Detroit and the Rangers remain the class of the NHL in this week's THN.com Power Rankings. And a team that many expect to fall out of the playoff race virtually every year – the Phoenix Coyotes – are storming up the chart.
Winners of six of their past seven, the Coyotes are on a roll thanks to the goaltending of Mike Smith (who has allowed only eight goals in those wins), and the offense of Ray Whitney (eight points in his past five games) and Radim Vrbata (seven points in his past five). They've clawed their way to eighth spot in the Western Conference, but are just two points ahead of Calgary and Colorado and three ahead of Dallas and would be in a better position were it not for their sub-standard shootout record (2-5).
Of their remaining games this month, they've only got one against a team (Edmonton) clearly out of the playoff race, meaning they'll need to be just as solid to stay in the race. Can they give Coyotes fans one more thrill in what could be their last season before relocating? We'll have more of an indication next Monday and every Monday when the new Power Rankings are posted.
Wings can set a new league record for home wins in a row by beating Stars Tuesday, but following game in Detroit (against tough Preds) won't be a cakewalk
Hart Trophy candidate Henrik Lundqvist is 5-1-0, with a 1.15 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in his past six games
Eleven Blues have plus-minus ratings of at least plus-10 or more; two (Alex Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk) are plus-20
Only three of Canucks' past 12 games have finished in regulation time, but they're 8-1-3 in that span
Showdown Tuesday against Blueshirts could help decide what Bruins look for at trade deadline
Preds had uncharacteristic streak of three straight losses; last time they had that many or more came in late-November, when they dropped four in a row
Since six-game losing skid, Pens have reeled off 11 wins in 14 games
Sharks have eight games of nine-game road trip to go; this week, they make Southeast Division swing (against Caps, Bolts, Canes) before big showdown in Detroit Sunday
Devils must take advantage of three weaker opponents (Sabres, Ducks, Canadiens) this week to keep pace in tight Eastern Conference
After losing important divisional game to Caps Tuesday, Panthers have won three straight while allowing just three goals and put Kevin Dineen back in coach-of-the-year debate
Sergei Bobrovsky (1-3-0, 5.24 goals-against average, .822 save percentage in his past four games) is a mess again
Freefalling Hawks have lost nine of 12 games since Jan. 12
In their past seven losses, Kings have allowed just 14 regulation or overtime goals, but have scored only six goals in that span
Mike Knuble a healthy scratch for two straight games; expect him to be traded if the pattern continues
Goaltending inconsistency really starting to hurt Leafs
Yotes are either stone cold or white hot - and with five straight wins, they're not cold
Five of Flames' next seven games are at home, where they're 15-8-3; without a similarly impressive performance, they could bury their playoff hopes
Sens have dropped eight of their past nine; in those eight losses, they've scored just 12 goals
Stars could be pushed to periphery of playoff race if they don't fare well this week against Wings, Flames, Yotes and Preds
Avs take Western Canadian road trip this week, face Canucks, Oilers and Jets
Bolts are 15-8-2 at home, but a woeful 9-17-4 on the road
Evander Kane has just one goal and two points in his past 11 games
Wild have been a rags-to-riches-back-to-rags story this season and it doesn't look like there are any more riches ahead
Habs have won four straight, but playoff hopes remain a long shot
Evgeni Nabokov is 6-3-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in his past nine games
Since New Year's Day, Ducks are 12-3-3 and are still five points back of Minnesota for 12th place
Drew Stafford on pace for 13 goals, which would be his lowest total since 2006-07, when he had 13 goals in 41 games
Brandon Sutter tied for second among NHL's shorthanded goal-scorers, with three
Oilers' 7-20-2 road record is the league's worst
Signing of veteran Vinny Prospal won't do much for number of wins, but his professionalism will help Jackets' young players
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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