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Power Rankings: Brilliant Bruins set to get even better with Marchand's return

The Bruins continued their remarkable run by winning four of their past five games and have landed atop this week’s Power Rankings. The Stars and Panthers were other big movers, while the Blues and Blackhawks tumbled.

When the Boston Bruins take to the Madison Square Garden ice for their game against the New York Rangers tonight, they’ll have a familiar nose back in their lineup. That is, if they can manage to find a spot for Brad Marchand.

We jest, of course. The Bruins went 4-0-1 without Marchand while he sat out a five-game suspension for his latest indiscretion. But then again, they were 13-0-4 with him in their lineup prior to his flying elbow on Marcus Johansson of the New Jersey Devils. The point is, the best team in the NHL at the moment is poised to get even better, which is why the Bruins find themselves at the top of’s weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s ranking in parentheses.):


1. Boston Bruins (5)

2. Nashville Predators (7)

3. Winnipeg Jets (4)

4. Dallas Stars (16)

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (6)

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (3)

7. Vegas Golden Knights (1)

8. Washington Capitals (8)

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (9)

10. Florida Panthers (27)

Much of the attention has been on Boston’s big line, but did you know that the Bruins have received 35 goals from rookies this season, tops in the NHL?...After the Predators game in Toronto tonight, Kyle Turris makes his first return to Ottawa Thursday night. He’ll try really hard not to rub the Senators’ noses in it…In other news in the Good Teams Getting Better Department, Mark Scheifele is expected to be in the Jets’ lineup Friday night against St. Louis after missing 16 games with an upper-body injury…The oft-injured Martin Hanzal came off missing five games with a muscle strain to score the game winner and win eight of 11 faceoffs in a 2-1 win over the Rangers Monday night…For those of you who get their knickers in a knot over the fact that the Lightning are first in the NHL standings, but sixth in these Power Rankings, consider what Steven Stamkos said after the Lightning’s 6-2 loss to Edmonton Monday night. “It’s alarming the way we’re playing.”…Looking for his 400th career goal, Sidney Crosby is mired in a nine-game goal-scoring drought…The Golden Knights had a very rare hat trick in their 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh Tuesday night – three delay of game minors for putting the puck over the glass…Now appearing on the Capitals’ top line: Tom Wilson. That cheering sound you hear are all the guys in fantasy league’s who have Wilson in their lineup because PIM is a category. The guy’s a beast in those pools…Auston Matthews had the worst possession game of his career when he was eaten alive by Patrice Bergeron in a 4-1 win Saturday night, then came back two nights later with a dominant performance in 7-4 win over Anaheim…Yes, they were over the Islanders, Buffalo, Detroit and Vancouver, but four wins is four wins. And that’s good enough to get the Panthers into the top 10.


11. Minnesota Wild (12)

12. Calgary Flames (13)

13. St. Louis Blues (2)

14. Colorado Avalanche (11)

15. San Jose Sharks (17)

16. Anaheim Ducks (10)

17. New Jersey Devils (19)

18. Los Angeles Kings (14)

19. Philadelphia Flyers (18)

20. Montreal Canadiens (30)

The Wild played a good portion of their 6-2 win over St. Louis Tuesday night shorthanded on the blueline. Jonas Brodin left in the middle of the second period after he was pinned along the boards, while Nate Prosser left midway through the third after taking a puck to the back of his leg…The Flames kicked off a six-game road trip Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over Chicago. A big trip will allow them to improve on their 14-5-5 mark away from home…When Carter Hutton was pulled from the Blues’ net after giving up three goals on eight shots against Minnesota Tuesday night, it gave Jake Allen a chance to get the net back. He responded by giving up three goals on just 12 shots…It will be interesting to see how the Avalanche fairs without two-thirds of their top line. In their first test, they managed to take down the Sharks 3-1 Tuesday night…The Sharks are 2-3-1 since losing Joe Thornton to a knee injury…The Ducks have given up 15 goals in their past three games…Eddie Lack made his debut for the Devils Tuesday night when Keith Kinkaid was pulled after allowing four goals on 20 shots in the Devils 5-2 loss to Ottawa Tuesday night…There is no set timetable for Jeff Carter to return from the left leg laceration that has kept him out since Oct. 18, but he did start skating recently…After making a game-saving, two-pad stop and winning 12 of 18 faceoffs in the Flyers 2-1 win over Carolina Tuesday night, Flyers captain Claude Giroux was still critical of himself saying, “I’ve got to step up and bring more for the team.”…A first-round pick for Tomas Plekanec’s expiring contract? Seriously? Any GM who would make that deal should have his trading privileges revoked.


21. Columbus Blue Jackets (20)

22. Edmonton Oilers (26)

23. New York Islanders (25)

24. Carolina Hurricanes (21)

25. Ottawa Senators (31)

26. Buffalo Sabres (23)

27. Chicago Blackhawks (15)

28. Detroit Red Wings (29)

29. Vancouver Canucks (28)

30. New York Rangers (24)

31. Arizona Coyotes (22)

After watching his team give up a goal with 43 seconds left Tuesday night to lose 3-2 to Washington for its fifth loss in six games, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella had this observation: “We’ve got sh—for luck right now.”…The Oilers actually have only one regulation loss in their past seven games. But it’s still over…The Islanders 5-4 overtime loss to Nashville Tuesday night represented the 15th time the NHL’s leakiest team has given up at least five goals in a game this season…New Hurricanes’ owner Tom Dundon will play this week in the PGA’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Unless his team somehow finds a way to play with some level of positive consistency, it won’t be long before his players are joining him on the golf course…Alexandre Burrows declined an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety after kneeing Taylor Hall in the head several times during a scuffle in Ottawa’s 5-2 win Tuesday night. Probably didn’t think there was much he could say to justify that kind of nonsense…The Sabres haven’t been particularly good at any point in games this season, but they’ve been particularly putrid in overtime. Their 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim Tuesday dropped them to 3-10 in games that go beyond 60 minutes…In what is rapidly becoming a tire fire of a season, one bright spot for the Blackhawks has been Alex DeBrincat, who is tied for second among rookies in goal scoring with 19…It’s amazing how a team that is fighting for its slim playoff life can come out as flat as the Red Wings did in their 3-2 loss to Boston Tuesday night. “We didn’t have enough guys going hard,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the game…In an announcement that came as a surprise to no one, Canucks GM Jim Benning said the team and the Sedin twins will wait until after the season to decide their futures together…Rick Nash has submitted his list of 18 teams to which he would not accept a trade. The end is nigh on Broadway…Some people are talking about all the cap space the Coyotes have and how that will help them in the off-season. One question. Don’t they always have a lot of cap space? It’s actual money they need.

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