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Dec 14, 2015

Stars stay No. 1 in NHL Power Rankings

The Dallas Stars continue to lead the NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings.

Patrick Sharp

The Dallas Stars continue to lead the NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings.

The Stars did get blanked by St. Louis Saturday, but it was their only regulation loss in the past eight games, a bump in the road for the league's highest-scoring team.

Among teams moving up this week, both Alberta clubs made hay at home, so the Edmonton Oilers climb from 26 to 23, while the Calgary Flames jump from 30 to 26. The Colorado Avalanche, with a hot goaltender, rise from 29 to 24.

Going the wrong way, the slumping New York Rangers drop from six to 11, the Columbus Blue Jackets sink from 23 to 30 without goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, one place behind the Buffalo Sabres, who fall four spots to 29.

The Montreal Canadiens remain the top-ranked Canadian team, down one spot to four, the Ottawa Senators hold steady at 13, and the Winnipeg Jets bump up a couple to 15. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks flipped spots at 27 and 28.

 

Dallas Stars

22-6-2 This Week: 1 Last Week: 1

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.37
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.8%
  • PP%
    22.9%
  • PK%
    79.5%

The Stars had gone seven straight without a regulation loss before getting blanked by St. Louis Saturday. The league's highest-scoring team getting shut out is a rarity rather than a cause for concern. 

Key Injuries: None.

Washington Capitals

20-6-2 This Week: 2 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.96
  • GAPG
    2.21
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.0%
  • PP%
    23.3%
  • PK%
    83.5%

One regulation loss in the last 10 for the Capitals, who continue to stalk the Stars for top spot. By no means is it all his fault, but backup G Philipp Grubauer has been in goal for the last two regulation losses, so the last game that Braden Holtby lost in regulation was a 1-0 loss at Detroit on November 10.

Key Injuries: D Brooks Orpik (lower body).

Los Angeles Kings

19-8-2 This Week: 3 Last Week: 4

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.52
  • GAPG
    2.07
  • S.A. CORSI%
    57.5%
  • PP%
    17.6%
  • PK%
    84.0%

Lost in OT at Buffalo Saturday, but that was the ninth straight game without a regulation loss for the Kings, who are consistently dominating play. LW Milan Lucic leads the team with nine even-strength goals; he had 16 in 81 games for the Bruins last season. 

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

Montreal Canadiens

20-8-3 This Week: 4 Last Week: 3

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.19
  • GAPG
    2.23
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.7%
  • PP%
    20.4%
  • PK%
    86.7%

Snapped a four-game slide with Saturday's win against Ottawa. Goals have not come quite so easily, particularly down the middle, where Tomas Plekanec, Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais each riding goal droughts of varying degrees -- 15 games for Plekanec, six games for Galchenyuk and nine games for Desharnais.

Key Injuries: RW Brendan Gallagher (hand), G Carey Price (leg).

St. Louis Blues

17-10-4 This Week: 5 Last Week: 5

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.48
  • GAPG
    2.39
  • S.A. CORSI%
    52.7%
  • PP%
    18.7%
  • PK%
    87.7%

While Saturday's 3-0 win at Dallas was impressive and it's not the end of the world to lose 3-1 at Colorado Sunday, especially when outshooting the Avs 43-18, the Blues have been struggling, with five regulation wins in the past 16 games.

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

Boston Bruins

16-9-3 This Week: 6 Last Week: 7

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    3.21
  • GAPG
    2.71
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.2%
  • PP%
    30.8%
  • PK%
    78.8%

Last Monday's home loss to Nashville, a flat effort in which the Bruins were held to 17 shots, is the B's only regulation loss in the past 11 games, and with G Tuukka Rask playing better, they are in position to handle any scoring decline if/when the crazy power play efficiency starts to slip.

Key Injuries: RW David Pastrnak (foot).

New York Islanders

18-8-5 This Week: 7 Last Week: 9

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.77
  • GAPG
    2.26
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.1%
  • PP%
    20.5%
  • PK%
    85.9%

Sunday's win over New Jersey pushed the Islanders to 10 games without a regulation loss, though it also snapped a five-game streak of taking games to overtime or shootout.

Key Injuries: None.

Chicago Blackhawks

17-10-4 This Week: 8 Last Week: 8

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.74
  • GAPG
    2.42
  • S.A. CORSI
    52.2%
  • PP%
    22.8%
  • PK%
    81.6%

The Blackhawks have won four of five, with the only loss in that stretch coming with backup Scott Darling between the pipes. Starter Corey Crawford has allowed two goals in his past four starts, good for a .984 save percentage.

Key Injuries: None.

Minnesota Wild

15-7-6 This Week: 9 Last Week: 11

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.61
  • GAPG
    2.36
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.3%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    77.1%

The Wild have gone seven straight without a regulation loss, the last four with Darcy Kuemper filling in for Devan Dubnyk. 

Key Injuries: G Devan Dubnyk (groin).

Detroit Red Wings

16-8-6 This Week: 10 Last Week: 10

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.57
  • GAPG
    2.53
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.2%
  • PP%
    18.6%
  • PK%
    81.2%

Detroit's last regulation loss was a month ago. Of course, 10 of their 13 games in that time have gone beyond 60 minutes, so there haven't been a lot of opportunities to fall on the wrong side of the ledger.

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

New York Rangers

18-9-4 This Week: 11 Last Week: 6

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.87
  • GAPG
    2.26
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.2%
  • PP%
    21.7%
  • PK%
    84.0%

One win in the past six games for the reeling Rangers, who are finding out how difficult it is to maintain a winning record with subpar possession and a few injuries thinning out the lineup.

Key Injuries: C Derek Stepan (ribs), D Kevin Klein (oblique).

Nashville Predators

15-10-5 This Week: 12 Last Week: 12

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.60
  • GAPG
    2.60
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.7%
  • PP%
    20.6%
  • PK%
    75.5%

Since opening the year 11-3-3, the Predators have won four of 13 games, and with some injuries they are auditioning young forwards like Miikka Salomaki, Viktor Arvidsson and Colton Sissons. 

Key Injuries: C Mike Fisher (lower body), LW Colin Wilson (lower body).

Ottawa Senators

15-10-5 This Week: 13 Last Week: 13

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.97
  • GAPG
    2.90
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.6%
  • PP%
    20.9%
  • PK%
    78.2%

The Senators have one regulation win in the past eight games, and their first-period performance at Montreal Saturday -- when they allowed 27 shots on goal -- just about sent veteran G Craig Anderson over the edge. Can't keep getting outshot like this and expect wins to follow at the current rate.

Key Injuries: LW Clarke MacArthur (concussion), LW Milan Michalek (finger).

Pittsburgh Penguins

15-10-3 This Week: 14 Last Week: 15

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.36
  • GAPG
    2.32
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.0%
  • PP%
    15.6%
  • PK%
    84.2%

Friday's shootout loss to Los Angeles made it two regulation wins in the past nine games and was the final straw that cost head coach Mike Johnston his job. There's been lots of talk about how defensively Johnston wanted the Penguins to play, though it should be noted they rank 27th in the league in shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes. Now, it's up to Mike Sullivan to get more out of a lineup that has the talent to do much more.

Key Injuries: D Kris Letang (undisclosed).

Winnipeg Jets

14-14-2 This Week: 15 Last Week: 17

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.73
  • GAPG
    3.00
  • S.A. CORSI%
    50.6%
  • PP%
    15.5%
  • PK%
    78.4%

Stymied in a couple of games against the Blackhawks, scoring once on 56 shots, but the Jets could be dangerous if they get legit goaltending. At this point, five games of .938 SV% from rookie Connor Hellebuyck might offer the best hope for that.

Key Injuries: G Ondrej Pavelec (knee).

Tampa Bay Lightning

14-13-3 This Week: 16 Last Week: 14

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.33
  • GAPG
    2.20
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.1%
  • PP%
    17.3%
  • PK%
    78.0%

The Lightning continue to hover around the middle of the pack, and with injuries decimating the forward lines, it's getting more difficult for them to break loose and go on a tear towards the top of the Eastern Conference. Even harder with Steven Stamkos stuck in an eight-game goal drought.

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

Florida Panthers

14-12-4 This Week: 17 Last Week: 18

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.43
  • GAPG
    2.43
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.1%
  • PP%
    19.0%
  • PK%
    80.0%

C Aleksander Barkov has gone nine games without a goal, and Jaromir Jagr has one in the past 10 games. Mix in Nick Bjugstad being out of the lineup and the Panthers are having a hard time finding the net.

Key Injuries: C Nick Bjugstad (upper body).

Philadelphia Flyers

12-12-6 This Week: 18 Last Week: 21

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.03
  • GAPG
    2.70
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.5%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    80.2%

Three Flyers -- Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn -- have more goals than rookie D Shayne Gostisbehere, who has five in 14 games, less than half of the Flyers' 30 games played.

Key Injuries: D Mark Streit (pubic bone), D Luke Schenn (lower body).

New Jersey Devils

15-11-4 This Week: 19 Last Week: 16

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.40
  • GAPG
    2.40
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.1%
  • PP%
    20.8%
  • PK%
    82.7%

The Devils have one regulation win in the past five but, more importantly, they're missing their top two centres. That's a tall task for any team, let alone one with the Devils' lack of forward depth. 

Key Injuries: C Travis Zajac (upper body), C Adam Henrique (lower body).

Anaheim Ducks

11-13-5 This Week: 20 Last Week: 20

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    1.90
  • GAPG
    2.48
  • S.A. CORSI%
    51.9%
  • PP%
    17.3%
  • PK%
    87.1%

How is it possible that C Ryan Getzlaf has one goal, and it was an empty netter? That's one goal on 54 shots for a career 12.1% shooter.

Key Injuries: D Simon Despres (upper body).

San Jose Sharks

14-14-1 This Week: 21 Last Week: 19

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.55
  • GAPG
    2.69
  • S.A. CORSI%
    49.0%
  • PP%
    17.7%
  • PK%
    81.5%

Winless in six, the Sharks have scored a total of nine goals in that span, and lost Logan Couture a little more than a game into his return from a broken leg. As recently as a few weeks ago, the Sharks season seemed to be going okay. That's not how it seems right now.

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

Carolina Hurricanes

12-14-4 This Week: 22 Last Week: 24

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.47
  • GAPG
    3.03
  • S.A. CORSI%
    53.2%
  • PP%
    17.2%
  • PK%
    75.3%

The Hurricanes have scored 20 goals in the past four games, and have won four of five. If they're finally scoring even a little bit, then they really need someone to step up and stop the puck and this could be a competitive club.

Key Injuries: D James Wisniewski (knee), LW Nathan Gerbe (lower body).

Edmonton Oilers

13-15-2 This Week: 23 Last Week: 26

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.67
  • GAPG
    3.00
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.7%
  • PP%
    18.9%
  • PK%
    80.2%

After winning five in a row at home, the Oilers hit the road for six of the next seven games, but optimism exists when there didn't appear to be too much even a few weeks ago. It doesn't hurt that LW Taylor Hall and C Leon Draisaitl are suddenly one of the most dangerous duos in the league.

Key Injuries: C Connor McDavid (clavicle), RW Nail Yakupov (ankle), LW Benoit Pouliot (lower body), D Oscar Klefbom (finger).

Colorado Avalanche

14-16-1 This Week: 24 Last Week: 29

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.74
  • GAPG
    2.84
  • S.A. CORSI%
    44.7%
  • PP%
    17.6%
  • PK%
    80.8%

The Avs have won five of seven in December, using their tried-and-true formula, getting soundly outshot and relying on Semyon Varlamov (.958 SV% in December) to be great.

Key Injuries: None.

Arizona Coyotes

14-14-2 This Week: 25 Last Week: 22

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.70
  • GAPG
    3.17
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.6%
  • PP%
    14.7%
  • PK%
    81.3%

Seven straight without a regulation win for the Coyotes, who are sinking fast, but they may be on to a pretty sharp tanking strategy -- bottom-five possession coupled with .900 SV% goaltending.

Key Injuries: C Martin Hanzal (lower body), G Mike Smith (lower body).

Calgary Flames

13-14-2 This Week: 26 Last Week: 30

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.66
  • GAPG
    3.52
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.1%
  • PP%
    11.6%
  • PK%
    70.9%

The Flames won all five games of their homestand, but they might still have some work to do on special teams, as they rank 30th in both power play and penalty killing efficiency.

Key Injuries: LW Lance Bouma (fibula).

Toronto Maple Leafs

10-13-5 This Week: 27 Last Week: 28

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.18
  • GAPG
    2.57
  • S.A. CORSI%
    48.8%
  • PP%
    18.2%
  • PK%
    79.3%

G Jonathan Bernier returns from a mostly-successful four-game stint in the AHL, but the Leafs were rather fortunate to have Garret Sparks play so well (.921 SV%) in his first four NHL games, holding the fort until James Reimer is healthy. 

Key Injuries: RW Joffrey Lupul (undisclosed), G James Reimer (lower body).

Vancouver Canucks

11-12-8 This Week: 28 Last Week: 27

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.52
  • GAPG
    2.74
  • S. A. CORSI%
    48.9%
  • PP%
    18.4%
  • PK%
    79.8%

The Canucks continue to look like a two-man team, and just lost their number three defenceman when he took a shot in the face.

Key Injuries: C Brandon Sutter (abdominal), D Dan Hamhuis (face).

Buffalo Sabres

12-15-3 This Week: 29 Last Week: 25

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.37
  • GAPG
    2.70
  • S.A. CORSI%
    46.4%
  • PP%
    23.4%
  • PK%
    76.0%

One regulation win in six games this month isn't exactly ideal, though the Sabres have a couple of players -- Ryan O'Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen -- rising up with productive seasons.

Key Injuries: G Robin Lehner (ankle), RW Tyler Ennis (upper body).

Columbus Blue Jackets

11-17-3 This Week: 30 Last Week: 23

TEAM STATS

  • GPG
    2.39
  • GAPG
    2.97
  • S.A. CORSI%
    47.2%
  • PP%
    18.4%
  • PK%
    81.3%

It's going to be a lot harder for the Blue Jackets to experience coaching magic while starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is out. As it is, Columbus has one regulation win in the past eight games.

Key Injuries: G Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body).

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.