Week 8 NHL Power Rankings
We are over halfway through the season and the pressure and competition is picking up as the season winds down. Some teams are starting to show their worth, while other teams are plummeting. Here are my updated power rankings:
20. Philadelphia Flyers (12-14-1) Previous Rank: 12
Last week was rough for the Flyers, losing three straight to Eastern Conference contenders. They bounced back against a struggling Buffalo Sabres team, but left a lot to be desired in a close contest.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-12-4) Previous Rank: N/A
The Blue Jackets are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. They have won five in a row, including two impressive wins over the Detroit Red Wings.
18. San Jose Sharks (11-7-6) Previous Rank: 17
The Sharks have lost three in a row, but have come away with points in five of their last seven games. They are struggling to win, but I guess the consolation overtime points will have to do until they figure things out.
17. Vancouver Canucks (11-7-6) Previous Rank: 10
Their offense has been particularly weak and is one of the reasons why this team has lost six of their last seven games. They have lost their hold on the Northwest division lead and are now fighting for a playoff spot.
16. New Jersey Devils (12-9-5) Previous Rank: 20
Marty Brodeur’s presence is greatly missed. This team is struggling to keep pucks out of their net and their offense can’t seem to get going. They’ve won two of their last three in shootout fashion, but things aren’t looking good for the Devils.
15. St. Louis Blues (13-10-2) Previous Rank: 14
The Blues’ woes continue on defense and are the main reason why this team is struggling to stay afloat in the western conference. They have a three-game home stand coming up that could help them gain some ground out west.
14. Phoenix Coyotes (12-10-3) Previous Rank: 13
The Coyotes have been very inconsistent. After two impressive wins against Anaheim, they follow it up by getting shut out at Anaheim and getting blown out versus St. Louis. Maybe they can rebound and gain some ground in the Pacific division when they face the Kings on Tuesday.
13. Detroit Red Wings (12-9-5) Previous Rank: 16
Two straight losses to the Blue Jackets is disheartening. They have lost three of their last six and the road ahead won’t get any easier because a chunk of their remaining games will be on the road.
12. Dallas Stars (12-10-2) Previous Rank: 15
Jaromir Jagr has been dominant lately, scoring five goals in his last four games. Jamie Benn left Saturday’s game with a potential concussion. That could be a huge loss for Dallas.
11. Toronto Maple Leafs (15-10-1) Previous Rank: 7
Their offense has been on fire, scoring 20 goals in their last five games. This team seems to be formidable and could be a great challenge come playoff time.
10. New York Rangers (13-9-2) Previous Rank: 18
We’re starting to see what people expected to see from the Rangers at the beginning of the season. Rick Nash has been a huge catalyst for this team and they will need his consistent production to stay hot.
9. Minnesota Wild (13-9-2) Previous Rank: 11
The Wild are now in first place in the Northwest division. They have won seven of their last 10 games and things seem to be coming together for this team.
8. Ottawa Senators (13-8-5) Previous Rank: 8
The Senators continue to push forward despite their injury woes. They won’t go away, and it’s been amazing to watch. Paul MacLean is doing a great job with this club.
7. Carolina Hurricanes (14-9-1) Previous Rank: 6
They have five of their last six, but the absence of Cam Ward has been evident. How long can their offense continue to carry the load?
6. Los Angeles Kings (14-8-2) Previous Rank: 9
The Kings are surging and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Once Jonathan Quick regains form, this team may be unstoppable.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (18-8) Previous Rank: 5
Evgeni Malkin’s return from a concussion only lasted three games as he is out again with an upper body injury. Their offense has been dominant, but their defense has been shaky, giving up at least three goals in seven of eight games.
4. Anaheim Ducks (18-3-3) Previous Rank: 3
After two disappointing losses to the Coyotes, the Ducks have won three straight. The Ducks have 11 consecutive wins at home and will hope to carry that momentum on the road against Minnesota, Dallas and St. Louis.
3. Montreal Canadians (17-5-4) Previous Rank: 2
The Canadians offense has been stellar, averaging 4.43 goals in their last seven games. They have been great on the road and hold the top spot on the Eastern conference. However, Boston has played three fewer games than they have.
2. Boston Bruins (17-3-3) Previous Rank: 4
The Bruins are 8-1-1 in their last ten and appear to be the beast of the east. Their power play was inert for a large part of the season, but now seems to be clicking as they have converted on 27 percent of their chances over the past five games.
1. Chicago Blackhawks (21-2-3) Previous Rank: 1
The point streak is over and the Blackhawks seem to be starting a new streak after losing their last two. But that isn’t enough for this team to drop in the rankings. Their defense has hit a bump, but this team is supremely talented and will regain form.