Closing in on the end of November, some NHL teams have plenty to be thankful for, others need to shake off the Tryptophan and still others ‘ you got it ‘ are just plain turkeys. Pile on the cranberry sauce and feast on this week’s WEEI Power Rankings:
1. (2) 16-5-4 The Sharks have the best road record in the league and have not lost in regulation (7-0-2) at home. They play six of their next eight games at the Shark Tank. Get the picture?
2. (4) 15-5-2 The Blackhawks have the NHL’s best record over the last ten games, 8-1-1. Set the DVR, Grandma, the Hawks are in San Jose Wednesday.
3. (1) 14-6-1 The Devils currently sit sixth in the league in points, but they have played three less games than three of the five teams with more points. Four less games than the Sharks. Win those contests and New Jersey would actually vault past San Jose. That’s a very good hockey team.
4. (7) 13-6-3 Jarome Iginla has 12 goals in his last 10 games, helping to fuel the Flames to a 7-1-3 record on the road.
5. (10) 16-8-0 Starting to round into form ‘ Sidney Crosby nets OT game winner in comeback win in Florida.
6. (3) 13-5-6 The Caps are thankful to be leaving Canada after three straight losses to Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.
7. (17) 11-6-6 The Stars have quietly made their way into the Top 10 with wins in three of their last four games and 28 points in 21 games for Brad Richards. That’ll work.
8. (21) 12-6-3 Four wins in a row for the Sens. Should make for an interesting “Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting” matchup with the B’s this weekend.
9. (20) 13-8-1 Please don’t tell me you saw the Preds taking off on a 8-2 run in their last ten.
10. (12) 12-7-3 The Blue Jackets are making a great case that the second-best team in the Central Division might be from Ohio, not Michigan or Illinois.
11. (5) 14-7-3 Hanging in there, but slowly falling. They are more like a glacier than an Avalanche.
12. (8 ) 13-9-2 No sophomore slump for skilled D-man Drew Doughty, who has 20 points in 24 games, fourth-best among defenseman. Leading scorer Anze Kopitar has just three assists and no goals in last five games.
13. (18) 13-10-1 The Coyotes only move this season is toward greater heights in the standings.
14. (12) 12-8-1 A tough loss for the Flyers in San Jose makes sense. Follow-up setbacks in Phoenix and Colorado, not so much.
15. (10) 11-7-4 The Red Wings already had defensive problems, and losing Niklas Kronwall to a cheap hit will not help.
16. (22) 11–8-4 The Bruins are glad to be getting key players back into lineup ‘ and glad that Patrice Bergeron never left it.
(6). 12-6-2 The Sabres are starting to meander through a 4-5-1 stretch in last ten, with three straight losses.
18. (13) 9-5-7 Steven Stamkos is bringing it for the Bolts with 24 points in 21 games. Ryan Malone adding 22 points in 21 games is more of a surprise.
19. (15) 10-7-3 Thrashers play entertaining hockey, with power play and penalty killing units within the Top 10. But that needs to translate into wins.
20. (19) 12-11-0 A mediocre 5-5 stretch for the Canucks is not where this team expected to be. Last Sunday’s return of leading goal scorer Daniel Sedin after a five-week absence should help.
. (14) 9-8-7 Still playing tough, but counting on Dwayne Roloson to make 58 saves to beat the Leafs is not a great plan. Tests against Flyers, Pens and Devils this week will tell us something.
(24) 10-9-3 The Panthers squandered a two-goal lead in a 3-2 OT loss to Pens Monday, but are still 6-2-2 in last 10. They will be making some noise.
23. (16) 12-10-1 The plummet continues. Rangers are 4-6 in last 10, now hitting the road for three.
24. (26) 8-11-3 The Ducks are starting to turn a corner ‘ only a home loss to Sharks marred a decent week. Corey Perry run his league-best point streak to 15 games.
25. (23) 11-11-1 Yep. Even keel, .500 hockey sure sounds like a nice time in Montreal.
26. (25) 8-12-2 After slow start, the Wild has gone 5-3-2 in last ten. Interesting test against B’s.
27. (29) 8-9-4 An uptempo opening period against Boston Monday showed what the Blues can do. So did a mediocre final two periods.
28. (27) 10-11-3 Not a lot of life here, but the Oilers have won two of three and host the suddenly teetering Kings Wednesday.
29. (29) 4-11-7 The play of Phil Kessel (six goals, three assists, in nine games) still stands as the most entertaining part of the Leafs.
30. (30) 5-13-5 Canes pick up a pair of wins, could be ready to make a move.