The game lived up to the billing: The Battle of the Titans.
And although the Red Wings lost 3-2, it’s going to take more than one road defeat, albeit to their nearest challengers, the Ottawa Senators, to bounce them from the top of The Hockey News’ Power Rankings, particularly when they played their backup goalie, Dominik Hasek.
Just kidding about Hasek.
Fact is Detroit has dropped two in a row, but they are still 13 points ahead in the West and eight up on their closest challenger in the East.
Was there a better free agent signing than defenseman Brian Rafalski last summer? He is second in defenseman scoring in the NHL, behind only teammate Nicklas Lidstrom.
An eight-game winning streak was snapped by a shootout defeat to Atlanta. Sidney Crosby snaps a one-game scoring drought with two goals.
Daniel Alfredsson scores two (including the GWG) while Ray Emery restored a little of his lost credibility in the win over Detroit. Losing Dany Heatley with a shoulder injury hurts, though.
Three third-period goals helped the Sharks beat soft-touch Toronto 3-2 to continue a three-game winning streak. A loss Sunday to Anaheim puts things in perspective.
Losses to Phoenix, the Islanders and Edmonton have to be very concerning.
A pair of shootout wins in a three-game span has the Devils riding a three-game winning streak.
Simon Gagne scored a goal and added an assist in his first two games back after missing 26 with a concussion.
Ryan Getzlaf (48 points in 44 games) is a very deserving All-Star Game participant.
Just when it looked like the Canucks might make a move in the West, they dropped games to San Jose (expected) and Phoenix (not expected).
The Habs got their lunch handed to them by the Rangers, losing 4-1, their first regulation loss since Dec. 23.
Mike Modano has five assists in three games, but no goals in his last eight.
Wins over Chicago, Detroit and Phoenix helped erase the memory of losses to Dallas and Nashville. Eight points in three games for Marian Gaborik certainly helps.
An impressive 4-3 win over the Canucks gave the upstart Coyotes six wins in seven games. Then they laid an egg against Minnesota.
The Hurricanes are woefully inconsistent and GM Jim Rutherford won’t stand for it much longer. Expect changes at the trade deadline.
After spanking the Kings 7-0. Nashville dropped a 2-1 shootout loss to Columbus and suffered a similar fate, losing 3-2 in a shootout to Chicago Sunday. J-P Dumont was blanked in the losses after scoring goals in six straight games.
The Blue Jackets are knocking on the playoff door, which is great for this season. But taking the big picture into consideration, don’t be surprised if GM Scott Howson moves some veterans at the trade deadline if it means they’ll be stronger next season.
The words were actually spoken by the TV broadcast staff during a Bruins game last Saturday: “He’s only played three and a half months in Boston, but already Milan Lucic is becoming a legend.” Uh, a little early perhaps?
After going eight straight without a goal, Brad Boyes fires four in three games.
The Islanders top six scorers are a combined minus-46. That must change if they are serious about making the playoffs.
Even without injured stars Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth the Avs are hanging tough.
A big win over Montreal stopped the bleeding. Doesn’t mean troubled times are over, though.
They gave Alex Ovechkin the key to the vault in hopes that A) He’ll get his bangs cut, and B) he’ll one day lead them to the Stanley Cup.
Talk about sweet revenge! Mark Recchi scored the shootout-winner against Pittsburgh; the team that gave him up for dead.
The Panthers might be the best team in the State of Florida, but they were in a state of flux losing to the Lightning.
Don’t look now, but the Oilers have snapped off four straight wins, including one over Calgary in the most recent Battle of Alberta.
The Blackhawks snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over the Predators.
They may be sitting at the bottom of the standings, but there is no denying the Kings have the potential to make noise soon.
Two wins in three gives Tampa Bay, uh, whatever…
The NHL’s No. 1 soap opera is once again Old and Restless.
Nine straight losses. What more can we say?
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 on Mondays. Changes in rankings reflect each team’s play from the previous seven days.
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