Red Wings cling to top spot in NHL Power Rankings

Scott Cullen

3/1/2011 2:58:18 PM

For the second straight week, the Detroit Red Wings hold top spot in the NHL Power Rankings, narrowly ahead of the charging Boston Bruins and the two teams at the top of the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks.

Detroit needed their resounding win Sunday night in Los Angeles to hold off the Bruins for top spot, as the gap has tightened with the Bruins adding help through trades while Detroit has merely been trying to get healthy, a process that was going along well until Brian Rafalski's recent back spasms.

Charging up the rankings this week, the Columbus Blue Jackets have added an efficient scorer in RW Scottie Upshall to go with rookie LW Matt Calvert, who was a force in February after getting called up.  The Jackets' surge into playoff contention bumped them from 18th to 11th.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers jumped six spots, from 16th to 10th, with a blowout win over the Capitals and the addition of Bryan McCabe to their blueline working in their favour.

Falling out of a playoff position, and dealing with a number of injuries up front, the Nashville Predators dropped from ninth all the way down to 17th. 

Anaheim dropped from 11th to 19th.  Dan Ellis may be the solution in goal, but his performance so far this season makes it tough to count on him to turn around a team that has lost five of six.

As seen among the big movers, there is some volatility in the middle portion of the rankings.  A couple of losses or an injury or two can really shake up the order.

The Canadian teams sit as follows: Vancouver, fourth; Montreal, 13th; Calgary, 15th; Toronto, 25th; Edmonton, 28th and Ottawa, 30th.

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