The NHL standings are starting to take shape a few weeks into the season. Contenders and pretenders are starting to emerge.
Teams have started to climb up and fall down power rankings already this season, but there will surely be plenty more changes as the season progresses.
1. Chicago Blackhawks (10-0-2)
The Blackhawks haven't lost a game in regulation, are second in goals per game and third in goals allowed per game. They are absolutely rolling right now as clearly the best team in the league.
2. Boston Bruins (8-1-1)
The Bruins have the second-most points the Eastern Conference (17), despite having played two fewer games than the New Jersey Devils. While they haven't scored a ton of goals, they have allowed the least amount of goals with 21 allowed.
3. New Jersey Devils (8-1-3)
The Devils are one of the hottest teams in the league, riding a five-game win streak. If they can keep it up, the Devils will be force throughout the season.
4. Anaheim Ducks (8-2-1)
The Ducks are off to a hot start and have some big wins on their resume. They've impressed and sustained their surprising success throughout the young season. With 3.4 goals per game, they are ranked third in the league in scoring output.
5. San Jose Sharks (7-3-2)
The Sharks are in trouble after their incredible start. After winning their first five games this season, they've lost their last five games. They entered tonight first in goals allowed per game with 1.8 goals, but have allowed 12 combined goals in their last three games.
The Sharks are in further trouble when looking at their upcoming schedule. They play their next five games on the road, including twice at the Chicago Blackhawks. The Sharks need to turn it around quickly or they risk free-falling in power rankings and the standings.
6. Vancouver Canucks (7-2-2)
Another surging team, the Canucks have won five straight and sit atop the Northwest Division. After their slow start, the Canucks look to have more success in 2013.
7. Detroit Red Wings (7-4-1)
The Red Wings have been wildly inconsistent during the first weeks of the season. They've won some quality games and lost some head-scratchers. Despite the rough start, the Red Wings have won their last three games by a combined score of 10-4.
This team still has plenty to prove it deserves a top 10 spot and whether or not it's actually found its stride. They have a busy schedule throughout the rest of February with nine games (five at home, four on the road). The quality of this team will be revealed for the next couple weeks.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (8-5-0)
The Penguins have lost their last two games, both 3-1 defeats to the Devils. Despite that, they are off to a strong start this season and have a chance to get some wins against some weaker opponents in the next few weeks.
9. New York Rangers (6-5-0)
The Rangers have won two games in a row and look forward to a big matchup tomorrow against the Boston Bruins. The game will definitely act as a measuring stick for the Rangers.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-0)
The Maple Leafs have won four games in a row scoring 11 games in the last two games. The Maple Leafs are 6-1 on the road and 2-4 at home. If they can figure out how to play well both at home and on the road, they can surprise people.
11. Dallas Stars (6-5-1)
The Stars have won three games in a row, but three straight road games in four days could put them in trouble. They travel to take on the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. These team needs to play well or they will fall drastically in the rankings.
The Stars have been stingy as they've allowed the eighth least goals this season, but they've struggled to score. They are currently 28th in the league in goals scored with 2.1 goals per game. They have plenty to do to prove they are strong team.
12. St. Louis Blues (6-5-1)
The Blues have lost five games in a row and look completely lost after their strong start. They are in serious trouble with four of their next five games on the road. Unless they can turn around their play, they are in trouble of dropping quickly.
Heading into their game tonight, they were third in goals scored per game with 3.4 goals, but 24th in goals against per game with 3.2 goals. They need to keep their offensive attacking strongly, but they absolutely need to tighten up on defense.
13. Ottawa Senators (6-4-2)
The Senators have lost four of their last five games, each by a goal. They need to figure out how to turn games in there favor, but they are competing on a nightly basis.
14. Montreal Canadiens (6-4-1)
The Canadiens have lost three games in a row including a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of the Maple Leafs. They have struggled since their 6-2 start and need to rediscover their early success in order to get back into the Northeast race.
The Canadiens have three of their next five games on the road. How they do in the next few weeks will determine where this team stands. They have talent to score goals, but they need to be more consistent and not allow as many goals.
15. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-5-0)
The Lightning have already suffered their ranking crashing downward as they've lost the last four games following a 6-1 start. The highest-scoring team (3.9 goals per game) in the league needs to find its stride with the next four out of five games at home.
16. Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1)
The Hurricanes have been very inconsistent this season, but they are right with the top dogs in the Southeast. They need to string some wins together to make a run.
17. Philadelphia Flyers (5-7-1)
The Flyers are another team in risk of crashing down the rankings. They have been average to start the season, but have a tough stretch of six straight road games coming up. They lost the first tonight against the Maple Leafs 5-2.
The Flyers need to get some points on the road are they risk losing precious ground in the Atlantic and the playoff race.
18. Nashville Predators (5-3-4)
The Predators have had a roller coaster start to their season. They went 1-5 to start, won four straight before losing the next two. They need to figure out what went right during that four-game win streak and try to replicate it.
19. Edmonton Oilers (5-4-3)
The Oilers followed up their 4-2 start by losing five straight before beating the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. They have been mostly competitive, losing by more than one goal just twice.
20. Minnesota Wild (5-5-1)
The Wild have been one of the most disappointing teams following offseason spending spree. They are five points behind the Canucks and need to close the gap.
21. Winnipeg Jets (5-5-1)
The Jets have been surprising this season and are hanging around in a bad decision. They've shown flashes that things will get better for the franchise.
22. Phoenix Coyotes (5-5-2)
The Coyotes beat some average to poor teams and struggled against better competition. They are hanging around in the Pacific, but the Sharks and Ducks are threatening to leave the Coyotes in the dust.
23. Buffalo Sabres (5-7-1)
The Sabres are ranked 29th in goals allowed with 3.5 goals allowed per game, but sixth in goals scored with 2.9 per game. If they can tighten defensively, they have the scoring power to get some wins.
24. Los Angeles Kings (4-5-2)
The defending champs are currently last in the Pacific division and struggling with terrible play. They have plenty of work to do if they are going to make the playoffs.
25. New York Islanders (4-7-1)
The Islanders are last in the Atlantic division and have lost five straight games. With four of their next six games on the road, the Islanders could get left all alone in the cellar of the division.
26. Colorado Avalanche (4-6-0)
The Avalanche have struggled to score goals as they currently ranked 25th with 2.1 goals scored per game. They are hanging with the Flames at the bottom of the Northwest division has the Canucks have already doubled them up in points.
27. Washington Capitals (3-8-1)
The team with the worst record in the league got a big 5-0 win against the Florida Panthers to prove they still have talent. Fortunately for the Capitals, the Southeast division has been poor overall.
28. Calgary Flames (3-4-2)
The Flames are allowing way too many goals this season and simply not scoring enough. They don't have the talent to be a good team this year.
29. Florida Panthers (4-6-1)
The Panthers are 30th in goals allowed per game with 3.6 goals allowed per game. When your team is only scoring 2.2 goals per game, that's problematic.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-7-2)
The Blue Jackets have received a couple thrashings this season, but delivered their first against the falling Sharks. Despite the big win, the Blue Jackets are likely to continue to being a bottom-feeder.
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