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THN Power Rankings - Jan. 21

Evgeni Malkin will have to step up in Sidney Crosby absence.

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Evgeni Malkin will have to step up in Sidney Crosby absence.

No Sid? No problem.

With superstar Sidney Crosby nursing an ankle injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins waltzed into Montreal and blanked the Canadiens 2-0 on the strength of goalie Dany Sabourin’s second shutout of the season.

Now we’re not suggesting life without Crosby will be all roses, but the Penguins proved they can get by, for a short time, anyway, without their leader.

This is a golden opportunity for others (Evgeni Malkin springs to mind) to prove they can carry a team.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
1
35-10-4
6-3-1
Three straight losses did not sit well with the NHL point leaders. A shootout win over Vancouver and convincing 6-3 thrashing of the Sharks with their dads in attendance proved the Wings are back. Guess they didn’t want to hear any lectures on the drive home.
2
Pittsburgh Penguins
2
27-17-3
8-1-1
Who would have dreamed Ty Conklin and Dany Sabourin would form one of the NHL’s most potent goaltending tandems?
3
Anaheim Ducks
8
27-18-6
8-1-1
An energized Todd Bertuzzi reeled off 12 points in six games before being blanked by Dallas.
4
Ottawa Senators
3
30-14-4
5-5-0
Injuries have hampered the Senators, but have also made their lack of secondary scoring very apparent.
5
Calgary Flames
5
24-17-8
6-3-1
Daymond Langkow hits the 20-goal plateau with a hat trick against the Kings.
6
Philadelphia Flyers
7
26-15-5
8-1-1
Scott Hartnell emerged as a red-hot scorer with 10 goals (including two hat tricks) in seven games.
7
New Jersey Devils
6
27-17-3
6-4-0
Slumping Patrik Elias went four games without a point after producing points in four straight games…and he played under 15 minutes Sunday against Toronto.
8
San Jose Sharks
4
25-15-7
5-3-2
The Sharks dropped four in a row and were outscored 19-11 along the way. After producing 10 points in five games, Joe Thornton was blanked (and was minus-3) in a 6-3 loss to the Red Wings.
9
Dallas Stars
11
28-18-5
5-4-1
Captain Brendan Morrow scored three goals and had four points as the Stars won four in a row.
10
Montreal Canadiens
10
24-15-8
6-2-2
Alex Kovalev got a lot of credit for Montreal’s emergence this season, but little known Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn are also proving themselves to be quality frontline players.
11
Vancouver Canucks
9
25-18-5
4-5-1
The Canucks fired 46 shots at L.A.’s Jason LaBarbera, but only managed three goals in a 6-3 defeat for their third loss in a row.
12
Minnesota Wild
12
26-18-3
5-4-1
Hard to get a good read on the Wild, they won three in a row and then dropped two straight and continue to allow more goals than they score – a dangerous trend.
13
Boston Bruins
17
24-18-5
6-3-1
With eight points in his last six games, Marc Savard finally got some props as an invitee to the NHL All-Star Game.
14
Phoenix Coyotes
13
24-21-2
6-3-1
The Coyotes outplayed and outshot Chicago, but ran into a hot goalie – Patrick Lalime, of all people – in dropping a 2-1 shootout loss.
15
Colorado Avalanche
20
26-18-4
5-3-2
As the injuries continued to pile up (Paul Stastny is the latest), the re-emergence of Jose Theodore as a competent goaltender is much more important.
16
Nashville Predators
15
23-20-4
6-2-2
The hard-working Predators have two regulation and two shootout losses in their last 10 games.
17
Washington Capitals
22
21-21-5
7-2-1
The Capitals have gone from being the worst team in the league to 15-7-3 under new coach Bruce Boudreau who is making the most of his first stab at coaching in the NHL.
18
Edmonton Oilers
25
22-23-5
6-3-1
Another emerging team, the Oilers, bounced back from a humiliating 7-2 defeat to Carolina to beat Atlanta 4-2 on the strength of Sam Gagner’s fourth goal of the season.
19
Columbus Blue Jackets
16
23-20-6
5-5-0
If you didn’t see Rick Nash’s amazing goal last week, do yourself a favor and check it out on YouTube. Gold Jerry! Gold!
20
New York Islanders
19
23-19-5
4-3-3
Win some, lose some. Oh well, at least they’re better than the Rangers.
21
Carolina Hurricanes
14
23-23-4
3-6-1
The Hurricanes snapped a dreadful four-game losing streak by pounding Edmonton 7-2 thanks to Eric Staal’s hat trick.
22
Chicago Blackhawks
26
23-21-4
4-5-1
The aforementioned Lalime has won four straight replacing the struggling Nikolai Khabibulin.
23
St. Louis Blues
18
22-17-6
4-3-3
The all-star break can’t come quick enough for the Blues as they’re riding a four-game losing streak.
24
New York Rangers
21
22-21-6
2-6-2
Back-to-back losses to their old rivals, the Bruins, pretty much summed up the way things are going for the vastly underachieving Rangers.
25
Atlanta Thrashers
23
23-24-3
4-4-2
Last season the Thrashers were buyers at the trade deadline; this year they may be sellers as they look to next season.
26
Los Angeles Kings
27
19-28-2
6-4-0
Very quietly the Kings have become one of the NHL’s most enjoyable teams to watch. After being drubbed 6-1 by the Flames, the Kings bounced back to beat Vancouver for their sixth win in 10 starts.
27
Toronto Maple Leafs
29
19-22-8
4-6-0
With GM John Ferguson’s job hanging by a thread, the Leafs won three in a row before losing 3-2 in an otherwise decent outing in New Jersey.
28
Tampa Bay Lightning
28
19-24-5
4-4-2
Johan Holmqvist recorded back-to-back shutouts for a team desperate for contributions from players not named Lecavalier or St. Louis.
29
Florida Panthers
24
21-24-4
3-6-1
Olli Jokinen can almost count the minutes until he is traded to a playoff team – the first of his career.
30
Buffalo Sabres
30
20-20-6
1-5-4
One win in 11 games. Ouch!

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 on Mondays. Changes in rankings reflect each team’s play from the previous seven days.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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