Originally written on Red Light District Hockey | Last updated 11/14/11
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 10: Ice Hockey player Patrick Kane poses for a portrait during the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit at the Palmer House Hilton on September 10, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
1. Chicago Blackhawks… LW: 5
Patrick Kane and company have unseated Washington for the top spot. They own the most points in the NHL and impressively steamrolled through Columbus, Calgary and Edmonton – just like they should.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins… LW: 2
James Neal is on a six-game point streak and leads the NHL in shots. More importantly, the Penguins lead the Eastern Conference without Sidney Crosby playing a shift.
3. Washington Capitals… LW: 1
After a torrid start, the Caps are looking so invincible. They have gone 3-4-1 in the last eight games and simply aren’t playing their best hockey.
4. Philadelphia Flyers… LW: 3
Chris Pronger returned from his eye injury following a six-game absence. No time was wasted in giving him his regular minutes in the two games thus far (25:22, 24:13).
5. San Jose Sharks… LW: 4
Team Teal wraps up their long home stand on Thursday with a rematch with Detroit, who the Sharks have beaten in the second round the last two years.
6. Boston Bruins… LW: 19
Are the Bruins back? I’d say so. The defending champs have scored 30 goals in five games this month (all victories), including Saturday’s 6-2 thrashing of Buffalo.
7. Detroit Red Wings… LW: 15
The Wings started with five consecutive wins, then dropped six straight, but have now won four in a row. Talk about up and down.
8. Vancouver Canucks… LW: 8
Is David Booth starting to settle in with the Canucks? The new addition has five points in the last four games.
9. Dallas Stars… LW: 6
The top line of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder has combined for 24 points in five November games.
10. Nashville Predators… LW: 9
Since receiving his seven-year extension, Pekka Rinne is 3-0-1 with a 1.71 GAA and .947 save percentage.
11. New York Rangers… LW: 12
The Blueshirts hit the road this week, to Long Island and Montreal, to try to continue their six-game win streak.
12. Buffalo Sabres… LW: 7
Ryan Miller, who has a 4.71 GAA and .854 save percentage in his last five games, is out indefinitely with a concussion. This could be Jhonas Enroth’s time to (continue to) shine.
13. Los Angeles Kings… LW: 10
Terry Murray’s Kings are 2-4-2 in their last eight games. They may want to get back on their A-game before facing Anaheim in a key back-to-back this week.
14. Minnesota Wild… LW: 14
Why has Minnesota found success in the first quarter of the year? Between Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding, they rank second in goals-against average.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs… LW: 11
Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens have combined for a 3.47 GAA since James Reimer suffered his concussion.
16. Phoenix Coyotes… LW: 17
The ‘Yotes have not given up a power play goal since Oct. 25; the penalty kill unit is 18-for-18 in the seven games.
17. Tampa Bay Lightning… LW: 16
Since surrendering seven goals on Oct. 17 against Florida, Dwayne Roloson has posted a 4-1 record and 1.68 GAA.
18. Edmonton Oilers… LW: 13
Tom Renney’s gang has been a nice story in the early going, but after three straight losses, they need to stop the bleeding this week before another road trip.
19. New Jersey Devils… LW: 20
We may know a lot more of what the Devils are all about after this week. They’ll go on the road to face the Bruins, Sabres and Lightning.
20. Florida Panthers… LW: 24
Florida is an intriguing team right now. If the season ended today, they would make the playoffs.
21. Montreal Canadiens… LW: 22
The Habs’ penalty kill unit has been impressive of late, killing off 31 of the last 33 power plays they’ve faced.
22. St. Louis Blues… LW: 26
Ken Hitchcock’s first impressions in St. Louis have been positive. His team won two of three last week, including one shutout each from Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott.
23. Colorado Avalanche… LW: 18
Joe Sacco and the Avalanche are 2-6-1 in their last nine games. In that span, Semyon Varlamov has a 3.73 GAA and .855 save percentage.
24. Anaheim Ducks… LW: 21
The Ducks have won just twice in their last 12 games. To make matters worse, they’ll be without Lubomir Visnovsky for the next month due to a broken finger.
25. Ottawa Senators… LW: 23
Are the Senators who we thought they were? They’ve started November going 1-4-1 and head out west this week.
26. Calgary Flames… LW: 25
The power play ranks 22nd in the NHL, and has gone 1-for-14 in the last five games.
27. Carolina Hurricanes… LW: 27
Jeff Skinner, with 17 points in 17 games, continues to debunk any thoughts of a sophomore slump.
28. Winnipeg Jets… LW: 28
Andrew Ladd, who led the team with 59 points a year ago, has just six points in 17 games.
29. New York Islanders… LW: 29
Evgeni Nabokov is 1-4-1 this season and isn’t playing at his best, but will he get dealt away in the near future to clear the logjam in the Islanders’ crease?
30. Columbus Blue Jackets… LW: 30
Weird stat: Rookie Ryan Johansen has all three game-winning goals for Columbus thus far.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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