1. San Jose Sharks (18-6-4), LW: 2
Despite a horrid loss to Chicago earlier in the week, San Jose rebounded nicely with wins in Edmonton and Vancouver.
2. New Jersey Devils (17-6-1), LW: 3
Zach Parise just keeps chuggin’ away, leading the team in nearly every offensive category. He has 15 points in his current 10-game point streak.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (16-6-3), LW: 1
The ‘Hawks looked great in Marian Hossa’s at San Jose, but their 8-game win streak came to a halt in SoCal. How will they rebound from a pair of unimpressive outings??
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (18-9-0), LW: 4
The boys in black and gold are finally getting healthy again, and that is bad news for the rest of the league.
5. Calgary Flames (16-6-3), LW: 5
What else can you say about this team’s play on the road?? If they can start winning consistently at home, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
6. Washington Capitals (15-5-6), LW: 7
Since their back-to-back sweep of the Panthers, the Caps haven’t played had a complete effort from all phases… but they’re still racking up points.
7. Nashville Predators (15-9-1), LW: 10
Nashville responded well after their 7-game win streak was snapped by beating the Panthers convincingly. Another hectic 3 weeks await the hottest team in the West.
8. Buffalo Sabres (14-7-2), LW: 9
I didn’t know what to think about this team after losing 4 straight. Decisive wins over Philly and Carolina put an end to that streak.
9. Atlanta Thrashers (13-7-3), LW: 21
The inconsistent Thrashers took a big step this week by shutting out the Wings and Flyers, and storming back to beat the ‘Canes on Friday.
10. Phoenix Coyotes (15-11-1), LW: 11
Are the ‘Yotes capable of hanging around longer than we all expect?? Yes, because of Dave Tippett.
11. Boston Bruins (13-8-5), LW: 19
Claude Julien’s bunch is finding their groove again by winning 5 of 6, including key victories over the Sabres and Senators.
12. Ottawa Senators (13-7-4), LW: 14
The Sens have played much better at home recently, but their struggles have come on the road. They have a big test coming up with 4 games on the Left Coast.
13. Vancouver Canucks (14-12-0), LW: 12
This team had a couple good wins this week, but they are losing ground in the conference. Coming away with zero points in close losses could come back to haunt them.
14. Los Angeles Kings (15-10-2), LW: 15
LA came away with a big shootout win over Chicago, and has 5 of the next 7 at home. They need to capitalize and gather momentum before their big stretch of road games.
15. Dallas Stars (12-7-7), LW: 16
I want to think the Stars could be a playoff team, but they must play more consistently at home. Also, we should start considering Brad Richards for Team Canada more and more.
16. Philadelphia Flyers (13-10-1), LW: 6
What in the world is up with these guys!? Though injuries and a Briere suspension have hurt them, they’ve lost 5 of 6, and John Stevens shouldn’t feel too safe behind the bench.
17. Detroit Red Wings (12-9-4), LW: 8
Every time I’ve doubted the Wings, they’ve come right back and proved me wrong. But you have to wonder about this team with Kronwall and Franzen not coming back soon.
18. Tampa Bay Lightning (10-6-8), LW: 18
Rick Tocchet’s gang has basically alternated wins and losses this month, and has a couple big road games coming up in Boston and New Jersey.
19. Anaheim Ducks (10-11-4), LW: 26
‘Fire Carlyle, trade Giguere!’. The Ducks have silenced doubters for the time-being with home wins over Calgary and Chicago this week.
20. St. Louis Blues (10-9-5), LW: 24
We could be seeing the Blues team that went on their late-season run a year ago. David Backes is turning it on, with a goal in three straight.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets (12-9-4), LW: 13
After last season, I didn’t think I’d be worried about the Jackets if they had the top power play in the league… but I am.
22. Colorado Avalanche (14-8-5), LW: 20
The Avs have won just twice the last 10 games, and Craig Anderson isn’t consistent anymore in net.
23. Montreal Canadiens (12-12-2), LW: 23
Montreal had a nice win against Columbus, but couldn’t carry that momentum over against the Pens and Caps.
24. New York Islanders (10-10-7), LW: 25
I continue to be impressed with the work ethic of the Isles; they simply out-worked the Pens on Friday. A four-game roadie lies ahead…
25. Minnesota Wild (10-12-3), LW: 27
Minny proved they could beat the struggling Avs a couple times, but how will they fare against the red-hot Preds and Ducks??
26. Florida Panthers (10-11-4), LW: 17
The Panthers nosedive due to some bottom-feeders playing well this week. Pete DeBoer’s group didn’t play poorly, and have a chance to rebound against divisional opponents.
27. New York Rangers (13-12-1), LW: 22
Two nights, two games, thirteen goals. That was the Rangers’ story over Thanksgiving, and John Tortorella’s club will be in a world of hurt if they can’t turn it around.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (6-11-7), LW: 30
Niklas Hagman and Phil Kessel are tearing it up right now. Hagman leads the team in goals, and has six in the last four games; Kessel has lived up to expectations thus far.
29. Edmonton Oilers (10-13-4), LW: 28
Since they simply can’t buy a win on the road, the Oilers can’t afford to lose games at home like they did this week.
30. Carolina Hurricanes (5-16-5), LW: 29
Back to the cellar Carolina goes after giving up a combined 10 goals in the 3rd period on Friday and Saturday.