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NHL Power Rankings: Division Leaders

Mikal ElyseCorrespondent INovember 12, 2010

NHL Power Rankings: Division Leaders

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    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    A lot seems to be falling into place. 

    The Washington Capitals are on top of the Southeast Division, as well as the early predicted Stanley Cup Champions, the Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest Division.

    Of course, many disappointments are out there as well, for teams like the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils thus far.  But so early into a season, there is always time for improvement.

    Looking at the division leaders and their overall power rankings is tough to judge.

    With just barely seven weeks past us in the season I have broken it down by their overall record, their past 10 games, and goal differential.

6. Montreal Canadiens

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    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    Record:  10-5-1

    Diff:  +5

    Last 10 Games:  7-3-0

    With the departure of Jaroslav Halak, countless people figured the Canadiens were hopeless.  Carey Price has proven all doubters wrong so far.

    Price is tied for second in wins with nine and a 2.19 GAA.  He is not outperforming all goalies, but he is keeping the Canadiens on top.

    They still have to work through road struggles along with their imperceptible power play, but with their defense it seems to keep them on top.   

    Losing only three games at home and one game in OT gives them the worst home record of all division leaders.

    The Boston Bruins are slowly catching up to them, playing three less games than the Canadiens have so far.  The Northeast Division will be a tough race, but so far the Canadiens are at the peak.

5. Vancouver Canucks

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    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    Record:  9-4-2

    Diff:  +10

    Last 10 Games: 7-2-1

    The Canucks were early predicted to win the Cup after the signings of Manny Malhorta and Dan Hammhuis.

    Their team is stacked, but there are still questions about goaltender Roberto Luongo. 

    Fortunately, Cory Schneider has performed decently enough so Luongo does not have to be overused this season.

    They accumulated a six-game winning streak and seem to have gotten things together.

    As usual, the Sedin twins have gotten off to hot start, and have been bringing the team to more success away from GM Place.

    The Canucks have an immense reputation to live up to this season, being called Stanley Cup Champions so early in the year.  If their play continues as of late, they make the task seem effortless.

4. Detroit Red WIngs

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Record:  10-3-1

    Diff:  +12

    Last 10 Games: 8-2-0

    Barely holding the division lead, as they are tied with the St. Louis Blues in points, they still come out on top with their outstanding performance as of late.

    The depth for the Red Wings is immaculate so far this season.  Their third line effortlessly picked up their tempo to win games in the past few weeks.

    Almost a repeat of last season with injuries made some people worried, but luckily for them none of the injuries were serious.  Last season the Red Wings struggled all season long with injuries to key players.

    With aging players most doubted them, but it is good to see they are proving them wrong with such a strong defense, and the depth this team has this season.  I doubt if anyone would be stunned to see the Red Wings at the top of the conference by the end of the season.

3. Washington Capitals

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Record:  12-4-0

    Diff:  +18

    Last 10 Games: 8-2-0

    The Caps started off sluggish in the first week of the season, but I am sure no one expected that to last.

    They have won six in a row and are looking to continue this hot streak with goaltender Michal Neuvirth. 

    Alex Ovechkin is not producing as many goals as one would predict at this time, with just nine, but with such a great team behind him they have found the back of the net 58 times total in just 16 games.

    There are still struggles within their special teams department, but so far the Caps seem like the team to come out as consecutive President's Trophy winners this season.

2. Philadelphia Flyers

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Record:  10-4-2

    Diff:  +18

    Last 10 Games:  8-1-1

    The Flyers are on their way for a repeat of last season, except hoping for a happy ending though. 

    Before the season even began, newly re-signed goaltender, Michael Leighton, was announced as out indefinitely due to back issues.  Luckily, rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky (tied for second in wins) and Brian Boucher have performed extremely well, and put their goaltending nightmares to rest.

    However, there were early struggles in the goal-scoring department until recently. 

    Both Jeff Carter and Danny Briere are tied with eight goals apiece to lead their team, and combine a total of 26 points.  It's shocking to think their six-game winning streak was snapped last Sunday.

1. Los Angeles Kings

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Record:  11-3-0

    Diff:  +15

    Last 10 Games:  8-2-0

    The Kings have big expectations this season.  After being eliminated in the first round by the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs last season, they gained experience and stacked their defense in hopes of moving further this year.

    At the moment, the Kings are on a five-game winning streak and are the only team to be undefeated at home.

    The early injury of Drew Doughty was thought to be a massive concern for the team, but they were able to keep it together and gather 22 out of a possible 28 points so far. 

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