Dec 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (67) reacts after scoring the tying goal in the shootout during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Canadians won in a shootout 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
In this week’s edition of the NHL power rankings, the top 10 is once again dominated by the Eastern Conference
The power shift in the NHL from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference continues to roll on as the season moves into the month of December. While the West continues to sort out the bottom half of the league, the top 10 continues to be dominated by the East.
In this week’s Blackhawk Up NHL power rankings, how will losing both Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford affect Chicago’s ranking and when, if at all, will they be able to reclaim the top spot in the NHL?
Nov 26, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center. The Canucks won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
No. 30: Colorado Avalanche
Last Week: 25th
Record: 9-14-1 (19 points)
Over the last 10 games, the Avalanche have gone 3-6-1, including currently riding a six-game losing streak.
Nov 28, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (14) celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames with New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the overtime period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
No. 29: New York Islanders
Last Week: 30th
Record: 10-10-5 (25 points)
One of the more disappointing teams this season, the Islanders have done well on home ice but have struggled away from the Barclays Center (2-6-1) and haven’t been able to string together quality wins.
Nov 27, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes players left winger Anthony Duclair (10) skates in to celebrate their goal with Coyotes center Christian Dvorak (18) with Coyotes left winger Jamie McGinn (88) Coyotes defenceman Luke Schenn (2) and Coyotes defenceman Michael Stone (26) during the third period at Rogers Place. Coyotes won the game 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
No. 28: Arizona Coyotes
Last Week: 26th
Record: 8-12-4 (20 points)
The Coyotes are going to be the Coyotes. They’ve gone 3-4-3 over their last 10 games and are currently struggling with a five-game losing streak.
Dec 3, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi (47) celebrates his goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (not pictured) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
No. 27: Vancouver Canucks
Last Week: 27th
Record: 11-13-2 (24 points)
The Canucks haven’t had a real direction all season, although their effort against the Maple Leafs gives something to hold on to.
Dec 1, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) celebrates his goal during the third period against the New York Rangers with teammates at KeyBank Center. Sabres beat the Rangers 4 to 3. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
No. 26: Buffalo Sabres
Last Week: 29th
Record: 10-10-5 (25 points)
Jack Eichel is back from his ankle injury and that’s only going to bring good things to the Sabres moving forward.
Dec 3, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Thomas Vanek (62) and center Dylan Larkin (71) celebrate a goal by Larkin against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
No. 25: Detroit Red Wings
Last Week: 24th
Record: 13-11-3 (29 points)
Sitting two points out of a wild card spot and lacking a real hot streak so far this year, the Red Wings might see their Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance streak come to an end this season.
Nov 27, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner (53) scores his second period goal against Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer (34) at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
No. 24: Carolina Hurricanes
Last Week: 18th
Record: 10-10-5 (25 points)
Cam Ward has been a bright spot for the Hurricanes as of late, but the team as a whole is lacking. 5-4-1 over its last 10 games and 3-7-5 on the road doesn’t help.
Dec 3, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller (not pictured) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
No. 23: Toronto Maple Leafs
Last Week: 23rd
Record: 10-9-5 (25 points)
The Maple Leafs might have the brightest future in the NHL, but at the moment, all of their future pieces are just finding their legs in the league. An 8-3-0 record at the Air Canada Centre is a bright spot for the team this year.
Nov 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (right) is congratulated for scoring during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Chicago won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
No. 22: Florida Panthers
Last Week: 20th
Record: 12-11-4 (28 points)
After firing their head coach in an unceremonious way, the Panthers are having a tough time breaking through in 2016 after winning the Atlantic Division last year.
Nov 28, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (5) celebrates his goal against the St. Louis Blues with right wing Patrick Eaves (18) during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
No. 21: Dallas Stars
Last Week: 16th
Record: 10-11-6 (26 points)
One of the favorites in the Western Conference to begin the season, the Stars have been hampered with injuries that have stalled the first quarter of the year for them. Good for them, though, the entire Western Conference is down this year, so Dallas finds itself just two points out of a playoff spot.
Nov 21, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) celebrates after a power play goal during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
No. 20: Nashville Predators
Last Week: 21st
Record: 12-9-4 (28 points)
Another underachieving Central Division team, the Predators have benefited from the addition of P.K. Subban and have done a great job of playing well at home. On the flip side, a road record of 3-7-2 has put them behind this season.
Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri (13) celebrates his second goal of the game with teammates on the bench against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
No. 19: New Jersey Devils
Last Week: 17th
Record: 12-7-6 (30 points)
While Cory Schneider is one of the best goalies in the league, Keith Kinkaid has been playing well in his backup role and has helped the Devils to a position just outside the Stanley Cup Playoff picture. Also, the Devils have yet to lose at home in regulation.
Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; The Winnipeg Jets celebrate their victory following the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Winnipeg won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
No. 18: Winnipeg Jets
Last Week: 19th
Record: 13-13-3 (29 points)
Bryan Little has been a welcome return for the Jets and they’re currently right in the thick of things in the Stanley Cup Playoff race.
November 29, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (42) moves the puck as center Ryan Kesler (17) and defenseman Josh Manson (42) trail against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
No. 17: Anaheim Ducks
Last Week: 15th
Record: 12-9-5 (29 points)
Besides their 8-3 loss Flames, the Ducks have been even-keel throughout the season and currently sit in fourth in the Pacific Division.
Dec 4, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) celebrates his goal in front of fans during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
No. 16: Calgary Flames
Last Week: 28th
Record: 14-13-2 (30 points)
Johnny Gaudreau returned to action three weeks earlier than expected and had a two-point night in his first game back. The Flames are one point ahead of Anaheim for a guaranteed Stanley Cup Playoff spot, and the addition of Gaudreau come push them ahead.
Dec 1, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) and Ottawa Senators center Chris Kelly (22) follow the puck in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
No. 15: Philadelphia Flyers
Last Week: 22nd
Record: 15-10-3 (33 points)
The Flyers have made statements with their recent wins over the Predators and Blackhawks and sit in a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, going 7-3-0 in their last 10 games.
Dec 5, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) skates in the offensive zone during the first period against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
No. 14: Boston Bruins
Last Week: 9th
Record: 15-10-1 (31 points)
Boston got off to a slow start this year, but has rebounded nicely, riding a four-game winning streak and a road record of 8-5-1 to boot.
Dec 4, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) and center Mikko Koivu (9) and defenceman Matt Dumba (24) and right winger Chris Stewart (7) celebrate their win at the end of the overtime period at Rogers Place. Wild won the game 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
No. 13: Minnesota Wild
Last Week: 14th
Record: 12-8-4 (28 points)
Eric Staal has found his place in Minnesota and Charlie Coyle is getting hot at the right time. Add in that the Wild have the best goal differential in the Central Division and it’s no wonder they are in a playoff spot.
Dec 4, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27), center Jeff Carter (77), left wing Tanner Pearson (70), defenseman Alec Martinez (27) and center Tyler Toffoli (73) on the ice during a time out in the third period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at Staples Center. Canadians won in a shootout 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
No. 12: Los Angeles Kings
Last Week: 10th
Record: 13-10-2 (26 points)
The loss of Jonathan Quick looked to be a dagger, but the Kings have been able to take advantage of great goaltending from Peter Budaj and have gone 6-2-2 over their last 10 games.
Nov 25, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
No. 11: Edmonton Oilers
Last Week: 13th
Record: 14-10-4 (32 points)
The Oilers had a scare when Connor McDavid had to briefly leave their game against the Wild due to concussion protocol, but he returned and has led Edmonton all season, as predicted. What was not predicted was that the Oilers would be one of the contenders in the Western Conference, yet here they are.
Nov 22, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) scores a goal on St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
No. 10: St. Louis Blues
Last Week: 5th
Record: 15-7-4 (34 points)
The Blues have been on fire playing at home this year, posting a 12-1-3 record. But away from home ice, the Blues are 3-6-1. They sit in second place in the Central Division, despite a zero goal differential.
Dec 2, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) celebrates with center Joe Thornton (19) after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
No. 9: San Jose Sharks
Last Week: 12th
Record: 15-9-1 (31 points)
The defending Western Conference champions have looked the part again this season, especially posting a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 games, with all 10 games happening in an 18-day span.
Nov 15, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
No. 8: Tampa Bay Lightning
Last Week: 6th
Record: 14-11-2 (30 points)
The Lightning got off to a fast start, but have begun to fizzle a bit. Going 4-5-1 over their last 10 games has stalled their momentum in a road-heavy schedule so far.
Nov 25, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) after their game against the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
No. 7: Washington Capitals
Last Week: 4th
Record: 14-7-3 (31 points)
Until Tuesday night, Washington was riding a rare, three-game losing streak. The Capitals still currently hold a wild card spot in the contentious Eastern Conference. But they have gone 5-3-2 over their last 10 and still have Alex Ovechkin, so they will manage.
Nov 25, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
No. 6: Columbus Blue Jackets
Last Week: 8th
Record: 15-5-4 (34 points)
The surprise of the season has been the play of the Blue Jackets. Heading into the 2016-17 season, and especially after how the World Cup of Hockey ended for the John Tortorella-led Team USA squad, the Blue Jackets were not favored to be in a contending spot in the Eastern Conference. But Sergei Bobrovsky and the play of Zach Werenski have led Columbus to a top-three spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Dec 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) with the puck behind the net of Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
No. 5: Chicago Blackhawks
Last Week: 7th
Record: 17-8-3 (37 points)
The Blackhawks are still one of the more dangerous teams in the NHL, but the loss of both Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford in recent weeks has exposed the true lack of depth for Chicago. Scott Darling will now have to pick up the reigns in net, and top players like Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa will be expected to drive the Blackhawks offensively without Toews.
Dec 5, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save as defenseman Cody Ceci (5) clears the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
No. 4: Ottawa Senators
Last Week: 11th
Record: 15-9-2 (32 points)
The story of Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators this season is incredible. How he has played at the level he has, while dealing with his wife’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, is nothing short of amazing.
Dec 5, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) makes a save against the Ottawa Senators during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
No. 3: Pittsburgh Penguins
Last Week: 2nd
Record:16-7-3 (35 points)
Reigning Stanley Cup champions. Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin. Phil Kessel. A goalie tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray . What more could the Penguins ask for?
Nov 29, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30) is congratulated by defenseman Dan Girardi (5) after defeating the the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
No. 2: New York Rangers
Last Week: 3rd
Record: 17-9-1 (35 points)
No one is scoring like the Rangers are scoring. Leading the NHL with 97 goals and a goal differential of plus-28 has the rangers tied atop the Metropolitan Division. Plus, Henrik Lundqvist is still one of the top three goalies in the NHL. Boom.
Nov 26, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) celebrates his game-tying goal with teammates on the bench in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The Canadiens beat the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1: Montreal Canadiens
Last Week: 1st
Record: 17-6-3 (37 points)
A healthy Carey Price, and being on the better end of the P.K. Subban-for-Shea Weber deal. That’s how the Canadiens sleep at night.