FOXSports.com NHL Power Ratings
By Robert Picarello
Special to FOXSports.com
Thanks to the helping hand of the Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux, there's a new team atop the power rankings. The 23-year old winger powered the Flyers to three wins in four games by collecting seven points in Week 16 off one goal and six assists. Giroux was at his best Sunday night against the Chicago Blackhawks when he figured in on all four goals in a 4-1 win over the defending Cup champs. By collecting at least one point in each game last week, Giroux not only helped his team leapfrog the Vancouver Canucks, he also extended his points streak to a season-high six games.
The play of Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos in Week 16 inched the Bolts one step closer to the Flyers in the rankings. Stamkos recorded a league-high five goals, which helped the Lightning run off four consecutive victories. Tampa Bay's young gun picked up points in all four games, starting with two tallies in a 3-2 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 18.
Claude Giroux wasn't the only Flyer racking up points in Week 16. Jeff Carter also got in on the act, registering five points in four games off three goals and two assists.
While the Canucks didn't win a game last week, the club still managed to pick up three points in losses thanks to Alexander Edler. The 24-year old defender potted three goals and one assist, including two goals in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Flames on Jan. 22.
Detroit had a rough go in Week 16, especially on the power play where the club failed to net any red-lighters in its seven attempts. The Red Wings only skated away with two of the six points that were on the table.
Before closing out Week 16 with its first regulation loss of the New Year, the Stars extended their winning streak to five games by downing L.A. and Edmonton. Jamie Langenbrunner scored two points in three games last week, including the game-winner against L.A. last Monday at the American Airlines Center.
The Sidney Crosby-less Penguins won two of the three games they played. Jordan Staal continued to produce in Crosby's absence, picking up two points in Pittsburgh's two wins, giving him seven points in his last five games.
The Lightning rolled off four straight wins, three of which came via the shootout. Dwayne Roloson certainly didn't play like a 41-year old netminder in Week 16, winning all three of his starts, including a shootout decision over the Blue Jackets where he stopped 28 of the 30 shots in regulation and overtime and an additional four in the game-deciding round.
The opposition had a tough time scoring on a red-hot Tim Thomas last week. The veteran puckstop turned away 106 of the 110 shots in Boston's three wins, including all 31 fired his way in a 7-0 win over Carolina.
Alexander Ovechkin powered the Caps' charge in Week 16. By recording four goals and two assists, the Washington captain helped his team collect five points in three games.
Nashville continued its strong play in Week 16. The Preds won all three of their games, improving to 8-2-0 in the last 10 games. J.P. Dumont picked up four points in the three games, including his fourth career hat trick.
Montreal picked up at least a point in all four of its games last week. P.K. Subban did his share, recording four points -- including the overtime winner against Calgary last Monday.
New York newcomer Wojtek Wolski had a hand in both of his team's victories last week. The 24-year old winger registered three points in the Rangers' two wins over Toronto and Atlanta off one goal and two assists.
The Coyotes dropped three of four in Week 16. In order for the team to net its only win of the week, Ilya Bryzgalov had to be perfect. The 30-year-old goalkeeper stopped all 36 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over L.A. on Jan 20.
Troy Brouwer's hot hand has the Blackhawks sporting a 3-1-1 record in their past five games. During the stretch, the 25-year-old winger has scored four goals - two of which were game-winners - and one assist for the defending champs.
Jonas Hiller was a busy man in Anaheim's two wins. In order for the Ducks to pick up two wins in Week 16, the 28-year old netminder had to stop 76 of the 80 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, plus be perfect on the six shootout attempts he faced.
Colorado only picked up one win in three tries last week and the team needed a fortuitous bounce against Vancouver just to get those two points. David Jones was in the right place at the right time in the OT win over the Canucks, burying a Tomas Fleischmann rebound that caromed away from Roberto Luongo.
The Sharks are on a roll thanks to Antti Niemi. The San Jose goaltender comes into Week 17 riding a four-game winning streak. Three of those wins came last week when Niemi stopped 93 of the 99 shots he faced plus an additional three in a 2-1 shootout win over Vancouver last Thursday.
The Minnesota goaltenders backstopped the Wild to both of their wins last week. Niklas Backstrom and Anton Khudobin only allowed one goal on 69 shots against with Backstrom saving everything thrown his way in a 6-0 win over Calgary on Jan. 19.
Thanks to Patrik Berglund, the Blues were able to pick up three of a possible six points. Berglund netted three goals and one assist in Week 16, extending his points streak to five games.
The Carolina defense was very giving in Week 16, allowing the opposition to fire 97 shots on net in the team's three losses. In the three defeats, the Hurricanes gave up 13 goals, while only potting four.
While the Thrashers came into play this week as the eighth seed in the East, the team isn't going to remain in the playoff picture if it continues to struggle like it did last week. Atlanta dropped three of four, giving the club only one win in its last eight games.
R.J. Umberger was on his game last week, helping the Blue Jackets pick up five of the six points on the table. Umberger picked up a point in each Week 16 contest with none more important than the overtime winner last Wednesday against the Panthers.
Jarret Stoll's only goal of the week helped the Kings put an end to a three-game losing streak. Stoll's highlight-reel backhander past Ilya Bryzgalov Saturday night in Phoenix allowed the Kings to pick up only their second win in their last seven games.
The Sabres are surging. Buffalo won three of four in Week 16, giving the club six wins in its last 10 games. The Sabres came into play this week just six points behind the eighth-seeded Thrashers in the Eastern Conference.
Calgary picked up five points in four games. Jarome Iginla powered the way, posting five points off two goals and three assists.
While the Panthers dropped four in a row in Week 16, all was not lost as the team managed to pick up three of the possible eight points by losing two games via the shootout and one in overtime. Veteran Cory Stillman did his part, collecting five points in the four games off two goals and three assists.
After opening up the month by winning five of their first six games, the Maple Leafs come into Week 17 losers of four of their last five. Last week, the club dropped two of three, getting outscored in the two losses 11-1.
Ottawa did not have a good week, dropping all three games. The struggling Senators come into play this week having won just once (1-7-2) in the month of January.
Thanks to a non-existent power play, New York dropped three of four last week. The Islanders only connected once on the 13 extra-man chances, including an 0-for-6 spot in a 2-1 loss to the Capitals last Thursday.
Edmonton dropped three straight, extending its losing streak to five games. The Oilers haven't won back-to-back games since downing Toronto on Dec. 2 and St. Louis on Dec. 4.
Enough good can't be said about the way Jacques Lemaire has the Devils playing lately. New Jersey ran off four straight wins last week, and the team comes into Week 17 sporting a 6-3-1 mark in its last 10 games.