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King me

Mike Richards and Jonathan Quick celebrate a win, but can the Kings maintain their pace through a difficult February? (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Mike Richards and Jonathan Quick celebrate a win, but can the Kings maintain their pace through a difficult February? (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings retain the No. 1 position in the first post-all-star-weekend THN.com NHL Power Rankings. Making a smaller push toward the top 10 are the up-and-down Los Angeles Kings, who lost just twice in regulation (out of 11 games) in January and are aiming to dethrone the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division.

The Kings have the weakest offense (111 goals) of any team currently in a playoff position in the Western Conference, but their ability to take games to overtime or a shootout – their 10 OT losses are second only to the Florida Panthers’ 11 – is one of the reasons they sit in seventh place. Another is the outstanding play of goalie Jonathan Quick (1.93 goals-against average, .934 save percentage); and another is the timely scoring of captain Dustin Brown, who leads the team in game-winners (five).

If the Kings are able to weather the storm in February – when they play just four times at home – they'll continue to challenge the steady Sharks for first in the Pacific and home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Expect GM Dean Lombardi to be active on the trade market to make that happen. And expect a new Power Ranking list every Monday afternoon on THN.com.

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
P10
THE SCOOP
1
Detroit Red Wings
1
33-16-1
8-2-0
Four-game road trip ends next Monday, then seven of next eight are at home, where Wings are league's most dominant team (20-2-1)
2
New York Rangers
2
31-12-4
7-3-0
Blueshirts lead league in hits (1,378); Kings (1,371) not far behind
3
St. Louis Blues
4
29-13-7
7-1-2
With just 244 giveaways, Blues are NHL's best team at taking great care of the puck; Columbus (259) is second, but that's because it doesn't have the puck most of the time
4
Boston Bruins
3
31-14-2
5-4-1
Is Tim Thomas saga enough to distract Bruins out of top spot in the East? We'll see
5
Nashville Predators
8
30-16-4
9-1-0
Preds' push to top fueled in part by scorching-hot power play (22.5 percent, second only to Canucks' 23.0 percent)
6
Vancouver Canucks
7
30-15-4
6-2-2
Alexandre Burrows may be a pest, but he's also Vancouver's best plus/minus man (plus-20)
7
San Jose Sharks
5
27-14-6
5-3-2
Four of Sharks' next five games are at home, then nine of next 10 are on the road
8
Chicago Blackhawks
6
29-15-6
5-3-2
Viktor Stalberg tied with Patrick Sharp for team lead in game-winning goals (five)
9
Philadelphia Flyers
9
29-14-5
6-3-1
Six of next seven games come at home, but home and road showdowns with Atlantic rival Rangers will get much of the attention
10
Pittsburgh Penguins
10
28-17-4
7-3-0
Sidney Crosby's health situation overshadows Pens' seven-game win streak
11
Washington Capitals
12
26-19-3
5-4-1
All-Star Game holdout Alex Ovechkin can make amends by leading Caps to another division title
12
Los Angeles Kings
14
24-16-10
5-2-3
Only four of 14 games this month will be played at home
13
Ottawa Senators
11
27-19-6
6-4-0
All-star weekend was a love-in for Sens players, but affection will dissipate if team can't maintain post-season pace
14
New Jersey Devils
13
26-19-3
5-4-1
No team blocks fewer shots than the Devils (548)
15
Toronto Maple Leafs
17
25-19-5
6-4-0
Leafs likely to be one of the most intriguing teams to watch as trade deadline approaches
16
Florida Panthers
15
22-15-11
3-3-4
Only two wins in January means Panthers are back in life-and-death struggle to make post-season
17
Dallas Stars
18
25-21-2
4-5-1
Jamie Benn leading Stars in shots (124), but Sheldon Souray is right on his tail (122)
18
Colorado Avalanche
16
26-23-2
4-5-1
Ryan O'Reilly is Avs' leading point-getter, but that's not ideal when you've got Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny on your team
19
Calgary Flames
20
23-21-6
5-4-1
Flames are the league's worst faceoff team (45.0)
20
Minnesota Wild
21
24-18-7
3-6-1
Devin Setoguchi is Wild's second-worst plus/minus man (minus-9 while averaging 16:51); defenseman Marco Scandella is a minus-10, but averages nearly four more minutes per game (20:35)
21
Phoenix Coyotes
22
22-20-8
3-3-4
Yotes have just two wins in seven shootouts
22
Tampa Bay Lightning
26
21-23-4
4-5-1
Bolts have won four straight, but are nine points out of eighth place in the East
23
Winnipeg Jets
19
22-22-6
3-6-1
At 15-8-2, Jets have more home wins than five Eastern Conference teams currently in a playoff position, but only Canes (5-13-6) have fewer road wins than they do (7-14-4)
24
Anaheim Ducks
24
18-23-7
8-1-1
Ducks are one of league's hottest teams in the past 10 games, yet still sit nine points behind 12th-place Yotes in Western Conference; they, too have no chance at playoffs
25
Montreal Canadiens
25
19-21-9
5-3-2
Habs are 11-7-6 (.458) when scoring first; only Jackets (10-9-4, .435) are worse
26
New York Islanders
23
19-22-7
5-4-1
Isles lead league in takeaways (561); they were No. 1 last season with 876
27
Buffalo Sabres
28
20-24-5
2-7-1
Pressure is on owner Terry Pegula, Sabres brass to effect serious, rapid change
28
Carolina Hurricanes
27
18-24-9
5-3-2
Signing of Tim Gleason stabilizes Canes' blueline, but that defense corps needs more talent
29
Edmonton Oilers
29
18-26-5
2-6-2
Shawn Horcoff a team-worst minus-16, but he averages more ice time (20:29) than any other Oilers forward
30
Columbus Blue Jackets
30
13-30-6
3-6-1
Long-suffering Jackets fans demanding change; only questions are how widespread change will be and how much change we'll see

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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