• SHARE:
  • email
  • Bookmark and Share

Power Rankings - March 10

Led by Joe Thornton, left, the San Jose Sharks are coming on strong in the Western Conference. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Zoom Image

Led by Joe Thornton, left, the San Jose Sharks are coming on strong in the Western Conference. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

And with 13 games remaining, the Sharks have a legitimate shot at ending second behind the Detroit Red Wings.

There are a number of reasons why the Sharks are among the best teams in the NHL, including outstanding goaltending and coach Ron Wilson’s ability to get his team to pay attention to defensive detail.

The fact Joe Thornton has risen to fourth in league scoring and Jonathan Cheechoo, injured much of the first half, is once again a scoring machine helps, too.

With five assists in seven games, Brian Campbell has been a nice addition to the defense.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Dallas Stars
1
42-25-5
6-4-0
Newcomer Brad Richards made quite a splash in his debut, recording five assists in Game 1 after arriving from Tampa Bay. He then had just one assist and was minus-4 in his next three outings before scoring a goal and an assist and finishing plus-2 in the Stars 3-0 win over Colorado Sunday.
2
Detroit Red Wings
3
45-18-6
4-5-1
Three straight wins, including a humdinger 4-3 decision over Nashville, which brought many smiles back to the faces of Red Wings fans. Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the lineup after missing six games (the longest stretch on the sidelines of his illustrious career) with two assists.
3
Anaheim Ducks
2
39-25-7
7-3-0
After being shut out in back-to-back games, the Ducks came back to life with a 3-1 win over Montreal. Top goal-scorer Corey Perry suffered a lacerated tendon above his right knee and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Ouch!
4
San Jose Sharks
7
40-21-8
9-1-0
You had to see it to believe it. First Patrick Marleau saved the day in overtime when he batted a puck out of mid-air that was headed into his team’s net. Then, a few minutes later, he bagged the shootout winner. And to think, there was plenty of talk that the Sharks were going to trade their captain. Huh?!
5
New Jersey Devils
6
40-23-6
7-2-0
Don’t look now, but Patrik Elias has found his scoring touch. For a while, it looked like it was touch-and-go as to whether or not he’d fit in with new coach Brent Sutter. Elias has two goals and nine points in his past nine games.
6
Pittsburgh Penguins
5
39-24-7
5-3-2
Sid the Kid is back. Yippee! With two goals (including a fluky game-winner against Washington Sunday) and four points in his first three games, Sidney Crosby looks like he has picked up right where he left off when he went down with an ankle injury in mid-January.
7
Montreal Canadiens
4
38-23-9
6-4-0
Losing to Anaheim and San Jose on their four-game Western swing gave the Canadiens a pretty good indication of where they stand against the league’s elite teams. Beating Phoenix and L.A. was to be expected.
8
New York Rangers
11
36-24-9
8-0-2
Winning six of their last seven games has many believing the Rangers could be a threat come playoff time. It would be nice to see Jaromir Jagr come out of hibernation, however. He has no goals in his past five games and just two in 19.
9
Calgary Flames
9
35-23-10
6-2-2
What the heck has happened to Kristian Huselius? While he remains second in team scoring, the Swedish left winger hasn’t scored a goal in 20 games.
10
Minnesota Wild
10
37-26-7
3-5-2
Four straight losses has folks in Minnesota scratching their heads. That said, the Wild have picked up points in their last two games, losing both in the shootout.
11
Ottawa Senators
8
38-25-7
3-5-2
I know what you’re thinking; this is awfully high for a team with just three wins in its past 10 games. You may be right. But Bryan Murray has settled on his starting goalie, obviously Martin Gerber, and the Sens looked fine beating Phoenix.
12
Colorado Avalanche
13
37-27-6
7-2-1
The Avalanche won six straight before losing 3-0 to Dallas. Jose Theodore continues to give his team a chance to win virtually every game.
13
Carolina Hurricanes
15
37-29-5
7-2-1
Sergei Samsonov continues to hold a hot hand (making GM Jim Rutherford look like a genius) scoring his 12th goal since joining the Hurricanes. Make that four wins in a row for Carolina.
14
Vancouver Canucks
14
34-24-10
6-2-2
Who are these guys? 10 goals in two games? Who says the Canucks can’t score? Even agitator Alex Burrows got in on the action with a goal and an assist in back-to-back games.
15
Boston Bruins
12
36-25-8
6-2-2
When things go bad for the Bruins, they go really bad. Three losses in four games and outscored 20-6 in that span, the B’s are looking for answers. A commitment to team defense might be a good place to start.
16
Philadelphia Flyers
17
35-26-8
5-2-3
Seven goals in seven games made Jeff Carter one of the hottest snipers in the NHL. That said, I bet the Flyers were hoping for more than one goal and two points out of Vinny Prospal in six games since acquiring him from Tampa Bay.
17
Nashville Predators
16
35-27-8
4-4-2
Three goals by the Predators in 7:35 gave the Red Wings the scare of their life, but alas, it wasn’t enough as Detroit hung onto the 4-3 win. Martin Erat continues his career year and is up to 22 goals.
18
Chicago Blackhawks
21
33-29-7
6-3-1
It will take a miracle for the Blackhawks to make the playoffs, but it is going to be darn fun watching them try. Even if they fail, the Hawks have served notice they are a team to watch out for in the future.
19
Buffalo Sabres
19
32-27-10
4-4-2
The Sabres are knocking at the playoff door, but the Flyers aren’t letting them in. Thomas Vanek has no goals and is minus-5 in four games.
20
Phoenix Coyotes
18
34-30-5
4-5-1
Three losses in four games for Gretz’s Guys have them moving further away from a playoff position. An NHL-worst 14-17-3 home record is one big reason why.
21
Columbus Blue Jackets
22
31-28-11
4-4-2
A win over Tampa Bay was preceded by three straight one-goal losses for the highly competitive Blue Jackets. With 14 goals, Jason Chimera has a shot at breaking his single-season high of 17.
22
Washington Capitals
24
32-30-8
4-4-2
Poor Nicklas Backstrom. The rookie lived every player’s nightmare when he swept a shot past his own goalie, Cristobal Huet, for what proved to be the winning goal against Pittsburgh Sunday.
23
Edmonton Oilers
25
33-31-5
6-4-0
Back-to-back overtime wins over Columbus and Chicago have the Oilers thinking they can still make the playoffs. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream.
24
Florida Panthers
26
32-31-8
5-3-2
Nathan Horton scored two overtime winners as the Panthers rolled up four straight victories.
25
Toronto Maple Leafs
23
30-30-10
6-3-1
Two losses in three games (both to New Jersey) have pretty much put a cap on the Leafs’ playoff hopes. After scoring a goal in each of his first three NHL games (spread out over three seasons), Jeremy Williams has been blanked in five straight.
26
New York Islanders
20
32-31-7
4-6-0
Coach Ted Nolan played a hunch when he went with backup goalie Wade Dubielewicz against the Rangers, and it backfired as the Islanders’ cross-town rivals beat them 4-1 with starter Rick DiPietro watching from the bench.
27
St. Louis Blues
27
29-29-10
2-7-1
Brad Boyes scored both goals in a 4-2 loss to Vancouver giving him 34 on the season.
28
Atlanta Thrashers
28
30-32-8
1-5-4
The Thrashers snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota, but returned to their losing ways the next day against Florida.
29
Tampa Bay Lightning
29
26-35-8
1-7-2
Just when it looked like he may never score another NHL goal, Vinny Lecavalier snapped his 12-game goalless drought with one against Columbus in a 5-3 loss.
30
Los Angeles Kings
30
27-38-5
2-6-2
Goalie Erik Ersberg’s NHL debut was one for the books; he shut out the Ottawa Senators 2-0.

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

Related Links

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

More Stories

Power Rankings - A Devilish injury

It looks as though we’ll finally find out if the critics are right about the New Jersey...

Power Rankings - Desert Dogs?

There’s an increasingly pronounced paradox in Phoenix with respect to the...

Power Rankings - Dec. 29

Remember when the Montreal Canadiens were going to win the Stanley Cup? That was back in...

Power Rankings - Dec. 22

Championships have a way of breeding loyalty. Just as GMs find it hard not to reward the...
blog comments powered by Disqus

THN on Twitter

If the NHL expanded into one market, where should it go?








Contests

Our Partners