We’re a week into the season and we are already seeing Canadian teams shake out the way we expected them to. The Leafs are unstoppable force that cannot be defeated, the Flames are okayish, thanks to the savvy addition of Tanner Glass, and the rest of Canada is 8,891 km of suck. Periodically we’ll have updates in our Canadian Power Rankings and by periodically, we’ll see if this catches on at all.
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
Three and oh, baby. The Auston Matthews effect is, well, in effect. Every player on the roster, with the exception of Eric Fehr, has at least one point, and most of them have two or three. Zach Hyman has developed hands over the summer and is now shooting a healthy 40% and rookie Dman Andreas Borgman leads the team with a nice Corsi For of 69%. It’s entirely possible this team will never lose again. Of course, the Leafs would probably be 4-0 if they dressed Josh Leivo.
2. Connor McDavid
He scored a hat trick on opening night, which would have been more impressive it was four goals and his first game in the NHL, but hey, not everyone can live up to the standard that Auston Matthews creates. I’d imagine if he ever scores again his team could win again.
3. Calgary Flames
The Flames are playing like a team that wants a free arena. Adding Tanner Glass and Mike Smith has made a world of difference in giving this team adversity to overcome and the rest of the lineup has responded well. As much as you want to watch a team that is in the process of extorting money from the government and manipulate an election lose, you should also be happy that the Oilers have the second best record in Alberta.
4. Vancouver Canucks
What? Gross. Somehow the Canucks aren’t as bad as we thought they’d be and since they play in the worst division in hockey, maybe they can play their way out of a decent draft pick. That would truly be a Jim Benning success story. The fact that the Canucks are undefeated through one game of hockey is nothing short of a miracle. What’s even more amazing is that they managed to get through the game without crippling one of their defensemen or giving more money to Erik Gudbranson.
5. Montreal Canadiens
We are truly #blessed that Carey Price is in playoff form and has shown up with .905 save percentage to start the year. It was a bold move by the organization to model themselves after the 2010-11 Maple Leafs and go without a center in their lineup. Their signing of Karl Alzner seems to be paying off as he’s currently tied for the team lead in points with 1. We can only hope that this shaky start doesn’t cost Marc Bergevin his job as there is nothing I want more than him to be the Habs GM for life.
6. Winnipeg Jets
Finally, the Winnipeg Jets. It should be no surprise that Winnipeg last, because it’s what’s Winnipeg does, finish last. Last in safety. Last in jobs. Last in places that Canadians will admit is part of Canada. The Jets picked up a win against the Oilers which is as close as you can get to two free points in the league, and a lot of their non-Laine players look like they’ll be good this season. Perhaps their only mistake was thinking that Steve Mason was capable of repeating his stellar .908 save percentage season. Alas, not every goaltender is capable of putting up Pavelec numbers, and the Jets can spend the next two years wondering “what if we were lucky enough to add Mike Smith?”
7. Edmonton Oilers
This team is living and dying by a clavicle as they are quickly learning that no family produces busts like the Strome family. The Lucic contract is just as hilarious as last season, and Draisaitl is playing like a guy who has guaranteed money and doesn’t need to try ever again. At least Kris Russell is living up to his contract as he’s currently third on the team in goals and fourth in points.
EDIT: I’ve just been told there is still a team in Ottawa. I suspect they should be somewhere on this list. Maybe next week.