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NHL Power Rankings — 12/9

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 [1] Power Rankings.

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

2. (6) 19-5-6  Caps win six straight. Top power play in league. Catalyst defenseman Mike Green [2]‘s goal total (5) is down, but his plus-minus is up (plus-11). Still not sold.

3. (2) 18-7-3  Questioning the Blackhawks’ decision to ink defenseman Duncan Keith [3] 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 [4], Patrick Sharp [5] and Brian Campbell [6]. Can you say, team MVP?

4. (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.

5. (5) 20-10-1  Always near the top, Penguins [7] are primed for when things really matter.

6. (11 ) 18-10-3  Ryan Smyth [8] still injured, Anze Kopitar [9] hasn’t scored in 13 games, Dustin Brown [10]in 14. Yet, the Kings are 4-0-1 in last five. There’s something here, folks.

7. (2) 18-8-3  After a setback in LA Monday, the Flames still are 6-3-1 in last 10. After being named NHL [11] first star for netting 13 goals in November, Jarome Iginla [12] has yet to score in December.

8. (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.

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

10. (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 [13] has just one tally in last seven games.

11. (8) 17-11-2  Martin Erat [14] nets a hat trick in 4-3 win Tuesday that helps the Predators end three-year home losing streak to Vancouver.

12. (9) 15-9-3  Ilya Kovalchuk [15] has three goals in nine games. That’s good for some, maybe not enough for Thrashers.

13. (12) 17-9-6  Two straight wins for the Avalanche. Rookie center Matt Duchene [16] turning heads (19 points in 32 games) but inexperience shines through with minus-8 rating.

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.

15. (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.

16. (16) 14-10-5  Tomas Holmstrom [17] (11 goals) is doing his part to offset the loss of injured mule Johan Franzen [18], but the Red Wings are still playing mediocre hockey.

17. (18) 16-14-0  There’s something to be said about a team that has not lost in overtime and will have Roberto Luongo [19] in the playoffs. So there, it’s been said.

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.

19. (27) 12-11-5  Consecutive wins in San Jose and LA signal the Blues are getting back on track.

20. (25) 15-14-2  No truth to the rumor the Canadiens wanted to celebrate the 100-hour anniversary of beating the Bruins Friday.

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.

22. (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.

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.

24. (23) 11-11-7 Matt Moulson [20] continues to pour them in (couldn’t resist bad pun), hat trick leads Islanders to win over Atlanta. Interesting matchup with B’s Saturday.

25. (24 ) 14-14-1  Chris Drury [21] has just two goals and seven assists in 24 games. The Rangers need a lot, including more from the former Terrier.

26. (19) 14-13-1  The Flyers were a league-worst 2-8 in last 10 before getting first win for new coach Peter Laviolette [22] Tuesday. Do you think someone, somewhere, is destroying the memo that said the Flyers, rather than Alex Ovechkin [23] and the Caps, would be a better national television opponent for the Bruins at Fenway?

27. (21) 11-13-6  Rookie Dan Sexton [24], skating with Saku Koivu [25] in place of injured Teemu Selanne [26], 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.

28. (22) 11-13-6  Three straight losses, but at least no goalies were nearly beheaded this week. Build on it.

29. (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.

30. (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.