A week ago, the Lightning looked like the new power in the East. But after Steven Stamkos broke his leg, all bets are off. The Capitals are back to winning, the Penguins are having trouble scoring, and the Bruins and Leafs are trying to take over the Atlantic lead from Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the West continues to dominate the league. The Pacific Division alone has three teams that have scored more than 70 goals this season, and the Blackhawks have made a move to take over the Central lead from the Avalanche.
What's all that mean? Great storylines, exciting hockey, and a shakeup in the Power Rankings!
Check out this week's NHL Power Rankings and tell us in the comments section where you think your team should be ranked!
1. Anaheim Ducks (15-5-2, Last Week: 2)
After winning five in a row, the Ducks dropped three in a row (including losses to Carolina and the lowly Panthers), but they still hold the best record in hockey thanks in part to right winger Corey Perry, who is one of the top five goal scorers in the NHL. The West is shaping up like a battle between Anaheim and Colorado, which should be a lot of fun to watch.
2. Colorado Avalanche (14-5-0, Last Week: 1)
After losing only three times in the first three weeks of the season, the Avalanche lost three in row over the last seven days and are out of the Central Division's top spot. Two of those three losses came to Carolina and Florida, teams Colorado should feast on. How will the Avs respond to this kind of adversity? This is still a good team, but the answer to that question will tell us how good.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (13-3-4, Last Week: 6)
The Blackhawks are back. Chicago has won eight of 10 and jumped to the top of the Central Division. Depite a blowout 7-2 loss to Nashville on Saturday, the Hawks are averaging nearly 4.5 goals/game, which is a scary stat for the rest of the league. And Chicago doesn't have any top five scorers, which means this is a team that can beat you a ton of ways. You've been warned, rest of NHL.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-6-0, Last Week: 3
Just when things were looking really good in Tampa Bay, the season took a potentially disastrous turn: Star center and goal-scoring machine Steven Stamkos broke his leg in a game last Monday and is out for the foreseeable future. The Lightning are talented enough to keep pace in the Atlantic Division, where they're currently in first place. But without Stamkos, they might not have enough to win the division.
5. Phoenix Coyotes (14-4-3, Last Week: 5)
Playing in a tough Pacific Division, Phoenix is only a point back from the Ducks and the division lead. Looking up at the Coyotes? The Kings and Canucks. They're 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and have scored 73 goals in 21 games -- the second most in the league. If Phoenix can keep playing at this level, there will be a lot of great hockey coming from the desert this season.
6. San Jose Sharks (13-2-5, Last Week: 8)
The Sharks' record is deceiving. They've only lost two games outright, but eight of their 20 games have gone to overtime or shootouts. In those games, the Sharks are 3-5. That might seem inconsequential, but San Jose needs to put teams away if they want to be at the top of the West. The Sharks are only a point behind the Ducks, but Anaheim knows how to win. San Jose is struggling to win consistently -- and decisively.
7. St. Louis Blues (13-3-3, Last Week: 9
St. Louis beat Colorado 7-3 last Thursday in what could be a statement win for this team. The Blues are a point ahead of the Avalanche, but more importantly they're defeating the best teams in the NHL. The Avalanche might be the hotter team right now, but the Blues' consistency and experience (both on the ice and behind the bench) might make them the safer bet this season.
8. Los Angeles Kings (13-6-1, Last Week: 11)
Despite a shootout loss to Buffalo, the Kings have been making the most of a soft spot in its schedule, including back-to-back shutouts against the Devils and Rangers. Amazingly, the guy in net for those wins was backup goalie Ben Scrivens. With two rock-solid goalies, it won't be long before LA rises from the middle of the Pacific pack to challenge Anaheim and San Jose.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-0, Last Week: 4)
The Pens have reverted back to their underachieving ways, winning only once in its last five games. But worse, they've lost their scoring touch: Pittsburgh has only scored eight goals in five games and only 56 goals in 20 games -- unacceptable numbers for a team with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, and Letang but similar to what happened in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. A scary thought for Pittsburgh fans.
10. Vancouver Canucks (11-7-3, Last Week: 7)
Vancouver is fourth in the Pacific, but still within striking distance of a postseason spot. But here's a stat that shouldn't be ignored: Through 21 games, the Canucks have scored 55 goals and allowed 56. That's unacceptable for a Stanley Cup contender. Neither is losing three in a row to division foes Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Jose. Vancouver needs to start scoring -- and winning division games -- to have any shot at the playoffs.
11. Washington Capitals (12-8-1, Last Week: 15)
The Capitals' terrible start is a distant memory. Washington is at the top of the Metro Division, but it'll be a challenge to stay there.
12. Boston Bruins (12-6-1, Last Week: 12)
The B's had a four-game win streak snapped on Saturday, but they look poised to make a move in the Atlantic.
13. Toronto Maple Leafs (12-7-1, Last Week: 10)
Toronto needs to play better than .500 hockey to stay at the top of the Atlantic.
14. Minnesota Wild (12-4-4, Last Week: 13)
Minnesota has strung together a few three-game win streaks, which has them in the Central hunt.
15. New York Rangers (10-9-0, Last Week: 17)
The Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 and all of a sudden in the Metro race.
16. Montreal Canadiens (10-9-2, Last Week: 19)
Montreal is underachieving and getting left behind in the Atlantic.
17. Dallas Stars (10-7-2, Last Week: 18)
Dallas center Tyler Seguin is in beast mode right now.
18. Nashville Predators (9-9-2, Last Week: 16)
Before putting up seven goals on the Hawks on Saturday, Nashville scored only two goals in four games.
19. Winnipeg Jets (9-9-2, Last Week: 22)
The Jets have won four in a row. But it'll take a lot to reach the heights of the Central Division.
20. Detroit Red Wings(9-5-6, Last Week: 14)
Detroit is nursing a six-game losing streak -- unfamiliar territory for this club.
21. Ottawa Senators (8-8-4, Last Week: 21)
An 8-8-4 record is encouraging for a team on the rebuild.
22. New York Islanders (8-10-3, Last Week: 20)
Captain John Tavares is in the top five of goal scorers, but the Islanders are struggling to put teams away.
23. Carolina Hurricanes (8-8-4, Last Week: 23)
Wins against the Avalanche and Ducks are great building blocks for the Canes.
24. New Jersey Devils(7-8-5, Last Week: 25)
After a slow start, the Devils are starting to play pretty good hockey.
25. Calgary Flames (6-11-3, Last Week: 24)
Calgary is in a six-game losing streak tailspin.
26. Columbus Blue Jackets (7-10-3, Last Week: 26)
The Blue Jackets have only won twice in the last 10 games.
27. Philadelphia Flyers (7-10-2, Last Week: 27)
Things might have leveled off in Philly, but it's still going to be a very long season for the Flyers.
28. Florida Panthers(5-12-4, Last Week: 29)
The Panthers played .500 hockey last week. That called a win in Florida these days.
29. Edmonton Oilers (5-15-2, Last Week: 28)
Things keep getting worse in Edmonton.
30. Buffalo Sabres (5-16-1, Last Week: 30)
Can new (old) coach Ted Nolan stop this ship from sinking?
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