Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
20. New Jersey Devils (last week: 15)
Cory Schneider started his 50th game for the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, and you wonder whether he's starting to feel a bit gassed? The Devils dropped their third straight game in the 4-3 loss to the Capitals, with Schneider touched up a bit the game before, a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders, as well.
Overall, the Devils have been better than most thought, but, again, maybe they pushed it as far as they could.
19. Philadelphia Flyers (last week: 20)
The Flyers still have a chance at the postseason, but they can't stay in win-one-lose-one mode for much longer. They need to reel off five or six wins in a row if they want to play beyond the first couple of weeks of April.
Rookie Shayne Gostisbehere is doing his part. The D-man extended his point streak to 15 games in a 5-4 win over Toronto on Saturday.
18. Minnesota Wild (last week: 24)
General manager Chuck Fletcher got just the kind of response from his team he had hoped for after he fired coach Mike Yeo on Feb. 13. Minnesota won its first four games under interim coach John Torchetti, including their Stadium Series game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
This team still has tons of high-priced talent, so a run to the playoffs is still possible. On the other hand, lots of teams go on mini-runs after a coaching change, only to revert to the way things were before shortly thereafter. It will be interesting to see what happens with this group.
17. Carolina Hurricanes (last week: 18)
Captain Eric Staal told reporters in Ottawa on Thursday he would "not [be] crushed" if he were to be dealt by the Carolina Hurricanes by the trade deadline.
He did some backtracking when the team got back to Carolina, telling the Raleigh News & Observer, via NHL.com's Sean McCullen: "In hindsight, I shouldn't have answered some of the questions hypothetically. That happens on occasion. I'll learn from it. My focus is with this group and this team and winning games and enjoying coming to the rink with this group."
The Hurricanes still have a shot at the playoffs. Dealing Staal would be a premature tossing in of the towel.
16. Colorado Avalanche (last week: 17)
The Avs, too, are hanging in there for a playoff spot. The problem is they've probably played too many games for their liking. While they have a lead over rivals in the wild-card chase, most of those other teams have two or three games in hand on average.
Tyson Barrie picked up two goals in Saturday's win at Edmonton, his 39th and 40th points of the season. The 24-year-old defenseman figures to get a nice payday on his next contract. His existing deal expires after this season.