Go go Power Rankings! Commissioner Thomas Gidlow powers up the dino-coins for his bi-weekly (or thereabouts) top and bottom lists.
COMMISH'S POWER FIVE: A definitive look at the top five teams in BEARD Hockey - according to Thomas, at least.
#1: VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (The Black Ranger)
6-2-0, 12 points; 1st in Pacific Division, 1st in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Logan Couture (8 games, 4-8-12)
Goaltending: Jacob Markstrom (8 games, .902 SP, 3.25 GAA)
NOTES: Not built for defensive prowess with a team GAA over 3.00, the Knights have the hottest offense out of the gate, to the tune of 4.4 goals per game. As long as Vegas keeps scoring (eight forwards have at least two goals in eight games), they may stay at or near the top for a good long while.
#2: BUFFALO SABRES (The Blue Ranger)
6-1-0, 12 points; 1st in Atlantic Division, T-1st in Eastern Conference
Leading Scorer: Alex DeBrincat (7 games, 4-6-10)
Goaltending: Mikko Koskinen (7 games, .934 SP, 2.28 GAA)
NOTES: Everything is coming up Milhouse for the Sabres so far this season. Led by an unheralded (to put it mildly) defense, Buffalo is surprising folks with a scorching start. Maybe they aren't surprised themselves, but you could understand the trepidation (Jani Hakanpaa and Ilya Lyubushkin are top-four defenseman here). Will it last?
#3: NEW JERSEY DEVILS (The Red Ranger)
6-1-0, 12 points; 1st in Metro Division, T-1st in Eastern Conference
Leading Scorer: Jesper Bratt, Troy Terry, Cale Makar, and Boone Jenner (all with 6 points)
Goaltending: Sergei Bobrovsky (6 games, .939 SP, 2.15 GAA)
NOTES: No real surprise here. General manager Tommy Barr figured to build a smart, sturdy ship from the jump and he's done just that. The scoring is balanced, the defense is doing its part, and Bobrovsky has found his form with an excellent start to the new season. The team is greater than the sum of its parts - the Devils are very 'middle-of-the-road' in most team-stat categories.
#4: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (The...Pink Ranger?)
5-1-1, 11 points; 2nd in Metro Division, T-3rd in Eastern Conference
Leading Scorer: Six different players (all with 6 points)
Goaltending: Carter Hart (6 games, .917 SP, 2.77 GAA)
NOTES: The...who? Yes friends, the Philadelphia Flyers are 5-1-1 to start the 2022-23 season. If anyone would have said that outside of Wells Fargo Center a few weeks ago, they'd have thought you insane. A group of also-rans and youth with better days ahead could have some staying power - as long as they keep the winning thing going. And thank goodness there isn't an Orange Ranger. That would look...odd.
#5: DALLAS STARS (The Green Ranger - not pictured)
5-2-1, 11 points; 1st in Central Division, 3rd in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Justin Faulk (8 games, 1-7-8)
Goaltending: Connor Hellebuyck (7 games, .906 SP, 3.13 GAA)
NOTES: Iron lock pick of the week? Dallas is moving up this list in a couple/few weeks. Now that Hellebuyck has finally hit a groove thanks to a 40-save performance on Thursday night, everything should click into place for Stars. And this is with Leon Draisaitl stuck on five points through eight games. If he gets hot, forget about it.
Honorable Mentions: Seattle, Toronto, and Pittsburgh - keep doing your thing. Plenty of volatility in the early going, so we'll probably see some fluctuations next time out.
COMMISH'S "BRINGING UP THE REAR" LIST: It's early, so...you know. Grains of salt and all that.
#32: MINNESOTA WILD (Rita Repulsa)
2-5-0, 4 points; 8th in Central Division, T-15th in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Brandon Saad (7 games, 2-4-6)
Goaltending: John Gibson (6 games, .900 SP, 3.09 GAA)
NOTES: Disappointing start for the Wild, as plenty of pundits have this team dancing well into the Spring next year. An anemic offense coupled with an inconsistent defense never equals a good result, so something needs to kick this group into gear. It'll be interesting to see how long GM David Rafuse entertains this type of start before heads start to roll.
#31: MONTREAL CANADIENS (The Putty Patrol)
2-6-0, 4 points; 8th in Atlantic Division, 16th in Eastern Conference
Leading Scorer: Nick Suzuki (8 games, 7-4-11)
Goaltending: Spencer Knight (7 games, .886 SP, 3.43 GAA)
NOTES: This season was never much of a thought for the Habs, as the goal from the Dispersal was to build for tomorrow. But it has been exciting to watch the progress of Suzuki, who has lit the league on fire after being named Captain of the storied franchise. The youth will continue to be served, and that's just fine for GM David Springgay.
#30: EDMONTON OILERS (The Green Ranger - the bad one)
2-6-0, 4 points; 8th in Pacific Division, T-15th in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Jesperi Kotkaniemi (8 games, 5-5-10)
Goaltending: Robin Lehner (4 games, .926 SP, 2.44 GAA)
NOTES: Despite their bad record out of the gates, there are signs of life in Edmonton. Lehner has stabilized a disastrous start from Ville Husso, and scoring isn't really the main problem here. As usual, it's defense. It's always defense in Oil Country! If GM Michael Green can add a strong defensive piece along the way, all isn't lost. Probably.
#29: CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (Lord Zedd)
2-3-2, 6 points; T-6th in Central Division, T-12th in Western Conference
Leading Scorer: Elias Pettersson (7 games, 4-4-8)