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Power Rankings - A Devilish injury

Goaltender Scott Clemmensen of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by Colin White after defeating the New York Islanders on Jan. 17, 2009. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Goaltender Scott Clemmensen of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated by Colin White after defeating the New York Islanders on Jan. 17, 2009. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

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

The first thing we’ve heard on the heels of recent early playoff exits by the Devils goes something to the effect of, “If Marty Brodeur wasn’t too tired to lift his arms, New Jersey would still be playing.”

It took an injury to finally force Brodeur out of the Devils crease and everybody assumed the team would collectively throw in the towel after that happened.

But thanks to the strong play of Scott Clemmensen and a deep forward group, the Devils could very conceivably win the Atlantic Division.

Brodeur should return from elbow surgery before March, giving him just enough time to shake the rust before the post-season begins.

There will still be nobody like Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer or Ken Daneyko on the blueline, but another out-of-the-blue Jersey run to the final is not beyond comprehension. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
San Jose Sharks
3
33-6-5
6-2-2
Sharks made a statement with their thrilling 6-5 win over the Wings
2
Detroit Red Wings
1
31-8-6
8-1-1
Ty Conklin's GAA is 2.21; Chris Osgood's is 3.23
3
Boston Bruins
2
33-8-4
7-3-0
Tremendous depth showing as Bruins continue to win despite a slew of key injuries
4
Washington Capitals
8
29-14-3
7-3-0
Nicklas Backstrom quietly putting together what could be a 90-point sophomore campaign
5
Calgary Flames
4
27-14-4
7-3-0
Jarome Iginla is on pace for just 32 goals, but could still top 90 points
6
Montreal Canadiens
5
27-11-6
8-2-0
Getting the results, but need to be tighter when holding third-period leads
7
New York Rangers
10
27-16-4
5-4-1
Blueshirts are a very healthy team right now
8
Chicago Blackhawks
6
25-10-8
5-4-1
Seem to be hitting a bit of a mid-season lull
9
New Jersey Devils
11
27-15-3
6-4-0
It's been an NHL-record 6,502 days between regular season games for Brendan Shanahan with the Devils, but he's back where it all started
10
Philadelphia Flyers
7
24-12-9
5-3-2
With Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the middle, any chance Daniel Briere becomes a winger upon his return to the lineup?
11
Columbus Blue Jackets
13
22-19-4
7-3-0
One year after asserting himself in the Columbus crease, it appears Pascal Leclaire's season could end with ankle surgery. And the way Steve Mason looks, getting back in the Jackets goal won't be an easy task down the road.
12
Phoenix Coyotes
12
23-19-5
6-4-0
After earning his first-ever NHL goal earlier this year, defenseman David Hale got crazy and added his second marker in 244 career games Saturday night in Calgary
13
Buffalo Sabres
15
23-17-5
7-3-0
Have to feel for Teppo Numminen; the 40-year-old returns from major heart surgery this year only to be struck in the face by a puck on Sunday. He'll be out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his jaw
14
Florida Panthers
14
21-16-7
5-3-2
Gregory Campbell riding high with three goals and seven points over his past five contests
15
Anaheim Ducks
9
23-19-5
4-5-1
Ryan Getzlaf is becoming a monster up the middle; he's got points in 14 of his past 15 games and 19 in total over that stretch
16
Pittsburgh Penguins
18
23-20-4
4-6-0
Can a 33-save shutout against the Rangers help Marc-Andre Fleury turn things around?
17
Dallas Stars
22
19-17-7
5-3-2
Through the mess that is this season, the Stars are still just four points back of the playoffs and have played fewer games than any team in the West
18
Edmonton Oilers
21
23-19-3
6-4-0
Great to see big-game scorer Glenn Anderson get in the Hall of Fame and then have his No. 9 retired by the Oilers on Sunday
19
Minnesota Wild
20
22-19-3
5-4-1
Andrew Brunette doesn't want to let a hurt knee end his streak of 497 consecutive games played. The Wild play Chicago Monday night.
20
Carolina Hurricanes
16
21-20-5
4-6-0
Need to put the brakes on a five-game skid
21
Colorado Avalanche
19
23-22-1
4-6-0
Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk each got their 300th career goal in the same game
22
Tampa Bay Lightning
23
14-21-10
4-5-1
Maybe too much was expected of Steven Stamkos simply because recent No. 1 picks like Crosby, Ovechkin and Kane are all truly special offensive players
23
Vancouver Canucks
17
22-19-6
2-5-3
My guess is this is the lowest Vancouver will appear on this list; Roberto Luongo has shaken the rust and will help his team get things turned around
24
Nashville Predators
25
20-22-3
3-7-0
Steve Sullivan still as shifty as ever after his long hiatus from hockey
25
Ottawa Senators
29
15-21-7
3-5-2
Showing signs of a death rattle, but it's going to take way more than that to get this team near the playoffs
26
St. Louis Blues
26
17-23-4
4-5-1
Injury bug has a full on blood vendetta against the Blues this season
27
Los Angeles Kings
24
17-20-7
3-6-1
Even if you live in the east, make an effort to stay up and watch some Kings games; seeing Drew Doughty is worth blurry eyes in the morning
28
Atlanta Thrashers
28
16-25-5
4-5-1
Is Ilya Kovalchuk accepting the captaincy a sign he wants to stick it out in Atlanta? My guess is no, but stay tuned.
29
Toronto Maple Leafs
27
17-21-7
3-6-1
One year after establishing himself as a true No. 1, Vesa Toskala's .833 save percentage is tied for last overall in the league
30
New York Islanders
30
12-29-4
1-8-1
How bad are things going when you try to bring in newly signed goalie Wade Dubielewicz and he gets claimed on waivers by Columbus? Garth Snow must have hung up the phone after getting that call and thought: "Really? Like, really?"

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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