NHL Power Rankings, Week 7: Devils' Defense Has N.J. Nearing Top Spot

Equipped with Martin Brodeur and the NHL's stingiest defense, the New Jersey Devils leap to the top of the Eastern Conference standings and are suddenly threatening San Jose for the top spot. The Sharks continue to play strong however, and are still unbeaten in regulation on home ice.

Surprise of the week: After spending last week off the list, the Chicago Blackhawks ride a four-game winning streak all the way up to No. 4 in our Top Ten rankings.

PLEASE READ: Western Conference rankings are determined by votes from Western Conference bloggers, Eastern Conference bloggers for Eastern rankings. The Top 10 Power Rankings are determined by a separate vote of Western and Eastern Conference bloggers.

NHL Top Ten Power Rankings
 Rank  Last Wk  Team  Record  Comments
1 1  San Jose Sharks 14-4-4 The Sharks are still the NHL's hottest team, unbeaten in regulation in their last ten games (7-0-3)
2 7  New Jersey Devils 14-5-0 The New Jersey Devils are the NHL's best road team, having lost just one game (9-1-0) away from home.
3 3  Washington Capitals 12-4-4 The return of Ovechkin should help the Capitals return to form after they went 4-2-0 in his absence. Oh, the horror!!
4 -  Chicago Blackhawks 12-5-2 Winners of four straight, the Blackhawks look to be a team that has rebounded from a poor start in net.
5 5  Calgary Flames 12-4-2 The Flames keep finding ways to win, powered by a suddenly hot Jarome Iginla.
6 9  Buffalo Sabres 12-4-1 The Sabres continue to be stifling on defense and in net, and are just behind New Jersey in goals allowed per game.
7 6  Philadelphia Flyers 11-5-1 The Flyers have one of the NHL's best goal differential at +19.
8 2  Pittsburgh Penguins 14-7-0 Malkin returned against the Bruins but injuries continue to mount as four defensemen and three forwards sit on the shelf. Wins won't be pretty and they won't come easy.
9 4  Colorado Avalanche 12-5-3 After a hot start the Avs have cooled off a bit, going 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.
10 8  Los Angeles Kings 13-7-2 The Kings continue to win despite allowing nearly three goals per game.

Western Conference

Biggest Winner: Detroit Red Wings(+6)

Biggest Loser: Colorado Avalanche (-3)

Western Conference Power Rankings
 Rk (Prv)  Team  Record  SB Nation Blog
1 (1)  San Jose Sharks 14-4-4  Fear The Fin
2 (5)  Chicago Blackhawks 12-5-2  Second City Hockey
3 (2)  Calgary Flames 12-4-2  Matchsticks and Gasoline
4 (10)  Detroit Red Wings 10-5-3  Winging It In Motown
5 (4)  Los Angeles Kings 13-7-2  Battle of California
6 (3)  Colorado Avalanche 12-5-3  Mile High Hockey
7 (7)  Phoenix Coyotes 11-9-0  Five For Howling
8 (8)  Dallas Stars 8-5-6  Defending Big D
9 (6)  Columbus Blue Jackets 11-6-2  The Cannon
10 (9)  Vancouver Canucks 11-10-0  Nucks Misconduct
11 (12)  Nashville Predators 9-8-1  On the Forecheck
12 (13)  St. Louis Blues 6-8-4  St. Louis Game Time
13 (11)  Edmonton Oilers 8-10-3  The Copper & Blue
14 (15)  Minnesota Wild 7-11-2  Hockey Wilderness
15 (13)  Anaheim Ducks 6-10-3  Battle of California

Eastern Conference

Biggest Winner: Atlanta Thrashers (+5)

Biggest Loser: Ottawa Senators (-4)

Eastern Conference Power Rankings
 Rk (Prv)  Team  Record  SB Nation Blog
1 (4)  New Jersey Devils 14-5-0  In Lou We Trust
2 (1)  Washington Capitals 12-4-4  Japers' Rink
3 (5)  Buffalo Sabres 12-4-1  Die By The Blade
4 (3)  Philadelphia Flyers 11-5-1  Broad Street Hockey
5 (2)  Pittsburgh Penguins 14-7-0  PensBurgh
6 (11)  Atlanta Thrashers 10-6-1  Bird Watchers Anonymous
7 (6)  New York Rangers 11-8-1  Blueshirt Banter
8 (9)  New York Islanders 8-6-7  Lighthouse Hockey
9 (8)  Boston Bruins 8-8-4  Stanley Cup of Chowder
10 (10)  Tampa Bay Lightning 8-4-6  Raw Charge
11 (7)  Ottawa Senators 8-6-3  Silver Seven
12 (12)  Montreal Canadiens 9-11-0  Habs Eyes On The Prize
13 (14)  Florida Panthers 7-9-2  Litter Box Cats
14 (13)  Toronto Maple Leafs 3-10-5  Pension Plan Puppets
15 (15)  Carolina Hurricanes 3-12-4  Canes Country
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