The West is the NHL's power center right now, with eight of the top 10 teams in this week's Power Rankings coming from that conference. The Ducks and Sharks are looking to take control of the Pacific Division, while Chicago and St. Louis are 1-2 in the Central. But what's happening in the East? The Bruins are back to their stingy best, while the Penguins are struggling to stay on track. The Capitals, Rangers, and Flyers have all found their footing, but the Metropolitan Division remains the weakest in the league.
Two months into the 2013-14 season, and it looks more and more likely that this year's Stanley Cup champion will come out of the West. There's still a lot of hockey to play, and if hockey fans know anything it's that the NHL is an unpredicitable league!
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 (17-6-3, Last Week: 1)
The Ducks aren't doing anything flashy, but they're playing consistently great hockey — especially at home. Anaheim is 9-0-1 and the only team not to lose a game in regulation on their own ice. Away, though, the team is 8-6-2. The Ducks are currently at the top of the Pacific Division, two points ahead of the Sharks. If they want to stay there, they'll have to start winning on the road.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (16-4-4, Last Week: 3)
Chicago is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games and playing at a championship level. The Hawks have taken over control of the Central Division, thanks in large part to goalie Corey Crawford. He has been in the net for 15 of Chicago's 16 wins and is leading the league in wins. With that type of consistency in net the Hawks should be liking their chances at a repeat.
3. St. Louis Blues (16-3-3, Last Week: 7)
But breathing down Chicago's neck is St. Louis. The Blues stumbled a bit early on, but they've regained their footing and are on a tear, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. They're also leading the league with a 25.6 percent power play mark and a +29 goals differential. If those numbers hold, the Blues should find themselves at least in the Western Conference Finals.
4. Boston Bruins (15-6-2, Last Week: 12
The Bruins have climbed back to the top of the Atlantic Division and are playing the best hockey in the Eastern Conference right now. The reason for this, of course, is goalie Tuukka Rask. Boston has allowed the fewest number of goals in the league (43) and are playing the brand of stingy hockey that got them to the Cup Finals last season. The Bs better hope the NHL doesn't figure out how to score on Rask...
5. Colorado Avalanche (17-5-0, Last Week: 2)
Colorado followed a three-game losing streak with a three-game win streak, which was huge in terms of getting things back on track. But the Avs' game on Wednesday against the Blues will be a big test for this team. In their previous meeting, St. Louis shellacked Colorado 7-3. If the Avalanche can't learn to defeat the Blues, their hopes of winning the Central will be buried.
6. San Jose Sharks (15-3-5, Last Week: 6)
After dropping five in a row, the Sharks have gone 5-1 and are back in second place in the Pacific. They have one of the best goal differentials in the league (79 goals for, 52 against, +27), but this team is streaky. If San Jose can rip off a long winning streak, that will go a long way in buffering the Sharks from a possible lengthy losing streak. Still, this is one of the best teams in the West and should not be underestimated
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (15-9-0, Last Week: 9
The Pens got back on track this week, going on a three-game winning streak that was snapped by Montral over the weekend. But Pittsburgh is only 5-5 in its last 10 games, which is not good enough for a team with the caliber of star power it has. Fortunately for the Penguins, they're at the top of the super weak Metropolitan Division, where better-than-average play seems to be good enough.
8. Los Angeles Kings (15-6-3, Last Week: 8)
LA's top goalie Jonathan Quick went down with a groin injury earlier this month, but his backup, Ben Scrivens, has filled in nicely. Scrivens is tops in the league with a 1.37 GAA and second with a .946 save percentage. And since becoming the starter, the Kings have gone 4-0-2, losing two games in OT by a combined one goal. The Kings are four points back in the Pacific, but with that kind of goaltending they might soon be in the top spot.
9. Phoenix Coyotes (15-54, Last Week: 5)
The Coyotes are in the middle of the pack in the Pacific, but their 32 points would make them tops in the Metro and tied for first in the Atlantic. In other words, this is a good team. What's not so good, though, is its league-worst penalty kill. Special teams are crucial in the NHL, and killing penalties only 76.1 percent of the time will not cut it over the course of 82 games.
10. Minnesota Wild (15-5-4, Last Week: 14)
After a back-and-forth start to the season, the Wild have figured out how to win consistently. They're 9-0-1 in their last 10 games, and are 10-1-2 at home. Minnesota is currently two points out of first in the Central, but the Wild have one of the NHL's worst penalty kills at 77.9 percent. If they want to stay in contention for a division title, that number has to go way up.
11. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-8-1, Last Week: 3)
Steven Stamkos' injury has hit the Lightning hard. They're still in the hunt, but they really need Stamkos' scoring to make a serious run.
12. Vancouver Canucks (12-9-4, Last Week: 10)
In the toughest division in the NHL this season, the Canucks are falling way behind the Ducks and Sharks.
13. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-8-1, Last Week: 13)
The Leafs are creeping back to the top of the Atlantic. But do they have what it takes to overtake Boston?
14. Washington Capitals (12-10-2, Last Week: 11)
Washington has dug itself out of its early season hole to sit in the Metro's second spot. It helps that the Metro is the worst division in the league right now.
15. Montreal Canadiens (12-11-0, Last Week: 16)
The Habs are 5-5 in their last 10, and are in the Atlantic hunt. But they need to start playing more consistent hockey. A three-game win streak is a good start.
16. New York Rangers (12-11-0, Last Week: 15)
New York has shown flashes of greatness, but hasn't been able to sustain them. But still, the Rangers are over .500!
17. Nashville Predators (11-10-2, Last Week: 18)
Nashville is a talented club who will make a run at the Central crown. Just not this season.
18. Detroit Red Wings (11-7-7, Last Week: 20)
Detroit has a -7 goals differential. If it hopes to make the playoffs, it needs to start scoring more goals.
19. Dallas Stars (11-9-2, Last Week: 17)
The Stars are a solid team, but they have the bad luck of playing in a division with three great ones.
20. Philadelphia Flyers(10-10-2, Last Week: 27)
Don't look now, but the Flyers have pulled out of their tailspin! The question now is how long their momentum can last.
21. Winnipeg Jets (10-11-4, Last Week: 19)
If Winnipeg still played in the East, the Jets would be in the playoff hunt. In the West, thought, they're in last place in the Central.
22. New Jersey Devils (9-9-5, Last Week: 24)
The Devils have rallied back to the middle of the Metro pack. But how long can they stay there?
23. Ottawa Senators (9-11-4, Last Week: 21)
Losing four of five isn't what the Senators need to do to keep pace with Boston in the Atlantic.
24. Carolina Hurricanes(9-10-5, Last Week: 23)
Only a few weeks ago, the Hurricanes were in second place in their division.
25. New York Islanders (8-13-3, Last Week: 22)
A season full of high expectation has gone terribly wrong for the Islanders.
26. Calgary Flames (8-11-4, Last Week: 25)
The Flames are in a race with the Oilers to the bottom of the West
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (8-12-3, Last Week: 26)
Columbus plays in the weak Metro division, which means the Jackets are only seven points out of second place.
28. Florida Panthers(6-13-5, Last Week: 28)
On the bright side, by playing in the same division as the Sabres, the Panthers are pretty much guaranteed not to be the worst team in the East.
29. Edmonton Oilers (7-15-2, Last Week: 29)
The Oilers have given up 84 goals this season, or 3.5 goals per game, which is tied for the most in the league.
30. Buffalo Sabres (5-19-1, Last Week: 30)
Meanwhile, the Sabres have only scored 44 goals all season. That's an average of 1.76 goals per game.
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