After a long wait, the NHL Power Rankings have returned. Jersey is playing great hockey behind Martin Brodeur, something we're all used, which puts them in the top spot for this week. So without any further ado, here they are. Please comment and let me know where you'd rank 'em.
1. New Jersey Devils (30-10-1) –Marty Brodeur is 16-4 in his last 20 games with three shutouts—so much for age being a factor this season.
2. Chicago Blackhawks (30-10-3) –The Hawks have scored four or more goals in seven straight games, six of which were wins.
3. San Jose Sharks (27-9-7)- Joe Thornton leads the league in points (58), but even that couldn’t help Evgeni Nabakov in goal Monday against the Kings. Nabakov looked awful, surrendering five goals on 16 shots in a 6-2 loss.
4. Washington Capitals (25-11-6) -The Caps haven’t looked great lately, but I’m sure Alex Ovechkin’s new Verizon Wireless commercial will boost team morale.
5. Buffalo Sabres (26-11-4) -The Sabres are on fire and have won four straight games. They have also overcome a 3-0 deficit in consecutive games against Pittsburgh and Atlanta.
6. Calgary Flames (25-12-5) -Hopefully five straight wins will keep Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, and Jay Bouwmeester’s minds off of not making the Canadian Olympic roster.
7. Vancouver Canucks (26-16-1)- Henrik Sedin has a point in 16 of the last 17 games. Wait no, that’s Daniel Sedin. Never mind, it’s Henrik…I think. Do both of them really need a goatee?
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (27-16-1) -Can’t wrap my mind around how a team with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could have the league’s worst power play. The Pens have also lost five of six.
9. Colorado Avalanche (24-13-6) -Colorado has the fewest shots on goal per game in the league, but the wheels just aren’t falling off for the young Avs…yet.
10. Phoenix Coyotes (26-14-4)- Shane Doan may have been snubbed off of the Canadian Olympic roster, but that won’t matter if the Coyotes stay on the pace they’ve been on lately.
11. Los Angeles Kings (25-15-3)- Jonathan Quick was just what the doctor ordered for Los Angeles, who has been looking for a solid starting goalie for quite some time. And a congratulations to the young lad for making the U.S. Olympic squad.
12. Boston Bruins (22-13-7) -The Bruins gave the Boston fans a real treat for the Winter Classic. But wasn’t anyone else annoyed with Commissioner Bettman—something you never hear—sporting a pink Lacoste shirt? Pink? Really?
13. Nashville Predators (25-15-3) -The goalie combo of Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis has the Preds in the top half of the Western Conference.
14. New York Rangers (20-17-5) -Could you believe that Marian Gaborik made the Slovakian Olympic team? Yeah, me too. But seriously, Chris Drury on Team U.S.A.? Drury? Really?
15. Detroit Red Wings (21-15-6)- Don’t worry, they will still find a way to win the Cup.
16. Dallas Stars (18-13-11) -The Stars’ 4-11 record in extra time is really going to come back to haunt them come playoff time.
17. Ottawa Senators (22-17-4)- Is it just me or did Jason Spezza leave with Dany Heatley? Not physically leave, but metaphorically…you know what I mean.
18. Tampa Bay Lightning (16-15-10)- Zenon Konopka is on pace for about 32 fights this season, give or take a few. Give the man some long hair and glasses and he’s a Hanson brother.
19. Montreal Canadiens (21-21-3)- Andrei Markov is doing his best to return the Canadiens back to glory with 12 points in 10 games this season.
20. New York Islanders (17-18-8)- The second most Googled search after his name is “Rick DiPietro injury update”—I’m not lying either. Go ahead, you know you want to check.
21. Philadelphia Flyers (19-19-3)- The Flyers followed up their mediocre Winter Classic showing with an abysmal 7-4 loss at the hands of the Senators. All is not right in the city of brotherly love.
22. Minnesota Wild (20-20-3)- Early rumors have the 2011 Winter Classic in Minnesota, but the Wild better start giving the NHL a reason to put it there.
23. Atlanta Thrashers (18-18-6)- Ilya Kovalchuk has stated that he wants to be a Thrasher for life. I can’t imagine why since Atlanta has not won in nine games.
24. Florida Panthers (17-19-7) -You just have to feel bad for Tomas Vokoun who faces entirely too many shots per game. Picture Vokoun with the Devils’ defense in front of him…scary, I know.
25. Anaheim Ducks (17-19-7)- How can a team with such a talented roster be doing this poorly? I guess they should ask Philadelphia.
26. Toronto Maple Leafs (15-19-9)- The Leafs’ penalty-kill is more horrifying than Barry Melrose’s mullet, killing off penalties at a mere 70.5 percent.
27. St. Louis Blues (17-18-6)- The Blues are 6-14-3 at home this season. It certainly looks like they have the “blues” in St. Louis. Come on, I couldn’t help myself.
28. Carolina Hurricanes (11-23-7) -The injury bug has hit Carolina hard this year. I guess I would be “injured” too if my team had this kind of record.
29. Columbus Blue Jackets (15-20-9)- Goalie Steve Mason is having the definition of a “sophomore slump” season, as he was pulled for the sixth time this year against Vancouver on Tuesday night.
30. Edmonton Oilers (16-22-5) -1-9-1 in their last 11 games. Well, things could be worse…barely.