You had to see this see coming.
With the Ottawa Senators riding a six-game losing streak they take a tumble out of first place in the THN Power Rankings.
That’s not all. Goaltender Martin Gerber, who played so spectacularly at the start of the season, looks a lot more like the Martin Gerber who lost the starter’s job in his first season with the Sens last year while his partner, Ray Emery, has given no indication he’s prepared to take over the starter’s role.
1. Detroit (Last week: 2)
Dan Cleary continues in his ascent as one of the game’s better two-way performers with goals in back-to-back games (giving him nine on the season) as the Wings win three in a row.
2. Ottawa (1)
The slumping Senators were outscored 28-19 in their six consecutive defeats.
3. Dallas (7)
Hard to believe the Stars had to fire their GM. Having made no significant personnel changes since canning Doug Armstrong, they are suddenly one of the league’s hottest teams ripping off seven wins in their last nine games.
4. St. Louis (13)
After going 19 games without a goal, winger Lee Stempniak scores in back-to-back games as St. Louis runs its home winning streak to six.
5. NY Rangers (3)
With goalie Henrik Lundqvist continuing to hold a hot hand, Jaromir Jagr wakes up, scoring goals in three consecutive games after going goalless in six and scoring just once in nine.
6. New Jersey (19)
Jamie Langenbrunner has 11 points in his first nine games and the Devils are the NHL’s hottest team with seven straight wins.
7. Carolina (5)
With just six wins in their past 10 games, the Hurricanes suffered a humiliating 8-1 loss to the Sabres Dec. 1.
8. Vancouver (16)
Roberto Luongo recorded three straight shutouts and didn’t allow a goal for 210:34 before losing 2-1 to the surging Minnesota Wild.
9. Minnesota (12)
Marian Gaborik has points in four straight games, all wins for the surging Wild.
10. Philadelphia (4)
Mike Richards extends his points scoring streak to five games (three goals, five assists), but the Flyers have not won back-to-back games since Nov. 10 and 12.
11. Nashville (11)
If they were to hand out the Jack Adams Trophy for coach of the year today, it would go to Barry Trotz. Imagine having your best players stripped from you in a fire sale and then, two months into the season having your team in 14th place with three wins in your last four outings. Great stuff.
12. Chicago (16)
A loss to St. Louis snapped a two-game winning streak, but the good news is Martin Havlat is back with five points in four games.
13. Boston (21)
With six goals in seven games, Glen Murray looks like he has shaken off the rust and is a welcome contributor on a team that desperately needs scoring.
14. San Jose (9)
Three wins and two overtime losses in their last five games seems to be a step in the right direction, but the Sharks do not seem, at this point, to be a team ready to be taken seriously. One wonders how long GM Doug Wilson will put up with such mediocrity.
15. Montreal (8)
The Canadiens looked awful blowing leads of 3-0 and 4-1 in a 5-4 shootout loss to Nashville.
16. Colorado (15)
Joe Sakic was pointless in four straight games, but responded with two goals and four points in the next three, while Ryan Smyth didn’t register a point in three games and then had two goals and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Kings.
17. Anaheim (10)
Time to get worried. The Ducks looked simply awful losing a home-and-home series with Edmonton, particularly their 4-0 defeat at home Sunday night. The Ducks played an intimidating style in winning the Cup last season; now they are simply undisciplined.
18. Columbus (18)
The Blue Jackets aren’t known for their scoring exploits so it helps when you have a kid like Curtis Glencross come out of nowhere to score two goals – including the overtime winner – in a 4-3 win over the struggling Flames.
19. NY Islanders (14)
The Islanders power play has gone into an untimely funk, striking on just three of 43 chances. It’s now one goal in 15 games for Bill Guerin.
20. Toronto (28)
Defenseman Bryan McCabe has been the lightning rod for frustrated fans, but his play has picked up with a significant increase in playing time and the Leafs have won two in a row.
21. Buffalo (26)
Make it six wins in seven games including an impressive 8-1 thumping of the Hurricanes.
22. Edmonton (27)
Two straight wins over Anaheim should boost the confidence of a team looking for an identity. With six points in three games, center Shawn Horcoff looks like he has bounced back after a terrible year last season.
23. Florida (23)
Four wins followed by two losses leaves the Panthers third in the Southeast, but still two points out of a playoff spot. With only one goal in 10 games, Nathan Horton needs to get his game in order.
24. Pittsburgh (25)
Veteran Mark Recchi has been the odd man out as the Penguins seem to have turned a corner.
25. Atlanta (20)
Good news! Goalie Kari Lehtonen returned from a rehab stint in the minors to shut out the Islanders 4-0. Ilya Kovalchuk continues to lead the NHL in goals with 22.
26. Tampa Bay (22)
Vinny Lecavalier scored two goals to help Tampa Bay snap its second six-game losing streak of the season. The big question is how long until GM Jay Feaster pulls the trigger on a deal to bolster the team’s blueline?
27. Calgary (24)
Four straight losses had coach Mike Keenan calling out his goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff, who is an easy target for a team that is horrible defensively.
28. Phoenix (17)
Things looked good for a while, but three straight losses had the Coyotes feet firmly planted back on the planet Earth. Phoenix does not have one goal-scorer in double digits.
29. Los Angeles (29)
What a shock…the Kings are besieged by goaltending problems yet again.
30. Washington (30)
Alex Ovechkin leads the Caps with 20 goals and Michael Nylander is second with seven. Need we say more?
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 every Monday. Changes in rankings reflect each team’s play from the previous seven days.
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