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NHL Power Rankings — 12/9

12.09.09 at 7:08 am ET
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Things are starting to settle in among the top five and bottom five teams, but there’s plenty of movement among the remaining 20 teams in the WEEI NHL Power Rankings.

New Jersey Devils 1. (1) 20-7-1  Fewer games, more wins.  Get it ? Devils stay at No. 1.

Washington Capitals2. (6) 19-5-6  Caps win six straight. Top power play in league. Catalyst defenseman Mike Green‘s goal total (5) is down, but his plus-minus is up (plus-11). Still not sold.

Chicago Blackhawks3. (2) 18-7-3  Questioning the Blackhawks’ decision to ink defenseman Duncan Keith to a 13-year contract extension? Aside from leading the team in ice time, he’s their second-leading scorer. More points than Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell. Can you say, team MVP?

San Jose Sharks4. (4) 19-7-5  Sharks lose at home to Blues, are just 1-1-1 during five-game homestand. The soft underbelly won’t go away.

Pittsburgh Penguins5. (5) 20-10-1  Always near the top, Penguins are primed for when things really matter.

Los Angeles Kings 6. (11 ) 18-10-3  Ryan Smyth still injured, Anze Kopitar hasn’t scored in 13 games, Dustin Brown in 14. Yet, the Kings are 4-0-1 in last five. There’s something here, folks.

Calgary Flames7. (2) 18-8-3  After a setback in LA Monday, the Flames still are 6-3-1 in last 10. After being named NHL first star for netting 13 goals in November, Jarome Iginla has yet to score in December.

Phoenix Coyotes8. (14) 18-11-1  Who needs a power play? The Coyotes have won five straight, with their power play going 0-for-18 in during that stretch.

Boston Bruins 9. (10) 15-9-5  Only the meltdown in Montreal diminishes the Bruins’ recent play.

Minnesota Wild10. (7) 16-9-2  The Sabres are settling in for a long fight with the B’s for the division lead. But scoring is an issue, and leading goal-scorer Thomas Vanek has just one tally in last seven games.

Nashville Predators11. (8) 17-11-2  Martin Erat nets a hat trick in 4-3 win Tuesday that helps the Predators end three-year home losing streak to Vancouver.

Atlanta Thrashers12. (9) 15-9-3  Ilya Kovalchuk has three goals in nine games. That’s good for some, maybe not enough for Thrashers.

Colorado Avalanche13. (12) 17-9-6  Two straight wins for the Avalanche. Rookie center Matt Duchene turning heads (19 points in 32 games) but inexperience shines through with minus-8 rating.

Dallas Stars 14. (15) 13-8-9  Stars embark upon a five-game road trip by blowing a three goal lead in Anaheim.  At least the power play ended an 0-for-9 stretch over three prior games.

Ottawa Senators15. (13) 14-11-4  The Senators return from a 1-3-1 West Coast road trip and drop a 4-1 home game to Montreal. If things don’t turn around quickly, hopes for remaining in the fight for the division title will be done.

Detriot Red Wings16. (16) 14-10-5  Tomas Holmstrom (11 goals) is doing his part to offset the loss of injured mule Johan Franzen, but the Red Wings are still playing mediocre hockey.

Vancouver Canucks17. (18) 16-14-0  There’s something to be said about a team that has not lost in overtime and will have Roberto Luongo in the playoffs. So there, it’s been said.

Tampa Bay Lightning 18. (17) 11-10-8  The Lightning were not impressive in loss to B’s, but beating the Caps 3-0 later in the week does the trick.

St. Louis Blues19. (27) 12-11-5  Consecutive wins in San Jose and LA signal the Blues are getting back on track.

Montreal Canadiens20. (25) 15-14-2  No truth to the rumor the Canadiens wanted to celebrate the 100-hour anniversary of beating the Bruins Friday.

Columbus Blue Jackets 21. (20) 13-11-5 The Blue Jackets are unraveling, just 2-5-3 in last 10, including a 6-3 loss to the Leafs.

Edmonton Oilers22. (29) 13-13-4 Left for dead in last week’s rankings, the Oilers respond with a 3-0 start on a five-game road trip. Sorry Alberta, we get the message.

Minnesota Wild 23. (26) 13-13-3  Five game win streak for the Wild ended in Phoenix Monday. They still are 6-2-2 in last 10, so the winning trend could continue.

New York Islanders24. (23) 11-11-7 Matt Moulson continues to pour them in (couldn’t resist bad pun), hat trick leads Islanders to win over Atlanta. Interesting matchup with B’s Saturday.

New York Rangers 25. (24 ) 14-14-1  Chris Drury has just two goals and seven assists in 24 games. The Rangers need a lot, including more from the former Terrier.

Philadelphia Flyers26. (19) 14-13-1  The Flyers were a league-worst 2-8 in last 10 before getting first win for new coach Peter Laviolette Tuesday. Do you think someone, somewhere, is destroying the memo that said the Flyers, rather than Alex Ovechkin and the Caps, would be a better national television opponent for the Bruins at Fenway?

Anaheim Ducks27. (21) 11-13-6  Rookie Dan Sexton, skating with Saku Koivu in place of injured Teemu Selanne, generates nine shots and scores his first two NHL goals in the third period as Ducks rally from a three-goal deficit to take a desperate 4-3 overtime win over Dallas. Teemu couldn’t have done it any better.

Florida Panthers28. (22) 11-13-6  Three straight losses, but at least no goalies were nearly beheaded this week. Build on it.

Toronto Maple Leafs29. (28) 9-13-7  It could all change Thursday, but based on everything they showed against the B’s Saturday, the Leafs’ defensive structure is a mess.

Carolina Hurricanes30. (30) 7-17-5  Two wins in a row and at contest at New Jersey Wednesday. If the Hurricanes win that, changes at both the top and bottom of the rankings.

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