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Power Rankings: Blue Jackets or Wild? Pick your poison

Ken Campbell
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Power Rankings: Blue Jackets or Wild? Pick your poison

News

Power Rankings: Blue Jackets or Wild? Pick your poison

Ken Campbell
By:

The unlikely authors of 10- and eight-game winning streaks find themselves at the top of our weekly Power Rankings.

It has taken more than 16 years, but the expansion cousins of 2000 are finally at the top of the heap.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have been making a habit of being at the top of thn.com’s Power Rankings lately. A 10-game winning streak will do that for you. But suddenly here come the Bruce Boudreau-led Minnesota Wild, winners of eight in a row themselves, in close pursuit. We’re not sure if that has ever happened before, but given these franchises’ checkered pasts, we’re willing to bet it hasn’t.

But in the last Power Rankings installment before Christmas, it’s nice to see. Enjoy the holidays and try not to drink too much egg nog. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.):

THE CREAM OF THE CROP

1. Columbus Blue Jackets (1)

2. Minnesota Wild (6)

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (3)

4. Montreal Canadiens (8)

5. Chicago Blackhawks (7)

6. San Jose Sharks (9)

7. Ottawa Senators (17)

8. Philadelphia Flyers (2)

9. New York Rangers (10)

10. Washington Capitals (5)

Hey Columbus fans: Your team has won 10 in a row. It’s safe to start going to the games…In their game Tuesday night against Colorado, the Wild had to kill four straight penalties in less than 10 minutes and allowed one shot…The Penguins are 50-0 when leading after two periods dating back to last season…The Canadiens gave up just 13 shots against Anaheim Tuesday night to win 5-1 and improve to 15-2-2 at the Bell Centre…Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hasn’t scored a goal in 13 games and was injured for nine, so he hasn’t found the back of the net since Nov. 6…The Sharks scored four goals in 10:44 in a win over Calgary Tuesday night and have four goals in three of their past four games, but still haven’t scored five goals in a game this season…Goalie Mike Condon, who is 7-3-2 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, has been a pleasant surprise for the pleasantly surprising Senators…The Flyers are the NHL’s highest scoring team, but have been outscored 29-22 in the first period this season…Rick Nash will be out until at least after Christmas with the groin injury he sustained over the weekend…The Capitals are 17-0 so far this season when they score at least three goals.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE

11. Edmonton Oilers (14)

12. St. Louis Blues (13)

13. Calgary Flames

14. Florida Panthers (22)

15. Nashville Predators (15)

16. Buffalo Sabres (20)

17. Boston Bruins (11)

18. Los Angeles Kings (18)

19. Anaheim Ducks (12)

20. Carolina Hurricanes (16)

Tyler Pitlick, who had been establishing himself as a bona fide NHL player, got tangled up with Jori Lehtera and came down on his leg. He was sent back to Edmonton to be evaluated…In their last six losses, the Blues have been outscored 12-0 in the third period and overtime…Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau had 10- and seven-game scoring streaks stopped in a 4-1 loss to San Jose Tuesday night…Jaromir Jagr’s next point will be the 1,888th of his career and put him alone in second place on the NHL’s all-time list. Makes you wonder what he would have accomplished if not for three lockouts and a three-year stint in the KHL…Wins in Philadelphia and New Jersey were a huge boost for the Predators, who came into those two games with just one win in their previous five games and a 3-9-2 record on the road…The Sabres have gone to overtime in five of their past seven games, in which they have a 2-3 record, and each of their past three…After off-season foot surgery, Frank Vatrano was called up to the Bruins Monday following a conditioning stint in the minors, but didn’t dress for Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Islanders Tuesday night…The Kings have three non-empty-net goals to show for their last 182:10 of play…The Ducks’ 5-1 loss to Montreal Tuesday night was Andrew Cogliano’s 738th consecutive game, elevating him to fifth on the all-time list…The Hurricanes were ready to play Monday night before ice issues forced them to postpone their home game against Detroit. They haven’t lost in regulation on home ice in nine games dating back to Nov. 10.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE

21. Dallas Stars

22. New York Islanders

23. Tampa Bay Lightning

24. Winnipeg Jets

25. Toronto Maple Leafs

26. Detroit Red Wings

27. Vancouver Canucks

28. Arizona Coyotes

29. New Jersey Devils

30. Colorado Avalanche

 

A 3-2 loss to St. Louis Tuesday night made the Stars 1-7 in overtime and 1-8-4 in games following victories…Prior to Thomas Greiss stopping 48 shots in a 4-2 victory over Boston Tuesday night, the Islanders were 1-4-5 and were outscored 24-12 in those games…Oft-injured Lightning goalie Ben Bishop left his team’s 4-1 victory over Detroit Tuesday with a leg injury and is out indefinitely…Back-to-back games on the road against the same team? You don’t see that in the NHL very often, but the Jets are in the midst of that against Vancouver. And they’ll need to be much better Thursday night than they were Tuesday, when they lost 4-1 to the lowly Canucks…Sounds as though Leafs coach is getting a little tired of the youth narrative that surrounds his team. “Making excuses for us because we’re young is wrong,” Babcock said. “We’ve got a lot of (young) guys who are drivers for our team and they’re kids, but so what? Play well.”…The Red Wings lost arguably their most valuable player when goalie Jimmy Howard went down with a leg injury in the Red Wings’ 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay Tuesday night. GM Ken Holland said Howard will be, “out a while.”…The Canucks are 10-5-2 at home where they play six of their next eight games…Well, this is weird. They Coyotes are 2-7-1 in games in which they’ve given up fewer than 30 shots. But they’re 7-3-4 when surrendering 35-plus shots and 5-2-3 when they’ve given up 40 or more…Devils GM Ray Shero was blunt about what his team needs to do to halt a losing streak that reached seven in a 5-1 loss to Nashville Tuesday night. “Play harder. Really. Play f---ing harder. There’s a will that they need, there’s a passion and emotion in your game. How many scrums have we been involved in? Nobody’s mad at us. I’m not saying for anyone to fight at all. I’m just saying there’s got to be pushback in your game and pride in your game.”…Semyon Varlamov returned after missing three games with a groin injury and stopped 31 shots, but the Avs still lost 2-0 to Minnesota to drop their record since Nov. 21 to 2-10-1.

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Power Rankings: Blue Jackets or Wild? Pick your poison