It's Week 9 of the 2023-24 National Hockey League season, and we are finally done living in a world without Patrick Kane. The three-time Stanley Cup champion will debut with his third Original Six team sometime this week after signing with old buddy Alex DeBrincat and the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 28. Speculation abounds, but no one really knows how good the best American born player of all time is going to be coming off of hip surgery. One place he will be good? On the top powerplay unit with DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin.

Kane's debut — whether it comes in Buffalo against the Sabres on Tuesday or later in the week at Little Caesars Arena — is undoubtedly the highlight of the week. But the first ever triple Hughes Bowl is not far behind. Superstar Jack and rookie phenom Luke will head northwest to Vancouver, where brother Quinn will be waiting. Canucks, Devils, all three Hughes brothers, Tuesday night.

Victor Hedman will also play the 1,000th game of his illustrious career in a Monday night Bolts home game, while Matt Duchene will do the same when his Dallas Stars are in the nation's capital three nights later. And the chase to 1,500 continues for The Great Eight; he's one point away from becoming just the 16th player in NHL history to accomplish the incredible feat. I say it happens on Monday night against the Coyotes in the desert, and count on it being a powerplay goal.

We know about the week ahead, but what about what happened last week? Read on for the latest edition of ClutchPoints' weekly NHL Power Rankings. But first, enjoy the best goals from the month of November:

Previous 2023-24 NHL Power Rankings: Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3Week 2 | Week 1

1. New York Rangers (no change)

Second week on top of the world — and NHL Power Rankings — for the New York Rangers. Mika Zibanejad has finally woken up — to the tune of nine points over a seven-game point streak — and Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck have been awake all season. The former scored a hat trick in a 6-5 shooting gallery win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, with the latter picking up two assists for his fifth and sixth points over his last three. The Blueshirts keep rolling right along, with three wins in four tries, and they now have Adam Fox back from the LTIR. This is a scary club, one that is 18-4-1 and leading the President's Trophy race through eight weeks. The Rangers remain on top for at least another seven days.

2. Boston Bruins (no change)

After going fives games without a point, the captain of the Boston Bruins had an eventful end to the week. Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner in Toronto against his archrival Maple Leafs on Saturday night, and followed it up with a third period natural hat trick to orchestrate a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets less than 24 hours later. After a small slump, the B's are back, with three straight wins keeping them tied with the Rangers at 17-4-3 (with one extra game played). Boston is fine, and will look to keep rolling with the middling Buffalo Sabres in town on Thursday.

3. Los Angeles Kings (+2)

Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar at the Hollywood sign after becoming the franchise's all-time assist leader on December 3, 2023 against the Colorado Avalanche

Welcome to the top-three, Los Angeles Kings. And welcome to 758 assists — the most in franchise history — Anze Kopitar. The Slovenian star achieved the incredible feat on Sunday night, passing Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne in his team's 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in California.

“Obviously, it feels great,” Kopitar said after the Kings improved to 14-4-3. “Like a few before, it’ll take a little time to set in. Sometimes you look at that list and the names that are on there, it makes it very surreal to just be able to be on the same page with those guys. I guess now passing them, it’s very surreal. Very humbling feeling.”

You can't say enough about Kopitar, and you can't say enough about this Kings team this year. That's a seriously impressive win over the Avs for a club that is now just five points back of the Western Conference lead with four games in hand. LA continues to roll along, and has become a serious President's Trophy — and Stanley Cup — contender in 2023-24.

4. Colorado Avalanche (-1)

It doesn't feel like the Colorado Avalanche have lost three games in a row, but the Colorado Avalanche have lost three games in a row. They blew a 1-0 lead against the team that just passed them on our NHL Power Rankings, but still found a way to scrape out four of a possible eight points in Week 8. Even with the current slide, the Avs have won six of 10 and hold a precarious one-point lead over the team just below them for the top spot in the Central Division. Cale Makar didn't play on Sunday, which is certainly something to monitor. But the 15-7-2 Avs remain elite, and will look to get revenge against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night after taking a shootout L on Sunday.

5. Dallas Stars (+1)

The Dallas Stars are 6-2-2 in their last 10, exactly the same as the Avalanche. The Stars just won more games last week, and didn't lose a single one in regulation. They squeaked by the Winnipeg Jets on a Jake Oettinger shutout masterclass, and then destroyed Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning 8-1 four days later. In between, they lost a tight OT thriller to the Calgary Flames. Still, Dallas is 14-5-3, Jason Robertson is scoring again, and everything is fine in Texas. The Stars will be the away team for Victor Hedman's 1,000th game on Monday night.

6. Vegas Golden Knights (-2)

Golden Knights, Adin Hill, Bruce Cassidy, Panthers, Stanley Cup Finals

The Golden Knights have won two games in a row, but it might have come at the cost of the current league leader in both goals-against average and save percentage. Adin Hill made a precautionary exit due to a lower-body injury in a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, and has been deemed day-to-day. Logan Thompson has already been great in Hill's short absence, backstopping a 4-1 victory over the Capitals on Saturday. Still, the team will be hoping Hill's stay on the shelf is short. The Knights have bumped the slump, somewhat, with two wins getting them back to first place in the Pacific. But the Canucks and Kings are breathing down their necks, and the NHL Power Rankings slide from the No. 1 spot continues.

7. Carolina Hurricanes (no change)

In Frederik Andersen's absence, it has been Pyotr Kochetkov who has stepped admirably into the starting role. After Antti Raanta was shredded by the Bolts on Nov. 24, the young Russian started all four of the team's next games, and won three of them. Besides a clunker against the Islanders, he gave up just five goals in three wins over the Blue Jackets, Flyers and Sabres. The Canes are back to second in the Metropolitan Division, and playing more like the expectations that were placed on them before the season. Carolina is heading to Canada this week, with a Western stretch that will take them through Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in Week 9.

8. Vancouver Canucks (no change)

The Vancouver Canucks have rotated between wins and losses since Nov. 18. They are still banking precious points in 2023, although the scorching hot start has certainly cooled. The Canucks still look like a playoff team, but maybe not a team that will compete for the Pacific Division crown all year. Still, Vancouver got nice wins over Calgary and Anaheim last week, and remain 16-8-1 and second in the conference. All eyes will be on the Hughes Bowl on Tuesday night, and you know all three brothers will be bringing their A-game to Rogers Arena. A late start that will probably be worth staying up for on the East Coast.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (no change)

The Maple Leafs have won six of 10 and continue to hang around a top-three spot in the Atlantic Division. Mitch Marner busted out of his slump with an electric, three-goal-plus-shootout-winner performance against the Kraken, and Toronto also beat the Florida Panthers in a low-scoring, 2-1 final earlier in the week. We all know what happened in Brad Marchand's first game back in The Six since injuring Timothy Liljegren, but I won't type it again for Leafs' fans sake. Toronto is 12-6-4 and still one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

10. Winnipeg Jets (+1)

Jets, Connor Hellebuyck, Connor Hellebuyck extension, Connor Hellebuyck contract, NHL contract grades

The Jets keep slowly but surely climbing up the Central Division standings. Winnipeg isn't scoring a ton, but Connor Hellebuyck has found his All-Star form. He's been outstanding, giving up an outrageous just seven goals over his last five starts — three of them wins. In the two losses, the team in front of him scored just a single goal combined. The hope is that the return of Gabriel Vilardi can help mitigate some of those offensive woes. Still, the Jets are 13-8-2 and third in the Central Division. It's been a very promising start in Manitoba.

11. Detroit Red Wings (+2)

Welcome to Motown, Patty Kane. The veteran sniper went from one Original Six team to another, leaving New York, New York and linking up with his longtime Hawks teammate Alex DeBrincat in Michigan. The Wings are eager for his arrival; the team has won six of 10, including two out of three last week. Alex Lyon looks to be making his case for the starting job, and I'm surprised he isn't getting more looks at this point. It seems like James Reimer has to get traded, and Ville Husso is looking much worse than the goaltender who helped get the Panthers into the playoffs last year. Now 13-7-3, Detroit is ready to make a push for the division, and up the NHL Power Rankings, along with their newest star forward.

12. Florida Panthers (no change)

The Cats held the fort in Week 8, trading wins and losses for a 2-1-1 set. That kept them at second place in the Atlantic, but not by much. The Wings are just a point back, the Leafs two, and a .500 pace won't hold that spot. Florida is now fully healthy and needs to start building the squad back into the team that came within three victories of winning the Stanley Cup six months ago. Matthew Tkachuk badly needs to get going, but he'll have to wait until Wednesday night when the Stars come to Amerant Bank Arena.

13. Washington Capitals (+1)

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

I say this every week, but somehow, the Washington Capitals keep winning games. This team is at a minus-7 goal differential and has won seven of its last 10 contests. It's just a weird situation in the nation's capital right now. The Caps lose an embarrassing 2-1 game to the Sharks, and follow it up with a 2-1 win over one of the top teams in the league in the Kings. They then hang five on the Ducks and score just a single goal against Vegas a night later. The wins are ugly, but they're wins. Washington is 12-7-2 and third in the Metro, and after a playoff-less season, that'll do just fine in December. Is it going to be Mullett Arena where Alex Ovechkin becomes the 16th player to reach the millenium-and-a-half mark?

14. Tampa Bay Lightning (-4)

Even with Andrei Vasilevskiy back, the Bolts are struggling mightily right now. The Russian stars' debut 8-2 win has quickly been erased by four straight losses for the team. Tampa Bay was on the wrong side of Colorado, Arizona, Pittsburgh and Dallas in Week 8, the finale an 8-1 shellacking at the hands of the Stars in a Saturday matinee. The Lightning have slipped to fifth place in the Atlantic, and the minus-10 goal differential is not exactly encouraging. Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman continue to do their jobs, but there isn't much going on after that. This doesn't look like a Stanley Cup contender right now.

15. New Jersey Devils (no change)

Right when Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier both get healthy, the Devils lose Dougie Hamilton to a torn pec muscle that required surgery last week. With the best player on New Jersey's blue line out indefinitely, former No. 2 overall pick Simon Nemec was called up and stood out in his NHL debut, registering two assists and three shots against the Sharks on Friday night. It happened to be a 6-3 loss to the league's worst team. The Devils are getting awful goaltending right now, and neither Akira Schmid nor Vitek Vanecek inspires any confidence between the pipes. This team is now just a regulation loss away from being .500. Another poor week in Newark could see this squad take a plunge in the NHL Power Rankings.

16. New York Islanders (+3)

Don't look now, but the New York Islanders are scoring goals. Thirteen in their last three games, to be exact. The problem is, the Isles gave up 12 goals in that same stretch. Still, it was a 2-1 week, with encouraging wins over the Hurricanes and Panthers. Matthew Barzal is starting to find his game this season, and he's been red-hot with seven points in his last three games. Suddenly, New York is back to a tie for third place in the Metropolitan. The Sharks and Blue Jackets are on tap this week.

17. Edmonton Oilers (+4)

Oilers, Connor McDavid Oilers, Ducks,

Slowly but surely, the Edmonton Oilers continue to work their way back from the nightmare start. They look back to normal, with seven wins in their last 10 games and four consescutive. Only four points separates them from Alberta's other team, and Connor McDavid's club certainly looks better than both the Flames and Kraken lately. Stuart Skinner is suddenly playing lights out hockey, and the goals are coming in droves for one of the league's best offenses. It looks like the coaching change might have worked wonders in Edmonton, who will look to keep the good times rolling against the Canes on Wednesday.

18. Philadelphia Flyers (-2)

The Flyers continue to hang around the playoff picture, and are sitting in a logjam with the Capitals, Islanders, Penguins and Devils in the Metro. Philly picked up three of a possible six points last week, beating their rival Pens but losing to Carolina and New Jersey. Still, the Flyers remain 12-10-2 with a chance to make it two straight overall, and against Pittsburgh, in an all-Pennsylvania showdown at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. Carter Hart will get the nod as he looks to break out of a mini slump.

19. Pittsburgh Penguins (-2)

Speaking of the Pittsburgh Penguins, there isn't too much positive to report about Sidney Crosby's team these days. The Pens remain just above .500 after losing to the Flyers and Predators last week, and not even a 4-2 win over the struggling Lightning will wash the bad taste away. It continues to be a disappointing maiden campaign for Erik Karlsson in Pennsylvania, and it feels like everyone not named Jake Guentzel is struggling right now. A chance for revenge against Philadelphia awaits on Monday as they continue to fail to pass their rivals in the NHL Power Rankings.

20. St. Louis Blues (-2)

The St. Louis Blues are playing like a middle-of-the-pack hockey team, rotating between wins and losses since No. 23. An even .500 in their last 10, the Blues are hanging around the final wildcard spot in the Central Division. There is certainly a path for this squad to make the postseason, but also a great opportunity for GM Doug Armstrong to sell off some pieces and look to the future. We should get some clarity on that in the next few weeks for a St. Louis roster that can't seem to build any meaningful momentum. Jake Neighbours has been a great story though, and he leads the team with nine goals and counting.

21. Nashville Predators (+1)

Gustav Nyquist, Nashville Predators, NHL

After an impressive six-game win streak, the Predators lost back-to-back games to the Wild and Rangers before getting back in the win column against the Sabres on Sunday night. For the mathematicians, that's six wins in eight tries for Nashville, and an overall .500 record for a team that was nowhere near it just a few weeks ago. Juuse Saros continues to do his job efficiently, the top line of Ryan O'Reilly, Filip Forsberg and Gustav Nyquist is electric, and Smashville is just eight points back of the Central Division lead. Connor Bedard and the Blackhawks await on Tuesday.

22. Arizona Coyotes (+4)

Welcome to a National Hockey League starting gig, Connor Ingram. The 26-year-old is on an absolute heater, leading the Yotes to four straight wins and four spots up in the NHL Power Rankings. Arizona is 12-9-2 and fourth in the division, and Ingram has been a huge part of that. None of those four wins were easy, yet he gave up a combined five goals to the Knights, Lightning, Avalanche and Blues. Add that to the fact that the Coyotes are starting to heat up offensively, and you have a team that looks poised to compete for a playoff berth all season long — and a much higher NHL Power Rankings slot.

23. Ottawa Senators (-3)

The Sens finally started playing some games last week, although they've still contested at least three less than anyone else in the division. But those games didn't quite go as planned; a 5-0 loss to Florida and discouraging 4-2 defeat in Columbus sent them below .500 yet again. An Anton Forsberg shutout against the Kraken was a great way to end the week, but Ottawa remains four points away from coming out of the Atlantic Division basement. Things don't get any easier against the Rangers on Tuesday.

24. Calgary Flames (+4)

Former Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov in a Vancouver Canucks jersey after the teams received their NHL trade grades on December 2, 2023 NHL Power Rankings

The Flames are starting to make up some ground in the Pacific after a ghastly start, and the club is up to 10-11-3 and fourth in the division. When will the fire sale start in Calgary? Nikita Zadorov has already been traded to the Vancouver Canucks, and the expectation is that Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin will follow. But this team has won six of 10 games, and is starting to put the pieces of playoff contention together. That will certainly stall GM Craig Conroy's hand, but he can't afford to let anyone else leave for nothing in free agency like Johnny Gaudreau did. Despite the recent success, Calgary still figures to look a lot different after the deadline.

25. Minnesota Wild (+4)

Right when the Minnesota Wild were hitting rock bottom, they pulled themselves out of the depths. No longer close to falling into the Central Division basement, the Wild have won three straight games to get back to respectability, in both league standings and the NHL Power Rankings. The first was a Filip Gustavsson masterclass in a 3-1 final against the Blues; the second, a a convincing 6-1 victory over the red-hot Predators, and the finale; another convincing W, this time 4-1 against the lowly Hawks. By going 3-for-3 against all divisional rivals, Minnesota is back to relevance, and only eight points back of the third slot. Both Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury have got some confidence back, and with a nearly fully healthy roster, the time to drive on is now.

26. Montreal Canadiens (-1)

The hockey gods aren't being kind to the Montreal Canadiens this season. After losing budding star Kirby Dach earlier in the year, the Habs now must reckon with an Alex Newhook absence for up to three months after the speedy forward sprained his ankle last week. That really hurts a team that is already wanting for offensive talent. Still, Montreal got a win last week, although it was followed by back-to-back defeats. At 10-11-3, this team is still alive — and making things fun for fans at the Bell Centre — but for how much longer? Nick Suzuki's team plays a lot of good opponents in December.

27. Buffalo Sabres (-4)

Buffalo Sabres stars Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner, and Casey Mittelstadt at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo NHL Power Rankings

We are quickly learning what life is going to be like in Western New York without Tage Thompson. The Sabres are struggling mightily, losers of three straight and five of seven. Buffalo can't keep the puck out of their net; Devon Levi couldn't do it before he was sent down to the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans, Eric Comrie couldn't do it after returning from injury, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been hit or miss for the last few weeks. The Sabres just can't get out of their own way, and second-to-last place in the Atlantic is not what fans of this team wanted to hear at all in December. Will Patrick Kane make his season debut in his hometown on Tuesday?

28. Seattle Kraken (-4)

After putting together a few encouraging weeks, the Kraken have fallen back to mediocrity. Seattle has lost four straight, and not counting the Sharks, have the worst goal differential in the Pacific Division at an abysmal minus-20. Jaden Schwartz has been one of this team's best forwards, and his latest injury will cost the 31-year-old six weeks. The depth at every position isn't what it was last season, and if the goaltending doesn't improve, it's going to be a long year in the State of Washington.

29. Anaheim Ducks (-2)

After a scorching hot stretch that shot them up the NHL Power Rankings, the Ducks are mired in a brutal cold spell. Anaheim had lost eight games in a row before finally getting in the win column, in a shootout, against the Avalanche. Still, this is a very bad team that is starting to show its true colors before the New Year. The Ducks haven't won in regulation since Nov. 15, and the playoff hopes are fading fast in California. A rematch against Colorado looms on Tuesday night.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets (no change)

Boone Jenner does it all for this Blue Jackets team, and the captain continues to wear his heart on his sleeve every game. If only the majority of his teammates had that same attitude. Another nightmare season continue in Ohio for a now 8-14-4 Jackets team that is firmly in the basement of the Metropolitan Division. That being said, the club was .500 this week, which isn't terrible. They split games against an elite Bruins club, beat the Senators and lost to the Canadiens. There aren't any more surprises to be found with this roster despite a few talented players, and it's guaranteed to be a long season in Columbus.

31. Chicago Blackhawks (no change)

Chicago Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard in Chicago addressing rumors surrounding his family and former teammate Corey Perry NHL Power Rankings

Connor Bedard continues to do his thing in the Windy City, and the 2023-24 Chicago Blackhawks just keep on losing. The rookie phenom is up to 20 points to lead all first-year players, and the Hawks are far-and-away last place in the Central after going 1-3 in Week 8. None of their three losses to the Red Wings, Jets or Wild were particularly close — on the scoresheet or in time on attack. With Corey Perry now out of the equation and Taylor Hall shut down for the year, this roster may even be worse than the Sharks. But, for one more week at least, Chicago remains out of the NHL Power Rankings basement.

32. San Jose Sharks (no change)

I'm very impressed with what I'm seeing from the San Jose Sharks lately, and gave serious consideration to finally getting them out of the No. 32 spot. But until they overtake the Hawks in the standings, it's at least seven more days at the bottom. Still, San Jose was .500 for the first time this season last week, and that deserves to be celebrated. Not only did they beat two decent teams in the Devils and Capitals, they also hung around against the Eastern Conference's two best teams. It may have been 0-2 against New York and Boston, but it was two close games, and Sunday against the Rangers could have went either way. A few players on this team are finally relevant again, with the top line of Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund and Fabian Zetterlund looking effective and actually putting the puck in the net. The Sharks may not yet be tired of losing, but they certainly seem fed up with getting run out of buildings. And that in itself is a huge win for this club.