NHL Power Rankings: Blackhawks Lose and It's Been a Crazy Week in the NHL

Tom SchreierCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2013

NHL Power Rankings: Blackhawks Lose and It's Been a Crazy Week in the NHL

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    I don’t know what to believe anymore.

    The Chicago Blackhawks have lost a game in regulation to the Colorado Avalanche (the Avalanche!) and then lost to a reeling Edmonton club.

    Oh yeah, and the Nashville Predators can’t score…unless they play Edmonton.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Detroit Red Wings. Twice.

    The Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings, but lose to the…Coyotes?

    And Montreal kicks ass on the road, but loses to the Islanders?

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t right. Maybe I’m going crazy.

30. Florida Panthers

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    Last week: 30

    Record: 7-13-6 (2-6-2)

    The Florida Panthers are just plain bad.

    They only have one win in their last seven games…

29. Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Last week: 25

    Record: 10-14-1 (2-8-0)

    Something is really wrong in Tampa.

    The Bolts started the year off well, but have one win in their last eight games. One win.

28. Calgary Flames

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    Last week: 26

    Record: 9-10-4 (4-5-1)

    Calgary had some fun wins over Vancouver and San Jose recently, but I’m not sure it’s going to last.

    The Flames have struggled down in SoCal and have to play five of their next eight games on the road. Their fans are just going to have to cherish the fun wins when they come and grind it out with this struggling team for another year.

27. Buffalo Sabres

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    Last week: 24

    Record: 9-14-3 (3-5-2)

    Oof…the road is no place for the weary.

    The Buffalo Sabres had a nice three-game win streak going (including games at Tampa Bay and Florida), but then hit the skids once they went on the road again.

    This team has lost four in a row and returns home to face a talented Rangers squad.

26. Edmonton Oilers

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    Last week: 27

    Record: 9-11-5 (3-5-2)

    The Edmonton Oilers lose five straight and then beat Chicago?

    Yup, sounds about right in this wacky week of hockey.

25. Nashville Predators

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    Last week: 22

    Record: 10-9-6 (3-6-1)

    The Nashville Predators lose four of their last five contests because they can’t score and then beat Edmonton 6-0.

    That sounds about right, given everything that has happened this week.

24. New Jersey Devils

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    Last week: 21

    Record: 12-9-5 (3-6-1)

    Something is not right in New Jersey…

    This team has only two wins in its last nine games. The Devils beat Buffalo and Winnipeg in shootouts, but also lost to both of those teams recently.

23. Vancouver Canucks

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    Last week: 17

    Record: 11-7-6 (3-4-3)

    That 4-2 loss in Calgary really was a doozy for the Vancouver Canucks.

    Since that game, they have lost three straight and relinquished their spot atop the Northwest Division.

22. San Jose Sharks

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    Last week: 19

    Record: 11-7-6 (4-3-3)

    Oh, how the San Jose Sharks have fallen from grace.

    That 4-1 loss in Calgary was pretty bad, and they could only pick up a point in their games against St. Louis and in Colorado.

    To be fair, both of those teams are pretty good, but in January it looked like the Sharks were going to vie with the Hawks on top of the division.

    What happened to this team?

21. Washington Capitals

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    Last week: 10

    Record: 10-13-1 (5-5-0)

    The state of New York must have Washington’s number or something.

    The Caps were on a bit of a roll until losing to the Islanders and Rangers by a combined score of 9-3.

20. Dallas Stars

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    Last week: 16

    Record: 12-10-2 (5-4-1)

    Classic Stars hockey: You beat St. Louis 4-1, run over the defending champs on the road 5-2…and then lose to Phoenix 2-1.

    I really have no idea what the Dallas Stars are going to do on any given night. Not a clue.

19. Phoenix Coyotes

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    Last week: 14

    Record: 12-10-3 (5-4-1)

    Those two wins over Anaheim were nice, but the 6-3 loss to St. Louis is probably more indicative of where this Phoenix Coyotes team is right now.

18. Philadelphia Flyers

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    Last week: 9

    Record: 12-14-1 (5-5-0)

    The Philadelphia Flyers are winning the games they are expected to win (Senators, Sabres), but can’t beat the bad boys in the East (Rangers, Penguins, Bruins).

    Their next two games against New Jersey will tell us a lot about where this team is right now.

17. New York Islanders

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    Last week: 23

    Record: 11-12-3 (5-3-2)

    You know what? You can’t take those wins over Ottawa, Montreal and Washington away form the New York Islanders. And, hey, they took the Rangers into OT.

    That 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh was pretty bad though…

16. Winnipeg Jets

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    Last week: 11

    Record: 12-11-2 (6-3-1)

    I still don’t understand the 3-0 loss to Washington and 4-1 defeat in Sunrise, but otherwise, the Winnipeg Jets are beginning to show signs of what they can become in the upcoming years.

15. Detroit Red Wings

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    Last week: 20

    Record: 12-9-5 (5-3-2)

    Somebody get me a doctor because I’m pretty damn sure I just saw this team lose twice in a row to Columbus.

    Will the real Red Wings please stand up? I repeat, will the real Red Wings please stand up?

    We’re going to have a problem here.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Last week: 28

    Record: 10-12-4 (6-2-2)

    I can’t believe I’m actually typing this now: The Columbus Blue Jackets are actually playing well.

    What is this? The Wings losing? Columbus winning?

    Have I gone mad? (Yes, but that was probably a long time ago.)

13. St. Louis Blues

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    Last week: 15

    Record: 13-10-2 (4-5-1)

    The St. Louis Blues have gutted it out on the road after starting with a bad loss to the Stars.

    A nice little three-game homestand will be welcome in St. Louis.

12. Colorado Avalanche

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    Last week: 29

    Record: 10-10-4 (4-3-3)

    Hey! Look what happens when you get Ryan O’Reilly to sign a deal and Gabriel Landeskog back! You beat the Chicago Blackhawks!

    The Chicago Blackhawks!

    The Colorado Avalanche get to prove themselves against Edmonton and Minnesota before another matchup with Chicago next week. That game should be fun.

11. New York Rangers

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    Last week: 18

    Record: 13-9-2 (5-4-1)

    Like the Kings out west, the New York Rangers are a stacked team that is finally playing like it.

    They’ve won five of their last six games but have to play three more games on the road before they return to the Garden.

10. Ottawa Senators

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    Last week: 13

    Record: 13-8-4 (6-2-2)

    The road has taken its toll on the Ottawa Senators.

    Ottawa lost four in a row before beating the Rangers.

    They barely get time to breath, as they will face the Bruins at home and then go on the road for three of their next four games.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Last week: 8

    Record: 15-10-1 (5-4-1)

    Hockey fans in Toronto have to be happy that their team is finally winning, but the Maple Leafs are going to have to beat teams like Boston and Pittsburgh if they want to go anywhere this year.

8. Carolina Hurricanes

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    Last week: 12

    Record: 14-9-1 (6-4-0)

    Carolina saw a weak Southeast Division and decided to pounce.

    The Mighty Canes have won five of their last six, including a victory over Pittsburgh, and have a chance to show up two division rivals—Washington and Tampa—on national television next week.

7. Minnesota Wild

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    Last week: 6

    Record: 13-9-2 (7-3-0)

    I think hockey fans in Minnesota can forgive the Wild for losing to Chicago…even if it was an opportunity to give the Blackhawks their first regulation loss of the season.

    This is starting to look like the team it was supposed to be at the beginning of the season, and that win over Vancouver was huge.

6. Los Angeles Kings

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    Last week: 7

    Record: 13-8-2 (8-2-0)

    Ahh…this is the Kings team I know.

    Los Angeles has only two losses in its last 10 games and is finally looking like defending champs.

5. Chicago Blackhawks

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    Last week: 1

    Record: 21-2-3 (8-2-0)

    Uh oh…the Chicago Blackhawks have lost. To the Avalanche. By a score of 6-2. Six to two!

    And then lost to, gasp, Edmonton.

    And then have to go on the road. And face a red-hot Columbus team. And the Avs again. And Anaheim.

    This could get bad if the 'Hawks let loss No. 1 get them down.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Last week: 5

    Record: 18-8-0 (7-3-0)

    You could say that the Pittsburgh Penguins are on a bit of a roll…

    The Pens have won five straight, although other than that thriller in Montreal, three of the other teams (Bolts, Flyers, Islanders) aren’t all that great, and Toronto has improved their play, but the Penguins should be expected to beat them.

3. Anaheim Ducks

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    Last week: 2

    Record: 18-3-3 (7-1-2)

    The Anaheim Ducks look like they’ve found their groove again, beating Phoenix 2-0 after two straight 5-4 shootout losses in the desert (who says hockey scores are random?), beating a poor Calgary team and then taking care of business against St. Louis.

    They should enter a road trip that will send them to Minnesota, Dallas and St. Louis with a little momentum now.

2. Montreal Canadiens

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    Last week: 3

    Record: 17-5-4 (6-1-3)

    No Bell Centre? No problems.

    The Montreal Canadiens have been road warriors, winning four of their last five.

1. Boston Bruins

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    Last week: 4

    Record: 16-3-3 (8-1-1)

    Boston and Montreal are neck-and-neck right now.

    The Habs got the best of them last time they played, but the Bruins are the hotter team right now.

     

    Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com and contributes to Hockey’s Future and Stadium Journey.