After a rocky patch, the Anaheim Ducks are back for end of the regular season where they started it – as the No. 1 team in thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. Now can we just get on with the playoffs already?
And while we’re at it, do you think there’s any way we can lobby the NHL head office to put all the first-round games between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings to 4 p.m. local time so we can all watch them at a reasonable hour? It’s a shame that one of those teams will be out after the first round, but we can all enjoy it while it lasts. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.) Read more
The Comeback Kids have come back to top thn.com’s Power Rankings this week. The Anaheim Ducks were down three goals in the final period Monday night against Winnipeg before capping their greatest comeback in franchise history with a 5-4 overtime win, then were down two in the third against Edmonton Wednesday night before scoring three times to take the game in regulation time.
After a brief surge by Eastern Conference teams, five of the top six spots are occupied by Western Conference teams. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)
1. ANAHEIM (5): There’s no way Corey Perry could score 50 goals this season, is there? Well, he’ll need nine in his final six games, but the way Perry finishes his seasons, don’t bet against it. True to form, he has four goals in his past three games, including two in a 3-2 win over Edmonton Wednesday night in which the Ducks were largely outplayed.
2. COLORADO (9): It isn’t just that the Avs have won their past four games, which is in and of itself impressive. It’s that they’ve done it without Matt Duchene in the lineup. The Avs are 14-6 this season in games that go beyond 60 minutes, with three of those victories coming either in overtime or a shootout. Of the 10 overtime goals the Avs have scored this season, defenseman Tyson Barrie has three of them.
3. BOSTON (1): The Bruins suffered their first regulation loss since Jan. 9 – a span of almost three months – when Detroit took them down Wednesday night. Still, the Bruins are 8-1-1 in their past 10 and have emerged as the runaway favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final. Patrice Bergeron’s eight-game goal streak was snapped in the Detroit game, but he had an assist to give him 8-4-12 totals in his past nine. Read more
The Boston Bruins finally lost a game when they dropped a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens Monday night, but no team in the NHL has a better goals differential, no team has more wins at home and no team is riding as hot a streak as the Bruins.
So it stands to reason that no team will usurp them in this week’s thn.com Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.)
1. BOSTON (1): Despite the fact Dennis Seidenberg tore both his ACL and MCL in late December, the Bruins have not ruled out the possibility of him returning if they go deep into the playoffs. The way the Bruins are playing, they’ve actually replaced someone they thought was irreplaceable. Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski have stepped up their games and Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton have been as solid as a rock. Or a couple of rocks.
2. ST. LOUIS (2): The Blues experienced a bit of a hiccup when they suffered their first loss to a Central Division team, then lost to Philadelphia, but looked their old selves in road wins over Pittsburgh and Toronto. David Backes has had as many goals in his last six games (six) as he had during the entire lockout-shortened season in 2012-13. Read more
Jarome Iginla’s next goal will give him 557 and sole possession of 25th overall on the NHL’s all-time scoring list. The Boston Bruins shouldn’t have to wait long, since Iginla leads them in goals with 26, proving to be by far the most astute free-agent signing of last summer.
The Bruins, meanwhile, will try to post the NHL’s first 11-game winning streak this season when they travel to Colorado on Friday night, a game they’ll enter as the No. 1 ranked team in THN’s Power Rankings (last week’s ranking in parentheses): Read more
The good news is that the way things are shaping up, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will meet in the first round of the playoffs. The bad news is that the way things are shaping up, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will meet in the first round of the playoffs.
On one hand, it should be an epic series. On the other, one of the two best teams in the league will be going home after the first round. The Kings find themselves on top of THN’s Power Rankings, thanks to an eight-game winning streak, while the Sharks are ranked sixth. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.) Read more
The St. Louis Blues got the dominos falling at the trade deadline with the blockbuster trade that saw them acquire Ryan Miller and Steve Ott and since then, they’ve been knocking over their opponents. With Miller in the nets, they’ve won three in a row and are neck-and-neck with the Anaheim Ducks in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
And they’re also the No. 1 team in the NHL, at least according to THN’s weekly Power Rankings. As was the case early in the season, this week’s rankings are top-heavy with Western Conference teams. (Rankings from our previous Power Rankings, which were done before the Olympics, are in parentheses.) Read more
For the first time this season, an Eastern Conference team finds itself at the top of our weekly Power Rankings. Behind the stellar goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury (your bad, Canadian Olympic team) and lots of firepower, the Pittsburgh Penguins are on a roll with two games remaining before the Olympic break. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.)
1. PITTSBURGH (4): The Penguins notched their 40th victory in just their 57th game of the season – a 5-1 win over Buffalo Wednesday night – a mark that set a new franchise record. That put the Penguins on pace for 118 points this season, which would be one short of the franchise record established in 1992-93.
2. CHICAGO (5): The Blackhawks have picked up at least a point in each of the five games in their current road trip. Bryan Bickell, who has struggled mightily this season, was a healthy scratch in three of four games before scoring a goal in the Blackhawks win over Los Angeles Monday night. Read more
Speculation that Ryan Miller could end up with the St. Louis Blues before the trade deadline just won’t seem to die. It would be a bold move for the Blues, who are already getting good goaltending, on the whole, from Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. Chris Stewart, who was recently dropped to the fourth line, could be the player going back.
Amid all this the Blues have been outstanding lately and usurped the Anaheim Ducks for top spot in this week’s thn.com Power Rankings. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.)
1. ST. LOUIS (5): The Blues showed a ton of class by going to Yale University to participate last Friday in White Out for Mandi, in honor of Jaden Schwartz’s sister who died of leukemia three years ago. That was in the middle of and eastern road trip in which they won three of four games, with the lone clunker coming in a 7-1 loss to New Jersey.
2. ANAHEIM (1): After going 23 straight games without losing one on home ice in regulation time, the Ducks dropped two at the Honda Center in just over a week. The positive was they defeated Los Angeles in back-to-back games, including the outdoor game at Dodger Stadium, by a combined score of 5-1.
3. BOSTON (7): Both the Bruins and Brad ‘Little Ball of Hate’ Marchand have been sizzling lately. The Bruins have won four in a row and have points in five of their past six games and Marchand, who started the season with one goal in 14 games, has 6-5-11 totals in his past seven. Read more