Super 16 Blues Capitals

Thanksgiving is a week from Thursday in the United States.

What are some of the top teams in the NHL thankful for at this time of the season?

That's the theme of the Super 16 this week. It could be a player, a coach, a moment, a hot streak, a building. Heck, it could even be a period.

The teams ranked, including the Boston Bruins at No. 1 for the first time this season, and the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues, who have played well enough to get in, have a lot to be thankful for.

The writers who vote to determine the weekly rankings each offered some thoughts on what or who they think each of the teams ranked below should be thankful for.

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

Here is the Super 16.

1. Boston Bruins (12-1-2)

Total points: 201

Last week: No. 2

"Matthew Poitras. Things were looking dire for the Bruins when they got a double whammy with the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. They were down two centers with no one on the horizon. Then came training camp and the emergence of Poitras, a fairly unheralded 19-year-old with two choices -- stay in the NHL, or go back to junior hockey after a nine-game tryout. He passed every test, has played center on the top-three lines at times this season and has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 15 games. Without him? It's hard to know exactly where the Bruins would be this season." -- Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

The Boston Bruins lead this week's rankings

2. Vegas Golden Knights (13-3-1)

Total points: 196

Last week: No. 1

"There might not be a team that has more to be thankful for than the Golden Knights. They are the reigning Stanley Cup champions after fulfilling owner Bill Foley's bold goal to win their first championship by the end of their sixth season. Following a summer of celebrating, getting their Stanley Cup rings, raising their championship banner and visiting the White House on Monday, it's clear the Golden Knights are not satisfied. Vegas is tied with the Vancouver Canucks atop the Western Conference with 25 points despite losing three of its past four games. The Golden Knights continue to have one of the deepest teams in the NHL with 19 players who have scored at least one goal, including 10 who have scored at least three, led by William Karlsson (eight), Jack Eichel (seven) and Jonathan Marchessault (seven). And they have one of the best goalie tandems in the League with Adin Hill (8-1-1, 2.07 goals-against average, .928 save percentage, two shutouts) and Logan Thompson (5-2-0, 2.27 GAA, .925 save percentage)." -- Tom Gulitti, staff writer

3. New York Rangers (11-2-1)

Total points: 179

Last week: No. 4

"Losing the Eastern Conference First Round last season. Here me out on this one. Had the Rangers won Game 7 against the New Jersey Devils they might not have made a coaching change from Gerard Gallant to Peter Laviolette. Had they won, they might have continued to be fooled into thinking the way they were playing was good enough to win the Stanley Cup. Had they won, they might not have the structure that they've played with this season, structure that is matching their skill. Losing the way they did, dropping four of the last five games of the series, including a lack-of-desperation 4-0 loss in Game 7, forced the Rangers to take a hard look in the mirror. It wasn't working under Gallant, who did his part by helping the Rangers win 99 games in two seasons. They needed a new look. They needed buy in. They needed better structure. They've got all of it and they've got points in 10 straight games (9-0-1). Had they won Game 7, I don't think any of it would have happened." -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

4. Dallas Stars (11-3-1)

Total points: 162

Last week: No. 6

"There are a few things to be thankful for when you're 11-3-1 but more than anything, the Stars should be thankful for Joe Pavelski. Seriously, how many teams can say they have a dependable, go-to 39-year-old player who's been a staple on their top line for three seasons and one of their most productive forwards? He's ageless. He may not even be human. Who knows? Pavelski has arguably had one "meh" season in his NHL career in my opinion: 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 67 games in 2019-20. But that was his first season in Dallas after playing his first 13 NHL seasons for the San Jose Sharks. Yeah, big life change, so he gets a pass. A great player and role model for the young guys including Wyatt Johnston, who is going on his second season of living with Pavelski and his family. He just keeps on ticking." -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

5. Vancouver Canucks (12-4-1)

Total points: 161

Last week: No. 5

"The Canucks are thankful for hiring coach Rick Tocchet. They got off to the best start in their history and is among the top teams in the NHL. Tocchet, through his hard-working philosophy, has been able to get the most out of center Elias Pettersson, forward J.T. Miller and captain Quinn Hughes, an early frontrunner for the Norris Trophy as best defenseman in the NHL. Vancouver is keeping pace with Vegas at the top of the Pacific Division. Tocchet was hired Jan. 22, replacing Bruce Boudreau, and set out to change the culture. He is a demanding coach and has made all his players accountable, including his stars. Tocchet benched Miller in a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Oct. 31 for taking an undisciplined penalty in the second period. Miller responded to with a goal and two assists the following game, a 10-1 win at the Sharks, and has been one of Vancouver's most consistent players since. Tocchet is proving the right fit for the talented Canucks, who were underachieving prior to his arrival." -- Derek Van Diest, staff writer

6. Los Angeles Kings (9-3-3)

Total points: 133

Last week: No. 7

"The Kings have much to be thankful for during a strong start to the season, but Drew Doughty should not be forgotten. It is easy to overlook the franchise defenseman, but it would be a mistake. He's not the flashiest player on the team, but he is the foundation to all the Kings do. He plays all situations, against top opposition, and he does it for more than 26 minutes a game. He is simply irreplaceable, and much thanks should be bestowed on him by his teammates and fans alike." -- Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

7. Florida Panthers (10-5-1)

Total points: 131

Last week: No. 12

"The Panthers knew they were going to have to play most of the first half of the season without their top two defensemen, but they can be thankful that Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour are almost ready to return after each had offseason shoulder surgery. Coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday there's a chance one or both could play during Florida's three-game trip to California, which began with a victory in San Jose on Tuesday and continued with back-to-back games at the Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and Friday. A 2-1 loss at Los Angeles ended a five-game win streak, proof that they've more than just survived without Ekblad and Montour. Getting them back provides more energy with Florida looking to climb the standings in the Atlantic Division." -- Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

8. Colorado Avalanche (10-5-0)

Total points: 125

Last week: No. 3

"The Avalanche started 6-0-0 but are 4-5-0 since. They have a lot of things to be thankful for, including goalie Alexandar Georgiev, defenseman Cale Makar and forward Nathan MacKinnon. However, Mikko Rantanen is what I think Colorado and its fans should be most thankful for. He's led them in goals each of the past three seasons and he's on pace to do it again. He has been durable, playing all 82 games last season and 75 the season before. And he's as clutch as they come. Rantanen has 87 points (30 goals, 57 games) in 70 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He may not even be viewed as the first- or second-best player on his team, but Colorado should be thankful they selected him No. 10 in the 2015 NHL Draft." -- David Satriano, staff writer

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-2)

Total points: 89

Last week: No. 11

"For all the playoff shortcomings the Maple Leafs have endured in recent years, the "Original Six" franchise and its loyal fan base should be thankful for some of the elite talent it has on the roster. In forwards Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and John Tavares, the Maple Leafs have a "Core Four" that is capable of breaking games open every night. Does it happen consistently, especially at postseason time? Maybe not. But there are a number of teams in the NHL that hunger to have one such talent on their roster, let alone four. For that reason alone, there should be gratitude for the star power this team possesses. Now, come the spring when the Stanley Cup is on the line, that narrative can easily change." -- Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

10. Carolina Hurricanes (9-7-0)

Total points: 84

Last week: No. 9

"The Hurricanes have to be thankful for the fact they'll be playing at home through Nov. 26, an opportunity to pick up some valuable points in what's expected to be a heated Eastern Conference playoff race until the very end. They played just four home games over the first month of the season and managed to stay afloat, so now is the time for coach Rod Brind'Amour's team to play the kind of Hurricanes hockey we've been accustomed to watching for several years." -- Brian Compton, managing editor

11. Washington Capitals (8-4-2)

Total points: 60

Last week: Unranked

"The Capitals are thankful for a 7-1-1 surge, including wins in their past three, which has vaulted them into the middle of the playoff picture in the East following a 1-3-1 start. They are also thankful for first-year coach Spencer Carbery, who has gotten them to play together and find ways to win games with defense, goaltending and timely goals despite being one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL (2.36 goals per game). Alex Ovechkin has scored only four goals and T.J. Oshie has none, so Washington is thankful Dylan Strome has scored seven and Connor McMichael has four. The Capitals power play is last in the NHL (7.3 percent, 3-for-41), but their penalty kill has killed off 20 consecutive power plays over the past nine games. And Charlie Lindgren (3-1-0, 1.76 GAA, .947 save percentage, 35 saves in 3-0 win against Vegas on Tuesday) is pushing Darcy Kuemper (3-3-2, 3.07 GAA, .892 save percentage) for playing time. If Ovechkin and the power play start clicking, watch out." -- Gulitti

VGK@WSH: Strome whips home a shot on 2-on-1 rush

12. Detroit Red Wings (8-5-3)

Total points: 46

Last week: No. 14

"The Red Wings are thankful that so many players have roots in Michigan. Andrew Copp, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Larkin and Jeff Petry were born in the Detroit area. Copp, Larkin and J.T. Compher played together at the University of Michigan. Petry, the son of retired Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, played at Michigan State. That helped Copp, Compher and DeBrincat sign in free agency, helped Larkin sign to forego free agency and made Petry want to be traded to Detroit. It gives them an extra sense of pride to play for the Red Wings." -- Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

13. Winnipeg Jets (8-5-2)

Total points: 39

Last week: No. 16

" Kyle Connor. The Jets, winners of four of five games (4-1-0), better be thankful for their star forward with one of the best releases and shots in the NHL. Connor is on a heater with 11 points (seven goals) in his past four games. His 13 goals are tied with Matthews and Canucks forward Brock Boeser for first in the NHL, and Matthews is an American star forward who plays in Toronto and gets way more attention. But Connor might be the most unassuming star in the NHL. He is sixth in goals (220) since 2017-18, scored 31 last season and 47 two seasons ago and has at least 31 in every season since 2017-18 except for the 56-game COVID-19-shortened 2020-21 season, when he had 26, a 38-goal pace if it was an 82-game season. Goalies must hate Connor, because he's fast, elusive and he gets the puck off his stick in a flash. The Jets better love him. They better be thankful for him." -- Rosen

14. New Jersey Devils (8-6-1)

Total points: 38

Last week: No. 8

"The Devils should be thankful they were able to acquire and maintain depth on offense during the offseason because it hasn't come easy minus injured forwards Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier of late. Hughes, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, has missed five games with an upper-body injury and Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, has missed the past eight, also because of an upper-body injury. New Jersey acquired forward Tyler Toffoli (nine goals) in a trade with the Calgary Flames on June 27 and retained forwards Timo Meier (five goals), Jesper Bratt (eight) and Erik Haula (five) via free agency. Not to be forgotten is the hiring of Travis Green as associate coach June 22. Green was tasked with improving the power play, which leads the NHL at 37.9 percent (22-for-58)." -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

15. Anaheim Ducks (9-7-0)

Total points: 36

Last week: No. 13

"The Ducks are thankful that games are 60 minutes and not 40, because if games were 40 minutes, they would be nowhere near this Super 16. They have, however, made NHL history, becoming the first team to have six third-period comeback wins through 15 games. They were down 2-0 in the second period against the Predators on Tuesday but scored late in the second and two in the third to win 3-2. They won five straight road games, four via a third-period comeback, before an 8-2 loss at Colorado on Wednesday. The Ducks have a minus-10 goal differential through two periods (20-30); they're plus-8 from the third period on (29-21), have outscored opponents 26-21 in the third and 3-0 in overtime, and have not had a game go to a shootout." -- Rosen

16. St. Louis Blues (8-6-1)

Total points: 35

Last week: Unranked

"Enterprise Center. Home-ice advantage. The Blues have used it well this season, going 6-2-0 including wins in five of their past six home games since a 4-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 21. They have outscored opponents 26-19. They've been this good on home ice although their special teams have been horrendous, 0-for-18 on the power play and 11-for-19 on the penalty kill (57.9 percent). But so what? Wins matter and the Blues have done well at home. The issue is they’re in a stretch of playing six of seven on the road, including the next three. They're 2-4-1 on the road, so if they want to stay in the Super 16 and stay hot in general (they've won five of seven), they better figure out how to win consistently away from Enterprise Center. They won 8-2 in Denver against the Avalanche on Saturday, but lost 5-1 at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday." -- Rosen

Others receiving points: Tampa Bay Lightning 27, Pittsburgh Penguins 24, Buffalo Sabres 2

Dropped out from last week: Lightning (No. 10), New York Islanders (No. 14)

New Amsterdam Game of the Week 

Each week, will highlight one game that features two teams in the Super 16. This week, it's the Colorado Avalanche against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; BSSWX, ALT). 

The No. 8 Avalanche and No. 4 Stars are clearly the top two teams in the Central Division. They have each played 15 games. Dallas has a three-point lead for first in the division. The Stars have won four in a row. The Avalanche have won their past two, scoring 13 goals in the process. This is the first of four games between them this season. Each can be a potential four-point swing game that could determine who finishes first at the end of the season if both continue on their current paths. On a 13-game Saturday, this is easily the best matchup.



1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Vancouver Canucks; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Detroit Red Wings; 10. Carolina Hurricanes; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. New Jersey Devils; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Winnipeg Jets; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. St. Louis Blues


1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Washington Capitals; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Anaheim Ducks; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Winnipeg Jets; 14. Toronto Maple Leafs; 15. Detroit Red Wings; 16. Carolina Hurricanes


1. Boston Bruins; 2. New York Rangers; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. Vancouver Canucks; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Washington Capitals; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Carolina Hurricanes; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Winnipeg Jets; 14. Detroit Red Wings; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins


1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Carolina Hurricanes; 10. Washington Capitals; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. New Jersey Devils; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Winnipeg Jets; 16. Detroit Red Wings


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


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


1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Los Angeles Kings; 7. Colorado Avalanche; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Carolina Hurricanes; 11. New Jersey Devils; 12. Detroit Red Wings; 13. Tampa Bay Lightning; 14. Washington Capitals; 15. Winnipeg Jets; 16. Anaheim Ducks


1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Dallas Stars; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Los Angeles Kings; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. New Jersey Devils; 11. Tampa Bay Lightning; 12. Florida Panthers; 13. Detroit Red Wings; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Buffalo Sabres; 16. Winnipeg Jets


1. Boston Bruins; 2. New York Rangers; 3. Dallas Stars; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Vancouver Canucks; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Carolina Hurricanes; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Washington Capitals; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Winnipeg Jets; 16. Detroit Red Wings


1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. New York Rangers; 3. Boston Bruins; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Carolina Hurricanes; 10. Pittsburgh Penguins; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. New Jersey Devils; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Tampa Bay Lightning; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Detroit Red Wings


1. Boston Bruins; 2. New York Rangers; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Vancouver Canucks; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Los Angeles Kings; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. Toronto Maple Leafs; 11. Carolina Hurricanes; 12. Washington Capitals; 13. Detroit Red Wings; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Winnipeg Jets


1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Vancouver Canucks; 4. New York Rangers; 5. Los Angeles Kings; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Carolina Hurricanes; 10. Detroit Red Wings; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. Winnipeg Jets; 13. Washington Capitals; 14. Tampa Bay Lightning; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. St. Louis Blues


1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. New York Rangers; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. Vancouver Canucks; 6. Los Angeles Kings; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Colorado Avalanche; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Detroit Red Wings; 11. Washington Capitals; 12. Winnipeg Jets; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Carolina Hurricanes; 15. New Jersey Devils; 16. Pittsburgh Penguins