Although there is no denying the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks – the league’s top two teams right now – if there is one club you don’t want to play tonight, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners of 10 of their last 10.
This despite losing 2012′s MVP, Evgeni Malkin, up front and the irreplaceable Kris Letang in back. Remarkably, this is the third consecutive season in which the Pens have ripped off a 10-game winning streak.
Sidney Crosby has a ridiculous 10-point lead in the scoring race. More impressive: he’s turned Chris Kunitz into the league’s second-highest scorer. If you crawled out from under a rock and only looked at stats, you might believe Kunitz was as dangerous as Steven Stamkos.
Here are this week’s Sportsnet.ca Power Rankings:
How powerful are the Penguins of Pittsburgh? Well, they can lose the game’s defending Hart Trophy winner and the league’s highest-scoring defenceman and keep filling that left column. With a victory over Ovie’s Caps, Sid’s squad has now extended its winning streak to double digits.
The Presidents’ Trophy front-runners recovered from those two pesky regulation losses and entered Wednesday’s showdown with the Ducks on a three-game winning streak. Though Marian Hossa is day-to-day (again), Patrick Kane (37 points) ranks fourth in the scoring race, and looks like he’s having a blast doing it.
Note to NHL trophy engravers: It’s spelled MacLean, not McLean. Coach Paul has the injury-ravaged Sens – best home record in the NHL – playing fearless, impassioned hockey. Three wins in a row for the team guided by our Jack Adams favourite.
Winners of six of their last seven, the Wild ripped the Northeast lead from the Canucks’ sweaty palms by beating them twice in eight days. New acquisition Ryan Suter (leading his club in points) is finding his game, and those who actually watch Wild contests regularly are talking Norris.
The previously slumping Blues have won three of their last four – a trend that should continue as Vladimir Tarasenko, Andy MacDonald and Alex Steen all returned from the IR within the last week.
Gotta love this story. Led by the solid play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Jackets have earned a point in 11 straight contests. Columbus Blue Jackets, 2013 playoff team: How crazy/great does that sound? They’re only two points out of a spot.
Unfazed by Vancouver’s white-pantsed Millionaires throwback uniforms, the Red Wings took two of three on their road swing through Western Canada, and Apple’s Siri now recognizes Pavel Datsyuk as “the magic man.”
The Sharks dropped two games in greater Los Angeles and are clinging to a playoff spot with Dan Boyle’s fingernails. Could be the most active team on the trade market in the next couple weeks.
Losers of a league-high five games heading into Wednesday’s important game against the Lightning, Toronto has juggled its defensive pairs to no end. A healthy Joffrey Lupul and a “freed” Jake Gardiner represent promise to Leafs Nation, but a suspension to Lupul will sting.
After getting shutout 6-0 by the Predators (sound familiar, Habs fans?), the Oilers have earned points in five straight.
Like the rest of the conference, the Stars are hanging around but have failed to make a serious run or retreat. Will be interesting to see what GM Joe Nieuwendyk does with Brendan Morrow and Jaromir Jagr at the deadline…
The long-awaited return of Martin Brodeur, who gets the start Thursday, is crucial. Without their rock between the posts, the Devils have slipped all the way to ninth place in the East.
One of three Western clubs on a four-game skid, the Coyotes had the bad fortune of drawing the Kings (twice), Jackets and Blues while those teams were at peak confidence.
Six teams stand between the Flames and a playoff berth. So, Mr. Iginla, what’ll it be?
A career-best four-game goal streak for captain Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t done much to brighten the mood in Denver. Before scraping by Dallas Wednesday, the Avs had lost four straight.