It was a crazy week with a lot of top teams facing off against one another. This week kicks off with two battles between Top 10 teams as Detroit plays at Pittsburgh and Washington is at Philadelphia.
1. (1) Vancouver (29-10-6): The Canucks lead the NHL in face-off percentage at 55.7 percent. Manny Malhorta leads the way, winning 62.9 percent of his draws (second in the league).
2. (3) Detroit (28-11-6): Nicklas Lidstrom, who was named an all-star captain on Tuesday, has 16 point (4-12-16) in his last 13 games.
3. (2) Philadelphia (29-11-5): Scott Hartnell has scored in six of his last seven games and has already surpassed last season’s goal total with 15.
4. (6) Dallas (28-13-5): The Stars are 17-3-5 in one-goal games this season and lead the NHL in one-goal game wins. Dallas finished the 2009-10 season with 18 one-goal game wins.
5. (4) Pittsburgh (28-14-4): Jordan Staal had five points and the game-winning goals as the Pens defeated Montreal and Boston. Linemates Tyler Kennedy (goal, assist) and Matt Cooke (two assists) were also instrumental in the wins.
6. (10) Boston (25-13-7): Tim Thomas notched his seventh shutout while Zdeno Chara had his first career hat trick in a 7-0 rout of Carolina Monday.
7. (5) Washington (25-14-7): The Capitals lead the NHL with 13 wins after allowing the game’s first goal. The only other team in double-digit wins is the Flyers (10).
8. (7) Tampa Bay (26-15-5): Vincent Lecavalier, who is on a four-game scoring streak, will play in his 900th career game Tuesday night.
9. (13) Phoenix (23-14-9): Taylor Pyatt has seven points in his last eight games and has already matched his career high in goals (12).
10. (9) Nashville (24-15-6): The Predators have given up just 23 power-play goals, tied for second fewest with Florida (Buffalo leads with 21).
11. (11) Montreal (26-17-3): Mike Cammalleri broke a 10-game goal scoring drought in a 5-4 overtime win over Calgary Sunday. Cammalleri (13-18-31) is a key to Montreal’s offense.
12. (8) New York Rangers (26-18-3): Wojtek Wolski netted the game-winning goal against Vancouver on Thursday, then added a goal and an assist in a 3-2 loss againt Philadelphia on Sunday.
13. (18) Colorado (23-16-6): Matt Duchene needs just two points (42-56-98) for 100 for his career. Duchene, who celebrated his 20th birthday Sunday, will become the youngest player in Avs’ history to reach 10 points (Joe Sakic reached it at 20 years, 163 days) and the first from the 2009 draft class.
14. (19) Chicago (25-18-4): Jonathan Toews became the 42nd player in a Blackhawks uniform to score 100 goals as he hit the milestone on Saturday.
15. (20) Carolina (22-17-6): Jussi Jokinen had four goals and three assists and earning a plus-4 rating in three games, earning NHL first-star honors for last week. Meanwhile, Eric Staal was named a captain for the ASG.
16. (16) Anaheim (25-19-4): Cam Fowler leads rookie defensemen in points (24) and assists (21) and leads all rookies in average ice time (22:22).
17. (14) St. Louis (21-17-6): The fans are enjoying the Blues’ resurgence, as St. Louis has sold out all 23 home games this season.
18. (17) Atlanta (23-18-7): Bryan Little and Chris Thorburn scored goals in the final two minutes to force OT against Florida Sunday. The Thrashers eventually win in a shootout on Alexander Burmistrov’s goal.
19. (21) San Jose (23-19-5): Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, and Joe Pavelski all had two points as the Sharks broke a six-game winless streak with a 4-2 win over St. Louis Saturday.
20. (12) Los Angeles (24-20-1): The Kings have been virtually unbeatable with a late lead, going 14-0 when leading through two periods.
21. (15) Minnesota (22-18-5): Mikko Koivu has 2-6-8 totals n his last eight games, and has 11 goals and 27 assists on the season, trailing Martin Havlat (11-28-39) by one point.
22. (24) Florida (21-20-3): The Panthers are 3-0-1 in their last four, and have killed 30 of 32 shorthanded situations in January. Florida has the fourth-ranked penalty kill (85.7 percent).
23. (25) Calgary (20-20-6): Mikka Kiprusoff as a 3.41 GAA and .862 save percentage in six starts this month. The Flames will not get to the playoffs without better play from Kiprusoff.
24. (22) Columbus (21-20-4): The Blue Jackets scored power play goals in three straight games for the first time since scoring power play goals in four straight games Dec. 11-16.
25. (23) Buffalo (19-20-5): With the win Thursday over Carolina, Lindy Ruff passed Pat Burns for 14th all-time with 502 career wins as a head coach. His 502 wins are the most all-time by any coach with one team.
26. (26) Toronto (18-21-5): The Maple Leafs have won five straight road games for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they won six straight.
27. (27) Ottawa (17-23-6): Sergei Gonchar set an individual season-high with a plus-5 rating in a 6-4 win over the Islanders.
28. (29) Edmonton (14-23-7): Devan Dubnyk has posted a 4-4-5 record with a 2.81 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
29. (28) New York Islanders (14-23-7): John Tavares netted a natural hat trick in a 5:46 span of the second period during a 5-3 win over the Sabres on Saturday.
30. (30) New Jersey (13-29-3): Vladimir Zharkhov scored his first NHL goal in a win over the Islanders on MLK Day.
(Steve Kendall is a freelance writer with 20 years experience covering hockey at all levels. In addition to thehockeywriters.com, he has written for The Boston Herald, The New England Hockey Journal, and The Worcester Telegram & Gazette.)