THW NHL Power Rankings: Week 9

After multiple weeks at number one, the Chicago Blackhawks have finally been dethroned as the top team in THW’s power rankings. A hot Pittsburgh Penguins’ team are on the war path with their sights set on Stanley Cup glory…in the mean time they will have to settle with the number one spot in this week’s power rankings. How did the rest of the NHL fare? Scroll below to see!

Check back every Monday for updated power rankings!

 

panters logo 100 1993 - present30. Florida Panthers (7-16-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 30

This Week’s Schedule: @Carolina, @NY Rangers, @New Jersey, @NY Islanders

Breakdown: The Florida Panthers remain the worst team in the NHL after losing 6 straight games. The Panthers have suffered from a recent decline in the team’s offense which has only been able to score 11 goals over their past 6 games. However, even though the team has been deprived of offense, forward Jack Skille has still maged to record a point in 5 of his last 6 games played.

 

predators logo 2011 - present29. Nashville Predators (11-12-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 27

This Week’s Schedule: @Columbus, Calgary, Columbus

Breakdown: The Nashville Predators continue to tumble down the Western Conference standings after losing 4 of their last 6 games. Nashville’s normally impressive defense has been horrid as of late, allowing 16 goals in their last 3 games alone. On offense, forward Martin Erat has been ice cold lately – scoring only 1 point over hist last 6 games played.

 

tampa bay logo 201128. Tampa Bay Lightning (12-15-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 29

This Week’s Schedule: Philadelphia, @Toronto, @Ottawa, @Winnipeg

Breakdown: Although they sit near the bottom of the Southeast Division standings, the Tampa Bay Lightning have still managed to win 3 of their last 6 games as they try to save their season. The traditionally questionable Lightning defense has seen some improvement in recent games – holding opponents to 2.17 goals per game over their past 6 games played. On offense, Martin St. Louis has scored 7 points (1G 6A) over his last 5 games.

 

Sabres Logo 1970 - 9627. Buffalo Sabres (10-15-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 28

This Week’s Schedule: @Montreal, Toronto, @Montreal

Breakdown: Although the Buffalo Sabres have shown signs of improvement, the team has still lost 5 of their last 6 games. The Sabres’ penalty killing unit has been terrible in recent games, allowing a power play goal to be scored in 6 of their last 7 games played. On defense, Tyler Myers continues to be a letdown this season, going scoreless in his past 9 games with a -2 rating.

 

avalanche logo 1995 - present26. Colorado Avalanche (10-13-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 24

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

Breakdown: Even with the return of Ryan O’Reilly to the lineup, the Colorado Avalanche have still lost 5 of their last 7 games. One of the main reasons for the Avalanche’s recent losses has been their inability to to keep the puck out of their own net – allowing 3.80 goals per game over their past 5 games. With the blame equally placed on his defense and his own play, goaltender Semyon Varlamov has allowed 10 goals over his past 3 starts with a sub .900 SV% in each contest.

 

Flyers Logo 1967 - present25. Philadelphia Flyers (13-15-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 21

This Week’s Schedule: @Tampa Bay, @Pittsburgh

Breakdown: The Philadelphia Flyers are running out of time to make a playoff push after losing 4 of their last 6 games. Even with players like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, the Flyers’ offense has been dragging lately – scoring only 7 goals over their last 4 games. After getting off to a hot start this season, forward Matt Read has only been able to score 1 point in his last 6 games played.

 

sharks logo small24. San Jose Sharks (12-9-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 22

This Week’s Schedule: @Anaheim, @Edmonton, @Minnesota

Breakdown: Just when it looked like the San Jose Sharks would return to their winning ways, the team hit another snag and have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Even though they have been unable to get victories recently, the Sharks’ powerplay has still been very impressive – converting 33% of their chances over their last 5 games played. Forward Joe Thornton has done his best to help ignite the Sharks’ offense while recording a point in 4 straight games.

 

Devils Logo 1999 - present23. New Jersey Devils (13-10-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 23

This Week’s Schedule: NY Rangers, @Carolina, Florida

Breakdown: Although they are currently in a position to make the playoffs, the New Jersey Devils have only won 3 of their last 7 games. In recent games the Devils’ defense has been fantastic – allowing only 2.29 goals per game over their past 7 contests. In relief of the injured Martin Brodeur, goaltender Johan Hedberg has been fantastic recently – winning 2 of his last 4 starts with a 1.75 GAA / .926 SV%.

 

capitals logo 2007 - present22. Washington Capitals (12-15-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 19

This Week’s Schedule: @Pittsburgh, @Winnipeg, @Winnipeg, @NY Rangers

Breakdown: The Washington Capitals remain longshots to make the playoffs after losing 4 of their last 6 games played. Recently, the Capitals have struggled to keep opponent’s scoring low – allowing 3.67 goals per game over their past 6 contests. On offense, forward Mathieu Perreault has been starting to blossom – scoring 5 points (3G 2A) in his last 4 games.

 

Oilers logo 2011 - present21. Edmonton Oilers (11-11-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 26

This Week’s Schedule: San Jose, St. Louis

Breakdown: The Edmonton Oilers have made their way back to .500 after winning 3 of their last 5 games. After underachieving earlier in the season, the Oilers’ offense is finally starting to live up to expectations – scoring 15 goals over their last 4 games. One of the driving forces behind the team’s recent offensive surge has been the play of forward Sam Gagner who has scored 6 points (4G 2A) over his last 4 games.

 

flames-logo20. Calgary Flames (11-11-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 25

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

Breakdown: The Calgary Flames are back to being a pleasant surprise this season, winning 4 of their last 7 games with their only losses coming at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. The Flames have struggled to put together a consistent effort on their penalty kill in recent games – killing off only 33% of opponent’s powerplays over their last 5 games. On offense, forward Curtis Glencross is starting to heat up – scoring 5 points (4G 1A) over his past 2 games.

 

canucks logo 2007 - present19. Vancouver Canucks (13-8-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 15

This Week’s Schedule: Minnesota, St. Louis, @Phoenix, @Los Angeles, @Colorado

Breakdown: The Vancouver Canucks ended their losing streak this week, but have still lost 4 of their last 6 games. The Vancouver Canucks biggest weakness recently has been their powerplay which has now failed to convert their last 30 attempts. Normally stalwart goaltender Roberto Luongo has begun to struggle in recent games – allowing 21 goals over his last 5 starts.

 

stars logo 1999 - present18. Dallas Stars (12-12-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

This Week’s Schedule: Calgary, @Colorado, @Los Angeles, Colorado

Breakdown: The Dallas Stars have lost 4 of their last 5 games against stiff competition from teams such as the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. In recent games, the Stars’ offense has been atrocious – scoring only 3 goals over their last 4 games played. Newly acquired forward Erik Cole has been a letdown since his arrival to the team while going scoreless over his last 5 games.

 

rangers logo 1978 - present17. New York Rangers (13-12-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

This Week’s Schedule: Carolina, @New Jersey, Florida, Washington

Breakdown: After a tumultuous week, the New York Rangers now find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture after losing 4 of their last 6 games. The Rangers’ offense has hit a wall recently, only scoring 9 goals over their last 5 games played. Forward Brad Richards continues to underachieve this season, scoring only 2 points in his last 6 games – now 5th in team scoring.

 

phoenix210016. Phoenix Coyotes (13-11-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

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

Breakdown: The Phoenix Coyotes have only won 2 of their last 6 games and now find themselves tied with the Sharks for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes’ offense has disappeared in many games recently, including being shutout in 3 of their last 6 games. Forward Antoine Vermette has been one of the more offensively challenged Coyotes lately, scoring only 1 point over his past 7 games played.

 

Leafs Logo115. Toronto Maple Leafs (15-12-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

This Week’s Schedule: Tampa Bay, @Buffalo, Boston

Breakdown: The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the midst of 5 game losing streak, although they were able to salvage 2 points in the standings via overtime losses. The main cause of the Leafs’ recent struggles has been their inability to stifle opponent’s offenses – allowing 22 goals over their last 5 games. The Leafs’ offense will be better suited to handle these high scoring affairs now that forward Joffrey Lupul has returned to the lineup.

 

senators logo 2007 - present14. Ottawa Senators (15-8-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 18

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

Breakdown: Even though the Senators have everything working against them, the team has still managed to get points in 4 of their last 6 games – including 2 victories. For a team that is missing key offensive pieces, the Senators’ power play unit has been amazing in recent games – converting 38% of their chances in their past 5 games. Forward Kyle Turris has been carrying the bulk of the offensive load, scoring 6 points (4G 2A) in his last 4 games.

 

hurricanes logo 1997 - present13. Carolina Hurricanes (15-11-1)

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

This Week’s Schedule: @NY Rangers, Florida, New Jersey

Breakdown: The Carolina Hurricanes have lost their lead in the Southeast Division after losing 3 of their last 6 games. In recent games, the Hurricanes’ powerplay has lost its’ mojo – converting only 6% of their chances over their past 5 games played. On offense, forward Alexander Semin is starting to catch fire while scoring 6 points (2G 4A) in his last 4 games.

 

Islanders logo 1972 -199512. New York Islanders (13-12-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

This Week’s Schedule: Ottawa, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Florida

Breakdown: The New York Islanders are starting to look like a team bound for the playoffs after winning 4 of their last 6 games. The Islanders’ powerplay has been terrific lately, converting 30% of their chances over their last 5 games played. In recent games, first year Islander Brad Boyes has been a force for the team offensively – scoring 6 points (3G 3A) over his last 4 games.

 

red wings logo 1948 - present11. Detroit Red Wings (14-10-5)

Last Week’s Ranking: 16

This Week’s Schedule: Minnesota, @Anaheim, @Anaheim

Breakdown: The Detroit Red Wings are starting to look like a complete team once again after winning 4 of their last 7 games. The Red Wings’ offense has been fueled by their special teams lately – scoring a powerplay goal in each of their last 4 games played. As usual, forward Pavel Datsyuk has been spectacular in recent games while scoring 6 points points (1G 5A) over his last 4 games.

 

jets logo 100 2011 - present10. Winnipeg Jets (15-12-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 17

This Week’s Schedule: Boston, Washington, Washington, Tampa Bay

Breakdown: The Winnipeg Jets have climbed to the top of the Southeast Division after winning 5 of their last 7 games. After having one of the worst penalty killing units to start the season, the Jets have killed off the last 31 of 32 opponent’s powerplay chances. On offense, team Captain Andrew Ladd has been sparking the team’s scoring attack – compiling 5 points (1G 4A) over his last 4 games played.

 

blues logo 1998 - present9. St. Louis Blues (16-10-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 20

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

Breakdown: After looking as if they may no longer be a power in the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues have rebounded and won 5 of their last 6 games. The Blues have benefited from the return of their consistent defense and goaltending which has allowed only 2.17 goals per game over their past 6 games played. In net, goaltender Jake Allen has been outstanding while winning his last 5 starts with a 1.80 GAA.

 

kings logo 2011 - present8. Los Angeles Kings (15-10-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

This Week’s Schedule: Phoenix, Phoenix, Dallas, Vancouver

Breakdown: The Los Angeles Kings remain in the playoff picture after winning 4 of their last 7 games. The Kings have benefited from a outstanding offensive performances recently – scoring 3.80 goals per game over their last 5 games played. Helping fuel that offense has been the play of Slava Voynov who has compiled a commendable 6 assists over his last 5 games.

 blue jackets logo 2007 - present7. Columbus Blue Jackets (11-12-6)

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

This Week’s Schedule: Nashville, Calgary, @Nashville

Breakdown: I hope you are sitting down when you read this…the Columbus Blue Jackets have not lost a game in regulation in their last 10 games. The Blue Jackets have earned their streak through outstanding defense and goaltending which has allowed opponents to score only 1.38 goals per game over their last 8 games. Blue Jackets’ goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been playing like an elite goaltender as of late – winning 6 of his last 8 starts, including 3 shutouts.

 

wild logo 2000 - present6. Minnesota Wild (15-10-2)

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

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

Breakdown: The Minnesota Wild have propelled themselves to the top of the Northwest Division by winning 5 of their last 7 games. The Wild have been thriving mostly due to their improved offense which has scored 3.57 goals per game over their last 7 contests. Defenseman Ryan Suter has moved into the team’s scoring lead by scoring 7 points (1G 6A) over his last 4 games played.

 

bruins_logo5. Boston Bruins (19-5-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

This Week’s Schedule: @Winnipeg, @Ottawa, @Toronto

Breakdown: After cruising for most of the season, the Boston Bruins have finally run into some trouble at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins whom they’ve lost to twice recently. The Bruins’ penalty kill remains one of the most elite in the entire NHL – killing off 24 of their last 24 chances. In net, goaltender Tuukka Rask has been fantastic – winning 3 of his last 4 starts while allowing only 5 goals.

 

Canadiens Logo 1956 - present4. Montreal Canadiens (19-5-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

This Week’s Schedule: Buffalo, @NY Islanders, Buffalo

Breakdown: The Montreal Canadiens continue to be one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference and are currently in the midst of a 5-game winning streak. The Canadiens’ have been blessed with a quality powerplay in recent games, converting 24% of their chances over their past 4 games played. Defenseman P.K. Subban has been producing greatly on offense lately – scoring 5 points (1G 4A) in his last 2 games alone.

 

ducks logo3. Anaheim Ducks (20-3-4)

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

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

Breakdown: The Anaheim Ducks remain the lords of the Pacific Division after getting a point in 10 straight games. The Ducks have been able to dominate opponents through impressive defense and goaltending which has held opponents to only 1.00 goals per game over their past 6 games. After struggling earlier in the season, goaltender Jonas Hiller has heated up – winning 4 of his last 5 games while allowing only 6 goals.

 

blackhawks logo 1964 - present2. Chicago Blackhawks (23-2-3)

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

This Week’s Schedule: @Colorado, @Anaheim

Breakdown: Even though their streak may be over, the Blackhawks remain one of the best teams in the NHL and have won 8 out of their last 10 games. After giving up 12 goals in back-to-back losses, the Blackhawks have only allowed 2 goals in the 2 games since. On offense, forward Patrick Kane has been magnificent lately – scoring 7 points (3G 4A) over his last 3 games played.

 

pengions logo 2000 - present1. Pittsburgh Penguins (22-8-0)

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

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

Breakdown:  Look out! The Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to hit their stride and the rest of the NHL is taking note. The Penguins have used their outstanding all-around game to string together 9 straight victories – including 2 over the formidable Boston Bruins. During their current streak, the Penguins have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 38-19. Just over the halfway point in the season and Penguins’ forward Sidney Crosby is the Hart Trophy frontrunner with a league leading 48 points thus far.

 

 

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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
Jameson Cooper

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