Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Chicago Blackhawks In Top 20 Amid Bye Week

By Tim Martens
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 14: Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) battles for position in front of Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) during the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings on January 14, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 14: Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) battles for position in front of Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek (34) during the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings on January 14, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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11. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous: No. 11

The Leafs are 4-3-3 in their last 10 and struggling to keep the puck out of the net. Their 133 goals surrendered this year is the second-worst mark currently among teams sitting in playoff spots in the league. The Leafs have a potent offense, but need stronger play from their defense and goaltending if they are going to take that next step.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 13: The Kings celebrate after scoring their second goal of the game in the third period during an NHL game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings on January 13, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 13: The Kings celebrate after scoring their second goal of the game in the third period during an NHL game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings on January 13, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

10. Los Angeles Kings

Previous: No. 9

Losers of four straight, L.A. is on the downward trend. The Kings are, however, the best team in hockey in goals against on the year. If they can find a way to get some more offensive production, they could be a threat again this year.

9. New Jersey Devils

Previous: No. 8

The Devils are 4-3-3 in their last 10 and can’t seem to take that next big step. They are still secure in a playoff spot right now, but they will need to continue to play good hockey in the second half in order to see the postseason.

8. St. Louis Blues

Previous: No. 6

The Blues are 5-4-1 in their last ten games , including surrendering seven goals in a game against the lowly Panthers. They returned from the winter break Tuesday with a win and will look to get back to getting some more victories after a promising first half of the year.

7. Calgary Flames

Previous: No. 16

Surprised to see them this high? The Flames take a huge jump up the NHL power rankings with seven straight wins heading into their winter break, including an impressive 5-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lighting on Thursday. The streak has put the Flames right back into the playoff race after a first half of the year, when they were on the outside looking in. If they keep this play up, they could be a real threat in the West.

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