Hockey World Blog

Hockey World Blog Power Rankings: Week 9

This was perhaps the easiest power rankings to write so far this season. Ten of the 12 teams on this week’s list appeared last week. Seven of those 10 stayed at the same place as they were last week. Another thing of note: Edmonton doesn’t appear in the rankings this week. They have been playing better hockey recently, including a impressive victory over Tampa Bay this week. The team that was perhaps the most lucky to remain in the rankings was Detroit. After being humiliated against San Jose at the beginning of the week, they bounced back to beat Montreal Friday night at home and New Jersey the next night on the road. The New Jersey game belonged to Detroit from the puck drop as it was already 2-0 less than two minutes into the game. It had a very similar to the home game against Montreal over a week ago. Look for the best game of the week to take place Tuesday night as Pittsburgh travels to Philadelphia with a 12-game win streak on the line. Even more scary: the Penguins have a better road record than at home.

Rank Team Last Week Team Notes
1 PIT 1 Pittsburgh is the first team to repeat the no. 1 spot in the power rankings this season. This team has been nothing but stellar with their 12-game winning streak. They play Philadelphia Tuesday night, which looks like to be one of the best games of the month.
2 PHI 2 Philadelphia has been just as good as Pittsburgh this month. They carry a 4-1-1 record in the month of December. They would be leading every other division in the league, but sit one point behind the Penguins.
3 DET 3 The Red Wings looked like they were going to fall out of the top six when they suffered bad losses to San Jose and Nashville. But they bounced back with commanding victories over Montreal and New Jersey on consecutive nights.
4 MTL 6 They were sixth last week, but moved up to fourth due to Washington’s embarrassing loss Saturday night. They have only two games this week, but they are difficult ones because they get Philadelphia on the second night of a back to back and they face Boston which is only two points behind Canadiens.
5 ATL NR Couldn’t think of a team more worthy of appearing in the power rankings more than Atlanta. Sure they lost to Colorado Friday evening but they have been playing good hockey as of late.
6 WAS 4 Two weeks ago they held the top spot in the rankings. This week they barely hung on despite a 1-5-1 record in the month of December. They did nothing but allow Tampa Bay and Atlanta catch up with them in the division.
25 OTT NR Sure, they may have gone 2-2 this past week. But one of those wins was against New Jersey, and everyone is beating New Jersey these days.
26 TOR 28 They came out 2-2 this week in their gauntlet of a schedule that had them play four of this week’s top six. That could rank as one of the toughest single-week schedules anyone has had this season.
27 CGY 27 Their struggles along with Edmonton playing better allowed the Oilers to catch up to the Flames in the standings. The winner of Thursday’s game against Toronto could play their way out of the bottom six.
28 FLA 28 Will the real Florida Panthers please stand up? They shut out Washington but two nights later they got shutout by Nashville.
29 NJ 29 The good news: Martin Brodeur is back in the net for the Devils. Bad news: The losing keeps continuing. They have yet to win a game this month, but have three chances for a win this week.
30 NYI 30 The Islanders found a new way to lose this weekend against Atlanta. They led 2-1 after 40 minutes but allowed four goals in a 5-4 loss. I said last week best chance for next victory could come Thursday against Anaheim. Should they lose tonight at Nashville, we will have arrived at my projected date of next victory.

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