1-32 ballot, plus the most important shock of 2021-22 for each workforce


With one other week of the 2021-22 NHL season within the background, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers are among the many groups who’ve made a soar within the rankings this week.

And whereas each workforce has had its justifiable share of surprises in the course of the marketing campaign, we got down to determine the most important of them for all 32 right here.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors charges groups towards each other — making an allowance for sport outcomes, accidents and upcoming schedule — and people outcomes are tabulated to provide the listing featured right here.

Be aware: Earlier rating for every workforce refers to final week’s version, revealed on Dec. 1. Factors percentages are by Tuesday’s video games.

Earlier rating: 2
Factors proportion: 0.760
Upcoming schedule: @ ARI (Dec. 10), @ COL (Dec. 12), vs. OTT (Dec. 14)

Florida has dealt with adversity surprisingly effectively to this point. Head coach Joel Quenneville resigns? Enter Andrew Brunette. Aleksander Barkov, Gustav Forsling or Sergei Bobrovsky (who’s stunning many with a bounce-back season) get harm? It is subsequent man up. The Panthers hold proving they will climate a storm, with out shedding greater than two consecutive video games in regulation all season.

Earlier rating: 4
Factors proportion: 0.704
Upcoming schedule: vs. TB (Dec. 9), vs. CHI (Dec. 11), @ EDM (Dec. 14)

Jack Campbell has been shockingly good in internet for Toronto. Even his breakout marketing campaign final season hasn’t lessened the shock of his present surge, which has him sitting atop the NHL goalie discipline by 20 video games at 13-4-2 with a .942 save proportion and 1.78 goals-against common.

Earlier rating: 6
Factors proportion: 0.673
Upcoming schedule: vs. CAR (Dec. 9), vs. BOS (Dec. 11), @ CHI (Dec. 13), @ NSH (Dec. 14)

Calgary is essentially the most stunning workforce of the season. Interval. And Andrew Mangiapane have to be the NHL’s most surprising star. Darryl Sutter’s squad has used nice protection, glorious goaltending and red-hot offensive performances to go from “bubble playoff contender” to “might they go all the best way?” By all of it, Mangiapane has stored producing, with 17 targets in 25 video games.

Earlier rating: 3
Factors proportion: 0.731
Upcoming schedule: vs. PIT (Dec. 10), @ BUF (Dec. 11)

Nicklas Backstrom is likely one of the NHL’s greatest facilities and hasn’t performed a minute for the Capitals this season on account of damage. However, shock! Washington is not lacking a beat. Between Alex Ovechkin scoring at will and Evgeny Kuznetsov having a stunning resurgence of his personal, the Capitals are buzzing proper alongside.

Earlier rating: 1
Factors proportion: 0.729
Upcoming schedule: @ CGY (Dec. 9), @ EDM (Dec. 11), @ VAN (Dec. 12), @ MIN (Dec. 14)

The Hurricanes had an incredibly good begin. Like, they’d solely misplaced two video games all season earlier than falling in extra time to San Jose late final month; that form of good. To see the spiral that adopted — a 1-4-1 document with losses to Seattle and Ottawa (at residence!) — was essentially the most stunning blip out of Carolina this season.

Earlier rating: 10
Factors proportion: 0.771
Upcoming schedule: vs. COL (Dec. 8), @ BUF (Dec. 10), vs. NSH (Dec. 12), @ COL (Dec. 14)

There’s a component of shock in how the Rangers’ younger offensive stars have struggled to attain this season (the “Child Line” of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Julien Gauthier has eight targets between them, for instance). However the actual shock is Igor Shesterkin. Regardless of the expectations had been for him as Henrik Lundqvist‘s successor, Shesterkin has blown them away as New York’s greatest participant.

Earlier rating: 7
Factors proportion: 0.740
Upcoming schedule: @ SJ (Dec. 9), @ LA (Dec. 11), @ VGK (Dec. 12), vs. CAR (Dec. 14)

The Wild are, considerably surprisingly, high 5 in NHL scoring. What’s extra eye-popping is the balanced assault that is gotten them there. By 24 video games, Minnesota had simply two gamers (Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno) with greater than 10 targets, whereas 14 gamers had contributed at the least three markers, and 12 had been in double-digit level totals.

Earlier rating: 8
Factors proportion: 0.720
Upcoming schedule: @ TOR (Dec. 9), @ OTT (Dec. 11), vs. LA (Dec. 14)

It is stunning how Tampa refuses to be rattled. Nikita Kucherov has been sidelined since Recreation 3. Victor Hedman has solely just lately begun rebounding from a nasty begin. Brayden Point‘s out. Mathieu Joseph missed time. However 21-year-old rookie Gabriel Fortier has are available as a reinforcement, Anthony Cirelli is embracing alternative and Andrei Vasilevskiy is, effectively, Andrei Vasilveskiy. On they go.

Earlier rating: 5
Factors proportion: 0.667
Upcoming schedule: vs. BOS (Dec. 9), vs. CAR (Dec. 11), vs. TOR (Dec. 14)

It is stunning to see talent-laden Edmonton nonetheless wrestle with a sample of inconsistency — begin sluggish, scramble into the second and try a whirlwind third-period comeback. It did not work within the playoffs final spring and it is not doing them a lot good this season, both. Edmonton is 0-6-Zero this season when trailing after the primary interval and 7-7-Zero when giving up the primary aim.

Earlier rating: 9
Factors proportion: 0.636
Upcoming schedule: @ NYR (Dec. 8), vs. DET (Dec. 10), vs. FLA (Dec. 12), vs. NYR (Dec. 14)

Nazem Kadri sitting within the high 5 in scoring by the quarter mark? Did not see that coming. And the Avalanche going 7-1-Zero whereas Nathan MacKinnon was out with an damage? One other shocker. The Avs’ depth has blossomed greater than anticipated this season, they usually look formidable due to it.

Earlier rating: 12
Factors proportion: 0.611
Upcoming schedule: @ CBJ (Dec. 9), @ PIT (Dec. 11), @ STL (Dec. 12)

Anaheim is rebuilding — and it has been shockingly good within the course of. Troy Terry is a stunning point-per-game participant. Trevor Zegras is making a case for Calder Trophy consideration. And Ryan Getzlaf was, previous to struggling an damage final week, turning again the clock together with his greatest season in years. Oh, and John Gibson has been each bit the elite netminder. A rebuild is never regarded so good!

Earlier rating: 19
Factors proportion: 0.636
Upcoming schedule: @ VGK (Dec. 8), @ LA (Dec. 9), @ SJ (Dec. 11), vs. STL (Dec. 14)

The Stars’ largest shock of the season? Jake Oettinger. Dallas wanted a complement in internet for veteran Braden Holtby and it has discovered it, maybe unexpectedly, in Oettinger. The 22-year-old went 5-0-Zero after being recalled, with a 1.41 goals-against common and .951 save proportion. And would not , all of a sudden Dallas is rocketing up the standings.

Earlier rating: 17
Factors proportion: 0.580
Upcoming schedule: @ WSH (Dec. 10), vs. ANA (Dec. 11), vs. MTL (Dec. 14)

Let’s speak in regards to the stunning run of Jake Guentzel (as a result of actually, we needs to be). Amid all of the COVID drama in Pittsburgh, Guentzel been choosing up the slack of a Penguins workforce that is averaging fewer than three targets per sport; the winger had factors in 20 of his first 24 video games, scored a hat trick in a single interval towards Vancouver final week and is on a 12-game level streak.

Earlier rating: 16
Factors proportion: 0.595
Upcoming schedule: @ VAN (Dec. 8), @ EDM (Dec. 9), @ CGY (Dec. 11), vs. VGK (Dec. 14)

The Bruins not being in a playoff spot by 21 video games? A little bit stunning. Extra stunning? That anybody is stunned by 33-year-old Brad Marchand nonetheless being each the Bruins’ high scorer and as provocative as ever.

Earlier rating: 13
Factors proportion: 0.583
Upcoming schedule: vs. DAL (Dec. 8), vs. PHI (Dec. 10), vs. MIN (Dec. 12), @ BOS (Dec. 14)

The concept was for Vegas to be a powerful Western Convention contender, so the workforce’s dangerous begin (due partly to accidents and diseases) was a shock to the standings. The Golden Knights are on the rise partly due to a extra nice shock: Chandler Stephenson. The ahead led Vegas with 9 targets and 22 factors in 24 video games, bringing consistency when the Golden Knights had been missing for it.

Earlier rating: 11
Factors proportion: 0.560
Upcoming schedule: @ SEA (Dec. 9), @ VAN (Dec. 10), vs. BUF (Dec. 14)

The Jets have had a surprisingly tough time scoring targets. Earlier than final weekend’s wins over New Jersey and Toronto by a mixed 14-7, Winnipeg was 30th total in targets (1.92 per sport) since Nov. 6, and it was shut out 3 times in that stretch. The tide seemingly has begun to show although, and that is hardly a shock given what Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers & Co. are able to doing.

Earlier rating: 14
Factors proportion: 0.600
Upcoming schedule: vs. DET (Dec. 9), vs. MTL (Dec. 11), vs. ANA (Dec. 12), @ DAL (Dec. 14)

It is stunning that St. Louis continues to be a contender within the Central Division, given the up-and-down season it has had. 5 straight wins to start out, then a stretch of seven losses in 10 video games (together with to Arizona — on residence ice!), gamers going out and in of COVID protocols … it is rather a lot. And shockingly, the Blues had been very a lot within the playoff combine by 24 video games, at 12-8-4. That is one thing.

Earlier rating: 21
Factors proportion: 0.580
Upcoming schedule: @ NYI (Dec. 9), @ NJ (Dec. 10), @ NYR (Dec. 12), vs. CGY (Dec. 14)

Has there been a extra nice shock for Nashville than the return of Matt Duchene? Most likely not. The Predators have been ready for Duchene to interrupt out the best way he has, with 13 targets and 24 factors in his first 24 video games. That is helped Nashville get off to a stronger begin than anticipated, in a decent Central Division race.

Earlier rating: 24
Factors proportion: 0.558
Upcoming schedule: @ STL (Dec. 9), @ COL (Dec. 10), vs. NYI (Dec. 14)

Detroit actually wasn’t anticipated to be a playoff contender. However the stunning play of rookies Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider and Alex Nedeljkovic helped propel Detroit right into a wild-card spot by 25 video games. That is stunning.

Earlier rating: 22
Factors proportion: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: vs. DAL (Dec. 9), vs. MIN (Dec. 11), @ TB (Dec. 14)

Probably the most stunning factor out of the Kings’ camp have to be prospect Brandt Clarke being left off Canada’s World Junior Championship roster. He is a projected future star. One other shocker? Drew Doughty coming back from damage a few month forward of schedule. That is spectacular regardless of who you’re.

Earlier rating: 15
Factors proportion: 0.542
Upcoming schedule: vs. ANA (Dec. 9), @ SEA (Dec. 11), @ VAN (Dec. 14)

The Blue Jackets have gotten surprisingly good goaltending. Elvis Merzlikins was 10-4-Zero to start out and high 12 amongst NHL starters with a .920 save proportion. Daniil Tarasov has are available for the injured Joonas Korpisalo and put up a .926 save proportion (however nonetheless wants his first win). General, it is some strong netminding for a Columbus workforce that is been high 5 in photographs towards this season.

Earlier rating: 18
Factors proportion: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: vs. PHI (Dec. 8), vs. NSH (Dec. 10), @ NYI (Dec. 11), @ PHI (Dec. 14)

The Devils have a surprisingly ineffective energy play when you think about who’s accessible to play on it. Sure, Jack Hughes was lacking for weeks, however Dougie Hamilton, Dawson Mercer, Andreas Johnsson, Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier weren’t. But New Jersey was 31st total (13.1%) on the facility play by 23 video games, whereas permitting three short-handed targets. Ouch.

Earlier rating: 20
Factors proportion: 0.558
Upcoming schedule: vs. MIN (Dec. 9), vs. DAL (Dec. 11), vs. SEA (Dec. 14)

San Jose stunned with a scorching begin within the Pacific, they usually stay in playoff place as of this week. That is regardless of not having their main scorer from final season (Evander Kane) and and coping with a COVID-19 outbreak early on. It is a credit score, partly, to a different stunning growth: James Reimer‘s resurgence. By his first 14 appearances, Reimer was 8-4-1 with .934 save proportion and a pair of.11 goals-against common.

Earlier rating: 26
Factors proportion: 0.400
Upcoming schedule: @ MTL (Dec. 9), @ TOR (Dec. 11), vs. CGY (Dec. 13)

Chicago’s largest shock is Derek King getting the workforce again on the rails after a disastrous 1-10-2 begin. The Blackhawks went 8-4-Zero in King’s first 13 video games, and will nonetheless salvage one thing constructive out of this season. However it’s additionally value noting the shock of seeing Jonathan Toews with no aim by his first 24 video games.

Earlier rating: 23
Factors proportion: 0.435
Upcoming schedule: @ NJ (Dec. 8), @ VGK (Dec. 10), @ ARI (Dec. 11), vs. NJ (Dec. 14)

The Flyers have been surprisingly common within the face of a lot potential. After 23 video games, Philadelphia did not have one participant with greater than 10 targets, and it is one of many NHL’s lowest-scoring golf equipment regardless of names like Claude Giroux, Cam Atkinson and Travis Konecny getting loads of ice time. Having one of many least profitable energy performs within the league (14.3%) is stunning, too.

Earlier rating: 29
Factors proportion: 0.405
Upcoming schedule: vs. NSH (Dec. 9), vs. NJ (Dec. 11), @ DET (Dec. 14)

What is not stunning in regards to the Islanders’ slide this season? That 13-game highway journey to open the marketing campaign took its toll, as did a COVID-19 outbreak and postponement. However New York is inexplicably one of many NHL’s lowest-scoring groups, its energy play has been hovering across the backside 5 and the general defensive sport has been inconsistent. Not what you’d count on from a workforce that almost made the final two Cup Finals.

Earlier rating: 27
Factors proportion: 0.385
Upcoming schedule: vs. BOS (Dec. 8), vs. WPG (Dec. 10), vs. CAR (Dec. 12), vs. CBJ (Dec. 14)

The largest shocker? The dearth of manufacturing from Canucks’ stars Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, which has clearly contributed to the workforce’s bafflingly poor begin. The second largest shocker? That it took till this week for Vancouver to lastly make modifications, in changing Travis Green with Bruce Boudreau and firing GM Jim Benning.

Earlier rating: 28
Factors proportion: 0.400
Upcoming schedule: vs. WPG (Dec. 9), vs. CBJ (Dec. 11), @ SJ (Dec. 14)

It is laborious to be stunned by something from a workforce that did not exist till this season. However Philipp Grubauer going from Vezina Trophy finalist to struggling starter (7-10-2, .886 save proportion) is a situation not many would have predicted. Even on an growth membership roster.

Earlier rating: 30
Factors proportion: 0.313
Upcoming schedule: vs. TB (Dec. 11), @ FLA (Dec. 14)

How stunning is it that Senators common supervisor Pierre Dorion really stated earlier than the season began that “the rebuild is completed” in Ottawa? Very. After 23 video games, the Senators had been 32nd in targets towards and 31st in photographs towards, Matt Murray has been despatched to the minors and there aren’t sufficient gamers stepping up quick sufficient to cease the bleeding.

Earlier rating: 31
Factors proportion: 0.278
Upcoming schedule: vs. CHI (Dec. 9), @ STL (Dec. 11), @ PIT (Dec. 14)

The Canadiens are the more serious shock of the season. From a Stanley Cup finalist to the dismantling of their entrance workplace in lower than six months. A stunning flip of occasions.

Earlier rating: 25
Factors proportion: 0.380
Upcoming schedule: vs. NYR (Dec. 10), vs. WSH (Dec. 11), @ WPG (Dec. 14)

Probably the most stunning factor Buffalo’s executed was come out with a terrific 5-2-Zero begin. And if Craig Anderson hadn’t gotten harm, perhaps the following free fall would not have been so dramatic. However the Sabres’ goaltending has been shockingly dangerous with out Anderson, particularly from Aaron Dell‘s first seven appearances (4.52 goals-against common, .872 save proportion) and Malcolm Subban‘s first begin (.760 save proportion).

Earlier rating: 32
Factors proportion: 0.240
Upcoming schedule: vs. FLA (Dec. 10), vs. PHI (Dec. 11)

Arizona has 5 wins on the season, and three of them got here towards groups in playoff rivalry. That is a shock.



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