AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar

Surging Montreal Canadiens knock Chicago Blackhawks off top spot in SI.com's NHL Power Rankings.

By The SI Staff
January 06, 2015

Welcome to the latest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. After four weeks at the top, the Blackhawks have been nudged off their perch by the red hot Le Club de hockey Canadien, which is now number one by a mere whisker. Our three scribes—Allan Muir, Brian Cazeneuve and Sarah Kwak—submitted their choices for the league's Top 10. The rankings for the all 30 teams have been weighted according to ancient Babylonian accounting principles, Vedic astrology, and how high each club came in on our writers' ballots. In some cases a purely intuitive, wholly unscientific and no doubt deplorable method was used to break ties, rank teams that were chosen by only one or two writers, and antagonize the general public.

We've presented the 30 teams in groups, with the Top 10 receiving the most trenchant commentary. Overview paragraphs precede the Middle 10 and Bottom 10. Weekly movement up or down has been noted. So without further ado, commence to stew!

1Montreal Canadiens
last week: 6
record: 26-11-2

Last week: 3-0-0

2Chicago Blackhawks
last week: 1
record: 26-11-2

Last week: 1-1-0

3Anaheim Ducks
last week: 3
record: 26-9-6

Last week: 2-1-0

4Nashville Predators
last week: 2
record: 25-9-4

Last week: 2-0-1

5Tampa Bay Lightning
last week: 4
record: 25-12-4

Last week: 2-1-0

6New York Islanders
last week: 7
record: 26-12-1

Last week: 2-1-0

7Pittsburgh Penguins
last week: 5
record: 24-10-5

Last week: 2-1-0

8New York Rangers
last week: 9
record: 21-11-4

Last week: 2-0-0

9St. Louis Blues
last week: 8
record: 23-13-3

Last week: 1-2-0

10Washington Capitals
last week: 16
record: 20-11-7

Last week: 2-0-0


Will Mike Yeo be the next coach to go? He may if the Wild don't get their game together.
AP Photo/Jim Mone
Randy Carlyle had to go, but pressure is now on Maple Leafs players

Now that Randy Carlyle's been sent packing, the next coach to go could be Minnesota's Mike Yeo. The Wild's struggles aren't all on him—there's nothing he can do about inconsistent goaltending and a down year for Ryan Suter) but after the Wild no-showed in a 7-1 loss in Dallas last week, they need to prove that they're willing to compete for him. 

The Canucks gave up a two-goal lead to Los Angeles, their only regulation loss when leading after two periods, on New Years Day, but they seem to have awakened from their December doldrums. And so has goalie Ryan Miller. Since Dec. 20, he has a .950 save percentage and 1.66 GAA, second only to Montreal’s Carey Price.

Now these are the Stars we all expected to see from the beginning of the season! With an 8-1-1 mark in their past 10, Dallas has worked its way back into the Western Conference playoff mix. The hole the Stars dug for themselves looks deep, but if they can cash in on their games in hand, they're right back in it. Kari Lehtonen's been great over this stretch, but Lindy Ruff has to carefully monitor his use. An exhausted keeper won't be any good to them down the stretch.

Could the Bruins really miss out on the playoffs? Are the Flames in or out? C’mon, Calgary, decide! 

11Vancouver Canucks
last week: 13
record: 22-12-3

Last week: 2-1-0

12San Jose Sharks
last week: 11
record: 21-14-5

Last week: 2-2-0

13Detroit Red Wings
last week: 10
record: 20-10-9

Last week: 1-1-0

14Winnipeg Jets
last week: 12
record: 20-13-7

Last week: 1-2-0

15Los Angeles Kings
last week: 14
record: 19-12-9

Last week: 1-0-2

16Dallas Stars
last week: 21
record: 18-14-6

Last week: 2-0-1

17Calgary Flames
last week: 17
record: 21-16-3

Last week: 1-1-0

18Toronto Maple Leafs
last week: 15
record: 21-16-3

Last week: 1-2-0

19Florida Panthers
last week: 18
record: 17-11-9

Last week: 1-2-1

20Boston Bruins
last week: 19
record: 19-15-6

Last week: 0-0-3

In the middle of last month, Coyotes coach Dave Tippett made a deft move, putting 5’-11” Sam Gagner, a natural center, on the wing of 6’-6” center Martin Hanzal. With Hanzal better equipped to handle the physical rigors of playing center under Tippett’s grind-it-out system, it’s been a boon to all parties involved, most notably Gagner. Since the move, the former sixth overall pick has four goals and 10 points in eight games, including a four-point performance in a 5-1 win over Edmonton, the team that traded him in June. 

Question to ponder: What will the next few months be like for the Devils, whose every hiccup is likely to be scripted ... by, you know, the team’s specialist in charge of hiccups?

21Columbus Blue Jackets
last week: 20
record: 17-17-3

Last week: 2-1-0

22Ottawa Senators
last week: 23
record: 16-15-7

Last week: 1-1-0

23Minnesota Wild
last week: 22
record: 18-15-4

Last week: 1-2-0

24Phoenix Coyotes
last week: 28
record: 15-19-4

Last week: 1-1-0

25Colorado Avalanche
last week: 25
record: 15-16-8

Last week: 2-1-0

26Philadelphia Flyers
last week: 24
record: 14-18-7

Last week: 0-2-1

27Buffalo Sabres
last week: 26
record: 14-23-3

Last week: 0-3-0

28New Jersey Devils
last week: 27
record: 14-20-7

Last week: 1-2-0

29Carolina Hurricanes
last week: 29
record: 12-23-4

Last week: 2-1-0

30Edmonton Oilers
last week: 30
record: 9-22-9

Last week: 2-0-2

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