NHL Power Rankings, Nov. 14, 2010
by Steve Kendall
Ranking the NHL’s top teams as of Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010:
1. Los Angeles Kings (12-3-0): The Kings have won six straight and have given up the least amount of goals in the league (28). Jonathan Quick, amidst rumors he would
lose his starting job to Jonathan Bernier when the season started, is tied for the league lead with 10 wins and has posted a 1.52 GAA and a .944 save percentage.
2. Detroit (11-3-1): The Red Wings have won three straight and are now getting production from their top three lines. Todd Bertuzzi (3-11-14) seems reborn this season, while Nicklas Lidstrom (2-15-17) keeps rolling along at age 40.
3. Washington (12-4-1): Alex Ovechkin 23 points, 13 in last 7 games), Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom lead the league’s most explosive offense (60 goals in 17 games), but the Capitals need more consistent goaltending from whoever is in goal. Right now, rookie Braden Holtby (2-0-1, 2.22 GAA) has been solid in his three starts.
4. Montreal (11-5-1): The Canadiens have won three in a row, including an impressive 3-1 road win over Boston on Thursday. Carey Price has been immense, earning 10 wins and posting a 2.18 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Tomas Plekanec (8 points in last 4 games) has been playing well.
5. Vancouver (10-4-2): The Canucks are still unbeaten at home (6-0-1) and have won two straight on the road, scoring 11 goals in wins over Ottawa and Toronto. The Sedins (each with 20 points) and Ryan Kessler (9 goals) are playing well. The Canucks will need better overall play from Roberto Luongo, however.
6. Philadelphia (11-4-2): The Flyers had all kinds of questions in goal coming into the season, but may have found a gem in Sergei Bobrovsky. The 22-year-old is tied for the league lead with 10 wins and is in the top 10 in both save percentage (.932) and goals against average (2.08). Another 22-year-old, Claude Giroux, is also enjoying a great season, leading the high-scoring Flyers with 18 points.
7. Anaheim (10-7-1): The Ducks struggled early, but have since won six straight games heading into a Sunday night showdown at Chicago. Anaheim, just 3-6 on the road, has two additional road games this week: at Dallas Tuesday and at Minnesota Wednesday.
8. St. Louis (9-3-3): After a 12-game unbeaten streak to start the season, the Blues have lost three straight. Jaroslav Halak (1.79 GAA, .932 save percentage) started the year white hot, but has been ice cold in his last two starts (0-1-1, 4.06 GAA, .854 save percentage). T.J. Oshie (18 points) is making his name known throughout the league with his play so far.
9. Boston (8-5-1): The Bruins are struggling (two straight losses) since top-line center David Krejci went down with a concussion last week. However, Krejci was back at practice today, and the return of Marc Savard is now on the horizon. Tim Thomas has cooled a bit, so maybe the B’s can get Tuukka Rask in a few more games. More surprisingly, the Bruins are just 2-3-1 at Boston Garden and 6-1 on the road.
10. Phoenix (7-5-5): Phoenix has overcome some shaky defensive play and goaltending to win its last three. The offense may have finally found itself, as Ray Whitney netted a hat trick on Saturday, giving him eight on the season and putting in a tie for the team lead in points with Wojtek Wolski.
11. San Jose (8-5-2): The Sharks are currently in fourth in the tough Pacific Division, but have won two straight and are showing signs of playing better hockey. Antero Nittymaki (6-1-2, 1.80 GAA, .929 save percentage) has emerged as the team’s top goalie.
12. Pittsburgh (9-8-1): Have won two straight since imploding against Boston, and Marc-Andre Fleury has looked better.
13. Ottawa (9-7-1): Have won five of six and bounced back after a 6-2 home loss to Vancouver with a 2-0 road win at Boston.
14. Columbus (9-6): The Blue Jackets have been an enigma, looking good one night and awful the next.
15. Tampa Bay (8-6-2): Steven Stamkos continues to impress, and Dan Ellis (3-1-1, 1.66 GAA in last five games) has emerged as a top goalie.
16. New York Rangers (8-7-1): Maybe an eight-goal outburst against Edmonton on Sunday will shake the Rangers into consistency.
17. Colorado (8-7-1): The Avs have been average all season, and will need stronger play in goal from either Peter Budaj or Craig Anderson.
18. Dallas (8-7): The Stars have lost three straight after winning three straight, which followed three losses.
19. Nashville (7-5-2): The Predators have won two straight, but have struggled offensively with just 38 goals.
20. Atlanta (7-7-3): The Thrashers have lost four of five and are struggling keeping the puck out of the net (17 GA in last four losses)
21. Minnesota (7-6-2): Another team that struggles to score, the Wild have just 14 goals in their last eight games.
22. Florida (7-8): Unlike most teams in this range, the Panthers have more goals for than goals against. Just need more consistency from their offense.
23. Chicago (8-9): The Black Hawks have dropped five of their last six.
24. Carolina (8-9): Scoring a ton (51 GF), but Cam Ward (3.12 GAA, .909 save percentage) has struggled.
25. Calgary (7-9): I expected more from this team. Could this be Jarome Igilna’s final days in Flames’ uniform?
26. Buffalo (6-9-3): The Sabres have won three of four since rumors of Lindy Ruff’s firing started being floated.
27. New Jersey (5-10-2): The Devils are a minus-23 in goal differential, and Martin Brodeur is surrendering a half-a-goal a game more than his career average.
28. Edmonton (4-8-3): Losers of four straight, the Oilers cannot seem to keep the puck out of the net (58 GA, 25 in last four losses)
29. Toronto (5-8-3): The Leafs have lost eight straight and have Boston fans checking the Central Scouting Bureau’s rankings for the top five players in next year’s draft.
30. New York Islanders (4-10-1): Ten straight losses – who goes first: Garth Snow or Scott Gordon?