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Sharks stand alone

Joe Thornton has 20 points in 18 games this season. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Joe Thornton has 20 points in 18 games this season. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks are the new No. 1 team in the latest THN.com Power Rankings, but if Joe Thornton's current team doesn't continue its stellar play, his former team in Boston may leapfrog it soon enough. The Bruins have won eight straight games and jumped 10 spots in this week's rankings from 17th overall to seventh, while outscoring their opponents 42-14 in those games. They're doing it on the strength of scoring balance (eight players have at least 10 points) and typically solid goaltending from Tim Thomas (4-0-0, 1.25 goals-against average, .950 save percentage in his past four games).

Boston, which hasn’t lost so far this month, plays four games in six nights this week, starting with road matchups against divisional rivals Montreal and Buffalo before returning home to host Detroit and Winnipeg Friday and Saturday. Will they continue to rise in our rankings? Check out THN.com every Monday afternoon to find out.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
P10
THE SCOOP
1
San Jose Sharks
2
12-5-1
7-2-1
This month, Sharks have beaten Pens, Kings, Wild and Wings, among others. In big games, they play big.
2
Pittsburgh Penguins
1
11-6-3
5-4-1
Apparently, somebody is returning to Pens lineup Monday; can't quite remember his name...
3
Philadelphia Flyers
6
11-5-3
6-2-2
Jaromir Jagr proving to be perfect linemate for Claude Giroux
4
Chicago Blackhawks
4
12-6-3
5-4-1
Jonathan Toews on pace for 39 goals; previous career best was 34.
5
Minnesota Wild
8
12-5-3
8-2-0
Six-game homestand continues with bouts against Preds, Oilers.
6
Washington Capitals
3
10-7-1
3-6-1
If you've seen Alex Ovechkin, please report it to Bruce Boudreau, Caps as soon as possible.
7
Boston Bruins
17
11-7-0
8-2-0
Bruins dropped three straight to end October, but have yet to lose this month.
8
Buffalo Sabres
7
12-8-0
6-4-0
Sabres averaging just two goals-for in past five games; thank goodness goalie Jhonas Enroth has stepped up in Ryan Miller's injury absence.
9
Los Angeles Kings
9
10-7-3
4-5-1
Three-game win streak snapped with loss to Wings; Anze Kopitar is ascending to new heights.
10
Detroit Red Wings
13
11-7-1
6-3-1
Johan Franzen leads Wings in goals (10), points (20); best of all, he's played all 19 games.
11
New York Rangers
12
10-4-3
7-2-1
Blueshirts fire an NHL-worst 25.4 shots per game; their shots-allowed average isn't great, either (31.4, tied for 22nd in the league).
12
Dallas Stars
5
11-8-0
4-6-0
Formerly surprising Stars now in five-game freefaal and have four games in six days this week.
13
Nashville Predators
15
10-5-4
6-1-3
Rookie Craig Smith leading Preds in points (15), goals (seven), power play goals (three).
14
Vancouver Canucks
10
10-9-1
6-4-0
Chris Higgins quietly on pace for a 28-goal season, which would be a career best.
15
Toronto Maple Leafs
14
11-8-2
4-5-1
Injury bug starting to bite down hard on Jekyll-and-Hyde Leafs.
16
Tampa Bay Lightning
11
9-8-2
5-5-0
Steven Stamkos, Martin St-Louis still looking for first game-winning goals of the season.
17
St. Louis Blues
23
10-7-2
5-3-2
Alex Steen is Ken Hitchcock's kind of player: a team-leading seven goals and a plus-11.
18
Phoenix Coyotes
18
10-5-3
7-2-1
Mike Smith (2.16 goals-against average, .936 save percentage) carrying load for Yotes in net.
19
Florida Panthers
19
10-6-3
5-2-3
With 11 assists and 18 points in 19 games, Stephen Weiss is on pace for 30 goals and 77 points, both of which would be career highs.
20
Montreal Canadiens
20
9-8-3
6-3-1
Inconsistent Habs never seem to be anywhere close to fully healthy.
21
New Jersey Devils
21
10-7-1
6-4-0
Four-games-in-six-nights stretch begins against tough Panthers, but gets easier after that, with Blue Jackets and weekend home-and-home series against Isles.
22
Edmonton Oilers
16
10-7-2
5-5-0
Thumping of Chicago Saturday doesn't erase losses to Sens, Hawks earlier last week.
23
Ottawa Senators
24
10-9-2
4-4-2
Sens special teams a contrast in success: power play is ranked seventh in league at 20.8 percent, but penalty kill 23rd overall at 79.1 percent.
24
Colorado Avalanche
22
9-11-1
2-7-1
Avs aiming to improve dreadful 3-7-0 in Denver during six-game homestand that begins Wednesday against Vancouver.
25
Winnipeg Jets
29
8-9-3
5-3-2
Three-game win streak pulled Jets out of Southeast basement, but three-game road trip this week (against Caps, Canes and Bruins) may put them right back.
26
Carolina Hurricanes
25
7-11-3
3-7-0
Canes now at same stage as Jackets - waiting for change to come.
27
Calgary Flames
28
8-9-1
5-5-0
Flames start four-game road trip in Columbus, but it gets much tougher from there with showdowns against Wings, Blues, Wild.
28
New York Islanders
27
5-9-3
2-5-3
Only Ducks (0.66) have worse 5-on-5 goals-for/against ratio than Isles (0.67).
29
Anaheim Ducks
26
6-10-4
1-6-3
D-man Toni Lydman was second overall in plus-minus last season at plus-32; he's a minus-9 this year.
30
Columbus Blue Jackets
30
4-13-2
3-6-1
Playoffs virtually impossible even at this early stage.

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.

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

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