucic shouldn't walk back his criticism so much as he should moonwalk it back:

(Courtesy: @GraphicComments)

12. Detroit Red Wings

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
10-5-5 +6 11

The Red Wings develop so many skilled forwards that they occasionally lose useful players on waivers, as they did with Andrej Nestrasil this week. Nestrasil promptly scored his first career NHL goal in his debut appearance with his new team, the Carolina Hurricanes.

If history really repeats itself, Nestrasil is well on his way to being overpaid in free agency by the Buffalo Sabres.

13. Washington Capitals

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
9-8-3 +2 15

Alex Ovechkin has always been more about power and volume than accuracy, but this is taking things a bit far:

(Courtesy: Russian Machine Never Breaks)

14. San Jose Sharks

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
10-9-4 -2 14

Patrick Marleau seems to believe that beloved Canadian band Nickelback put on the world's best live show:

Yeah, and the Sharks are the NHL's best playoff team.

15. Vancouver Canucks

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
14-6-1 +4 17

You cannot stop Jannik Hansen, you can only hope to contain him.

16. New Jersey Devils

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
9-9-3 -8 13

Cory Schneider will return to Vancouver to face his former club Tuesday. In some ways, it's like he never left:

(Courtesy: JoePlumber007)

17. Dallas Stars

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
8-9-4 -11 16

Newly acquired Stars defenseman Jason Demers never meant to start a war, he just wanted you to let him in:

Left Wing Lock's post on Vine

All Demers ever did was ...

Wreh-eh-ehck me!

18. New York Rangers

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
9-7-4 -1 18

A modest proposal for the league's worst large sample puck-possession forward: 

19. Toronto Maple Leafs

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
11-8-2 +4 20

The Maple Leafs lost 9-2 to the Predators on home ice Tuesday, and did what every team would after such a spanking: decided not to salute their fans at center ice after beating Tampa Bay on Thursday. 

It's a non-story. Formal or not, the Leafs have been saluting their fans with a giant middle finger for a generation.

20. Arizona Coyotes

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
9-11-2 -13 19

Coyotes goaltender Devan Dubnyk is playing extraordinarily well in the early going this season. Mike Smith? Well ...

(Courtesy: @myregularface)

21. Philadelphia Flyers

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
8-9-2 -3 21

Ron Hextall cussed out his team this week, which was inevitable:

Hextall presumably called his players "worse than Chelios," before sheepishly admitting that he'd gone too far and shouldn't say things he can't take back.

22. Calgary Flames

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
13-7-2 +10 24

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano leads all NHL defensemen in scoring by four points, but he'd be more likely to finish the season with the blue-line scoring lead if he was trailing by two late.

23. Florida Panthers

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
7-5-6 -7 23

The Panthers have shown major signs of improvement, which is scary when you consider that they employ an 18-year-old top-pairing defenseman and a 19-year-old first-line center. Sunny days ahead in Broward County?

24. Winnipeg Jets

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
10-9-3 -6 25

Why won't anybody believe me when I tell them Evander Kane is having trouble scoring! Oh, right ...

25. Ottawa Senators

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
9-6-4 +2 26

The Senators are hoping to convince iconic former captain Daniel Alfredsson to officially announce his retirement in Ottawa. That makes sense, even though most Ottawans would rather party with Radek Bonk.

26. Colorado Avalanche

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
7-9-5 -14 28

Nathan MacKinnon has been a point-per-game player ever since the Avalanche moved him back onto the first power-play unit. Wait, why wasn't he there in the first place? 

27. Columbus Blue Jackets

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
6-12-2 -23 22

In retrospect, it was a mistake to construct the Nationwide Arena on the site of a pet store that only sells black cats, which was formerly a monkey paw boutique, which was originally constructed upon a Native American burial ground.

28. Carolina Hurricanes

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
6-11-3 -14 29

If you rearrange the letters in "Riley Nash," you can spell "sly hernia," which sounds roughly as painful as watching an NHL team on which Nash is the leading scorer. 

29. Edmonton Oilers

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
6-13-2 -25 27

The Blackhawks lit up the Oilers so badly Saturday night that Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was preemptively fired from his next job.

30. Buffalo Sabres

Record Goal Differential Previous Rank
6-13-2 -34 30

Sabres fourth liner Patrick Kaleta missed a game and several practices this week due to extreme snowfall in the Buffalo area. By now you'd think Kaleta would be used to getting buried: 

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NHL Power Rankings - Week 8: Predators move into top 10, Oilers drop to 29
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