Blackhawks

NHL Power Rankings: Wild hoping to save season with coaching change

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NHL Power Rankings: Wild hoping to save season with coaching change

The Wild axed coach Mike Yeo and have turned to John Torchetti in hopes of saving a season that has gone south after losing eight straight games, and 13 of their last 14. The Ducks' surge also continued with an overtime win in Chicago over the weekend.

Meanwhile in the East, the Panthers and Lightning both slipped up, and the Red Wings are knocking on the door for the Atlantic Division lead.

Check in with CSNChicago.com for updated rankings every Monday throughout the 2015-16 campaign. Here's where we're at so far: Preseason rankings | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18

 

Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

40-10-4, 84 points: The Capitals picked up a pair of road wins in Nashville and Minnesota, and nearly rallied from 4-0 against the Stars over the weekend, but fell a goal short after scoring three third-period goals.

2  

33-19-3, 69 points: Nothing says quality depth like having nine different Kings score in Tuesday's 9-2 victory over Boston, including Milan Lucic, who returned to TD Garden for the first time since getting traded to Los Angeles. 

3
 
8

27-19-8, 62 points: Ryan Getzlaf has scored three goals, including an overtime winner against Chicago, in seven games so far in February, to go along with eight assists. He scored just three goals in the team's first 43 games.

4

 
2

36-18-5, 77 points: Marian Hossa will miss roughly two weeks with a lower-body injury, which means the Blackhawks will have to find ways to play without one of their top players again.

5

 
6

32-17-9, 73 points: The Blues beat both the Panthers, who were 11-1-1 in their last 13 home games, and the Lightning, who had won nine straight at home, in their building. Solid week.

6
 
7

28-19-7, 63 points: A four-point night by Sidney Crosby in a 6-2 win over Anaheim gives him 53 points in 53 games this year, officially cracking the point-per-game mark. He's also up to No. 6 in the scoring race.

7

 
 9

36-15-5, 77 points: While they have won three straight games, the Stars took 4-0 leads into the third period against both Chicago and Washington, and nearly let both games slip away. They hung on, but they still have to tighten up defensively late in games. 

8
 
 4

32-18-6, 70 points: The Panthers are 1-3-1 in their last five games. They're simply a different team without Aleksander Barkov, who was placed on injured reserve on Sunday, meaning he'll miss at least another week.

9   5

30-21-4, 64 points: Steve Yzerman announced Monday that the Lightning will not trade Steven Stamkos before the Feb. 29 trade deadline, essentially putting all the pressure on the Bolts captain to sign a long-term extension or bring the city a Stanley Cup before he considers signing elsewhere in the offseason.

10
 
12

29-18-9, 67 points: The Red Wings went 3-0-1 last week, highlighted by a 3-0 shutout victory against Florida. They're now just three points behind those same Panthers for first in the Atlantic Division.

11

 
13

32-18-6, 70 points: The Rangers have picked up some steam, going 5-0-1 in their last six games. If they can add a natural goal-scorer at the trade deadline (similar to the Martin St. Louis acquisition in 2014), this team will be interesting to watch in the playoffs.

12
 
11

29-19-6, 64 points: The Islanders have scored at least a power play goal in each of their last five games, and are creeping into the top-10 in that category. Would be a nice complement to go along with their No. 2-ranked penalty kill unit.

13
 
10

30-20-6, 66 points: Brad Marchand has scored at least a goal in 12 of his last 13 games. An unbelievable run that isn't getting as much attention as it should be.

14


 
14 29-20-5, 63 points: The Sharks are going to be an interesting team to watch at the trade deadline. They've gone from sellers, to buyers, to potentially standing pat with Anaheim (finally) looking like a real threat in a tough Western Conference.
15
 
16

29-21-7, 65 points: Since retiring Martin Brodeur's number, the Devils are 3-0-0 and have allowed just two goals during that span, including a 1-0 shutout against Los Angeles. How fitting.

16
 
 15

25-21-10, 60 points: The Hurricanes haven't made the playoffs since 2009, and as tempting as it will be to try and keep break that streak, they have to think about the big picture and sell before the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

17
 
17 

26-21-9, 61 points: The Predators are the second-best possession team in the league (control 53.5 percent of even-strength shot attempts), but rank in the bottom-10 in shooting percentage. If that evens out (and they get improved goaltending), Nashville isn't a team to look over.

18
 
18 

27-25-4, 58 points: As the trade deadline approaches, the situation gets tougher for the Canadiens after a recent report by Montreal's La Presse indicated that Carey Price isn't expected to return before the regular season ends. Is that enough to wave the white flag on this season?

19
 
19 

29-26-4, 62 points: Jarome Iginla has recorded at least a point in five of his last six games, and has two goals and five assists in seven contests so far in February. He had nine points combined in December and January.

20
 
20 

24-21-10, 58 points: The Flyers are 1-3-2 in their last six games, a tough stretch that has pushed them even further down from the playoff picture.

21
 
24 

22-21-12, 56 points: Vancouver will be without Alex Edler (six weeks) and Brandon Sutter (six-to-eight weeks) during the final months of the season, which should confirm their status as sellers before the trade deadline.

22
 
23 25-24-6, 56 points: The Coyotes have scored seven power-play goals in their last five games, but the haven't had anything to show for it, going 1-3-1 during that span. 
23
 
25  23-28-6, 52 points: Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart are tied for No. 3 among goals scored by rookies with 16 each. Only Artemi Panarin (18) and Dylan Larking (18) have more. The future is bright in Buffalo with the high possibility of another top draft pick in 2016.
24

 
26

25-26-3, 53 points: Jonas Hiller came into the game cold during a two-minute, 5-on-3 power play for the Sharks with three minutes left in the third period in a tie game and came up big. He's 3-1-0 in the month of February with a .930 save percentage.

25   27 

23-28-6, 52 points: The Blue Jackets have quietly picked up a point in eight of their last nine games, which includes a 4-3 shootout win over a red-hot Anaheim team. Ryan Murray also signed a two-year contract extension to stay in Columbus. Up next: Seth Jones.

26
 
21

25-26-6, 56 points: Dion Phaneuf is a solid top-four defenseman, but he obviously comes at an expensive price. It's a great short-term pick-up that will certainly help lift a Senators blue line from the basement, but this may not have been the best long-term decision, especially considering there was no salary retained.

27   28

25-27-3, 53 points: Ondrej Pavelec appeared in his first game since Nov. 21 and stopped 21 of 22 shots a win over Edmonton. With the emergence of Connor Hellebuyck, Pavelec could make for an interesting trade deadline piece for teams looking to strengthen their goaltending position for the stretch (and postseason) run.

28
 
22

23-22-10, 56 points: Mike Yeo may not have deserved to be fired, but something needed to change in Minnesota. John Torchetti, who was an assistant on the Blackhawks' 2010 team that won the Stanley Cup, is a solid interim head coach. If this doesn't work, there's no where else to look but the roster.

29   29

22-29-6, 50 points: Is it possible that Connor McDavid is still in the Calder Trophy conversation? A five-point night in a win against Toronto last week gives him 12 points (four goals and eight assists) in seven games since his return from injury, and is back into the top-10 of the rookie scoring race with 24 points.

30   30

20-25-9, 49 points: After losing three straight games, the Maple Leafs closed out the week by picking up their first regulation win since Jan. 19, albeit against Vancouver. Oh, and they also got rid of Dion Phaneuf's contract of $7 million a year until 2021.

*Advanced stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?