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Feb 17, 2016

Stars gain on Capitals in NHL Power Rankings

The Washington Capitals remain the top team in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

Benn and Eaves celebrate

The Washington Capitals remain the top team in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

The Stars have emerged from a midseason slump and have one regulation loss in the past nine games, which earns them a jump from four to two in the rankings.

Other teams climbing in the rankings include the San Jose Sharks, up from 12 to six after going 12-2-3 in the past 17 games, and the Anaheim Ducks, who rise from 18 to 14 after going 10-1-1 in the past dozen games.

Teams heading the wrong way include the Boston Bruins, sliding from six to 11 after two regulation wins in the past nine games. Further down the list, the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild have been mired in long slumps and have fallen to 18 and 19, respectively.

It continues to be a tough go for the rest of the Canadian teams. The Winnipeg Jets are up a couple of spots, to 23, jumping past the Vancouver Canucks at 24, and switching places with the Ottawa Senators. The Calgary Flames remain at 26, one spot ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, who are up to 27.

Oh, and holding up the rest of the table, from the bottom, is the Toronto Maple Leafs, a bad team that has its forward ranks decimated by injuries and (wisely) just traded a 22-minute-per-game defenceman. Currently, though, that leaves the Leafs in 30th for the first time this season.

 

Washington Capitals

41-10-4 This Week: 1 Last Week: 1

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.29
  • GAPG
    2.27
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.2%
  • PP%
    23.7%
  • PK%
    84.0%

The Capitals continue to roll along at the top of the league and welcome back D Brooks Orpik after three months on the sidelines. This season's emergence of young forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky leaves Washington with few needs -- maybe a depth addition or two -- heading towards the trade deadline.

Key Injuries: C Jay Beagle (upper body).

Dallas Stars

37-15-6 This Week: 2 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.21
  • GAPG
    2.66
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.7%
  • PP%
    21.1%
  • PK%
    80.0%

The Stars have bounced back from a midseason slump, with one regulation loss in the past nine games. Another top-four defenceman would cement their contender status, but they can be really good if the goaltending holds up.

Key Injuries: C Jason Spezza (upper body).

Los Angeles Kings

33-20-3 This Week: 3 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.71
  • GAPG
    2.36
  • S.A. CORSI%
    56.6%
  • PP%
    22.7%
  • PK%
    82.1%

One regulation win in the past six games, though G Jonathan Quick was out for half of those games, nursing a lower-body injury. Marian Gaborik's injury could prompt a move for a scoring winger, but the failed Christian Ehrhoff experiment might require the Kings to find help on the blueline too.

Key Injuries: D Matt Greene (shoulder), LW Marian Gaborik (lower body).

Chicago Blackhawks

37-18-5 This Week: 4 Last Week: 2

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.82
  • GAPG
    2.32
  • S.A. CORSI
    51.8%
  • PP%
    21.7%
  • PK%
    80.7%

Snapped a three-game slide with a rout of the Maple Leafs on Monday, but with Marian Hossa out of the lineup, Chicago's forward group is looking mighty thin behind top scorer Patrick Kane. Not that there is great desperation for a team that won a Cup last season, but if the Blackhawks are going to make another push this year, adding a scoring winger should be a priority.

Key Injuries: RW Marian Hossa (leg).

St. Louis Blues

33-17-9 This Week: 5 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.41
  • GAPG
    2.29
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.7%
  • PP%
    20.5%
  • PK%
    87.1%

4-0-1 in the past five games and the Blues are looking better up front now that they have Jaden Schwartz back from injury. Of course, getting Alex Pietrangelo healthy on the blueline would be nice too, but St. Louis has managed to remain competitive through a bunch of injuries, thanks in no small part to G Brian Elliott, who is rocking a .933 save percentage in 30 games this season.

Key Injuries: G Jake Allen (knee), D Alex Pietrangelo (knee).

San Jose Sharks

30-20-5 This Week: 6 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.95
  • GAPG
    2.65
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.9%
  • PP%
    22.6%
  • PK%
    80.7%

4-1-1 in the past six games, the Sharks have stabilized their playoff position, and have enough talent to do some damage, especially with Joe Thornton playing at a high level.

Key Injuries: None.

Detroit Red Wings

29-19-9 This Week: 7 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.54
  • GAPG
    2.51
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.8%
  • PP%
    18.4%
  • PK%
    80.6%

The Wings are having trouble with G Jimmy Howard, a struggling backup being paid like a starter, but C Pavel Datsyuk is stepping up his game, with 18 points (7 G, 11 A) in the past 15. The question is, are they really in position to add to the current roster for a playoff run?

Key Injuries: LW Johan Franzen (concussion), D Niklas Kronwall (knee), D Jonathan Ericsson (lower body).

Florida Panthers

33-18-6 This Week: 8 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.70
  • GAPG
    2.33
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.8%
  • PP%
    16.3%
  • PK%
    81.4%

Injuries are starting to pile up for a Panthers team that has reaped the rewards of great goaltending. By the same token, that means that seeking further help before the deadline is necessary if Florida is going to have a fighting chance in the postseason.

Key Injuries: D Willie Mitchell (lower body), D Erik Gudbranson (undisclosed), C Aleksander Barkov (upper body), RW Brandon Pirri (ankle).

New York Islanders

30-19-6 This Week: 9 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.85
  • GAPG
    2.51
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.9%
  • PP%
    19.8%
  • PK%
    87.0%

The Islanders have won four of five and that keeps them in playoff position but they do appear to be tweeners -- good enough for the postseason, but unless some players (Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Mikhail Grabovski) take big steps forward, they don't appear to be strong enough to be real contenders.

Key Injuries: D Calvin de Haan (lower body).

Tampa Bay Lightning

30-21-4 This Week: 10 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.63
  • GAPG
    2.43
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.5%
  • PP%
    18.4%
  • PK%
    82.8%

While the Lightning may still have a high ceiling, if they can pull it all together, they have some injuries to deal with, need an upgrade on the blueline and have gone five straight without a regulation win. But, considering the possibility that this could be a last shot with Steven Stamkos on the roster, and that LW Jonathan Drouin remains a holdout, perhaps Tampa Bay will be more aggressive leading up to the deadline.

Key Injuries: D Jason Garrison (lower body), C Vladislav Namestnikov (upper body).

Boston Bruins

31-20-6 This Week: 11 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.98
  • GAPG
    2.75
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.7%
  • PP%
    22.1%
  • PK%
    83.2%

5-2-1 in the past eight games, the Bruins are holding a playoff spot, yet there seems to be a lot of talk about moving out LW Loui Eriksson, a pending UFA who is having a bounceback season, his most productive since 2011-2012. If Eriksson goes, that's a pretty good indication that the Bruins don't believe they are ready to compete in the postseason.

Key Injuries: None.

Pittsburgh Penguins

28-19-8 This Week: 12 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.55
  • GAPG
    2.49
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.3%
  • PP%
    19.4%
  • PK%
    84.2%

Since losing back-to-back games to the Blackhawks in early January, the Penguins are 9-3-3, managing lately despite the absence of Evgeni Malkin. Really, now that Sidney Crosby is back to crushing it, the Penguins are an interesting team down the stretch, but they could really use some depth upgrades because their bottom six up front remains a problem despite attempts to plug those holes in the offseason.

Key Injuries: RW Beau Bennett (upper body), C Evgeni Malkin (lower body), C Nick Bonino (undisclosed).

New York Rangers

32-18-6 This Week: 13 Last Week: 13

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.86
  • GAPG
    2.52
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.8%
  • PP%
    16.6%
  • PK%
    78.1%

Six straight without a regulation loss for the Blueshirts, who have a bit of a wildcard quality to them. If young forwards J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes play well down the stretch and into the playoffs, they could be really good. To this point in the season, though, Miller is the only one of the three that has exceeded expectations.

Key Injuries: LW Rick Nash (knee).

Anaheim Ducks

28-19-8 This Week: 14 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.39
  • GAPG
    2.39
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.4%
  • PP%
    19.9%
  • PK%
    86.8%

10-1-1 in the past dozen games, the Ducks are the hottest team in the league, finally finding the net after hanging at the bottom of the league in goals scored for the first half of the season. Even after the successful addition of LW David Perron, the Ducks could use another scoring winger to give them a boost as a legitimate contender, and they have the pieces on the blueline to make a blockbuster deal if they are so inclined.

Key Injuries: RW Chris Stewart (jaw).

Nashville Predators

26-21-10 This Week: 15 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.61
  • GAPG
    2.65
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.2%
  • PP%
    19.8%
  • PK%
    79.0%

Is it conceivable that there is a goaltending controversy in Nashville? Pekka Rinne has just been terrible this year and it's really hard for any team to overcome a .902 save percentage in a heavy starter's workload. So, enter Carter Hutton, a 30-year-old who has played in a total of 69 career games, but has shutouts in two of his past four starts.

Key Injuries: None.

New Jersey Devils

29-22-7 This Week: 16 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.21
  • GAPG
    2.24
  • S.A. CORSI%
    45.8%
  • PP%
    21.2%
  • PK%
    82.2%

The league's lowest-scoring team ranks 29th in puck possession, yet remains (technically) in a playoff spot. In a related story, G Cory Schneider is really good.

Key Injuries: LW Patrik Elias (knee), LW Jiri Tlusty (upper body), Jon Merrill (upper body), LW Mike Cammalleri (upper body).

Carolina Hurricanes

25-21-10 This Week: 17 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.44
  • GAPG
    2.58
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.0%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    81.6%

It's not going to be easy for the Hurricanes to sneak into the playoffs, but if they can get decent goaltending for the last quarter of the season, they're going to make it interesting. A 5-1-2 record in the past eight games has thrust them into the conversation.

Key Injuries: D James Wisniewski (knee), G Cam Ward (lower body), D Justin Faulk (leg).

Montreal Canadiens

27-26-4 This Week: 18 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.68
  • GAPG
    2.75
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.9%
  • PP%
    18.5%
  • PK%
    83.3%

The Habs had won three straight and looked like they might possibly be emerging from a three-month slump, but back-to-back losses, including a 6-2 loss in Arizona, squashes any budding optimism pretty quickly. Now, it looks like the Habs are likely to be in the seller's role leading up to the trade deadline.

Key Injuries: G Carey Price (leg), D Jeff Petry (lower body), C David Desharnais (foot).

Minnesota Wild

24-22-10 This Week: 19 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.50
  • GAPG
    2.50
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.6%
  • PP%
    17.5%
  • PK%
    78.3%

Snapped an eight-game losing streak with Monday's win in Vancouver, but not in time to save head coach Mike Yeo's job. Now John Torchetti has to figure out how to get this group, with a core chock full of over-30s, to gain ground to get back into a playoff spot.

Key Injuries: D Jonas Brodin (foot).

Philadelphia Flyers

25-21-10 This Week: 20 Last Week: 19

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.41
  • GAPG
    2.61
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.8%
  • PP%
    18.6%
  • PK%
    78.7%

The Flyers are facing an uphill climb for a postseason spot, but they do have some positives to hand their hat on this season, not least of which is rookie D Shayne Gostisbehere, who has a 13-game point streak, the longest by a defenceman in nearly 20 years.

Key Injuries: C Sean Couturier (lower body), D Michael Del Zotto (upper body).

Arizona Coyotes

26-24-6 This Week: 21 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.68
  • GAPG
    3.04
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.8%
  • PP%
    19.3%
  • PK%
    78.0%

The Coyotes have been surprisingly competitive this season, but four wins in the past 14 games likely has them heading for a more typical finish.

Key Injuries: G Mike Smith (lower body), C Boyd Gordon (lower body).

Colorado Avalanche

29-26-4 This Week: 22 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.64
  • GAPG
    2.78
  • S.A. CORSI%
    43.6%
  • PP%
    19.3%
  • PK%
    79.3%

The Avs are still handing around a playoff spot, but it's hard to be optimistic when they have one regulation win in the past seven games and are increasing their deficit as the league's worst possession team. Unless Semyon Varlamov is great, they're going to be hard-pressed to keep pace.

Key Injuries: None.

Winnipeg Jets

25-28-3 This Week: 23 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.52
  • GAPG
    2.86
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.8%
  • PP%
    15.7%
  • PK%
    77.4%

The Jets could be the best Canadian team (talk about damning with faint praise), but they are nine points out of a playoff berth in the Central and have sent G Connor Hellebuyck back to the AHL with Ondrej Pavelec returning from injury. The good news is that they have D Dustin Byfuglien signed up long-term, and still have a big decision to make with captain Andrew Ladd.

Key Injuries: None.

Vancouver Canucks

22-22-12 This Week: 24 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.30
  • GAPG
    2.75
  • S. A. CORSI%
    47.1%
  • PP%
    16.9%
  • PK%
    81.1%

The playoffs are slipping away from the Canucks and with injuries to Brandon Sutter and Alexander Edler, they're going to be hard-pressed to improve their odds. All that remains is to make trades for pending UFAs Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata and that ought to seal their fate for this season.

Key Injuries: C Brandon Sutter (jaw), D Alexander Edler (fibula).

Ottawa Senators

26-26-6 This Week: 25 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.76
  • GAPG
    3.07
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.7%
  • PP%
    18.2%
  • PK%
    74.3%

The start of the Dion Phaneuf era has been rocky -- three losses then a shootout win against Buffalo (in which the Senators were outshot 39-26) -- but it makes it easier to accept that Ottawa is a longshot for the playoffs this season.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion)..

Calgary Flames

25-27-3 This Week: 26 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.69
  • GAPG
    3.02
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.3%
  • PP%
    15.6%
  • PK%
    73.4%

Fading from playoff contention, the Flames are crushed by the loss of G Karri Ramo, he of the .909 save percentage this season. Yes, the goaltending has been rough for the Flames, and it sets them up as sellers with Jiri Hudler, Kris Russell and David Jones among the possibilities to be moved out of town.

Key Injuries: G Karri Ramo (knee).

Edmonton Oilers

22-30-6 This Week: 27 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.45
  • GAPG
    3.00
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.0%
  • PP%
    18.6%
  • PK%
    80.8%

With one win in the past six games, the Oilers are once again making a bid for a high lottery pick, but they're still must-watch TV now that Connor McDavid is back in the lineup. They may not be good, but they're fun.

Key Injuries: D Oscar Klefbom (finger), C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand).

Columbus Blue Jackets

23-28-7 This Week: 28 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.50
  • GAPG
    3.05
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.2%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    80.2%

6-1-3 in the past 10 games, the Blue Jackets are gearing up for another strong finish, even if it's too late to matter. They have some interesting pieces and could be active before the deadline, trying to shed salary, like that of LW Scott Hartnell, who is still productive, but is also 33.

Key Injuries: G Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body), C Curtis McElhinney (ankle).

Buffalo Sabres

23-28-7 This Week: 29 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.34
  • GAPG
    2.71
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.7%
  • PP%
    19.6%
  • PK%
    81.6%

The Sabres have two regulation losses in the past nine games and G Robin Lehner has played well since coming back from injury, so they're likely to be competitive enough down the stretch, but they're still in the mix for a high lottery pick.

Key Injuries: RW Tyler Ennis (upper body).

Toronto Maple Leafs

20-26-9 This Week: 30 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.35
  • GAPG
    2.87
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.1%
  • PP%
    14.8%
  • PK%
    79.8%

That the Maple Leafs are a middle-of-the-road possession team, despite a glaring talent deficit, does make them intriguing once they get some highly-skilled players (say, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and a high pick this year) into the lineup but, in the meantime, they're in for some rough nights, and have two regulation wins in the past 17 games.

Key Injuries: LW James van Riemsdyk (foot), LW Milan Michalek (finger), C Tyler Bozak (upper body), LW Joffrey Lupul (undisclosed).

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.