There was definitely some movement up and down my power rankings this week. The Ducks are starting to regain their form, and thus, they were rewarded with the biggest jump in the rankings. Edmonton would have been dropped lower, but they were already ranked 30th , so I couldn’t. Enjoy puck-heads, and please, let me know where you’d rank ‘em. Last week's ranking is in parentheses.
1. (3) San Jose Sharks (33-10-8) — It was a tough pick between the Sharks and the Hawks, but a 9-1 dismantling of the Flames secured San Jose’s spot atop this week’s power rankings.
2. (2) Chicago Blackhawks (34-12-4) — So the Hawks aren’t ranked No. 1, but they’ll have their chance to prove me wrong on Jan. 28 in San Jose—be sure to tune in, because that game is going to be a doozy.
3. (4) Washington Capitals (31-12-6) — Ovechkin blah, blah blah...he scored again, blah, blah, blah. We get it, he’s good.
4. (5) Buffalo Sabres (30-12-6) — Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Ducks proved that maybe trying to reacquire Marty Biron from the Islanders wouldn’t be the worst idea.
5. (1) New Jersey Devils (32-14-1) — Three straight losses including a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Rick DiPietro have the Devils falling out of the top spot in the power rankings.
6. (9) Colorado Avalanche (28-15-6) — Barry Melrose’s midseason MVP was Craig Anderson—I couldn’t disagree more, but Anderson hasn’t given up more than three goals in a game in over a month.
7. (7) Vancouver Canucks (28-18-2) — Guess which Sedin-twin their parents like more. I’ll give you a hint: Henrik currently leads the NHL in points.
8. (13) Nashville Predators (29-17-3) — The Predators have racked up the lowest amount of penalty minutes in the league, and that discipline is beginning to pay off.
9. (8) Pittsburgh Penguins (31-19-1) — It appears that Evgeni Malkin is slowly coming out of his scoring coma with four goals in his last two games – this isn’t good for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
10. (11) Los Angeles Kings (27-19-3) — I was skeptical of Drew Doughty earlier in his career, but the kid looks to be in line for at least a Norris Trophy nomination, if not a win.
11. (10) Phoenix Coyotes (28-17-5) — I know it’s never going to happen, but can the NHL at least reconsider Jim Balsillie’s attempt to buy and relocate the Coyotes. With the lowest attendance in the league it’s not like the fans really want them in Phoenix.
12. (17) Ottawa Senators (26-21-4) — The Sens are heating up and are undefeated since the return of captain Daniel Alfredsson who has six points in three games.
13. (15) Detroit Red Wings (24-17-8) — I don’t know about you, but I’m still drooling over that shootout goal Pavel Datsyuk scored against the Blackhawks.
14. (14) New York Rangers (24-19-7) — The New York Roller Coasters would be a better fit. After scoring just one goal in three games, the Blue Shirts have responded by putting up 14 goals in their last two games. Go figure.
15. (6) Calgary Flames (26-18-6) — The Flames have lost seven of eight and have just one power play goal in their last nine games. Could be worse...they could be playing in a city about two hours north.
16. (12) Boston Bruins (23-17-8) — Beantown isn’t happy. The Bruins have gone 2-5-1 since hosting the Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
17. (25) Anaheim Ducks (23-20-7) — The Ducks have finally found their winning touch, grabbing two points in seven of their last eight—but a six-game road trip starting in San Jose may slow them down.
18. (20) New York Islanders (22-20-8) — D.P. got a shutout? Yeah, sure, and Tiger Woods is going to a sex rehab clinic...wait a minute.
19. (21) Philadelphia Flyers (24-21-3) — Ray Emery won his first game in over two months on Tuesday night—but I still can’t get over the penalty shot Mr. Ovechkin put past Emery on Sunday night. If you haven’t seen it, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN7zk0LgnJk
20. (16) Dallas Stars (21-17-11) — Marty Turco is slowly losing the reigns on his starting job. He has allowed three or more goals in 10 of his last 12 games, winning just four in that span.
21. (24) Florida Panthers (21-20-8) — With consecutive wins over Tampa Bay, the Panthers have truly proven that they are the best team in the state.
22. (23) Atlanta Thrashers (22-20-7) — I don’t know about you, but I just want to know what uniform Ilya Kovalchuk is going to be wearing at the end of the season.
23. (19) Montreal Canadiens (23-23-4) — The Habs are trying to duplicate the dual-goalie system from Nashville with a little goalie combo of their own...it just isn’t working.
24. (27) St. Louis Blues (21-20-7) — St. Louis temporarily got rid of their “blues” with a four-game win streak. I know, but I couldn’t help myself again.
25. (22) Minnesota Wild (24-23-3) — I believe it was the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who once said, “The Wild are useless if Niklas Backstrom doesn’t play well” – or maybe I said it, I can’t remember.
26. (18) Tampa Bay Lightning (19-19-10) — Another team with goalie problems—what a surprise.
27. (28) Carolina Hurricanes (14-27-7) — 4-15-4 on the road this season. ‘Nough said? ‘Nough said.
28. (29) Columbus Blue Jackets (19-24-9) — Mathieu Garon took Steve Mason’s starting position in net, but something tells me he doesn’t want it—Garon has been pulled twice in the last two weeks.
29. (26) Toronto Maple Leafs (17-25-9) — And the Leafs’ penalty-kill is now down to 69 percent and falling. Sell now! Sell!
30. (30) Edmonton Oilers (16-27-5) — The last power rankings read: “1-9-1 in their last 11 games. Well, things could be worse...barely.” Well, things are worse.