THW NHL Power Rankings: Week 7

Although the Chicago Blackhawks remain the best team in the NHL up till this point, there has been some movement in the top 5 for this week’s power rankings. While the Ducks, Bruins and Canadiens are all formidable teams, none of them have firmly established their place as the 2nd best team in the league. Expect a lot of movement in the coming weeks as we get deeper into the season and games become more important.

*Remember that in a shortened season many teams are playing 4-5 games a week giving way to lots of movement in each week’s rankings.

*Check back every Monday for updated Power Rankings!

 

Panthers Logo30. Florida Panthers (6-11-5)

Last Week’s Ranking: 28

This Week’s Schedule: Winnipeg, @Washington, Winnipeg, Montreal

Breakdown: Buried under a mountain of injuries and uninspired play, the Florida Panthers have lost 5 of their last 6 games. The Panthers’ weakest link has been their atrocious defense and unreliable goaltending which has led to the Cats giving up 4.00 goals per game over their last 6 contests. One bright spot for the Panthers’ has been the play of their rookies, most notably Drew Shore who led all NHL rookies in scoring for the month of February.

 

blue jackets logo 2007 - present29. Columbus Blue Jackets (6-12-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 30

This Week’s Schedule: Edmonton, Vancouver, Detroit, @Detroit

Breakdown: Even though the Blue Jackets have only won 2 of their last 6 games, they have still been far from a pushover and even gave the Chicago Blackhawks multiple scares this past week. The Blue Jackets have benefited from an increased effort from their defense and goaltending which has only allowed 2.50 goals against over their past 6 games played. On offense, veteran forward Vinny Prospal has been hot, earning a point in 3 straight games.

 

 tampa bay logo 201128. Tampa Bay Lightning (9-11-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 22

This Week’s Schedule: @Pittsburgh, @New jersey, Winnipeg, Montreal

Breakdown: The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to tumble down the Southeast Division standings as they have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Over their past 4 games, the normally powerful Lightning offense has stalled, scoring only 7 goals or 1.75 goals per game. Even during their recent struggles, forward Steven Stamkos has shined through as a beacon of hope for the future. Stamkos has points in his last 9 games and an astounding 32 totals points for the season.

 

sharks logo small27. San Jose Sharks (10-6-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 27

This Week’s Schedule: @Vancouver, @Calgary, St. Louis, @Colorado

Breakdown: After losing 7 straight games, the San Jose Sharks finally found their way back into the win column – winning 3 of their last 6 games. Over that 6 game span the Sharks relied heavily on their defense and goaltender, allowing opponents to score only 11 goals or 1.83 goals per game. The MVP for the Sharks over their past several games has been goaltender Antti Niemi. In his past 5 starts, Niemi has allowed only 9 goals while stopping 133 of 142 shots faced.

 

avalanche logo 1995 - present26. Colorado Avalanche (8-8-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 26

This Week’s Schedule: @Detroit, @Chicago, Chicago, San Jose

Breakdown: Good news for the Avalanche this week as the Ryan O’Reilly soap opera finally ended, but the warm feelings won’t last long as the team has lost 4 of their last 5 games. The main reason for the Avalanche’s recent struggles has been their hapless penalty kill which has only succeeded 71% of the time over their last 5 games. After returning from a concussion, forward Gabriel Landeskog is slowly getting back to form, scoring 4 points (1G 4A) over his last 5 games.

 

 

Oilers logo 2011 - present25. Edmonton Oilers (8-9-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 25

This Week’s Schedule: @Columbus, @Detroit, @Nashville, @Chicago

Breakdown: The Edmonton Oilers have lost 4 of their last 6 games as their offense has still yet to find its’ rhythm. One of the main reason’s for the Oilers’ offensive ineptitude has been their pedestrian power play that has only been able to convert 14% of the time over their last 6 games played. On offense, forward Jordan Eberle has done his best to spark the Oilers’ scoring attack, compiling 4 points (0G 4A) over his past 3 games.

Ales Hemsky (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Ales Hemsky (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Sabres Logo 1970 - 9624. Buffalo Sabres (9-12-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 29

This Week’s Ranking: @Carolina, @New Jersey, @Philadelphia

Breakdown: It seems the Buffalo Sabres have finally settled down since the firing of head coach Lindy Ruff, winning 3 of their last 4 games. Even though they have been able to secure a few victories, the Sabres power play has still only converted 5% of their opportunities over their past 6 games played. The main reason for the Sabres’ recent success has been the play of goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller has won 3 of his last 4 starts while allowing only 9 goals.

 

Devils Logo 1999 - present23. New Jersey Devils (10-6-5)

Last Week’s Ranking: 15

This Week’s Schedule: @Toronto, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, @Carolina, Winnipeg

Breakdown: The New Jersey Devils have lost 6 of their last 7 games as their offense has struggled to score in almost every contest. Over their last 7 games the Devils have only managed to score 12 goals, or 1.71 goals per game. Although he has been playing receiving gobs of ice time in recent games, forward Ilya Kovalchuk has yet to convert that time into points, scoring only 3 (2G 1A) points over his last 6 games.

 

predators logo 2011 - present22. Nashville Predators (9-8-5)

Last Week’s Ranking: 19

This Week’s Schedule: @Los Angeles, Edmonton, Minnesota

Breakdown: The Nashville Predators are starting to lose ground in the standings as they have only been able to win 2 of their last 6 games. For the most part, the Predators’ offense has been abysmal over their last 5 games, scoring only 7 goals and being shutout twice. On offense, forward Paul Gaustad remains a huge disappointment for the Predators this season, scoring only 3 points in 15 games thus far.

 

Islanders logo 1972 -199521. New York Islanders (9-11-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 24

This Week’s Schedule: Montreal, NY Rangers, Washington, @Pittsburgh

Breakdown: The New York Islanders continue to cling onto playoff hopes as they have been able to steadily win 3 of their last 6 games. Over their last 5 games the once mighty Islanders’ power play has become very tame – converting on only 7% of their opportunities. On offense, forwards John Tavares and Matt Moulson continue to be lethal – combing for 49 points so far this season.

 

 

capitals logo 2007 - present20. Washington Capitals (8-11-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 23

This Week’s Schedule: Boston, Florida, @NY Islanders, NY Rangers

Breakdown: The Washington Capitals have won 3 of their last 5 games including impressive wins over the Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils. The Capitals have absolutely shut down opponent’s offenses recently, allowing only 4 goals against in their last 5 games – including 2 shutouts. After a terrible start to the season, goaltender Braden Holtby has been fantastic – allowing only 5 goals in his past 4 starts while stopping 103 of 108 shots faced.

 

blues logo 1998 - present19. St. Louis Blues (11-8-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 16

This Week’s Schedule: @Los Angeles, @Phoenix, @San Jose, @Anaheim

Breakdown: Although they may be very talented, the St. Louis Blues have still lost 4 of their last 6 games. Over those 6 games the Blues’ offense has been laughable, scoring only 8 goals or 1.33 goals per game. Even though their team offense has been cringeworthy, forward David Backes has been some what reliable, scoring 4 points (1G 3A) over his past 4 games played.

red wings logo 1948 - present18. Detroit Red Wings (10-8-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

This Week’s Schedule: Colorado, Edmonton, @Columbus, Columbus

Breakdown: The Detroit Wings have won 3 of their last 5 games after enduring a brutal 5 game losing streak. The Detroit Red Wings’ have done an excellent job keeping the puck out of their own net over their last 5 games, allowing opponents to score only 1.60 goals per game. Goaltender Jimmy Howard has been very reliable over his past 4 starts, allowing only 5 goals and recording 1 shutout.

 

flames-logo17. Calgary Flames (8-8-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 17

This Week’s Schedule: San Jose, @Anaheim, @Los Angeles

Breakdown: The Calgary Flames continue to surprise fans around the NHL as they have been able to win 3 of their last 5 games. Over their last 5 games the Flames’ offense has been stellar, scoring 3.40 goals per game on average. One of the main things fueling the Flames’ offensive surge has been the play of forward Mike Cammalleri who has scored 5 points (4G 1A) over his last 4 games.

 

rangers logo 1978 - present16. New York Rangers (10-8-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

This Week’s Schedule: Philadelphia, @NY Islanders, Ottawa, @Washington

Breakdown: The New York Rangers have still yet to live up to their lofty expectations as they have lost 4 of their last 6 games with their only 2 wins coming against the meager Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres. Luckily for Rangers’ fans it seems as if the team may finally be starting to find some sort of offensive groove, scoring 10 goals over their last 3 games. After a 4 game scoreless streak, forward Marian Gaborik is starting to find his groove again, total 3 points (0G 3A) over his last 3 games played.

 

senators logo 2007 - present15. Ottawa Senators (12-7-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

This Week’s Schedule: @Toronto, @NY Rangers

Breakdown: After performing admirably without stars Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators are starting to slide, losing 3 of their last 6 games. As expected, the Senators’ offense has lacked bite, scoring only 6 goals over their past 4 games or 1.50 goals per game. Even though Craig Anderson has been out with an injury, backup Rob Lehner has looked good for the Sens in net, compiling a 1.86 GAA / .951 SV% in 2 starts.

Jakob Silfverberg

Jakob Silfverberg (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Flyers Logo 1967 - present14. Philadelphia Flyers (11-11-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 18

This Week’s Schedule: @NY Rangers, Pittsburgh, @Boston, Buffalo

Breakdown: The Philadelphia Flyers were finally able to get their record back to .500 by winning 4 of their last 6 games. The Flyers have relied heavily on their penalty kill over their last 5 games and it has not disappointed – killing off 17 of 18 (94%) of opponent’s power plays. Team Captain Claude Giroux has begun to heat up offensively, totaling 9 points (2G 7A) over his last 6 games played.

 

jets logo 100 2011 - present13. Winnipeg Jets (10-10-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 21

This Week’s Schedule: @Florida, @Tampa Bay, @Florida, @New Jersey

Breakdown: The Winnipeg Jets remain a threat to the Southeast Division title as they have won 5 of their last 7 games. Amazingly, the Jets have been able to win with their power play converting at only 5% over their past 7 games. Captain Andrew Ladd has been reliable for the Jets on offense as of late, scoring 7 points (4G 3A) over his last 6 games.

 

Leafs Logo112. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-9-0)

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

This Week’s Schedule: New Jersey, Ottawa, @Boston, Pittsburgh

Breakdown: After a great start to their season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have hit a rough patch of mediocrity – winning only 3 of their last 6 games.  The Maple Leafs’ offense has been running steadily recently, scoring 18 goals over their past 6 games, or 3.00 goals per game. Speaking of offense, forward Nazem Kadri has been spectacular for the Leafs as of late, scoring 7 points (3G 4A) over his last 4 games played.

 

Dallas Stars Logo11. Dallas Stars (11-9-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

This Week’s Schedule: @Los Angeles, @Phoenix

Breakdown: The Dallas Stars have been able to win 3 of their last 5 games, including an impressive 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. In recent games, the key to the Dallas Stars’ offense has been their power play which has scored 26% of the time over their past 5 games. Forward Loui Eriksson has been terrific recently, scoring 5 points (3G 2A) over his past 4 games played.

 

wild logo 2000 - present10. Minnesota Wild (11-8-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 20

This Week’s Schedule: @Chicago, @Nashville, Vancouver

Breakdown: The Minnesota Wild are improving by leads and bounds as they have been able to win 4 of their last 6 games. The Wild have been able to keep opponents off of the scoreboard through their outstanding power play which has killed opponent’s power plays 94% of the time over their last 7 games played. In net, Niklas Backstrom has been fantastic as of late, winning 3 of his last 4 starts while allowing only 8 goals in that time.

vancouver-canucks-logo9. Vancouver Canucks (11-6-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

This Week’s Schedule: San Jose, @Columbus, @Minnesota

Breakdown: After looking like a top 5 time for the past few weeks, the Vancouver Canucks have regressed a bit, losing 3 of their last 6 games. Over their past 4 games the once mighty Vancouver Canucks’ goaltending has looked mortal, allowing 4.50 goals per game on average. On offense, Henrik Sedin has been the hottest of the Sedin twin as of late, scoring 6 points (1G 5A) in his last 4 games.

hurricanes logo 1997 - present8. Carolina Hurricanes (12-8-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

This Week’s Schedule: Buffalo, Montreal, New Jersey

Breakdown: The Carolina Hurricanes are once again leading the Southeast Division after winning 4 of their last 5 games including 2 against the hapless Florida Panthers. The Hurricanes have been forced to rely on even strength goals as their power play has only been converting at 5% over their last 7 games played. On offense, forward Alexander Semin has been on fire as of late, scoring 6 points (1G 5A) over his last 3 games.

 

penguinslogo7. Pittsburgh Penguins (14-8-0)

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

This Week’s Schedule: Tampa Bay, @Philadelphia, @Toronto, NY Islanders

Breakdown: Even though their offense has been clicking, the Pittsburgh Penguins have still lost 3 of their last 6 games. Although the Penguins’ offense has scored an average of 4.17 goals per game over their last 6 games, their unpredictable defense and goaltending has come back to bite them – allowing opponents to score 4.33 goals per game during that same span. The main reason for the Penguins’ recent offensive success has been the play of superstar Sidney Crosby who has scored 9 points (3G 6A) over his past 4 games played.

Pittsburgh Penguin SIDNEY CROSBY and Carolina Hurricane RILEY NASH - Photo by Andy Martin Jr

Pittsburgh Penguin SIDNEY CROSBY and Carolina Hurricane RILEY NASH – Photo by Andy Martin Jr

phoenix21006. Phoenix Coyotes (10-8-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

This Week’s Schedule: Anaheim, @Anaheim, St. Louis, Dallas

Breakdown: The Phoenix Coyotes have won 4 of their last 7 games, including impressive wins over both the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks. Although the Coyotes have been able to win some games, their defense and goaltending have looked very suspect lately – allowing 15 goals over their past 4 games, or 3.75 goals per game. On offense, forward Mikkel Boedker has been fueling the Coyotes’ attack, scoring 6 poins (1G 5A) over his last 5 games played.

 

kings logo 2011 - present5. Los Angeles Kings (10-7-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

This Week’s Schedule: Nashville, St. Louis, Dallas, Calgary

Breakdown: Even though they were ousted by the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings have still managed to win 5 of their last 6 games as they continue to climb the standings. The Kings’ defense an goaltending has been outstanding over their last 6 games, allowing opponents to score a total of 11 goals or 1.83 goals per game. Backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier has been fantastic recently, winning 4 straight starts while allowing only 4 goals and stopping 91 of 95 shots faced.

 

ducks logo4. Anaheim Ducks (15-3-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

This Week’s Schedule: @Phoenix, Phoenix, Calgary, St. Louis

Breakdown: Although they suffered two recent losses at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, the Anaheim Ducks still remain one of the best teams in the NHL as they have won 6 of their last 8 games. The Ducks’ power play has been absolutely lethal over their past 6 games – scoring 50% when up a man. On offense, forward Corey Perry has been lighting up score sheets recently, compiling 8 points (2G 6A) over his last 5 games played.

 

Canadiens Logo 1956 - present3. Montreal Canadiens (14-4-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

This Week’s Schedule: @NY Islanders, @Carolina, @Tampa Bay, @Florida

Breakdown: With a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens have taken over first place in the Eastern Conference and have won 4 of their last 7 games played. Amazingly, the Canadiens have also not lost in regulation in their last 11 games played. The Canadiens’ offense has been explosive as of late, scoring 3.80 goals per game over their last 5 contests. On offense, forward Max Pacioretty has been fueling the Canadiens’ offense, scoring 7 points (4G 3A) over his last 4 games.

 

bruins_logo2. Boston Bruins (14-3-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

This Week’s Schedule: @Washington, Toronto, Philadelphia

Breakdown: The Boston Bruins have won 6 of their last 7 games and continue to be the most consistent team in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins’ defense has been stifling opponent’s offenses as of late, holding opposing teams to only 1.83 goals per game over their last 6 contests. In net, goaltender Tuukka Rask has been playing out of his mind, winning 4 of his last 5 starts with 1.80 GAA / .942 SV%.

 

blackhawks logo 1964 - present1. Chicago Blackhawks (19-0-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

This Week’s Schedule: Minnesota, Colorado, @Colorado, Edmtonton

Breakdown: Between celebrating victories and sipping champagne I’d be surprised if Blackhawks’ fans even have time to check power rankings anymore, but I supposed I’ll give them a breakdown anyway. Even though they suffered a few scares, the Chicago Blackhawks remain undefeated in regulation and are currently on a 9 game winning streak.The Blackhawks’ penalty killing unit continues to do an amazing job keeping opponents from converting power plays, killing them off 95% of the time over their past 6 games. On offense, forward Patrick Kane has been playing out of his mind and currently has 26 points (11G 15A) on the season.

 

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Jameson Cooper

Jameson Cooper

An English major with a passion for pucks, Jameson has been a credentialed media member covering the Florida Panthers for Panther Parkway since the 2012-2013 season. Although his focus rests mainly with Panther Parkway, Jameson still contributes occasionally to the Sunbelt Hockey Journal. Through player interviews and discussions it's his goal to help bring players closer to their fans through interesting stories and personal pieces. With a unique brand of humor and insight, Jameson looks to provide hockey fans with articles that not only entertain, but also educate.
Jameson Cooper
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