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Sharks have bite

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The New York Rangers are atop THN.com's NHL Power Rankings for the first time this season, but the San Jose Sharks are looking nearly as formidable. Winners of four straight and with just one regulation loss in their past 10 games, they’re leading the Pacific Division despite having played two fewer games than the second-place Stars and four fewer games than the Kings and Coyotes.

Once again, their frontline stars are doing all the heavy lifting on offense – Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture have combined for 124 points, more than all the other forwards on the roster combined – and they're receiving solid netminding from Antti Niemi (2.28 goals-against average, .919 save percentage) and Thomas Greiss (2.21 GAA, .922 SP). They've got four road games to play this week, but the first three (against the Wild, Jets and Blue Jackets) are comparatively much easier than the fourth (against Chicago). Will they be able to overtake Boston and the Blueshirts for first overall? Check back next Monday to find out.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

P10

THE SCOOP

1

3

26-9-4

9-1-0

Unheralded defenseman Dan Girardi leading all NHLers in average time on ice (27:19), fourth in league in blocked shots (100)

2

1

26-11-1

8-2-0

Since Oct. 28, Bruins have lost two straight games just once - and with games against Jets, Canadiens and Hurricanes this week, that isn't likely to change

3

6

23-11-4

8-1-1

Sharks have won four straight - and with tilts vs. Wild, Jets and Jackets this week, they could make it seven

4

8

26-13-3

7-2-1

Weekend rumble, win against white-hot Bruins shows Canucks are firing on all cylinders

5

4

26-14-1

6-4-0

After late October/early November skid, Wings have gone 21-9-0

6

5

24-12-4

4-5-1

It's a week of fairly soft touches for Flyers, with games against Canes, Isles, Preds

7

10

24-12-5

6-3-1

With a 17-3-2 mark, Blues are the NHL's mightiest home team

8

2

24-13-5

4-5-1

When Hawks lose, they lose in bunches; they've had two three-game losing skids before their current four-game loss streak

9

11

20-15-7

6-1-3

Kings have allowed just eight regulation/overtime goals in their past eight games, but have scored just 13 in that span

10

7

20-13-8

4-4-2

Panthers have won just two of their past eight games; perhaps light schedule this week (just two games, against Canucks and depleted Penguins) will get them back on track

11

14

22-15-6

7-1-2

Milan Michalek on pace for a 40-goal season; his previous high is 26, in 2006-07

12

13

21-16-2

6-3-1

Mike Green's health a significant concern for this year and next; he's scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer

13

12

22-15-4

6-4-0

Eleven of Preds' next 18 games are on the road, but they're as consistent away from Nashville (10-8-1) as they are at home (12-7-3)

14

15

23-16-2

6-3-1

Calder Trophy contender Adam Henrique leads Devils in plus-minus (plus-9), on track for 24-goal, 65-point year

15

9

21-15-4

4-6-0

So many injuries ravaging Pens lineup, they might as well have entire AHL affiliate team travel with them

16

20

21-15-5

5-3-2

Win over Wings Saturday another indication Leafs will be in playoff hunt right down to the wire

17

18

23-19-1

8-2-0

Avs are NHL's deadliest in shootouts (7-0) thanks in large part to Milan Hejduk, who has five shootout goals on seven attempts this season

18

19

23-16-1

5-5-0

Jamie Benn leads Stars in assists (28), points (41), power play assists (7) shots on goal (114)

19

16

20-16-5

6-3-1

Blake Wheeler on pace for 46 assists, 62 points; previous career bests in those areas are 24 assists and 45 points

20

17

21-15-6

1-7-2

Wild's freefall through the standings could continue this week - their opponents are Sharks, Hawks and Blues

21

23

20-17-5

4-4-2

Three-game road trip for Coyotes this week, but their road record (12-9-2) is better than their home mark (8-8-3)

22

22

18-18-5

2-6-2

Return of Tyler Myers will help beleaguered blueline, but Sabres have more problems than that

23

24

19-19-5

5-4-1

Flames have league's worst faceoff win percentage (44.9)

24

25

16-18-7

3-7-0

Two straight wins has jackals off coach Randy Cunneyworth's back, but they could jump right back on this week with games against Blues, Bruins, Sens, Rangers

25

21

17-20-3

5-4-1

Hard to fathom that a team with Steven Stamkos, Martin St-Louis and Vincent Lecavalier has league's fourth-worst power play, but at just 13.8 percent, Bolts do

26

27

14-19-6

5-5-0

Mark Streit is a minus-17 while averaging 23:30 of ice time per game; Kyle Okposo is a minus-17 while averaging 16:46 per game

27

28

14-22-7

4-4-2

Only Anaheim (3-10-5) has worse road record than Canes (4-12-4)

28

26

16-22-3

2-8-0

Oilers haven't won two consecutive games since Nov. 22 and 25

29

29

12-22-6

3-6-1

Sustained ineptitude forcing GM Bob Murray's hand in taking trade offers for big three of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan

30

30

11-25-5

2-7-1

Jeff Carter's separated shoulder latest catastrophe in nightmare season

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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