There's a new number one in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings. With 14 straight wins, it comes as no surprise that the Washington Capitals have taken over top spot.
The Capitals have been on a tear, with seven of their 14 consecutive wins coming by a margin of at least three goals. Far and away the league leaders in plus-minus, the Capitals boast seven of the top 16 in the entire league in that category, ranging from Tom Poti's plus-21 to league-leader Alexander Ovechkin's plus-41.
On top of all that good news, the Capitals are also getting goaltender Semyon Varlamov back from injury. Now that Jose Theodore is playing so well, there's no rush to get Varlamov back between the pipes, but it sure doesn't hurt to have him available and ready to bid for the starting job.
Also moving up, despite the injury to number one centre Ryan Getzlaf, the Anaheim Ducks are pushing forward over the last month or so. They're still on the outside looking in at a playoff position, but have the talent to be worthy challengers.
Heading south in this week's rankings, the goal-starved Buffalo Sabres drop from fifth to eighth spot, the Blues slip to 24th from 20th and the Kovalchuk-less Thrashers drop from 21st to 26th.
As far as Canadian teams, the Vancouver Canucks are clinging to fourth spot as they embark on a daunting road trip while the Ottawa Senators hold firm in 11th spot. The Calgary Flames seem to have halted their downward slide and have moved up to 13th after a couple of deals.
Montreal, dealing with a series of injuries up front, remains steady at 17 while, further down the chart, the Toronto Maple Leafs climb a couple of spots from 29th to 27th on the basis of improved goaltending.
The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, remain mired in 30th spot in the rankings.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen