With an 8-1-1 record in their past 10 games, the Philadelphia Flyers are one of the NHL’s hottest teams - and that’s reflected in the latest THN.com Power Rankings.
The Flyers began the year 3-3-1, but have not fallen into the kind of bad stretch that put so much pressure on them to make the playoffs last season. They’re getting outstanding point production from their forwards – including Claude Giroux’s team-best nine goals and 18 points, as well as Ville Leino’s team-leading 12 assists – and are benefiting from strong defensive play from their blueliners (including Andrej Meszaros, a plus-10 so far this season after finishing last year in Tampa Bay as a minus-14).
As well, Philly has to be pleased with the showing from rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. The 22-year-old Russian has a sparkling .932 save percentage and 2.08 goals-against average – and in his past two games, Bobrovsky had a 1.50 GAA and .958 save percentage – numbers that are placing him amongst the early Vezina Trophy candidates.
The Flyers lead the second-place team (the New York Rangers) in the Atlantic Division by five points. With four games in six nights this week – two home games against Ottawa and Tampa Bay and two roadies against the Canadiens and Capitals – it won’t be a cakewalk for them to maintain that lead.
Last of the NHL’s teams undefeated at home (8-0-0)
Johan Franzen, Dan Cleary tied for Wings’ goal scoring lead with seven apiece
Alex Semin has a sizzling 21.3 shooting percentage (13 goals on 61 shots)
Injury to T.J. Oshie will test Blues’ mettle
A league-best plus-21 in goals for/against differential
Backup goalie Cory Schneider has a 0.90 goals-against average in four games
With Andrei Markov injured again, Habs need Carey Price to stay this good
Derick Brassard showing stellar offensive form last seen two seasons ago
Devin Setoguchi is struggling (two goals, and a team-worst minus-7)
Martin Havlat had 29 goals two years ago; currently on pace to finish with five
Zdeno Chara leads all Bruins in shots on net (43); runner up is…er, Shawn Thornton (34)?
Shea Weber an uncharacteristic minus-eight; he’s only been a minus player in one of his five previous seasons
Sens’ surge spurred by goalie Brian Elliott
Wojtek Wolski woeful in shooting percentage (one goal on 27 shots)
Sophomore pivot Artem Anisimov doing good work for Rangers
Ducks’ big quackers pull team back from the brink of playoff irrelevance
Chris Stewart showing last season was no fluke
The Mike Ribeiro first-goal-of-the-season watch continues
Mike Smith’s goaltending numbers (.869 save percentage, 3.62 GAA) not looking so hot
Kris Letang (three goals, 17 points) ahead of Evgeni Malkin (seven goals, 16 points) on Penguins’ top scorers
Blueliner Duncan Keith plays three more minutes than next most-played Hawks skater
Bryan McCabe leading Panthers in points (10) and plus/minus (plus-8)
Jeff Skinner a consistent bright light in a season of inconsistencies for Canes
Thrashers have given up a league-worst 67 goals
How much longer does Jarome Iginla want to be part of this mess?
Leafs missing edge provided by Colby Armstrong, Dion Phaneuf
Jordan Leopold has more points than Thomas Vanek or Tim Connolly
Only one regular frontline player is a plus (Travis Zajac at a plus-2)
Porous defense surrendering a league-worst four goals per game
Firing of head coach Scott Gordon may change the ship’s captain, but still lots of holes in the ship
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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