Updated: January 19, 2015, 11:28 AM ET

Ducks make it count


By Pierre LeBrun (posted Jan. 19, 2015)

The Ducks are getting hot again, and you know they loved spoiling the party in Los Angeles on Saturday when Rob Blake had his number retired. The Islanders, meanwhile, keep telling the hockey world they're not going away.

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1
Anaheim
30-10-6
The Ducks are now an amazing 22-0-6 in one-goal games after their shootout win over the rival Kings. Some people will say that means they're bound for regression. Could be. The only thing that truly matters is the Ducks are finding a way when it matters most: in the spring.
2
NY Islanders
30-14-1
OK, they lost to the Habs on Saturday night, but Friday's win over Pittsburgh and Tuesday's win at MSG over the rival Rangers continued an amazing season for John Tavares and his merry bunch of Isles. Love this team.
3
Nashville
30-10-4
The loss of MVP goalie Pekka Rinne for a month will truly test the first-place Predators, who have gone 1-1 since losing him. They beat the Caps but lost to Detroit with Carter Hutton in net for both. They're in Montreal for a tough test Tuesday night.
4
St. Louis
28-14-4
Can Brett Hull come out of retirement to join the fun? The Blues are tied for second in the NHL at 3.13 goals per game and tied for tops on the power play at 25.2 percent. They focused last offseason on becoming more dynamic offensively, which explained some of their transactions. It's working!
5
NY Rangers
26-13-4
Spoke with a Western Conference team executive last week who said he was so impressed with the speed up front with which the Blueshirts attack the opposition. Big win Sunday in Pittsburgh.
6
Tampa Bay
29-14-4
The Bolts have been outshot in four straight games but won their last two. Thank you, Ben Bishop.
7
Montreal
28-13-3
They beat the Metropolitan-leading Islanders on Saturday. Now they get a shot at the Central-leading Predators on Tuesday night.
8
Chicago
28-15-2
So Joel Quenneville is going to owe me for this, but I'm dropping the Blackhawks -- my Stanley Cup pick in the preseason -- lowering them six spots in the Power Rankings, in order to wake them up from their midseason boredom.
9
Detroit
26-11-9
The Red Wings just keep humming along without Jimmy Howard. Love the mix of veteran stars (Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall) with rising stars (Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Danny DeKesyer). Mike Babcock again making a major difference behind the bench, as he always does.
10
Pittsburgh
26-12-6
Weekend losses to the Islanders and Rangers with Marc-Andre Fleury pulled on Sunday. A little dip in their play of late.
11
Boston
24-16-6
The Bruins' loss to the Blue Jackets snapped a five-game winning streak. Looks like the real B's are back, a team to contend with in the second half.
12
Winnipeg
25-14-8
How about a 3-0-0 record against the Blackhawks this season after Friday night's win at Chicago? If there is a hockey god, please let there be playoff hockey in the 'Peg this spring!
13
Washington
24-13-8
Tough weekend with losses at Nashville and Dallas, particularly the loss in Barry Trotz's return Friday night to the Music City.
14
Vancouver
25-15-3
Ryan Miller with back-to-back shutouts in Philadelphia and Carolina, as the Canucks continue their road trip Monday at Florida.
15
Calgary
24-18-3
How about a perfect 3-0-0 record so far on this huge road trip with wins in Vancouver, Arizona and San Jose? The trip goes through L.A. on Monday night and then wraps up in Anaheim on Wednesday night.
16
San Jose
24-16-6
The Sharks are just 18th in goals per game, which is not where we're used to seeing these guys. But then again, this isn't quite the same team as it rebuilds on the fly.
17
Los Angeles
20-14-11
You just keep waiting for the normal, second-half push, and I suspect we'll see it again. But the defending champion Kings wrap up a seven-game homestand Monday night versus Calgary having won just one of those games (1-2-3). Wake up, boys.
18
Dallas
21-17-7
Huge weekend victories over Washington and Chicago, and don't look now but the Stars are just two points out of a playoff spot when the task seemed so daunting most of the year.
19
Florida
20-13-10
Three straight losses for the young Panthers, who tease you with their immense potential but also show you their inexperience at times.
20
Colorado
19-17-10
The Avs have dropped three of four but also have points in three of four as they try to hang in the playoff race at three points back.
21
Minnesota
20-19-5
Oh man, that's got to feel good for Mike Yeo's crew: Two straight wins to stop the spiraling nightmare. Devan Dubnyk looked sharp in Saturday's win over the Coyotes. It's what this team needed: some saves!
22
Columbus
19-21-3
The hockey world descends on Columbus for the All-Star Game this week, and while it's a market that doesn't get a lot of love, it should. This is a solid hockey town.
23
Toronto
22-21-3
Well, at least the Maple Leafs began their freefall out of the playoffs in January this season, instead of putting their fans through it in March.
24
Ottawa
18-18-8
Followed up a big win over the Habs by losing at home to Carolina. Tells the story of a team that's been inconsistent all season.
25
Philadelphia
18-21-7
A lot of work here for GM Ron Hextall, and it must start on the blue line.
26
New Jersey
16-22-8
At some point, Lou Lamoriello and Jaromir Jagr have to talk about whether he wants to stay or go.
27
Arizona
16-24-5
Say what you will, but with Sunday's third-period comeback that ended in a shootout loss at Winnipeg, they showed that they're not going through the motions.
28
Carolina
15-25-5
You get the same feeling here under Bill Peters that these guys will play hard the rest of the year despite their place in the standings.
29
Edmonton
11-26-9
I know I've said this before, but Oilers fans deserve so much more than what's happened the past decade in Edmonton.
30
Buffalo
14-30-3
Hey, Sabres fans are all-in for the rebuild, so as bad as this team looks -- and man, it looks horrible -- most of the season-ticket holders right now are buying the rebuild.

Advertisement

Tell us what you think!

Take Survey Now » No Thanks »