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NHL Power Rankings 1/6

01.06.10 at 7:22 am ET
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A new year, a fresh start and a new team atop the WEEI Power Rankings.

Chicago Blackhawks1. (2) 30-10-3  The Blackhawks skated past New Jersey 5-1 in a top-of-the-charts showdown last week. They arrive in Boston to play the Bruins Thursday. Sounds like a good time for them to make their on-ice debut as our new No. 1.

New Jersey Devils 2. (1) 30-10-1  A road loss to the Blackhawks made for an unhappy New Year’s Eve for the Devils. Leading scorer Zach Parise ended a brief three-game stretch without a point by scoring a second-period goal in a 4-0 win over Dallas Tuesday.

San Jose Sharks3. (3) 27-9-7  The Sharks had a great first half to the season, but a 6-2 home loss to the Kings on Monday, in which Evgeni Nabokov gave up five goals on 16 shots, says that winning the Pacific is no lock.

Minnesota Wild4. (5) 26-11-4  Team USA general manager Brian Burke says Ryan Miller is the best goalie in the NHL right now. Anyone disagree ?

Washington Capitals5. (4) 25-11-6  The Caps drop two this week, the Sabres win two. Trade places in the rankings, please.

Colorado Avalanche6. (8) 24-13-6  Please welcome your Northwest Division-leading Avalanche. You expected to hear those words this year, right ? The Avs continue to stay in the fight for the division lead.

Calgary Flames7. (10) 25-12-5  The Flames have gotten hot again, winning five in a row, including a 3-1 win in Nashville Tuesday.

Phoenix Coyotes8. (7) 26-14-4  A minor slump for the surprising Coyotes. They had lost three of four before taking an overtime win in Edmonton Tuesday.

Nashville Predators9. (9) 25-14-3  The Predators had won three straight before dropping a 3-1 game to Calgary at home Tuesday. Jason Arnott ended a nine-game stretch without a goal, scoring in a win over Anaheim Saturday.

Pittsburgh Penguins10 . (6) 27-16-1  What’s up with the defending champs? The Penguins had lost five straight and six of their last seven before beating Atlanta Tuesday. Losing versatile forward Chris Kuntiz for over a month on Tuesday will not help.

Los Angeles Kings 11. (11 ) 25-15-3  Congrats to second-year defenseman Drew Doughty for making the Canadian Olympic team. The 20-year-old already is one of the best in the league.

Boston Bruins 12. (12) 22-13-7  The Bruins responded nicely to a tough test in Ottawa. Now they face an even bigger challenge with the Blackhawks heading to the Garden Thursday.

Vancouver Canucks13. (13) 26-16-1  The Canucks are back to playing playoff-caliber hockey. Center Henrik Sedin is NHL First Star for December, leading all scorers with 25 points (5 goals, 20 assists) in 15 games during the month.

Detriot Red Wings14. (15) 21-15-6  The Red Wings had a modest two-game winning streak snapped by a loss in Anaheim Tuesday.

Ottawa Senators15. (14) 22-18-4  Where would the Senators be if they could only learn to beat Tim Thomas, who now has an 11-game wining streak against Ottawa.

Dallas Stars 16. (16) 18-12-11  The Stars have lost two straight, scoring just a single goal in the process. Loui Eriksson had five goals in his last three games before being shut out by Martin Brodeur and the Devils Tuesday.

New York Rangers 17. (21 ) 20-17-5  Monday’s 3-2 win over the Bruins improved the Rangers to 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. They’ll look to take a 3-0 series lead over the B’s this season in an afternoon tilt at TD Garden Saturday.

Minnesota Wild 18. (17) 20-20-3  More up-and-down play for the Wild. A 4-1 loss in Chicago Tuesday was their third in a row.

Montreal Canadiens19. (19) 21-21-3  Nice effort by the Canadiens to hold Alex Ovechkin without a point Tuesday, but it still didn’t prevent a 4-2 loss, the second in a row for Montreal.

Atlanta Thrashers20. (18) 18-18-6  Going 1-6-3 over the last 10 games will do little to squelch the Ilya Kovalchuk trade rumors.

Tampa Bay Lightning 21 . (23) 16-15-10  Goalie Mike Smith has stopped 89 of the last 93 shots he has faced, helping the Lightning go 2-0-1 and move close to the eighth playoff spot in the East.

Philadelphia Flyers22. ( 22) 19-19-3  With Scottie Hartnell and Daniel Carcillo up to their usual feisty tricks, the Flyers were perfect Winter Classic villains.

New York Islanders23. (26) 17-18-8  The Islanders have been playing better hockey as of late, going 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.

Florida Panthers24. (25) 17-19-7  Former Leaf Bryan McCabe scored twice to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead in Toronto Tuesday, but Florida couldn’t hold the advantage and dropped a 3-2 decision, the Panthers’ fourth loss in five games.

Anaheim Ducks25. (24) 17-19-7  After three tough losses, to Dallas, Nashville and Chicago, the Ducks bounced back to beat the Red Wings Tuesday.

St. Louis Blues26. (20) 17-18-6  Displaced coach Andy Murray is probably not the problem with the underachieving Blues.

Toronto Maple Leafs27. (27) 15-19-9  Phil Kessel has just one goal in nine games, but the Leafs rallied for a 3-2 win over Florida Tuesday to end a two-game losing streak.

Columbus Blue Jackets 28. (28) 15-20-9  A 6-3 loss to Vancouver Tuesday was the fourth in a row for the Blue Jackets.

Edmonton Oilers29. (29) 16-22-5  A struggling Oilers team rallied from a two-goal deficit to force overtime Tuesday before losing to the Coyotes. Dustin Penner scored his team-leading 20th goal in the loss.

Carolina Hurricanes30. (30) 11-23-7  The Hurricanes have won two of their last three games. Hey, that’s progress.

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