Northeast Division Power Rankings: Week 2
Boston Bruins (4-2-0, 8 pts, 3rd in Division): While the Canadiens and Maple Leafs currently sit above them in the standings, the Bruins are coming off a week in which they swept a home-and-home with the high-flying Washington Capitals. Tuukka Rask continued his early season struggles, losing just his second start of the year to the Rangers on Saturday. On the flipside, Tim Thomas, who had his job stolen from him by Rask last year, remains undefeated through four starts, and has allowed just 3 goals on the year. Nathan Horton is making Peter Chiarelli look like a genius, with 5 goals and 9 points already.
Montreal Canadiens (4-2-1, 9 pts, 2nd in Division): With only two games last week, the Habs managed to get shut out by the Atlantic Division-worst New Jersey Devils, 3-0 on Thursday before turning around and besting the stumbling Ottawa Senators by the same score on Saturday. Carey Price has played very well since being re-anointed in the starting role, while Andrei Kostitsyn leads the club with 4 goals. I’m not sold on the Habs yet, though, considering their four wins have come against teams that have all struggled early in the season.
Toronto Maple Leafs (4-2-1, 9 pts, 1st in Division): Not even a week removed from a 4-0-0 start that had Leaf Nation in a state of euphoria, the maddening Leafs have dropped their last three games, and scored just four goals over that span. Kris Versteeg has just one goal and a -4 rating, while costly defensive giveaways that plagued the Leafs last year popped up repeatedly in their losses last week. Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur share the team lead with 6 goals and 8 points, but it drops off pretty sharply after that. Tomorrow night’s game against Florida is a must-win if the Leafs don’t want to lose all the momentum they gained from their hot start.
Buffalo Sabres (3-5-1, 7 pts, 4th in Division): With a better week under their belts, Ryan Miller and the Sabres have to be hoping their horrendous start is behind them. After starting the season 1-4-1, the Sabres got much-needed wins against Atlanta and New Jersey. Amazingly though, they remained winless at home, dropping their home game to Ottawa. They won’t get a chance to rectify their 0-4-1 home ice record until next month, as they finish October with three straight road games in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas.
Ottawa Senators (2-5-1, 5 pts, 5th in Division): The Senators avoided losing three straight for the second time in as many weeks with their road victory over Buffalo on Friday, but were shutout by Montreal the next night. Not much has gone right for the hapless Sens so far, although a three game home stand to finish October could be just what the doctor ordered, as Phoenix, Florida and Boston all visit Scotiabank Place this week.
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