NHL

Super 16: Blues, Red Wings, Penguins celebrate return to power rankings

Super 16: Blues, Red Wings, Penguins celebrate return to power rankings

The Bruins are in the top spot for second straight week and third time in the past four weeks.

It’s also a happy turkey day for the St. Louis Blues, who are back in the Super 16 at No. 12 after dropping out three weeks ago in the middle of their eight-game losing streak. And the same for the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, each of whom has done enough in the eyes of the voters to get back in.

Hopefully the Florida Panthers still have a fine Thanksgiving meal and don’t think about the fact that they have dropped out of the Super 16 after slotting in at No. 11 last week.

Here’s hoping the same for the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers as the two Alberta-based teams are out this week.

As a reminder, to come up with the Super 16 each week, the 13 voters put together their own version of what they think the rankings should look like. A point total is assigned to each, with the team selected first given 16 points, second 15, third 14, and so on down the line.

This week, in addition to the rankings, the contributing staff members have offered their thoughts as to what each team in the Super 16 should be thankful for.

Here is the Super 16, with those thoughts from the staff members, whose individual rankings are below:

1. Boston Bruins (17-3-0)

Total points: 205

Last week: No. 1

“Well, this is easy: Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. When last season ended, the Bruins were staring down the possibility of a rebuild and were talking about the potential next phase of the franchise. And then came Aug. 8, and two crucial decisions were made: Bergeron signed a one-year contract to return for another season. And Krejci, who spent a season away from the NHL playing in his native Czech Republic, did the same. Without those two centers the Bruins were looking iffy. With them, they’re world beaters. It’s a lot to be thankful for, for both the Bruins and the fans who get to watch them.” — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: Bergeron’s 1,000th point on Marchand goal

2. New Jersey Devils (16-4-0)

Total points: 193

Last week: No. 2

“The Devils should give thanks to their great fans. A sellout crowd gave the team a standing ovation as the seconds counted down in a 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday that enabled the club to match a franchise record with its 13th straight victory. As coach Lindy Ruff observed, Devils fans not only are reacting to goals and big saves, but also game-changing plays and moments during the course of each game, which has played a big role in motivating the home team. The fans also should be commended for their apology to Ruff on Nov. 12, when they began chanting ‘Sorry, Lindy’ in the third period of an eventual 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. This came almost a month after fans began chanting ‘Fire Lindy’ during the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the home opener. Make no mistake, Devils fans appreciate when hard work enables them to celebrate a huge win, and players and coaches love it.” — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

3. Vegas Golden Knights (16-4-1)

Total points: 180

Last week: No. 3

“The Golden Knights have a lot to be thankful for through the first quarter of the season. I could mention the play of goalies Logan Thompson and Adin Hill, who have been stabilizers in the wake of Robin Lehner’s season-ending hip surgery. I could mention center Jack Eichel and his production, proving he’s all the way back from neck surgery he had a little over a year ago. There’s forward Chandler Stephenson, who continues to put up numbers and can play just about anywhere in the lineup. Don’t forget the offense they’re getting from defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore. But first on the Golden Knights’ list to be thankful for is health. They have it. They were besieged by injuries last season and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They had 17 skaters play in at least 18 of their 21 games. Stay healthy, and they’re a shoo-in for the playoffs this season.” — Dan Rosen, senior writer

4. Colorado Avalanche (11-6-1)

Total points: 152

Last week: No. 7

“What do the Stanley Cup champions have to be thankful for? Where should we start? How about center Nathan MacKinnon, the perennial Hart Trophy finalist who continues to lead this team and pile up the points? Or maybe Cale Makar, who became the fastest defenseman in NHL history to reach 200 points (195 games)? Or Alexandar Georgiev, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers during the offseason and has had no trouble fitting in as the No. 1 goalie? Colorado hasn’t had a Cup hangover and has succeeded despite two of its top forwards, Gabriel Landeskog (knee) and Valeri Nichushkin (ankle), being out with injuries.” — David Satriano, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: MacKinnon dangles before scoring in the 2nd

5. Carolina Hurricanes (10-6-4)

Total points: 150

Last week: No. 4

“The Hurricanes have struggled a little with consistency since their 8-2-1 start, and they’re 1-4 in games decided in overtime. But they had plenty to be thankful for through their first 20 games. Carolina remains one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, have two of the most underrated players in the NHL in forward Sebastian Aho and defenseman Jaccob Slavin, and have perhaps the best coach in the League in Rod Brind’Amour. Defenseman Brent Burns has fit seamlessly after being acquired in an offseason trade with the San Jose Sharks, and the Hurricanes’ goaltending depth has been a blessing. With Frederik Andersen out since Nov. 6 because of a lower-body injury, Pyotr Kochetkov has filled in well since being called up from Chicago of the American Hockey League.” — Tom Gulitti, staff writer

6. Dallas Stars (12-5-3)

Total points: 143

Last week: No. 8

“The Stars have two key things to be thankful for. Jason Robertson picked up where he left off last season despite the forward missing most of training camp while waiting to get his contract completed. Same for goaltender Jake Oettinger, although his contract was set before camp. In both cases, they’ve been outstanding. Robertson has continued to bring consistent offense, averaging 1.55 points per game. Oettinger, who almost got the Stars to the Western Conference Second Round last season, once again has been consistent in goal. If the Stars were going to compete in the Central Division they would need their young players to lead them. They are.” — Tracey Myers, staff writer

7. Winnipeg Jets (11-6-1)

Total points: 120

Last week: No. 6

“The Jets have had a fantastic turnaround under coach Rick Bowness, but what they should be most thankful for is that goalie Connor Hellebuyck remains elite at his position. He’s 8-5-1 with two shutouts in 14 games and has a .928 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against average. “[Hellebuyck] gives us the confidence that we can do our job in front of him and play the right way and he’ll do his thing every night to give us a chance to win,” teammate Josh Morrissey said recently. If the Jets return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after missing them last season, they’ll likely have Hellebuyck to thank.” — Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

Video: [email protected]: Morrissey scores in OT off a breakaway

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (11-5-5)

Total points: 111

Last week: No. 9

“The Maple Leafs should be thankful that their captain, forward John Tavares, took matters into his own hands when the pressure cooker was heating up dangerously in Toronto. His hat trick in a 5-2 home win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 2 ended a four-game skid (0-2-2) and helped turns things around. The Maple Leafs have been better in November and Tavares has been arguably the most important factor in their success.” — Robert Laflamme, LNH.com senior writer

9. New York Islanders (13-8-0)

Total points: 98

Last week: No. 5

“I think the Islanders have to be thankful for their character, which has allowed them to have ability to win games despite slow starts. They allowed the first goal in 12 of their first 20 games but managed to rally and win five of them (5-7-0). It’s a trend they need to slow moving forward, but there’s no shortage of leaders in their locker room. It’s a huge reason they’ve been able to stay in games.” — Brian Compton, managing editor

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-7-1)

Total points: 96

Last week: No. 10

“Although the Lightning have gone through some early season ups and downs, they can be thankful that most of the core from their run of three consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearances remains intact. This group has played a lot of games the past three seasons, winning the Cup in 2020 and 2021 before losing to the Avalanche in the Final last season. But Tampa Bay still has one of the best goalies in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the League’s best defensemen in Victor Hedman and skilled forwards such as Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos, its captain and one of the League’s best leaders. After defenseman Ryan McDonagh was traded to the Nashville Predators in the offseason, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has thrived in a bigger role. With coach Jon Cooper knowing how to push all the right buttons, you can expect the Lightning to be ready to make another run by the time the playoffs begin.” — Gulitti

11. Seattle Kraken (11-5-3)

Total points: 69

Last week: No. 13

“The Kraken can be thankful for three key additions: goalie Martin Jones and forward Andre Burakovsky, each of whom signed as an unrestricted free agent July 13, and forward Matty Beniers, the No. 2 pick of the 2021 NHL Draft. Each has made a significant impact for an expansion team that has a shot to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in its second season. Jones has steadied the goaltending. Burakovsky has been as advertised after winning the Cup with the Colorado Avalanche last season and the Washington Capitals in 2018. Beniers is a candidate for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.” — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

12. St. Louis Blues (10-9-0)

Total points: 68

Last week: Unranked

“I think the Blues have to be thankful for the patience shown by coach Craig Berube and general manager Doug Armstrong. The Blues looked like a dead team during their eight-game losing streak. It looked like their work ethic was gone and their goaltending had betrayed them. But hindsight being what it is, we now know that it was just a bad stretch of hockey and not indicative of the type of team this is. Berube never flew off the handle, never exploded or tried to blow up what he knows can work. He tinkered and adjusted, but he remained steadfast in his belief in the group. So did Armstrong, who easily could have fired Berube or made hasty roster moves. Their patience paid off as the Blues are back in the playoff race, back above .500 and proving once again their championship pedigree.” — Rosen

13. New York Rangers (10-7-4)

Total points: 60

Last week: No. 15

“Though turkey will be on dinner tables across the United States on Thursday, the Rangers are thankful for ‘terkin,’ as in goalie Igor Shesterkin. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is a big reason why the Rangers are in almost every game he plays despite averaging 3.05 goals per game. Need proof? In games he starts the Ranges are 10-2-3, and when he doesn’t play they are 0-5-1.” — Bill Price, Editor-in-Chief

14. Los Angeles Kings (11-9-2)

Total points: 41

Last week: No. 12

“The Kings should be thankful that Gabriel Vilardi finally is starting to live up to the potential they saw in him when they selected the forward with the No. 11 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Vilardi leads the Kings with 11 goals and he’s tied for second with 16 points, behind forward Kevin Fiala (21). His 11 goals have come in 22 games this season; he had 18 goals in his first 89 NHL games. However, Vilardi’s goal in a 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday was his first in seven games. The Kings have to hope he can get hot again, because they need his offense. During that six-game goal drought he was limited to one shot on goal or fewer in four of the games. Vilardi isn’t a shot-volume player, but he needs to be putting the puck on net 3-4 times per game. Still, the Kings have needed his offense in the first quarter of the season and he has delivered.” — Rosen

Video: [email protected]: Vilardi tucks in a pass on the power play

15. Detroit Red Wings (10-5-4)

Total points: 28

Last week: Unranked

“Much as I’m sure they were hoping it would work out this way, the Red Wings can be thankful for their offseason moves. Forwards Dominik Kubalik and David Perron, each signed during the offseason, are among the Red Wings’ top three scorers. Forward Andrew Copp, another free-agent signing, has solidified things at center. Goalie Ville Husso, acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Blues, has been dependable. When the Red Wings made their offseason moves, general manager Steve Yzerman said the main focus was to ‘add players to fill out a roster,’ as well as address some needs. But the moves also have helped the Red Wings compete in the Atlantic Division.” — Myers

16. Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-3)

Total points: 20

Last week: Unranked

“The Penguins should be thankful to Father Time for bestowing on them two future Hall of Fame players who refuse to allow their games to deteriorate significantly even though their career clocks suggest they should be. Indeed, 35-year-old Sidney Crosby and 36-year-old Evgeni Malkin continue to buck the odds by playing at an elite level most players a decade younger only can strive for. Through the first quarter of the season Crosby leads the Penguins with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) and Malkin is second with 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists), showing each has plenty left in the tank. Whether their supporting cast is strong enough to allow the dynamic duo to win their fourth Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh remains to be seen.” — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Others receiving points: Calgary Flames 18, Florida Panthers 10, Edmonton Oilers 3, Nashville Predators 3

Dropped out: Panthers (No. 11), Oilers (No. 14), Flames (No. 16)

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. New York Islanders; 8. Winnipeg Jets; 9. Seattle Kraken; 10. Tampa Bay Lightning; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. New York Rangers; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Florida Panthers; 16. Calgary Flames

BRIAN COMPTON

1. New Jersey Devils; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Winnipeg Jets; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Seattle Kraken; 8. Dallas Stars; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Tampa Bay Lightning; 11. New York Islanders; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Detroit Red Wings; 14. New York Rangers; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Calgary Flames

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. Seattle Kraken; 8. Carolina Hurricanes; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Detroit Red Wings; 11. Tampa Bay Lightning; 12. New York Rangers; 13. New York Islanders; 14. Calgary Flames; 15. St. Louis Blues; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins

TOM GULITTI

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. Tampa Bay Lightning; 10. New York Islanders; 11. Seattle Kraken; 12. Detroit Red Wings; 13. New York Rangers; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. St. Louis Blues; 16. Calgary Flames

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. New Jersey Devils; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. New York Rangers; 11. Tampa Bay Lightning; 12. New York Islanders; 13. Detroit Red Wings; 14. Seattle Kraken; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Florida Panthers

ROBERT LAFLAMME

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. New York Islanders; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Winnipeg Jets; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Los Angeles Kings; 11. Seattle Kraken; 12. Tampa Bay Lightning; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Detroit Red Wings; 15. New York Rangers; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Boston Bruins; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. New Jersey Devils; 5. Tampa Bay Lightning; 6. Colorado Avalanche; 7. New York Islanders; 8. St. Louis Blues; 9. New York Rangers; 10. Toronto Maple Leafs; 11. Winnipeg Jets; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. Florida Panthers; 16. Calgary Flames

TRACEY MYERS

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. New York Islanders; 8. New York Rangers; 9. Los Angeles Kings; 10. Colorado Avalanche; 11. Winnipeg Jets; 12. Tampa Bay Lightning; 13. Seattle Kraken; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. St. Louis Blues; 16. Detroit Red Wings

BILL PRICE

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. New York Islanders; 9. Winnipeg Jets; 10. Tampa Bay Lightning; 11. New York Rangers; 12. Seattle Kraken; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins

SHAWN P. ROARKE

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. New Jersey Devils; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Vegas Golden Knights; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Tampa Bay Lightning; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Winnipeg Jets; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. New York Islanders; 13. Florida Panthers; 14. Nashville Predators; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Los Angeles Kings

DAN ROSEN

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Tampa Bay Lightning; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Winnipeg Jets; 9. Carolina Hurricanes; 10. Toronto Maple Leafs; 11. Seattle Kraken; 12. New York Rangers; 13. New York Islanders; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins

DAVID SATRIANO

1. New Jersey Devils; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. New York Islanders; 9. Winnipeg Jets; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Seattle Kraken; 12. Tampa Bay Lightning; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Calgary Flames; 15. Pittsburgh Penguins; 16. Florida Panthers

MIKE ZEISBERGER

1. Boston Bruins; 2. New Jersey Devils; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. Winnipeg Jets; 9. Tampa Bay Lightning; 10. New York Rangers; 11. New York Islanders; 12. Seattle Kraken; 13. Detroit Red Wings; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Edmonton Oilers





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