Super 16: Lightning begin season No. 1, Avalanche No. 2 in power rankings

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The Lightning were ranked first by 10 of the participating 14 writers and editors.

The Colorado Avalanche were ranked No. 1 by the other four, garnering enough points to come in at No. 2.

Twenty-two teams were ranked at least once.

The regular season begins Tuesday, when the Lightning raise their Stanley Cup championship banner before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVAS) and the Seattle Kraken play their first game, at the Vegas Golden Knights (10 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVAS).

To create the NHL.com power rankings, each of the 14 participating staff members put together his or her version of what they think it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total assigned to each.

The team that was selected first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on down to No. 16, which got one point.

Here is the Super 16:

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 218

Last season: 36-17-3

The Lightning are replacing their third line of Blake Coleman (Calgary Flames), Yanni Gourde (Kraken) and Barclay Goodrow (New York Rangers) from last season. They added forwards Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and are expecting that some of their younger forwards, including 24-year-old Mathieu Joseph and 25-year-old Ross Colton, prove they’re ready for bigger roles.

2. Colorado Avalanche

Total points: 205

Last season: 39-13-4

The Avalanche again are a Stanley Cup favorite this season after losing in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight season. Darcy Kuemper is taking over as the No. 1 goalie for Philipp Grubauer, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season who signed a six-year contract with the Kraken. Kuemper is coming off two straight injury-plagued seasons, but since 2018-19, he is second in the NHL with a 2.35 goals-against average (minimum 100 games).

3. Vegas Golden Knights

Total points: 190

Last season: 40-14-2

The Golden Knights plan to ride Robin Lehner as the No. 1 goalie after trading Vezina winner Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas feels it improved its chances for a successful power play with the additions of forwards Evgenii Dadonov and Nolan Patrick. The Golden Knights were 22nd in the NHL at 17.8 percent on the power play during the regular season and last among the 16 teams in the playoffs at 9.3 percent.

4. New York Islanders

Total points: 173

Last season: 32-17-7

The Islanders were one goal away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season, losing 1-0 against the Lightning in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. They re-signed forwards Kyle Palmieri, Casey Cizikas and Anthony Beauvillier, and added more veteran presence by signing forward Zach Parise and defenseman Zdeno Chara. Anders Lee is back after the forward missed the final two months of the regular season and the entire postseason with a knee injury sustained March 11.

5. Carolina Hurricanes

Total points: 159

Last season: 36-12-8

The Hurricanes have two new goalies, Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta; four new defensemen, Tony DeAngelo, Ethan Bear, Ian Cole and Brendan Smith; and three new forwards, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Josh Leivo and Derek Stepan. They have to replace the offense they got from defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who scored 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 55 games last season and agreed to a seven-year contract with the New Jersey Devils as an unrestricted free agent July 28.

6. Florida Panthers

Total points: 155

Last season: 37-14-5

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad is back after sustaining a season-ending fracture of his left leg March 28. He scored 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) and averaged 25:05 of ice time in 35 games before the injury. The Panthers added forwards Sam Reinhart and Joe Thornton; Reinhart could start the season on the top line with Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs

Total points: 123

Last season: 35-14-7

The Maple Leafs are hopeful center Auston Matthews, who had surgery on his left wrist Aug. 13, will be in the lineup when they open the regular season at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). Matthews won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the leading goal-scorer in the NHL with 41 in 52 games last season.

8. Boston Bruins

Total points: 114

Last season: 33-16-7

The Bruins have big holes to fill following the departures of goalie Tuukka Rask and center David Krejci. Rask had surgery in late July to repair a torn labrum in his right hip and could be out until January. He is an unrestricted free agent but has said he would sign only with the Bruins. Krejci returned home to play in the Czech Republic. Linus Ullmark signed a four-year contract and is competing with Jeremy Swayman to be the Bruins’ new No. 1 goalie. Charlie Coyle has the inside track to replace Krejci as the second-line center.

9. Winnipeg Jets

Total points: 100

Last season: 30-23-3

The Jets added defensemen Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt to help in front of goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who led the NHL in games (45), shots-against (1,335), saves (1,223) and goals-against (112), winning 24 games with a 2.58 goals-against average and .916 save percentage last season. Pierre-Luc Dubois is hoping for a bounce-back season after the center scored 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 46 games for the Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets.

10. Edmonton Oilers

Total points: 97

Last season: 35-19-2

The Oilers should have improved scoring depth with the addition of left wing Zach Hyman, who could start the season on the top line with center Connor McDavid and right wing Jesse Puljujarvi. Hyman scored 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 43 games with the Maple Leafs last season and signed a seven-year contract with the Oilers. McDavid is the favorite to again lead the NHL in scoring after winning the Art Ross Trophy last season with 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in 56 games. He also won the Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP.

11. Washington Capitals

Total points: 96

Last season: 36-15-5

The Capitals could start the season without center Nicklas Backstrom, whose injured left hip has limited him during training camp. Backstrom scored 53 points (15 goals, 38 assists) in 55 games last season. His absence has opened the door for forwards Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre to push for an opening night roster spot. McMichael was the No. 25 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and Lapierre was the No. 22 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

12. Minnesota Wild

Total points: 57

Last season: 35-16-5

The Wild are looking for more from forward Kirill Kaprizov, who won the Calder Trophy voted as NHL rookie of the year last season by scoring 51 points (27 goals, 24 assists) in 55 games. He signed a five-year, $45 million contract ($9 million average annual value) on Sept. 21. The Wild’s defenseman group has a different look with Alex Goligoski, Dmitry Kulikov, Jordie Benn and Jon Merrill replacing Ryan Suter (Dallas Stars), Cole (Hurricanes) and Carson Soucy (Kraken).

13. Dallas Stars

Total points: 51

Last season: 23-19-14

Forward Tyler Seguin is healthy after missing all but three games in May last season because of multiple surgeries on his hip. Forward Alexander Radulov is back after surgery to repair a core muscle injury that limited him to 11 games last season, none after March 18 (30 straight). The Stars missed the playoffs last season after losing to the Lightning in six games in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

14. St. Louis Blues

Total points: 39

Last season: 27-20-9

Vladimir Tarasenko still is with the Blues after requesting a trade through his agent May 25. He has been limited to 34 games the past two seasons because of shoulder problems. The Blues added to their scoring during the offseason with forwards Brandon Saad (unrestricted free agent) and Pavel Buchnevich (trade from Rangers). Saad could start the season on a line with Tarasenko and center Robert Thomas.

15. Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 32

Last season: 37-16-3

The Penguins won’t have centers Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin available at the start of the season. Crosby is recovering from wrist surgery he had Sept. 8, and Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the season because of knee surgery he had June 4.

16. Philadelphia Flyers

Total points: 28

Last season: 25-23-8

The Flyers expect to be better defensively with the additions of defensemen Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen and Keith Yandle. Philadelphia allowed an NHL-high 3.52 goals per game last season and was 30th on the penalty kill at 73.1 percent. The Flyers also were last in 5-on-5 save percentage (.895), and goalie Carter Hart had an .877 save percentage in 27 games.

Others receiving points: Vancouver Canucks 20, Montreal Canadiens 13, New York Rangers 12, Calgary Flames 10, Chicago Blackhawks 9, New Jersey Devils 3

 

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. New York Islanders; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Winnipeg Jets; 7. Boston Bruins; 8. Carolina Hurricanes; 9. Florida Panthers; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Washington Capitals; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. Edmonton Oilers; 14. St. Louis Blues; 15. Philadelphia Flyers; 16. Minnesota Wild

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Edmonton Oilers; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. New York Islanders; 8. Winnipeg Jets; 9. Boston Bruins; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Dallas Stars; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Washington Capitals; 14. Philadelphia Flyers; 15. Minnesota Wild; 16. Calgary Flames

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. New York Islanders; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Winnipeg Jets; 8. Washington Capitals; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Boston Bruins; 12. Edmonton Oilers; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. Calgary Flames; 16. Vancouver Canucks

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. New York Islanders; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Washington Capitals; 9. Edmonton Oilers; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. Vancouver Canucks; 13. Philadelphia Flyers; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. Boston Bruins; 16. Chicago Blackhawks

TOM GULITTI

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. New York Islanders; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Vegas Golden Knights; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Washington Capitals; 11. Edmonton Oilers; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Winnipeg Jets; 14. Chicago Blackhawks; 15. Pittsburgh Penguins; 16. New York Rangers

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Colorado Avalanche; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. New York Islanders; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Winnipeg Jets; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Philadelphia Flyers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Vancouver Canucks; 11. Boston Bruins; 12. Washington Capitals; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. Edmonton Oilers; 15. Chicago Blackhawks; 16. Dallas Stars

ROBERT LAFLAMME

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Colorado Avalanche; 3. Florida Panthers; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Washington Capitals; 7. New York Islanders; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Minnesota Wild; 10. Philadelphia Flyers; 11. Edmonton Oilers; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Montreal Canadiens; 14. Vancouver Canucks; 15. Chicago Blackhawks; 16. Winnipeg Jets

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. New York Islanders; 3. Carolina Hurricanes; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Vegas Golden Knights; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Toronto Maple Leafs; 9. Boston Bruins; 10. Edmonton Oilers; 11. St. Louis Blues; 12. Pittsburgh Penguins; 13. Washington Capitals; 14. Montreal Canadiens; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Minnesota Wild

TRACEY MYERS

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Winnipeg Jets; 7. Boston Bruins; 8. New York Islanders; 9. Carolina Hurricanes; 10. Edmonton Oilers; 11. Dallas Stars; 12. Minnesota Wild; 13. Pittsburgh Penguins; 14. New Jersey Devils; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. St. Louis Blues

SHAWN P. ROARKE

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. New York Islanders; 7. Carolina Hurricanes; 8. Washington Capitals; 9. Edmonton Oilers; 10. Boston Bruins; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. Pittsburgh Penguins; 14. New York Rangers; 15. Vancouver Canucks; 16. Minnesota Wild

DAN ROSEN

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. New York Islanders; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Carolina Hurricanes; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Edmonton Oilers; 10. Winnipeg Jets; 11. Dallas Stars; 12. Minnesota Wild; 13. New York Rangers; 14. Washington Capitals; 15. Vancouver Canucks; 16. Philadelphia Flyers

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Colorado Avalanche; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. New York Islanders; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Dallas Stars; 10. Washington Capitals; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. Edmonton Oilers; 13. Pittsburgh Penguins; 14. Winnipeg Jets; 15. Philadelphia Flyers; 16. Chicago Blackhawks

PAUL STRIZHEVSKY

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. New York Islanders; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. Washington Capitals; 8. Edmonton Oilers; 9. Boston Bruins; 10. Florida Panthers; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Montreal Canadiens; 14. Winnipeg Jets; 15. Pittsburgh Penguins; 16. New York Rangers

MIKE ZEISBERGER

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Colorado Avalanche; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Boston Bruins; 5. Carolina Hurricanes; 6. New York Islanders; 7. Washington Capitals; 8. Edmonton Oilers; 9. Toronto Maple Leafs; 10. Florida Panthers; 11. Winnipeg Jets; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. St. Louis Blues; 14. New York Rangers; 15. Montreal Canadiens; 16. Minnesota Wild

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