The Washington Capitals have taken over the top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild.
Others moving up this week include the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets are headed in the other direction.
1. WASHINGTON CAPITALS 29-9-6
THIS WEEK: 1 LAST WEEK: 2
GF: 3.11 GA: 2.05 SA CF%: 53.4
PP%: 18.6 PK%: 86.0
Monday’s 8-7 overtime loss to Pittsburgh snapped a nine-game winning streak during which the Capitals outscored the opposition 40-11, laying waste to some quality teams in the process. Welcome back to the top, Washington.
Key Injuries: D John Carlson (lower body).
2. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 29-9-4
THIS WEEK: 2 LAST WEEK: 1
GF: 3.31 GA: 2.24 SA CF%: 51.5
PP%: 26.0 PK%: 83.0
Since their 16-game winning streak was snapped the Blue Jackets have one regulation win in six games, but four of those games have been started by backup goalies due to Sergei Bobrovsky dealing with an illness.
Key Injuries: None.
3. MINNESOTA WILD 28-9-5
THIS WEEK: 3 LAST WEEK: 4
GF: 3.26 GA: 2.14 SA CF%: 49.4
PP%: 20.2 PK%: 84.9
17-1-1 in the past 19 games, the Wild have the top goaltender in the game and are scoring a bunch thanks to the second-best shooting percentage (both even-strength and overall) in the league. That helps to overcome being on the wrong end of the shot battle.
Key Injuries: None.
4. MONTREAL CANADIENS 27-12-6
THIS WEEK: 4 LAST WEEK: 5
GF: 3.04 GA: 2.49 SA CF%: 53.1
PP%: 21.7 PK%: 78.9
Since starting the season 13-1-1, the Habs are a rather mediocre 14-11-5, but got some good news this week with the return of top line centre Alex Galchenyuk.
Key Injuries: RW Brendan Gallagher (hand), D Andrei Markov (lower body), C David Desharnais (knee).
5. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 27-11-5
THIS WEEK: 5 LAST WEEK: 3
GF: 3.51 GA: 3.02 SA CF%: 51.1
PP%: 23.3 PK%: 78.1
The overtime win over Washington snapped a three-game losing streak, and the Penguins are missing two of their top four defencemen. Good thing they have the horses to play run-and-gun if need be.
Key Injuries: D Brian Dumoulin (jaw), D Kris Letang (lower body).
6. SAN JOSE SHARKS 26-16-2
THIS WEEK: 6 LAST WEEK: 8
GF: 2.61 GA: 2.32 SA CF%: 52.4
PP%: 16.4 PK%: 83.0
The Sharks have been stumbling around, 3-4-1 in the past eight games, and could definitely use more production from the supporting cast. Rookie RW Timo Meier, who has 38 shots on goal (and two goals) in 14 games, could be an important contributor down the stretch.
Key Injuries: LW Tomas Hertl (knee), RW Joonas Donskoi (upper body).
7. NEW YORK RANGERS 28-15-1
THIS WEEK: 7 LAST WEEK: 7
GF: 3.43 GA: 2.52 SA CF%: 47.8
PP%: 23.2 PK%: 83.0
The Blueshirts are getting healthier, but they’re left with an unusual concern – what is going on with G Henrik Lundqvist? He has a career-low .907 save percentage.
Key Injuries: D Marc Staal (upper body).
8. EDMONTON OILERS 24-15-7
THIS WEEK: 8 LAST WEEK: 9
GF: 2.78 GA: 2.59 SA CF%: 52.5
PP%: 20.4 PK%: 81.5
The Oilers are 5-2 in the past seven games, and their (relatively) new top line is killing it.
Key Injuries: D Darnell Nurse (ankle).
9. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 27-14-5
THIS WEEK: 9 LAST WEEK: 6
GF: 2.70 GA: 2.50 SA CF%: 50.3
PP%: 18.6 PK%: 75.6
With just three regulation wins in the past dozen games, the Blackhawks are finding out how difficult the game can be when not dominating the shot counts, which has been a hallmark of Chicago’s Cup-winning teams.
Key Injuries: C Marcus Kruger (upper body).
10. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 20-13-8
THIS WEEK: 10 LAST WEEK: 11
GF: 3.10 GA: 2.80 SA CF%: 51.4
PP%: 23.8 PK%: 84.4
The improvement from the Maple Leafs has been dramatic. With two regulation losses in the past 14 games, not only are the Leafs actually good, they are forcing questions about whether they should make a move to upgrade the blueline now.
Key Injuries: None.
11. BOSTON BRUINS 23-19-5
THIS WEEK: 11 LAST WEEK: 12
GF: 2.45 GA: 2.47 SA CF%: 55.6
PP%: 16.4 PK%: 86.5
The Bruins are struggling to score, shooting 7.2% overall (ranked 28th), and that’s undermining league-best possession numbers.
Key Injuries: LW Matt Beleskey (hip).
12. ANAHEIM DUCKS 24-13-9
THIS WEEK: 12 LAST WEEK: 14
GF: 2.63 GA: 2.50 SA CF%: 49.8
PP%: 21.4 PK%: 82.7
With just one regulation loss in the past dozen games, the Ducks are riding a hot goaltender – John Gibson has a .939 save percentage in 13 games since mid-December.
Key Injuries: D Simon Despres (concussion).
13. LOS ANGELES KINGS 22-18-4
THIS WEEK: 13 LAST WEEK: 13
GF: 2.50 GA: 2.43 SA CF%: 53.9
PP%: 16.9 PK%: 83.2
The Kings still control play, but they run Peter Budaj in goal virtually every game and don’t score enough to be much better than break even. Do they have a move available to them to upgrade the attack?
Key Injuries: G Jonathan Quick (groin), RW Tyler Toffoli (lower body).
14. CAROLINA HURRICANES 21-15-7
THIS WEEK: 14 LAST WEEK: 17
GF: 2.77 GA: 2.63 SA CF%: 52.1
PP%: 17.2 PK%: 88.7
Don’t sleep on the ‘Canes, as they have won four straight to move within one point of a playoff berth, while holding three games at hand over Philadelphia.
Key Injuries: None.
15. ST. LOUIS BLUES 23-16-5
THIS WEEK: 15 LAST WEEK: 10
GF: 2.80 GA: 2.91 SA CF%: 51.1
PP%: 21.8 PK%: 85.3
Is Carter Hutton going to get some run as the Blues’ number one goaltender? Jake Allen’s .900 save percentage has opened the door, but Hutton is only sitting at .905 this year, so it’s not like he’s wrestled the job away very convincingly.
Key Injuries: None.
16. OTTAWA SENATORS 22-15-4
THIS WEEK: 16 LAST WEEK: 16
GF: 2.49 GA: 2.59 SA CF%: 47.4
PP%: 17.1 PK%: 82.7
The Senators have won two of the past seven games, and have little choice but to play G Mike Condon game after game. They’re locked in a battle with Toronto – both teams have 48 points in 41 games – but the Maple Leafs’ are in a more beneficial position, since they are on the right side of the shot chart most nights.
Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), G Craig Anderson (personal).
17. CALGARY FLAMES 23-20-3
THIS WEEK: 17 LAST WEEK: 18
GF: 2.54 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 49.9
PP%: 20.3 PK%: 81.2
The Flames need more scoring to get over the hump, it appears, but they have some interesting pieces to move around in an effort to find the answer; as long as they leave Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik together.
Key Injuries: None.
18. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 22-18-6
THIS WEEK: 18 LAST WEEK: 15
GF: 2.76 GA: 3.13 SA CF%: 50.7
PP%: 22.6 PK%: 80.4
Suddenly, the Flyers are back to fighting for their playoff lives, as might happen when a team manages a single regulation win in a 14-game span. They’ve also been making some strange decisions on the blueline, with Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere getting scratched at times.
Key Injuries: RW Matt Read (lower body).
19. NASHVILLE PREDATORS 20-16-7
THIS WEEK: 19 LAST WEEK: 19
GF: 2.74 GA: 2.58 SA CF%: 51.1
PP%: 18.2 PK%: 81.7
The Predators have won three straight and G Pekka Rinne is playing better lately, but they’re also missing their top two defencemen right now. That’s a concern.
Key Injuries: D P.K. Subban (back), D Roman Josi (upper body), LW Colin Wilson (lower body).
20. FLORIDA PANTHERS 20-17-8
THIS WEEK: 20 LAST WEEK: 21
GF: 2.29 GA: 2.60 SA CF%: 51.3
PP%: 14.9 PK%: 85.3
The Panthers are 9-7-7 since their coaching change – enough to keep them in the playoff hunt, but those extra points left on the table could come back to haunt them.
Key Injuries: LW Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles), D Alex Petrovic (ankle), C Alekander Barkov (lower body), C Nick Bjugstad (lower body).
21. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 21-20-4
THIS WEEK: 21 LAST WEEK: 22
GF: 2.73 GA: 2.91 SA CF%: 49.3
PP%: 23.3 PK%: 80.3
The Bolts have won two of the past three games, and that little bit of progress has to be the start of turning this season around. They’ve collapsed unexpectedly and now have little wiggle room if they are going to get into the playoffs.
Key Injuries: C Steven Stamkos (knee), RW Ryan Callahan (lower body), RW Brayden Point (upper body), RW J.T. Brown (upper body).
22. BUFFALO SABRES 17-17-9
THIS WEEK: 22 LAST WEEK: 26
GF: 2.33 GA: 2.67 SA CF%: 47.2
PP%: 22.3 PK%: 74.4
The Sabres are relatively healthy and 4-2-1 in the past seven games. They face a tough task, though, with five of six on the road over the rest of January.
Key Injuries: D Dmitry Kulikov (lower body), C Johan Larsson (wrist).
23. NEW YORK ISLANDERS 17-17-8
THIS WEEK: 23 LAST WEEK: 25
GF: 2.83 GA: 2.98 SA CF%: 46.9
PP%: 13.6 PK%: 80.0
The Islanders were 6-3-2 in the past 11 games, but it still cost Jack Capuano his job as head coach. It’s been an undeniably disappointing season but – check this out – the Islanders are giving interim head coach Doug Weight a chance to hit the ground running because his first six games are at home.
Key Injuries: C Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), D Travis Hamonic (lower body).
24. VANCOUVER CANUCKS 20-19-6
THIS WEEK: 24 LAST WEEK: 23
GF: 2.38 GA: 2.84 SA CF%: 47.5
PP%: 13.4 PK%: 79.8
The Canucks are winless in four, but have points in the last three, which is about the expected return when you hit this level of the rankings.
Key Injuries: D Erik Gudbranson (wrist), RW Jannik Hansen (knee), D Ben Hutton (upper body), D Philip Larsen (concussion).
25. DALLAS STARS 18-19-8
THIS WEEK: 25 LAST WEEK: 24
GF: 2.64 GA: 3.07 SA CF%: 49.6
PP%: 16.9 PK%: 74.3
The Stars have won two of the past eight games, and probably have to make some changes, either defensively or – somehow – in net, if they are going to pose any kind of threat down the stretch.
Key Injuries: LW Mattias Janmark (knee), RW Ales Hemsky (hip).
26. DETROIT RED WINGS 19-19-6
THIS WEEK: 26 LAST WEEK: 27
GF: 2.43 GA: 2.89 SA CF%: 47.9
PP%: 11.5 PK%: 82.4
The Wings have won back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since late October and they are getting some production out of young wingers Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou, but they’re really scrambling to stay in the playoff hunt.
Key Injuries: C Darren Helm (shoulder), D Niklas Kronwall (lower body), D Brendan Smith (leg), G Jimmy Howard (knee).
27. WINNIPEG JETS 20-23-4
THIS WEEK: 27 LAST WEEK: 20
GF: 2.70 GA: 3.06 SA CF%: 48.6
PP%: 17.4 PK%: 77.5
Four straight losses has the Jets reeling and they are now in the unfortunate position of hoping that Ondrej Pavelec will be the answer to their goaltending problems.
Key Injuries: LW Marko Dano (leg), RW Patrik Laine (concussion).
28. NEW JERSEY DEVILS 18-18-9
THIS WEEK: 28 LAST WEEK: 28
GF: 2.18 GA: 2.82 SA CF%: 46.1
PP%: 13.2 PK%: 83.3
Goals remain scarce, but the Devils are 4-2-1 in the past seven games – a little progress that seems tied to improved play from G Cory Schneider, who has a .940 save percentage in January.
Key Injuries: D John Moore (concussion), D Andy Greene (wrist), D Yohann Auvitu (lower body).
29. ARIZONA COYOTES 13-24-6
THIS WEEK: 29 LAST WEEK: 29
GF: 2.02 GA: 3.16 SA CF%: 45.1
PP%: 14.7 PK%: 77.2
One regulation win in the past 14 games has the Coyotes making a strong push for the bottom, but they’re not there yet.
Key Injuries: C Brad Richardson (tiba/fibula), LW Max Domi (hand).
30. COLORADO AVALANCHE 13-27-1
THIS WEEK: 30 LAST WEEK: 30
GF: 2.00 GA: 3.32 SA CF%: 45.1
PP%: 13.0 PK%: 78.5
Of course, the Avalanche have gone 14 straight without a regulation win, so they aren’t climbing out of the cellar with that performance. The good news is that two of their best players are on the trade block.
Key Injuries: D Erik Johnson (fibula).