SB Nation's NHL Power Rankings, Week 11: Los Angeles Kings On The Rise

Despite all of the attention paid to Washington, Chicago, New Jersey and Pittsburgh this season, perhaps none deserve praise more than the surprising Los Angeles Kings. With San Jose stumbling, the Kings find themselves along on top of the Western Conference standings and show no sign of slowing down.

They are a young, hungry and determined team that has excelled in close games and look to be a legitimate threat as the season progresses, not just an early-season flash in the pan. Our panel of voters are still a bit unsure, ranking the Kings just 5th overall and giving them just one first-place vote. Here's betting that next week this relatively unknown team pressure the Caps and Blackhawks for the top spot.

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 Comments
1 3 Chicago Blackhawks So much for goaltending issues. The Blackhawks now lead the NHL in goals allowed, giving up just 2.06 per game.
2 1 Washington Capitals A slight stumble last week, but things look to be back on track after a 6-1 drubbing of Colorado.
3 5 New Jersey Devils The best road team in the NHL is currently 5-2-0 in a stretch where they play nine-of-ten games at home.
4 4 Pittsburgh Penguins

A healthy Pens team is doing some damage once again, winners of three in a row.

5 7 Los Angeles Kings The surprising Kings now sit along atop the Western Conference standings. Who would have taken the best that would be the case midway through the season?
6 2 San Jose Sharks The Sharks are now in the midst of a season-high six game losing streak. Consolation prize: three games went to overtime?
7 8 Buffalo Sabres Led by goaltender Ryan Miller and a suffocating defense, the Sabres are now 8-2-0 in their past ten games.
8 6 Calgary Flames The Flames barely hold on in the top ten after going 1-2-1 in the past week.
9 - Colorado Avalanche The Avs are still holding on to their top spot in the Northwest division, with Calgary nipping at their heels two points behind.
10 9 Boston Bruins A loss to rival Philadelphia on Monday put a damper on what had been good start to December; now the Bruins are just 3-2-1 on the month.


Western Conference

Biggest Winner:  Edmonton Oilers (+3)

Biggest Loser:  St. Louis Blues (-2)

Western Conference Power Rankings
Rk (Prv) Team Record SB Nation Blog
1 (1) Chicago Blackhawks 20-8-3 Second City Hockey
2 (4) Los Angeles Kings 22-11-3 Battle of California
3 (2) San Jose Sharks 19-8-7 Fear The Fin
4 (3) Calgary Flames 19-10-4 Matchsticks and Gasoline
5 (5) Colorado Avalanche 19-11-6 Mile High Hockey
6 (6) Phoenix Coyotes 19-12-2 Five For Howling
7 (9) Dallas Stars 14-8-10 Defending Big D
8 (7) Nashville Predators 20-11-3 On the Forecheck
9 (8) Detroit Red Wings 17-11-5 Winging It In Motown
10 (10) Vancouver Canucks 19-14-0 Nucks Misconduct
11 (14) Edmonton Oilers 15-14-4 The Copper & Blue
12 (11) Columbus Blue Jackets 14-14-6 The Cannon
13 (13) Minnesota Wild 16-14-3 Hockey Wilderness
14 (12) St. Louis Blues 14-12-5 St. Louis Game Time
15 (15) Anaheim Ducks 12-13-7 Anaheim Calling


Eastern Conference

Biggest Winner: Motreal Canadiens (+3)

Biggest Loser: Tampa Bay Lightning (-6)

Eastern Conference Power Rankings
Rk (Prv) Team Record SB Nation Blog
1 (1) Washington Capitals 21-7-6 Japers' Rink
2 (2) Pittsburgh Penguins 23-10-1 PensBurgh
3 (3) New Jersey Devils 22-8-1 In Lou We Trust
4 (5) Buffalo Sabres 20-9-2 Die By The Blade
5 (4) Boston Bruins 16-10-6 Stanley Cup of Chowder
6 (6) Atlanta Thrashers 17-11-3 Bird Watchers Anonymous
7 (7) Ottawa Senators 16-12-4 Silver Seven
8 (11) Montreal Canadiens 15-16-3 Habs Eyes On The Prize
9 (9) New York Islanders 12-14-7 Lighthouse Hockey
10 (10) New York Rangers 14-15-3 Blueshirt Banter
11 (13) Florida Panthers 13-14-7 Litter Box Cats
12 (14) Toronto Maple Leafs 12-14-7 Pension Plan Puppets
13 (12) Philadelphia Flyers 15-16-1 Broad Street Hockey
14 (8) Tampa Bay Lightning 11-13-9 Raw Charge
15 (15) Carolina Hurricanes 7-19-6 Canes Country
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