A look at what's changed
Projected year-to-year change
To me, this is a far more fascinating list than the NHL standings.
The Flyers, for one, are on pace for a 44-point improvement over last season, just short of the 47-point improvement the Penguins put up last season but still one of the largest of all-time. Philadelphia's on pace to score 47 more goals and allow 68 fewer.
How about in Boston, where the team isn't scoring any more than last season but is on pace for a 21-point jump in the standings due to an incredible improvement in goals against. Credit new coach Claude Julien, Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara.
St. Louis has taken much the same path up the standings, and are on pace to allow 74 fewer goals. Manny Legace is eighth in the league in save percentage.
Phoenix, Ottawa, Columbus and Montreal are all seeing their projected improvements because of what's gone on in the goals against department.
There are some wacky ones in there as well, such as the Rangers' sudden inability to score while simultaneously becoming one of the league's better defensive teams. The Capitals, meanwhile, are allowing far fewer goals, but that's been offset by an inability to score any. Tampa Bay's scoring more, allowing less, and is on pace to fall considerably in the standings.
And for all of the talk about goaltending in Pittsburgh, it's actually a big dip in goal scoring that's to blame for their slide.
Keep in mind that the general trend this season has seen fewer goals scored overall.