Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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NHL Power Rankings: Flyers crack the top 20

It seems we have a new top team every week. Is it just good competition, or is no one standing out?

NHL Power Rankings: Flyers crack the top 20

Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek celebrates with teammate Wayne Simmonds during the second period. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/AP)
Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek celebrates with teammate Wayne Simmonds during the second period. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/AP)

1. St. Louis Blues (14-3-3)

The Blues are one point off the league lead, but they’ve played two fewer games than Chicago and three fewer than Anaheim. Steen still leads the league in goals and the team boasts an NHL-best +23 goal differential. They’re clearly the most well-rounded team in the league.

2. Chicago Blackhawks (14-4-4)

Patrick Kane just turned 25? Not bad for a guy gunning for his seventh straight 20+ goal season. Through 22 games this year, he’s averaging a point per night with his goals and assists both standing at 11. Duncan Keith has been the go-to guy at the blue line, dishing out 15 assists.

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3. Phoenix Coyotes (14-4-3)

Nine players with double-digit points, the most efficient power play in the NHL and at least one point in all ten home games? Yeah, it seems like things in Phoenix are just fine. At 8-1-1 over their last ten games, they’re as hot as it gets.

4. San Jose Sharks (13-3-5)

The lull seemed like it was over. The Sharks were winners of three straight road games, with one stop in Chicago before returning home for a five-game homestand. But just like that, the Hawks put San Jose right back in their place, winning handedly, 5-1. Tomas Hertl’s 12 goals at just 20 years of age are extremely impressive.

5. Colorado Avalanche (15-5-0)

I just can’t wrap my head around the Avs. One day, they’re getting blown out by the Panthers at home. The next, they’re manhandling the Blackhawks. Still, they’re on pace for 123 points this season so I should probably just let them do their thing.

6. Minnesota Wild (14-5-4)

November has been quite good to the Wild. Even after getting destroyed 6-2 by Montreal, Minnesota still sits at 7-1-1 on the month. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are propelling Minnie to the top of the Western Conference, and fast.

7. Boston Bruins (14-6-1)

The B’s are hot! Over their past seven, the Bruins are 6-1-0, including a perfect 4-0-0 at home. With Steven Stamkos out for the Lightning, this is Boston’s chance to run away with the Atlantic Division.

8. Anaheim Ducks (15-6-2)

They’re tied with Chicago for the league lead in points, but frankly, they’re not that good away from The Pond. They’re also in the bottom five in power play percentage and penalty-killing percentage, so there are clearly some concerns that still need to be addressed. New Jersey finally beat them at home, but they’re still undefeated at the Honda Center in regulation.

9. Washington Capitals (12-9-1)

Alex Ovechkin and the Caps are just one point back of the Penguins in the Metropolitan Division, but I’m weary of how shootouts are bolstering their record. Washington is 5-1 in shootouts, meaning that nearly half of their wins have come in a questionable fashion.

10. Los Angeles Kings (15-6-1)

Jonathan Quick was supposed to be the best goalie in America. Turns out he might not be the best goalie on his own team. Ben Scrivens leads the league in GAA, save percentage and shutouts. With Quick out until Christmas, there may not be a more valuable player in the league than Scrivens.

11. Dallas Stars (11-7-2)

At 30 years old, Keri Lehtonen is playing the best hockey of his life. The Finland native is 10-3-2 with a career-low 2.01 GAA and career high .934 save percentage. Don’t look now, but Tyler Seguin might just score 50 this season.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins (14-8-0)

It’s tough to believe that the Pens can be leading one of four divisions yet still not be ranked in the top ten, but it’s possible. After scoring 50 goals in 2011-12, Evgeni Malkin only has 12 in 52 games since.

13. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-7-0)

It looked like the Lightning were going to be alright without Stamkos when they won their next two games. Since then, however, the Bolts have dropped two straight. It doesn’t get any easier either, with road games coming up against the Sharks and Ducks.

14. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-7-1)

Toronto is finally starting to bring it all together. They’re on a mini-winning streak and are 6-3-1 over their last ten. They’re playing so well, even David Clarkson scored!

15. New Jersey Devils (8-8-5)

Congrats, Devils! First team in the league to beat Anaheim on their home ice! New Jersey is playing excellent hockey of late, but they still need more goals. To have both of their goalies boasting GAA’s under 2.00 (they are tied for fifth in the league) and not have a winning record is mind-boggling.

16. Montreal Canadiens (11-9-2)

How good is Alex Galchenyuk? The kid is just 19 years old yet ranks second on the team in points behind All-World defenseman P.K. Subban. Carey Price deserves a much better record than 8-8-2 given his 2.05 GAA.

17. New York Rangers (10-11-0)

They are a respectable 10-11-0, but they lack a signature win. Sure, the 5-1 win over Pittsburgh was huge at the time, but it’s looking a lot less impressive given the Pens’ recent struggles.

18. Vancouver Canucks (11-8-4)

The Canucks are winless over their last four and haven’t looked particularly impressive even in their victories. They’ll have to win their next three to salvage a .500 homestand.

19. Philadelphia Flyers (8-10-2)

Since the Ray Emery fight, not only are the Flyers unbeaten in regulation, Claude Giroux is even scoring! The Flyguys have an incredibly easy schedule for the rest of November, so don't be surprised to see them move into a playoff spot.

20. Detroit Red Wings (9-6-7)

The Red Wings have been flat-out hard to watch over the past two weeks. In their last seven games, Detroit is winless at 0-2-5 and it’s even worse news at home, where the Wings are 0-2-6 in their past eight. That’s right. Detroit hasn’t won in Hockey Town in over a month.

21. Carolina Hurricanes (8-9-4)

They're hanging tight with some of the league's best, but there's just a complete lack of fire power on offense and not a good enough defense to make up for it. To not have a single player above five goals through 21 games is surely frustrating for Kirk Muller and company.

22. Nashville Predators (10-9-2)

After dropping four straight, the Preds are back rolling. They thrashed the Blackhwaks 7-2 over the weekend before shutting out the Red Wings 2-0 in Detroit. David Legwand already has more assists in 21 games this year than he did in 48 last year.

23. New York Islanders (8-11-3)

That Vanek-Moulson deal is looking terrible for the Isles. With three guys over 20 points already, imagine if they still had their first-round pick next to add more depth. Instead they have Vanek, who is underperforming and may not re-sign.

24. Winnipeg Jets (10-10-3)

The Jets have 23 points in 23 games, but please do not believe they are a good team. Five of their ten wins are in shootouts and Ondrej Pavelec is simply underwhelming in net. Props to Bryan Little on hitting a dozen goals, but can he break his career high of 31?

25. Ottawa Senators (8-10-4)

The Senators are one of those teams that could be as good or as bad as they choose. They're on a three-game skid, but they're an even 4-4-0 over their last eight. They also don't play any of the four division leaders again for over a month.

26. Columbus Blue Jackets (8-11-3)

I think Columbus would be genuinely appreciative if we all just acted like they didn't lose to Edmonton 7-0 on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, we can't. When you lose to the worst team in hockey by seven, you land in the bottom five. Simple as that.

27. Florida Panthers (6-12-4)

A two-game winning streak and at least one point in five of their last ten games is all the Panthers can ask for at this point. Brian Campbell is what makes this team go. Having a +2 rating when your team is being outscored by 23 on the season is impressive.

28. Calgary Flames (7-11-4)

No team is having a worse November than the Flames. They have yet to win a game in regulation and sit at 2-7-1 overall on the month. I love Bob Hartley as a coach, but it might be time for a shake-up in Calgary.

29. Buffalo Sabres (5-17-1)

Don’t get me wrong. The Sabres are a really bad hockey team. But don’t shrug off how they’re headed in the right direction. Shootout wins might be a concern for playoff-bound teams, but Buffalo will take any win they can get.

30. Edmonton Oilers (6-15-2)

Nothing much left to say here. The Oilers have some great young talent, but not enough to overshadow the gaping holes they have on the ice and in the front office. Hardcore rebuild mode.

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