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Power Rankings - Feb. 18

The Dallas Stars have only one loss in their past 10 games. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The Dallas Stars have only one loss in their past 10 games. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It’s almost here: trade deadline day.

We will see over the next few days which teams will identify themselves as buyers, with an eye toward this year’s playoffs, and which will be sellers, hoping to improve themselves for next year and beyond.

In the meantime, here is this week’s THN Power Rankings:

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
1
42-15-5
4-5-1
Let’s call it the February blahs, but the Red Wings looked decidedly regular in losing six in a row before winning big against Colorado. The victory came with a big price, though. Superstar defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is out, with what the team is calling an injured knee.
2
Dallas Stars
2
37-21-5
9-1-0
The streaking Stars scored a huge 1-0 win over the Red Wings; a massive confidence booster should the two teams hook up in the Western Conference playoffs.
3
New Jersey Devils
10
34-21-5
6-2-2
Guess who’s leading all NHL goalies in wins? Ageless Martin Brodeur had 32 wins through Monday night, the 12th consecutive season he has recorded 30-plus wins.
4
Ottawa Senators
3
34-20-5
4-5-1
This slide the Sens are going through is the real deal. Despite adding veterans Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore, Ottawa has lost three in a row and Montreal has pulled even in the standings.
5
Minnesota Wild
4
34-21-4
7-2-1
The Wild’s last four wins all came in overtime or the shootout. Marian Gaborik, who has finally achieved star status, scored the winner against Nashville Sunday with 4.4 seconds remaining in overtime.
6
Anaheim Ducks
6
33-23-7
6-3-1
The Ducks are clearly a better team with Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer back, but it has to be concerning they have allowed more goals than they have scored. Don’t be surprised if GM Brian Burke swings a deal for more offense.
7
Pittsburgh Penguins
5
33-21-5
6-3-1
A year ago the Penguins couldn’t give away Ryan Malone. Now he has become a consistent performer and has three two-point games in his last five outings.
8
Montreal Canadiens
9
32-19-9
5-4-1
Veteran Alexei Kovalev continues to be one of the feel-good stories of the season with two goals and five points in his last three games.
9
Nashville Predators
11
31-23-7
6-2-2
When the Predators cleaned house last year, Jason Arnott probably wondered why he was left behind. Now he is a big part of one of the best reclamation projects in league history.
10
New York Rangers
14
30-24-7
6-3-1
After taking a five-day break from action, the Rangers returned with back-to-back wins and are once again looking like a team capable of making noise in the Eastern Conference.
11
San Jose Sharks
8
31-20-8
4-5-1
The Sharks built a 2-0 lead against the Islanders in Long Island Monday, but lost 3-2. They remain one of the NHL’s most puzzling teams; ninth overall, but not looking like a real Stanley Cup threat.
12
Philadelphia Flyers
7
30-24-5
2-8-0
With just two wins in their past 10 games and word Peter Forsberg will not be rejoining them, the Flyers are in desperate need of good news. Expect GM Paul Holmgren to be busy at the trade deadline.
13
Calgary Flames
12
29-22-8
5-5-0
This is why we love Jarome Iginla. With 31 seconds remaining in what winds up being a 4-2 loss to Anaheim, Iginla engages in a fight with Travis Moen. It sends both the Ducks and his teammates a message – he means business.
14
Vancouver Canucks
16
29-22-8
4-3-3
The Canucks are going through a win one, lose one phase. They proved they can outscore – and stand up physically – in a 4-2 win over Edmonton Saturday.
15
Buffalo Sabres
17
28-23-8
6-2-2
It wasn’t too long ago the Sabres were at the bottom of The Hockey News’ Power Rankings. Now, with six wins in 10 games, the Sabres are coming out of hibernation.
16
Carolina Hurricanes
21
30-28-4
6-4-0
The Hurricanes have won three of their past five games; the only two losses coming to the New Jersey Devils. With captain Rod Brind’Amour reportedly out for the season, expect GM Jim Rutherford to trade for some more offense.
17
Colorado Avalanche
13
30-25-5
4-5-1
Good news for the Avs; Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny are close to returning to action. After a 4-0 loss to Detroit Monday, they can’t get back quick enough.
18
Boston Bruins
15
29-23-6
5-4-1
Three losses in four games leave the Bruins clinging to the last playoff spot in the East.
19
Phoenix Coyotes
19
31-25-4
4-4-2
Daniel Carcillo is not only leading the Coyotes in physical play, he can actually play the game, too.
20
Atlanta Thrashers
22
29-28-4
6-3-1
It is looking more and more like the Thrashers will trade Marian Hossa, but they want players in return so they can continue their charge toward the playoffs.
21
St. Louis Blues
27
27-22-9
5-3-2
After losing a tough one to Nashville, the Blues rebound with a 5-1 whipping of the Blue Jackets to keep their playoff hopes alive.
22
New York Islanders
28
28-25-7
4-5-1
Just when it looked like the Islanders were done like dinner, they record four straight wins. So what does GM Garth Snow do now – aim for the playoffs or begin rebuilding for next season?
23
Washington Capitals
18
28-26-6
5-4-1
Mike Green continues to lead all NHL defensemen with 15 goals, but has just one marker in his past 14 games.
24
Florida Panthers
23
27-28-6
5-4-1
All eyes are on Olli Jokinen to see where he’ll land at the trade deadline.
25
Columbus Blue Jackets
20
27-25-9
2-5-3
Although the Blue Jackets still have a mathematical chance at the playoffs, expect rookie GM Scott Howson to start dealing veterans for picks and prospects.
26
Chicago Blackhawks
26
27-25-6
4-4-2
Rookie Dustin Byfuglien has three goals in three games – part of the reason why this franchise has such a bright future.
27
Edmonton Oilers
25
27-28-5
5-5-0
The foundation for a good team is here, but injuries have conspired to ruin the Oilers’ season.
28
Toronto Maple Leafs
24
24-27-9
4-5-1
Interim GM Cliff Fletcher continues to chat with rival GMs as he sets the table for the team’s next fulltime GM.
29
Tampa Bay Lightning
30
25-28-6
5-4-1
Jay Feaster has a tough decision to make. If he can’t sign defenseman Dan Boyle to an extension, he’ll probably have to trade him.
30
Los Angeles Kings
29
25-34-3
5-5-0
Defenseman Rob Blake says he won’t waive his no-trade clause, which puts GM Dean Lombardi in an uncomfortable position.

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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