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THN Power Rankings - Jan. 29

With Teemu Selane back in the flock, the Ducks are challenging Detroit for top spot.

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With Teemu Selane back in the flock, the Ducks are challenging Detroit for top spot.

OK, break time is over. Time to get down to business. For some teams, say the Toronto Maple Leafs, this means trying to clear the deck of big contracts to make room for prospects. Good luck Cliff Fletcher.

For others, like the Detroit Red Wings, defending champion Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators, it means gearing up for a long playoff run. With the NHL trade deadline only a few weeks ahead, it will be interesting to see which teams identify themselves as buyers and which will be sellers.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

 

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
1
37-10-4
7-2-1
For a while it looked like the Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk show, but don’t discount the contributions of Dan Cleary who, with 19 goals, is headed for a single-season high.
2
Anaheim Ducks
3
27-20-6
6-3-1
So Teemu Selanne is back. Hardly a shock. Who the heck quits after scoring 48 goals and winning the Cup?
3
Pittsburgh Penguins
2
27-18-4
6-2-2
Doing just fine without Sid The Kid, thank you very much. It helps, of course, when Evgeni Malkin chips in four goals and six points in three games.
4
Ottawa Senators
4
31-15-4
5-5-0
Time to decide, once and for all, if troubled goalie Ray Emery is worth the headache. And if Martin Gerber is the man to carry the Senators through the long grind of the playoffs. Oh, and by the way, captain Daniel Alfredsson had a seven-point game just prior to the break.
5
Philadelphia Flyers
6
27-16-5
8-1-1
High-priced free agent Daniel Briere hit the 20-goal mark, but his minus-13 has to be of some concern to the Flyers.
6
Calgary Flames
5
25-17-8
6-3-1
Winger Alex Tanguay, whose name is often mentioned in trade talk, has no goals in his last six games.
7
New Jersey Devils
7
28-18-3
6-4-0
Back-to-back two-goal games for Patrik Elias has some in Jersey believing he can salvage what has otherwise been a very disappointing season.
8
San Jose Sharks
8
27-15-7
5-3-2
Jonathan Cheechoo appears to be rounding into form and not a second too early. The Sharks responded to a 6-3 spanking by Detroit by beating Chicago and St. Louis.
9
Montreal Canadiens
10
26-15-8
7-2-1
Mike Komisarek has emerged as a bona fide frontline defenseman on a team that derives success in keeping the puck out of its net.
10
Dallas Stars
9
28-20-5
5-4-1
A two-game losing skid was not exactly how the Stars hoped to enter the all-star break.
11
Minnesota Wild
12
28-19-3
5-4-1
The Wild carried a 40-minute lead to victory for the 20th time this season (20-0-0), beating Colorado 3-2.
12
Vancouver Canucks
11
26-19-5
4-5-1
Roberto Luongo took a well-earned rest at the all-star break and now will have to contend with carrying a team still in search of secondary scoring as far as he can.
13
Boston Bruins
13
25-19-5
6-3-1
Everything that could go wrong did in an 8-2 shellacking by Montreal, but the Bruins responded nicely by beating the Islanders 4-1 in their next game.
14
Phoenix Coyotes
14
26-21-2
6-3-1
Radim Vrbata returned from a groin injury with three goals and an assist in a 4-3 overtime victory over Nashville.
15
Nashville Predators
16
25-20-5
5-2-3
Radek Bonk, who got off to a quick start for the Predators, has not scored in 15 games and has just one goal in his last 23. Welcome back to Earth.
16
Washington Capitals
17
23-22-5
7-3-0
After a slow start, rookie Nicklas Backstrom has put up nine points (all assists) in his last four games for the improving Capitals.
17
Colorado Avalanche
15
26-20-4
5-4-1
Two straight losses have the Avalanche clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Goalie Jose Theodore continues to sparkle with Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny all out of the lineup.
18
Edmonton Oilers
18
23-24-5
6-3-1
It may be too late for a serious charge at a playoff spot, but the Oilers are serving notice they will be a team to contend with in the very near future.
19
Columbus Blue Jackets
19
25-20-6
6-4-0
With all due respect to Eric Staal, can anybody explain how Rick Nash didn’t win the car at the All-Star Game? Just wondering.
20
New York Islanders
20
24-20-6
4-4-2
Three losses in four games have the Islanders barely holding onto the final playoff spot in the East. Not only that, there has to be some concern about goalie Rick DiPietro’s health. He pulled out of the skills competition at the All-Star Game.
21
Carolina Hurricanes
21
24-24-4
4-6-0
As if losing isn’t bad enough, the Hurricanes surrendered three shorthanded goals to the Islanders in a 6-3 loss Jan. 22.
22
New York Rangers
24
24-21-6
4-4-2
Jaromir Jagr had two three-point efforts in four games for the Rangers.
23
Atlanta Thrashers
25
23-25-4
3-4-3
Coach-GM Don Waddell told thehockeynews.com his team would be a buyer at the trade deadline. The question is, will he give up impending UFA Marian Hossa in the process?
24
Chicago Blackhawks
22
23-23-4
4-5-1
A pair of one-goal losses before the break have the young Blackhawks scrambling to keep their heads above water.
25
St. Louis Blues
23
22-19-7
3-5-2
What was turning out to be a storybook season took a sudden turn for the worse when the Blues dropped seven in a row.
26
Los Angeles Kings
26
20-29-2
5-5-0
They still sit in last place in the league, but the Kings continue to show improvement. Don’t be surprised if they unload a few veterans at the deadline.
27
Tampa Bay Lightning
28
20-25-5
5-4-1
Typical of the Lightning’s inconsistency, Tampa Bay shut out Ottawa in Canada’s capital and two games later got beat at home by the Senators.
28
Toronto Maple Leafs
27
20-23-8
4-6-0
Let the yard sale begin. Toronto dumped GM John Ferguson and replaced him, temporarily at least, with 72-year-old Cliff Fletcher.
29
Florida Panthers
29
22-24-5
3-5-2
Can you imagine this team without goalie Tomas Vokoun? Yikes!
30
Buffalo Sabres
30
21-21-6
2-5-3
Defenseman Brian Campbell called a halt to contract negotiations, which means the Sabres will likely trade the impending UFA.

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

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