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article imageNHL Power Rankings: Montreal takes top spot heading to week three

By Larry Seely     Oct 27, 2016 in Sports
Montreal - What a difference a year can make, especially for the NHL teams that play north of the border. Last year not one franchise from Canada made the playoffs, but things are looking much different at the start of the 2016-17 hockey season.
Montreal entered Thursday night's contest as the last team in the league without a loss. The Canadiens are 6-0-1 after two weeks of action and look strong on both ends of the ice. The defense is key, having allowed just 12 goals thus far, but the offense has kicked into another gear, scoring 26 goals as the franchise tops this weeks power rankings.
Another team that has struggled for a decade is Edmonton, but the Oilers and their young guns are off to a hot start with a 6-1-0 record. Experts projected another struggling year for the franchise, but the team is playing terrific hockey and have fans buzzing about possibilities.
Tampa Bay, when healthy, is among the best teams in the NHL and its showing early in the year. The Lightning are 5-1-0, including a perfect 2-0-0 on the road and if this squad stays away from big injuries, they will be contenders for the Stanley Cup. After two weeks of the regular season, this team is third in the latest power rankings.
Vancouver is another team off to a good start and despite a small hiccup over the last week, the Canucks are 4-2-1 and playing great on the defensive side of the ice. If this squad can find some goal scoring, they could make a push for a home playoff berth, not something that was expected heading into the year, but something that would generate plenty of energy with the fans.
With the good, comes the bad and Arizona and Buffalo are the two lowest ranked franchises in the Eastern and Western Conferences. The Coyotes are allowing over four goals per game, not a stat that is indicative of winning games. The Sabres goal differential is just two, a stat the indicates this team is playing better than their record indicates, but also numbers that show this team might need a few more veterans to help win those close games.
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