Hockey World Blog NHL Power Rankings: Week 19

This week’s rankings is different than most. It does follow the same standard I have used throughout the season, but this week it was very polarizing to see what teams have been hot as of late and what teams have been cold as of late. One observation is that the Detroit Red Wings are the Pittsburgh Steelers of hockey. Both franchises have die hard fans across the country and when they are on the road, you could potentially see just as many if not more road jerseys in the crowd than the home team. For example, I attended a 2009 Detroit Lions game against the Steelers. Because the Lions aren’t very good and Pittsburgh is only a five-hour drive away, most of Ford Field was Pittsburgh fans waving the Terrible Towel. This week when the Red Wings took on the Lightning and Panthers, I had to do a double take because of the loud road and cheering when the Red Wings scored. I don’t think each respective teams’ home fans cheer that loud at games. The best part of last week was watching octopi being thrown from the stands in both arenas. The fan who threw one on the ice during play when Detroit had the puck in the attacking zone deserved to be thrown out. I believe he’s not a true Red Wings fan because octopus etiquette calls for it to be thrown only during a stoppage of play such as (but not limited to) goals and the final minutes of a victory. Check back next week when the March 1-30 team rankings are revealed.

Rank Team Last Week Team Notes
1 VAN 1 Despite them losing last week, they retain the top spot in the rankings as they closed the door on Dallas Saturday night. The Stars scored to make it a 3-2 games. One minute later it was 5-2 in favor of the Canucks. They are that dangerous.
2 DET 4 Only the Red Wings can catch the Canucks for the top seed in the West. But first they have to worry about San Jose tomorrow night. The Sharks have more wins on the road than they do at home.
3 PHI 3 Just like the Red Wings, they swept Tampa and Florida last week. What made the Flyers feat impressive was they were “true” road games as both games against Detroit was at least 75 percent Detroit fans.
4 PHX 6 They may have won seven straight games, but they are only a couple losses from falling to last in the division as Dallas, Los Angeles, and Anaheim are five points behind.
5 NJ NR  Last time we saw them on the power rankings, they were on wrong side of the ledger. But the Devils are playing like the team we have expected them to be all season. Did you know they have a 15-1-2 record since January 9?
6 CGY NR They looked very impressive winning last night’s Heritage Classic. Another team that’s spent more time on the bottom half of this list, the Flames are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. They are in the thick of the playoff hunt and will need every point they can get from here on out.
25 DAL NR There are nine teams within seven points of each other in the West. The Stars are one of them fighting for six playoff spots. If they keep losing on the ice, they could slowly find themselves more on the outside looking in than being inside the playoff picture. Playing hot teams in New Jersey and Detroit this week isn’t helping their case either.
26 EDM 27 The Oilers have won four straight games. The best win was Saturday night against the Thrashers as Taylor Hall scored three power play goals for his first career hat trick. Expect them win at least two of their three games this week.
27 TOR 29 Getting points in four of their last five games is helping them, but they took a step backwards when they got shutout against Ottawa Saturday night.
28 ATL NR The Thrashers are only four points out of a playoff spot, but they are playing like a team not wanting to make the playoffs as they have only one victory this month. March better be good to them to justify re-signing Dustin Byfuglien to a contract extension last week.
29 COL 27 The Avalanche is trying to avoid their season from being buried in an avalanche. They are the only team to not have a victory in the month of February. GM Greg Sherman has been trading off players in the past week and I don’t think he’s done either.
30 OTT 28 They swapped goalies with the Avalanche, and after the first few days it looks like the Sens got the better end of the deal as Craig Anderson got a shutout victory over Toronto Saturday night. They still haven’t won at home since Dec. 26 and they have two home games this week to snap their 0-7-3 streak.

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