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Power Rankings: 'Reunited (in Chicago) and it feels so good...'

Ken Campbell
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Power Rankings: 'Reunited and it feels so good...'

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Power Rankings: 'Reunited (in Chicago) and it feels so good...'

Ken Campbell
By:

The team with the worst penalty killing finds itself at the top of our weekly Power Rankings, led by the two biggest stars in the game today.

With his team underachieving, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville finally gave in to the temptation and put Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together for the first time in six years. And the results, as one would expect, were spectacular.

The move ignited a six-game winning streak for the Blackhawks and provided a surge, in particular, to Toews, who has scored four goals and eight points during the streak. Kane, meanwhile, has three goals and eight points. And the Blackhawks have balanced out their top six forwards by putting Marian Hossa on the second line with Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin.

The surge, combined with a 10-0 loss by the Canadiens last week, has loosened Montreal’s grip on the top spot in thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.):

THE CREAM OF THE CROP

1. Chicago Blackhawks (2)

2. Montreal Canadiens (1)

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (4)

4. New York Rangers (5)

5. Edmonton Oilers (6)

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (10)

7. Washington Capitals (3)

8. St. Louis Blues (16)

9. New Jersey Devils (17)

10. Los Angeles Kings (30)

The Blackhawks still have the league’s worst penalty kill, but have killed 18 of 20 penalties during their six-game winning streak…Are the Canadiens a house of cards? They’ve been outshot in each of their past six games and been outshot by more than 20 in three of those games. They’re giving up 34.4 shots per game, the most in the league, as is their minus-6.6 difference between their shots for and against…The fastest team in the league, the Penguins, in the awkward position of slowing down Connor McDavid in a 4-3 win over the Oilers Tuesday night. McDavid had three assists in the bank before the game was half over, but the Oilers couldn’t beat the Stanley Cup champions…After benching Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider in a 5-3 loss to Vancouver, coach Alain Vigneault said, “Nobody even had a ‘C’ game tonight.”…A foot injury to Seth Jones will almost certainly test the mettle of the Blue Jackets’ defense corps and their prized rookie Zach Werenski for the next three weeks…A listless 3-0 loss to San Jose on election night came after an impressive five-game winning streak for the Capitals…After going six games without a first-period goal, the Blues had two within the first 3:35 of a 5-1 win over Colorado Sunday…The surprising Devils are one of only three NHL teams that have not lost at home in regulation. The other two are Montreal and Pittsburgh…After failing to score a goal in three straight games, the Kings have outscored their opponents 15-2 in three consecutive victories.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE

11. Anaheim Ducks (13)

12. San Jose Sharks (14)

13. Tampa Bay Lightning (12)

14. Detroit Red Wings (15)

15. Florida Panthers (20)

16. Minnesota Wild (7)

17. Boston Bruins (11)

18. Philadelphia Flyers (19)

19. Ottawa Senators (8)

20. Winnipeg Jets (27)

The longest visa delay in NHL history ended Monday and Hampus Lindholm is expected to join the Ducks as they begin a three-game road trip in Columbus tonight…The Sharks lead the league in giveaways this season with 175…Jonathan Drouin, out of the lineup with a concussion since taking a headshot Nov. 1 against the Islanders, is not close to returning to the lineup…The Red Wings could not have picked a better time to pick up their first win in Philadelphia in 19 years when they defeated the Flyers 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night. The win halted a five-game losing streak…In the Panthers 3-1 win over Tampa Bay Tuesday night, Jaromir Jagr left the game for the second straight game. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said Jagr was suffering from a charley horse…After posting three straight shutouts, the Wild has scored just twice in its past two games…The often-maligned Claude Julien won his 400th game as Bruins coach in a 4-0 win over Buffalo Monday night. He could not win No. 401 against Montreal Tuesday, despite outshooting the Canadiens by a 43-23 margin…One thing that is not wrong with the Flyers is the power play. The Flyers lead the league with 15 power-play goals and have the second-highest power-play percentage in the league…A 3-1 loss to Nashville Tuesday night marked the first time the Senators have lost consecutive games this season. More troubling is the fact they’ve scored just four goals in their past four games…After an 8-2 win over Dallas Tuesday night, the Jets have the league’s leading point scorer in Mark Scheifele (18) and goal scorer in rookie Patrik Laine (11). With his second hat trick of the season in that game, Laine became the first player in the NHL to his double digits in goals.

 

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE

21. Toronto Maple Leafs (18)

22. New York Islanders (23)

23. Nashville Predators (22)

24. Buffalo Sabres (9)

25. Dallas Stars (21)

26. Vancouver Canucks (29)

27. Arizona Coyotes (24)

28. Calgary Flames (28)

29. Carolina Hurricanes (26)

30. Colorado Avalanche (25)

Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly on his team’s 7-0 loss to Los Angeles Tuesday night. “They’ve been a good team for a long time. We’re a group that wants to get to that level. They showed us that we have a long way to go.”…The fact Travis Hamonic is out for three-to-four weeks with a thumb injury is not good news for an Islanders team that is in fear of falling into an abyss…Anyone who predicted that Matt Irwin would have as many goals as P.K. Subban in half the number of games after 12 games, go to the front of the class and collect your gold star…Call it the O’Reilly factor. With one of the best faceoff men in the league in Ryan O’Reilly, the Sabres are the second-best team in the league in the faceoff circle…The sub-par goaltending and injuries look to be catching up with the Stars, who have lost six of their past seven and have given up 12 goals in their past two games…Loui Eriksson scored his first goal as a Canuck, 14 games into his tenure in Vancouver, in a 5-3 win over the Rangers Tuesday night…Speaking of first goals, Max Domi got his first of the year, in his 12th game, in the Coyotes 4-2 win over Colorado Tuesday night… Having the second-worst penalty killing in the league is not a good thing when you’ve also taken the most minor penalties in the NHL, as the Flames have…The Hurricanes’ woes continued Sunday when defenseman Justin Faulk collided along the boards with Taylor Hall Sunday and is now out week-to-week with an upper-body injury…The Avs have scored just five goals in their past five games and Nathan MacKinnon scored in a 4-2 loss to Arizona, his first goal since the opening night of the season.

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Power Rankings: 'Reunited (in Chicago) and it feels so good...'