Say, are you a Twitter user? Did you happen to experience a seismic shift this week, where something that was easily digestible (but a frequent cause of heartburn) was transformed into an unreadable mess, filled with users overcome with a sudden sense of supremacy because they could now express their inane thoughts in 280 characters?
Yeah, so did I.
For this week’s Power Rankings — voted, as always, by ESPN’s panel of experts — we honor the ethereal concept of brevity by offering pithy observations in 140 characters or fewer. Hashtag: blessed.
How we rank: We use a panel of voters, and these rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams are favored over lower-ranked teams. A run of wins doesn’t guarantee a jump, and a couple of losses doesn’t guarantee a fall.
Week 4 ranking: No. 2
Week 4 ranking: No. 1
The Blues drop from the top spot, as our voters are clearly bracing themselves for some sort of regression. We debated their realness here.
Week 4 ranking: No. 3
Two things are clear: Jonathan Quick is playing out of his gourd (.937 save percentage), and Ducks vs. Kings is the NHL’s best rivalry, full stop.
Week 4 ranking: No. 6
The Islanders are one of only three teams this season undefeated in regulation at home (5-0-2). Alas, they’re also 30th in average attendance (11,700).
Week 4 ranking: No. 9
Week 4 ranking: No. 27
Our biggest mover of the week, the Rangers are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games and have won five straight. Call off the Alain Vigneault watch!
Week 4 ranking: No. 19
The Predators have won three in a row. Not rolling? No. 1 center Ryan Johansen, who has no goals and just 19 shots on goal despite 209 shot attempts.
Week 4 ranking: No. 7
The Leafs are second in goals per game with 3.76 in 17 games, after averaging 3.05 last season. The bad news? They’re averaging 3.53 goals against.
Week 4 ranking: No. 5
Week 4 ranking: No. 10
While plus/minus is a flawed stat and all of that, please note that after 17 games, the Penguins don’t have any players with a positive one.
Week 4 ranking: No. 4
The Devils are on a 0-2-1 skid, but remain fifth in the NHL in points percentage at .678. Fabulous start, even with the recent stumble.
Week 4 ranking: No. 12
Matt Duchene, acquired in that blockbuster trade with Colorado, was second on the Avs in even-strength points over the last two seasons (40).
Week 4 ranking: No. 14
After their 5-1 waxing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Sharks’ team goals-against average jumped from 2.31 to 2.50. Thanks, Kucherov.
Week 4 ranking: No. 22
Week 4 ranking: No. 20
Alex Ovechkin has goals in three straight games and 13 goals in 16 games. Four of them have come on the power play.
Week 4 ranking: No. 17
Derek Dorsett leads the Canucks with seven goals, after scoring six goals in his last 85 NHL games. We live in interesting times.
Week 4 ranking: No. 24
Dylan Larkin has 14 points to lead the Wings, and is heating up with five points in his last five games. Yet he has only two goals.
Week 4 ranking: No. 29
The Canadiens have won three in a row, including a 2-0 shutout of the Blackhawks by Charlie Lindgren, who is now 5-0-0 in his NHL career.
Week 4 ranking: No. 11
Look, we just follow the votes. The Knights are 5-4-1 in their last 10, and are still second in the Pacific. Yet the voters are unimpressed.
Week 4 ranking: No. 8
The Stars have the NHL’s best power play, with a conversation rate of 31.8 percent, despite having the second-fewest opportunities (44).
Week 4 ranking: No. 13
Brandon Saad has cooled off considerably: No goals in his last nine games, and just one assist in that span. He’s scoreless in five straight.
Week 4 ranking: No. 16
Mike Smith has a spiffy .936 save percentage at even strength, having faced the third-most shots at EV (358) in the NHL.
Week 4 ranking: No. 23
Week 4 ranking: No. 18
Shayne Gostisbehere leads all defensemen with nine power-play points. He finished seventh in that category last season with 23 points.
Week 4 ranking: No. 15
Our voters obviously think the Ryan Getzlaf injury is finally one too many for the Ducks, who drop 10 spots in the Rankings.
Week 4 ranking: No. 28
Week 4 ranking: No. 25
The Wild have lost three straight and have a .428 points percentage which is — wait for it — 27th in the NHL.
Week 4 ranking: No. 21
The Canes’ offense continues to sputter along at a 2.62 goals-per-game average clip, despite being second in shots on goal per game (37).
Week 4 ranking: No. 30
Week 4 ranking: No. 26
The Panthers are on a 2-6-2 skid, and have the NHL’s worst defense in averaging 4.14 goals-against per game.
Week 4 ranking: No. 31
We’d recap all the ways Arizona is terrible, from its ghastly regulation record to its minus-26 goal differential, but alas we only have 140 characte