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
Not including the outdoor game at chilly Dodger Stadium, the Anaheim Ducks play seven of their next eight games going into the Olympic break at home. Considering they suffered just their first regulation time loss of the season at home Wednesday night, you’d have to think the Ducks are sitting pretty in their quest to win the Western Conference.
Unless, of course, this loss is the start of a downward trend. Nah.
With that, we present this week’s thn.com Power Rankings, with last week’s rankings in parentheses.
1. ANAHEIM (1): In a development that might raise a slight red flag, Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller said of giving up three goals on eight shots against Winnipeg Tuesday night: “I didn’t feel like I was into the game,” citing the Olympics and upcoming outdoor game as distractions. If those things are going to distract him, how will he react to the pressure of a Stanley Cup final?
2. CHICAGO (4): After finally winning a shootout in a 3-2 victory over Boston on the weekend, the Blackhawks left another point on the table when they dropped a 5-4 shootout to Detroit Wednesday night. Still, the Blackhawks have points in each of their past six games. The Blackhawks have nine games until the Olympic break, but only one of them is at home.
3. SAN JOSE (6): Quick, who the heck is Eriah Hayes? Well, he’s one of a host of guys who continue to contribute to the San Jose Sharks through all their injury woes. The Sharks have returned to the heavyweight category with four straight wins. Joe Pavelski has been an absolute beast with six goals in his past three games and 27 on the season to put him among the leaders. Read more
This is getting scary. The Anaheim Ducks are not only beating teams, they’ve scored at least four goals in seven of their past eight games, capped by a 9-1 stomping of the Vancouver Canucks Wedensday night. The only concern now is whether or not the Ducks are peaking too soon.
Nothing has changed at the top or bottom of thn.com’s Power Rankings for this week. (Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.)
1. ANAHEIM (1): The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19, eight in a row and 20 of 22 on home ice. It’s hard to convince a team to not win games, but perhaps if this team is going to experience any adversity this season, it should be now. That’s because they don’t want to be experiencing it four months from now in the playoffs. GM Bob Murray said there’s, “not a chance in hell,” he’ll trade 14-straight-game winner Jonas Hiller. Read more