NHL Power Rankings: Oilers’ big jump

Taylor Hall led the Edmonton Oilers in points in 2013 with 50 in 45 games. (CP photo)
April 5, 2013, 2:15 PM

The Oilers enjoyed their longest winning streak of the season and are finally looking like the offensive powerhouse we predicted them to be, outscoring their opponents 27-7 during a streak that ended Thursday.

Of course, it helps when you draw back-to-back games against the post-Iggy Flames. But they also shut out the Blues and Canucks in the last seven days.
Taylor Hall (36 points) has become an absolute beast for this team.

Here are the latest Sportsnet.ca Power Rankings:

RANK

TEAM PREV

1

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Relatively quiet on Deadline Day (unless you’re taking the perspective of a massive Maxime Sauve fan), the Blackhawks are content to ride their ultra-deep cadre of forwards and goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery to what could be home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

2

2

The streak is over – squashed by Buffalo, no less — and Sidney Crosby might not play again until the playoffs. But Crosby’s Malkin’s Letang’s Neal’s Iginla’s Penguins have enough all-stars that they should be just fine.

1

3

A defeat of Chicago and back-to-back wins over the Dallas Stars have the Ducks gunning hard for that No. 1 spot.

6

4

Leading scorer Patrice Bergeron has what the Bruins are calling a “moderate” concussion, and the B’s failed to land Jarome Iginla. They did, however, steal Jaromir Jagr from the Stars. Cannot wait to see the Bruins and Penguins go it at – hopefully with healthy rosters.

7

5

The Habs have won four of five, and power-play monster P.K. Subban is playing incredibly well. Although they lost Colby Armstrong (lower body), the return of Brandon Prust to the lineup is big. He leads the club in plus/minus with +12.

4

6

The Canucks mustered only two goals on their mini road trip to Edmonton and San Jose, and Mike Gillis’s failure to move Roberto Luongo could start to go sideways. Expect fewer jokes.

5

7

Looks like the Ryane Clowe trade will benefit both parties. If the Sharks took the stance of deadline sellers, they sure aren’t playing like it. Six straight wins for this streaky bunch.

17

8

Decent road trip for the Kings, who earned points in four out of five games. Best move was holding on to coveted backup Jonathan Bernier. Seems odd to type, but goaltending depth could prove valuable as the other Jonathan hasn’t quite found his 2012 form.

10

9

Nazem Kadri has 14 points in his last nine games. Joffrey Lupul has eight goals since returning from injury. Yes, their goaltending “upgrade” fell through, but this team will end the drought.

14

10

They ran out of gas against the Leafs and Boston has their number, but the Sens still had a winning home stand. Excited to see how rookie Cory Conacher fits in with the group.

9

11

Everyone thought the Oilers would get off to a hot start, but April is not a bad time to reel off your longest winning streak of the season. Five games and counting.

23

12

The Wild have cooled off as of late, losing three in a row, but by scooping up Jason Pominville from Buffalo, Minny must now be considered a legitimate threat in the West. Think about how far this lineup has come since June.

3

13

Don’t count Philly out yet. So what if they keep trading for mediocre goaltenders? Their four-game winning streak has come at the expense of teams ahead of them in the standings: Montreal, Washington, Toronto and Boston.

26

14

Love to see the Columbus Blue Jackets not only in playoff contention but actually going for it. All the excitement around the arrival of Marian Gaborik goes nicely with this week’s win over the mighty (lowercase) Ducks.

16

15

Discount their public shaming by Chicago Sunday, when they lost 7-1 at home, and Detroit has played well enough to be a serious playoff contender in a conference full of them. They’ve won four of their last seven.

8

16

Getting rid of Marian Gaborik was huge for the Rangers; so was acquiring the toughness of Ryane Clowe, who couldn’t score at all out west and potted two during his first night in a blue shirt.

18

17

Alex Ovechkin – y’know, that guy everyone blasted in early February — hit the 20-goal mark already, and the Caps picked up Martin Erat for a final push. They just leapt all the way to the No. 3 seed.

20

18

St. Louis continues to underwhelm, and now it’s Jaroslav Halak and T.J. Oshie (both lower body) on the sidelines. It’s very doable, but it will be a battle for this team to make the playoffs.

11

19

John Tavares has 23 goals and the Islanders are, remarkably, in a serious playoff hunt. They’ve won five of six.

19

20

The Lightning has fared quite well under new coach Jon Cooper and has a little run of four games with a point. Plus, Steve Yzerman outbid the competition for former Sens goalie Ben Bishop – who only posted a shutout in his first game.

22

21

Trending down in a big way, the Devils have dropped five in a row. Grabbing Steve Sullivan at the deadline might not be enough to get the defending Eastern Conference champions back in the postseason.

15

22

Best cure for a three-game skid? Host the Colorado Avalanche. Martin Erat wanted out of town, but getting a prime prospect in Filip Forsberg in return for a guy who looks to be headed for the Capitals’ third line is good value. Nice one, Mr. Poile.

13

23

They’ve lost five in a row and eight of their last 11. They have a 27th-ranked minus-25 goal differential. And they hold a losing record at home and on the road. Ladies and gentlemen, the No. 3 seed in the East just became the No. 10 seed.

12

24

Ryan Miller on Buffalo’s trading of its captain, Jason Pominville: “Not a great day. … That’s what happens when you don’t perform in a season as a team.”

25

25

Here is a phrase you haven’t heard this year: The Florida Panthers are on a three-game winning streak.

30

26

Despite playing without goaltender Mike Smith (head), the Coyotes have played admirably, earning points in each of their last four games, three of which were on the road.

28

27

Ugh. The Stars traded away their captain (Brenden Morrow) and their leading scorer (Jaromir Jagr) to prop up the battle for best in the East. They’ve also lost three straight. Fun fact: Seth Jones is from Plano, Texas.

24

28

Everyone thought the ‘Canes would struggle when Cam Ward went down to injury, but one victory in their last 11 attempts? My goodness they’re bad. Worse: In six of those losses, they scored only once. In another one, shut out.

21

29

A seemingly sad week in Calgary (so long, Jarome; bye-bye, Bouwmeester) should be seen as a positive. That long-procrastinated rebuild is underway.

27

30

The Avalanche can’t even beat the Flames.

29

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