1. St. Louis Blues (36-11-5, Last week: 5)
Last week's rankings
Last week's rankings
The Blues rebounded from a less than stellar week with three straight wins, but things aren't as peachy as they look in St. Louis. They've been outplayed in three of their last four games while the score was close, and you have to think that eventually their scoring rate is going to falter for a stretch. The Blues are still one of the best teams in the league, so they should be able to withstand a stretch of bad luck.
Featured article: The warning signs with the Blues aren't just visible to outsiders.
2. Anaheim Ducks (40-11-5, Last week: 3)
The streak is no longer, but the Ducks are still playing extremely impressive hockey, and they're winning big games as well, taking their Stadium Series match with Los Angeles, 3-0. Here's the thing, though: the Ducks aren't exactly dominating games at even strength. Like the Blues, they've been rolling with the percentages like crazy, and eventually that's not going to be good enough. They look like that one team every year that kills it all season and goes out in the first round. Hey, isn't that what happened last year?
3. Boston Bruins (34-16-3, Last week: 6)
Four straight wins and absolutely rolling while getting healthy, and heading into a game with its hated rival. I can't help but think that Boston will be overtaking Pittsburgh for first in the East shortly and won't be letting go. I don't want to say more nice things about the Bruins.
Featured article: Do you love Tuukka Rask? Well you should.
4. San Jose Sharks (34-15-6, Last week: 2)
San Jose remains one of the strongest teams in the league, and it showed why, ironically, with a loss to Edmonton on Wednesday. If not for Ben Scrivens putting up the best single game performance of the year, the 60-shot performance from the Sharks would have easily led to a blowout victory of epic proportions.
Featured article: Alex Stalock sets the Sharks' shutout record.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (38-14-2, Last week: 4)
The Penguins are slowly but surely digging themselves out of the possession hole they found themselves in while dealing with all those injuries, due in no small part to getting Kris Letang and Paul Martin back. One thing that's consistently plaguing the Penguins, though, is their depth. When Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin aren't on the ice, they get drubbed by pretty much everyone. Being bad when two of the best players in the world aren't on the ice is a pretty nice problem to have though, all things considered.
Featured article: Pensburgh Pledge Drive to support Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
6. Chicago Blackhawks (33-10-13, Last week: 1)
Not a sterling week for the Hawks, who lost three straight before finishing strong in Vancouver. The Hawks are also digging their way out of their biggest rut of the season, a three-week stretch of around 51 percent Fenwick close. Imagine if your team was so good that its worst stretch of the season was still at the level of a top-10 team? If a Blackhawks fan ever complains to you, smack them.
Featured article: Brandon Pirri gets his shot with the Hawks.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning (31-18-5, Last week: 7)
The Bolts are tailing off a little bit from a possession standpoint, under 50 percent over their last 10 games, but you have to wonder what kind of impact Steven Stamkos is going to have when he comes back, an eventuality that's right around the corner. Stamkos doesn't have the reputation of a dominant possession player, but he was above team average when he went down, and even if they drop a little bit, his impact on scoring will be incredible.
Featured article: Tyler Johnson continues to impress.
8. Colorado Avalanche (34-14-5, Last week: 9)
The Avs hit a brick wall from mid-December to mid-January, but they've started to climb out of it and have put up a 52 percent Fenwick close over their last 11 games, during which they've been racking up wins like they were early in the season. So many people are waiting for Patrick Roy to fail, but Colorado just keeps hanging around.
Featured article: A Stadium Series outdoor game in Colorado would be a great idea.
9. Los Angeles Kings (30-20-6, Last week: 8)
The Kings can't score. They're an unstoppable behemoth everywhere on the ice, but the puck just won't go in the net. No one is entirely sure why this is happening, but there are some theories out there. There really is no reason for a team this talented to score this little though, unless it's all an evil secret plan to repeat the 2011-12 season, when the Kings couldn't score in the regular season and ran roughshod over the entire league in the playoffs. Hmm...
Featured article: It's not time to panic for the Kings.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets (27-23-4, Last week: 10)
The Jackets lost three straight after winning eight straight, but for a moment let's ignore the win/loss record because this is a team that has figured things out. After being terrible for most of last season (and their history) and half of this one, they've turned things around and are now 12th in the league in Fenwick while the score is close, and they've outplayed their opponents at even strength in 16 of their last 18 games. Looking like a playoff team.
Featured article: An update on the Metropolitan Division.
11. New York Rangers (29-23-3, Last week: 11)
It took a while for the Rangers to fully click, but they look seriously dangerous right now. 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, and two big wins at Yankee Stadium over division rivals have the Rangers rolling like they haven't for the entire season thus far. Henrik Lundqvist putting up a .951 save percentage over his last seven games doesn't hurt either.
Featured article: Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan's futures in New York are in question.
12. Vancouver Canucks (27-19-9, Last week: 12)
There's something about the Canucks and Rangers swapping coaches, and having nearly identical records and nearly identical possession numbers, that makes me smile. The Canucks are fading a little bit as New York picks it up though, and you have to wonder when Daniel Sedin starts scoring. 13 goals is not enough for him, and that 7.5 percent shooting percentage is impossibly low.
Featured article: Chris Tanev broke his thumb, which opens up the door for Yannick Weber.
13. Carolina Hurricanes (24-20-9, Last week: 26)
The Canes have been getting shortchanged in the rankings for a few weeks, as they've quietly battled their way into a wild-card spot in the Eastern conference. They've been incredibly inconsistent from a possession standpoint, but the overall trend is upwards, as they've been flirting with positive numbers for about a month.
Featured article: The Canes capitalized on a tough week to grab a playoff spot.
14. Ottawa Senators (24-20-10, Last week: 13)
The Sens have been struggling to capitalize on their excellent play, but they've done enough to lay claim to the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The scary thing for those above them in the standings is that they haven't hit their stride yet.
Featured article: Hardcore Sens trivia.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (29-21-6, Last week: 18)
The Leafs aren't going to keep this up, but the fact is that they're winning games, and a lot of them. When Bernier and Kessel are hot, it's hard to count them out, even when they're outshot by double.
Featured article: How does KHL hockey compare to the NHL?
16. Detroit Red Wings (23-19-11, Last week: 14)
Detroit it yet another team in this mid-range that was expected to be much better but just can't seem to get it together. After seemingly getting its game together over the last couple of weeks, it's crashed again.
17. New Jersey Devils (23-21-11, Last week: 15)
Could the blowout loss in the Stadium Series be the turning point for the Devils when it comes to Cory Schneider? It sure seems like Martin Brodeur is unhappy, as he's been yelling to whoever will listen that he would accept a trade. What ever happened to retiring with grace?
Featured article: The Devils' Stadium Series loss felt like the end of an era.
18. Philadelphia Flyers (26-23-6, Last week: 16)
The Flyers aren't looking too hot of late, with their midseason surge a thing of the past. It's pretty shocking to see guys like Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn are being fed butter-soft minutes and struggling.
Featured article: Nicklas Grossmann is bad, and the Flyers need to find a way to shed him.
19. Montreal Canadiens (29-20-5, Last week: 17)
The Habs are an unmitigated disaster, and after being nine points up in the wild card, they could be all the way out of a playoff spot if they keep the losses flowing for another week. Hard to believe after Therrien's first 60 games in charge.
Featured article: An open letter to Marc Bergevin: It's time to find a new coach.
20. Winnipeg Jets (25-25-5, Last week: 20)
The job always gets tougher after the initial grace period, and Paul Maurice saw his winning streak halted with a .500 record last week.
Featured article: Talking depression and Rick Rypien.
21. Minnesota Wild (29-21-6, Last week: 21)
All hail the lords of luck! The Wild continue to get bullied on the shot clock, but are winning games with a crazy 106 PDO over the last 14 games.
Featured article: The Wild are probably not trading for Ryan Miller.
22. Nashville Predators (24-23-8, Last week: 19)
The Preds are starting to get better, but it's looking more and more like it might be too little, too late in the tough West.
23. Washington Capitals (24-22-8, Last week: 27)
The losing streak was finally halted, and the Capitals have looked good for a while now. Braden Holtby getting back to his usual form would go a long way to continuing that trend.
24. Dallas Stars (24-21-9, Last week: 24)
There are rumors flying that the Stars are willing to sell vets, but I wonder if they're giving up too soon. They're six points out of a playoff spot, but they have two games in hand on Minnesota and the Wild are bound to fall down the standings soon.
Featured article: Should the Stars be buyers or sellers?
25. Phoenix Coyotes (25-19-10, Last week: 25)
The soon-to-be Arizona Coyotes had a solid week, getting points in three games, but they're not going anywhere with Mike Smith playing like he is.
Featured article: The burning questions about the Portland Pirates.
26. New York Islanders (21-27-8, Last week: 22)
The Islanders were improving, then this week happened. It's not like they didn't come close, but the Islanders are still having tons of trouble winning games.
Featured article: Explaining why Vanek's overtime goal was called off.
27. Florida Panthers (21-26-7, Last week: 23)
Another team that's seen improved play but just can't seem to get the wins it deserves flowing.
Featured article: Tim Thomas' return to Boston didn't go as well as he'd hoped.
28. Calgary Flames (20-27-7, Last week: 28)
An undefeated week for Calgary. No, seriously. Add the fact that Mike Cammalleri is practicing again and the Flames look a little bit more competitive.
Featured article: There's been a leak about the Flames' new arena.
29. Edmonton Oilers (18-32-6, Last week: 30)
All hail Ben Scrivens, who put up a performance for the ages to steal a win away from the Sharks. An unbelievable performance that will likely be the driving force behind an extension.
30. Buffalo Sabres (15-30-8, Last week: 29)
The Ted Nolan magic seems to be fading a little bit, but maybe that's a good thing?
Featured article: Have the Sabres been winning too much?