Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Taking Control

By Colin Likas
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 19, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) and center Tomas Plekanec (14) talk during the third period against Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2016; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) and center Tomas Plekanec (14) talk during the third period against Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Montreal Canadiens

Previous: 1st

Season record: 14-3-2

I would honestly say the Rangers are probably the better all-around team, if you had to compare them and the Canadiens. But … Montreal has Carey Price.

I mean, it’s not like the team is just Price, but they’d be lost without him. The .950/1.58 statline is absurd, and if he stays healthy and at this level, he should win the Vezina in a walk (sorry, Crow and others).

That said, the Habs do have threats on offense. And the defense has somehow been OK with Shea Weber around instead of P.K. Subban. Weber has had no problem transitioning to his new team, with 15 points early. Alex Galchenyuk (19 points) and the previously problematic Alexander Radulov (16) are also producing.

Next: ’Hawks Being Overexposed Through Outdoor Hockey

Montreal spends another week on top of the NHL power rankings from Blackhawk Up, but the New York Rangers are closing in. Regardless of which one is “best” right now, there’s no doubt the Eastern Conference is controlling things early in the 2016-17 season.

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