NHL power rankings: Inconsistencies force the Philadelphia Flyers to drop four spots

Long faces on Flyers bench after an empty net goal sealed the deal , 3-1 Penguins. Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, January 19, 2013. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

The major problem in the NHL this week is that a lot of teams are way too inconsistent. These teams are going to have to do something drastic soon if they don’t want to be pulling out their golf clubs and fishing rods at the end of April.

So let's take a look at which teams are dominating the league and which have hit rock bottom in this 48-game season.

1. Anaheim Ducks (19-3-3) Last week: 2
The Ducks take the first spot this week, mostly thanks to Ryan Getzlaf, who has helped guide them to a five game win-streak. Getzlaf has been so influential this season that last week he was signed for another eight years.

2. Chicago Blackhawks (21-2-3) Last week: 1
The Blackhawks are no longer on a 21 game point streak, so they drop a spot. They are still a solid team and there’s no doubt that they will make a huge playoff run.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-8-0) Last week:4
With superstar Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz's finesse at scoring goals, it shouldn’t surprise anyone how well the Penguins are doing-- especially when you factor in their four game winning streak.

4. Montreal Canadiens (18-5-4) Last week: 3
The Canadiens are on a four game winning streak and continue to  prove why they sit atop the Northeast division. It also helps that Max Pacioretty, who remains a top point leader, recovers remarkably fast from injuries.

5. Boston Bruins (17-4-3) Last week: 5
Tuukka Rask might be the best goalie in the NHL right now. The team as a whole has also done well in their last few games, and they certainly gained momentum when they shut out the Flyers on Saturday.

6. Ottawa Senators (13-8-6) Last week: 6
A team plagued by injuries, the Senators have had to get creative in their pursuit of wins. Kaspars Daugavins tried to find success with a spin-a-rama shootout attempt on Tuesday, and it would have been impressive, had it gone in. This brazen move is proof that the team is starting to get desperate.

7. Vancouver Canucks (12-7-6) Last week: 7
As a division leader, the Canucks still remain in the Top 10, but did struggle this past week with two losses.

8. St. Louis Blues (14-10-2) Last week: 12
The Blues still show some inconsistency, as they split their four games last week. The majority of their problems lie in having too many injured players, the most recent being T.J. Oshie, who left Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (15-11-1) Last week: 9
Your eyes are not deceiving you; the Leafs are still in the Top 10 despite dropping three in a row. Recent losses aside, they look well on their way to their first playoff run since 2004.

10. Carolina Hurricanes (15-9-1) Last week: 11
The ‘Canes are recovering from injuries pretty well and lead the Southeast division after winning their last two games. This is mostly due to the success of the top line consisting of Eric Staal, Alexander Semin, and Jiri Tlusty.

11. New Jersey Devils (13-9-5) Last week: 10
Although they won two out of their last three games, the Devils are starting to falter. Their cracks are beginning to show without Marty Brodeur, who is out a few weeks due to a back injury.

12. San Jose Sharks (11-8-6) Last week: 8
The Sharks drop a few spots after losing their last three games. If Patrick Marleau can help them out offensively they might be able to slip into the playoffs as the eighth seed.

13. Nashville Predators (11-9-6) Last week: 15
The Predators have dropped a lot since the season opened, but they are climbing back up this week. Pekka Rinne is on the rise again by logging his fifth shutout of the season on Tuesday when the Preds defeated the Stars, 4-0.

14. Detroit Red Wings (12-10-5) Last week: 14
The Wings are attempting to return to their former glory days, but it will be hard for them if they continue to blow games to bad teams. Last week they lost two in a row to the Blue Jackets.

15. New York Rangers (13-10-2) Last week: 16
By splitting their last four games, the Rangers still don’t look like the team they were last season, but they’re slowly climbing back up the rankings.

16. Dallas Stars (12-11-2) Last week: 13
The Stars are starting to burn out, as they lost two of their three games last week. You have to wonder if veteran player Jaromir Jagr’s age is starting to show.

17. Phoenix Coyotes (13-10-3) Last week: 19
The Coyotes jump up three spots by improving their record and winning their last two games. They definitely need to hold onto veteran Shane Doan for as long as possible.

18. Los Angeles Kings (14-9-2) Last week: 20
After a slow start this season, the Kings are trying to reclaim their grip on the throne as the reigning champs. Even though they split their games last week, goaltender Jonathan Quick looks hot again.

19. Minnesota Wild (13-10-2) Last week: 21
The Wild had a solid week in which they won two of their three games. The organization is also looking to the future by signing veteran defenseman Brett Clark and trading Matt Kassian to the Senators for sixth-round draft picks.

20. Winnipeg Jets (13-11-2) Last week: 23
The Jets log two more wins so they get moved up this week. It might come down to a point issue for the eighth seed in the East, so the Jets will need to continue this momentum for the rest of the season if they want a chance at the cup.

21. Philadelphia Flyers (12-15-1) Last week: 17
Jakub Voracek continues to be the only good thing the Flyers have going for them this season. They have little to no defense, which was evident when the Bruins routed them on Saturday and in their most recent loss to the Devils. If the Flyers continue to be inconsistent, they won’t have a chance at playoffs this year.

22. New York Islanders (11-12-3) Last week: 22
The Isles logged another two wins, but since they struggle to remain a top team, they’ll remain at No.22.

23. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-14-1) Last week:19
What has happened to the Lightning this season? It appears that Steve Stamkos’ pep talks haven’t helped anyone. The only reason why they beat the Panthers on Tuesday was because the Panthers are doing worse than they are.

24. Edmonton Oilers (10-11-5) Last week: 24
The Oilers are a team of the future, which means they are going to struggle for a few seasons while their young players develop. 

25. Colorado Avalanche (10-11-4) Last week: 27
The Avs get moved up this week mostly since they broke the Blackhawks point streak, and because they did it by scoring six goals, all from different goal scorers. Numbers like that are really impressive.

26. Buffalo Sabres (10-14-3) Last week: 28
Firing their coach doesn’t seem to have helped the Sabres. They are still terrible and are about to get a lot worse now that goaltender Ryan Miller has a sinus infection.

27. Calgary Flames (10-11-4) Last week: 25
The Flames continue to show their mediocrity by dropping all three of their games last week.

28. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-12-5) Last week: 30
The Blue Jackets jump two spots because they were on a five game winning streak. “Were” would be the key word here. They lost in overtime to the Canucks on Tuesday.

29. Washington Capitals (10-14-1) Last week: 26
Does Alexander Ovechkin even want to play in the NHL anymore? The Caps played four games this week and the only reason they won one of those was because they played the Panthers, who are the worst team in the league.

30. Florida Panthers (7-14-6) Last week: 30
The Panthers don’t move, because of the 27 games they have played this season, they have only won seven of them. There’s really no turning back from that point, so the Panthers better start practicing their golf swing.