Red Wings pass Canucks for top spot in NHL Power Rankings

Scott Cullen

2/22/2011 3:15:42 PM

The Detroit Red Wings may be chasing the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference standings, but they've overtaken them in the NHL Power Rankings.

While the Wings have won five in a row, and are getting healthy after dealing with a number of signficant injuries to this point in the season, the Canucks' defence still lingers under a black cloud. 

Even as Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard are expected to return to action against Montreal this evening, Kevin Bieksa was the latest Vancouver blueliner to be taken down, suffering a broken foot last week.

At this point, and always subject to change, there appear to be four teams ahead of the rest, with Detroit, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Boston putting some distance between the top four and those from fifth on down.

An active week of injuries and trades made for some dramatic shifts in the rankings.

Phoenix's seven-game winning streak has lifted them into the Top Ten, from 12 to seven this week.

Calgary bumped from 20 to 14 as they continued their winning ways and got LW Alex Tanguay back from injury.

St. Louis outscored their opponents 18-10 and received more immediate value in their blockbuster trade with Colorado, lifting the Blues from 24th to 17th.

New Jersey's surge under Jacques Lemaire continues and the return of Martin Brodeur helps too as the Devils climb to 19th from 26th, while the Islanders have moved from 28th to 20th after winning six of seven, but also getting immediate results from G Al Montoya.

While those teams made sizeable gains, there were others that lost ground, mostly due to injuries.

Anaheim has been a mess without Jonas Hiller, and dropped from fifth to 11th after getting outscored 21-10 in three losses.

Washingotn and Minnesota both slipped five spots with injuries to top centres Nicklas Backstrom and Mikko Koivu, respectively.