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Jan 25

Capitals hold lead in NHL Power Rankings

Washington Capitals celebrate

There isn't a lot of change at the top of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, so the Washington Capitals retain top spot, ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

Changes come further down the list. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who had won seven straight before losing Saturday in Florida, move from 11 to eight. The New Jersey Devils, winners of four in a row and getting bodies back from injury, vault from 25 to 16.

Losing ground this week, the Philadelphia Flyers, with a couple of losses and an injury to Sean Couturier, fall from 15 to 19, and the sliding Winnipeg Jets drop from 19 to 25.

These are dark days for Canadian teams. The Montreal Canadiens continue to hover around the mid-point, at 15, but they are the top team north of the border.

The Ottawa Senators have some major injuries and sit at 23, one ahead of the Vancouver Canucks, who are one ahead of the Jets. The Calgary Flames dip to 26, one spot ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team two spots ahead of an Edmonton Oilers squad missing some major components down the middle of the ice with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins joining Connor McDavid on the shelf.

For as long as I've been doing these rankings, I don't ever recall six Canadian teams ranked in the bottom eight. The good news is that the rankings can change.

 

Washington Capitals

35-8-3 This Week: 1 Last Week: 1

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.33
  • GAPG
    2.15
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.8%
  • PP%
    27.1%
  • PK%
    84.9%

Evgeny Kuznetsov's quantum leap forward this season (48 points in 46 games after 37 points in 80 games last season) has made the Capitals nearly impossible for opponents to get favourable matchups with Washington's top two scoring lines. 

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body), D John Carlson (lower body), C Jay Beagle (upper body).

Chicago Blackhawks

33-15-4 This Week: 2 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.81
  • GAPG
    2.25
  • S.A. CORSI
    52.1%
  • PP%
    22.1%
  • PK%
    82.4%

While the perception is that the Blackhawks are as good as they've ever been, they're currently a 52% possession team and were 56% and 54%, respectively, the past two seasons. How does a team still put up stellar results even when possession slips? Goaltending is a good place to start.

Key Injuries: None.

Los Angeles Kings

30-15-3 This Week: 3 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.58
  • GAPG
    2.23
  • S.A. CORSI%
    56.2%
  • PP%
    21.2%
  • PK%
    82.2%

The Vincent Lecavalier resurrection is quite an amazing story, and he's scored four goals in the past six games for the Kings, but three goals have come on the power play and one with the goaltender pulled. His even-strength play remains questionable, at best.

Key Injuries: D Matt Greene (shoulder).

Dallas Stars

30-14-5 This Week: 4 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.22
  • GAPG
    2.65
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.1%
  • PP%
    21.6%
  • PK%
    79.1%

With one regulation win in 10 games this month, the Stars aren't looking a whole lot like the team that was ripping through the league for three months. Shaky goaltending - their .907 SV% at even strength in January ranks 29th -- has been at least part of the problem.

Key Injuries: None.

St. Louis Blues

28-16-8 This Week: 5 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.42
  • GAPG
    2.40
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.0%
  • PP%
    19.6%
  • PK%
    85.2%

It is strange to hear Blues D Kevin Shattenkirk's name pop up in trade rumours. For a team that has trouble scoring, it wouldn't be easy to make up for Shattenkirk's offensive production, let alone the 22 minutes per game he provides on the blueline. Now, some other deal to add some punch to the offence would make lots of sense, unless the Blues are confident that Jaden Schwartz's return will ultimately cure their ills.

Key Injuries: LW Jaden Schwartz (ankle), G Jake Allen (knee).

Boston Bruins

25-17-5 This Week: 6 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.96
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.5%
  • PP%
    26.0%
  • PK%
    84.9%

Getting C David Krejci and RW David Pastrnak back in the lineup is a nice offensive injection for a team that has done quite well putting the puck in the net this season, whether it's increased production from a mainstay like Patrice Bergeron, pending free agent like Loui Eriksson or rising young talent Ryan Spooner, the Bruins have offensive options. 

Key Injuries: D Adam McQuaid (upper body).

Florida Panthers

28-15-5 This Week: 7 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.60
  • GAPG
    2.21
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.9%
  • PP%
    15.4%
  • PK%
    82.9%

Even if you want to be skeptical of the Panthers (and, to some degree, I am), they just finished a weekend in which they outscored last year's Stanley Cup teams -- both of which have been playing really well lately-- by a cumulative 9-2 score. 

Key Injuries: D Willie Mitchell (undisclosed).

Tampa Bay Lightning

26-18-4 This Week: 8 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.65
  • GAPG
    2.38
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.3%
  • PP%
    18.2%
  • PK%
    80.7%

Had a seven-game winning streak halted in Florida, and the Jonathan Drouin saga lingers in the background, but the Lightning are certainly a more formidable team than they were early in the season. There's still room to improve. Like a little more production out of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan would be a reasonable starting point.

Key Injuries: None.

Detroit Red Wings

24-16-8 This Week: 9 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.44
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.1%
  • PP%
    17.1%
  • PK%
    80.6%

One regulation win in the past six games, and an injury to their top blueliner, knocks the Wings down a few pegs. 

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion), D Niklas Kronwall (knee).

Pittsburgh Penguins

23-17-7 This Week: 10 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.51
  • GAPG
    2.49
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.0%
  • PP%
    19.5%
  • PK%
    83.0%

The Penguins are running into problems when they go beyond 60 minutes, losing seven straight overtime or shootout decisions, but with one regulation loss in the past seven games, they're in position to start reeling in the teams ahead of them in the Metropolitan Division.

Key Injuries: LW Chris Kunitz (lower body), C Nick Bonino (undisclosed).

New York Islanders

25-15-6 This Week: 11 Last Week: 8

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.72
  • GAPG
    2.41
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.2%
  • PP%
    17.8%
  • PK%
    87.8%

While the focus on slumping superstar scorers has landed mostly on Ryan Getzlaf and Sidney Crosby this season, John Tavares seems to be dodging too much criticism, even though his 33 points in 43 games is his lowest per-game scoring rate (0.77 ppg) since his rookie season.

Key Injuries: D Johnny Boychuk (upper body).

San Jose Sharks

25-18-4 This Week: 12 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.85
  • GAPG
    2.70
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.7%
  • PP%
    21.3%
  • PK%
    79.3%

The Sharks have gone nine straight without a regulation loss, but Sunday's overtime loss to Los Angeles hurt -- giving up the tying goal with 12 seconds left in the third period. In those nine games, Sharks C Tomas Hertl has contributed nine points (4 G, 5 A).

Key Injuries: None.

New York Rangers

26-17-5 This Week: 13 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.79
  • GAPG
    2.58
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.5%
  • PP%
    17.3%
  • PK%
    79.3%

Rick Nash hasn't scored a goal in nine games, yet his knee injury could be problematic for a Rangers lineup that can't easily replace his ability to create scoring chances.

Key Injuries: LW Rick Nash (knee).

Minnesota Wild

23-17-8 This Week: 14 Last Week: 13

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.50
  • GAPG
    2.33
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.3%
  • PP%
    17.4%
  • PK%
    79.5%

Is Jason Pominville done? The 33-year-old still has solid underlying numbers (50.5 SAT%, +2.0 SAT%Rel) and can generate shots (2.48 per game), but five goals in 48 games is a shockingly low total for a proven scorer.  

Key Injuries: None.

Montreal Canadiens

24-20-4 This Week: 15 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.69
  • GAPG
    2.56
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.5%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    85.1%

The Habs have one regulation win in their past eight games, though they did escape with a shootout win in Toronto Saturday, and head coach Michel Therrien has been given a blanket vote of confidence from GM Marc Bergevin. See how that feels after back-to-back games against Columbus.

Key Injuries: G Carey Price (leg).

New Jersey Devils

25-19-5 This Week: 16 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.29
  • GAPG
    2.29
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.3%
  • PP%
    18.9%
  • PK%
    81.3%

Getting healthier, at least up front, and winners of four straight, the Devils catapult ahead in the rankings this week.

Key Injuries: LW Patrik Elias (knee), LW Jiri Tlusty (upper body), D John Moore (lower body), Jon Merrill (upper body).

Nashville Predators

22-18-8 This Week: 17 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.56
  • GAPG
    2.67
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.5%
  • PP%
    20.6%
  • PK%
    78.2%

Saturday's win in Edmonton marked the first time in a month that the Predators had won back-to-back games. For all of their recent troubles, they're still getting production out of newcomer Ryan Johansen, who has nine points (3 G, 6 A) in eight games since he was acquired from Columbus.

Key Injuries: LW Colin Wilson (lower body).

Anaheim Ducks

21-18-7 This Week: 18 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.02
  • GAPG
    2.33
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.5%
  • PP%
    18.7%
  • PK%
    89.4%

The Ducks have won four of five and are inching towards respectability. Since coming over from Pittsburgh, LW David Perron has contributed three points (1 G, 2 A) in three games, which is significant for the league's lowest-scoring team.

Key Injuries: D Simon Despres (upper body), D Cam Fowler (knee).

Philadelphia Flyers

20-17-8 This Week: 19 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.24
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.9%
  • PP%
    17.1%
  • PK%
    78.4%

No regulation wins in the past four games and, more importantly, the Flyers have been without C Sean Couturier for the past couple. 

Key Injuries: C Sean Couturier (lower body).

Carolina Hurricanes

22-20-8 This Week: 20 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.36
  • GAPG
    2.68
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.8%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    82.0%

14-7-4 in the past 25 games, the Hurricanes are a solid team when they get at least adequate goaltending. With Cam Ward out, that means responsibility falls to Eddie Lack, who hasn't met expectations to this point, posting a .899 save percentage in 21 games.

Key Injuries: D James Wisniewski (knee), G Cam Ward (concussion).

Colorado Avalanche

26-21-3 This Week: 21 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.74
  • GAPG
    2.66
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.0%
  • PP%
    20.0%
  • PK%
    80.4%

When Semyon Varlamov gets hot, the Avs are dangerous. They've won four straight, with Varlamov stopping 97.4% of shots faced, and the surge has lifted them into a playoff spot.

Key Injuries: None.

Arizona Coyotes

23-19-5 This Week: 22 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.70
  • GAPG
    2.96
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.0%
  • PP%
    18.6%
  • PK%
    76.4%

Snapped a four-game winless slide with Saturday's win over Los Angeles. Checking centre Brad Richardson has been contributing more offensively, with 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in the past 15 games.

Key Injuries: G Mike Smith (lower body).

Ottawa Senators

23-20-6 This Week: 23 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.71
  • GAPG
    3.02
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.0%
  • PP%
    18.1%
  • PK%
    75.6%

The Senators are at a critical point of the season: three points out of a playoff spot, with their lineup decimated by injuries. If they fall much further off the pace, the season could slip away.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), LW Milan Michalek (finger), D Marc Methot (lower body), C Kyle Turris (lower body).

Vancouver Canucks

20-18-11 This Week: 24 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.39
  • GAPG
    2.76
  • S. A. CORSI%
    46.5%
  • PP%
    17.0%
  • PK%
    80.1%

Saturday's loss to Pittsburgh was the second regulation loss in the past nine (the only other regulation loss was at Washington), so the Canucks remain in the hunt for a playoff spot, even if their lineup is missing some important pieces.

Key Injuries: C Brandon Sutter (abdominal), D Dan Hamhuis (face), C Henrik Sedin (upper body).

Winnipeg Jets

21-24-3 This Week: 25 Last Week: 19

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.52
  • GAPG
    2.83
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.4%
  • PP%
    15.6%
  • PK%
    76.6%

One regulation win in the past eight games combined with some injuries leaves the Jets looking up at the rest of the Central Division and that's going to prompt some hard decisions that will affect next season's roster.

Key Injuries: G Ondrej Pavelec (knee), C Mark Scheifele (lower body), LW Mathieu Perreault (back).

Calgary Flames

21-22-3 This Week: 26 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.67
  • GAPG
    3.04
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.5%
  • PP%
    14.4%
  • PK%
    75.2%

As the Flames are getting production out of second-liners Sam Bennett and Mikael Backlund, they could use more from C Sean Monahan, who has just four points (2 G, 2 A) in the past 14 games.

Key Injuries: None.

Toronto Maple Leafs

17-20-9 This Week: 27 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.37
  • GAPG
    2.67
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.2%
  • PP%
    16.1%
  • PK%
    80.8%

One win in the past eight games puts to bed any thoughts about the Maple Leafs sneaking into playoff contention, and that's for the best. While they play a better brand of hockey and get great goaltending from James Reimer, they struggle to score, especially without James van Riemsdyk.

Key Injuries: LW James van Riemsdyk (foot).

Buffalo Sabres

19-25-4 This Week: 28 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.23
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.3%
  • PP%
    20.7%
  • PK%
    80.5%

G Robin Lehner has looked good since returning from injury, posting a .936 save percentage in three games, but he's winless, as the Sabres have managed two goals in those three starts.

Key Injuries: RW Tyler Ennis (upper body), RW Zemgus Girgensons (upper body), RW Sam Reinhart (upper body), D Josh Gorges (undisclosed).

Edmonton Oilers

19-26-5 This Week: 29 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.36
  • GAPG
    2.96
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.2%
  • PP%
    16.6%
  • PK%
    80.8%

The Oilers have one regulation win in the past 15 games, last Monday at Florida, and are missing some important pieces. Try as they might, they look like a lottery contender again.

Key Injuries: C Connor McDavid (clavicle), D Oscar Klefbom (finger), C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), D Brandon Davidson (undisclosed).

Columbus Blue Jackets

17-27-5 This Week: 30 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.47
  • GAPG
    3.20
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.2%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    81.1%

The Blue Jackets will miss Ryan Johansen's scoring, but they're getting what they wanted out of D Seth Jones, who has five points and positive possession stats (51.5 SAT%, +2.5 SAT%Rel) while playing more than 24 minutes per game in eight games with Columbus.

Key Injuries: D David Savard (upper body), G Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), C Curtis McElhinney (ankle).

Notes: While all injuries are taken into account, those listed as key injuries include top nine forwards, top four defencemen and starting goaltenders.

GPG - Goals Per Game, GAPG - Goals Against Per Game

S.A. CORSI% - Score-Adjusted Corsi Percentage. The percentage of shot attempts, during 5-on-5 play, relative to the opposition, adjusted for game-score. 

PP% - Power Play%

PK% - Penalty Kill%

Much of the data included comes from great modern stats sites www.war-on-ice.com, www.puckalytics.com, and www.naturalstattrick.com

Follow Scott Cullen on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen and e-mail him at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca.

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