It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Power Rankings
1. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 2
After Sunday’s win in Chicago in a finals rematch, it looks like this Flyers club is on a mission to avenge last year’s playoff exit.
2. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 1
The Canucks are 2-2-4 in their last eight games. Not saying these last two games before the break are ‘must-win’, but they may want to stop the bleeding.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 9
NHL points leader Steven Stamkos and company kicked off their 12-game home-stand with a sixth victory over Atlanta, finishing off the season sweep.
4. Dallas Stars… LW: 4
Who’s the hottest player right now that no one is talking about? Mike Ribeiro. The 30-year-old has 15 points on his current 11-game point streak.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 3
With Crosby and Malkin out, Marc-Andre Fleury has come up big in his last four starts (4-0, 1.75 GAA, .947).
6. Washington Capitals… LW: 6
Is scoring a hat trick what Alex Ovechkin needed to get back on track? We’ll see.
7. Nashville Predators… LW: 8
Pekka Rinne is dominating in his crease right now and the team is just four points back of Detroit for the division lead… all while having zero players on pace for 30 goals or 50 points.
8. Boston Bruins… LW: 10
The B’s lead the NHL in overall (+41) and third period (+32) goal differential. They also lead the league in goals-against average (2.17).
9. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 7
How big has Corey Crawford been lately for Chicago? He is 8-3-1 with a 1.63 GAA and .938 save percentage since Dec. 17.
10. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 5
Even though the Wings failed in getting Evgeni Nabokov (for now), they are due to get back some injured players after the break.
11. New York Rangers… LW: 13
Saturday’s win in Atlanta was pretty damn impressive. The Rangers are dropping like flies, but they keep finding ways to win.
12. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 15
There’s been a lot of Selke talk for Ryan Kesler and other… but one guy who goes under the radar is Tomas Plekanec. He’s definitely one of the best two-way forwards in the league.
13. San Jose Sharks… LW: 20
Are the Sharks back on track? Antti Niemi has been clutch on the team’s current four-game win streak, compiling a .938 save percentage.
14. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 14
Anaheim is fifth in the West, but has played more games than anyone in the conference. They weren’t too impressive in their last five games, despite going 3-2-0.
15. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 11
After a nice 6-0-1 stretch, the ‘Yotes suffered three costly home losses to fellow playoff contenders San Jose, Nashville and, to a lesser extent, Los Angeles.
16. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 12
Since being named an All-Star, Cam Ward is 3-4-0 with a 3.39 GAA.
17. Minnesota Wild… LW: 18
Todd Richards’ gang is not going away anytime soon. They continue to chip away and have a big game in Chicago on Tuesday.
18. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 16
Interesting stat: The Kings are 3-1 on Saturdays this month, 0-7 on any other day of the week.
19. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 23
The Sabres have slowly snuck back into the playoff picture. Diminutive forwards Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe have combined for 13 points in the last five games.
20. Calgary Flames… LW: 24
If the Flames wish to truly get back in the playoff race, upcoming home games against the Preds and Blues are ones they have to have.
21. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 19
Craig Anderson seems to be regressing (3-7-1, 3.34 GAA since Dec. 21), and the offensive support hasn’t been there for him lately.
22. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 27
Don’t look now, but the Jackets are four points out of eighth in the West. It seems as if last weekend’s home-and-home with Detroit did as much good as the one in November did badly.
23. St. Louis Blues… LW: 21
Despite the injuries, the Blues don’t have the look of a playoff team. Other teams are overcoming those injuries; meanwhile they have slowed down St. Louis this year.
24. Atlanta Thrashers… LW: 17
If you take out their impressive 8-1 stretch in the fall, Atlanta is 15-18-9. Is it gut-check time for Craig Ramsay’s crew?
25. Florida Panthers… LW: 22
If the ‘Cats hang around in the playoff mix, they will be kicking themselves that they let valuable points get away last week.
26. New Jersey Devils… LW: 30
Patrik Elias is producing pretty consistently, racking up 12 points in 11 games this month. The team has suddenly won five of six.
27. New York Islanders… LW: 25
Before the team could even start making his jersey, Nabokov decided he wasn’t going to report to Long Island after being snatched off waivers. Poor Islanders.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 26
It was a wise move to recall the youngster James Reimer; Giguere and Gustavsson simply aren’t getting it done.
29. Ottawa Senators… LW: 28
The Sens are imploding in front of our eyes… yet Cory Clouston has gotten a vote of confidence from ownership.
30. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 29
Interesting stat: In the last two Januarys, the Oilers are a combined 2-18-3.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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