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Wings, Caps top initial 'Super 16' rankings

by Dave Lozo

Welcome to the first installment of the Super 16,'s foray into ranking the League's top teams.

This list isn't necessarily designed to rank the teams based on record, but it attempts to go deeper to see which teams are playing well in spite of their record or vice versa. Can a team with one win and two points really have a better ranking than a team with 5 points? In this case, absolutely.

As of now, there's no denying the only two 4-0 teams in the NHL are the League's best -- the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. The Wings have allowed 5 goals in four games and have received shutouts from both of their goaltenders -- Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin. The Caps have also gotten outstanding goaltending from Tomas Vokoun, save for one shaky outing against the Lightning where he eventually buckled down in overtime and the shootout to get the win.

It's early in the season and these rankings are very fluid, but here are the 16 best teams through a little more than one week's worth of games:

Rank Team (record) COMMENTARY
1. Detroit (4-0-0) Showdown with perfect Washington looms Saturday
2. Washington (4-0-0) Of course, Jason Chimera leads the team with 3 goals.
3. Philadelphia (3-0-1) New look, same results. Claude Giroux has been fantastic.
4. Colorado (4-1-0) A 4-0 road start is impressive no matter the opponents.
5. Pittsburgh (3-1-2) No Evgeni Malkin, no Sidney Crosby, no problem. Sound familiar?
6. Dallas (4-1-0) Kari Lehtonen: 4-0, 1.48 goals-against average, .955 save percentage.
7. Buffalo (3-1-0) Luke Adam, your one-week-deep Calder favorite.
8. Toronto (3-0-0) Time will tell if this is a mirage, but James Reimer looks real good.
9. Anaheim (3-1-0) Hello, hello, Jonas Hiller. He's been sharp.
10. NY Islanders (3-1-0) Is this year John Tavares' coming out party?
11. Los Angeles (2-1-1) Grueling start nets five tough, hard-fought points.
12. Vancouver (2-2-1) Five games, none great, but still a dangerous team.
13. San Jose (1-2-0) Still looking for rhythm. Niemi's coming back. The Sharks will be fine.
14. New Jersey (3-1-0) Devils need to do better than 9 goals in four games.
15. Chicago (2-1-1) Who thought Patrick Kane at center would be working so well?
16. Boston (2-3-0) No offense, but the Bruins have no offense right now.

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