NHL Power Rankings: Week 15 | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHL Power RankingsNHL Power Rankings: Week 15

Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | 05:56 PM

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The New York Rangers celebrate a shootout conversion from Derek Stepan, left, in a recent win over Phoenix. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press) The New York Rangers celebrate a shootout conversion from Derek Stepan, left, in a recent win over Phoenix. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

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There aren't any teams playing better than the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues these days, and we had to give the Vancouver Canucks a round of applause and a spot ahead of Boston for their impressive win over the Bruins.

Yes, we're harsh. The Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins lose a game and we drop them from first to fourth. It's not that they have been dreadful, it's just that are there any teams playing better than the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues these days, and we had to give the Vancouver Canucks a round of applause and a spot ahead of Boston for their impressive win over the Bruins last Saturday.

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New York Rangers 1. NEW YORK RANGERS (27-9-4) Five wins in a row and nine victories in their past 10 outings have magnificent goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers first overall in the standings. (Last Week: 2)
St. Louis Blues 2. ST. LOUIS BLUES (25-12-5) The Blues have won four straight, and Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak have combined to shut out the opposition for 147 minutes and six seconds as of this writing. (Last Week: 6)
Vancouver Canucks 3. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (27-14-3) They won the big showdown against the Bruins in Boston, but followed up with a loss to Florida and a shaky outing against Tampa Bay. (Last Week: 5)
Boston Bruins 4. BOSTON BRUINS (27-11-1) The Stanley Cup champs lost the showdown game to the Canucks at home, but still have won eight of their past 10. (Last Week: 1)
5. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (25-13-5) They lost Patrick Sharp with a broken wrist, but youngster Viktor Stalberg and David Bolland appear primed to step up and fill the offensive void. (Last Week: 3)
Philadelphia Flyers 6. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (25-12-4)  Peter Laviolette notched his 100th win as the Flyers' coach at the RBC Center in Raleigh, where he guided Carolina to the 2005-06 Stanley Cup. (Last Week: 7)
Detroit Red Wings 7. DETROIT RED WINGS (26-15-1) They need to get their road game straightened out. Eleven wins in 24 games away from Joe Louis Arena is not going to cut it. (Last Week: 4)
Ottawa Senators 8. OTTAWA SENATORS (23-15-6) If there is anybody out there who thought the Senators would make the playoffs, please stand up. They're only six points back of the Rangers.(Last Week: 16)
9. SAN JOSE SHARKS (23-11-5) They appear to have gotten their act together with 16 out of a possible 20 points in their past 10 games.(Last Week: 17)
Nashville Predators 10. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (23-15-4)): Rookie defenceman Ryan Ellis has scored two power-play goals, including one game-winner and four points in his first six NHL games. (Last Week: 10)
Florida Panthers 11. FLORIDA PANTHERS (21-13-8) They're on track to go from worst to first in the Southeast Division. They only need 22 points in the second half to match last year's total (Last Week: 9)
Los Angeles Kings 12. LOS ANGELES KINGS (21-15-7) Under new head coach Darryl Sutter the Kings have gone 5-0-1 against teams that made the playoffs last year. (Last Week: 12)
Toronto Maple Leafs 13. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (22-15-5) A four-game win streak and some standout goaltending from Jonas Gustavsson has pushed the Maple Leafs back into the playoff picture. (Last Week: 20)
14. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (23-17-2) The news that Travis Zajac has suffered a setback in his bid to return from his Achilles problems was not welcome. (Last Week: 13)
Pittsburgh Penguins 15. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (21-16-4)  Wins have been hard to come by with Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Kris Letang on the sidelines with injuries. (Last Week: 8)
16. MINNESOTA (22-15-6) They finally stopped the slide down the standings with a big win over the Sharks, but can they put together a streak? (Last Week: 19)
Winnipeg Jets 17. WINNIPEG JETS (20-17-5) The Jets surged in the second quarter with their lengthy homestand, but have been unable to continue the upward trend lately. (Last Week: 15)
Washington Capitals 18. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (21-17-2) The Capitals have made strides under new coach Dale Hunter, but they have gone only 3-9-1 in their last 13 road games. (Last Week: 12)  
Dallas Stars 19. DALLAS STARS (23-17-1)  A 5-2 loss to the lowly Ducks could come back to haunt the Stars in their bid to make the playoffs. (Last Week: 18)
20.COLORADO AVALANCHE (23-20-1) The Avalanche had made its way into the top 8 in the West only to lose two in a row. (Last Week: 11)
Calgary Flames 21. CALGARY FLAMES (20-19-5) After a humiliating 9-0 loss to the Bruins, the Flames have battled back with wins at home over the Wild and Devils. (Last Week: 21)
22. PHOENIX COYOTES (20-17-6)  Goalie Mike Smith made an incredible diving stick save on Marian Gaborik's penalty shot, but they still lost to the Rangers. (Last Week: 22)
Buffalo Sabres 23. BUFFALO SABRES (18-19-5)  They have the same record at this point last season, but these Sabres don't seem capable of a 25-10-5 run like they finished in 2010-11. (Last Week: 23)
Montreal Canadiens 24. MONTREAL CANADIENS (16-19-7)  Jaroslav Halak returned to Montreal to stop the Canadiens mini two-game win streak with a 19-save shutout. (Last Week: 26)
Tampa Bay Lightning 25. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (17-20-4) Sniper Steven Stamkos leads the league with 29 goals, but the Lightning has had difficulty making headway in the East standings. (Last Week: 25)
New York Islanders 26. NEW YORK ISLANDERS (15-19-6) Did you know that the lowly Islanders improved to 5-0-1 record against the mighty Red Wings since the lockout with their win last week? (Last Week: 25)
Edmonton Oilers 27. EDMONTON OILERS (16-22-3) With two wins in 10 games, rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle injured, the early season success seems like a distant memory. (Last Week: 27)
Carolina Hurricanes 28. CAROLINA HURRICANES (14-23-7)  About the only good news for the Hurricanes has been sophomore forward Jeff Skinner is close to a return from his concussion. (Last Week: 28)
Anaheim Ducks 29. ANAHEIM DUCKS (13-22-6)  Saku Koivu went nine seasons between hat tricks, but his scoring spree enabled the Ducks to stretch their win streak to three games this week. (Last Week: 29)
Columbus Blue Jackets 30. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (11-26-5) With just two wins in the last 11 games, general manager Scott Howson finally dismissed head coach Scott Arniel. (Last Week: 30)

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