Riding an 11-game win streak the Chicago Blackhawks have replaced the Florida Panthers atop SI.com's NHL Power Rankings.
Minutes after watching the systematic dismembering of his team Sunday night, Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien stood in awe of the Chicago Blackhawks. “We just played the Stanley Cup champions,” he said in the wake of the 5–2 loss. “I think they look better than last year.”
Hard to argue his point. It took the Hawks some time to relearn how to flex their muscles after being rebuilt (again) in the off-season, but they look deeper, faster and more dangerous by every measure. They’ve used that balance to power a winning streak that’s tied a franchise record and moved them into top spot in the tough Central Division. That run also makes them the obvious choice to take over top spot in the Power Rankings for the first time in 2015–16.
Biggest jump: San Jose Sharks (20 to 5)
Biggest drop: Montreal Canadiens (21 to 30)