With a little more than a month left in the NHL regular season, a lot of teams are making one final push to get into the playoffs. One of those teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs. If they can keep their momentum, the Leafs will face their first playoff round since 2004. You can also tell that it's a weird time in the sport of hockey when the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers are both on the verge of practicing their golf swings early.
With that in mind, let's take a look at how the rest of the league fared this week.
1.Anaheim Ducks (22-3-4) Last week: 1
If there is one team that can edge out the Blackhawks this season, it's the Ducks, which they did on Wednesday night in a 4-2 contest to extend their winning streak to three games. The Ducks have been doing so well this season that they re-signed Corey Perry for another eight years.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (23-8-0) Last week: 3
The Pens move up after putting in an impressive effort this week by adding three more wins to their 10 game streak. It’s amazing to think that last season everyone thought Sidney Crosby would never play again, but he looks better than ever.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (24-3-3) Last week: 2
Since their streak ended the ‘Hawks have only lost three games. With their stacked team they are still one of the best teams in the league, but they need to watch out for the Ducks who defeated them, 4-2, on Wednesday night.
4. Montréal Canadiens (19-5-5) Last week: 4
Montreal stays in position having split their games this week. This team has been pretty impressive this season and Carey Price continues to try to redeem last season’s flop.
5. Boston Bruins (19-6-3) Last week: 5
The Bruins stay at No. 5, after splitting their four games this week. Tuukka Rask has really helped the team to be consistent this season.
6. Ottawa Senators (16-8-6) Last week: 6
With all their injuries, the Senators should be suffering, but they won their last three games. It’s pretty amazing that they have held the No. 6 spot for the past couple of weeks despite all the obstacles they have faced this season.
7. St. Louis Blues (16-11-2) Last week: 8
Injuries have made the Blues struggle but winning two out of three games this week, they’re climbing back to the top. Rookie goalie Jake Allen logged his first career shutout last Thursday, proving that this team is ready for the playoffs.
8. Vancouver Canucks (14-9-6) Last week: 7
Roberto Luongo had a few miscues this season but with offensive help from the Sedin Twins, the goalie has been pretty solid. This week they split their games but remain at No. 8.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (16-12-2) Last week: 9
Having won their last three games, the Leafs remain solid this season. James Van Riemsdyk has definitely given Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel the offensive confidence they need.
10. Los Angels Kings (17-10-2) Last week: 18
What a jump for the Kings! We must have been asleep when they starting catching up in the Western Conference, because they won their last three games. Flyers fans are probably missing Jeff Carter and Mike Richards even more right now.
11. Minnesota Wild (17-10-2) Last week: 19
The Wild jump up right alongside the Kings and have also won their last four games. Ryan Sutter may not have that many goals but he sure knows how to help his teammates out as he leads the Wild with 21 assists.
12. Carolina Hurricanes (15-12-2) Last week: 10
The ‘Canes drop two spots after a rough week in which they lost all four of their games.
13. San Jose Sharks (13-10-2) Last week: 12
The Sharks dropped two of their games this week but did see a shootout victory against the Oilers on Wednesday. They will still need to step it up if they want to keep their position as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
14. Detroit Red Wings (14-11-5) Last week: 14
The Red Wings are starting to get out of their funk by logging another two wins this week. Goaltender Jimmy Howard is also starting to come into his own to help the Red Wings with their playoff push.
15. Winnipeg Jets (16-12-2) Last week: 20
The Jets jump up this week by leading the Southeast Division and winning three of their last four games. Their success has come from the swift hands of Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, who are tied with 14 goals each.
16. New York Rangers (15-12-2) Last week: 15
The Rangers split their games this week, but are starting to improve. Rick Nash will have to continue to find the back of the net for the Rangers to guide them to the playoffs.
17. New Jersey Devils (13-11-6) Last week: 11
The Devils really need Marty Brodeur back in net. They lost another three games this week and will have to battle it out with the Rangers if they want to see the playoffs.
18. Dallas Stars (13-13-3) Last week: 16
The Stars are starting to run into trouble, especially after losing their last two out of three games. It also appears Jaromir Jagr might be on the chopping block, despite being their leading goal scorer.
19. Phoenix Coyotes (13-13-4) Last week: 17
The Coyotes are starting to struggle again, which was evident this week when they lost another four games.
20. Nashville Predators (11-13-6) Last week: 13
It looked like the Preds were overcoming obstacles, but then they lost all four of their games this week.
21. New York Islanders (13-13-3) Last week: 22
If the Isles find a way to defeat the Rangers and the Devils, they could get into the playoffs this season. With another two wins added to their record they’re on their way to doing that.
22. Tampa Bay Lightning (13-16-1) Last week: 23
The Lightning got a leg up over the Flyers after defeating them on Monday night, and Steve Stamkos logged his 200th career goal. After dropping their game to Toronto on Wednesday it's clear that they still have a lot of work ahead if they want to see the playoffs.
23. Philadelphia Flyers (13-16-1) Last week: 21
The Flyers continue to be inconsistent by splitting their games this week. This late in this season it’s becoming more likely they will miss the playoffs.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets (12-12-6) Last week: 28
The Blue Jackets are finally out of the power rankings cellar! How? Thanks to this week’s third star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky guiding them to two wins.
25. Edmonton Oilers (11-11-7) Last week: 25
The Oilers might never move from the power rankings cellar if they don’t start winning some more games. They were again unimpressive by splitting their games this week.
26. Calgary Flames (11-12-4) Last week: 27
The Flames remain mediocre by splitting their last two games. It might be time for Jarome Iginla to ask for a trade, he deserves a better team than this.
27. Buffalo Sabres (11-15-4) Last week: 26
After losing another two games, the Sabres must be asking themselves, “What happened to the Ryan Miller who led Team USA to the gold medal round in 2010?”
28. Washington Capitals (12-16-1) Last week: 29
The Caps split their game this week, so at least they logged another two wins, but it’s not doing anything to salvage their horrible season.
29. Colorado Avalanche (11-14-4) Last week: 25
The major problem with the Av’s is that they are a really young team. They drop this week after losing three games, but they did find hope on Wednesday night when they beat the Dallas Stars, 4-3.
30. Florida Panthers (8-16-22) Last week: 30
The good news is that the Panthers won another game this week, the bad news is that they lost their other two games and are still in dead last.