The National Hockey League wrapped up its third week of 2023-24 with the campaign's first outdoor game. The sellout crowd of 55,411 spectators at Commonwealth Stadium in Alberta were treated to a Heritage Classic featuring the then 1-5-1 Edmonton Oilers and 2-5-1 Calgary Flames. Connor McDavid returned from injury, which is great news for all hockey fans, and Edmonton marched to a 5-2 victory to record just their second win of the season. The Flames, meanwhile, continue to free fall in our NHL Power Rankings after losing their fifth straight.

(If you're wondering, the league's next outdoor game will be played between the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners, on New Year's Day).

And after nearly three full weeks of NHL play, every team has finally lost a game. The Golden Knights and Boston Bruins surprisingly lost to the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks, respectively, both in overtime. The Colorado Avalanche lost twice last week, including a head-scratching shutout defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. On the other hand, some teams had a perfect week, like the New York Rangers, who have shot up the list.

With most teams having played between seven and nine games, the 2023-24 NHL season is approaching the 1/8 mark. And after a telling seven days of hockey, there has been quite a bit of movement in Week 4 of ClutchPoints' NHL Power Rankings. Here's how it shakes out as of Monday. This time around, starting from the top.

Golden Knights, Shea Theodore, Mark Stone, Panthers, Stanley Cup Final, NHL Power Rankings

1. Vegas Golden Knights (no change)

Despite losing their first game of 2023-24, the Golden Knights remain the top dog for the fourth straight week. Along with the team directly below them, the Knights are one of only two to remain without a regulation loss. The OT defeat to Connor Bedard's team was disappointing, but Vegas still beat the Kings and Flyers to improve to 8-0-1 on the year. The Knights continue to cruise, and remain the league's best team in terms of both their record and our NHL Power Rankings.

2. Boston Bruins (+1)

The Boston Bruins just continue to impress. Like the Knights, the B's have not lost in regulation, and they really should be 8-0. On the verge of breaking the franchise record for most consecutive wins to start a season, the Bruins imploded against the Ducks last week, surrendering three straight goals that turned a comfy 3-1 lead into a shocking 4-3 defeat. Still, Boston beat the Red Wings and shut out the Hawks, and remain the hardest team in the league to score on. By a mile.

3. Colorado Avalanche (-1)

The Avalanche looked a bit disjointed last week after starting the season 6-0. Colorado played three games and lost two of them, including back-to-back shutout losses to the Penguins and Sabres. That is extremely surprising for a team that had scored 21 goals over the previous four games. After a forgettable road trip, the Avs will have a few days off in Denver before looking to right the ship on Wednesday against the Blues. Nathan MacKinnon is scoring at under a point-per-game clip, but expect that to change very soon.

4. New York Rangers (+4)

After a devastating playoff exit last year, the New York Rangers changed their coach, Artemi Panarin discarded his hair, and the positive vibes look to be back in the Big Apple. The Blueshirts have won four in a row, including a thrilling comeback overtime win over the Canucks on Saturday night. Panarin is leading the way with 12 points in eight games, while Adam Fox (10 in eight) and Mika Zibanejad (eight in eight) have also been excellent. Peter Laviolette looks like the right hire, and the 6-2 Rangers look destined for the top of the Metro.


5. Dallas Stars (-1)

The Dallas Stars are very quietly off to to an excellent start in the Central Division. They've played just six games, the least across the league, but are 4-1-1. Dallas won one and lost one last week, a 4-1 triumph over the Penguins followed up by a loss, by the exact same score, to the Maple Leafs two nights later. Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz need to get going; their eight points in 11 combined games is way out of character for the two young stars. They will pick it up, and the Stars should remain in the top-five for the foreseeable future.

6. Toronto Maple Leafs (no change)

The Leafs had a good week, outscoring the Capitals and Stars 8-2 over two identical 4-1 wins, and finishing with a tight overtime loss to the Predators on Saturday night. This 5-2-1 Toronto team continues to hang around at the top of the Atlantic, currently just four points behind the Bruins for the division lead. William Nylander and John Tavares continue to lead the way, with the two stars accounting for 23 points over 16 combined games. And with Ilya Samsonov floundering to start the year, is there a new starting goalie in Canada's most populous city?

Joseph Woll in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform with a caption bubble saying "I want the job" NHL Power Rankings

7. New Jersey Devils (no change)

Jack Hughes continues to snatch all of the headlines, and he's well deserving after recording another eight points in four games — three of them wins. But it's Jesper Bratt who is keeping pace with the NHL's leading scorer in the early going; the 25-year-old is up to six goals and 14 points of his own, including a two-goal, three-point performance in a 4-3 win over the Wild on Sunday night. The Devils scored 18 goals this week, and are having no trouble in that department. As for the struggles of both Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid, that needs to be sorted out before the Devils can enter the top-five.

8. Carolina Hurricanes (-3)

The Hurricanes finally started keeping the puck out of their own net in Week 3, beating the Kraken 3-2 in overtime before shutting out the lowly Sharks days later. Andrei Svechnikov is back, which is huge, but Carolina still doesn't quite look like themselves. The 5-4 Canes were shut out by the Lightning in their first of three games last week, and can't seem to hold onto any positive momentum in the early going. There is still a ton of potential for this to be a top-three team, but I'm not seeing enough from them right now.

9. Los Angeles Kings (+2)

It was a great week in Los Angeles, earning the Kings their first top-10 appearance of the 2023-24 season. LA beat Arizona in back-to-back games, scoring 11 goals in the process. Although a shootout loss to the Golden Knights was a tough finish, in a game they certainly could have won, LA will certainly take a 2-0-1 week. The Kings are up to third in the Pacific with a solid 4-2-2 record, and will look to build on it at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (+2)

The panic button was pushed as soon as Andrei Vasilevskiy got back surgery this offseason, but Jonas Johansson has been a calming presence for the Lightning in 2023-24. And he turned into a brick wall last week, miraculously recording back-to-back shutouts against the Hurricanes and Sharks. The 4-2-2 Bolts are looking solid, and will turn to their new goaltender again as they look for three consecutive wins on Monday night with the Kraken in town.

11. Vancouver Canucks (+3)

The Canucks just keep on winning, putting together their best start to a season since the days of the Sedins. Vancouver is 5-2-1 with a +12 rating after coming out on top in three of their last four. Two of those came last week against the Predators and Blues, the latter a 5-0 blanking and Thatcher Demko's first shutout of the season. The talented group of forwards in British Columbia are slowly turning into an offensive juggernaut, and this is turning into a very fun team to watch. With the Oilers, Flames and Kraken struggling mightily, there could be a place for the Canucks in the Pacific's top-three.

Canucks, Thatcher Demko, Canucks roster, Canucks preseason, Canucks training camp, NHL Power Rankings

12. Pittsburgh Penguins (-2)

Things have begun to unravel in Pittsburgh after a strong start to the season. The Pens have lost three of their last four games, and went 1-2 last week. They shutout the Avalanche, which was encouraging, but lost to the Stars and Senators. It's a tight Metropolitan Division, and Pittsburgh is currently last place, two points behind the Blue Jackets. The team needs more from the top guys, who have gone quiet after a strong start. And Erik Karlsson having four points in eight games is not how many expected his tenure in Pennsylvania to start. The Pens will look to bounce back Monday with the Ducks in town.

13. Ottawa Senators (-4)

Another team that has lost three of four — the Ottawa Senators. Like the Pens, they started strong, but have fallen down to 4-4 and second last place in the Atlantic. Both Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg can be better, but the injury bug has hit the D-core. Thomas Chabot is out 6-8 weeks, Erik Brannstrom is out indefinitely after taking a dirty hit, and Artem Zub remains on the shelf with an upper-body injury. The Sens will have a tough time without three of their top six defensemen, but there's a lot of talent on the roster. Ottawa doesn't play again until Thursday vs. Los Angeles.

14. Winnipeg Jets (+2)

To their credit, the Jets continue to keep pace in what is shaping up to be an ultra-competitive Central Division. Winnipeg won two of three games last week, and have won three of four en route to a respectable 4-3-1 record. This is a team that is probably going to make the playoffs, although they won't be expected to do much noise. Still, giving up just three goals in wins over Detroit and St. Louis is encouraging. A great test awaits with the Rangers in Manitoba on Monday.

15. Florida Panthers (+2)

The Florida Panthers got amazing news this week, as both Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad will return to practice. As well, Sam Bennett looks to be close to a return. The 2023 Stanley Cup Finalists are getting healthy, and they aren't playing too badly while waiting for reinforcements. The Cats have won 4-3, middle of the pack in the Atlantic but encouraging considering the rapidly improving health of a few key pieces. Sergei Bobrovsky looks to have retained his 2023 playoff form, and that's great news for a team that is ready to have Montour, Ekblad and Bennett back in the lineup.

Florida Panthers, Aaron Ekblad, Brandon Montour, NHL Power Rankings

16. Edmonton Oilers (-3)

The Oilers looked more like the team that has been a regular season juggernaut over the last few years in the Heritage Classic on Sunday, rather than the one that started this season. Edmonton is still just 2-5-1, but with Connor McDavid back, I expect them to get on track over the next few weeks. I see them as a middle of the pack team now, but there's huge potential for this prolific offense to go on a run at any time. This is probably the lowest the Oilers will fall on the NHL Power Rankings this season.

17. Detroit Red Wings (-2)

The Red Wings looked like the class of the NHL in the early going, but they fell back down to earth in Week 3 by losing three games in a row. Those came at the hands of the Kraken, Jets and Bruins, who sent Detroit back to fourth in the Atlantic with a 5-3-1 record. It's still a more-than-encouraging start for Steve Yzerman's club, with a chance to get back in the win column against the Islanders on Monday. It looks like if Dylan Larkin and Alex DeBrincat aren't carrying, this team isn't winning.

18. New York Islanders (+4)

Ilya Sorokin will be back in net on Long Island when the Isles welcome the Wings to UBS Arena on Monday night. Semyon Varlamov did his job against the Blue Jackets, shutting Columbus out to help the Isles improve to 4-2-1 on the season. There is still no one scoring goals in New York, with no player having more than three, although Noah Dobson's seven points in seven games is a great sign. There's playoff potential again this season, if only because of one of the league's best tandems in Sorokin and Varlamov.

19. Minnesota Wild (-1)

It was a forgettable week in the State of Hockey for a Minnesota Wild team that is lucky it didn't fall further down this list. The Wild lost three games in a row last week to fall to fifth in the Central. Filip Gustavsson, who was billed as the goalie of the future and was one of the top netminders last year, has been abysmal. The team can't keep pucks out of the net, and aren't scoring enough. The guys not named Kaprizov, Zuccarello, Hartman and Eriksson Ek aren't producing, and that's a problem. There were signs of concern before the season started, and they're being realized early. This team is desperate for Jared Spurgeon and Matt Boldy back, and should be much, much better when that time comes.

Image: Jared Spurgeon in image looking stern, MN Wild logo, first aid kit in image, hockey rink in background

20. St. Louis Blues (-1)

Jordan Binnington's hot start was doused in cold watcher by the Canucks and Jets last week, who knocked St. Louis back to .500 and sixth in the division. Pavel Buchnevish was missed, and Jordan Kyrou has been relegated to the second line after a mediocre stretch. This is a team that is very hard to predict; they are capable of stringing wins together, but could continue middling and miss the playoffs for a second straight year. I'm leaning towards the latter, but I'll give it more time before I'm calling for a rebuild.

21. Buffalo Sabres (+2)

Still struggling to play the hockey they're capable of, the Buffalo Sabres remain in last place in the Atlantic despite winning two games last week. A 5-4 loss to the Devils was a tough pill to swallow with the score tied in the third, as was a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Habs. But Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made his case for the starter with the first shutout of his career against the high-flying Avs. The 4-5 Sabres are starting to turn things around, but it's a big hill to climb in a gauntlet of a division.

22. Washington Capitals (+7)

Just when it looked like the Capitals were destined to completely fall apart, Alex Ovechkin's team strung together three straight wins, which is all I needed to see to vault them back up the list. Ovi looks like he's completely shed the slow start, with two goals and eight points in his last six games. The Caps beat the Sharks, Wild and Devils, and will look to continue gaining ground in the Metro now that they finally have their feet under them.


23. Montreal Canadiens (+4)

Despite losing Kirby Dach, the Montreal Canadiens keep winning. Now with four in their last five tries, the Habs are holding onto the third playoff spot in the Atlantic. Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki have been driving the bus, while Tanner Pearson and Sean Monahan continue to impress. Mike Matheson has also been a rock on the back end, which has helped this team improve to 5-2-1 on the season. It's still so early, but why not Montreal for an Eastern Conference wildcard berth?

24. Nashville Predators (+4)

The Predators are holding up pretty well in the Central Division. A two-win week has Nashville back in a positive place, albeit a 4-4 record is nothing to be too excited about. But the Preds are playing good team hockey, and getting great goaltending from Juuse Saros. That was on display in wins over the Leafs and Sharks last week. Next up is the Canucks on Tuesday.

25. Philadelphia Flyers (no change)

The Flyers should probably be higher on this list, I'll admit — but I haven't seen enough from them, especially with the team having a similarly hot start last year before fizzling out. Philadelphia has lost three of four, and a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Ducks is concerning. Two of the losses were to the Stars and Golden Knights, and this team should bounce back and work their way up the list over the next few weeks. 4-3-1 is an impressive record considering the expectations, but it's a long season for a questionable roster.

26. Arizona Coyotes (-2)

A promising start for the Yotes has been derailed by an 0-2 week, with two straight losses to the Kings sending Arizona to 3-4, good enough for second last in the Central. This team will be alright, but needs to get back in the win column as the division already looks to be a dogfight through three weeks. The Coyotes are doing a pretty good job of keeping the puck out of their net, and both Connor Ingram and Karel Vejmelka have been solid in the early going. But the offense needs to improve, and that starts with Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz.

27. Calgary Flames (-7)

What an absolute nightmare this season has been for the Flames. We thought it was bad last year, with Calgary going from Pacific Division champions to an average team after trading Matthew Tkachuk. This year, it's even worse. The Flames have lost five in a row, are ahead of only the Sharks for last place in the Western Conference, and seem to have no confidence whatsoever. If Ryan Huska isn't the favorite as first NHL coach of the year to be fired, he probably should be.

28. Seattle Kraken (-7)

The Seattle Kraken are, unfortunately for their fans, regressing in ecstatic fashion. After an incredible 2022-23 season that saw the team fall just one win short of advancing to the West Final, it's all come crashing down on the West Coast. Seattle lost two more games this week, falling to 2-5-2 with virtually nothing in the form of a silver lining. This team can't score (ranked 28th in goals for), can't keep the puck out of their net (24th in goals allowed), and are struggling to get competent goaltending from Philipp Grubauer or Joey Daccord. A playoff spot feels a long way away for this club.

29. Columbus Blue Jackets (-3)

Patrik Laine is out indefinitely, and the Blue Jackets are looking more and more like the team that finished at the bottom of the Metro last year. Columbus has lost three in a row, scoring just three goals over that span against the Ducks, Canadiens and Islanders. Ivan Provorov and Jack Roslovic are leading the team in scoring, which is a huge red flag. Johnny Gaudreau needs to be better and the goaltending needs to improve, or it's going to be another long season in Ohio.

Patrik Laine of the Blue Jackets with a medical cross symbol

30. Anaheim Ducks (+1)

The Ducks have rattled off three straight wins after floundering to start the season, being led not by Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras, but Frank Vatrano and Ryan Strome. The two lead the team in points with 19 between the them, highlighted by eight goals in as many games for Vatrano, and eight assists for Strome. Along with Mason McTavish, Anaheim's second line is playing like its first. Now 4-4 and fourth in the Pacific, this Ducks team has a real chance to surprise — especially with the bottom four teams in the league all in the division.

31. Chicago Blackhawks (-1)

Connor Bedard is off to a strong rookie campaign, not letting the endless media pressure affect him too much, but the Hawks remain very bad. Still, the bright spots must be celebrated as they come, one being this team topping the Golden Knights in overtime last week, handing Vegas its first loss of the new season. Bedard is at five points in eight games, Corey Perry is up to six, and Chicago's 3-5 record is good enough for last place in the division. The Hawks will be getting another high draft pick in 2024.

32. San Jose Sharks (no change)

Will the San Jose Sharks win a game this year? The last team without a victory somehow continues to win, as the Sharks have embraced and completely committed to the rebuild. At 0-8-1, the bottom of the NHL standings is exactly where this team wants to be for the entire 2023-24 season. Sharks GM Mike Grier is already eyeing Macklin Celebrini, the Boston University standout who projects to go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NHL Draft. Make no mistake, the #TankForCelebrini has already begun in California.