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MORE From TSN'S Hockey COLUMNISTS

Jan 18

Capitals still lead NHL Power Rankings

Capitals Celebrate

The Washington Capitals continue to lead the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the charging Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

Certainly, winning 11 straight moves the Blackhawks up the ladder, from four to two in the past week.

Other teams climbing this week include the Pittsburgh Penguins, up from 15 to 10, with improving possession numbers and Sidney Crosby playing like Sidney Crosby. The Philadelphia Flyers, who have won five of six, rise from 19 to 15, and the Arizona Coyotes continue to grind out points and are up from 23 to 20.

Falling down, the Minnesota Wild are having problems scoring and drop from 10 to 13 and the Montreal Canadiens continue to struggle and slide from 11 to 17.

The Canadiens are still the highest ranked Canadian team, a couple of spots ahead of the Winnipeg Jets. The Ottawa Senators drop a couple of spots, to 22, and the Calgary Flames hold steady at 24.

Near the bottom, the Vancouver Canucks gain a little ground, to 26, and the Toronto Maple Leafs slip to 27, a couple of spots ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.

 

Washington Capitals

34-8-3 This Week: 1 Last Week: 1

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.27
  • GAPG
    2.13
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.8%
  • PP%
    26.1%
  • PK%
    85.3%

The injury to Jay Beagle has shifted the Capitals lines, with Andre Burakovsky moving to the wing on a scoring line and Marcus Johansson taking over as the third-line centre.

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

Chicago Blackhawks

31-13-4 This Week: 2 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.90
  • GAPG
    2.29
  • S.A. CORSI
    52.5%
  • PP%
    22.6%
  • PK%
    81.7%

The Blackhawks have won 11 straight, and have climbed to have the second-best record in the league. Their top two lines are rolling and G Corey Crawford is having the best season of his career. So, they're looking really, really good as they prepare for a title defence.

Key Injuries: None.

Los Angeles Kings

28-13-3 This Week: 3 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.64
  • GAPG
    2.20
  • S.A. CORSI%
    56.6%
  • PP%
    21.1%
  • PK%
    82.2%

8-2-1 in the past 11 games, the Kings are an elite team and they've signed C Anze Kopitar to an eight-year, $80-million contract extension. Sure, there may be some risk at the end of that deal, but Kopitar has 27 points (6 G, 21 A) in the past 22 games, after starting the season with 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in the first 22 games.

Key Injuries: D Matt Greene (shoulder).

Dallas Stars

29-12-5 This Week: 4 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.30
  • GAPG
    2.65
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.7%
  • PP%
    22.2%
  • PK%
    79.7%

The Stars haven't managed a regulation win in seven games since the calendar turned to 2016. Their score-adjusted possession has fallen (49.6% in January) and coupled with a .900 save percentage from their goaltenders, the Stars don't look like the team that was tearing the league apart earlier in the season.

Key Injuries: None.

St. Louis Blues

26-15-7 This Week: 5 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.46
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.5%
  • PP%
    20.7%
  • PK%
    85.5%

One regulation loss in the past seven games, and the Blues are getting a little healthier. One of their recent returns from injury, Patrik Berglund, has contributed six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past six games.

Key Injuries: LW Jaden Schwartz (ankle), D Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), G Jake Allen (knee).

Detroit Red Wings

23-14-8 This Week: 6 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.44
  • GAPG
    2.51
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.8%
  • PP%
    17.7%
  • PK%
    79.6%

The Wings have one regulation loss in the past seven games, and it was in Los Angeles. While the results are there, it's not as if Detroit is playing great, they are getting top-notch goaltending from Petr Mrazek which covers for a lot of shortcomings.

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion).

Boston Bruins

23-16-5 This Week: 7 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.98
  • GAPG
    2.61
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.6%
  • PP%
    27.7%
  • PK%
    84.0%

The Bruins have struggled a bit, particularly offensively in the absence of David Krejci, though it's going to be interesting to see how Krejci's pending return will affect Ryan Spooner, Boston's leading scorer in January.

Key Injuries: C David Krejci (upper body), D Adam McQuaid (upper body).

New York Islanders

24-15-6 This Week: 8 Last Week: 8

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.67
  • GAPG
    2.42
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.0%
  • PP%
    17.6%
  • PK%
    87.7%

It's kind of remarkable that the Islanders remain a competitive team even while their best player, John Tavares, is slumping. Tavares has 11 points (5 G, 6 A) in the past 23 games, yet the Isles are 13-7-3 in those games.

Key Injuries: D Johnny Boychuk (upper body), D Travis Hamonic (lower body).

Florida Panthers

26-14-5 This Week: 9 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.53
  • GAPG
    2.22
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.8%
  • PP%
    15.9%
  • PK%
    82.6%

Remember those glory days of the 12-game winning streak? The Panthers are winless in three and need to start taking some pressure off of their goaltenders; start by scoring a few more goals.

Key Injuries: D Aaron Ekblad (upper body).

Pittsburgh Penguins

21-16-7 This Week: 10 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.43
  • GAPG
    2.39
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.5%
  • PP%
    19.0%
  • PK%
    84.3%

Since Mike Sullivan took over behind the bench, the Penguins have 53.6% of score-adjusted possession, which ranks fifth in the league in that time. Oh, and Sidney Crosby has 17 points in the past 13 games -- amazing how much better the team can be when Crosby is playing like Crosby.

Key Injuries: RW Beau Bennett (upper body), D Kris Letang (hand).

Tampa Bay Lightning

24-17-4 This Week: 11 Last Week: 13

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.60
  • GAPG
    2.31
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.2%
  • PP%
    18.2%
  • PK%
    79.8%

Winners of five straight, the Lightning may be coming around after a poor start. G Ben Bishop has been great, but some of the supporting cast, like Vladislav Namestnikov and Valtteri Filppula, have upped their offensive production.

Key Injuries: None.

New York Rangers

24-16-5 This Week: 12 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.82
  • GAPG
    2.62
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.2%
  • PP%
    18.0%
  • PK%
    78.8%

The power play is 1-for-26 (3.8%) in the past nine games, and the Blueshirts continue to struggle as one might expect from a team that ranks 22nd in score-adjusted possession.

Key Injuries: D Kevin Klein (thumb).

Minnesota Wild

22-15-8 This Week: 13 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.51
  • GAPG
    2.33
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.6%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    79.4%

2-5-2 in January, the Wild offence has come up empty, scoring five goals in the past five games. Even with G Devan Dubnyk playing well (.927 SV% in January), it's not enough. 

Key Injuries: None.

San Jose Sharks

19-18-2 This Week: 14 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.84
  • GAPG
    2.72
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.0%
  • PP%
    21.5%
  • PK%
    80.2%

The Sharks have been uneven through the first half of the season, but with five straight wins they have pushed into a playoff spot and they still have some high-end talent that can carry them over some of the other middling teams in the Pacific Division.

Key Injuries: None.

Philadelphia Flyers

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

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.23
  • GAPG
    2.56
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.2%
  • PP%
    15.3%
  • PK%
    78.8%

5-0-1 in the past six games, the Flyers are within two points of a playoff spot, at least in part because the goaltending tandem of Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth (.936 SV% in January) is on top of its game.

Key Injuries: None.

Anaheim Ducks

19-18-7 This Week: 16 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    1.95
  • GAPG
    2.34
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.6%
  • PP%
    19.5%
  • PK%
    88.9%

The Ducks aren't altogether fixed yet, still struggling to score, but they are 7-3-2 in the past dozen games, and added more offensive upside for this season when they acquired David Perron from Pittsburgh.

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

Montreal Canadiens

23-19-4 This Week: 17 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.74
  • GAPG
    2.54
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.4%
  • PP%
    18.2%
  • PK%
    84.6%

The Habs have won four of their past 20 games, taking a dominant start to the season and now on the verge of falling out of a playoff spot. If they don't figure out how to score soon, though, the return of Carey Price may come too late.

Key Injuries: G Carey Price (leg).

Nashville Predators

20-17-8 This Week: 18 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.53
  • GAPG
    2.71
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.9%
  • PP%
    20.4%
  • PK%
    76.8%

Had gone eight straight without a regulation win before Saturday's win over Minnesota, when they got a shutout from Carter Hutton. And that's the rub with the Predators, the goaltender that is supposed to be their ace, Pekka Rinne, is anything but.

Key Injuries: LW Colin Wilson (lower body).

Winnipeg Jets

21-21-3 This Week: 19 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.62
  • GAPG
    2.82
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.4%
  • PP%
    15.7%
  • PK%
    77.4%

Stuck at the bottom of the Central Division, the Jets are now in a tough spot with injuries decimating their forward lines and they're still facing decisions on pending free agents Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien.

Key Injuries: G Ondrej Pavelec (knee), RW Drew Stafford (upper body), C Mark Scheifele (lower body).

Arizona Coyotes

22-17-5 This Week: 20 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.77
  • GAPG
    3.00
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.3%
  • PP%
    19.1%
  • PK%
    77.3%

The Coyotes have suffered three regulation losses in the past 16 games, and D Oliver Ekman-Larsson is taking over, with 18 points (8 G, 10 A) in the past 21 games.

Key Injuries: G Mike Smith (lower body).

Carolina Hurricanes

20-19-8 This Week: 21 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.36
  • GAPG
    2.72
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.1%
  • PP%
    17.4%
  • PK%
    80.7%

Had gone five straight without a regulation loss before getting pasted by the Penguins Sunday, and this team almost looks like a playoff contender, but almost being a playoff contender isn't likely enough for them to add talent before the deadline.

Key Injuries: D James Wisniewski (knee), LW Nathan Gerbe (lower body), RW Phil Di Giuseppe (concussion).

Ottawa Senators

21-18-6 This Week: 22 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.71
  • GAPG
    2.98
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.0%
  • PP%
    17.9%
  • PK%
    75.8%

Had gone 5-10-1 in the past 16 games, with 10 goals scored in the previous seven, before suddenly storming into Los Angeles for a win Sunday. Take wins when you can get them, but the Senators need to string some together if they're going to stay in the playoff hunt.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion).

Colorado Avalanche

22-21-3 This Week: 23 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.80
  • GAPG
    2.80
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.0%
  • PP%
    20.5%
  • PK%
    80.3%

Had been showing improvement, then lost three of four and lost Erik Johnson to injury. Not easy to climb out of that Central Division hole.

Key Injuries: D Erik Johnson (lower body).

Calgary Flames

20-20-3 This Week: 24 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.67
  • GAPG
    3.00
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.6%
  • PP%
    13.9%
  • PK%
    74.3%

If rookie LW Sam Bennett is going to play like this the rest of the way -- okay, he's not going to score six goals every three games -- then the Flames could be interesting. He gives Calgary the kind of secondary scoring they sorely need to support Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

Key Injuries: RW Jiri Hudler (groin), LW Lance Bouma (leg).

New Jersey Devils

22-19-5 This Week: 25 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.15
  • GAPG
    2.30
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.8%
  • PP%
    17.7%
  • PK%
    82.9%

Had lost five of six before shutting out Arizona on Saturday. Goals are still very hard to come by for the Devils, who have scored a total of eight goals in the past seven games.

Key Injuries: LW Patrik Elias (knee), C Jacob Josefson (lower body), LW Mike Cammalleri (upper body), LW Jiri Tlusty (upper body).

Vancouver Canucks

19-17-10 This Week: 26 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.33
  • GAPG
    2.72
  • S. A. CORSI%
    46.7%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    80.0%

The Canucks continue to put up points, suffering three regulation losses in the past 13 games, and they've been depending a lot on second-year C Bo Horvat, who has nine points (6 G, 3 A) in the past seven games, and they'll need even more from him with Henrik Sedin hurt.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs

16-20-7 This Week: 27 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.42
  • GAPG
    2.74
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.4%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    80.0%

The Leafs have lost five straight and it's happening in just the way that would be expected looking at this roster -- they are competitive enough, but have managed just five goals in those five losses.

Key Injuries: LW James van Riemsdyk (foot).

Buffalo Sabres

18-23-4 This Week: 28 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.31
  • GAPG
    2.64
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.2%
  • PP%
    19.4%
  • PK%
    78.3%

Three wins in the past four games for the Sabres, who are going to have some goaltending waters to navigate, now that Robin Lehner has finally returned from the injury that he suffered on opening night.

Key Injuries: RW Tyler Ennis (upper body), RW Zemgus Girgensons (upper body).

Edmonton Oilers

18-23-5 This Week: 29 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.33
  • GAPG
    2.89
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.2%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    80.1%

It's still been 11 games since since the Oilers' last regulation win, but they are getting solid play in goal from Cam Talbot, who has a .939 save percentage in his past 11 games and now has a shiny new three-year, $12.5-million contract extension.

Key Injuries: C Connor McDavid (clavicle), D Oscar Klefbom (finger).

Columbus Blue Jackets

17-25-4 This Week: 30 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.48
  • GAPG
    3.15
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.0%
  • PP%
    17.5%
  • PK%
    81.5%

The Blue Jackets have won back-to-back games, but were outshot by a cumulative total of 72-43 by Toronto and Colorado. At least the return of Sergei Bobrovsky gives the Blue Jackets a chance to start climbing.

Key Injuries: RW Nick Foligno (upper body), D David Savard (upper body).

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.