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Whitney leading Coyotes charge

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

If the Phoenix Coyotes could win more games that extend beyond three periods, they might be at or near the top of THN’s new Power Rankings. Even without those wins, though, they’re still making people sit up and take notice.

The Yotes have lost just once in regulation in their past 10 games (7-1-2) and have more overtime or shootout losses (five) than any other NHL team. They’re also the only squad currently in a playoff position in the Western Conference to have allowed more goals (59) than they’ve scored (57).

Their success is coming in part from the contributions of unrestricted free agent acquisition Ray Whitney (who has a team-leading 11 assists and 14 points), as well as solid defensive play from veterans Ed Jovanovski and Adrian Aucoin (both a team-best plus-six). In addition, the steady hand of reigning coach of the year Dave Tippett has allowed Phoenix to overcome the loss of defensive presence Zbynek Michalek, who left via free agency.

The Coyotes have a light schedule coming up this week, with games only on Tuesday and Saturday, followed by a break until the following Tuesday. Both games are in Phoenix and come against beatable teams (Edmonton and Anaheim), leaving a golden opportunity for the Yotes to solidify their presence in the standings.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

P10

THE SCOOP

1

2

13-3-2

8-1-1

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg virtual mirrors of one another: Datsyuk has seven goals, 22 points and a plus-5 while averaging 19:58 per game; Zetterberg has seven goals, 20 points and a plus-5 while averaging 19:37 a night

2

3

14-5-2

7-1-2

Alexander Semin on pace for career offensive season in contract year. What a surprise!

3

1

13-6-0

7-3-0

Justin Williams, Dustin Brown tied for Kings’ goal-scoring lead with nine apiece

4

5

13-6-2

7-2-1

Flyers have yet to lose when leading after two periods

5

7

13-6-1

6-4-0

Goalie Carey Price main reason Canadiens’ penalty kill is an NHL-best 90.5 percent

6

8

12-6-0

7-3-0

Jackets have winnable games this week against Preds and Isles before weekend home-and-home showdown with Wings

7

11

11-5-2

5-3-2

Milan Lucic has the NHL’s best shooting percentage (10 goals on 34 shots for 29.4 percent)

8

4

11-5-3

5-4-1

Jaroslav Halak coming down to earth (1-2-0, 5.00 goals-against average, .835 save percentage in past 3 games)

9

17

12-7-1

7-3-0

Only Red Wings (3.67 goals per game) and Flyers (3.52) have a more potent offense than Avs (3.50) at the moment

10

14

10-5-5

7-1-2

Coyotes have most overtime/shootout losses in the league (five)

11

6

10-7-3

5-4-1

Nucks have the NHL’s most productive power play (27 percent efficiency)

12

19

11-7-2

4-5-1

Martin St-Louis is second on team with an average ice time of 21:30 per game (defenseman Victor Hedman is first at 21:42)

13

10

10-7-2

6-4-0

Three tough games for Wild this week (Flyers, Predators and Avalanche)

14

18

10-7-1

5-4-1

James Neal scored a career-best 27 goals last year; he’s currently on pace for 36

15

9

9-6-4

4-3-3

Sharks first in shots per game (36.1), fifth in shots allowed (28.1)

16

12

9-6-3

4-6-0

Special teams a cause for concern for Preds - they’re a bottom-10 team in both the power play (10.6 percent) and the penalty kill (80 percent)

17

20

11-8-2

6-3-1

Marc-Andre Fleury starting to come around (2-0-0, 2.40 GAA, .922 SP in past two games)

18

15

11-9-1

5-5-0

Blueshirts much better on the road (7-3-0) than at Madison Square Garden (4-6-1)

19

21

11-10-2

4-5-1

California trip this week will be important test for mediocre Hawks

20

16

10-10-3

5-3-2

Corey Perry (10 goals, 23 points) on pace for career offensive season

21

22

9-9-0

6-4-0

Spunky Cats would be real threat if their power play wasn’t league’s worst (8.1 percent)

22

23

9-9-2

4-4-2

No team wins fewer faceoffs than Canes (39.9 percent)

23

13

9-10-1

5-5-0

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar a team-worst minus-13

24

24

9-9-3

4-5-1

Only the Oilers (3.90), Islanders, Canes (3.30) and Sens (3.25) have allowed more goals per game than Atlanta (3.24)

25

25

8-10-1

2-7-1

Minor trades won’t make this team into a contender

26

26

7-9-3

2-6-2

Leafs have only three goals from high-paid defense corps

27

27

8-11-3

5-4-1

How is defenseman Steve Montador a plus-14 on this nearly defenseless squad?

28

29

5-10-4

2-6-2

Oilers’ penalty kill is an unspeakably bad, 30th-ranked 68.4 percent

29

28

5-13-2

3-6-1

With one-quarter of the season completed, Devils are nearing the unsalvageable stage

30

30

4-12-4

0-8-2

Banning journalist Chris Botta is sure to get this sad-sack franchise back on track

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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