The Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues have each won nine of its last ten games, and as a result, have surged near the top of this week’s NHL Power Rankings at The Wife Hates Sports.

But it’s the Vancouver Canucks who hold the current top spot, and by the slimmest of margins – one ratings point, to be exact.  Following the Canucks is the aforementioned Blues, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins.

The Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals are the week’s hottest movers.

Here’s how the rankings fell into place this week:

henrik-sedin-celebrates-with-vancouver-teammates

Henrik Sedin and the Vancouver Canucks have had plenty to celebrate this season

KP’s NHL Power Rankings: March 12, 2012

*Stats and figures as of Sunday evening, March 11, 2012

1. Vancouver Canucks – 42-19-8 – 92 points (132 points) – Last Week: #2

The Canucks have been a middle of the road team over its last ten games, and in a tight race, Vancouver’s stellar road record (22-10-4) gave it the slightest edge.

2. St. Louis Blues – 45-18-7 – 97 points (131 points) – Last Week: #6

St. Louis goaltenders Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak currently hold the top two spots in goals against average.  Elliott also leads the NHL in save percentage (.938).

3. New York Rangers – 43-18-7 – 93 points (131 points) – Last Week: #1

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is currently second in the NHL in save percentage (.935).

4. Pittsburgh Penguins – 42-21-5 – 89 points (129 points) – Last Week: #5

The red-hot Penguins have won nine straight games.

5. Boston Bruins – 40-25-3 – 83 points (125 points) – Last Week: #3

The Bruins have lost its last two games, giving up a combined total of nine goals to the Capitals and Penguins.

6. Detroit Red Wings – 44-22-3 – 91 points (116 points) – Last Week: #4

Detroit’s last four contests have all been one-goal games, three of which were losses.

7. Philadelphia Flyers – 39-22-7 – 85 points (100 points) – Last Week: #8

The Flyers had won five straight games before Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Devils.

8. Nashville Predators – 40-21-7 – 87 points (99 points) – Last Week: #7

The Predators have scored three or more goals in five straight games.

9. New Jersey Devils – 40-24-5 – 85 points (89 points) – Last Week: #10

New Jersey’s ten shootout wins are the most in the NHL this season.

10. Dallas Stars – 38-26-5 – 81 points (82 points) – Last Week: #14

The Stars are the hottest team in the NHL currently, winning five straight and posting a 9-0-1 record over the team’s last ten games.

11. Ottawa Senators – 36-25-9 – 81 points (71 points) – Last Week: #11

The Senators’ 18-13-4 home record is the worst among the 16 teams that currently have a hold onto playoff spots.

12. Phoenix Coyotes – 34-25-10 – 78 points (60 points) – Last Week: #9

The Coyotes snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday the 10th.

13. Chicago Blackhawks – 37-25-8 – 82 points (53 points) – Last Week: #12

The Blackhawks are 23-7-5 at home, but just 14-18-3 on the road this season.

14. San Jose Sharks – 33-25-9 – 75 points (50 points) – Last Week: #13

Five straight defeats have dropped the Sharks down to the tenth spot in the West.

15. Los Angeles Kings – 32-25-12 – 76 points (47 points) – Last Week: #15

Goalie Jonathan Quick is fourth in the NHL in goals against average (2.00) and fourth in the league in save percentage (.929).

16. Colorado Avalanche – 36-30-4 – 76 points (41 points) – Last Week: #17

The Avalanche outscored the Wild 9-1 in back-to-back victories on the 4th and 6th.

17. Washington Capitals – 35-28-6 – 76 points (36 points) – Last Week: #20

alexander-ovechkin-washington-capitals-scorer

If the season ended today, Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals would be in the playoffs

The Capitals have won three straight games to reclaim hold of 8th place in the East.

18. Florida Panthers – 32-23-13 – 77 points (34 points) – Last Week: #16

Despite sitting as the division leader and current 3rd seed in the East, the Panthers have the fourth worst goal differential (-25) in the conference.

19. Calgary Flames – 32-25-12 – 76 points (32 points) – Last Week: #19

Mikka Kiprusoff’s 31 wins are currently the fifth most among NHL goalies this season.

20. Buffalo Sabres – 32-29-8 – 72 points (14 points) – Last Week: #21

The Sabres are 7-2-1 over its last ten games, and currently sit in the ninth spot in the East, just two points behind the Capitals.

21. Winnipeg Jets – 32-29-8 – 72 points (13 points) – Last Week: #18

Despite a winning record over its last ten games (5-3-2), the Jets have fallen four points behind Washington for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

22. Montreal Canadiens – 27-32-10 – 64 points (8 points) – Last Week: #25

Montreal has the worst record in the Eastern Conference, but a decent road record (15-17-3) and solid goal differential (-11) give Montreal a boost in the rankings.

23. Toronto Maple Leafs – 30-31-8 – 68 points (5 points) – Last Week: #22

Phil Kessel’s 71 points are fifth most in the NHL and his 34 goals are tied for the third most in the league.

24. Carolina Hurricanes – 26-28-15 – 67 points (3 points) – Last Week: #26

Carolina’s 15 overtime losses are the most in the NHL this season.

25. Anaheim Ducks – 29-30-10 – 68 points (-1 point) – Last Week: #23

Corey Perry’s 34 goals are the third most in the NHL this season.

26. Tampa Bay Lightning – 31-30-7 – 69 points (-6 points) – Last Week: #24

Steven Stamkos has 82 points on the season, which is the second most in the NHL.

27. Minnesota Wild – 29-30-10 – 68 points (-14 points) – Last Week: #27

Minnesota has lost six of seven games, including getting shut out in three of those games.

28. Edmonton Oilers – 26-35-7 – 59 points (-25 points) – Last Week: #28

Edmonton has won just five games since February 6th.

29. New York Islanders – 28-31-10 – 66 points (-26 points) – Last Week: #29

New York’s -46 goal differential is currently the worst in the Eastern Conference.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets – 22-40-7 – 51 points (-67 points) – Last Week: #30

The Blue Jackets are tied for the fewest road wins in the NHL this season, with nine.

* All stats per NHL.com and ESPN.com

NoteRED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week

The Wife Hates Sports’ NHL Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record.  It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system.  The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and defense, too.

 

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