Blackhawks, Bruins sit atop NHL week 3 power rankings

by Dan St. Pierre of Bruins Daily

Boston Bruins Hockey, Chicago Blackhawks, Bruins Blogs, Patrick Kane, Power Rankings

(Credit Bridget Samuels) Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks sit atop Dan’s NHL Power Rankings for another week.

Welcome to the third edition of NHL Power Rankings where we’ll take a look around the league and break down each team on a weekly basis.

This past week, we saw major improvement by three Eastern Conference teams: the New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. A jump in the rankings by several teams, obviously resulted in a downward spiral in the power rankings this week by a handful of teams, such as the St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.

However, the Chicago Blackhawks, who have yet to lose in regulation, remain atop the NHL Power Rankings, while the Boston Bruins sit right behind them

This edition of power rankings will mark the last of this nature, as I’ll reveal my exact format for my rankings system starting next week.

View the full version of this week’s power rankings after the jump

 

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Team Analysis Record Previous Week Ranking
Chicago Blackhawks The Hawks remain as the only undefeated team in regulation play this season after walking away with points in all games played this week. Chicago finally returned home for two games after playing six straight games on the road and picked up three out of a possible four points. It’s tough to find another team in the NHL that’s been as dominant as the Hawks who rank near the top in Goals For(51), Goals Against(31) and Goal Differential(+19). 12-0-3 1
Boston Bruins The Bruins may have suffered a tough 4-2, defeat in Buffalo on Friday night, but few teams in the NHL are playing with the type of consistency that Boston has played with. The one area the Bruins need to vastly improve is their defensive group that continues to turn the puck over in their own end. With three more games away from the Garden ahead, Boston could see a significant drop in the rankings by next week. 9-2-2 3
New Jersey Devils The Devils may have been the Eastern Conference’s representative in last season’s Cup final, but few expect New Jersey to make a return to the June Invitational Tournament. Big Mistake. 9-3-4 10
Vancouver Canucks Dallas snapped Vancouver’s six game winning streak that began back on January 30, but the Canucks are just getting started. What was once a brewing controversy has now turned into a position of luxury as it really doesn’t matter which goaltender suits up for Vancouver. On top of their recent fortunes, the Canucks finally saw Ryan Kesler return to the lineup, only making an already potent offense, much more dangerous. 8-3-3 9
Pittsburgh Penguins If you don’t include any game against New Jersey, Pittsburgh is unbeaten since January 31. Problem is, every game does count and the Penguins continue to struggle in any match up against the Devils this season. Nonetheless, the Penguins are starting to light up scoreboards around the Eastern Conference, even with Evgeni Malkin scoring just three goals this season. 11-5-0 5
Anaheim Ducks Anaheim lost Jonas Hiller to injury but Bruce Boudreau’s bunch hasn’t missed a beat. Overall, the Ducks have won nine-of-their last ten games, including victories over St. Louis, Chicago, San Jose and Detroit. Goaltender Viktor Fasth has been sensational in his eight starts, winning all eight games, including one via a first career shutout. 12-2-1 6
San Jose Sharks In the Shark tank, things are starting to spiral downward after losing seven straight. San Jose opened up the year as one of the NHL’s hottest teams, but are fading fast. The most impressive stats rest alone with the superstar forwards of the Sharks. Over the last seven games, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski have produced 3 goals, 1 assist and a -10 plus/minus rating. 7-4-3 2
Montreal Canadiens After suffering a 6-0 defeat at home, the Canadiens bounced back to knock off Tampa Bay 4-3 in a shootout and Florida 1-0 in overtime, with both games coming on the road. 10-4-1 8
Carolina Hurricanes Quietly blowing through the terrible Southeast Division is the Carolina Hurricanes, winners of three straight and point earners in their last six games. During that stretch, Carolina achieved victories on the road over the Islanders(6-4) and Devils(4-2). 8-5-1 19
New York Rangers Thursday night at home against the Isles marked the end of Rangers’ three game winning streak but New York’s on the right track moving forward. Early season issues with their defensive units have now become a position of strength and the trio of Gaborik, Nash and Richards continues to produce. 8-5-1 16
Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne has played ridiculous in goal over his last five starts, resulting in the Predators’ surge in the power rankings this week. Included in Rinne’s torrid five game stretch is three shutouts over the Kings, Sharks and Coyotes. 7-4-5 18
St. Louis Blues When Jaroslav Halak went down with a groin injury, few thought the Blues would suffer with capable backup Brian Elliott stepping in but that’s hardly been the case. Ken Hitchcock sent out Elliott for four straight starts which saw the former Senators netminder surrender at least four goals in each start, all resulting in losses. With an injured Halak and a struggling Elliott, Hitchcock turned to Peoria call up Jake Allen. Since calling upon Allen, the Blues are 3-0, including a 4-3 overtime victory in the rookie’s first career start in Detroit. 8-5-1 7
Tampa Bay Lightning The Bolts opened up the first two weeks of the season as one of the league’s best, but that all ended when February began. In February, Tampa Bay is 2-5-1, including four losses to the Atlantic Division’s New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. However, Saturday night’s come from behind, 6-5 overtime win against Florida could be the kind of building block Guy Boucher’s squad needs to shake them out of their recent rut. 7-6-1 4
Detroit Red Wings After looking impressive in all their games last week, the Red Wings reverted back to the same dismal defensive play that plagued them at the beginning of the season. The great teams can pull out victories at home without their best player, which the Wings can’t do. Without Pavel Datsyuk on Friday night in a pivotal game against the Ducks, the Wings got dominated, including a 37-28 shot disadvantage, resulting in a 5-2 spanking in Hockeytown. 7-6-2 11
Toronto Maple Leafs The Leafs continue to produce on the road (7-2-0) and finally found success at home, courtesy of back-to-back victories over the Flyers(5-2) and Senators(3-0), even in the absence of starting goaltender James Reimer who continues to miss action due to injury. However, Reimer may have lost the starting job as backup, Ben Scrivens continues to excel in net. Counting Monday’s 3-0 shutout victory in Florida, Scrivens is 2-1-1 with a 1.12 GAA, .971 Sv %, with two shutouts in Reimer’s absence. And yes… Phil Kessel is a big reason for Toronto’s recent success. 10-6-0 23
Dallas Stars If you’re a hockey fan, you can thank your lucky stars(pun intended) your hometown hockey team isn’t the Dallas Stars. First, the face of your franchise begins the season watching from home. Second, your key off season acquisitions were guys 95% of your roster grew up as kids watching play in the NHL. Next, you’ve already watched three different goaltenders make starts during the season. Lastly, your team gets blown out in Calgary against a terrible Flames team but turn around 48 hours later to knock off the Canucks 4-3 in Vancouver. 8-7-1 20
Ottawa Senators Ship is about to sink, but here’s all you need to know…

Senators Injury List:
E.Karlsson(Season)
J.Spezza(Return in April, maybe)
M.Michalek(2 games & counting)
P.Regan(Currently on IR)
G.Latendresse(Currently on IR)

8-6-2 12
Phoenix Coyotes Every night, you can expect a strong effort from the Coyotes, but lacking scoring power will always loom in the desert. We know the Coyotes are limited with roster flexibility but you can’t help but wonder how Rick Nash would look in the desert. Regardless, Phoenix will continue to taste success behind the NHL’s most underrated goaltender, Mike Smith. 8-6-2 14
Edmonton Oilers Obviously, the Oilers bolster some of the best young talent in the NHL, but that won’t get you into the playoffs alone. Edmonton’s youthful core is learning on the fly what it takes to win at the NHL level, leading to sporadic play thus far. For example, a 2-1 defeat against the Red Wings was followed up by a 3-1 victory in Columbus, which was followed up by a 4-1 loss at home to Dallas, which was followed up by a 6-4 victory at home against Colorado. Got all that? Exactly, inconsistency at it’s purest form. 6-5-3 13
Minnesota Wild It won’t be much longer before fans of the Wild drop the excuse that their roster is just familiarizing itself playing with one another. As top spenders during Free Agency this off season, the Wild continue to shine at home(6-2-1) but falter on the road(1-4-1). 7-6-2 17
Buffalo Sabres Like most of the teams in the bottom 15, inconsistency is the key ingredient for failue, like the Sabres this season. For several seasons, the City of Buffalo cried for a roster shakeup and this off season, their wish was granted. Nonetheless, the old adage rings true for the Northeast Division’s worst team, “Be careful what you wish for.” 6-9-1 22
Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia may sit in last place in the Atlantic Division but not all is lost for the Flyers just yet. Unlike the Sabres who struggle home or away, the majority of the Flyers’ issues exist while playing on the road(3-8-0). There’s still major issues to correct, but the Flyers continue to produce at home(4-1-1) and believe they still make a run for a playoff spot this season. 7-9-1 27
Los Angeles Kings The nostalgic feeling of past success in the Staples Center is starting to evaporate as the wardens of Lord Stanley’s Cup continue to struggle out of the gate. The Kings have played nine of 13 total games on the road this season, producing a 3-5-1 road record. During their Cup run, the Kings relied heavily on a strong defensive unit but this season, their defense is the walking wounded. Alec Martinez, Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell all remain out indefinitely, resulting in a very shaky start to the year for Conn-Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick. 5-6-2 25
New York Islanders After going 4-2-1 during January, the Isles have come back down to earth, losing seven-of-nine games in February, even with the return of Lubomir Vishnovsky from the KHL. After watching the Flyers dismantle the Islanders 7-0 at the Coliseum on Monday, it’s safe to say it’s only a matter of time before New York finds themselves cemented in the basement of the Eastern Conference. 6-8-1 15
Colorado Avalanche Quick, name the starting defensive pair for the Avalanche right now… Didn’t think so, I couldn’t either. Nonetheless, a resurgent Matt Duchene in the absence of UFA holdout Ryan O’Reilly and injured captain Gabriel Landeskog, has Colorado bringing their best effort in front of their home crowd. The problem for the Avs this season is winning away from the Pepsi Center, who are giving up a boatload of goals on the road, en route to a 2-5-0 record. 6-7-1 21
Winnipeg Jets As stated before, the Southeast Division is the worst division in all of sports and if you take a look at the standings, you’ll form the same opinion. Currently, the Jets sit tied for last place in the Southeast with 11 points, but still remain in the hunt for first place, trailing the Hurricanes by six points in the standings. 5-8-1 24
Washington Capitals The Capitals continue to struggle but have showed signs of turning it around over the last ten days. The turnaround started on February 9 in a 5-0 shutout victory at home against the Panthers which was followed up with two straight victories over Florida and Tampa Bay. However, Washington’s three game winning streak came to an abrupt halt on Sunday with a 2-1 loss in New York against the Rangers. There’s still plenty of work to be done to get back in the playoff hunt, but it also helps that a couple of good weeks in a row probably lands you first place in the Southeast as well… 5-9-1 29
Calgary Flames Michael Cammalleri returned to action on February 13 against Dallas which saw the former Hab light up the Stars for four points, including a hat trick. Since returning, Cammalleri has four goals, two assists and six points which has resulted in a 2-2 record since his return. Now if they could only get Mikka Kiprusoff back on the ice… 5-6-3 30
Florida Panthers I hope the few Panther fans that remain in Sunrise were able to attend a few playoff games last season because it’ll be another decade until another opportunity arises. 4-7-4 28
Columbus Blue Jackets So, the guy who orchestrated the biggest trade in your franchise’s history during the off season now finds himself walking the umemployment line? The General Manager you replaced him with hasn’t been able to get a work visa and has yet to see his office in Columbus? Good job, good effort. 4-10-2 26
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Posted on February 19, 2013, in NHL. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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