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Penguins/Rangers flying high

The return of Sidney Crosby has Penguins fans thinking another Stanley Cup.   (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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The return of Sidney Crosby has Penguins fans thinking another Stanley Cup. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

In this week's THN.com power rankings, the Pittsburgh Penguins and returning superstar Sidney Crosby are No. 1. Hot on their heels, though, are their Atlantic Division rivals from Manhattan.

At 8-2-0, the Rangers are tied with Detroit as the second-hottest team in the league over the past 10 games - Boston is No. 1 at 9-0-1 - and show no signs of letting up. The Blueshirts have the NHL's second-best goaltending (an average of 2.05 goals-allowed per game, just behind St. Louis at 2.04) and are getting solid production from Marian Gaborik (on pace for a 41-goal season) and Ryan Callahan (on pace for a career-best 32-goal campaign).

They've also got one of the league's top records at home (6-1-1), which will be tested Tuesday when Crosby and the Pens come to town.

Will the Blueshirts move higher next week? Will the Penguins retain top spot? Find out every Monday afternoon when the latest power rankings are posted exclusively at THN.com!

 

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
L10
THE SCOOP
1
Pittsburgh Penguins
2
14-6-4
6-3-1
Sidney Crosby’s return, Bruce Boudreau’s firing made it a memorable week for Pens fans.
2
San Jose Sharks
1
13-6-1
7-2-1
Joe Thornton on pace for 65 assists, 85 points – an improvement on last season’s 49 helpers and 70 points.
3
Boston Bruins
7
14-7-1
9-0-1
No hotter team in hockey than the Bruins, who have just a home-and-home with Leafs this week.
4
Philadelphia Flyers
3
13-7-3
6-3-1
Four-day break before three-game road trip just what doctor ordered for hurting Flyers.
5
Detroit Red Wings
10
14-7-1
8-2-0
During five-game win streak, Wings have allowed more than two goals just once.
6
Chicago Blackhawks
4
14-7-3
6-4-0
Each of Hawks’ big four (Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp) has at least seven goals and 12 assists.
7
New York Rangers
11
12-5-3
8-2-0
Henrik Lundqvist/Martin Biron the league’s best one-two punch in net right now.
8
Minnesota Wild
5
13-7-3
6-4-0
Wild have identical goals-for and against average (2.22).
9
Los Angeles Kings
9
11-8-4
5-4-1
Drew Doughty pointless in past seven games.
10
Toronto Maple Leafs
15
14-8-2
5-4-1
Joffrey Lupul/Jake Gardiner trade right up there with Flames heist as Brian Burke’s best in Toronto
11
Vancouver Canucks
14
13-9-1
7-3-0
Canucks allowed only two goals on three-game road trip, have three games this week against light-scoring Jackets, Preds and Flames.
12
Washington Capitals
6
12-9-1
3-6-1
Bruce Boudreau’s firing leaves no more excuses for Alex Ovechkin & Alex Semin.
13
St. Louis Blues
17
13-8-2
7-1-2
Blues lost six times in regulation in October, but only twice in regulation this month.
14
Buffalo Sabres
8
13-9-1
5-4-1
Multiple injuries, especially to M&M (Tyler Myers and Ryan Miller) test Sabres’ depth.
15
Tampa Bay Lightning
16
11-9-2
6-4-0
Six of next seven games are on the road, where Lightning are just 4-6-2 so far.
16
Florida Panthers
19
12-7-4
6-3-1
Three-game win streak soured by back-to-back losses against intrastate rival Bolts.
17
Phoenix Coyotes
18
12-7-3
6-3-1
Keith Yandle on pace for 48 assists, 55 points; last season he finished with 48 helpers and 59 points.
18
Dallas Stars
12
13-9-1
3-6-1
Injured Kari Lehtonen spells big trouble for sagging Stars.
19
Nashville Predators
13
10-8-4
4-4-2
Preds’ shot situation a mess: shots per game is 29th overall (26.0), while shots allowed average is 30th (33.1).
20
Edmonton Oilers
22
12-9-2
4-6-0
Six-game homestand begins with stingy Preds, Wild - but after that, they get the four Cs of underachievement: Columbus, Calgary, Carolina and Colorado.
21
New Jersey Devils
21
12-9-1
6-4-0
Last week, Devs lost to Panthers, barely beat Jackets, split home-and-home with sad-sack Isles; yes, still lots of work to do.
22
Montreal Canadiens
20
10-10-4
5-3-2
Habs need offense on three-game West Coast road trip to pull out of Northeast basement.
23
Ottawa Senators
23
11-10-2
4-4-2
Erik Karlsson the league’s No. 1 assist man with 20 helpers.
24
Winnipeg Jets
25
9-10-4
4-4-2
Evander Kane finally playing key role for Winnipeg; he has five goals in his last six games and Jets are 4-1-1 over that span.
25
Colorado Avalanche
24
10-12-1
3-7-0
Avs a perfect 3-0 in shootouts, far from perfect in nearly every other regard
26
Carolina Hurricanes
26
8-13-4
3-6-1
Paul Maurice pays the price for paper-thin ‘D’ corps.
27
Calgary Flames
27
9-12-1
4-6-0
Rumblings Jarome Iginla ready to contemplate a trade - it’s about time.
28
New York Islanders
28
6-11-4
2-6-2
Awful Isles now NHL’s worst team in terms of 5-on-5 goals-for/against ratio (0.64).
29
Columbus Blue Jackets
30
6-14-3
4-4-2
Improvement at this stage has to be huge and sustained, or it doesn’t matter at all.
30
Anaheim Ducks
29
6-13-4
1-8-1
If coach firings come in threes, Randy Carlyle should be nervous.

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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