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Nov 23, 2015

Habs back on top of NHL Power Rankings

The Montreal Canadiens have again returned to top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Dallas Stars and last week's No. 1, the New York Rangers.

Canadiens Celebrate

The Montreal Canadiens have again returned to top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Dallas Stars and last week's No. 1, the New York Rangers.

Getting star goaltender Carey Price back from injury helped the Habs' cause, though losing right winger Brendan Gallagher to broken fingers does leave them looking for a scorer up front.

Moving up this week, the Detroit Red Wings go from 17 to 11, as they are controlling play much better since the return of Pavel Datsyuk, the Ottawa Senators defy their possession stats and climb from 22 to 12, and the San Jose Sharks take a six-game winning streak (on the road!) to vault them to 13 from 18.

Falling this week, the New York Islanders slide from 10 to 17 after back-to-back losses against the Canadiens to end the week, while the Florida Panthers drop from 14 to 20 and Vancouver Canucks fall from 16 to 21.

As for other Canadian teams, the Winnipeg Jets are up three spots, to 18, the Toronto Maple Leafs hold at 25, while the Calgary Flames rise to 28 and Edmonton Oilers dip to 29.

 

Montreal Canadiens

16-4-2 This Week: 1 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.55
  • GAPG
    2.23
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.3%
  • PP%
    24.4%
  • PK%
    86.8%

Getting Carey Price back returns the Habs to top spot, though it would have been a little easier if they weren't losing RW Brendan Gallagher, who has 19 points, and better than 56% possession, in 22 games. 

Key Injuries: RW Brendan Gallagher (hand), D Alexei Emelin (lower body).

Dallas Stars

17-4-0 This Week: 2 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.52
  • GAPG
    2.38
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.7%
  • PP%
    27.7%
  • PK%
    80.3%

The Stars are 11-2 in their past 13 games, with the only blemishes coming via unsightly losses to the Maple Leafs. The Stars launched 82 shots on goal in those two games, but still, those were rare power outages for the high-tempo offence.

Key Injuries: D Jason Demers (lower body).

New York Rangers

15-3-2 This Week: 3 Last Week: 1

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.10
  • GAPG
    1.85
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.6%
  • PP%
    19.1%
  • PK%
    85.1%

The Blueshirts have been leaning on G Henrik Lundqvist a lot -- and he's been amazing, posting a .943 save percentage -- but LW Rick Nash is starting to wake up a bit, with 10 points in the past eight games.

Key Injuries: None.

St. Louis Blues

13-6-2 This Week: 4 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.67
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.1%
  • PP%
    17.1%
  • PK%
    85.0%

The Blues are getting healthier, as C Paul Stastny is set to return, and with one regulation win in the past six, St. Louis is ready for an offensive shot in the arm.

Key Injuries: LW Patrik Berglund (shoulder), LW Jaden Schwartz (ankle).

Nashville Predators

11-5-3 This Week: 5 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.68
  • GAPG
    2.47
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.4%
  • PP%
    19.7%
  • PK%
    80.0%

A tough weekend, taking a pair of 4-0 losses at Minnesota and Columbus, while getting outshot by a cumulative total of 62-45. Following an impressive rookie season, LW Filip Forsberg is mired in a slump -- 15 games without a goal and five points in the past 13 games.

Key Injuries: None.

Washington Capitals

13-5-1 This Week: 6 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.16
  • GAPG
    2.32
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.8%
  • PP%
    22.0%
  • PK%
    84.3%

Tuned in the Avalanche on Saturday night, in a clear mismatch, and the Capitals have been so good even though they haven't seen a lot of progress from young forwards Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson.

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body).

Los Angeles Kings

12-8-0 This Week: 7 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.50
  • GAPG
    2.25
  • S.A. CORSI%
    56.4%
  • PP%
    20.6%
  • PK%
    84.6%

If there's one thing I'd be worried about, that isn't mentioned all that often, it is that C Anze Kopitar's shots-per-game crashed to 1.70 last season, and it's down to 1.65 per game this season. He scored two goals Sunday at Carolina, but the shot rate has to improve -- he ranks 249th out of 254 forwards that have played at least 200 5-on-5 minutes when it comes to shots/60.

Key Injuries: LW Dwight King (foot), D Matt Greene (upper body).

Minnesota Wild

11-5-3 This Week: 8 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.00
  • GAPG
    2.68
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.6%
  • PP%
    20.3%
  • PK%
    75.5%

D Ryan Suter, who scored two goals in 77 games last season, has three goals and 16 assists in 19 games this year, a serious jump in production, even as the Wild have cut his ice time by a couple of shifts per game, down to a mere 27:39 per game.

Key Injuries: LW Zach Parise (knee), D Marco Scandella (lower body).

Boston Bruins

10-8-1 This Week: 9 Last Week: 13

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.25
  • GAPG
    3.06
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.3%
  • PP%
    33.3%
  • PK%
    71.7%

Goaltending continues to be a concern for the Bruins, but their power play -- with five PP goals each to Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson -- has helped them survive their goals-against woes. 

Key Injuries: RW David Pastrnak (foot).

Chicago Blackhawks

11-8-2 This Week: 10 Last Week: 8

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.71
  • GAPG
    2.62
  • S.A. CORSI
    52.7%
  • PP%
    21.1%
  • PK%
    78.9%

The Blackhawks are apparently willing to listen on offers for D Trevor Daley, who has no goals in 21 games after scoring 16 in 68 games for Dallas last season. Weird that a defenceman wouldn't keep shooting over 14%.

Key Injuries: None.

Detroit Red Wings

11-8-2 This Week: 11 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.33
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.6%
  • PP%
    17.9%
  • PK%
    84.3%

He is but one 37-year-old man and has a modest two points in six games, but since C Pavel Datsyuk has returned to the Detroit lineup, they have 53.3% score-adjusted possession while Datsyuk is, typically, controlling 58.0% of play at even strength.

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion), D Kyle Quincey (ankle).

Ottawa Senators

10-5-5 This Week: 12 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.90
  • GAPG
    2.70
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.5%
  • PP%
    20.6%
  • PK%
    77.1%

One regulation loss in the past nine games, and back-to-back shutout wins to finish the week...but 29th-ranked possession stats are an area of concern.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), D Patrick Wiercioch (upper body).

San Jose Sharks

13-8-0 This Week: 13 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.76
  • GAPG
    2.43
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.9%
  • PP%
    13.6%
  • PK%
    79.1%

Six straight wins, all on the road, adds some life to the Sharks' season. There's a bit of a revolving door at the bottom of the forward depth chart, but stability on defence and goals from Joe Pavelski, Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau up front makes the Sharks competitive.

Key Injuries: LW Raffi Torres (suspension), C Logan Couture (fibula).

Pittsburgh Penguins

12-8-0 This Week: 14 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.20
  • GAPG
    2.30
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.3%
  • PP%
    15.1%
  • PK%
    84.5%

The Penguins have been fortunate to this point, outplayed generally, but covered by G Marc-Andre Fleury. At some point, though, the big-ticket players are going to have to start carrying play, and producing points, because putting this much on the goaltender is not how championship teams are built.

Key Injuries: D Olli Maatta (upper body)..

New Jersey Devils

11-8-1 This Week: 15 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.40
  • GAPG
    2.45
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.6%
  • PP%
    22.5%
  • PK%
    83.8%

The Devils have done all right patching together their forward group, but it could be better still. Jacob Josefson, Jiri Tlusty, Jordin Tootoo, Stephen Gionta, Sergey Kalinin and Brian O'Neill -- who averaged between 10 and 16 minutes per game -- have combined for one even-strength goal. 

Key Injuries: LW Ryane Clowe (concussion), LW Patrik Elias (knee).

Tampa Bay Lightning

10-9-3 This Week: 16 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.41
  • GAPG
    2.18
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.0%
  • PP%
    19.1%
  • PK%
    81.3%

Injuries continue to ding the Lighting lineup, especially up front, where they have plugged Joel Vermin and Jonathan Marchessault into the lineup. That's not quite Palat and Johnson.

Key Injuries: LW Ondrej Palat (lower body), C Tyler Johnson (undisclosed).

New York Islanders

10-8-3 This Week: 17 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.81
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.5%
  • PP%
    16.4%
  • PK%
    81.8%

Getting back-to-back games against the Habs is no treat, and the Isles lost both as they now try to deal with D Travis Hamonic's trade request, which has gone public.

Key Injuries: D Thomas Hickey (lower body).

Winnipeg Jets

10-9-2 This Week: 18 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.71
  • GAPG
    3.05
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.8%
  • PP%
    14.7%
  • PK%
    79.5%

Emerged from a six-game winless slide with back-to-back wins, and lost G Ondrej Pavelec to injury. That might not be the worst thing in the world, and it could be interesting to see if top prospect G Connor Hellebuyck is interested. 

Key Injuries: G Ondrej Pavelec (knee).

Arizona Coyotes

10-9-1 This Week: 19 Last Week: 19

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.75
  • GAPG
    2.95
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.9%
  • PP%
    15.0%
  • PK%
    83.3%

Rookie Max Domi and Anthony Duclair lead the way with eight and seven goals, respectively, but the Coyotes have some depth to their attack. Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan each have six and Tobias Rieder has five, while Martin Hanzal leads the team with 18 points in 18 games.

Key Injuries: G Mike Smith (lower body).

Florida Panthers

8-8-4 This Week: 20 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.65
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.5%
  • PP%
    22.2%
  • PK%
    75.0%

Two regulation wins in the past 11 games shows that it's been a grind and, thankfully, the Panthers have been getting strong goaltending from Roberto Luongo to keep them afloat.

Key Injuries: D Dmitry Kulikov (knee).

Vancouver Canucks

8-6-6 This Week: 21 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.86
  • GAPG
    2.73
  • S. A. CORSI%
    50.7%
  • PP%
    20.0%
  • PK%
    79.4%

The Sedins put on a show Saturday night, in a win over Chicago, but it was the Canucks' only win in the past six games.

Key Injuries: D Ben Hutton (lower body), C Brandon Sutter (abdominal).

Buffalo Sabres

8-10-2 This Week: 22 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.10
  • GAPG
    2.70
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.9%
  • PP%
    21.5%
  • PK%
    73.6%

Winless in four, while scoring just four goals, the Sabres are undoubtedly more competitive, and have welcomed LW Evander Kane and D Zach Bogosian back to the lineup, but they're not quite over the hump yet.

Key Injuries: G Robin Lehner (ankle), C Zemgus Girgensosn (upper body).

Carolina Hurricanes

7-10-3 This Week: 23 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.00
  • GAPG
    2.85
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.9%
  • PP%
    14.5%
  • PK%
    78.6%

Sunday's win over Los Angeles was the Hurricanes' first regulation win of the month, but they also have two regulation losses in the past seven. A little more finish and they could be interesting, but when's that happening? (Looking at you, Staals and Skinner.)

Key Injuries: D James Wisniewski (knee).

Columbus Blue Jackets

8-14-0 This Week: 24 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.50
  • GAPG
    3.23
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.8%
  • PP%
    19.5%
  • PK%
    80.8%

The Blue Jackets are 6-4 in the past 10 games, though that's not a result of dramatically better play at even strength They're a little better there, but special teams have improved and G Sergei Bobrovsky is coming around (.936 SV% in November) after a horrible start to the season (.865 SV% in October).

Key Injuries: D Fedor Tyutin (nose), C Brandon Dubinsky (elbow), C Alexander Wennberg (lower body).

Toronto Maple Leafs

7-10-4 This Week: 25 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.19
  • GAPG
    2.62
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.4%
  • PP%
    20.6%
  • PK%
    80.9%

The Leafs are more competitive -- with two regulation losses in the past nine games -- but how much of that is on the back of G James Reimer? He's playing as well as he ever has and a goalie stopping 93.6% of the shots he faces can make up for a lot of team shortcomings.

Key Injuries: None.

Anaheim Ducks

7-10-4 This Week: 26 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    1.76
  • GAPG
    2.57
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.0%
  • PP%
    15.0%
  • PK%
    88.2%

The Ducks have picked up their possession game , though it's coming as G Frederik Andersen is crashing back to league average after a strong start to the year. One step forward, two steps back for a team that has won two of the past seven games.

Key Injuries: D Simon Despres (upper body), LW Jiri Sekac (lower body).

Philadelphia Flyers

6-9-5 This Week: 27 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    1.70
  • GAPG
    2.85
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.6%
  • PP%
    13.3%
  • PK%
    77.8%

The Flyers have one regulation win in the past 16 games, and are now the lowest-scoring team in the league. For all their flaws, they should be able to score better than they have to this point in the season.

Key Injuries: D Mark Streit (pubic bone), LW R.J. Umberger (lower body).

Calgary Flames

8-12-1 This Week: 28 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.38
  • GAPG
    3.52
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.7%
  • PP%
    14.3%
  • PK%
    74.6%

G Karri Ramo is playing better, and the Flames have won three of four. Impressively, they allowed a total of 39 shots against in back-to-back wins against New Jersey and Chicago.

Key Injuries: LW Lance Bouma (fibula), G Jonas Hiller (lower body).

Edmonton Oilers

7-12-1 This Week: 29 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.75
  • GAPG
    3.15
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.7%
  • PP%
    19.7%
  • PK%
    77.8%

It appears that the Oilers are giving Anders Nilsson more time in net than was planned when they dealt for Cam Talbot but, sadly, Nilsson's .901 SV% is earning him more action.

Key Injuries: D Justin Schultz (undisclosed), C Connor McDavid (clavicle).

Colorado Avalanche

7-12-1 This Week: 30 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.80
  • GAPG
    3.05
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.1%
  • PP%
    19.7%
  • PK%
    76.8%

The bubble burst on Reto Berra, and the good news for the Avalanche is that Semyon Varlamov is ready to resume his starter's role in net.

Key Injuries: LW Alex Tanguay (knee).

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.