It's the best time of year!
Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: Power Rankings
1. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 2
The Wings, who have not lost on home-ice since Nov. 3, look like the best team in the NHL right now – and their record proves it.
2. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 3
Vancouver has accumulated points in 13 consecutive games. They are two points behind Detroit with a game in hand.
3. New York Rangers… LW: 1
Although they’ve fallen from their No. 1 perch, the Rangers are still in control in the Eastern Conference.
4. St. Louis Blues… LW: 4
The last time St. Louis lost at home in regulation was on Dec. 3; they are 18-0-3 since that date. Also, they possess a 0.88 goals-against average in their last nine home contests.
5. New Jersey Devils… LW: 9
Has there been a better team in the East since the All-Star break? Led by Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, the Devils are 8-1-1 and have sneakily vaulted to fourth.
6. Nashville Predators… LW: 7
The Preds haven’t that well in February, but that’ll need to change this week. They have a four-game home stand that will feature contender after contender (Vancouver, St. Louis, San Jose and Los Angeles).
7. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 5
GM Ray Shero rewarded James Neal for his breakout season with a six-year, $30 million contract. How will that fit into Pittsburgh’s cap situation in the coming years?
8. Boston Bruins… LW: 6
Tuukka Rask’s stat line in his last five starts: 0-4-1, 3.85 GAA and .860 save percentage. When the B’s were rolling, Rask was solid and reliable.
9. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 13
Phoenix has gone 7-0-1 in their last eight games, and Radim Vrbata has had a big part of this great stretch. Vrbata has four game-winning goals in the last six games, and co-leads the NHL with 10 this season.
10. San Jose Sharks… LW: 8
Todd McLellan can’t be pleased with the way his team has started their long road trip. They’ve gone 1-3-1 in the first five games, seeing three defensemen leave games early with injury.
11. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 19
Are the Blackhawks back to their real form? We’ll see in the next week or two, but the improved play of Corey Crawford (1.33 GAA, .954 save percentage in last three games) has helped Chicago turn it around on a dime.
12. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 12
The Flyers have now gone 16 games without winning two in a row. You think they’d like a mulligan on the Ilya Bryzgalov signing?
13. Ottawa Senators… LW: 17
Jason Spezza is on an absolute tear of late, racking up 13 points in the last five games. He won’t win it, but should Spezza (T-4th in points) get some MVP love?
14. Calgary Flames… LW: 15
Miikka Kiprusoff’s numbers since Jan. 7: 10-3-3, 1.65 GAA, .944 save percentage. Vezina Trophy candidate? Why not?
15. Florida Panthers… LW: 10
Kevin Dineen and company have to be kicking themselves after three straight regulation losses at home.
16. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 21
The Ducks are 4-0-2 on their current road trip, which ends this week in Tampa Bay and Carolina. Jonas Hiller is looking great in the six games and was named the NHL’s first star of last week.
17. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 11
Darryl Sutter’s club has gone scoreless for 120:03 and is now outside of the top-eight in the West. To make matters worse, eight of their next 10 games are on the road. Your move, Dean Lombardi.
18. Washington Capitals… LW: 16
The inconsistent Caps have gone over a month without winning two games in a row. Are they a playoff team?
19. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 14
Will GM Brian Burke look at a goaltender prior to the trade deadline? James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson have combined for a .867 save percentage in the last six games; the team is 1-5-0 in that stretch.
20. Winnipeg Jets… LW: 25
Don’t look now, but the Jets are one point removed from the division lead and have six games remaining on their big home stand.
21. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 22
Can the Bolts make things interesting in the East? They are six points out from eighth and 9-3-2 in their last 14 games.
22. New York Islanders… LW: 23
The Islanders are in the same position as the Lightning, just six points behind eighth-place Toronto.
23. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 18
If the Avalanche – 1-2-1 in their last four games – has another bad week, will they become a seller? They would have a handful of rentals, and maybe Paul Stastny, to sell.
24. Dallas Stars… LW: 20
Like Colorado, the Stars could turn into a seller if they don’t play well this week. One reason the Stars aren’t in the top eight is because they are 0-9-2 on the second half of back-to-back’s this season.
25. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 24
The Habs have seen an improvement in the power play in the last eight games, as the unit has gone 7-for-24 in that stretch.
26. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 28
On Saturday the Hurricanes suffered their first regulation loss of February. Since Dec. 23, they are 12-6-5. Kirk Muller’s club is going to play the spoiler role down the stretch.
27. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 26
It will be interesting to see if Derek Roy garners any trade interest this week. Roy, if available, would be one of top centers out there for contenders to pry away.
28. Minnesota Wild… LW: 27
When the Wild woke up on Dec. 11, they had a four-point cushion on top of the NHL. A paltry 6-17-6 stretch later, they are behind the eight ball in the West.
29. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 29
Will any team take a gamble on Nikolai Khabibulin at the deadline? Since Nov. 11, the ‘Bulin Wall’ is 5-16-3 with a 3.26 GAA.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 30
In his last 149 games, Steve Mason is 52-70-21 with a 3.13 GAA and .897 save percentage. Terrible.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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