Hockey World Blog

Hockey World Blog NHL Power Rankings: January

 Christmas and the Winter Classic is now behind us. On the horizon is the All-Star game in Raleigh at the end of this month. You have today to cast your final votes as voting closes today. It’s time to separate the pretenders from the contenders.

Editor’s Note: Last Month’s 1-30 team ranking is shown to reflect raise/fall in power rankings over the course of December.

Rank Team Last Month Team Notes
1 PHI 5 The Flyers won for the first time at Joe Louis Arena since November 4, 1988, snapping a 0-14-2 streak. The #1 movie that weekend? The first Child’s Play movie.
2 VAN 11 The Canucks keep rolling along. They have a 12-1-2 record since December 1.
3 WAS 1 Like I said last week, they were due for a winning streak after the early-December losing streak. They have been 5-1-2 since the 7-0 defeat at Madison Square Garden the evening of December 12.
4 TB 8 Steve Yzerman is gunning for the Capitals when he traded for Dwyane Roloson. Ovbiously Dan Ellis and Mike Smith wasn’t getting the job done as a tandem in goal.
5 PIT 2 The best thing that happened to the Penguins was that Sidney Crosby got to shave off that mustache after ending the 24-game point streak against the Islanders. Matchup against Tampa Wednesday night should be the best game of the week in the NHL.
6 DET 3 Despite being tied for the best record in the league with Philly, the Red Wings are a different team without Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary and a injured-but-playing Henrik Zetterberg.
7 SJ 18 They start the week by getting shut out by Los Angeles at home 4-0. They end the week and start the new year by shutting out the Kings at home 1-0. They have seven games in 14 days, all in the state of California.
8 DAL 9 The Stars, a team that we predicted to finish out of the playoff picture and will be rebuilding post-Mike Modano. As of today they are three points ahead of San Jose in the division. Can they keep up the good play?
9 STL 15 Had five-game winning streak snapped last night against Dallas. They are playing well despite having T.J. Oshie on the shelf, and he can return around the end of the month.
10 ATL 14 The Thrashers had a front-loaded schedule. They played 16 games in December, and 41 games in 11 weeks. The Thrashers’ remaining 41 games will take place over 14 weeks. More rest means a better team in the second half.
11 BOS 16 The Bruins have a one-point lead over the Canadiens in the standings. They also have a 1-5 record on shootouts this season. Look for that stat to cost them crucial points and wins over the course of the second half.
12 NYR 6 They ended 2010 with two victories. They already began 2011 with an overtime loss vs. Tampa and shutout loss against Florida. Two road games at the end of the week should measure how they compare vs better teams.
13 COL 13  The Avalanche have the league’s third-best record in three-goal games. They have a 6-2 record, best among teams with less than 10 three-goal victories.
14 ANA 20 The Ducks look to be without Ryan Getzlaf for a while, as he was struck in the forehead by a puck. He suffered multiple nasal sinus fractures, which isn’t good news for a team in the playoff chase.
15 NSH 21  The goaltending is starting to improve. They have allowed the fewest (28) in the second period this season. West coast trip on the horizon for the Preds.
16 MTL 4  The Habs aren’t messing around with trading players and making lineup changes. They gained a big stick on the blue line when they got James Wisniewski in a trade from the Islanders.
17 LA 17 The Kings are a posterboy for “Defense Wins Championships”. Los Angeles is 19-2 in games when they allow two or fewer goals.
18 CHI 12 If they want to improve and move up the standings, they must stay out of the penalty box or improve the penalty kill. They are 25th in the league with 79% success rate.
19 CAR 24 I have been really impressed with center Jeff Skinner this season. Look for him to be a darkhorse for the Calder Trophy. He’s second on the team in goals and third in points.
20 PHX 10 The big reason they dropped 10 spots over the course of the last month? They are 6-8-2 in last 16 games. They have failed to win consecutive games and allowed at least three goals in nine of its last 11 games.
21 CBJ 7  The Jackets are only 10 points behind the Red Wings in the division. Their upcoming stretch will define them being contenders or pretenders as they play eight of next 10 on the road, including two four-game road trips. Four of those 10 are against divisional foes.
22 CGY 26 Tonight they take on the Islanders, one of the dangerous teams of the last week or so. The Flames may have a .500 record, but they are sitting in 14th place in the conference.
23 MIN 19 The Wild have been very inconsistent as of late. They went 4-1-1 in a recent stretch then lost to Nashville. They beat Phoenix last night, and have a road trip this week. By the way, who scheduled a road game at Pittsburgh Saturday night, then a early evening home game Sunday vs Dallas?
24 NYI 30 What a big week for the Islanders. They snap Crosby’s 25-game point streak, beat the Penguins and Red Wings. The reward: trading goalie Dwyane Rolson to Tampa and James Wisniewski to Montreal.
25 BUF 23 The Sabres hit the west coast for road games against Colorado, Phoenix, and San Jose this week.
26 FLA 25 Four of their next five games are against division rivals Carolina and Washington. They play each team home and away.
27 TOR 27 Goalie James Reimer win in his first career start against Ottawa. It’s good to know they have someone to step in should J-S Giguere or Jonas Gustavsson suffer an injury.
28 OTT 22 They beat Pittsburgh last Sunday. But since then they suffered humiliating losses to Carolina, Columbus, and Toronto. Their next game isn’t till Friday. They can use the practice time to work the kinks out.
29 EDM 29 Four points in last nine games. That’s not good for a team especially with hot teams such as Detroit, New York Islanders, and Vancouver on the schedule this week.
30 NJ 30 The season Martin Brodeur is having a season like Brett Farve on ice. Both are Hall-Of-Famers who no one would expect to play as terrible they have had at this stage of their careers. The only winning record they have is when they score first (8-6-2).

5 Comments

  1. Landon Ewaniuk

    January 3, 2011 at 2:26 am

    You always have good stuff on the site!

    • Eddie

      January 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

      Thank you!

  2. Tony

    January 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Eddie- not sure what your career path and goals are, but
    a hockey writer might not be out of the question. I look
    at SI.com’s hockey power rankings just to get a sense of who’s good and who’s not. Truth be told I don’t follow
    Eastern conference teams much until playoffs approach. That said, YOUR rankings and theirs are very similar. In some cases, your comments are a little more insightful.
    Wow- I didn’t realize TB was so good this year. Is that
    all Yzermans doing? Good stuff.

    • Eddie

      January 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks Tony!

  3. Pingback: Hockey World Blog NHL Power Rankings: Week 17 « Hockey World Blog

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