It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Power Rankings
1. Washington Capitals… LW: 1
Nicklas Backstrom is off to a stellar start, recording two points in 8 of his team’s 12 games. Also, the Caps are the only team with an unblemished home record.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 2
The Pens sit atop the Eastern Conference and have yet to have Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Will No. 87 make his return later this week?
3. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 8
Peter Laviolette’s gang leads the NHL in scoring convincingly. It helps when you have a couple games with eight-plus goals.
4. San Jose Sharks… LW: 3
It’s kind of funny how the hockey gods even things out. After the Sharks came back from a two-goal deficit to beat Pittsburgh on Thursday, they lost in the same fashion against Nashville two nights later.
5. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 4
The ‘Hawks have to like the start from Marian Hossa (13 points in 13 games). Will he be able to stay healthy?
6. Dallas Stars… LW: 10
The surprising Stars are the NHL’s first team to 10 wins. They will be tested this week with road games in Washington, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
7. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 7
Jhonas Enroth is one of a handful of backup goalies that is performing better than the starter in front of them. Enroth is a perfect 4-0-0 with a 1.41 GAA and .950 save percentage.
8. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 6
Despite a 6-2 win over rival Chicago, Roberto Luongo and company aren’t playing their best hockey right now.
9. Nashville Predators… LW: 14
The Preds had a really productive week on the road, grabbing five of a possible six points, including a comeback win in San Jose. On top of that, they signed their franchise netminder to a seven-year extension.
10. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 5
The Kings have surprisingly dropped four straight and five of six. They need more from Drew Doughty, who has two assists and a minus-3 rating thus far.
11. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 11
One month into the year, the Leafs are a pleasant surprise atop the Northeast. It makes you wonder how much better they’d be if the penalty kill wasn’t the NHL’s worst.
12. New York Rangers… LW: 19
The Rangers took care of business on home ice, winning all four of their games last week. Marian Gaborik had a big three-point effort in Sunday’s win over Winnipeg.
13. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 12
Edmonton had their six-game win streak snapped on Saturday, but they are playing great hockey thus far. They’ll be tested this month, as eight of their next 10 games are on the road.
14. Minnesota Wild… LW: 21
How about Josh Harding?! The goalie, who has been affected by injuries in recent years, is 4-0-1 this year with a 1.18 GAA and .965 save percentage.
15. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 9
After six consecutive losses, the Wings unleashed their frustration on Anaheim. They need to capitalize on the final three games of their home stand.
16. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 15
Guy Boucher’s club picked up two huge wins over the weekend, edging the ‘Hawks and Panthers in the shootout.
17. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 16
Mike Smith has reeled off four straight wins and is out-performing former Coyote Ilya Bryzgalov.
18. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 13
There’s one team in the NHL has just one win at home, and it’s Colorado. They only have seven goals in six home games (contrarily, 30 goals in eight road games).
19. Boston Bruins… LW: 25
Two big wins and it seems like the Bruins are starting to turn a corner. However, they have to keep the momentum going on their upcoming five-game home stand.
20. New Jersey Devils… LW: 20
Rookie Adam Henrique is centering the team’s top line and has six points in his last five games, including an overtime winner on Saturday.
21. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 17
Since a 4-1-0 start, Anaheim is 1-5-3 and currently doesn’t have an identity. They only won once on their seven-game road trip.
22. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 22
P.K. Subban is tied for third in the NHL in shots from defensemen (41), but has yet to register a goal. The Habs need more from him.
23. Ottawa Senators… LW: 18
Despite three straight losses, the Senators still possess the NHL’s second-best power play, thanks in large part to Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar.
24. Florida Panthers… LW: 23
If the Panthers are still in the playoff hunt come February/March, they will wish they would have done better this week. Three shootout losses could prove costly.
25. Calgary Flames… LW: 27
Brendan Morrison had 43 points in 66 games in 2010-11. Through eight games, he doesn’t have a single point and his ice time has decreased.
26. St. Louis Blues… LW: 26
Is Ken Hitchcock an upgrade over Davis Payne? It will have to be if the Blues wish to be a playoff team. Under Payne they have underachieved the last two years. Maybe ‘Hitch’ can get the most of some of those talented youngsters.
27. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 24
Eric Staal and company laid an egg on home ice this weekend, getting outscored by a combined 10-3 by the Caps and Stars. The ‘Canes captain has a minus-16 rating through 14 games.
28. Winnipeg Jets… LW: 29
The loss of Tobias Enstrom to a broken collarbone is a terrible blow to the Jets’ blue line.
29. New York Islanders… LW: 28
Rick DiPietro has gotten some playing time recently and hasn’t looked bad (2.67 GAA in four games).
30. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 30
It just keeps getting worse and worse for Scott Arniel and the Blue Jackets. How much longer will the second-year bench boss keep his job?
Photo credit: Getty Images
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