Week 7 NHL Power Rankings

We are seven weeks into the NHL season. The Blackhawks are still winning and other teams that started hot are now losing games. Here are my top 20 power rankings:

20. New Jersey Devils (10-7-5)
Who is this team? Recently, they have looked nothing like the team that was perched atop the Eastern conference earlier in the season. They have gone 3-5-2 in their last ten. Devils fans should be concerned.

19. Winnipeg Jets (10-10-1)
The Jets are in second place in their division and are quietly climbing the standings. A 3-0 loss to Washington was bad, but they have games coming up against struggling opponents that may help them put points in the win column.

18. New York Rangers (10-8-2)
The Rangers are not the team people expected them to be at the beginning of the season. Their defense has been solid, but they need to juice things up offensively if they want to string together more wins.

17. San Jose Sharks (10-6-4)
Their offense has slowed down, but their defense and goaltending is still there. This team has looked dismal since starting 7-0. They’ve really struggled on the road and with eight of their next ten on the road, the struggle may continue.

16. Detroit Red Wings (10-8-4)
The Red Wings lost a tough game against the Blackhawks on Sunday. However, they have been playing much better lately since dropping five in a row in mid-February. They are 3-2 in their last five.

15. Dallas Stars (11-9-2)
The Stars have a good balanced attack, but they struggle with consistency. They lose to teams like the Edmonton Oilers, but steamrolled over St. Louis.

14. St. Louis Blues (11-8-2)
This isn’t the same shutdown, defensive team that we watched last year. Something is off and I’m not sure what it is. The 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars highlights their defensive struggles.

13. Phoenix Coyotes (10-8-3)
The Coyotes have been impressive lately, knocking off the Ducks in two straight overtime games and going 6-3-1 in their last ten. They have shown that they can win close games, and that’s a good sign.

12. Philadelphia Flyers (11-11-1)
This team looked listless to start the season, but they have looked a lot better lately. Their offensive production has picked up, but they need to find a way to plug the holes in their leaky defense.

11. Minnesota Wild (11-8-2)
This team has come on strong lately, and the money they spent in free agency seems to be paying dividends. They have gone 6-3-1 in their last ten and are coming off of an impressive victory against Edmonton.

10. Vancouver Canucks (11-6-4)
A 4-2 lost to the Calgary Flames was very discouraging. They are also 4-4-2 in their last ten. They need to find a spark, and fast.

9. Los Angeles Kings (11-7-2)
The Kings have finally decided to show up. After getting off to a slow start, they seem to have found some rhythm. They have gone 8-2 in their last ten. Look out for the defending champs.

8. Ottawa Senators (12-7-4)
The Senators have lost their last three and are maybe beginning to feel the effects of losing three of their best players. This is a tough defensive team and that’s helping them stay afloat, for the time being.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-0)
Toronto hasn’t been the most consistent team this season, but they are somehow finding ways to win. They are 9-4 on the road this season. Not too shabby.

6. Carolina Hurricanes (12-8-1)
Alexander Semin is fitting in really well with his new team. He has recorded six points during Carolina’s three-game win streak. Bad news: Cam Ward will be out 6-8 weeks with an MCL strain. That is a huge loss.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (15-8-0)
Losing Evgeni Malkin didn’t hurt this team’s offensive production. They averaged 5.5 goals per game without him and continued rolling when he returned against the Lightning. However, defense and consistency in net has been a concern for this team.

4. Boston Bruins (14-3-2)
With a 2.16 goals against average, good for fourth in the league, the Bruins are a very tough team to score against. They won six straight before falling to the Canadians on Sunday. Their penalty kill has been exceptional, but they really need to improve on the power play.

3. Anaheim Ducks (15-3-3)
The Ducks have dropped two in a row versus the Phoenix Coyotes while surrendering four goals in each contest. Their offense has been strong, but their defense has been porous lately. They are 7-1-2 in their last ten.

2. Montreal Canadians (14-4-4)
The Canadians are coming off of an impressive road victory against their division rival Boston Bruins. They have come away with points in 11 straight games.

1. Chicago Blackhawks (19-0-3)
The Blackhawks have won nine straight games without even an overtime lost. They are plus 29 in goal differential and show no signs of slowing down as they continue to make history.

Categories: Hockey,Opinion