NHL Power Rankings: Canadiens restore their relevance as the Red Wings collapse

NHL Power Rankings: Canadiens restore their relevance as the Red Wings collapse

Sometimes it just takes a little time for contenders to round into form.

That certainly seems to be the case when it comes to the 2017-18 NHL season.

The Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets all raced out of the gate to catch the league by surprise, ranking among the league's best early in December.

Now the familiar -- anticipated -- big shots have begun to shower us with promise. You know, like the Pittsburgh Penguins, repeat Stanley Cup champions who waited until after Thanksgiving to start looking like a team with titles under its belt. Or the Nashville Predators, who started slow but now seem just as, if not more, lethal than when they challenged those Pens in the Stanley Cup Final. Or the Montreal Canadiens, cellar dwellers in the rough early goings of the season who suddenly look capable of a playoff run in the wake of five straight wins and a 10-goal drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings.

Only time will tell whether the surges from big-name teams carries over through the rest of the season, but for now, all the changes are reflected in our latest edition of NHL Power Rankings:

Biggest Movers
Lightning Some teams have caught on to their top line, but Nikita Kucherov is still scoring. --22-6 2 Kings Tyler Toffoli is the latest pleasant surprise for a team full of them this season. 620-9 3 Jets Talk about sneaking up on the rest of the NHL. They're hitting their peak a year early. 418-8 4 Blues The key is surrounding Patrik Berglund with help now that he's back, not forcing him to do it all. 221-9 5 Predators They have some things to tighten up, but Pekka Rinne is playing like he's young and this club is more dangerous than it was in the spring. 119-7 6 Maple Leafs Frederik Anderson has been an underrated cog here. If not for a letdown against the Canucks, they would be higher. --20-11 7 Blue Jackets The loss to Washington shouldn't dampen expectations for this top line. 419-11 8 Islanders John Tavares is playing himself right into a big deal from ... someone. 117-11 9 Devils Sami Vatanen's addition should pay off down the stretch. 117-9 10 Penguins Well it's about time. Finally, they're clicking as a unit. Odd that their surge has coincided with Matt Murray's absence. 416-13 11 Golden Knights Word is that Marc-Andre Fleury could be back at practice soon. 619-9 12 Capitals As long as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov keep on rolling, they'll be in the mix. --19-12 13 Sharks They showed fight in a banged-up battle against Tampa, but we all knew they weren't beating the Lightning anyway. 216-10 14 Rangers If only they could take their best stuff outside of Madison Square Garden. 316-12 15 Blackhawks For the defense's sake, Duncan Keith had better hold up for the long haul. 215-11 16 Stars A Capitals-esque stat: Through Sunday, they are 10-2 at home. 418-13 17 Wild Maybe being gritty and overlooked is exactly the right recipe for this team. 116-11 18 Canucks They're turning into the ultimate spoilers this season. 114-14 19 Bruins When they're healthy, they're dangerous. Big jump for Boston as we enter December. 615-9 20 Canadiens If the 10-1 blowout didn't resurrect hope, then their five-game win streak should. 913-14 21 Flames The Flames seemed to bolster an already promising defense over the summer, but everything's out of whack right now. 416-12 22 Avalanche Nathan MacKinnon has certainly wasted no time replacing Matt Duchene in the spotlight. 114-14 23 Hurricanes Their season has been like a combo of their past two games: A dramatic collapse and a dramatic victory. 112-11 24 Ducks Maybe Filip Forsberg's acting cost them a game, but they have plenty of their own issues to worry about. 113-11 25 Senators It's time for sustained points production from Matt Duchene and Erik Karlsson. 110-13 26 Red Wings Their 10-1 loss would've been more appropriate for last season's team. Back to the drawing board. 811-13 27 Panthers Downtrodden in the standings, they haven't lacked energy. At least they fight back. --12-14 28 Oilers Their goalie problems remain intact, but maybe they're finally ready to make a leap. Peter Chiarelli, eyes are on you. --13-16 29 Flyers Yikes. Dave Hakstol has to be nervous. Turnovers and a lack of discipline have been killing them. 512-11 30 Sabres They had better bring in some real assets to put around Jack Eichel if they're selling. --8-17 31 Coyotes Dylan Strome gives us hope. --7-21

Source : https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/nhl-power-rankings-canadiens-restore-their-relevance-as-the-red-wings-collapse/

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