Super 16: Atlantic Division well represented


Six of the eight teams in the division are ranked, led by the Boston Bruins at No. 2, up five spots from last week.

The Florida Panthers stayed exactly where they were last week (No. 6), but the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres are new additions.

The Sabres are No. 11 this week, having won four of their first six games. The Senators are right behind them at No. 12, having also won four of their first six. Ottawa is riding a four-game winning streak. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning are No. 14, down from No. 12 last week. The Toronto Maple Leafs also tumbled two spots to No. 15. 

The Metropolitan Division is next with four teams ranked this week, one fewer than last week, with the New York Islanders dropping out. The Pacific and Central divisions each have three teams this week.

The Super 16 is comprised of voting totals from the 13 NHL.com and LNH.com staff writers or editors that contribute weekly.

Each person puts together his or her version of what they think the Super 16 should look like. Those are submitted and a point total assigned to each. The team that is selected first is given 16 points, second gets 15, third 14, and so on down to No. 16, who gets one point. 

Here is the Super 16, with thoughts on each team from various staff members, whose individual rankings are below:

1. Carolina Hurricanes (4-1-1)

Total points: 196

Last week: No. 1

“The Hurricanes have had a strong start despite a challenging schedule, including a five-game, 11-day road trip after playing their opener at home. Now they’re set up to continue that start with four of their next six games at PNC Arena. Forward Andrei Svechnikov was tied for the NHL lead with seven goals prior to Wednesday, including his first regular season hat trick in a 6-4 loss at the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 20. Martin Necas, a forward who plays on the same line as Svechnikov, looks like he’s ready to have a breakout season with eight points (three goals, five assists). Center Sebastian Aho continues to be one of the NHL’s lesser-recognized elite players with nine points (four goals, five assists). If there’s an area the Hurricanes would like to improve it’s probably their penalty kill, which cost them against the Oilers (3-for-5). But there’s really not much to complain about.” — Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: Aho gives Hurricanes a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

2. Boston Bruins (6-1-0)

Total points: 185

Last week: No. 7

“The Bruins defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Tuesday and have won six of their first seven games. They have scored more than four goals per game, and already have eight players with at least two goals. New coach Jim Montgomery has them playing well defensively, evidenced by their plus-10 goal differential. And they’ve done this all without two of their best players in forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who are out after offseason surgeries. Boston could not have asked for a better start to the season.” — David Satriano, staff writer

3. Calgary Flames (5-1-0)

Total points: 177

Last week: No. 3

Nazem Kadri looks like the perfect fit in Calgary. The forward has points in all six games this season, including three on two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. He has nine points (four goals, five assists). But most importantly for why I have the Flames No. 1 in my Super 16 is their wins; they have already defeated the Colorado Avalanche (5-3), Oilers (4-3), Vegas Golden Knights (3-2), Hurricanes (3-2) and the Penguins. That’s five wins against teams that are all ranked in this week’s Super 16. That’s impressive.” — Dan Rosen, senior writer

4. Colorado Avalanche (4-2-1)

Total points: 165

Last week: No. 2

“The Avalanche are the defending Stanley Cup champions. What is there not to like about them? They are the complete package. Valeri Nichushkin is proving his playoff performance last season was not a fluke, but a preview of what was to come from the forward having scored in every game this season (seven goals, five assists). The Avalanche are so deep, they don’t miss forward Gabriel Landeskog, who is out long term with a knee injury. Even their goaltending, which was a question mark, has been top notch to start the season. Find me a weakness on this team. I dare you.” — Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

Video: [email protected]: Nichushkin tips shot home on power play

5. Vegas Golden Knights (6-2-0)

Total points: 143

Last week: No. 10

“If there was one thing Vegas fans worried about the most at the start of the season, it had to be goaltending. With Robin Lehner sidelined for the entire season and Laurent Brossoit on injured reserve, the Golden Knights have had to rely on their third and fourth goalies. What is ironic and a little shocking is these guys have been the team’s most consistent players. Logan Thompson (3-2-0, .931 save percentage, 2.03 goals-against average) and Adin Hill (3-0-0, .935 save percentage, 2.00 GAA) have propelled the Golden Knights to be one of the NHL’s best defensive teams. With goaltending that good, the offense doesn’t have to set the world on fire to keep up. It hasn’t, to be sure. The Golden Knights are scoring a modest 3.25 goals per game.” — Paul Strizhevsky, staff writer

6. Florida Panthers (4-2-1)

Total points: 117

Last week: No. 6

“I saw the Panthers up close when they lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Tuesday. The offense is still there, evidenced by their two goals within 1:15 in the third period. What’s surprising, considering the offensive talent they have, is their lack of production on the power play (30th in the NHL at 6.1 percent prior to Wednesday). That includes going 0-for-6 on Tuesday. Sure, the Blackhawks penalty kill is improved, but not getting a shot on goal on a double minor high sticking penalty by Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe was surprising. The Panthers are still a tough group, but the struggling power play and the loss of defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a lower-body injury are being felt.” — Tracey Myers, staff writer

7. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2-1)

Total points: 116

Last week: No. 8

“The Penguins experienced two setbacks in the province of Alberta this week, the first games this season when they didn’t come away with any points. Center Sidney Crosby leads them in scoring (11 points) and continues to be a dominant player at the age of 35, and defenseman Jeff Petry is proving to be a solid offseason addition on the back end. Perhaps most importantly, Tristan Jarry is showing he’s fully healthy and picking up where he left off last season — as arguably the most underrated No. 1 goalie in the NHL.” — Brian Compton, managing editor

8. Dallas Stars (4-2-1)

Total points: 114

Last week: No. 5

“I had the chance to see the Stars at Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday and I was impressed by their high level of structure early in the season. They play a heavy game, rolling four balanced lines. Forward Mason Marchment already looks like a good addition for them. Jake Oettinger started his second season as the No. 1 goalie exactly the way he finished his first. He reminds me of a young Carey Price with his technique and calmness between the pipes. If he keeps the ball rolling, he will get in the head of a lot of teams this season.” — Robert Laflamme, LNH.com senior writer

9. New York Rangers (3-3-2)

Total points: 110

Last week: No. 4

“The Rangers played well in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Avalanche on Tuesday but then lost their fourth in a row, 3-0 at the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Tuesday was their best game since a 3-1 opening-night win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which remains their most complete game of the season. They are working out some kinks, including sloppy play in the defensive zone, but performances like the one against the Avalanche show what kind of team they are capable of being. Losses to the San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets forced me to drop the Rangers to No. 9 this week after ranking them No. 5 in my Super 16 last week. More games like they played against Colorado could push them back up.” — Rosen

10. St. Louis Blues (3-2-0)

Total points: 104

Last week: No. 9

“At the time of our vote, the Blues had played four games, two fewer than any other team in the NHL. That’s a small sample size. Prior to a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, they were tied for the third best points percentage (.750) with the Golden Knights and Hurricanes. And they ranked third in goals against per game (2.25). Jordan Binnington was off to a great start, going 3-0-0 with a 1.65 GAA, .940 save percentage and one shutout, which happened to be a 2-0 road win against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers.” — Nicholas J. Cotsonika, columnist

11. Buffalo Sabres (4-2-0)

Total points: 56

Last week: Unranked

“With Rasmus Dahlin entering his fifth NHL season already, it’s easy to forget he’s only 22 years old. But the young defenseman has taken his game up to another level early this season and shown the signs of reaching the potential that made him the No. 1 pick by the Sabres at the 2018 NHL Draft. Dahlin’s six-game point streak (five goals, four assists) helped the Sabres sweep their western Canadian road swing, outscoring the Oilers, Calgary and Vancouver Canucks 15-6. A defense anchored by Dahlin and Owen Power bodes well for the Sabres now and in the future.” — Mike Zeisberger, staff writer

Video: [email protected]: Dahlin records his 5th goal in 5 games

12. Ottawa Senators (4-2-0)

Total points: 67

Last week: Unranked

“I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the Senators this season. But it’s so far, so good up in Kanata. It starts with forward Shane Pinto. The rookie has been making a name for himself, now having scored in five straight games as the Senators have won four in a row after losing their first two games of the season. Pinto is not yet 22 — his birthday is Nov. 12 — and he’s already inserted himself as a surprise addition into the Calder Trophy race for the best rookie in the NHL with six points (five goals, one assist) in six games. But perhaps the more stunning part of the Senators 4-2-0 start is that they’ve done it without goalie Cam Talbot, who has to miss the first 5-7 weeks with an upper-body injury. I’m not anointing the Senators as a Stanley Cup Playoffs team just yet, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far — and with Talbot eventually back in net, who knows?” — Amalie Benjamin, staff writer

13. Philadelphia Flyers (4-2-0)

Total points: 47

Last week: No. 11

“There’s a lot more to like about this Flyers team than even I thought there would be entering the season. There’s been full buy-in to how coach John Tortorella wants them to play. They are more physical, more committed defensively and to blocking shots, and to playing at a better pace, especially in the second half of games. All of that has really benefitted goalie Carter Hart, who has a .949 save percentage, a huge increase from his .905 last season. They still need to be better offensively, especially at 5-on-5, but that could come with the returns at some point of injured forwards James van Riemsdyk (finger), Sean Couturier (back) and Cam Atkinson (upper body). I’m not sure the Flyers will be one of the 16 best teams in the NHL all season, but for now there’s more to like than not.” –– Adam Kimelman, deputy managing editor

14. Tampa Bay Lightning (4-4-0)

Total points: 45

Last week: No. 12

“The Lightning have lacked any real momentum at the start of the season, but we’ve seen this before; Tampa Bay was 3-3-1 after seven games last season and eventually reached the Stanley Cup Final. It’s a veteran savvy team and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect another serious run at some point in the near future. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 2.84 GAA and .914 save percentage through five games, all starts. I anticipate those numbers improving as the season unfolds. What might be a tad concerning is the fact that the Lightning rank among the bottom third in goals per game. But it’s early. Forwards Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos and Brandon Hagel are the only players with more than two goals in eight games.” — Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

15. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-0)

Total points: 36

Last week: No. 13

“I ranked the Maple Leafs at No. 16 this week after not having them in my Super 16 last week. The only way I justified putting them in this week was their wins against the Stars (3-2) and Winnipeg Jets (4-1). Those are solid wins backed by strong defense and quality goaltending. They sputtered in a 3-1 loss at the Golden Knights, getting outshot 24-13 in the final two periods. But if you’re a Maple Leafs fan, you have to be encouraged by what you’re seeing from goalie Ilya Samsonov. He’s 4-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA and .932 save percentage. He has allowed two or fewer goals in four of his five games. That’s the positive. But Toronto is also scoring 2.71 goals per game. That’s not good enough for a team with as much skill as this one.” — Rosen

16. Edmonton Oilers (4-3-0)

Total points: 35

Last week: No. 15

“Edmonton just concluded a six-game homestand to begin the season and won the first of a three-game road trip Wednesday at St. Louis. The Oilers are middle of the pack right now, and I have them No. 10, but one positive is that they seem to be getting more production from players not named McDavid and Draisaitl. In fact, they won 6-3 against the Penguins on Tuesday when four players had a multipoint game, none of which was McDavid. Edmonton is 33-1-1 when scoring five or more goals since the start of last season; it ranked sixth in the League with 3.67 goals-per game and were second on the power play (35 percent) prior to Wednesday. — Morreale

Others receiving points: Chicago Blackhawks 16, Detroit Red Wings 15, Los Angeles Kings 11, Washington Capitals 11, Nashville Predators 2

Dropped out: New York Islanders (No. 14), Red Wings (No. 16)

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM 

AMALIE BENJAMIN 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Calgary Flames; 3. Boston Bruins; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Florida Panthers; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. New York Rangers; 8. St. Louis Blues; 9. Dallas Stars; 10. Vegas Golden Knights; 11. Los Angeles Kings; 12. Edmonton Oilers; 13. Tampa Bay Lightning; 14. Buffalo Sabres; 15. Philadelphia Flyers; 16. Ottawa Senators

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Calgary Flames; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Buffalo Sabres; 9. Ottawa Senators; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Florida Panthers; 12. New York Rangers; 13. Chicago Blackhawks; 14. Philadelphia Flyers; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Toronto Maple Leafs

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Boston Bruins; 2. Calgary Flames; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Carolina Hurricanes; 5. St. Louis Blues; 6. Buffalo Sabres; 7. Philadelphia Flyers; 8. Chicago Blackhawks; 9. Ottawa Senators; 10. Detroit Red Wings; 11. Colorado Avalanche; 12. Florida Panthers; 13. Dallas Stars; 14. Pittsburgh Penguins; 15. Toronto Maple Leafs; 16. New York Rangers

TOM GULITTI 

1. Calgary Flames; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Carolina Hurricanes; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Vegas Golden Knights; 6. St. Louis Blues; 7. Dallas Stars; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Ottawa Senators; 10. Pittsburgh Penguins; 11. New York Rangers; 12. Buffalo Sabres; 13. Philadelphia Flyers; 14. Toronto Maple Leafs; 15. Edmonton Oilers; 16. Washington Capitals

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Colorado Avalanche; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Boston Bruins; 4. Dallas Stars; 5. New York Rangers; 6. St. Louis Blues; 7. Tampa Bay Lightning; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. Florida Panthers; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. Pittsburgh Penguins; 12. Buffalo Sabres; 13. Ottawa Senators; 14. Edmonton Oilers; 15. Detroit Red Wings; 16. Philadelphia Flyers

ROBERT LAFLAMME 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Calgary Flames; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Boston Bruins; 5. Dallas Stars; 6. Vegas Golden Knights; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. New York Rangers; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Philadelphia Flyers; 11. St. Louis Blues; 12. Ottawa Senators; 13. Buffalo Sabres; 14. Toronto Maple Leafs; 15. Washington Capitals; 16. Chicago Blackhawks

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Calgary Flames; 4. Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Florida Panthers; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. Dallas Stars; 10. Edmonton Oilers; 11. Tampa Bay Lightning; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Ottawa Senators; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. St. Louis Blues; 16. Washington Capitals

TRACEY MYERS 

1. Boston Bruins; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. Carolina Hurricanes; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Calgary Flames; 6. Dallas Stars; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Philadelphia Flyers; 10. Ottawa Senators; 11. Washington Capitals; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Florida Panthers; 14. Detroit Red Wings; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Chicago Blackhawks

SHAWN P. ROARKE 

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Colorado Avalanche; 3. St. Louis Blues; 4. Florida Panthers; 5. Calgary Flames; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Edmonton Oilers; 10. Dallas Stars; 11. Tampa Bay Lightning; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Vegas Golden Knights; 14. Buffalo Sabres; 15. Nashville Predators; 16. Detroit Red Wings

DAN ROSEN 

1. Calgary Flames; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Boston Bruins; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Colorado Avalanche; 6. Ottawa Senators; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Dallas Stars; 9. New York Rangers; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Florida Panthers; 12. Tampa Bay Lightning; 13. Edmonton Oilers; 14. Buffalo Sabres; 15. Philadelphia Flyers; 16. Toronto Maple Leafs

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Carolina Hurricanes; 2. Boston Bruins; 3. Florida Panthers; 4. Colorado Avalanche; 5. Calgary Flames; 6. New York Rangers; 7. Vegas Golden Knights; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Dallas Stars; 10. Tampa Bay Lightning; 11. Philadelphia Flyers; 12. Buffalo Sabres; 13. Ottawa Senators; 14. St. Louis Blues; 15. Detroit Red Wings; 16. Washington Capitals

PAUL STRIZHEVSKY

1. Boston Bruins; 2. Calgary Flames; 3. Carolina Hurricanes; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. St. Louis Blues; 6. Colorado Avalanche; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Florida Panthers; 9. Dallas Stars; 10. New York Rangers; 11. Toronto Maple Leafs; 12. Tampa Bay Lightning; 13. Philadelphia Flyers; 14. Ottawa Senators; 15. Buffalo Sabres; 16. Edmonton Oilers

MIKE ZEISBERGER 

1. Calgary Flames; 2. Carolina Hurricanes; 3. Colorado Avalanche; 4. Boston Bruins; 5. Vegas Golden Knights; 6. Florida Panthers; 7. New York Rangers; 8. Dallas Stars; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. St. Louis Blues; 11. Buffalo Sabres; 12. Toronto Maple Leafs; 13. Ottawa Senators; 14. Edmonton Oilers; 15. Tampa Bay Lightning; 16. Chicago Blackhawks





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