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Feb 18, 2015

Predators pull to top of NHL Power Rankings

The Nashville Predators have taken over top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of Central Division rivals the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, with the Tampa Bay Lightning in there among the leaders.

Shea Weber Seth Jones

The Nashville Predators have taken over top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of Central Division rivals the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, with the Tampa Bay Lightning in there among the leaders.

Making moves over the past couple of weeks, the Minnesota Wild -- suddenly a juggernaut with Devan Dubnyk in net -- jump from 18 to 11, while the Los Angeles Kings, winners of five straight, go from 20 to 15. 

Heading the wrong way, the Dallas Stars drop from 14 to 18, as injuries seem to be short-circuiting their playoff push and the Ottawa Senators, down to their third-string goaltender, slide from 23 to 27.

Among Canadian teams, the Montreal Canadiens are tops, at five, while the Winnipeg Jets lose some ground, from 11 to 14, with injuries hitting their forward corps.

The Calgary Flames are at 16, and the Vancouver Canucks, missing three defencemen, drop from 16 to 19. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs fall from 24 to 26 while the Edmonton Oilers slide to 29.

Nashville Predators

39-12-6 This Week: 1 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.98
  • GAPG
    2.25
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.7%
  • PP%
    18.1%
  • PK%
    81.7%

Lost in Pekka Rinne's return from injury, then reeled off six straight wins, allowing a total of nine goals against. Also improved depth by getting Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson from Toronto, losing only Olli Jokinen off their current roster.

Key Injuries: D Ryan Ellis (lower body).

St. Louis Blues

37-16-4 This Week: 1 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.02
  • GAPG
    2.44
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.5%
  • PP%
    23.5%
  • PK%
    80.4%

Followed up a seven-game winning streak by splitting the next six, with the power play revealing some cracks, going 2 for 16 (12.5%) in the absence of D Kevin Shattenkirk.

Key Injuries: D Kevin Shattenkirk (abdominal).

Tampa Bay Lightning

35-18-6 This Week: 3 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.20
  • GAPG
    2.63
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.9%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    83.0%

3-3-2 in the past eight games, the Lightning are running out a lot of young defencemen -- Mark Barberio, Andrej Sustr, Nikita Nesterov, Luke Witkowski -- at the moment. They also have been giving more action to rookie G Andrei Vasilevskiy, a budding star with a .927 save percentage in nine games.

Key Injuries: D Matt Carle (abdomen), D Radko Gudas (lower body).  

Chicago Blackhawks

35-18-4 This Week: 4 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.90
  • GAPG
    2.26
  • S.A. CORSI
    55.0%
  • PP%
    18.9%
  • PK%
    87.9%

No regulation losses in the past six could be seen as a positive, but two regulation wins in the past eight is no prize either. The Blackhawks still have the underlying numbers of a championship team, but sometimes need a test to get their competitive juices flowing.

Key Injuries: None.

Montreal Canadiens

37-15-4 This Week: 5 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.57
  • GAPG
    2.18
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.9%
  • PP%
    16.7%
  • PK%
    85.4%

No regulation losses in the past six and a goaltender who is at the top of his game. Of course, they keep trotting Dale Weise out as their top line right winger, so there are still some areas to address.

Key Injuries: RW P.A. Parenteau (concussion).

New York Islanders

38-19-1 This Week: 6 Last Week: 8

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.12
  • GAPG
    2.79
  • S.A. CORSI%
    54.1%
  • PP%
    19.1%
  • PK%
    74.2%

The fun-and-gun Islanders have won five of six, with their only loss coming in a massively entertaining, yet frustrating 6-5 loss to the Rangers. Would feel better about the Isles going forward if they could get more consistent goaltending. A .910 save percentage for Jaroslav Halak just isn't good enough.

Key Injuries: RW Kyle Okposo (eye).

Detroit Red Wings

31-14-10 This Week: 7 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.87
  • GAPG
    2.42
  • S.A. CORSI%
    54.3%
  • PP%
    26.0%
  • PK%
    83.0%

Had won 11 of 13 before their current winless in three slide. The power play has been firing, at 30.3% (17-for-56) since January 6.

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion).

Pittsburgh Penguins

32-16-9 This Week: 8 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.79
  • GAPG
    2.44
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.4%
  • PP%
    20.3%
  • PK%
    85.1%

The Penguins haven't scored a power play goal this month, going 0-for-18. It's a small-sample statistical blip, but this is also how we get the Penguins splitting up Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with the man advantage.

Key Injuries: RW Pascal Dupuis (blood clot), D Olli Maatta (upper body), D Christian Ehrhoff (concussion).

New York Rangers

34-16-5 This Week: 9 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.13
  • GAPG
    2.40
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.0%
  • PP%
    19.4%
  • PK%
    82.2%

The Rangers are 5-1-1 since Cam Talbot took over the crease with Henrik Lundqvist injured, though there has been something of an offensive explosion too, as the Rangers have scored 22 goals in their most recent four wins.

Key Injuries: G Henrik Lundqvist (vascular)..

Anaheim Ducks

35-15-7 This Week: 10 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.84
  • GAPG
    2.72
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.7%
  • PP%
    17.9%
  • PK%
    81.0%

Four losses in the past five games, with their only win coming in a game in which they were outshot 36-17 by Carolina, coupled with some notable injuries, leaves the Ducks at a bit of a low point, relative to the rest of their season.

Key Injuries: G Frederik Andersen (head), D Sami Vatanen (lower body), LW Matt Beleskey (upper body). 

Minnesota Wild

28-21-7 This Week: 11 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.73
  • GAPG
    2.68
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.6%
  • PP%
    15.8%
  • PK%
    85.8%

Monday's loss at Vancouver snapped Minnesota's run of 10 games without a regulation loss. G Devan Dubnyk has been the story, but C Mikko Koivu (1 G, 7 A in past 7 GP) has been pretty good too. 

Key Injuries: LW Jason Zucker (collarbone), LW Matt Cooke (lower body).

Washington Capitals

31-17-10 This Week: 12 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.91
  • GAPG
    2.45
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.1%
  • PP%
    23.6%
  • PK%
    81.0%

6-2 in their past eight, the Capitals have an alpha dog to lead them, as Alex Ovechkin has scored 15 goals in the past 15 games to take over the goal-scoring lead with 37 in 58 games.

Key Injuries: None.

Boston Bruins

28-20-8 This Week: 13 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.59
  • GAPG
    2.50
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.3%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    83.4%

As the Bruins stumble, going winless in four, they have allowed Florida and Philadelphia to harbour playoff hopes. Worse, it has prompted discussion about whether the Bruins should move D Zdeno Chara. It's a cold world in snow-bound Boston. 

Key Injuries: None.

Winnipeg Jets

30-19-10 This Week: 14 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.70
  • GAPG
    2.59
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.7%
  • PP%
    18.3%
  • PK%
    80.9%

The Jets have the depth on defence to handle moving Dustin Byfuglien back to forward, with Mathieu Perreault out, but they're so much better with Buff on D! Oh well, maybe ther is another move to come before the deadline to shore up forward depth.

Key Injuries: LW Mathieu Perreault (lower body).

Los Angeles Kings

26-18-12 This Week: 15 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.75
  • GAPG
    2.55
  • S.A. CORSI%
    54.2%
  • PP%
    18.6%
  • PK%
    78.5%

Showing signs of life with five straight wins, the Kings are still outside the playoffs at the moment, but they are two points back with three games at hand, so at least trending the right way.

Key Injuries: D Slava Voynov (suspension), LW Tanner Pearson (fibula), D Alec Martinez (concussion).

Calgary Flames

32-22-3 This Week: 16 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.86
  • GAPG
    2.56
  • S.A. CORSI%
    44.5%
  • PP%
    17.7%
  • PK%
    79.7%

Sustainability questions persist about a team getting outshot as handily as the Flames, but they've gone 11-4 in the past 15 games to stay in the playoff mix.

Key Injuries: None.

San Jose Sharks

29-22-8 This Week: 17 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.76
  • GAPG
    2.80
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.1%
  • PP%
    21.1%
  • PK%
    80.4%

Losing seven of the past nine games leaves the Sharks with a precarious hold on a playoff spot and really a strange team, that might be able to sneak into the postseason, but not nearly as dangerous as previous Sharks teams.

Key Injuries: Raffi Torres (knee).

Dallas Stars

27-22-8 This Week: 18 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.10
  • GAPG
    3.12
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.9%
  • PP%
    17.5%
  • PK%
    79.8%

The Stars have won four of their past five games but, with injuries adding up, including a long-term one for Tyler Seguin, is there any reason to think that they will be able to make up the points needed to catch a postseason berth?

Key Injuries: RW Valeri Nichushkin (groin), C Tyler Seguin (knee), RW Patrick Eaves (concussion), RW Ales Hemsky (lower body).

Vancouver Canucks

32-21-3 This Week: 19 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.79
  • GAPG
    2.61
  • S. A. CORSI%
    49.7%
  • PP%
    17.5%
  • PK%
    85.3%

The Canucks have won three of the past four games, but are also missing three of their top four defencemen, along with a couple of top nine forwards. Challenging times as they embark on a five-game road trip.

Key Injuries: D Kevin Bieksa (hand), C Brad Richardson (lower body), D Alexander Edler (upper body), D Chris Tanev (undisclosed), C Nick Bonino (lower body).

Florida Panthers

25-19-12 This Week: 20 Last Week: 19

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.38
  • GAPG
    2.62
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.8%
  • PP%
    15.6%
  • PK%
    78.8%

Only five wins in the past 16 games, yet the Panthers have pulled within two points of the Bruins. Tough spot, though, since the Panthers are considered much more likely to sell veterans like Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky and Tomas Fleischmann leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Key Injuries: None.

New Jersey Devils

22-26-9 This Week: 21 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.14
  • GAPG
    2.61
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.8%
  • PP%
    19.9%
  • PK%
    78.9%

9-6-2 in the past 17 games, the Devils aren't playing demonstrably better, but G Cory Schneider is carrying them (to respectability, maybe?).

Key Injuries: LW Ryane Clowe (concussion), D Bryce Salvador (lower body), D Damon Severson (ankle).

Philadelphia Flyers

24-23-10 This Week: 22 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.65
  • GAPG
    2.82
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.1%
  • PP%
    23.2%
  • PK%
    75.3%

One regulation loss in the past 10 games puts the Flyers within six points of a playoff spot, apparently close enough that they felt okay giving D Nick Schultz a two-year contract extension. He's played tough minutes for them, but the results aren't ideal.

Key Injuries: D Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), G Steve Mason (lower body).

Colorado Avalanche

24-22-11 This Week: 23 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.49
  • GAPG
    2.75
  • S.A. CORSI%
    44.1%
  • PP%
    12.4%
  • PK%
    82.8%

The Avs have been grinding, though a four-game losing streak may have sucked the life of out playoff hopes. Now there are a lot of teams to climb and they'll need exceptional goaltending to overcome their shot and points deficits.

Key Injuries: LW Jamie McGinn (back), D Erik Johnson (lower body).

Columbus Blue Jackets

25-27-3 This Week: 24 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.60
  • GAPG
    3.11
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.8%
  • PP%
    22.5%
  • PK%
    80.6%

The Blue Jackets are scrappy, going 5-5 in 10 decisions since Sergei Bobrovsky was hurt, but they have also surrendered 44 or more shots in three of the past four games.

Key Injuries: RW Nathan Horton (back), C Boone Jenner (back), RW Jeremy Morin (heart), G Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), D Ryan Murray (ankle).

Carolina Hurricanes

20-29-7 This Week: 25 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.20
  • GAPG
    2.66
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.5%
  • PP%
    17.6%
  • PK%
    87.2%

The Hurricanes haven't been anywhere near contending for a playoff spot virtually all season, but they have been competitive in 2015, going 10-6-3 since January 1. Apparently didn't get the tanking memo.

Key Injuries: None.

Toronto Maple Leafs

23-30-5 This Week: 26 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.74
  • GAPG
    3.02
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.5%
  • PP%
    19.4%
  • PK%
    83.1%

With one win in 17 games, and having dealt a couple of quality players to Nashville, the Maple Leafs are embarking on a rebuilding project. The Leafs at least have a couple of players that have shown some progress under Peter Horachek.

Key Injuries: D Dion Phaneuf (hand), LW Joffrey Lupul (lower body).

Ottawa Senators

22-23-10 This Week: 27 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.76
  • GAPG
    2.78
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.2%
  • PP%
    17.3%
  • PK%
    82.1%

The Senators had won three of nine since Craig Anderson was injured and now, with Robin Lehner hurt, turn to Andrew Hammond, an undrafted 27-year-old who had an .898 save percentage in the AHL this season.

Key Injuries: G Craig Anderson (hand), G Robin Lehner (upper body).

Arizona Coyotes

20-31-7 This Week: 28 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.19
  • GAPG
    3.26
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.7%
  • PP%
    22.2%
  • PK%
    78.0%

No regulation wins in the past seven for a Coyotes team that will be popular among playoff teams as long as they are entertaining trade offers for C Antoine Vermette and D Zbynek Michalek.

Key Injuries: LW Mikkel Boedker (spleen), C Martin Hanzal (upper body).

Edmonton Oilers

16-32-10 This Week: 29 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.26
  • GAPG
    3.31
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.5%
  • PP%
    14.8%
  • PK%
    78.6%

One regulation win in the past seven games has the Oilers in prime position for second spot, but they probably don't have the wherewithal to catch Buffalo, who have taken tanking to a whole new (lower) level this year.

Key Injuries: LW Taylor Hall (foot), D Nikita Nikitin (shoulder).

Buffalo Sabres

16-35-3 This Week: 30 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    1.74
  • GAPG
    3.39
  • S.A. CORSI%
    35.5%
  • PP%
    12.0%
  • PK%
    73.8%

It's been a debacle of a season, but I liked the deal to get Evander Kane from Winnipeg and if it gets them Connor McDavid, that might end up being worth it in the long run. Fingers crossed.

Key Injuries: None.

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.