The Detroit Red Wings retain the No. 1 position in the first post-all-star-weekend THN.com NHL Power Rankings. Making a smaller push toward the top 10 are the up-and-down Los Angeles Kings, who lost just twice in regulation (out of 11 games) in January and are aiming to dethrone the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division.
The Kings have the weakest offense (111 goals) of any team currently in a playoff position in the Western Conference, but their ability to take games to overtime or a shootout – their 10 OT losses are second only to the Florida Panthers’ 11 – is one of the reasons they sit in seventh place. Another is the outstanding play of goalie Jonathan Quick (1.93 goals-against average, .934 save percentage); and another is the timely scoring of captain Dustin Brown, who leads the team in game-winners (five).
If the Kings are able to weather the storm in February – when they play just four times at home – they'll continue to challenge the steady Sharks for first in the Pacific and home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Expect GM Dean Lombardi to be active on the trade market to make that happen. And expect a new Power Ranking list every Monday afternoon on THN.com.
Four-game road trip ends next Monday, then seven of next eight are at home, where Wings are league's most dominant team (20-2-1)
Blueshirts lead league in hits (1,378); Kings (1,371) not far behind
With just 244 giveaways, Blues are NHL's best team at taking great care of the puck; Columbus (259) is second, but that's because it doesn't have the puck most of the time
Is Tim Thomas saga enough to distract Bruins out of top spot in the East? We'll see
Preds' push to top fueled in part by scorching-hot power play (22.5 percent, second only to Canucks' 23.0 percent)
Alexandre Burrows may be a pest, but he's also Vancouver's best plus/minus man (plus-20)
Four of Sharks' next five games are at home, then nine of next 10 are on the road
Viktor Stalberg tied with Patrick Sharp for team lead in game-winning goals (five)
Six of next seven games come at home, but home and road showdowns with Atlantic rival Rangers will get much of the attention
Sidney Crosby's health situation overshadows Pens' seven-game win streak
All-Star Game holdout Alex Ovechkin can make amends by leading Caps to another division title
Only four of 14 games this month will be played at home
All-star weekend was a love-in for Sens players, but affection will dissipate if team can't maintain post-season pace
No team blocks fewer shots than the Devils (548)
Leafs likely to be one of the most intriguing teams to watch as trade deadline approaches
Only two wins in January means Panthers are back in life-and-death struggle to make post-season
Jamie Benn leading Stars in shots (124), but Sheldon Souray is right on his tail (122)
Ryan O'Reilly is Avs' leading point-getter, but that's not ideal when you've got Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny on your team
Flames are the league's worst faceoff team (45.0)
Devin Setoguchi is Wild's second-worst plus/minus man (minus-9 while averaging 16:51); defenseman Marco Scandella is a minus-10, but averages nearly four more minutes per game (20:35)
Yotes have just two wins in seven shootouts
Bolts have won four straight, but are nine points out of eighth place in the East
At 15-8-2, Jets have more home wins than five Eastern Conference teams currently in a playoff position, but only Canes (5-13-6) have fewer road wins than they do (7-14-4)
Ducks are one of league's hottest teams in the past 10 games, yet still sit nine points behind 12th-place Yotes in Western Conference; they, too have no chance at playoffs
Habs are 11-7-6 (.458) when scoring first; only Jackets (10-9-4, .435) are worse
Isles lead league in takeaways (561); they were No. 1 last season with 876
Pressure is on owner Terry Pegula, Sabres brass to effect serious, rapid change
Signing of Tim Gleason stabilizes Canes' blueline, but that defense corps needs more talent
Shawn Horcoff a team-worst minus-16, but he averages more ice time (20:29) than any other Oilers forward
Long-suffering Jackets fans demanding change; only questions are how widespread change will be and how much change we'll see
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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