Power Rankings - Dec. 29

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Remember when the Montreal Canadiens were going to win the Stanley Cup?

That was back in the summer of 2008, before a single hockey game had been played this season. The Habs, on the strength of finishing first in the Eastern Conference last year, were pre-season pretty boys, pegged by many to represent their conference in the coming Cup final.

While the season has by no means been a disaster, it's fair to say there's disappointment in Montreal. Canadiens fans who had Cup visions in the team's 100th season are cheering for a club that's not even a lock to make the playoffs right now.

The overall theme in Montreal has been a lack of offensive production, particularly on the power play. A man advantage that terrorized teams for two years is now 25th in the league. The squad has been somewhat slowed by injuries, but more than anything, players who were supposed to step up have stumbled.

If there's a reason to keep an eye on the Habs in 2009, it's goalie Carey Price. He has had some ups and downs, but is ready to join the league's elite puckstoppers.

RK.

TEAM

 

THE SCOOP

1

 

David Krejci has points in 17 of his last 18 games for a total of 30 points over that stretch

2

 

Have set a franchise record with nine straight wins

3

 

Patrick Marleau has grabbed the team goal-scoring lead and could post his first 40-goal campaign

4

 

Ty Conklin hoping to push his outdoor record to 2-1

5

 

Ovie had just two goals at the end of October and still may hit 60 this season

6

 

With three more goals, Rene Bourque passes his previous career high of 16

7

 

Have overtaken Wings for NHL's best power play and are also deadly while shorthanded

8

 

Travis Zajac showing signs of becoming the center New Jersey needs him to be

9

 

Nobody is on pace for more than 65 points on this team

10

 

After a hot start, Dubinsky will be lucky to hit 40 points this year

11

 

Eighteen points in 19 games for 21-year-old Bobby Ryan

12

 

Sidney Crosby has one power play goal in 28 games; Malkin doesn't have one in 19 contests

13

 

Patrick Eaves finally got his first goal of the year; what the heck happened to this guy after his 20-goal rookie campaign in 2005-06 with Ottawa?

14

 

Cats need Stephen Weiss to keep putting the points up; he's got 11 in his past 15 games

15

 

Vanek could win the Rocket Richard Trophy and still not be a point-per-game player

16

 

After a year-and-a-half on the sidelines, shifty Steve Sullivan could be back in January

17

 

My lines with Mats in the lineup: Wellwood with the Sedins, Sundin at center between Demitra and Raymond

18

 

Modano showing he's still got some jump in those 38-year-old legs

19

 

Need to get one of the NHL's worst power plays going to make the playoffs

20

 

There's been an Erik Cole sighting in Edmonton; he had his first multi-point game as an Oiler in Sunday's win over Nashville

21

 

Stastny joins Sakic on the shelf, gone for up to two months with a broken arm

22

 

Getting prospect Justin Pogge some more starts in net just makes sense

23

 

Steve Mason's league-leading 1.87 goals-against average makes him the No. 1 contender for the Calder Trophy

24

 

Jon Quick surrendered just two goals in three starts last week

25

 

Just three road wins in 16 tries this year

26

 

As Tom Cochrane would say, Minny is sinkin' like a sunset

27

 

Ryan Malone may have found a home on the top line with Vinny and Marty

28

 

Here's hoping Rick DiPietro is the Isles' starter the rest of the way

29

 

Play of rookie Patrik Berglund a bright spot in this dreary season

30

 

Slava Kozlov might well be the most anonymous point-producer in the NHL

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.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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