Hockey World Blog Power Rankings: Week 8

 One of the best things I like about writing these rankings is that I really don’t know what team will be ranked where. I do watch as many games on NHL Center Ice as I can during the course of the week, but I look at numbers, statistics, and trends from the best and worse teams in the league. I have a clue if I think a team deserves to move up, or drop down a spot or two if I see a game where they won or lost bad or in an ugly fashion. Take note Detroit’s Saturday night loss in overtime at Los Angeles. If they found a way to win that game, I would have considered keeping them at no. 2. But the loss dropped them to no. 3 this week. Same goes for Dallas. They have been on a hot streak as of late and this was a perfect week to sneak them at the no. 6 spot. We are less than four weeks remaining until the Winter Classic between Washington and Pittsburgh. If things remain as they are today, it should be one of the best Winter Classic games we have seen in its short history.

Rank Team Last Week Team Notes
1 PIT 2 The Pens have the best chance at being the first team to repeat atop of the Power Rankings come next week. They have won nine games in a row, and it’s expected for that to be extended as they play New Jersey, Toronto, and Buffalo this week.
2 PHI 5 Boston snapped their five-game streak of earning a point Wednesday night. But bounced back by beating New York Islanders and New Jersey over the weekend. Look for Dan Carcillo to return to the lineup Wednesday versus San Jose.
3 DET 2 Chris Osgood is stuck on win no. 398 like a puck stuck to the ice when the rink is freshly flooded after resurfacing. He returned from injury with a good performance against Los Angeles but lost in overtime. Look for his next start to be Saturday at New Jersey.
4 WAS 1 This week the Capitals fell victim to the hottest teams in the league: Atlanta and Dallas. They are tied for most wins in the league with Pittsburgh, and the recent two-game losing streak has allowed Tampa to remain in sight of the division lead.
5 DAL 9 The only new team to make an appearance in the top six this week, they picked a perfect time to play solid hockey. They have a 8-1-1 record in last 10 games including six consecutive wins. The Pacific Division leaders took advantage of Los Angeles’ struggles but they have six of next eight games on the road. Road games include Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix and San Jose.
6 MTL 4 The main reason they dropped was because of the overtime loss against Edmonton. But did manage to bounce back against New Jersey when they scored two goals before the national them singer got to their seat. Friday night’s game at Detroit should be exciting to watch.
25 EDM 29 This might be their last time in the bottom six. The young guns in Edmonton are playing better hockey as of late. They have had two regulation losses in their last nine games. Getting as many points as you can, even if they are overtime/shootout losses, can have a team slowly rise up the standings.
26 FLA 25 A franchise that’s typically struggled at the shootout since its 2005-06 debut, the Panthers are 2-0 in the breakaway contest this season and joins Los Angeles as the only teams without a regulation/shootout loss this season.
27 CGY 26 Consistency is a big problem for Calgary. They need to go on a winning streak to climb the standings. The Flames have alternated wins and losses for the last seven games. They lost Sunday at Chicago. They host Tampa tomorrow. Can they beat them?
28 TOR 27 General Manager Brian Burke came out over the weekend and said coach Ron Wilson’s job is safe and will not fire him. I personally don’t believe that. If he doesn’t fire him soon, maybe their gauntlet schedule this week of Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Montreal will doom Wilson and the Maple Leafs.
29 NJ 28 New month, same result for the Devils. Two losses in the month, including Thursday against Montreal that made a friend of mine who is a die-hard Devils fan leave after the second period because he was so disgusted. Best chance to win this week will be Friday at Ottawa.
30 NYI 30 What else is there to say about the Islanders? They have won once in last 17 games. The only win was against New Jersey. They went 0-3 this week with games against Philadelphia and New York Rangers. I never heard of a team going 0-36 in last 11 games on the power play, but that’s what the Islanders are facing. Best chance for a win could be December 16 against Anaheim.

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