Where do teams stand in the NHL? (Jan 12th)
As we approach the mid-way point of the 2015-2016 NHL season the picture is becoming more and more clear – there are definite contenders and some serious pretenders. Some contenders were unforeseen (Washington and Florida) and nobody could have predicted the fall of some of the pretenders (Pittsburgh and Anaheim).
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
So where does your favorite team sit at the half-way point of the season? Let’s take a look in Dave B’ bi-weekly NHL Power Rankings.
1. Washington Capitals
(32-7-3) Two Weeks Ago: 1
Are absolutely running and hiding in the Eastern Conference and the NHL Overall standings for that matter. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and enter this week on the heels of a 7-1 beat-down of the Ottawa Senators Sunday – Ovy scored his 500th and 501st career goals and Braden Holtby continues to lead one of the league’s best defenses in the game. The Caps are legit up and down the lineup folks – get used to seeing them atop the Rankings!
2. Chicago Blackhawks
(27-13-4) Two Weeks Ago: 7
Don’t look now but the Chicago Blackhawks are surging! They enter the week on a seven game winning streak. Rookie Artemi Panarin has been a revelation to the roster – like they needed another top notch offensive talent!
3. Dallas Stars
(29-11-4) Two Weeks Ago: 2
Dallas has been just OK the last couple of weeks prompting Head Coach Lindy Ruff to even bench his Superstars. Having gone just 4-4-2 in their last 10 games overall Dallas slips in the Rankings. Could they have peaked too soon?
4. Los Angeles Kings
(26-12-3) Two Weeks Ago: 4
The Kings have gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games overall and now control the Pacific Division. The addition of Vinny Lecalavlier is curious indeed – one that makes LA a serious threat to win it all again.
5. Florida Panthers
(25-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 3
Florida has won 12 straight games – 12! So why do they slip two spots in the Rankings? It’s the belief that this team has to cool down sometime and will fall into the 10-12 range in the Rankings – right about where they belong. Roberto Luongo has been off-the-charts and the support he’s getting has been remarkable. Bravo Panthers – unfortunately I see you slipping sooner than later.
6. Detroit Red Wings
(22-13-7) Two Weeks Ago: 6
The Wings have won a season-high four straight games heading into the week – everything seems to be going well for this team. As long as they remain healthy there is no reason this team can’t be a contender this year! Thanks to backup goaltender Petr Mrazek who is 15-8-3 with a .930 save percentage Detroit looks strong!
7. St. Louis Blues
(24-14-7) Two Weeks Ago: 5
The Blues are struggling – just 4-4-3 in their last 10 games – they have blown two goal leads four times in the last two weeks – uncharacteristic for this team. St. Louis now sits third in the Central and needs more from its big names – Paul Stastny most notably!
8. Minnesota Wild
(22-12-8) Two Weeks Ago: 9
Have gone 5-3-2 in their last 10 games – just OK lately. But there are some alarming trends for this team – the special teams are poor and they are 1-7 in OT games. Minnesota is a nice team but looks like they are a piece away from being a serious threat.
9. New York Islanders
(22-15-5) Two Weeks Ago: 8
The Rangers are a disappointing 4-6-0 in their last 10 games and are being pursued mightily for the eighth spot in the East. The return of Jarolsav Halak from IR should help – some return from the inevitable trade of Travis Hamonic could also help.
10. New York Rangers
(22-14-5) Two Weeks Ago: 14
What has happened to the New York Rangers? They are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and are 6-11-3 in their last 20! The Rangers are a better team than they’ve been playing and rise in the Rankings only because the teams around them are faltering as well!
11. Montreal Canadiens
(23-17-3) Two Weeks Ago: 15
Speaking of teams faltering – the Habs just can’t get on track but get a bump in the Rankings thanks to some other teams around them struggling as well. Word last week is that Carey Price will be out until at least the All-Star Break – not a good sign. But I have faith that Montreal will rally and rediscover the form that had them #1 just two months ago!
12. Arizona Coyotes
(21-16-4) Two Weeks Ago: 22
The Coyotes are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and enter the week on a three game winning streak. Youth has definitely served this team well! How about the play of backup keeper Louis Domingue who is 6-2-2 with a 0.936 save percentage?
13. Boston Bruins (21-14-5) Two Weeks Ago: 12
14. Tampa Bay Lightning (21-17-4) Two Weeks Ago 10
15. New Jersey Devils (21-17-5) Two Weeks Ago: 17
16. Philadelphia Flyers (18-15-7) Two Weeks Ago: 16
17. Pittsburgh Penguins (20-16-5) Two Weeks Ago: 25
18. Nashville Predators (19-16-7) Two Weeks Ago: 19
19. Colorado Avalanche (21-19-3) Two Weeks Ago: 21
20. Ottawa Senators (20-17-6) Two Weeks Ago: 11
21. Anaheim Ducks (17-17-7) Two Weeks Ago: 29
22. Carolina Hurricanes (18-18-7) Two Weeks Ago: 18
23. Vancouver Canucks (16-16-10) Two Weeks Ago: 23
24. San Jose Sharks (19-18-2) Two Weeks Ago: 20
25. Winnipeg Jets (19-20-3) Two Weeks Ago: 26
26. Calgary Flames (19-19-2) Two Weeks Ago: 13
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (16-17-7) Two Weeks Ago: 24
28. Buffalo Sabres (16-22-4) Two Weeks Ago: 27
29. Edmonton Oilers (17-22-3) Two Weeks Ago: 28
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (15-24-4) Two Weeks Ago: 30
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