NHL Power Rankings: Week 13 Injuries, Prospects, In-Depth Analysis

BY Fansided and Matt Duscharme/FanSided via Puck Prose • June 30, 2017

NHL Power Rankings: Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes a save in the first period against the Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (not pictured) at Xcel Energy Center. The Blue Jackets beat the Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings (Heading into Week 13) – Columbus Blue Jackets Continue to Hold Top Spot with Continued Perfection, Flames Jump Nine Spots as They Ride the New Hot Hand in Brian Elliott, New York Rangers Climb Five Spots to Get Back in the Top 10, While Los Angeles Rises Four Spots After a Solid Two-Week Stretch

Welcome back to our weekly NHL power rankings here at Puck Prose. This a duel collaboration between Matt Duscharme and Ryan Ritchie brought to you every Thursday in which we update fans on the latest happenings around the league. In addition to our top 30 rankings, we provide in-depth analysis and feature a weekly prospect profile to help fans get better acquainted with young talent in the system.

We hope our readers had a great holiday break/New Year. After taking a week off from our NHL power rankings due to a shortened schedule, we’re back at it again heading into week 13.

NHL Power Rankings: Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) carries the puck as Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson (6) defends during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

In this week’s NHL power rankings, Columbus remains on top as they take their 16-game winning streak into Washington on Thursday night. With a win, the Blue Jackets would tie the 92-93 Penguins for the all-time record.

Calgary made the most movement thanks to a new hot hand between the pipes. Following a nice stretch by Chad Johnson, Brian Elliott decided to step up and in turn has received the bulk of starts lately.

The Rangers climbed five spots after finding their scoring touch again and have found a home back in the top 10. Los Angeles also climbed four spots thanks to consistent solid play from veteran netminder Peter Budaj.

*all stats in our week 13 NHL power rankings are heading into Thursday (Jan.5) night’s action.

Statistical Leaders Around the League

Top 5 Forwards

1. Connor McDavid, EDM (39gp 14g 29a 43pts)
1. Evgeni Malkin, PIT (38gp 16g 27a 43pts)
3. Sidney Crosby, PIT (32gp 26g 16a 42pts)
4. Vladimir Tarasenko, STL (38gp 18g 23a 41pts)
5. Artemi Panarin, CHI (40gp 15g 24a 39pts)
5. Tyler Seguin, DAL (39gp 14g 25a 39pts

Top 5 Defensemen

1. Brent Burns, SJ (38gp 15g 20a 35pts)
1. Victor Hedman, TB (39gp 7g 28a 35pts)
3. Erik Karlsson, OTT (37gp 7g 25a 32pts)
4. Duncan Keith, CHI (40gp 1g 25a 26pts)
5. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (37gp 3g 22a 25pts)
5. Zach Werenski, CLB (36gp 6g 19a 25pts)
5. Ryan McDonagh, NYR (40gp 2g 23a 25pts)

Top 5 Rookies

1. Patrik Laine, WPG (41gp 21g 15a 36pts)
2. Auston Matthews, TOR (37gp 20g 14a 34pts)
3. Mitch Marner, TOR (37gp 10g 19a 29pts)
4. William Nylander, TOR (36gp 8g 18a 26pts)
5. Zach Werenski (D), CLB (30gp 6g 15a 21pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Arizona Coyotes left wing Anthony Duclair (10) celebrates with left wing Christian Dvorak (18), defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6), left wing Lawson Crouse (67) and defenseman Luke Schenn (2) after scoring a goal in the second period against the New York Rangers at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes

Previous Ranking: 29 (-1)

Team Record: (11-22-5)

Goals For: 79

Goals Against: 123

Special Teams

PP: 16-for-114 (14.0 percent) (T-25th)
PK: 33-for-132 (75.0 percent) (29th)

Injury List

Dave Bolland (lower body) – out indefinitely
Max Domi (hand) – out indefinitely
Brad Richardson (leg) – out indefinitely
Ryan White (lower body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Radim Vrbata (38gp 9g 15a 24pts)
Top Defenseman: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (38gp 7g 12a 19pts)
Top Rookie: Christian Dvorak (34gp 4g 8a 12pts)
Top Goaltender: Mike Smith (7-11-4 2.83GAA .919 save percentage)

Player of the Week: D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3gp 0g 2a 2pts)

I’m not one that typically likes to boast about correct predictions. It is pretty funny though how much I talked about Arizona’s need to address their goaltending in the offseason, and here we are almost halfway through the year watching a complete debacle between the pipes. As I feared, Smith went down with an injury, as he often does, and Louis Domingue was called upon to carry the load for a chunk of time. He failed miserably. As I stated leading into 2016-17, Domingue needed one more full year down in Tucson. Hopefully seeing a fraction of the starts doesn’t stunt his development.

Looking at the numbers, Arizona had their toughest two-week stretch of the season going 0-5-0 with eight goals for, 20 goals against. With that, the Coyotes find a home again in the basement of our NHL power rankings.

If you’re a Coyotes fan looking for reasons to be optimistic in 2016-17. You’ve got potential future assets coming back in trades leading up to the deadline (i.e. Martin Hanzal). Also, 20 percent odds of snagging Nolan Patrick isn’t too shabby. He might not be the can’t miss 1st overall pick of past years, but he has a chance to be a very dominant player in this league. Imagine a top-nine that features Dylan Strome, Nolan Patrick, and Christian Dvorak up the middle.

Weekly Prospect Profile: D Patrick Kudla, Dubuque (USHL)

2016-17 stats:28gp 4g 13a 17pts

Selected 158th overall (6th round) in 2016, Kudla is an intriguing prospect. A bit of a late bloomer, Patrick chose the route less traveled for NHL prospects. He racked up 61 points in 48 games for the Guelph Hurricanes of the GOJHL back in 2014-15. A year later, he posted 66 points in 50 games with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL, while also tallying 86 penalty minutes. Kudla has most recently joined Dubuque of the USHL as a stop-gap option before starting his NCAA career in the fall of 2017 with Arizona State.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) and defenseman Fedor Tyutin (51) react following the loss to the New York Rangers at the Pepsi Center. The Rangers defeated the Avalanche 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche

Previous Ranking: 30 (+1)

Team Record: (12-25-1)

Goals For: 77

Goals Against: 128

Special Teams

PP: 17-for-122 (13.3 percent) (28th)
PK: 33-for-149 (77.8 percent) (25th)

Injury List

Erik Johnson (leg) – out until Late-January
Francois Beauchemin (illness) – day-to-day
Semyon Varlamov (groin) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Nathan MacKinnon (38gp 9g 16a 25pts)
Top Defenseman: Tyson Barrie (38gp 3g 17a 20pts)
Top Rookie: Mikko Rantanen (33gp 6g 11a 17pts)
Top Goaltender: Semyon Varlamov (6 wins 3.33GAA .901 save percentage)

Player of the Week: D Tyson Barrie (4gp 1g 3a 4pts)

Last week for Colorado was not a good week at all, posting a 0-4-0 record. Tyson Barrie has been the biggest standout with four points in four games but despite that he was a minus one on the week. Calvin Pickard played all four games for the Avalanche and in doing so posted some horrendous numbers.

With Colorado’s play all season, a lot of trade rumors have been circulating around the team about who may be on the way out. And while they say it hasn’t effected their play, it obviously has since both Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog has yet to hit 25 points and the other hasn’t reached 15 yet. Due to Varlamov’s groin injury, backup goalie Calvin Pickard has had to step up and in doing so lost all four games from last week. He also posted a .878 save percentage and a 4.05 goals-against-average. Colorado is going to have to step things up if they don’t want to be a lottery team at the draft, but in some cases, that’s not always a bad thing. This week is fairly short since Colorado only has one game against the Islanders.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Sergei Boikov, Colorado (ECHL)

2016-17 stats: 7gp 1g 1a 2pts

Sergei Boikov is an extremely physical defenseman, he will hit you any chance he can get. He’s really strong defensively, but not so strong offensively, making him a perfect stay at home defenseman who will make things hard on the opposition in the defensive zone.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders

Previous Ranking: 27 (-1)

Team Record: (15-15-6)

Goals For: 103

Goals Against: 111

Special Teams

PP: 15-for-100 (15.0 percent) (24th)
PK: 24-for-118 (79.7 percent) (T-23rd)

Injury List

Ryan Pulock (foot) – day-to-day
Mikhail Grabovski (concussion) – out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: John Tavares (36gp 11g 16a 27pts)
Top Defenseman: Nick Leddy (35gp 5g 10a 15pts)
Top Rookie: Anthony Beauvillier (26gp 4g 5a 9pts)
Top Goaltender: Thomas Greiss (9-5-0 2.45GAA .923 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Brock Nelson (2gp 2g 2a 4pts)

NHL Power Rankings: New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss prior to the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

On a positive note, the Islanders went 3-1-0 with an extremely light schedule over the holidays/new year. They also made a decision on their three-headed monster in goal by waiving Jaroslav Halak. Both Greiss and Berube have responded with solid play and captain John Tavares is starting to find the scoresheet again.

All signs point to a team ready to turn a corner, right? Not so fast. This team still has a plethora of issues to deal with ranging from expansion, to John Tavares, and beyond. If the Isles want to truly take a step as contenders and give Johnny T a reason to stay, they might consider replacing GM Garth Snow – or at least find a brilliant hockey mind to oversee his decisions.

New York could soon find themselves in a very uncomfortable position in deciding whether or not they’re buyers or sellers. If they choose to sell, fans shouldn’t expect a ton of movement. You might see a defenseman or two moved ahead of expansion, perhaps a minor move up front, but the Islanders have no reason to sell off at this point. Should they decide to buy at the trade deadline, the NY Islanders have a ton of options to consider. They could trim salary, make room for prospects on ELCs (i.e. Dal Colle, Ho-Sang). Heck, they might even consider a better stop-gap option between the pipes. Neither Greiss nor Berube scream “save me” in expansion. Why not splurge for a Marc-Andre Fleury or Ben Bishop as a option until someone like Ilya Sorokin arrives?

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Collin Adams, Muskegon (USHL)

2016-17 stats:26gp 16g 14a 30pts

Selected 170th overall (6th round) in 2016, Adams fits the mold of where the NHL is trending. Standing 5’9 172lbs, Collin is an elusive, speedy winger with high-end offensive talent. As a 17-year-old in the USHL, Adams tallied 27 goals (61 points) in 59 games in 2015-16. This season, Collin already has 16 goals (30 points) in 26 games playing for Muskegon. In 2017-18, Collin Adams will begin his NCAA career with a commitment to the University of North Dakota.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) looks on against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes

Previous Ranking: 25 (-2)

Team Record: (16-14-7)

Goals For: 93

Goals Against: 97

Special Teams

PP: 20-for-107 (18.7 percent) (14th)
PK: 10-for-91 (89.0 percent) (1st)

Injury List

Bryan Bickell (illness) – out indefinitely
Justin Faulk (lower body) – day-to-day
Eddie Lack (concussion) – day-to-day
Elias Lindholm (upper body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Jeff Skinner (36gp 13g 14a 27pts)
Top Defenseman: Justin Faulk (30gp 7g 9a 16pts)
Top Rookie: Sebastian Aho (37gp 8g 13a 21pts)
Top Goaltender: Cam Ward (13-11-6 2.28GAA .915 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Sebastian Aho (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho (20) skates with the puck against the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes played six games since our last NHL power rankings. They got off to a hot start with wins over Buffalo and Boston before dropping three of their next four against Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and New Jersey. Despite going 3-3-0, starter Cam Ward gave this team a chance to win every night. How else do you explain a 2.20GAA and .915 save percentage with a .500 record? Ward continues to remain a real bright spot for the Canes in 2016-17.

Looking at the skaters, one individual stands out above the rest. Finnish rookie Sebastian Aho continue to tear up the scoresheet with three goals, four assists (seven points) in his last eight games. With 21 points on the season, Aho continues to chase down the NHL’s top rookie scorers, and he just might do it. Another skater that is beginning to heat up is forward Teuvo Teravainen. The offseason addition how a slow start in 2016-17, but seems to be getting progressively better. Teuvo has two goals, five assists (seven points) in his last eight games, bringing his season total up to 20 points in 37 games.

Despite the overall success in 2016-17, I can’t help but feel that something in missing in Carolina. They’re still one big offensive weapon away from being a true playoff contender in my mind. Given the immense depth of LH defense (Slavin, Hanifin, Fleury, Bean, etc.), Carolina might consider targeting a top-six forward. Imagine what this team might look like with Matt Duchene up the middle on the first line.

Weekly Prospect Profile: D Noah Carroll, Guelph (OHL)

2016-17 stats:31gp 2g 10a 12pts

Taken 164th overall (6th round) in 2016, Carroll is a sturdy two-way defender. He makes a good first pass, knows when to join the offense, but generally plays a sound defensive style. Some scouts believe he could develop into a quality shut down d-man. His play is consistently improving at the OHL level. Here’s a guy that posted a -48 plus/minus rating in 2015-16 and halfway through 2016-17 is posting a +2.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) is congratulated by goalie Frederik Andersen (21) as they walk off the field after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings during the Centennial Classic ice hockey game at BMO Field. The Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous Ranking: 26 (-)

Team Record: (17-12-8)

Goals For: 112

Goals Against: 104

Special Teams

PP: 24-for-118 (20.3 percent) (12th)
PK: 19-for-124 (84.7 percent) (6th)

Injury List

Ben Smith (hand) – day-to-day
Martin Marincin (lower body) – mid-to-late January
Joffrey Lupul (abdomen) – sent to Robidas Island

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Auston Matthews (37gp 20g 14a 34pts)
Top Defenseman: Jake Gardiner (37gp 6g 14a 20pts)
Top Rookie: Auston Matthews (37gp 20g 14a 34pts)
Top Goaltender: Frederik Andersen (16 wins 2.63GAA .920 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Auston Matthews (3gp 3g 3a 6pts)

Toronto had an excellent week last week going 2-0-1, if Washington didn’t storm back on Tuesday night and force an overtime, that they eventually won, Toronto would have had that perfect record. Rookie sensation Auston Matthews continues to impress, he now leads the team in points and rookies as well across the NHL.

Speaking of Toronto’s rookies, Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, William Nylander, and Zach Hyman combined for 14 points on the week with a combined minus one rating. Goalie Frederik Andersen has finally come into his own the last couple of weeks and is taking the league by storm. And impressing the Leafs management as well, making the deal to acquire him a good idea. Toronto will have to keep up their solid play this week since they have games against New Jersey and Montreal. Two games they should be able to win, that is, however, if they can hold onto the leads in the third periods.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Martins Dzierkals, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 22gp 12g 15a 27pts

Martins Dzierkals is a fast and streaky forward who will often surprise with his great speed. He also has great stick handling and puck handling skills which help him make split-second decisions and execute a play very quickly.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) celebrates a goal by forward Sven Baertschi (47) against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith (not pictured) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks

Previous Ranking: 28 (+3)

Team Record: (19-18-3)

Goals For: 96

Goals Against: 115

Special Teams

PP: 17-for-122 (13.9 percent) (27th)
PK: 22-for-112 (80.3 percent) (21st)

Injury List

Alex Burrows (eye) – day-to-day
Jannik Hansen (knee) – day-to-day
Derek Dorsett (shoulder) – out indefinitely
Erik Gudbranson (wrist) – out indefinitely
Philip Larsen (upper body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Bo Horvat (40gp 12g 15a 27pts)
Top Defenseman: Ben Hutton (40gp 4g 7a 11pts)
Top Rookie: Troy Stecher (31gp 1g 9a 10pts)
Top Goaltender: Ryan Miller (11-10-1 2.65GAA .912 save percentage)

Player of the Week: G Ryan Miller (3 wins 1.30GAA .946 save percentage)

NHL Power Rankings: Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller (30) stops a shot on net by the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Is there any more frustrating team than the Vancouver Canucks? You’ve really gotta feel for this fan base that is forced through an unimaginable emotional rollercoaster following this club. Sure, a lot of the wounds are self-inflicted due to bad decisions by GM Jim Benning, but nonetheless, fans have no control over those decisions.

No, instead, folks get treated to embarrassing stretches of hockey that are quickly followed up by a solid week or two. Such was the case over the holidays. Vancouver was one of the busiest teams having played eight contests since our last power rankings. They put up an impressive 6-2-0 record over that stretch and all of a sudden find themselves within reaching distance of other Pacific Division clubs.

I’d like to be an optimist and say the Canucks have a shot at one of those final Wild-Card spots, but let’s be real here. Until Vancouver comes to their senses and decides to start unloading veterans – yes that includes the Sedin twins, even though Benning/Linden insist they’ll retire as Canucks. You only get so many times to turn the page and start a new chapter. Squander that opportunity and you could wind up feeling the pain that Leafs fans feel with their decade long rebuild.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Brett McKenzie, North Bay (OHL)

2016-17 stats: 35gp 18g 21a 39pts

It was shocking to watch Brett McKenzie slide to the 7th round. Nevertheless, the Canucks snagged a potential gem at 194th overall in 2016. Playing for OHL’s North Bay Battalion, McKenzie is best regarded as a solid two-way forward. He plays an outstanding game in all three zones and has the size (6’2 192lbs) to make him effective at the next level. His offensive game has taken off in 2016-17 with 18 goals (39 points) in 35 games so far.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) and defenseman Esa Lindell (23) and center Tyler Seguin (91) celebrate Lindell

Dallas Stars

Previous Ranking: 22 (-2)

Team Record: (16-15-8)

Goals For: 100

Goals Against: 117

Special Teams

PP: 24-for-141 (17.0 percent) (18th)
PK: 31-for-130 (76.2 percent) (27th)

Injury List

Jamie Benn (foot) – day-to-day
Antoine Roussel (upper body) – day-to-day
Ales Hemsky (hip) – out indefinitely
Mattias Janmark (knee) – out until March

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Tyler Seguin (39gp 14g 25a 39pts)
Top Defenseman: John Klingberg (37gp 4g 16a 20pts)
Top Rookie: Devin Shore (39gp 6g 8a 14pts)
Top Goaltender: Kari Lehtonen (9 wins 2.74GAA .902 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Tyler Seguin (3gp 3g 2a 5pts)

Dallas posted a .500 record last week going 1-1-1, Tyler Seguin, on the other hand, posted an above average week with five points in three games. Goalie Kari Lehtonen was great, while Antti Niemi was very very poor.

So speaking of Antti Niemi, he played in one game, gathered the regulation loss with a .840 save percentage and a 7.56 goals-against-average. Lehtonen, on the other hand, took a win and a shootout loss while posting a .923 save percentage and a 2.06 goals-against-average. Besides Seguin’s five-point week, forward Jamie Benn had four points in two games while forward Jason Spezza had three in three. Scoring will have to continue and goaltending will have to improve this week since Dallas has games versus St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Anaheim.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Joseph Cecconi, Univ. Of Michigan (NCAA)

2016-17 stats: 16gp 0g 1a 1pt

Joseph Cecconi is a very solid skater who makes consistently smart decisions on the ice. He’s a very defensive defenseman which makes him hesitant to join the rush which can limit his offensive potential, but once he works on it, he’ll be a very solid two-way prospect.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: New Jersey Devils celebrate there win over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Devils

Previous Ranking: 24 (+1)

Team Record: (16-16-7)

Goals For: 89

Goals Against: 113

Special Teams

PP: 18-for-136 (13.2 percent) (29th)
PK: 19-for-119 (84.0 percent) (8th)

Injury List

Jacob Josefson (upper body) – day-to-day
Vernon Fiddler (lower body) – day-to-day
Andy Greene (eye) – n/a
John Moore (concussion) – out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Taylor Hall (29gp 9g 16a 25pts)
Top Defenseman: Damon Severson (39gp 3g 16a 19pts)
Top Rookie: Nick Lappin (31gp 4g 3a 7pts)
Top Goaltender: Cory Schneider (12-12-5 2.74GAA .908 save percentage)

Player of the Week: G Cory Schneider (2 wins 0.50GAA .981 save percentage)

Despite recording a modest 4-3-0 record since our last NHL power rankings, Devils fans should be ecstatic about the result. Losses came at the hands of Pittsburgh (x2) and Washington (who they also beat in another game). Most importantly, though, starter Cory Schneider looks to be back in top form to begin the 2017 calendar year (knock on wood). He allowed four or more goals in three or four starts between Dec.20 and Dec.27 before delivering two outstanding outings versus Boston and Carolina. It was the way in which he battled in those games that give fans reason for optimism moving forward.

A few skaters are starting to heat up as the Devils start to collect more wins. Adam Henrique has three goals, two assists (five points) in his last seven games. P.A. Parenteau has five goals, one assist (six points) since re-joining the lineup nine games ago. Kyle Palmieri has four goals, four assists (eight points) in his last 10 contests. Lastly, Taylor Hall has one goal, four assists (five points) in his last five games, although he missed both contests versus Washington (Dec.29 and Dec.31).

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Nathan Bastian, Mississauga (OHL)

2016-17 stats:31gp 9g 21a 30pts

Selected 41st overall (2nd round) in 2016, Bastian has serious NHL potential. An offensively gifted playmaker with a high hockey IQ, Nathan has drawn comparisons to guys like Ryan Getzlaf or James van Riemsdyk. The 6’4 205lbs right winger is scoring at a torrid pace in 2016-17 with 30 points in 31 games with OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Winnipeg Jets right wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27) greets his teammates after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg Jets

Previous Ranking: 23 (+1)

Team Record: (19-19-3)

Goals For: 111

Goals Against: 121

Special Teams

PP: 22-for-131 (16.8 percent) (20th)
PK: 35-for-149 (76.5 percent) (26th)

Injury List

Tyler Myers (lower body) – day-to-day
Marko Dano (lower body) – out until early March

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Patrik Laine (41gp 21g 15a 36pts)
Top Defenseman: Dustin Byfuglien (41gp 5g 19a 24pts)
Top Rookie: Patrik Laine (41gp 21g 15a 36pts)
Top Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck (15 wins 2.70GAA .911 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Patrik Laine (4gp 2g 4a 6pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough and slow start to the week going 0-2-0, Winnipeg won their last two games to finish the week with a .500 week with a record of 2-2-0. The second overall pick from the 2016 draft keeps scoring without issues going back and forth with Maple Leafs prospect Auston Matthews for the lead in points for rookies. And Connor Hellebuyck is finally turning around his play and gathering some wins, despite his statistics mostly remaining the same.

Now, what about Patrik Laine? This kid can score. It makes things very scary for the Central division as him, Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers will just get better and better. And speaking of Nikolaj Ehlers he had himself an impressive week scoring five points in four games with a plus-two rating. Jacob Trouba had a similar statistical week as Ehlers but was a plus-three instead. Hellebuyck won both games he appeared in, but unfortunately, he only had a .892 save percentage with a 3.50 goals-against-average. Backup goalie Michael Hutchinson didn’t do much better as he lost both games he played while notching a .841 save percentage and a 5.03 goals-against-average. This will have to pick up since Winnipeg has games against Buffalo, Calgary, and Montreal.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Kyle Connor, Manitoba (AHL)

2016-17 stats: 10gp 3g 3a 6pts

Kyle Connor is a very dynamic offensive forward with speed and creativity in bunches. His skating ability is at an elite level and he can make the best plays even at top speed. Due to his high confidence levels, he’ll make plays that others won’t even think of, and does it so easily. He’s also got a very accurate and deadly shot making him another serious forward for Winnipeg once he fully adjusts to the pro game.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) warms up before a game against Winnipeg Jets at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers

Previous Ranking: 20 (-1)

Team Record: (16-15-8)

Goals For: 90

Goals Against: 103

Special Teams

PP: 21-for-134 (15.7 percent) (23rd)
PK: 19-for-121 (84.3 percent) (7th)

Injury List

Alex Petrovic (ankle) – out week-to-week
Jonathan Huberdeau (achilles) – out until late-January/early-February
Colton Sceviour (shoulder) – day-to-day
Aleksander Barkov (lower body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Aleksander Barkov (36gp 9g 18a 27pts)
Top Defenseman: Keith Yandle (39gp 2g 16a 18pts)
Top Rookie: Michael Matheson (38gp 3g 9a 12pts)
Top Goaltender: Roberto Luongo (11 wins 2.48GAA .919 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Vincent Trocheck (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

A lot of teams had a 1-1-1 record last week and the Florida Panthers joined the list. While starter Roberto Luongo wasn’t that hot, backup James Riemer was. And besides young forward Vincent Trocheck scoring three points in his three games, aging legend Jaromir Jagr did as well.

Now back to Luongo, he only played in one game gathering the team’s loss while posting a .897 save percentage and a 4.01 goals-against-average. Backup goalie James Riemer, however, took the win and the overtime loss while registering a .948 save percentage with a 1.99 goals-against-average. Jaromir Jagr continues to show that being in your forties in this NHL isn’t a big deal as he continues to produce every week. This week Florida plays games against Nashville, Boston, New Jersey, and the New York Islanders.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Juho Lammikko, Springfield (AHL)

2016-17 stats: 26gp 1g 4a 5pts

Juho Lammikko works hard at both ends of the ice making him a very solid two-way forward. He’s able to make plays from anywhere on the ice but especially from small spaces and the corners. While he was a more shoot first type of player in junior, he’s more of a pass first type of player now since his hockey I.Q has risen as well as his vision.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) and Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) and Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson (26) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres

Previous Ranking: 21 (+1)

Team Record: (14-15-8)

Goals For: 81

Goals Against: 97

Special Teams

PP: 26-for-121 (21.5 percent) (7th)
PK: 29-for-112 (74.1 percent) (30th)

Injury List

Tyler Ennis (groin) – day-to-day
Josh Gorges (hip) – day-to-day
Johan Larsson (wrist) – out for season
Dmitry Kulikov (back) – day-to-day
Ryan O’Reilly (abdomen) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Kyle Okposo (36gp 11g 14a 25pts)
Top Defenseman: Rasmus Ristolainen (37gp 3g 22a 25pts)
Top Rookie: William Carrier (25gp 1g 2a 3pts)
Top Goaltender: Robin Lehner (8 wins 2.51GAA .921 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Kyle Okposo (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

After a very slow start last week, losing both games to Boston, the Sabres took a very surprising and big win against the Rangers on Tuesday. Forward Kyle Okposo was a big standout on the week with three points and an even rating.

However, goaltender Robin Lehner wasn’t a standout on the week, losing both games he appeared in while posting some very weak numbers. Backup goalie Anders Nilsson took the win against the Rangers and in doing so had a .960 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against-average. Forwards Jack Eichel, Matt Moulson, and Sam Reinhart combined for nine points on the week despite being a combined minus-three. This week will be quite tough for the Sabres as they have games against Chicago, Winnipeg, and Philadelphia.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Cliff Pu, London (OHL)

2016-17 stats: 33gp 24g 30a 54pts

Cliff Pu has great shooting abilities which he uses every chance he can get, in the dirty areas, in front of the net or getting off the boards with his speed. He’s got the potential to play on the second line or the third if his body doesn’t fill out, but if it does he could be a very good power forward.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Anaheim Ducks left wing Nick Ritchie (37) celerbates with goalie John Gibson (36) and defenseman Hampus Lindholm (47) the 2-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks

Previous Ranking: 19 (-)

Team Record: (20-12-8)

Goals For: 107

Goals Against: 108

Special Teams

PP: 30-for-129 (23.3 percent) (3rd)
PK: 26-for-144 (81.9 percent) (14th)

Injury List

Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) – day-to-day
Clayton Stoner (lower body) – day-to-day
Nate Thompson (achilles) – out indefinitely
Simon Despres (concussion) – out indefinitely
Nic Kerdiles (concussion) – dealing with concussion-like symptoms, considered day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Ryan Kesler (40gp 15g 19a 34pts)
Top Defenseman: Cam Fowler (40gp 9g 13a 22pts)
Top Rookie: Ondrej Kase (24gp 3g 6a 9pts)
Top Goaltender: John Gibson (14-9-7 2.50GAA .913 save percentage)

Player of the Week: G John Gibson (3 wins 1.71 .948 save percentage)

All in all, it was a pretty decent couple of weeks for Anaheim going 3-0-3. Given the amount of one-goal games, things could have been a lot worse. Ducks starter John Gibson deserves a lot of credit for giving this team a chance to win every night. He had three wins in six starts with a 1.94GAA and .933 save percentage.

11 goals in six games simply wasn’t good enough. If the trend continues, Anaheim could easily find themselves on the losing end of these close one-goal games.

Few skaters stood out over the past couple of weeks, except for one familiar face. Veteran Ryan Kesler continues his tear in 2016-17 adding six points over the last two weeks. With that, Kesler sits at the top of Ducks scoring with 34 points in 40 games. Jakob Silfverberg is playing better of late. He actually scored a goal in three straight games before collecting just a single assist in his last six games. The only other notable skater was forward Antoine Vermette. He has points in four of his last six games, totaling one goal, five assists over that span. Anaheim is still waiting for Ryan Getzlaf to step up. Currently day-to-day with a lower body injury, Getzlaf has mustered up a pathetic five goals in 36 games. Don’t get me wrong, 25 assists (30 points) is hardly something to complain about, but when other guys aren’t scoring, you need your leader to step up.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Alex Dostie, Gatineau (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 32gp 15g 21a 36pts

Despite being a near point-per-game player in 2014-15, Dostie went undrafted the first time around. It likely had a lot to do with being undersized. In 2016-17, Alex went off for 73 points in 54 games, including 10 points in 10 games during the postseason. The 5’10 165lbs center wound up being selected 115th overall (4th round) last summer. With a bit of seasoning in the AHL, Dostie could be a nice mid-round steal.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Detroit Red Wings right wing Anthony Mantha (39), defenseman Danny DeKeyser (65), left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) and center Riley Sheahan (15) during a stoppage in play against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings

Previous Ranking: 16 (-2)

Team Record: (16-16-5)

Goals For: 88

Goals Against: 107

Special Teams

PP: 15-for-128 (11.7 percent) (30th)
PK: 20-for-117 (82.9 percent) (12th)

Injury List

Jimmy Howard (lower body) – out until late January-early February
Alexey Marchenko (shoulder) – day-to-day
Mike Green (lower body) – day-to-day
Justin Abdelkader (knee) – day-to-day
Darren Helm (shoulder) – day-to-day
Joe Vitale (concussion) – out indefinitely
Johan Franzen (concussion) – out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Henrik Zetterberg (38gp 7g 21a 28pts)
Top Defenseman: Mike Green (32gp 7g 11a 18pts)
Top Rookie: Anthony Mantha (23gp 9g 7a 16pts)
Top Goaltender: Petr Mrazek (9 wins 3.06GAA .897 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Anthony Mantha (3gp 3g 1a 4pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha (39) reacts after scoring the tying goal to force overtime against Toronto Maple Leafs during the Centennial Classic ice hockey game at BMO Field. The Leafs won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Yet another team to finish the week with a 1-1-1 record, Detroit has struggled lately with a good chunk of their top performers down to injury. But in the meantime players like Anthony Mantha, Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar, and Thomas Vanek have been contributing, as well as Petr Mrazek even though he has the often up and down week. And last week was one of those weeks for the young goalie.

Rookie star Anthony Mantha had a fantastic week last week posting four points in three games. Veteran forward Henrik Zetterberg also registered four points as well. Petr Mrazek only played in one game last week taking home a regulation loss. But despite that, he still had a .917 save percentage with a 2.05 goals-against-average. Rookie goalie Jared Coreau played the other two games taking home a win and the overtime loss. And surprisingly his numbers were worse than Mrazek’s, he had a .875 save percentage and a 3.43 goals-against-average. Detroit will have to step things up in the net cause this week they have games against Los Angeles, San Jose, and Chicago. Three very tough games ahead for the struggling Wings.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Filip Hronek, Saginaw (OHL)

2016-17 stats: 27gp 5g 18a 23pts

Filip Hronek possesses superb skating abilities that can kickstart a play since he’s very active with the puck due to his slick hands and habit of making a good first pass. He’s also very mature and composed for his age which makes him great around the older more professional competition. One thing he needs to do, however, is getting more accustomed to the North American ice surface since he has some issues with retrieving pucks from corners. But he will get a chance to work on this greatly down in the OHL with Saginaw.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) plays the puck during the second period of their game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins

Previous Ranking: 15 (-2)

Team Record: (20-16-4)

Goals For: 93

Goals Against: 96

Special Teams

PP: 17-for-121 (14.0 percent) (T-25th)
PK: 17-for-137 (87.6 percent) (2nd)

Injury List

Matt Beleskey (knee) – day-to-day
John-Michael Liles (concussion) – out indefinitely
David Backes (concussion) – out indefinitely
Brian Ferlin (lower body) – has been considered day-to-day since Oct.6

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Brad Marchand (40gp 10g 21a 31pts)
Top Defenseman: Torey Krug (40gp 1g 20a 21pts)
Top Rookie: Austin Czarnik (36gp 5g 6a 11pts)
Top Goaltender: Tuukka Rask (19 wins 1.93GAA .928 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Ryan Spooner (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

After a strong start to the week with back-to-back victories over Buffalo, the Bruins fell 3-0 to New Jersey. Forward Ryan Spooner lead the way offensively with three points in three games while being a plus two. Goaltender Tuukka Rask played all three games, and despite a loss, he still had some respectable numbers.

While Ryan Spooner had his three points and his plus-two rating, second-year forward Frank Vatrano also had three points but was only a plus one. Tuukka Rask had some very solid numbers, posting a 2-1-0 record he also had a .941 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against-average. This week should be a fairly tough week for the Bruins since they have games against Edmonton, Florida, St. Louis, and Carolina. They should be able to grab four of the possible eight points quite easily, but it’s also very possible that they can grab another two.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Ryan Lindgren, Univ. Of Minnesota (NCAA)

2016-17 stats: 15gp 1g 2a 3pts

Ryan Lindgren has the potential to become a very solid defensive defenseman at the NHL level. Every defensive aspect of the game he shines at and does very well. Often compared to Brent Seabrook, Lindgren also has the potential to add a little offense to his game.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Ottawa Senators Captain Erik Karlsson (65) presents a portrait to Daniel Alfredsson as part of the jersey retirement party help prior to the start of game between the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Ottawa Senators

Previous Ranking: 13 (-3)

Team Record: (20-13-4)

Goals For: 91

Goals Against: 97

Special Teams

PP: 19-for-119 (16.0 percent) (22nd)
PK: 22-for-126 (82.5 percent) (13th)

Injury List

Craig Anderson (personal) – leave of absence
Clarke MacArthur (concussion) – still waiting to be cleared by doctors to play
Zack Smith (abdomen) – out indefinitely
Andrew Hammond (ankle) – out week-to-week

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Mark Stone (36gp 11g 17a 28pts)
Top Defenseman: Erik Karlsson (37gp 7g 25a 32pts)
Top Rookie: Buddy Robinson (4gp 0g 0a 0pts)
Top Goaltender: Craig Anderson (12 wins 2.46GAA .924 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Derick Brassard (2gp 1g 1a 2pts)

Last week didn’t quite go as planned for the Senators since they only posted a 0-1-1 record in their two games played. When your highest scoring forward only had two points as well as being a minus two. It’s safe to say things were not okay.

Goaltender Mike Condon played in both games, and despite the losses, he did post some average numbers. He had a .911 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against-average. Ottawa will have to turn things around this week since they have games against Washington, and Edmonton.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Thomas Chabot, Saint John (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 14gp 5g 15a 20pts

Thomas Chabot can do it all since he’s a very talented two-way defenseman. He’s able to help his team in any situation that may arise due to his excellent mobility, puck skills, and speed. He’s got a great habit of making his next shift better than his last making him a serious prospect and future NHL star.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at Bridgestone Arena. The Canadiens won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators

Previous Ranking: 14 (-1)

Team Record: (16-14-7)

Goals For: 102

Goals Against: 99

Special Teams

PP: 25-for-125 (20.0 percent) (13th)
PK: 21-for-115 (81.7 percent) (15th)

Injury List

Miikka Salomaki (lower body) – day-to-day
P.K. Subban (upper body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Ryan Johansen (37gp 7g 20a 27pts)
Top Defenseman: Roman Josi (37gp 5g 15a 20pts)
Top Rookie: Kevin Fiala (27gp 6g 2a 8pts)
Top Goaltender: Pekka Rinne (13 wins 2.50GAA .917 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Filip Forsberg (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) watches the action after a save by Nashville Predators defenseman Matt Irwin (52) as Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) hits Montreal Canadiens left wing Paul Byron (41) in the crease during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville also posted a .500 record last week going 1-1-1. Filip Forsberg wasn’t the only Predator to score three points, however, he was the only one who was an even player. Pekka Rinne appeared in two of the games gathering both of the losses.

To continue above, Ryan Johansen was the other Predator to score three points but he was a minus one, though. And since Pekka Rinne gathered both losses, his numbers didn’t match the losing output. He had a respectable .924 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against-average. Juuse Saros played the other game and got the win, but it wasn’t just a win for him and the club, it was also a shutout. The team will have to find their scoring ways again to give Pekka Rinne a chance at collecting more wins. Cause this week Nashville has games against Tampa Bay, Florida, Chicago, and Vancouver. Two of those games Nashville should be able to win, but if everything is firing on all cylinders, they could manage another win or two.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Yakov Trenin, Gatineau (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 27gp 14g 18a 32pts

Not many people know of Yakov Trenin, but when you watch him play, you can tell he possess elite level talents. He’s a pure offensive player with outstanding passing abilities. The only thing Trenin does need to work on, however, is his strength and conditioning.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) defends the goal in the first period against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings

Previous Ranking: 18 (+4)

Team Record: (19-15-4)

Goals For: 93

Goals Against: 89

Special Teams

PP: 18-for-112 (16.1 percent) (21st)
PK: 20-for-122 (83.6 percent) (9th)

Injury List

Tyler Toffoli (lower body) – day-to-day
Jonathan Quick (groin) – out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Jeff Carter (38gp 21g 12a 33pts)
Top Defenseman: Alec Martinez (38gp 6g 15a 21pts)
Top Rookie: D Derek Forbort (38gp 2g 9a 11pts)
Top Goaltender: Peter Budaj (17-10-3 2.00GAA .921 save percentage)

Player of the Week: G Peter Budaj (2 wins 1.76GAA .931 save percentage)

Despite logging a winning record of 3-2-0 since our last NHL power rankings, there’s no reason to think the Kings are ready to turn a corner. Until they make a few roster tweaks and gets their elite starter back in goal, it’s difficult to expect much from this club. Still, give interim starter Peter Budaj some credit. The veteran has looked absolutely rejuvenated in what could be his last shot in the NHL. In fact, Budaj was arguably the Kings best player over the past two weeks collecting three wins with a 1.40GAA and .946 save percentage. If he keeps rolling like this, the 34-year-old could be a hot commodity next summer in free agency as a short-term second option between the pipes.

Only two skaters stood out on the scoresheet over the last six games. Forward Jeff Carter continues to carry this team offensively adding another five goals (six points). With seven goals in his last seven games, Jeff now has found the back of the net an impressive 21 times already. At this pace, he could easily surpass 40 goals, perhaps even chase 50. Tanner Pearson also had a solid two-week stretch with three goals, three assists (six points). Tanner was off to a slow start, similar to captain Anze Kopitar, but he’s caught fire of late with seven points in his last 10 games.

The optimist in me wants to believe this team might be taken a little more seriously once Kopitar gets rolling, but logic seems to suggest this is a club destined for the Draft Lottery, just narrowly missing out on a Wild-Card spot. The fact is, the secondary scoring is virtually non-existent with this squad. It’s a little strange considering the LA Kings built Cup winners on three to four lines that could contribute.

Weekly Prospect Profile: D Jacob Friend, Owen Sound (OHL)

2016-17 stats:35gp 1g 9a 10pts

Selected 202nd overall (7th round) in 2016, Friend is anything but a lock to be signed to an entry-level contract. Still, don’t be surprised if LA inks him to a deal at some point before he’s eligible to re-enter the draft. The big 6’2 201lbs defender plays with a ton of physicality and takes care of business in his own end. If he can further develop his offensive game to be a better two-way defenseman, Jacob could surprise some folks.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Tampa Bay Lightning center Matthew Peca (63) is congratulated by center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) and defenseman Andrej Sustr (62) after he scores his first career NHL goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous Ranking: 12 (-1)

Team Record: (19-16-4)

Goals For: 111

Goals Against: 109

Special Teams

PP: 34-for-143 (23.8 percent) (2nd)
PK: 27-for-133 (79.7 percent) (T-23rd)

Injury List

Ben Bishop (lower body) – out 3-to-4 weeks
Steven Stamkos (knee) – out indefinitely
Brian Boyle (lower body) – day-to-day
Cedric Paquette (lower body) – out indefinitely
Brayden Point (upper body) – out until late January-early February

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Nikita Kucherov (32gp 15g 23a 38pts)
Top Defenseman: Victor Hedman (39gp 7g 28a 35pts)
Top Rookie: Brayden Point (36gp 3g 12a 15pts)
Top Goaltender: Andrei Vasilevskiy (10 wins 2.63GAA .914 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Nikita Kucherov (3gp 2g 4a 6pts)

Tampa Bay had a perfect .500 record last week going 1-1-1. Star forward Nikita Kucherov registered six points on the week in only three games played. And while playing all three games, Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t that fantastic statistically speaking.

So back to Vasilevskiy, he only had a .905 save percentage with a 3.00 goals-against-average. Numbers that need to improve going forward since he’s looking to take the job from Ben Bishop. In the meantime, Nikita Kucherov continues to impress and lead the team without Steven Stamkos. When Stamkos is playing healthy with Kucherov and goaltending is top notch, it’s not unrealistic to see Tampa as one of the top teams in the East on a night to night basis. But for now, Kucherov will have to continue scoring at the rate he does and either Bishop or Vasilevskiy will need to step up. This week Tampa has games against Nashville, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, all tough contests but not impossible if the above mentioned happens.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Nikita Gusev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

2016-17 stats:

Nikita Gusev is a highly skilled forward who can score consistently on any level and frequently goes unmatched. However, he is on the smaller side which isn’t a big deal since he’s a streaky player and still has time to grow.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) reacts during a NHL hockey match against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks

Previous Ranking: 10 (-2)

Team Record: (23-13-2)

Goals For: 93

Goals Against: 82

Special Teams

PP: 21-for-125 (16.8 percent) (19th)
PK: 17-for-102 (83.3 percent) (11th)

Injury List

Tomas Hertl (knee) – out indefinitely
David Schlemko (upper body) – day-to-day
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (face) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Joe Pavelski (38gp 12g 22a 34pts)
Top Defenseman: Brent Burns (38gp 15g 20a 35pts)
Top Rookie: Kevin Labanc (25gp 7g 4a 11pts)
Top Goaltender: Martin Jones (19-12-2 2.10GAA .920 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Kevin Lebanc (3gp 1g 2a 3pts)

NHL Power Rankings: San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones (31) makes a save against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Since our last NHL power rankings, the San Jose Sharks have gone 3-1-1. Martin Jones started four games over that 14-day stretch, collecting two wins while allowing nine goals on 116 shots. Backup Aaron Dell started one game against the Flyers stopping all 21 shots for a shutout.

The Sharks hottest skater of late is rookie Kevin Lebanc. He has three goals, two assists over his last five games. Defenseman Brent Burns is also on fire with three goals, six assists over his last 10 games. Captain Joe Pavelski is also finding the scoreboard with frequency having produced three goals, six assists over his last 10 games. Lastly, we come to veteran Patrick Marleau with three points in his last two contests. With five points in his last 10 games, Marleau now has 16 points 38 games in 2016-17.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Manuel Wiederer, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 32gp 19g 16a 35pts

Selected 150th overall (5th round) in 2016, Wiederer is a German-born skater that stands 6’0 174lbs. The 20-year-old C/RW has been on loan to the QMJHL for the past two seasons from his former club, Straubing in German DEL league. Manuel racked up 94 points in 84 games with Moncton between 2015-16 and 2016-17 until a recent trade sent him to Q powerhouse Rouyn-Noranda.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) makes a save against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers

Previous Ranking: 9 (-2)

Team Record: (19-13-7)

Goals For: 109

Goals Against: 101

Special Teams

PP: 27-for-128 (21.1 percent) (8th)
PK: 22-for-119 (81.5 percent) (T-17th)

Injury List

Iiro Pakarinen (knee) – week-to-week
Mark Fayne (undisclosed) – n/a
Darnell Nurse (ankle) – out indefinitely
Tyler Pitlick (leg) – out for season

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Connor McDavid (39gp 14g 29a 43pts)
Top Defenseman: Andrej Sekera (37gp 4g 13a 17pts)
Top Rookie: Jesse Puljujarvi (27gp 1g 7a 8pts)
Top Goaltender: Cam Talbot (18-11-6 2.47GAA .919 save percentage)

Player of the Week: G Cam Talbot (1 win 1.97GAA .938 save percentage)

The Edmonton Oilers continue to sputter along after coming out of the gates as the NHL’s hottest team back in October/November. They had a light schedule with only four games since our last NHL power rankings and put up a record of 1-1-2. If it weren’t for starter Cam Talbot, the Oilers could have easily dropped all four games. He allowed just eight goals on 126 shots, but could have used some more goal support.

It certainly doesn’t help that phenom Connor McDavid has gone cold of late. Other than a multi-point in San Jose, Connor has been relatively quiet. In fact, he has just two goals, three assists in his last five games. There’s no need for concern, though. We’re talking about a guy who should soon challenge for the title of top player in the world. He’ll go off for five or six points one night and the floodgates will open again. By the time March rolls around, we should be talking about McDavid vs. Crosby in the top 100+ point conversation.

Even though Edmonton has seemingly hit a recent slump. It’s nothing to get too concerned about. Once the 82nd game rolls around, this team should find themselves occupying one of those final two Wild-Card spots. Whether they can escape the first round, who knows? If McDavid gets rolling and Talbot strings together four solid outings, they might be able to make a bit of noise. The main thing to remember, it’s not about winning in 2017. Even those Cup winning teams with Gretzky and Messier needed to learn a lesson or two in the postseason with an early exit in order to achieve what they did.

Weekly Prospect Profile: D Vincent Desharnais, Providence (NCAA)

2016-17 stats: 14gp 1g 0a 1pt

Selected 183rd overall (7th round) in 2016, Desharnais is a right-handed shooting defender that helps fill a need for the Oilers. It’s unclear whether he’ll sign an entry-level contract, but the 6’6 216lbs blueliner plays a physical, stay-at-home style that Edmonton may covet in the future. Desharnais (no relation to David), is currently in his second year of NCAA hockey with Providence College.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) guards the net against the St. Louis Blues during the 2016 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks

Previous Ranking: 8 (-2)

Team Record: (23-12-5)

Goals For: 107

Goals Against: 97

Special Teams

PP: 23-for-124 (18.5 percent) (15th)
PK: 26-for-108 (75.9 percent) (28th)

Injury List

Marcus Kruger (upper body) – out week-to-week
Marian Hossa (upper body) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Artemi Panarin (40gp 15g 24a 39pts)
Top Defenseman: Duncan Keith (40gp 1g 25a 26pts)
Top Rookie: Ryan Hartman (35gp 6g 7a 13pts)
Top Goaltender: Corey Crawford (13 wins 2.31GAA .927 save percentage)

Player of the Week: D Michal Kempny (3gp 2g 1a 3pts)

First-year defenseman Michal Kempny had himself a very solid week with three points in three games. And after a strong start with their first game of the week, Chicago fell to Carolina and St. Louis only posting a 1-2-0 record on the week.

Forward Artemi Panarin has taken over the scoring lead for Chicago which is surprising cause Patrick Kane still plays for the team, but not so surprising since Panarin plays identically to Kane. And while goaltender Corey Crawford missed a good week or so, he has stormed back and taken the lead as Chicago’s top goalie, which isn’t that surprising since he’s easily top five in the world. This week Chicago plays games against Buffalo, Carolina, Nashville, and Detroit. Three of those four games they should be able to win easily, but Nashville will be the toughest of the four, but the team in question, after all, is Chicago, so anything is possible.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Radovan Bondra, Vancouver (WHL)

2016-17 stats: 29gp 18g 11a 29pts

Radovan Bondra is a huge power forward who plays a high skilled game with a big nose for the net. Due to his size, he’s able to protect the puck very well and has great puck handling ability. But due to his size, he could be a little more physical.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Calgary Flames right wing Kris Versteeg (10) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames

Previous Ranking: 17 (+8)

Team Record: (21-17-2)

Goals For: 107

Goals Against: 111

Special Teams

PP: 28-for-135 (20.7 percent) (10th)
PK: 28-for-152 (81.6 percent) (16th)

Injury List

Troy Brouwer (finger) – out week-to-week
Ladislav Smid (neck) – out for Season, hasn’t made decision on retirement yet

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Johnny Gaudreau (30gp 10g 16a 26pts)
Top Defenseman: Dougie Hamilton (39gp 6g 16a 22pts)
Top Rookie: Matthew Tkachuk (36gp 7g 16a 23pts)
Top Goaltender: Chad Johnson (13-8-1 2.34GAA .920 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Mikael Backlund (3gp 3g 0a 3pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott (1) during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary was very fortunate over the holidays. They had a light schedule of just five games over the past two weeks with four of those contests being played on home ice. If that wasn’t good enough, their opponents included Vancouver, Arizona, Anaheim, and Colorado (x2). As one might expect, the Flames had a solid week going 4-1-0 collecting eight of 10 points.

Oh, how the tables have turned in just a couple of weeks. Last time around, we were talking about the stellar play of Chad Johnson. 14 days later, Brian Elliott has the hot hand and thus is seeing the majority of the workload lately. Give him some credit after a rocky start in 2016-17. Four wins in four starts with a 1.75GAA and .921 save percentage is a promising sign for a team with playoff aspirations. This is exactly what the Flames need in the second half heading toward the postseason. Let these guys challenge one another and hopefully Calgary has a couple of options come April.

Looking at the skaters, Mikael Backlund continues to tear things up. The veteran center typically goes about his business quietly and efficiently, but lately, he’s found the scoresheet with frequency. Backlund has eight goals, five assists (13 points) over his last 10 games, including a five-game goal streak (six goals over that span). Another productive skater that continues to pick up steam is rookie Matthew Tkachuk. He has one goal, 10 assists (11 points) in his past 10 contests, which brings him up to 23 points. That ranks him sixth in rookie scoring, two points behind Columbus’ Zach Werenski and three behind Toronto’s William Nylander. I’ve been saying it for awhile, but at what point will this young man begin garnering Calder Trophy consideration?

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Linus Lindstrom, Skelleftea (SHL)

2016-17 stats:31gp 2g 4a 6pts

Selected 96th overall (4th round) in 2016, Lindstrom stands 6’0 165lbs. He was a standout for Skelleftea in the SuperElit last year posting 44 points in 40 games. An SHL winning squad limited his time with the big club in 2015-16, but Linus has since stepped up full-time into Sweden’s top-tier in 2016-17. He has a modest six points in 31 games, but even scouts will tell you that Lindstrom still needs to pack on a few pounds to have any shot at cracking a North American roster (AHL or NHL).

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Ian Laperriere and head coach Dave Hakstol confer with each other against the New York Rangers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers defeated the Flyers, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers

Previous Ranking: 3 (-5)

Team Record: (20-15-5)

Goals For: 114

Goals Against: 121

Special Teams

PP: 31-for-141 (22.0 percent) (6th)
PK: 22-for-116 (81.0 percent) (19th)

Injury List

Mark Streit (shoulder) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Jakub Voracek (40gp 13g 24a 37pts)
Top Defenseman: Shayne Gostisbehere (38gp 4g 15a 19pts)
Top Rookie: Travis Konecny (39gp 5g 14a 19pts)
Top Goaltender: Steve Mason (14-13-5 2.82GAA .903 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Brayden Schenn (3gp 1g 1a 2pts)

The Philadelphia Flyers struggled mightily since our last NHL power rankings. They’ve played five games over the last two weeks, going 0-4-1 with eight goals for, 20 against. And to think, it wasn’t long ago that Philly surged into the top 10 with an impressive winning streak. Oh, how quickly things can change. Perhaps this is a lesson for Blue Jackets fans, who should expect their team to come down to earth at some point.

Starter Steve Mason took a pounding over those five starts. He’s sporting a GAA north of 3.50 and save percentage lurking around .870 save percentage. While he hasn’t looked sharp as he did in months past, it’s not as though he’s getting any goal support whatsoever. If the Flyers can get back to their scoring ways, Mason can operate will a lot less pressure.

Given the lack of scoring, only one skater stands out of late. Forward Brayden Schenn had two multi-point games over the past two weeks. With the recent surge, Schenn now has 25 points in 37 games. Philly just needs to get their top guys going again and perhaps more importantly, their bottom-six forwards. The secondary scoring has been virtually non-existent in 2016-17 – that’s not a Stanley Cup winning recipe.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Wade Allison, Western Michigan (NCAA)

2016-17 stats:18gp 9g 6a 15pts

Selected 52nd overall (2nd round) in 2016, Allison is a prototypical power forward. Standing 6’2 205lbs, Wade is coming off a monster 2015-16 in the USHL in which he posted 25 goals (47 points) in 54 games for Tri-City. The Western Michigan commit began his NCAA career in 2016-17 and is off to a hot start in his rookie season with nine goals (15 points) in 18 games.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau talks during a timeout in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild

Previous Ranking: 6 (-1)

Team Record: (23-9-4)

Goals For: 112

Goals Against: 74

Special Teams

PP: 18-for-100 (18.0 percent) (16th)
PK: 15-for-106 (85.8 percent) (5th)

Injury List

Victor Bartley (triceps) –out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Charlie Coyle (36gp 12g 18a 30pts)
Top Defenseman: Ryan Suter (36gp 5g 16a 21pts)
Top Rookie: Joel Eriksson Ek (9gp 2g 3a 5pts)
Top Goaltender: Devan Dubnyk (19 wins 1.75GAA .941 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Mikael Granlund (2gp 2g 2a 4pts)

Minnesota only played two games last week, but in doing so they did post a 1-1-0 record. Forward Mikael Granlund had himself an amazing week posting four points in two games. While defenseman Jared Spurgeon and forward Mikko Koivu combined for six points and a plus-five rating.

Devan Dubnyk has had an amazing year, however, his last week wasn’t too solid. He did get a win in the two games he played but that doesn’t change his statistical output. He registered a .849 save percentage with a 4.08 goals-against-average. Hopefully, he can turn around his play since Minnesota has games against San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Kirill Kaprizov, Salavat Ufa (KHL)

2016-17 stats: 37gp 15g 15a 30pts

Kirill Kaprizov is a natural sniper he’s able to score anywhere on the ice. He also has great skating and soft hands which allow him to play at a pro level quite easily. And since he’s not the biggest guy either, he relies more on his offensive skills and speed, which so far has served him greatly.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers

Previous Ranking: 11 (+5)

Team Record: (27-13-1)

Goals For: 139

Goals Against: 102

Special Teams

PP: 28-for-123 (22.8 percent) (4th)
PK: 19-for-115 (83.5 percent) (10th)

Injury List

Matt Puempel (concussion) – out indefinitely
Rick Nash (groin) – day-to-day
Mika Zibanejad (leg) – out until early-January
Pavel Buchnevich (back) – day-to-day

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Derek Stepan (41gp 9g 22a 31pts)
Top Defenseman: Ryan McDonagh (40gp 2g 23a 25pts)
Top Rookie: Jimmy Vesey (40gp 11g 8a 19pts)
Top Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (17-9-1 2.49GAA .913 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Chris Kreider (4gp 5g 0a 5pts)

The New York Rangers have gone 4-2-0 since our last NHL power rankings. It was a dicey couple of weeks for goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta, but luckily there was no shortage of goal support. King Henrik started four games, allowing four goals versus Minnesota and Buffalo, and a pair against Colorado and Philly. Raanta was slightly better, collecting a pair of wins vs. Arizona and Ottawa while allowing three goals in both contests. Listen, goaltenders (even the best in the world) can’t be sharp 100 percent of the time. These down stretches tend to happen – just look at Pekka Rinne in Nashville. Nevertheless, it’s a promising sign when the offense can pick things up and give their starters a comfortable lead.

NHL Power Rankings: New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) looks on during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Numerous skaters stood out over the past two weeks, but perhaps no more than POW winner Chris Kreider. He has eight goals, two assists (10 points) in his last eight games and has his sights set on the team lead sitting just a point behind Derek Stepan. Speaking of Stepan, here’s another guy that continues to tear up the scoresheet of late. Derek has four goals, six assists (10 points) in his last eight contests. Mats Zuccarello also has 10 points in his last eight games, all of them helpers, which gives him eight goals, 22 assists (30 points) in 41 GP. Both Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller also had a solid two-week stretch posting seven points each. Hayes now has 13 goals (30 points) in 2016-17, while Miller has 12 goals (29 points).

On the back end, Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden have provided the biggest offensive spark over the last two weeks. McDonagh has brought his season total up to 25 points after tallying one goal, seven assists (eight points) in his last eight games. Holden is quickly developing into a sneaky good signing by the Rangers. Nick has four goals, three assists in his last nine contests, and now has a surprising 21 points in 41 games. Don’t expect the production to continue over an 82-game schedule, though, it’s unsustainable.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Gabriel Fontaine, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

2016-17 stats: 30gp 9g 16a 25pts

Taken 171st overall (6th round) in 2016, Fontaine was actually passed over the first time around, but caught scouts attention after tallying 20 goals (45 points) in 63 games on the CHL’s top team. Standing 6’1 187lbs, Gabriel has an opportunity to be a late-round gem a little ways down the road.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: St. Louis Blues players celebrate with goalie Jake Allen (34) after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues

Previous Ranking: 7 (+2)

Team Record: (20-13-5)

Goals For: 107

Goals Against: 110

Special Teams

PP: 25-for-120 (20.8 percent) (9th)
PK: 18-for-132 (86.4 percent) (T-3rd)

Injury List

Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) – Week-to-Week

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Vladimir Tarasenko (38gp 18g 23a 41pts)
Top Defenseman: Kevin Shattenkirk (38gp 8g 16a 24pts)
Top Rookie: N/A
Top Goaltender: Jake Allen (17 wins 2.62GAA ..905 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Vladimir Tarasenko (2gp 2g 0a 2pts)

St. Louis registered a .500 week last week going 1-1-0. Forward Vladimir Tarasenko was top player of the week with two points in two games while being a plus two. Forwards Alexander Steen and Robby Fabbri combined for four points and a plus-two rating as well. However, goaltending continues to be an issue for the Blues this season.

Goaltender Jake Allen just hasn’t been able to find his footing so far this year, posting bad week after bad week with the occasional sub-par week in between. He started both games last week but eventually Carter Hutton had to take over, and in those two games Allen only had a .892 save percentage with a 2.40 goals-against-average. Hopefully, this week will see better play from their future all-star netminder since they have games against Carolina, Dallas, and Boston. Two of those games they should be able to win, but if Allen plays to his potential, as well as the rest of the team, St. Louis could go undefeated next week.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Adam Musil, Red Deer (WHL)

2016-17 stats: 31gp 13g 14a 27pts

A big physical forward, Adam Musil plays a very solid defensive game. His skating is something that can still be worked on in the WHL and AHL. But he does tend to use his size to his advantage in the small areas to protect the puck. He’s also got a great shot with a great release.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 6-5 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals

Previous Ranking: 5 (+1)

Team Record: (23-9-5)

Goals For: 104

Goals Against: 79

Special Teams

PP: 20-for-116 (17.2 percent) (17th)
PK: 18-for-132 (86.4 percent) (T-3rd)

Injury List

n/a

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Nicklas Backstrom (37gp 9g 21a 30pts)
Top Defenseman: John Carlson (37gp 4g 16a 20pts)
Top Rookie: Jakub Vrana (12gp 1g 2a 3pts)
Top Goaltender: Braden Holtby (16-8-4 2.06GAA .926 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Justin Williams (4gp 2g 4a 6pts)

Since our last NHL power rankings prior to Christmas, the Washington Capitals have gone 4-1-1, including a perfect 3-0-0 record over the past week. Starter Braden Holtby got the nod in six of the seven outing, collecting a pair of wins with a 2.01GAA and .927 save percentage. Unfortunately, his most recent outing led to a quick pull versus Toronto, which put a damper on an otherwise solid two weeks. Backup Philipp Grubauer collected the win in relief of Holtby and had a second in his only start for a 2.39GAA and .900 save percentage.

Several notable skaters made their way on the scoresheet with frequency after a slow start in December. Ovie found the back of the net four times and added a pair of helpers for six points in four games. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov (D) also had six points each. The POW though was Justin Williams. He’s been on a tear over the last month or so and added another eight points for a total of 19 points in 2016-17.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Damien Riat, Geneve-Servette (NLA)

2016-17 stats: 30gp 5g 5a 10pts

Selected 117th overall (4th round) in 2016, Riat is a Swiss-born skater that stands 6’0 172lbs. The 19-year-old C/RW wore the “A” for Team Switzerland at the World Juniors and helped lead the team to success with six points in five games. Unfortunately, the Swiss fell short to Team USA in the quarterfinals.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: The Montreal Canadiens celebrate the win over the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Canadiens defeat the Stars 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens

Previous Ranking: 4 (+1)

Team Record: (24-9-6)

Goals For: 118

Goals Against: 89

Special Teams

PP: 25-for-122 (20.5 percent) (11th)
PK: 27-for-140 (80.7 percent) (20th)

Injury List

Brendan Gallagher (upper body) – day-to-day
Andrei Markov (lower body) – day-to-day
Andrew Shaw (concussion) – day-to-day
David Desharnais (lower body) – out indefinitely
Alex Galchenyuk (leg) – out indefinitely
Greg Pateryn (ankle) – out until mid-February

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Max Pacioretty (39gp 18g 15a 33pts)
Top Defenseman: Shea Weber (39gp 10g 14a 24pts)
Top Rookie: Artturi Lehkonen (30gp 7g 2a 5pts)
Top Goaltender: Carey Price (19 wins 2.02GAA .930 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Max Pacioretty (4gp 4g 1a 5pts)

Montreal had a fantastic week last week posting a 3-0-1 record, with big wins over Nashville and Dallas. Captain Max Pacioretty was easily their best player of the week while both Carey Price and Al Montoya were outstanding in net.

Even though Pacioretty started off the season quite slowly goal scoring wise, he’s stormed back and put up four goals in four games last week, now putting his season total at 18. Carey Price played in two games last week earning a win and an overtime loss, but still managed a .922 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against-average. Backup goalie Al Montoya won both games he started in and posted some similar numbers to Price with a .933 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against-average. This week should play in Montreal’s hands since they have games against Toronto, Washington, and Winnipeg. However, while these are not tough elite teams, there not easy teams either. Which means goaltending will once again have to be at a top tier level.

Weekly Prospect Profile: Noah Juulsen, Everett (WHL)

2016-17 stats: 25gp 9g 11a 20pts

Noah Juulsen is a future elite defenseman, he does everything so well and is competitive at both ends of the ice making him a great two-way defender. While not overly physical, he’s still not afraid to take a hit to better the play and vice versa. He sees the ice extremely well and due to his poise and puck control he’s able to carry out any plays he sees.

– Matt Duscharme

NHL Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Penguins players Sidney Crosby (87) and Evgeni Malkin (71) and Patric Hornqvist (72) and Carl Hagelin (62) celebrate after a game winning power play goal by Malkin in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Pens won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous Ranking: 2 (-)

Team Record: (25-8-5)

Goals For: 131

Goals Against: 106

Special Teams

PP: 30-for-134 (22.4 percent) (5th)
PK: 26-for-130 (80.0 percent) (22nd)

Injury List

Thomas Di Pauli (back) – out until February
Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body) – out week-to-week
Brian Dumoulin (mouth) – out indefinitely
Matt Murray (lower body) – out week-to-week

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Evgeni Malkin (38gp 16g 27a 43pts)
Top Defenseman: Justin Schultz (38gp 7g 17a 24pts)
Top Rookie: Scott Wilson (35gp 4g 6a 10pts)
Top Goaltender: Matt Murray (13-3-1 2.18GAA .928 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Phil Kessel (2gp 1g 2a 3pts)

NHL Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) and center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrate their 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Despite losing starter Matt Murray to injury, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed a respectable 4-1-0 record over the last two weeks. Veteran Marc-Andre Fleury collected four straight wins stepping in relief of the Calder Trophy candidate, stopping 100 of 106 shots over that span. Last time around, I spoke about how MAF had a big opportunity to showcase himself and he’s done just that. Don’t be surprised if Jim Rutherford eventually finds that trade partner he’s been looking for.

The usual suspects lead the way up front for Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby continues his bid for the Hart Trophy, now with six goals, five assists over his last 10 games. Despite missing some games to start the year, Sid now has 42 points in 32 games and looks poised to break triple-digits (100+ pts). Phil Kessel has been on fire since our last power rankings having collected two goals, five assists (seven points) in his last six games. Team scoring leader Evgeni Malkin keeps trucking along as well with four goals, nine assists (13 points) in his last 10 contests. The only other notable skater was forward Carl Hagelin. After posting a mere 11 points through his first 35 games, the Swede went off for two goals, three assists over his last three games.

Weekly Prospect Profile: D Joseph Masonius, U of Connecticut (NCAA)

2016-17 stats: 18gp 4g 5a 9pts

Selected 181st overall (6th round) in 2016, Masonius is a product of the US National Development Program. After spending two years with the USNTDP, Masonius began his NCAA career in 2015-16 with the University of Connecticut. He had a stellar rookie year racking up 21 points in 34 games.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg (10)celebrates his goal with teammates after he scores against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous Ranking: 1 (-)

Team Record: (27-5-4)

Goals For: 124

Goals Against: 73

Special Teams

PP: 30-for-106 (28.3 percent) (1st)
PK: 19-for-103 (81.5 percent) (T-17th)

Injury List

David Clarkson (back) – out indefinitely

Statistical Leaders in 2016-17

Top Forward: Cam Atkinson (36gp 18g 20a 38pts)
Top Defenseman: Zach Werenski (36gp 6g 19a 25pts)
Top Rookie: Zach Werenski (D) (36gp 6g 19a 25pts)
Top Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky (25-5-2 1.92GAA .934 save percentage)

Player of the Week: F Nick Foligno (3gp 2g 3a 5pts)

The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to ride an incredible winning streak. Sitting at 16 games, they’re just one win away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. If Columbus can pull off another victory on Thursday (in Washington), the Blue Jackets will have a shot at the record on Saturday night against the Rangers.

It’s almost unfair trying to pick a player of the week for a team in the middle of such an epic winning streak. What this team is accomplishing is a complete team effort across the board, so it’s hard to say that one player stood out above the rest. Still, we have a responsibility to do so. We could always give it to someone like Sergei Bobrovsky or Cam Atkinson, either of which would be very deserving. But the one player perhaps not getting enough credit is captain Nick Foligno. He took a lot of flack for disappearing after a monster 2014-15 season, but has responded in a big way.

One last note. A lot of people are wondering what to make of these Columbus Blue Jackets. Can they challenge for a Presidents’ Trophy? Are they a serious threat to make noise in the playoffs? Well folks. If you’re not already taking this team seriously, you need to start believing. Their disastrous 2015-16 campaign was a nasty blip on the radar, but it didn’t say a whole lot. For a few years now, Columbus has boasted one of the deepest prospect pools. Their ugly finish only helped strengthen it further with the likes of Pierre-Luc Dubois and Vitaly Abramov. Add Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano among a long list of others, the Blue Jackets are loaded moving forward. I’m excited to see what this team might do over the next decade or so.

Weekly Prospect Profile: F Calvin Thurkauf, Kelowna (WHL)

2016-17 stats:28gp 17g 14a 31pts

Selected 185th overall (7th round) in 2016, Thurkauf is coming off a solid showing at the World Juniors. He wore the “C” for Team Switzerland scoring at a point-per-game pace with two goals, two assists in four games. The 6’2 203lbs forward currently plays for WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and is off to a great start in 2016-17 with 17 goals (31 points) in 28 games. Expect Thurkauf to challenge among WHL scoring leaders upon return to his junior club.

– Ryan Ritchie

NHL Power Rankings: Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) makes a save against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) during overtime at Nationwide Arena. Columbus beat Washington in overtime 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Games of the Week (Jan.5 – Jan.11)

Thursday, January 5th

Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals

The Blue Jackets put their 16-game winning streak on the line in Washington on Thursday night. With a win, Columbus would tie the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the all-time record.

More from Puck Prose

    Saturday, January 7th

    Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs

    Despite being a bit banged up, the Habs look to keep rolling against a bitter rival as they head to Toronto. These games are typically exciting to watch given the long history between the two clubs.

    New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets

    If the Blue Jackets managed to beat the Capitals on Thursday night, Columbus has a chance to snag the all-time record at 18 straight wins. They beat in the Rangers 4-2 at home in their first match-up back in November.

    Sunday, January 8th

    Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks

    Both teams are fighting for a division title in the Western Conference. Most expected Anaheim to challenge in the Pacific, but the Wild have surprised many as they chase the Blackhawks for top spot.

    Monday, January 9th

    Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens

    2015-16 and 2016-17 Vezina Trophy winners square off in a must-watch game on Monday. The two netminders will duel it out in another chapter of Price vs. Holtby. Can the offensive surging Caps get the best of Montreal on the road?

    Wednesday, January 11th

    Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals

    These Metropolitan Division rivals meet-up on Wednesday in another battle of Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin. The great 8 has taken a back seat in the debate in the last year with Crosby being the most dominant player on the planet.



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