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Local Hockey Power Rankings- Week 3

There was a ton of movement this week in the local hockey power rankings. The Rangers and Flyers are fizzling after hot starts, the Islanders are going the other way and the Devils finally found the win column. This week, we had two voters including myself.

1. New York Islanders 8 points (2 first-place votes) Last week: 3

Record: 5-3-0 (3-0-0 last week) Week MVP: Mat Barzal

The Islanders were able to come out on top of some sloppy games this week. On Monday, Oct. 14, the team was outplayed by the St. Louis Blues for 54 minutes before scoring twice in the final six to force overtime where Mat Barzal found Devon Toews for the winner. They looked better in Winnipeg on Oct. 17. Semyon Varlamov played his best game as an Islander, finishing with 32 saves while Barzal tallied two goals in a 3-1 victory over the Jets. Their final game of the week was the sloppiest, a 3-2 overtime decision in Columbus where the Islanders were once again badly outplayed but came out on top. If they got so badly outplayed, how could they possibly be on top? Well, the rest of the teams combined for just two wins in nine games.

2. New Jersey Devils 5 points Last week: 4

Record: 2-4-2 (2-1-0 last week) Week MVP: MacKenzie Blackwood

New Jersey began the week with yet another blown lead on Oct. 14. Up 4-1 on the Panthers over nine minutes into the second, the Devils collapsed, giving up the game’s next five goals to lose another heartbreaker 6-4. On Oct. 17, they then welcomed in Rangers for the first meeting of the Hudson River Rivalry, and the first meeting between the first two picks in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. After taking a 3-1 lead into the third period, the Rangers scored early to pull within one and the collapse thoughts crept into Devils fans’ heads. New Jersey erased those thoughts, however, scoring twice after that to put the game away a get into the win column for the first time this season. Their final game of the week proved to be the favorite for the team. On Oct. 19, the Devils welcomed in Quinn Hughes, brother of Jack, and the Vancouver Canucks. Jack scored his first career NHL goal on the power play in the first period and that proved to be the difference as MacKenzie Blackwood shut the door on the other end with his first shutout of the season. Blackwood stopped 54 of 56 shots he faced in two starts this week.

3. Philadelphia Flyers 5 points Last Week: 2

Record: 2-3-1 (0-3-0 last week) Week MVP: Sean Couturier

The Flyers completed their Western Canada road trip this week and it wasn’t pretty. They lost a close one to the Flames 3-1 on Oct. 15. Philadelphia followed that up the next night in Edmonton where they had difficulty solving Mikko Koskinen and their goaltenders looked like shooter tutors, giving up six goals on 22 shots. After finishing the trip 0-2-1, the Flyers returned home where they dropped a 4-1 decision to the struggling Dallas Stars, notching their only goal in the first minute of the contest. Sean Couturier was the only player to get a point in every game last week. Philly will look for some more from their big guns next week as they have a couple of winnable games.

4. New York Rangers 2 points Last week: 1

Record: 2-4-0 (0-3-0 last week) Week MVP: Mika Zibanejad

While their crosstown rival Islanders are on a four-game win streak, the Blueshirts are on a four-game losing streak. After giving the Devils their first win of the season, New York traveled to Washington DC to face the Capitals on Oct. 18. They kept it close through two periods until TJ Oshie’s second goal of the game gave Washington the two-goal cushion it needed to get the victory. New York returned home on Oct. 20 to welcome in the Canucks who were coming off of their shutout loss to New Jersey the night before. Vancouver put up a three-spot in the first period and that’s all they would need as a Ranger come back fell short for a final score of 3-2.

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