It's Thanksgiving week. Oh, sorry, forgot these were NHL power rankings: It's American Thanksgiving week.
Fill up your plate with these 31 Thanksgiving food things that perfectly describe all 31 NHL teams, as we get decadent and delicious in this week's Power Rankings. Keep in mind these are voted on by a panel of hockey experts here at ESPN.
1. Nashville Predators
Previous ranking: 1
The Predators are the kings of the Thanksgiving plate: perfectly crafted stuffing. All the ingredients work because the foundation of the recipe is so solid. Toss in some sausage. Hit it with some green stuff. Heck, add a catfish. Preferably one wearing one of those tiny cowboy hats. It's all good.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous ranking: 3
The Leafs are that Thanksgiving dinner you had catered by a Michelin-star restaurant. Like, the meals have been pretty good already, and steadily getting better. But then your rich friend is like, "I ordered six courses from Chez Tavares" and every course is like a small explosion of joy most likely covered in truffle oil.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous ranking: 2
The Lightning are apple pie a la mode. Oh man, just think about it: flavorful apples, gooey filling, delectable crust, warmed up to the right temperature to marry itself to that scoop of vanilla ice cream that tops it. On paper, it's perfection ... but what if the apples are overripe? What if the crust falls apart at the last minute? What happens if Andrei Vasilevskiy breaks his foot again in May?! WHAT THEN?!
4. San Jose Sharks
Previous ranking: 5
The Sharks are a Turducken. They are just going to keep forcing in spectacularly ostentatious pieces of meat until this meal is a winner. Also, we're rather certain Brent Burns has a living Turducken in his menagerie of fantastic beasts.
5. Winnipeg Jets
Previous ranking: 7
The Jets are veriohukainen, or blood pancakes, a delicacy in which 400 ml of pork blood is mixed with milk, flour, molasses, a small onion and butter to create crimson discs that are rich in iron and pair well with reindeer meat. And this is absolutely the last time we let Patrik Laine design the Thanksgiving menu.
6. Minnesota Wild
Previous ranking: 6
The Wild are green bean casserole. It's got a bunch of old, weird stuff in it, and it's not exactly the most attractive dish on the table, but it's inexplicably delicious every season. Just don't expect to reach for a second round.
7. Boston Bruins
Previous ranking: 4
The Bruins are sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows, a dish so divisive that the innocuous USA Today once asked, "Why is it a thing?" Loved by some for its fun, loathed by others for its alleged blasphemy. Truly, the Brad Marchand of side dishes.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous ranking: 9
The Blue Jackets are flaky crescent rolls. They're super-tasty but also super-popular. What a bummer it is when the meal is going so well and then you reach over and realize there's no more Bread, Man.
9. Buffalo Sabres
Previous ranking: 10
The Sabres are that turkey that has been sitting in a smoker for, like, 10 hours. You can see it. You can smell it. You're pretty sure good things are happening. Then it's finally ready after a long, painful wait that consumed multiple coaches and at least one general manager. (It's then served on a table that has been set on fire, per Buffalo sports fan rules.)
10. Colorado Avalanche
Previous ranking: 11
The Avs are crispy turkey skin. Decadent, potently flavorful, portends greatness in the rest of the meal ... but it just lacks the depth to satiate your hunger.
11. Calgary Flames
Previous ranking: 12
The Flames are pigs in a blanket in honor of Johnny Gaudreau, the living embodiment of great things coming in small portions, especially when paired with flaky goodness -- the flaky goodness in Gaudreau's case being Sean Monahan.
12. Washington Capitals
Previous ranking: 8
The Capitals are all the wine that everyone brought to Thanksgiving dinner, mixed with all the beer that everyone brought to Thanksgiving dinner, mixed with a nice brandy. Oh no ... Alex Ovechkin's trying to do snow angels in the gravy boat again, gotta run. ...
13. Montreal Canadiens
Previous ranking: 17
The Canadiens are giblets. What's a giblet? Like, we know they're mentioned with turkey and hence a long-standing tradition. Are they good? Are they bad? Is Carey Price just making them look good? Is Max Domi more the heart or the gizzard? Who can say at this point?
14. New York Rangers
Previous ranking: 20
The Rangers are the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. Oh, so you thought the meal was done? Time to prep for the next holiday? Well, this tasty mix of holdovers from the big meal with a splash of new condiments and new seasoning has come together quite nicely.
15. Dallas Stars
Previous ranking: 16
While it might seem like sacrilege not to make some kind of BBQ reference here, the reality is that the Stars are mashed potatoes. Sometimes smooth and wonderful. Sometimes chunky and dry. Consistency issues abound.
16. New York Islanders
Previous ranking: 14
The Islanders are an apple cider donut: clearly missing something in the middle, but determined to show they can be delectable without him, errrr, it.
17. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous ranking: 19
The Flyers are cranberry sauce. No matter how great it can be, it's always being held back by the same thing. In the Flyers' case, it's mediocre goaltending. In the case of cranberry sauce, it's being a gelatinous slab that takes the shape of the can that contains it.
18. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous ranking: 18
The Hurricanes are some kind of side dish created with molecular gastronomy. You're sitting there with a plate of traditional food, and then someone puts a freeze-dried, sage-infused exploding gravy orb next to your potatoes. And you're like, "Hey, this is an exciting new approach to something. Maybe it'll work. Or maybe it'll be an abject failure. In any case, points for trying something different."
19. Arizona Coyotes
Previous ranking: 21
The Coyotes are the kids' table. They're staring longingly at where the parents are sitting, full of fancy glasses and high-end cutlery and a porcelain serving platter ... until their attention is hijacked by their infant cousin putting their crayons in the candied yams. Again.
20. Vancouver Canucks
Previous ranking: 13
The Canucks are pumpkin pie. For one month every year, pretty much the best pie imaginable. And then it just, like, disappears from shelves. Poof. Gone.
21. Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous ranking: 15
The Penguins are white meat turkey. A Thanksgiving staple. Something you just expect to be there every time you're building your plate. But what if one year everyone decided to have dark meat instead, and the white meat was summarily ignored, despite still looking delicious? What if, indeed. Maybe the Penguins can get Matt Murray to save some of the meat for next Thanksgiving, considering he's not saving anything else at the moment.
22. Florida Panthers
Previous ranking: 24
The Panthers are a honey-baked ham. Every year, we wonder if a honey-baked ham could break through and become the main dish at Thanksgiving. And every year, it ends up being chopped up for salads and omelets instead.
23. Edmonton Oilers
Previous ranking: 22
The Oilers are the dining room table, or more specifically, Connor McDavid is. The dining room table provides the foundation on which everything is placed. Without the dining room table, the entire meal would plummet to the floor in a heaping mass of shattered glass and splattered food. Now, you might be saying, "This table is so beautiful, why not add things to take advantage of this sturdy table. Maybe some flowers, or a full table-scape. Maybe some fine china, or some lovely linens?" Oh, wait, sorry ... we're actually at Peter Chiarelli's for Thanksgiving this year, and he just sawed off one of the table's legs and sold it for a bag of magic beans. Whoops.
24. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous ranking: 26
The Blackhawks are Brussels sprouts. They were off the plate for so many years, and then they came roaring back with a delicious new spin on an old dish we didn't even know we wanted. But then we couldn't get rid of them. "Here, have some more Brussels sprouts, drenched in that sweet-salty vinaigrette. And then some more. And still more after that. And now eat them outside every year." Like, respect and all, but maybe give something else on the plate a chance.
25. New Jersey Devils
Previous ranking: 28
The Devils are baked ziti, mainly because many of my Italian friends growing up in Jersey would have baked ziti at Thanksgiving, which always struck me as confusing as to whether it belonged there. See also: playoff contender, Devils as.
26. Detroit Red Wings
Previous ranking: 25
The Red Wings are creamed corn. "Hey, check out this rather unappetizing variation of something you've always loved." But hey, maybe you'll learn to like creamed corn. You never know.
27. Anaheim Ducks
Previous ranking: 23
The Ducks are not duck, which would have been way too easy. No, the Ducks are Thanksgiving Day television. The day could be terrible. The food could be shockingly bad. You know who makes it all better, who saves the day? John Gibson ... er, we mean "Thanksgiving Day Television," and its binge-able marathons and NFL games and strangely ever-present dog show competitions that save you from awkward conversations with your relatives.
28. Ottawa Senators
Previous ranking: 30
While steadfastly avoiding the obvious Eugene Melnyk-adjacent "liver" joke, we'll go with a parfait created by some sort of sadist, where each new layer is more horrific than the last, like fried ants followed by battery acid. ("Hey, you wanna see something that will make the Uber video thing seem quaint? How about a fake news Twitter propaganda scandal, in which the team seemed to be using sock-puppet accounts to praise its own owner?")
29. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous ranking: 29
The Golden Knights are those incredible hors d'oeuvres that your sister-in-law made last year that, for whatever reason, taste like hot death this Thanksgiving. Not enough salt? Too much salt? Maybe Nate Schmidt spilled whatever Nate Schmidt was imbibing in the mix? Whatever the difference is, it's about as appetizing as that mystery gelatin at a Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet.
30. St. Louis Blues
Previous ranking: 27
The Blues are corn. Corn, in theory, should be great. Because it's corn. But here's the thing about corn at Thanksgiving: It's not time for corn anymore. What was great in theory just never tastes as good as it should taste in reality. And that, friends, are the St. Louis Blues.
31. Los Angeles Kings
Previous ranking: 31
The Kings are that giant pile of plate scrapings that you find atop the trash, a lump of things that were really delicious at one time but now just congeal into an inert mush.