NHL Power Rankings: The Kings are back, the Flyers too
1. Nashville Predators (Last week: 1)
Having just narrowly avoided an unseating via the Sabres, we'll continue to celebrate the Predators, who haven't yet received sufficient daps for the best investment made last summer.
That investment? Mike Ribeiro, who hit the 50-point mark with a goal Sunday. He might be the league's best non-ELC value at $1.05 million against the cap.
2. St. Louis Blues (Last week: 2)
The Blues' recent skid has taught us that Jake Allen needs more reps. He's stopped 74 of 76 shots faced in three starts this month - all wins - while Brian Elliott has a sub-.900 save percentage since the All-Star break, having allowed 26 goals in parts of nine games.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (Last week: 4)
Steven Stamkos has to go on a serious tear at some point. I mean, Tyler Johnson can't win the Lightning scoring race nearly wire-to-wire, can he? He currently has a four-point lead and to further the bragging rights, owns a plus-minus 33 points better than the captain.
4. Chicago Blackhawks (Last week: 3)
Here come the Blackhawks:
With just one regulation win in their last seven games, Chicago has slipped 12 points back of the Predators.
5. Montreal Canadiens (Last week 5)
6. Detroit Red Wings (Last week: 8)
Tomas Tatar, fabulous in The Imitation Game.
7. New York Rangers (Last week: 10)
8. Los Angeles Kings (Last week: 12)
They're back. And first-place in the Pacific is hardly out of the question.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last week: 6)
Pittsburgh has two wins in 11 games versus Metro foe currently seated in the postseason, and has yet to beat the Flyers, who are just four points out. Even winning the conference won't necessarily save the Penguins from an ugly in-division first-round matchup.
10. New York Islanders (Last week: 7)
Nassau Coliseum will live forever.
11. Washington Capitals (Last week: 11)
The time you were real smug after landing a perfect uppercut on the chin of Zac Rinaldo:
12. Anaheim Ducks (Last week: 9)
In his old stomping grounds Saturday in Edmonton, Cogliano became the third player in league history to start his career with 600 consecutive games played.
13: Minnesota Wild (Last week: 13)
14. Vancouver Canucks (Last week: 17)
Who's making the most of his limited ice time? This guy.
Zack Kassian has nine points in his last nine games, averaging just 15 shifts per game over that span.
15. Winnipeg Jets (Last week: 14)
Dustin Byfuglien, captivating in Whiplash.
16. Calgary Flames (Last week: 16)
17. Boston Bruins (Last week: 15)
18. Philadelphia Flyers (Last week: 19)
19. San Jose Sharks (Last week: 18)
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, well, then.
I mean really, who signed off on this? Dressing up a football stadium and inviting 70,000 people to a party was never going to change the fact that LA > SJ.
20. Colorado Avalanche (Last week: 22)
Nathan MacKinnon was on absolute fire Sunday, notching his first career hat trick to capture career point No. 99, with his runners-up planted in the best seats in the house.
21. Florida Panthers (Last week: 20)
Aaron Ekblad is nine points shy of Bobby Orr's rookie scoring pace set in 1967, and already has the third-best production in terms of 18-year-olds in NHL history.
That's for anyone out there who still needed convincing.
22. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last week: 21)
What sort of skill-stealing voodoo curse did Dubinsky place on Sidney Crosby during their fight Thursday night? Stay tuned.
23. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 24)
24. Dallas Stars (Last week: 23)
Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn have picked up the injured Tyler Seguin, combining for 16 points in the five games since he exited the lineup. The Stars have just a single win to show for it though, because Kari Lehtonen.
25. New Jersey Devils (Last week: 26)
Lou is a genius, if you ask Lou.
26. Carolina Hurricanes (Last week: 25)
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (Last week: 27)
Komarov-Jokinen-Clarkson - or "The Punchline" - shouldn't be limited to being just a hilariously expensive misfit checking line. They should really sell these guys - have T-shirts made. Mugs too. It's actually too good.
28. Edmonton Oilers (Last week: 29)
The Oilers are apparently reluctant to take the interim tag off of Todd Nelson (whose done yeoman's work since taking over) until Mike Babcock's future is settled.
There's due diligence and then there's delusion.