The last two weeks have seen “Thor Ragnarok” and “Justice League” invade our cineplexes, which got me wondering: Was there a superhero proxy for each NHL team this season? For this week’s Power Rankings — voted, as always, by ESPN’s panel of experts — we make our heroic attempt to link up mutants, meta-humans, aliens, dark knights, costumed freaks and others with professional hockey franchises. Excelsior!
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 5 ranking: No. 1
SUPERMAN. Faster than a speeding puck, more goals than 29 other teams, able to leap to the top of the Eastern Conference standings in a single month. Now let’s just hope that Steven Stamkos is a man of steel this season.
Week 5 ranking: No. 2
WOLVERINE. No matter how many injuries they suffer through, the Blues just keep marauding the competition until they heal. Snikt!
Week 5 ranking: No. 8
WONDER WOMAN. After many, many failed attempts to get it right, we’re finally watching a sensation … thanks to a talented star born in the desert. [Cue guitar riff]
Week 5 ranking: No. 7
DEADPOOL. Non-traditional, raucous and a bit naughty, but successful beyond anyone’s expectations. Also, P.K. Subban basically shares Wade Wilson’s filter.
Week 5 ranking: No. 3
THE SILVER SURFER. A galactic harbinger of the coming apocalypse known as … OK, they wear silver and they play by the ocean. Look, they’re not all winners.
Week 5 ranking: No. 9
COLOSSUS. The prettiest? No. The most sophisticated? No. An impenetrable Eastern European wall of a man? Yeah, they have one of those in goal.
Week 5 ranking: No. 6
BATMAN. Born in Gotham, richer than rich, a decades-long legacy … but they ultimately lead a stark and lonely existence (because the Knicks are relevant again).
Week 5 ranking: No. 11
TEEN TITANS. Three of their top four scorers this season are rookies. Oh, and Taylor Hall is totally their Dick Grayson, wondering when he gets to make the leap from the kids’ table to the Justice League.
Week 5 ranking: No. 5
THE CROW. Resurrected from the grave and looking really cool in the process, they won’t be satisfied until they get their revenge on those who wronged them (e.g., being an enduring NHL franchise when the Coyotes relocate).
Week 5 ranking: No. 10
THE HULK. Can appear mild-mannered for good stretches. Then, when the battle begins, they’re a giant monster that pummels its foes into submission. You don’t want to make Sid angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.
Week 5 ranking: No. 15
FANTASTIC FOUR. Yeah, maybe after this many failures to launch we just all agree that the window of opportunity might have closed on the franchise. At least until Marvel gets the rights back.
Week 5 ranking: No. 13
DARWIN. Remember that kid from “X-Men First Class” who had the unique ability to defend and protect himself from almost anything but provided next to nothing when it came to offense? Yeah, that’s the Sharks this season.
Week 5 ranking: No. 4
CAPTAIN AMERICA. Brooklyn’s finest! And a team finally emerging after countless years stuck in the ice (featuring Mathew Barzal as The Winter Soldier).
Week 5 ranking: No. 21
IRON MAN. Entertaining, expensive and super-popular, they ushered in a new era through their series of blockbuster victories. But let’s be honest: The act is wearing thin.
Week 5 ranking: No. 12
AQUAMAN. Routinely ridiculed and mocked as being superfluous and silly … except for when he’s a tattooed “Game of Thrones”-looking demigod (Erik Karlsson, we mean).
Week 5 ranking: No. 19
THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. A thrown-together collection of rejects and misfits who somehow gel as a team. Should it have worked? No. Does it work? As smoothly as a dancing Peter Quill, so far.
Week 5 ranking: No. 27
GREEN ARROW. Wildly inconsistent, with moments of incredible success and moments of thudding failure. Rarely gets to the end of the season without feeling a sense of disappointment. But enough about the Wild, let’s talk about “Arrow.”
Week 5 ranking: No. 22
Week 5 ranking: No. 20
HAWKEYE. Undeniably talented, considered by many to be elite but … just sort of there, you know?
Week 5 ranking: No. 25
GREEN LANTERN. Discovered a ring once. Felt all-powerful. Now? Constantly battling the growing power of fear … that their entire team is going to end up on the IR.
Week 5 ranking: No. 16
X-23. Young, limber and dangerous … if ultimately slowed down by the two old men she’s dragging with her.
Week 5 ranking: No. 26
SPIDER-MAN. As Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Well, there’s no greater responsibility than building a winner around a generational star. Alas, right now, the Oilers are still in their “Peter Parker falling between buildings because he hasn’t figured out his web shooters yet” phase.
Week 5 ranking: No. 28
THE ROCKETEER. Looks absolutely amazing and as fundamentally sound as you’ll find, but doesn’t really do anything of substance, sadly.
Week 5 ranking: No. 14
THOR. A little pompous, thanks to the entitlement of birthright (and the kingdom where he lives). Loves to hammer opponents into submission. Ragnarok is scheduled for when Patrice Bergeron enters his declining years.
Week 5 ranking: No. 24
MYSTIQUE. Deadly and tantalizing, and constantly changing her identity just when you think you have her figured out. Currently disguised as a playoff bubble team.
Week 5 ranking: No. 17
THE FLASH. Not simply because they can skate that well, but also what their playoff hopes will eventually be gone in.
Week 5 ranking: No. 18
JEAN GREY. An original member with formidable powers and significant prestige, she eventually went down a path of total self-destruction.
Week 5 ranking: No. 30
LOKI. We were all tricked into thinking they might be respectable.
Week 5 ranking: No. 23
JUSTICE LEAGUE. Alas, most notable in 2017 for who is no longer among them.
Week 5 ranking: No. 29
SUE STORM. Invisible, as usual.
Week 5 ranking: No. 31
THE SPLEEN. As portrayed by Paul Reubens in the cult classic “Mystery Men,” The Spleen is a superhero whose power is “extremely potent flatulence.” We can think of no better description of the 2017-18 Arizona Coyotes.