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NHL Power Rankings 12/2

12.02.09 at 11:07 am ET
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Two months into the season, a good week can still make or break a team’s spot in the WEEI.com power rankings.

New Jersey Devils 1. (3) 17-6-1  The Devils go 3-0 this week, thanks in part to Zach Parise‘s slick shootout move against Tuukka Rask in Friday’s win over the B’s. Losing David Clarkson (broken leg) is the only dark spot on the horizon.

Calgary Flames2. (4) 17-6-3  Sure, perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch, but the Flames have won four in a row, are 10-1-3 on the road and are playing as well as any team in the league.

Chicago Blackhawks3. (2) 17-6-3 Back-to-back losses in Southern California spoil a 4-0 start to a six-game road trip for the Blackhawks. Bounce-back shootout victory over Columbus Tuesday.

San Jose Sharks4. (1) 19-6-4 The Sharks were 3-1 this week. That’s still not good enough to hold the top spot.

Pittsburgh Penguins5. (5) 19-9-0  They stood steady this week, but the Penguins should be marching up the rankings soon with Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy back on board.

Washington Capitals6. (6) 16-5-6 The Caps go 3-0, but the direction in which the combustible Alexander Ovechkin is heading is a bit of a concern.

Minnesota Wild7. (17). 15-7-2 Yeah, we’re meandering all over the place with the Sabres. But a 3-0 week, return to first place and two games in hand on the B’s has to count for something. So does Ryan Miller‘s league-best 1.84 GAA and .934  SP.

Nashville Predators8. (9) 15-10-1 A 5-0 setback to Calgary Monday still leaves the Predators 8-2 in last their last 10. Ryan Suter is getting things done on defense.

Atlanta Thrashers9. (19) 14-7-3 The Thrashers win four this week to improve to 7-1-2 in their last 10. Defenseman Pavel Kubina is plus-12 over that stretch and plus-16 on the season.

Boston Bruins 10. (16) 13-8-5 The Bruins (6-1-3) have a better record than the Sharks (6-2-2) over the last 10 games. You knew that, right?

Los Angeles Kings 11. (12 ) 16-10-2 Big win for the Kings over Chicago Saturday, followed by a Freeway Faceoff victory over the rival Ducks on Tuesday.

Colorado Avalanche12. (11) 15-8-5  The Avalanche went 1-1-2 this week, which in the NHL is a form of progress. Rookie Matt Duchene has four goals and three assists in his last seven games.

Ottawa Senators13. (8) 13-8-4  In the opening period against the Bruins Saturday, the Senators showed great speed and skill. GM Bryan Murray has something here, but goaltending is a question mark.

Phoenix Coyotes14. (13) 15-11-1 In their effort to rise from the bottom of the league standings, the Coyotes have gone 6-3-1 within the Pacific Division and 12-7-1 in the conference. That’s taking flight.

Dallas Stars 15. (7) 12-8-7  The Stars have dropped three of their last four. Getting back defenseman Nicklas Grossman, the team’s plus/minus leader (plus-6), later this week should help change that trend.

Detriot Red Wings16. (15) 13-9-4 After dropping three straight, including being shut out in consecutive home games, the Red Wings pick up back-to-back wins, scoring four goals in each victory. Yeah, consistency might be an issue.

Tampa Bay Lightning 17. (18) 10-7-8 The Lightning have lost five of their last seven (2-3-2), but don’t blame Steve Stamkos, who has four goals and four assists over that stretch.

Vancouver Canucks18. (20) 14-12-0 After a 3-2 homestand, the Canucks embark upon a four-game eastern road trip. Look for that to go well.

Philadelphia Flyers19. (14) 13-10-1 Less than a month before they arrive at Fenway, the Flyers have lost five of their last six. A cold, frustrated Chris Pronger on New Year’s Day could be must-see TV.

Columbus Blue Jackets 20. (12) 13-9-5  The Blue Jackets ended a five-game losing steak by beating St. Louis Monday. A three-game homestand could further help the recovery.

Anaheim Ducks21. (24) 10-12-4  Goalie J.S. Giguere is getting his groove back for the Ducks, going 3-0-1 with a 1.77 GAA and .944 SP in his last four games.

Florida Panthers22. (22) 10-12-4  The Panthers have lost five straight, and defenseman Keith Ballard accidentally knocked stellar goalie Tomas Vokoun out of Monday’s game with an errant stick swing. That’s a bad week.

New York Islanders23. (21) 10-10-7  Win one, lose one, rookie John Tavares scores one. Your 2009-10 New York Islanders.

New York Rangers 24. (23 ) 13-13-1 Given the chance to open up his game, Marian Gaborik leads the league in goals and the Rangers still lose hockey games. We love whatever hockey gods set up this scenario.

Montreal Canadiens25. (25) 12-13-2  Division games against Toronto, Buffalo and Boston this week provide the Canadiens a chance to jump back into the thick of things. Or not.

Minnesota Wild 26. (26) 10-12-3 The Wild went 2-0-1 this week and 5-2-3 in their last 10 games. They should be moving from the bottom of the conference soon.

St. Louis Blues27. (27) 10-10-5 The Blues meander through a 4-3 stretch with defenseman Erik Johnson continuing to lead the team in scoring (18 points). If St. Louis finds its offense, this team could get back where it belongs.

Toronto Maple Leafs28. (29) 7-12-7 After playing in Boston Saturday, the Maple Leafs will return home, play two games and then head back to Boston, while the Bruins simply wait without a game. Interesting to see how that plays out.

Edmonton Oilers29. (28) 10-13-4  The Oilers have the league’s worst record (2-5-3) over the last 10 games, with a five-game road trip ahead of them. Could a drop to 30th place be far behind?

Carolina Hurricanes30. (30) 5-17-5  The Hurricanes lose five in a row and defenseman Joe Corvo for 2-3 months with a lacerated calf after being cut with a skate. Hurts just to think about it.

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