Hockey World Blog Power Rankings: December

 Entering December, this is when most hockey fans start getting into the hockey mood. Baseball season has been over for a few weeks, college football has ended for most fan bases, and the weather is starting to get colder by the day. When comparing the rankings at the beginning of November compared to today’s rankings, Phoenix made the biggest jump as they leaped 14 places. The largest drop in the same time span was Los Angeles. No surprise they are both in the same division and separated by only one point in the standings.

Editor’s Note: Last Month’s 1-30 team ranking is shown to reflect raise/fall in power rankings over the course of November.

Rank Team Last Week Team Notes
1 WAS 6 In November, they were 10-0-2 in games where they scored a goal. Only two losses in month were when they were shutout on the road against Atlanta and New Jersey.
2 PIT 10 8-0-1 in last nine games. Can end month on solid note with victory tonight in Madison Square Garden.
3 DET 7 9-2-1 in the month of November, including 7-0-1 record at home. Ugly losses this month to Vancouver and Atlanta is what kept Red Wings from higher ranking.
4 MTL 4 Had four game win streak ended Saturday against Florida. Any team would take six out of eight points when playing four games in six nights.
5 PHI 8 This weekend wasn’t good for the Flyers. They may have the second-most points in the league but dropped this far down due to overtime losses to Calgary and New Jersey.
6 NYR 18 7-3 record in last ten games. Should they win tonight against Pittsburgh, they will end the entire month without a regulation loss and will be three points behind Philadelphia for division lead.
7 CBJ 14 Maybe they should retire the third-jersey that made debut this weekend against Detroit because the Red Wings won both games in home-and-home series where Columbus learned how far they are away from competing with Detroit. 8-2 road record is quite impressive though.
8 TB 1 They have to develop some kind of consistency, and that starts by having a regular goalie every night. Between November 17 and 24, they won five games in eight days. Their record the rest of the month: 1-6-2. The bright side is the win in that span was against Toronto, whom they will face Tuesday night.
9 DAL 13 The Stars have a 6-0-1 record in last seven home games. They have to improve road record as there is only a two-point separation between first place and last place in division standings.
10 PHX 24 Only Pittsburgh has a better record over last ten games than Phoenix. They have played their way back into a nightly musical chairs battle with Dallas and Los Angeles for division lead.
11 VAN 19 The Canucks have been up and down throughout the entire month. Schedule in December works in their favor, as they don’t have to travel into the eastern time zone until December 22-23 when they face Detroit and Columbus respectively.
12 CHI 5 Chicago has stayed in reach of Detroit despite playing a feast of road games due to the circus being at the United Center. Look for them to briefly take division lead this month as they have nine home games and Detroit plays on the road eight times.
13 COL 11  What was Chris Stewart thinking? Colorado’s leading scorer is out for a while after breaking his hand in a fight Saturday night. He has to realize once his name starts appearing on the score sheet often, let the enforcers on the fourth line do the fighting for him.
14 ATL 16 One of the hottest teams in the last two weeks of the month. They have beaten three of the top four teams in the power rankings (DET, WAS, and MTL) by a combined score of 13-1.
15 STL 3  The Blues have been outstanding at home this season. But they have fallen off the pace of the remainder of the division due to losing last five road games. Three of those loses were to division foes and they face Chicago on the road Wednesday night.
16 BOS 12  The Bruins are desperately needing the return of Marc Savard and Marco Sturm. They have lost three of last four games and have scored seven goals in that span. They have been getting chances, just aren’t putting the puck in the net.
17 LA 2 Kings coach Terry Murry has to start giving Jonathan Quick more starts and Jonathan Bernier less playing time due to his shaky play recently. Look for Bernier to start next late December against either San Jose or Philadelphia.
18 SJ 17 Injuries are hitting the Sharks at the wrong time as Detroit visits them this week. Nichol, Setoguchi, Wallin, and Huskins all went suffered injuries over the weekend.
19 MIN 21 Four of five losses this month were in blowout fashion. Could this be of concern for Wild fans?
20 ANA 27 The Ducks have a special player in Bobby Ryan. He recorded the franchises first hat trick Saturday night since he did so on January 8, 2009. He was also the third player to record multiple hat tricks in a Ducks uniform, joining franchise legends Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya.
21 NSH 9  Five of last nine games for Nashville went to overtime. Six of those nine games have been at home. They have won only once of those six OT/shootout games, which is why they have fallen in the standings as of late.
22 OTT 26 The Senators are 2-5 in last seven games. They have what it takes to sneak into the playoffs, as they are only two points beghind Boston for eighth playoff spot.
23 BUF 29 Buffalo will go where Ryan Miller goes. With Miller in goal they are 7-6-2. With Patrick Lalime or Jhonas Enroth in goal they are 2-6-1.
24 CAR 22 The Hurricanes scored three power play goals against Boston, the best penalty killing team in the league. Could this be a sign of things to come on special teams?
25 FLA 25 The best thing the Panthers are doing right is that they are the least penalized team in the league. They have a total of 171 penalty minutes, with Detroit being second-fewest at 224.
26 CGY 15 Not very often do you see a team play five games in a seven-day span. All five games were on the road and it doesn’t get easier as they face Minnesota tonight at home.
27 TOR 20 November wasn’t kind to the Leafs as they went 3-7-2 during the month as well as losing J-S Giguere to injury. They have also failed to score multiple goals in a road game in last five tries, being outscored 16-2 in that span.
28 NJ 30 The Devils were the team who lost to the lowly Islanders Friday night. They haven’t won on the road since November 3 when they won at Chicago. Devils were 1-5 on the road and 4-1-1 at home in November.
29 EDM 28 This is a young team offensively. They will take their lumps now, but look for Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to be entertaining to watch this season.
30 NYI 23 The 14-game winless streak is over. So the Islanders can look forward to getting hungry and winning multiple games when they face the Rangers this week.

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