Where do teams stand in the NHL? (Dec 14th)
The NHL season continues to chug along – the better teams in the league continue to separate themselves as we get closer to the end of 2015. While the top 3 teams in the Power Rankings remain the same this week, there has been quite a shakeup below that – there are some teams that have seriously surged the last couple of weeks.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
So where does your favorite team sit after 10 weeks of the NHL Regular Season? Let’s take a look at Dave B’s bi-weekly NHL Power Rankings.
1. Washington Capitals (20-6-2) Two Weeks Ago: 1
The Caps hold onto top spot thanks to an 8-1-1 run over their last 10 games. They have been very good offensively and defensively but goaltender Braden Holtby continues to be the biggest surprise in the league – he has a 1.90 GAA so far. Barry Trotz has something special in DC indeed.
2. Dallas Stars (20-6-2) Two Weeks Ago: 2
The Stars made a serious push for the #1 spot this week but a shutout loss at home on Saturday to the Blues kept them out. Still, they are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games overall and they head into this week in top spot in the Overall Standings. Dallas is still the highest scoring team in the NHL – as dangerous as they come.
3. Montreal Canadiens (20-8-3) Two Weeks Ago: 3
I’m still not ready to bump the Habs out of the top 3 – they didn’t look great last week but still own the second best record in the NHL and the league’s second best offense (although they have gone a bit cold of late). They have weathered the Carey Price injury well – once he’s back Montreal will push for top spot again.
4. New York Islanders (18-8-5) Two Weeks Ago: 10
The Islanders are the hottest team in the NHL as we head into this week – 8-0-2 in their last 10 games overall and on a 3 game win streak. New York is good in all aspects of the game (goals for, goals against and on special teams) and should push the top dogs all season long.
5. Los Angeles Kings (19-8-2) Two Weeks Ago: 8
The Kings have gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and have reestablished themselves as one of the best teams in the NHL. After a horrendous start to the season they resemble the well rounded, uber-tough team that we all expected before the year started. Defense and goaltending has been getting it done for this team – to nobody’s surprise – the re-emergence of Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik has helped as well.
6. Chicago Blackhawks (17-10-4) Two Weeks Ago: 6
The Hawks blew the Canucks out of the rink Sunday and have some guy named Patrick Kane playing for them. Kane currently owns an impressive 26 game points streak. Some more offensive contribution from Jonathan Toews and Marion Hossa would be nice but as of now the Hawks are that elite team – knocking on the door of a top 5 spot in the Rankings.
7. Detroit Red Wings (16-8-6) Two Weeks Ago: 15
The Wings have gone 6-0-4 in their last 10 games and now sit in a tie for 7th spot in the overall standings. If they turned a couple of those OT losses into wins, the Wings would be a top 5 club. Detroit is overachieving just a bit right now but there is no doubt about the talent level on this club.
8. St. Louis Blues (17-10-4) Two Weeks Ago: 4
The Blues slide down the Rankings this week thanks to a 4-4-2 stretch. They did beat the Dallas Stars on Saturday which could be a catalyst for them climbing up the ladder again. St. Louis has been just average in most statistical categories this year except for the PK which has been very good. If Paul Stastny wakes up the Blues will be fine.
9. Minnesota Wild (15-7-6) Two Weeks Ago: 14
Have gone 5-3-2 in the last couple of weeks – their 66 goals against so far is near the top of the NHL. The issue is that their goal scoring has been average at best. But as long as Minnesota can keep the puck out of the back of their net they should remain a top 10 team.
10. New York Rangers (19-9-4) Two Weeks Ago: 5
Whew! The Rangers will be happy that their West Coast swing is over! They went 0-2-1 in three games out West against Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary – three teams that have been struggling mightily. You know that when Henrik Lundqvist gets pulled the team just isn’t right. Still, the Rangers have the talent to climb up the Rankings again – I expect that sooner than later!
11. Boston Bruins (16-9-3) Two Weeks Ago: 13
The Bruins have gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and sit 11th in the overall standings. A win against Montreal last week has them on the radar again – Tuukka Rask has worked himself out of his slump and the top dogs on the team have looked very good of late. Boston is knocking on the door of a top 10 spot – my guess is that they are there in two weeks!
12. New Jersey Devils (15-11-4) Two Weeks Ago: 17
The Devils are the second-lowest scoring team in the dirty dozen this week – they actually have a -1 goal differential on the year. A win against the uber-hot Wings on Friday was impressive indeed – Corey Schneider’s recent play is too – he has a 1.97 GAA on the year and looks like one of the top keepers in the game right now.
13. Nashville Predators (15-10-5) Two Weeks Ago: 11
14. Ottawa Senators (15-10-5) Two Weeks Ago: 9
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (15-10-3) Two Weeks Ago: 12
16. Tampa Bay Lightning (16-13-3) Two Weeks Ago 18
17. Winnipeg Jets (14-14-2) Two Weeks Ago: 20
18. Florida Panthers (14-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 19
19. Philadelphia Flyers (12-12-6) Two Weeks Ago: 25
20. Carolina Hurricanes (12-14-4) Two Weeks Ago: 26
21. Edmonton Oilers (13-15-2) Two Weeks Ago: 30
22. Arizona Coyotes (14-14-2) Two Weeks Ago: 16
23. Vancouver Canucks (11-12-8) Two Weeks Ago: 21
24. San Jose Sharks (14-14-1) Two Weeks Ago: 7
25. Calgary Flames (13-14-2) Two Weeks Ago: 29
26. Anaheim Ducks (11-13-5 Two Weeks Ago: 24
27. Buffalo Sabres (12-15-3) Two Weeks Ago: 22
28. Colorado Avalanche (14-16-1) Two Weeks Ago: 28
29. Toronto Maple Leafs (10-13-5) Two Weeks Ago: 27
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (11-17-3) Two Weeks Ago: 23
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