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Burnside's Power Rankings: Devils emerge as league's latest surprise

DallasStars.com's Scott Burnside gives his latest look at the hottest -- and frigid -- teams around the league

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB / DallasStars.com

Now the sample size is starting to grow, and still loads of surprises as we head into Week 3 of the National Hockey League season. How does this impact our Terrific 10, or our Frigid Five? Only one way to find out.

1. New Jersey Devils (10): At 4-1 and an impressive 3-0 on the road, the fast, talented Devils remain the most pleasant surprise of this young season. Except for their opponents. Win over the Rangers Saturday was especially impressive, coming 24 hours after getting waxed by Washington in their only loss.

2. Los Angeles Kings (6): Kings penalty kill has been almost perfect (94.4 percent efficiency). Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have been almost perfect, and the Kings are off to the best start in franchise history at 4-0-1.

3. Chicago Blackhawks (1): Blackhawks (4-1-1) still getting it done in an impressive way, with a league-best plus-12 goal differential. Brandon Saad, readjusting to life in Chicago, with six goals thus far. Curiously, the Blackhawks are tied with Minnesota in giving up the most shots per game.

4. Ottawa Senators (-): We didn't get the Senators all last year. Don't get them this year, either, where the 3-0-2 Sens are one of two teams in the league without a regulation loss (Los Angeles is the other). Even without Erik Karlsson, the Sens are averaging four goals a game and are on a three-game win streak. They have yet to give up a power-play goal.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets (-): Columbus is, likewise, on a three-game tear, including winning tough back-to-back games against the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild. Sergei Bobrovsky already in peak form with a .952 save percentage, which is good since the power play is dormant thus far.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (-): Bolts (4-1-0) are another team riding a three-game win streak, and how about the start for Nikita Kucherov, who has goals in five straight games?

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (5): Okay, settle down, Leaf fans. We've got you covered. No team is scoring at the pace the Leafs are - 5.20 goals per game - and they're off to a terrific 4-1-0 start.

8. Detroit Red Wings (7): Wings only loss came in Dallas with backup Petr Mrazek in goal, but starter Jimmy Howard has been fabulous, with a spotless 3-0-0 record and .955 save percentage, and the 4-1-0 Wings are one of the surprise teams in the early going.

9. Vegas Golden Knights (2): Nice bounce-back game for 4-1-0 Vegas after being shellacked by Detroit, and how about Malcolm Subban knocking down his former mates from Boston to earn his first-ever NHL win?

10. Calgary Flames (): Flames are an impressive 3-1-0 on the road and 4-2-0 overall, in spite of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. Mike Smith has been a steadying influence. Not sure how Jaromir Jagr fits for the Flames, but it'll be interesting to find out.

 

Frigid Five


27. San Jose Sharks (-): Sharks are a disappointing 1-3-0 to start the season and have yet to play on the road yet. Not good.

28. Edmonton Oilers (-): Is there a more disappointing team early on than the Edmonton Oilers? Not so much their 1-3 record, but the fact their power play is lifeless and their penalty kill is disorganized. Way early to panic, but this isn't the start for a team with such high expectations.

29. New York Rangers (-): Doesn't seem to matter whether Henrik Lundqvist plays well or not, the Rangers are out of sync and they are quickly sinking out of sight with a 1-5-0 record out of the gate. Offense has generated just 13 goals in six games.

30. Buffalo Sabres (-): Big first win for rookie head coach Phil Housley and the floundering Sabres on Sunday night. Still, things not great in the Queen City for the 1-4-1 Sabres, who have just 14 goals thus far. Zero points for Sam Reinhart and Kyle Okposo, who has missed two games with illness. And what was the rush to sign Jack Eichel to that extension anyway? Asking for a friend.

31. Arizona Coyotes (-): After all the talk of offseason retooling and being competitive, a pretty grisly start for Arizona and new head coach Rick Tocchet as they rank 31st in goals allowed and have a league-worst minus-11 goal differential. 'Yotes, who play Dallas twice this week, are the only team without a win.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. You can follow Scott Burnside on Twitter @OvertimeScottB and listen to his Burnside Chats podcast here.

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