The Oil Rig Canadian Power Rankings 2022–23: Second edition

With the 2022–23 season just over a quarter the way finished, it’s time to take a look at all the Canadian teams and see where they rank when compared!

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Moving up an impressive six spots to first in this month’s Power Rankings (PR) is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs are now 14–5–5 on the season, second place in the Atlantic Division, and only losing once in regulation since our last PR.

Mitch Marner has been on fire as of late, is on a 17-game point streak, and is not showing any sign of slowing down. Auston Matthews has had a slow start to the season with 11 goals and 15 assists but managed to have a three-point night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It would be to no ones surprise if Matthews is able to build off this game and start putting the puck in the net like he did last year. The team as a whole is playing decent defensive hockey but, more notably, outscoring their issues with an average of three goals per game.

The Maple Leafs have gotten solid goaltending between their tandem of Matt Murray, who currently has an SV% of 0.927 in the seven games he has played, and Ilya Samsonov, who has an SV% of 0.937 in eight games.

2. Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets have moved up one spot from last month’s PR to second among Canadian teams. They currently have a record of 13–6–1, good for 27 points, second in the Central Division, and have won five of their last seven games.

The Jets have been getting contributions up and down the lineup, but it seems Josh Morrissey has been a key part of their offence; Morrissey has 23 points in 20 games played and has been able to make key plays from the back end that have led to goals. Kyle Connor has been leading the all-forwards with 20 points in 20 games.

The 2019–20 Venza Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck, has returned to his 2019–20 form, and if he keeps up this play could be a frontrunner for the Venza trophy once again. He currently has a 0.925 SV% in 16 games. David Rittich has not played much but was able to pull out three wins in the four games he has played with a SV% of 0.890.

3. Edmonton Oilers

Dropping one spot from last month’s PR are the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are 12–10–0 on the season, good for 24 points, putting them in the first wildcard spot.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are still doing their thing, with a combined point total of 71 points in 22 games played, but once again, the depth scoring seems to have fallen off a cliff. The Oilers did show some glimmer of depth scoring hope in their 4–3 comeback victory over the New York Rangers on the back of Evan Bouchard, who managed to score his first and second goal of the season and Dylan Holloway, who scored his first NHL goal. Hopefully, this is a sign of much more scoring from players not named Connor or Leon. The club has also had immense trouble on the penalty kill as of late, with their PK sitting at 25th in the NHL and a 73.17% success rate.

It’s no secret that a big part of the Oilers’ struggles is because of the many poor starts in games and the injury bug; Evander Kane will be out for at least three months after suffering a laceration to his wrist. Kailer Yamamoto is day-to-day now after suffering a lower-body injury. Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod were injured on the same shift during the game against the Rangers and there’s no word as to how long they will be out.

In between the pipes, the Oilers have a weird predicament. Jack Campbell‘s numbers are still lacklustre at an SV% of 0.875 but has still managed to win five out of the seven games he has played. Stuart Skinner has played well and has a good SV% at 0.919, but he has lost five of the ten games he has played. Most fans are hoping Campbell can turn things around soon and start to feel comfortable in the net again; after all, he is supposed to be the starting goaltender for the club.

4. Montréal Canadiens

The Montréal Canadiens are up one spot from last month’s PR and are currently 11–9–1 on the season landing them fifth in the Atlantic Division.

Most hockey fans will admit that the Canadiens are outperforming their expectations before the start of this season. The new captain of the Canadiens has been leading by example; Nick Suzuki is leading the team with 24 points in 21 games. Cole Caufield has put up a good start to the season thus far, scoring 12 goals and nine assists. Kirby Dach seems to be settling in with his new team just fine. Dach scored the shootout winner in Chicago the other night and didn’t hold back when showboating the home crowd of his old team. Dach has four goals and three assists this season with the Canadiens.

In net it appears that Sam Montembeault has the better numbers with a 0.924 SV% in eight games played when compared to Jake Allen who has a 0.891 SV% in 13 games played and has started to struggle as of late.

5. Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are dropping five spots to fifth place in this month’s PR. The Flames currently have a record of 9–9–3, good for 21 points and fifth in the Pacific Division.

Most fans would not have guessed that Calgary would be a 500-hockey club by American Thanksgiving. Though it is fair that the new additions of Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar would need some time to adjust to moving to a new team, you would think they would start to see better results by now. Although the Flames started the season off really well, they went on a lengthy seven game-losing streak early in November and are now fighting to gain back the ground they lost.

Currently, the Flames are allowing an average of 3.19 goals against per game which seems pretty high for a team with one of the best defensive cores in the league on paper. It would not be shocking to see this go down soon and the club start to win games especially with a defective minded coach like Darryl Sutter.

In between the pipes, Jacob Markstrom has had a SV% of 0.889 during his 16 games played and Daniel Vladar has had the better SV% at 0.908% but has only played six games so far.

6. Vancouver Canucks

Moving up one spot from last month are the Vancouver Canucks, who currently have a record of 9–10–3, good for 21 points on the season, and sixth place in the Pacific Division.

Since the horrendous seven-game losing streak to start the season, Bruce Boudreau seems to have the team back on track, with the club winning five of their last six games. Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller all scored 22 goals on the season, and Pettersson leads the team in points at 27.

Although the team seems to be performing well as of late, if they want to make the playoffs, they will need to continue their success to make up for the poor start to the season. Some areas of concern for the team are their high goals against per game which is currently sitting at 3.73, and their penalty kill, which is second worst in the NHL at 66.20%.

In net, Thatcher Demko has been inconsistent and currently has an SV% of 0.885 in his 14 game appearances. Spencer Martin has been better with an SV% of 0.907 in the eight games he has played.

7. Ottawa Senators

Moving down three spots are the Ottawa Senators who currently have a record of 8–12–1. They have 17 points which places them dead last in the Atlantic Division.

With some big moves over the offseason, acquiring both Claude Giroux from Florida and Alex DeBrincat from Chicago, Senators GM Pierre Dorion and many fans had high hopes and expectations. Unfortunately, it seems those hopes and expectations have not been met so far and may not be met this year. Although the Senators do have one of the hardest schedules in the NHL, it seems that it’s only one of the problems they are facing. The good news is their number one defenceman Thomas Chabot should be coming off a concussion he sustained a few weeks ago and back in the lineup soon to help the team on the backend. Currently, Brady Tkachuk is leading the team with nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points on the season.

The Senators have gotten pretty good goaltending out of Cam Talbot, who has a SV% of 0.919 in ten games, and Anton Forsberg, who has a SV% of 0.904 in 13 games played.

The northern showdown

This concludes this month’s Canadian NHL team power rankings, let us know your thoughts in the comments! Be sure to check in at the end of next month for the next one!

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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