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Whitney leading Coyotes charge

Brought in as a summer UFA, Ray Whitney leads the Coyotes with 14 points. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Brought in as a summer UFA, Ray Whitney leads the Coyotes with 14 points. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

If the Phoenix Coyotes could win more games that extend beyond three periods, they might be at or near the top of THN’s new Power Rankings. Even without those wins, though, they’re still making people sit up and take notice.

The Yotes have lost just once in regulation in their past 10 games (7-1-2) and have more overtime or shootout losses (five) than any other NHL team. They’re also the only squad currently in a playoff position in the Western Conference to have allowed more goals (59) than they’ve scored (57).

Their success is coming in part from the contributions of unrestricted free agent acquisition Ray Whitney (who has a team-leading 11 assists and 14 points), as well as solid defensive play from veterans Ed Jovanovski and Adrian Aucoin (both a team-best plus-six). In addition, the steady hand of reigning coach of the year Dave Tippett has allowed Phoenix to overcome the loss of defensive presence Zbynek Michalek, who left via free agency.

The Coyotes have a light schedule coming up this week, with games only on Tuesday and Saturday, followed by a break until the following Tuesday. Both games are in Phoenix and come against beatable teams (Edmonton and Anaheim), leaving a golden opportunity for the Yotes to solidify their presence in the standings.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
P10
THE SCOOP
1

Detroit Red Wings

2

13-3-2

8-1-1

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg virtual mirrors of one another: Datsyuk has seven goals, 22 points and a plus-5 while averaging 19:58 per game; Zetterberg has seven goals, 20 points and a plus-5 while averaging 19:37 a night

2

Washington Capitals

3

14-5-2

7-1-2

Alexander Semin on pace for career offensive season in contract year. What a surprise!

3

Los Angeles Kings

1

13-6-0

7-3-0

Justin Williams, Dustin Brown tied for Kings’ goal-scoring lead with nine apiece

4

Philadelphia Flyers

5

13-6-2

7-2-1

Flyers have yet to lose when leading after two periods

5

Montreal Canadiens

7

13-6-1

6-4-0

Goalie Carey Price main reason Canadiens’ penalty kill is an NHL-best 90.5 percent

6

Columbus Blue Jackets

8

12-6-0

7-3-0

Jackets have winnable games this week against Preds and Isles before weekend home-and-home showdown with Wings

7

Boston Bruins

11

11-5-2

5-3-2

Milan Lucic has the NHL’s best shooting percentage (10 goals on 34 shots for 29.4 percent)

8

St. Louis Blues

4

11-5-3

5-4-1

Jaroslav Halak coming down to earth (1-2-0, 5.00 goals-against average, .835 save percentage in past 3 games)

9

Colorado Avalanche

17

12-7-1

7-3-0

Only Red Wings (3.67 goals per game) and Flyers (3.52) have a more potent offense than Avs (3.50) at the moment

10

Phoenix Coyotes

14

10-5-5

7-1-2

Coyotes have most overtime/shootout losses in the league (five)

11

Vancouver Canucks

6

10-7-3

5-4-1

Nucks have the NHL’s most productive power play (27 percent efficiency)

12

Tampa Bay Lightning

19

11-7-2

4-5-1

Martin St-Louis is second on team with an average ice time of 21:30 per game (defenseman Victor Hedman is first at 21:42)

13

Minnesota Wild

10

10-7-2

6-4-0

Three tough games for Wild this week (Flyers, Predators and Avalanche)

14

Dallas Stars

18

10-7-1

5-4-1

James Neal scored a career-best 27 goals last year; he’s currently on pace for 36

15

San Jose Sharks

9

9-6-4

4-3-3

Sharks first in shots per game (36.1), fifth in shots allowed (28.1)

16

Nashville Predators

12

9-6-3

4-6-0

Special teams a cause for concern for Preds - they’re a bottom-10 team in both the power play (10.6 percent) and the penalty kill (80 percent)

17

Pittsburgh Penguins

20

11-8-2

6-3-1

Marc-Andre Fleury starting to come around (2-0-0, 2.40 GAA, .922 SP in past two games)

18

New York Rangers

15

11-9-1

5-5-0

Blueshirts much better on the road (7-3-0) than at Madison Square Garden (4-6-1)

19

Chicago Blackhawks

21

11-10-2

4-5-1

California trip this week will be important test for mediocre Hawks

20

Anaheim Ducks

16

10-10-3

5-3-2

Corey Perry (10 goals, 23 points) on pace for career offensive season

21

Florida Panthers

22

9-9-0

6-4-0

Spunky Cats would be real threat if their power play wasn’t league’s worst (8.1 percent)

22

Carolina Hurricanes

23

9-9-2

4-4-2

No team wins fewer faceoffs than Canes (39.9 percent)

23

Ottawa Senators

13

9-10-1

5-5-0

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar a team-worst minus-13

24

Atlanta Thrashers

24

9-9-3

4-5-1

Only the Oilers (3.90), Islanders, Canes (3.30) and Sens (3.25) have allowed more goals per game than Atlanta (3.24)

25

Calgary Flames

25

8-10-1

2-7-1

Minor trades won’t make this team into a contender

26

Toronto Maple Leafs

26

7-9-3

2-6-2

Leafs have only three goals from high-paid defense corps

27

Buffalo Sabres

27

8-11-3

5-4-1

How is defenseman Steve Montador a plus-14 on this nearly defenseless squad?

28

Edmonton Oilers

29

5-10-4

2-6-2

Oilers’ penalty kill is an unspeakably bad, 30th-ranked 68.4 percent

29

New Jersey Devils

28

5-13-2

3-6-1

With one-quarter of the season completed, Devils are nearing the unsalvageable stage

30

New York Islanders

30

4-12-4

0-8-2

Banning journalist Chris Botta is sure to get this sad-sack franchise back on track

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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