Feb 19, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a victory against the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in the shootout. The Blackhawks tied an NHL record for scoring at least one point in 16 consecutive games to open a season. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
This weeks power rankings have a lot of twist and turns, that have ultimately effected the rankings this week. The fall of St. Louis is The biggest surprise, but the rise of Detroit, and Vancouver have been the talk. Chicago still remains undefeated in regulation this season, and Anaheim continues to stay close behind. At this point in the season you cannot fall into a long slump and expect to get out, let’s see what will happen, as teams try to climb out of their hole.
15. Calgary Flames(5-6-3)
The Flames Continue to be near the bottom of the power rankings this season. They are not getting the production or help in front of Kiprosoff. Jerome Iginla has had a bad start after only scoring once to start the season. The Flames need to start seeing more production throughout the team in order to pick up their game this season.
14. Colorado Avalanche(6-7-1)
Colorado has had a crazy season, though expectations are always high the Avalanche continue to show this season they are weak. The duo of Duchene and Stastny has been shut down this season, only scoring seven goals together. Goaltender Semyon Varlomov has had a tough season with only 3 wins, and a brutal .909 save percentage. The Avs need to see more out of their stars this season.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets(4-10-2)
Columbus started the season with such high expectations, but the pressure proved way too much. They have become old Columbus with Steve Mason giving up soft goals, and signs of quit come by the end of the game. The firing of their GM should give some spark for now, but look for the team to flop by the end of the season.
12. Phoenix Coyotes(8-6-2)
Phoenix is showing sudden signs of life, but I’m still not impressed. Mike Smith is not the Smith we knew last season, and Doan is showing the same self-centered player he was in the past. The loss of Ray Whitney still continues to hurt the Coyotes, but Vrbata, and Hanzal are stepping up. Look to see the Coyotes move up in the rankings if their play continues to show potential.
11. Los Angeles Kings(6-6-2)
When the Kings started the season the expectations were large, very large, but the Kings have been all but impressive. The Kings have had to overcome adversity this season, after losing Matt Greene, and the slow start for their prized goaltender, Johnathan Quick. Look for the season to come around Kings fans, remember you were the 8 seed last year.
10. Minnesota Wild(7-6-2)
Minnesota is a crazy place these days, the amount of frustration is through the roof. The amount of money they had placed on the team this season seems almost a waste with the teams position right now. The good news is the star player Zach Parise leads the team in goals. The goaltender battle between Backstrom and Harding was a great idea at first, but now this may be a problem down the stretch, not a blessing.
9. Edmonton Oilers(6-6-3)
Edmonton continues to show life of their own, but still they are not yet ready to compete for the top playoff spots. Lets also keep in mind age could be a factor, remember the World Junior Championships this year? Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was playing in that event. They say youth brings wonders but is 19 too young?
8. Dallas Stars(8-7-1)
The Dallas Stars have been a surprise this season. The play of Jamie Benn, Jaomir Jagr, and Ray Whitney have been a good combo this season for the Stars. Benn who was a star of the week this past week, has grown to be a large fan favorite has been very good for Dallas this season. Benn has a team tying 4 goals, and 6 assist.
7. Detroit Red Wings(7-6-3)
Detroit has come back this season, after all the doubt about being too old. Yet the good look this far should we still be concerned about the age? Age is not only a concern for the old, but players being brought up to control the back-end are young. It was hard to get a grip on losing Lindstrom, but why not pursue some defenseman in the offseason before the lockout.
6. St. Louis Blues(9-6-1)
The tag on the Blues should not be the “Blues Look To Get On Track”, yet it should be “The Fall of St. Louis”. The Blues started the season stride for stride with Chicago this season, but lately their has been a turn for the Blues. If the Blues want to get back to the top, they need to show they want to help in front of Halak, Elliot, and now Allen. Halak is riding a team leading 3 wins, and a 2.10 GAA.
5. San Jose Sharks(8-4-3)
San Jose just like St. Louis started this season off to the races, but stopped getting production, and therefore fell to teams they shouldnt. The Sharks need to look at the Hawks as the start back to the top this Friday. They also need to see production from Marleau, and Thorton again this season.
4. Nashville Predators(8-4-5)
After the start of the season for the Predators subsided, they stopped losing in overtime, and started winning. They have seen players come and go in the offseason, and like they should came back strong, and showed us all why the Preds are a legit contender. They show physicality, finesse, and great goaltending. Look for the roll to continue along this season, the players and coaching is there, all they need is execution.
3. Vancouver Canucks(8-3-4)
Vancouver has had a good season this far despite starting .500 through their first 6 games. The idea to start Schneider over Luongo this season was questionable, yet the two goaltenders are really getting a feel for how to win in such a harsh hockey environment.
2. Anaheim Ducks(12-2-1)
The Ducks continue to show they are legit, they beat the Blackhawks in a shootout this season, and handed the Sharks their first loss this season. They are now starting to get production out of Corey Perry this season, but even undercover production out of the whole team. This team doesnt have a lot of talent, but the chemistry is there. From veterans to rookies, everyone is on the same page in Anaheim.
1. Chicago Blackhawks(13-0-3)
Sorry folks i dont mean to seem bias, but this is a no-brainer that the Chicago Blackhawks are not only the best team in the Conference, but the best team in the League. This team is a model of what every team wishes they had, all 4 lines are producing, all 3 defensive pairs are in tact, and they are all there as a team. Keep in mind that captain Jonathan Toews got in a fight this year, and Duncan Keith took 19 minutes in penalties while standing up for Jamal Mayers. This should be really exciting to see how this team moves along this season.
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