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Blackhawks rule; Kings climb in NHL Power Rankings

Scott Cullen

4/8/2013 3:40:18 PM

Another week and the Chicago Blackhawks remain the class of the league, sitting at the top of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings for every week the past two months.

The Blackhawks have built a cushion ahead of their closest challengers, with the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators rounding out the top five.

Los Angeles' move up, to their highest ranking of the season, reflects the strong play of a team with one regulation loss in the last eight. If goaltender Jonathan Quick can get on top of his game, the Kings will be able to mount a strong defence of the Cup.

Another of the week's big gainers, the New York Rangers, climbed from 11 to six, gonig 3-0-1 in their last four and reaping immediate rewards from their trade deadline acquisitions.

Going from 18 to 14, the Washington Capitals have one regulation loss in the last 10 games and have a right winger, Alex Ovechkin, who has a mere 20 goals in the last 23 games. Not bad.

One regulation loss in the last eight lifts the New York Islanders from 21 to 17 while the Dallas Stars moved from 26 to 21 after a couple of post-deadline wins.

Injuries continue to mount in Pittsburgh, where James Neal joins Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Paul Martin on the shelf, and the Penguins drop from four to eight, and could really use more production from their trade acquisitions (except Jussi Jokinen, who scored a goal in regulation, and then in the shootout to give the Penguins a win in his Pittsburgh debut).

The Ducks slip from five to 11, primarily on the health of centre Ryan Getzlaf. Some holes in the lineup are bigger than others and Getzlaf's absence is significant for Anaheim.

Carolina's continuing slide, which includes one win in the last dozen games, knocks them from 15 to 22.

Among other Canadian teams, the Ottawa Senators celebrate the return of Craig Anderson and the addition of Cory Conacher with a move from seven to five; the Toronto Maple Leafs drop from six to seven with Joffrey Lupul sidelined again.

Ryan Kesler's return to the Vancouver Canucks, coupled with the trade addition of Derek Roy, moves Vancouver from 14 to 10, while the Edmonton Oilers were brought back to earth with a couple losses, dropping from 12 to 15.

The Winnipeg Jets drop one spot to 23 and the Calgary Flames remain ranked 30th out of 30 teams for another week. 

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.