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Power Rankings: The Metropolitan Division's reign of terror

The most dominant teams in the NHL all live under one divisional roof right now. Life is tough when you're up against the Metro Division's streaking squads.

So how about that Metropolitan Division, eh? These guys may never want December to end the way it has been going lately. So far this month, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are a mind-boggling 25-1-1.

So it’s no wonder those four teams find themselves holding down the No. 1, 2, 3, and 5 spots in our weekly Power Rankings. (Last week’s rankings in parentheses.):


1. Columbus Blue Jackets (1)

2. Philadelphia Flyers (2)

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (3)

4. Calgary Flames (10)

5. Washington Capitals (11)

6. Minnesota Wild (18)

7. Chicago Blackhawks (5)

8. Montreal Canadiens (6)

9. San Jose Sharks (8)

10. New York Rangers (7)

No NHL team has a better winning percentage on the road, where the Blue Jackets are 8-2-3…Weird stat: Flyers have won nine straight but scored first in only three of those games…Penguins have given up just 14 goals in their six-game winning streak, five of them in one game. And they’ve scored 35…Johnny Gaudreau has 2-6-8 totals in four games since coming back from injury and wearing oven mitts…Mr. Game 7, Justin Williams, had just two goals in his first 24 games, but has four in his past four…Goalie Devan Dubnyk is 7-0-2 with a 1.62 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in his past nine starts…Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling has allowed only eight goals in six games since Corey Crawford went down with an appendectomy…A third of the way through the season, Paul Byron has 10 goals, one fewer than his career high…If you can believe it, the Sharks are the only team in the NHL that hasn’t scored five goals in a game this season…Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on going with backup Antti Raanta for the fourth straight game: “Antti is playing real well and deserves to play. It’s as simple as that.” Is it really, though?


11. Boston Bruins (9)

12. Anaheim Ducks (19)

13. St. Louis Blues (4)

14. Edmonton Oilers (12)

15. Nashville Predators (17)

16. Carolina Hurricanes (23)

17. Ottawa Senators (13)

18. Los Angeles Kings (14)

19. Dallas Stars (28)

20. Buffalo Sabres (24)

Tuukka Rask really needed a win against the Canadiens. His 2-1 overtime triumph Monday night improved his record against Montreal to 6-15-3…Even though they lost in Dallas Tuesday night, the Ducks should be happy to hit the road for a six-game trip. They’re 10-4-1 on the road, but just 5-6-4 at home…On the flip side, the Blues are 12-1-3 at home, but are an ugly 4-9-1 away from the Scottrade Center...Oilers’ GM Peter Chiarelli hinted fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi, who has as many goals as Patrik Laine has for the Oilers, (one), could be headed to the minors soon…The Predators are 3-9-2 on the road and have been outscored 51-33 away from Bridgestone Arena…Tuesday’s wild comeback win over Vancouver was the seventh straight for the Hurricanes at home. Goalie Cam Ward has gone 5-0-0 with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .954 save percentage in those games…Senators coach Guy Boucher lit into his players during practice on Tuesday. Of course, it was caught on video and has gone viral…Kings center Jeff Carter after his team blew a 2-0 lead to lose 6-3 in Buffalo Tuesday night: “You don’t make the playoffs winning at home and going on the road and sh---ing the bed. We’re fragile. We’re a fragile team.” Including the Christmas break, the Kings play their next eight on the road…Stars’ coach Lindy Ruff on his team’s stretch in which they play eight of nine at home, a stint that started with a 6-2 win over Anaheim Tuesday night. “This will be the season for us, I really feel.”…The Sabres went into Tuesday night’s game against Los Angeles with goalie Robin Lehner 1-6-3 in his past 10 decisions. “You want to get the guy a win and you want to get him some goals,” said coach Dan Bylsma. Then the low-scoring Sabres went out and erased a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Kings 6-3.


21. Detroit Red Wings (16)

22. Florida Panthers (25)

23. Tampa Bay Lightning (22)

24. New York Islanders (21)

25. Toronto Maple Leafs (27)

26. New Jersey Devils (15)

27. Winnipeg Jets (20)

28. Arizona Coyotes (29)

29. Colorado Avalanche (30)

30. Vancouver Canucks (26)

These are not your father’s Detroit Red Wings. And you get the distinct feeling they know it…Somewhere, former Panthers' coach Gerard Gallant is sitting back and smiling. Because it wasn’t him. Of course it wasn’t him…At 2-7-1 in their past 10, the Lightning are officially the coldest team in the NHL today…Islanders coach Jack Capuano threatened to make lineup changes after a 4-2 loss to Washington Tuesday, which came on the heels of a 6-2 loss to Columbus on the weekend. “I’m losing my patience a little bit with some of these guys, and you have to hold guys accountable. We’ve got some decisions that we need to make.”…After a sizzling start, Leafs' rookie Mitch Marner has four assists in his past 11 games…In their past eight games, the Devils have been outscored 14-8 in second periods. Their record in those games is 2-4-2…The Jets have already lost 143 man-games to injury this season…The forgotten man, Peter Holland, looked impressive with a two-assist performance in his Coyotes debut, a 4-1 win over Detroit Tuesday night…Little surprise here. Semyon Varlamov has a groin problem after stopping 51 shots in a 3-1 win over Toronto Sunday night…Veterans and pending UFAs Alexandre Burrows and Jannik Hansen figure to be prime targets at the trade deadline.


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