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Power Rankings: Sharknado devastates the NHL's east coast

Ken Campbell
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Joel Ward (left), Patrick Marleau and Matt Tennyson (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Power Rankings: Sharknado devastates the NHL's east coast

Ken Campbell
By:

On the strength of six straight wins on the road against Eastern Conference teams, the San Jose Sharks are No. 1 this week. But they'll have to start beating western teams if they have designs on staying there.

The San Jose Sharks have proved they can handle their Eastern Conference opponents, but if they truly fashion themselves a legitimate contender, they’ll have to do the same against their geographical rivals.

The Sharks capped off a perfect 6-0-0 road trip, the first in franchise history, over the weekend, with all six wins coming against Eastern Conference teams. That puts their record against the Eastern Conference this season to 10-4-0, compared to an ordinary 3-4-0 against western teams. They’ll have a chance to improve upon that when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight and Calgary Flames on the weekend.

On the strength of that trip, the Sharks hold down the No. 1 spot in thn.com’s weekly Power Rankings. Last weeks rankings are in parentheses.

THE CREAM OF THE CROP
1. San Jose Sharks (13)
2. New York Rangers (1)
3. Montreal Canadiens (4)
4. Dallas Stars (1)
5. Washington Capitals (9)
6. St. Louis Blues (10)
7. Ottawa Senators (14)
8. Boston Bruins (15)
9. Detroit Red Wings (25)
10. Los Angeles Kings (6)

The signing of Dainius Zubrus, who makes his Sharks debut tonight, was no coincidence. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer had him for three-plus seasons in New Jersey…With four goals in his past two games, Rick Nash has finally begun to keep pace with linemates Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard…The Canadiens and Brendan Gallagher have learned the hard way that blocked shots is the most overrated statistic in hockey…The Stars have lost only five games this season. They’ve given up six or more goals in three of those losses…After getting flattened by teammate Justin Williams during the warmup, Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots for his first shutout of the season Monday night...Jake Allen has not been officially declared the winner of the No. 1 goaltender competition, but it’s just a formality now…Since being called out by GM Bryan Murray, the Senators are 3-0-0 with two shutouts, 14 goals and a win over Dallas…This is a little curious. The Bruins lead the NHL in power-play goals with 20, but are tied for last with Winnipeg in power-play goals against with 19…The Red Wings have been involved in one-goal games in six of their past seven games and have a record of 4-1-1 in those games…Give Jonathan Quick credit for being honest. He believes the size of goaltending equipment should be reduced.

THE MUSHY MIDDLE
11. Minnesota Wild (8)
12. Tampa Bay Lightning (19)
13. New Jersey Devils (3)
14. Chicago Blackhawks (5)
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (21)
16. New York Islanders (12)
17. Anaheim Ducks (24)
18. Nashville Predators (17)
19. Colorado Avalanche (11)
20. Philadelphia Flyers (26)

Ryan Suter leads all NHLers with a mind-boggling 27:39 of ice time per game, and that’s almost a minute and a half less a game than he’s played the past two seasons…After losing a home-and-home series against Florida, the Lightning have looked as good as they have all season in wins over the Rangers and Anaheim…There’s a good chance veteran Patrik Elias could be in the lineup tonight against Columbus after missing the first 20 games of the season…Patrick Kane carries a 16-game scoring streak into tonight’s game against San Jose. He has 10-16-26 totals in that time span…After saying the Penguins were mad at each other, Evgeni Malkin responded by scoring three goals and five points in three games…As much of a pro as Travis Hamonic is, hard to see how this situation won’t be a distraction for the Islanders…Anaheim beat Calgary Tuesday night at the Honda Center. Wash, rinse, repeat…Even if the Predators manage to score against Buffalo tonight, they will have gone a full week without a single goal…Matt Duchene is red-hot, with 10 goals and 17 points in the past 10 games…The Flyers have points in four of five games after recalling Shayne Gostisbehere from the minors.

VYING FOR THE PARTICIPATION BADGE
21. Calgary Flames (29)
22. Winnipeg Jets (30)
23. Vancouver Canucks (23)
24. Arizona Coyotes (20)
25. Florida Panthers (16)
26. Toronto Maple Leafs (17)
27. Carolina Hurricanes (27)
28. Columbus Blue Jackets (18)
29. Edmonton Oilers (28)
30. Buffalo Sabres (22)

Flames coach Bob Hartley was only kidding a little when he said: “Elvis was starting to sing, I think, the last time we won in Anaheim.”…With Ondrej Pavelec on the shelf for a month, Michael Hutchinson is the man on the hot seat in Winnipeg…Here’s how ordinary the Pacific Division is these days. Vancouver is 8-8-6 and they’re in a playoff spot…Captain Shane Doan is five goals shy of Dale Hawerchuk’s Jets/Coyotes franchise record for career goals (379)…Jaromir Jagr has a shooting percentage of 20.5 percent. If it keeps up, it will be the highest of his career…James Reimer, the Leafs undisputed best player, left Tuesday’s practice early after tweaking his leg…One bright spot for the Hurricanes? Defenseman Justin Faulk leads the NHL with eight power-play goals…Brandon Dubinsky (infected elbow) and Alexander Wennberg (foot injury), are expected to play for the Blue Jackets tonight in New Jersey…Raise your hand if you thought Anders Nilsson would be the Oilers No. 1 goalie and Cam Talbot would be the backup a quarter into the season…After missing the past four games with an upper-body injury, Zemgus Girgensons hopes to be in the lineup tonight against Nashville.

 

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Power Rankings: Sharknado devastates the NHL's east coast