NHL Power Rankings: Blackhawks remain undefeated in 2016


NHL Power Rankings: Blackhawks remain undefeated in 2016

The Blackhawks have collected 22 out of a possible 22 points in their last 11 games, and have quickly surpassed the Stars for the Central Division lead by three points.

Meanwhile in the East, the Capitals continue to pull away from the pack while the Lightning have surged into the Top 5 thanks to an impressive five-game winning streak.

Check in with 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


Rank Team
Last Week Record/Comment
1 1

34-8-3, 71 points: From top to bottom, the Capitals are still the team to beat. They're 15-2-1 in their last 18 games, and have built a 17-point lead in the Metropolitan Division and a 14-point cushion in the Eastern Conference.

2   4

31-13-4, 66 points: During their 11-game winning streak, the Blackhawks have outscored their opponents 43-21. Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on the defending Stanley Cup champions: "I believe they look better than last year."


28-13-3, 59 points: What a week it was for Anze Kopitar, who inked an eight-year, $80 million contract extension to stay in Los Angeles and was named the NHL's third star of the week after recording seven points in three games.


24-17-4, 52 points: Here they come. The Lightning have strung together five straight victories for the first time this season, and have pulled within reaching distance for the Atlantic Division lead.


26-14-5, 57 points: We're not going to drop the Panthers too far after following up a 12-game winning streak with a three-game losing streak simply because they may have needed some time to breathe after that sensational run. Let's see how they respond against upcoming home games vs. Edmonton, Chicago and Tampa Bay.


26-15-7, 59 points: Brian Elliott has done a solid job at filling in for Jake Allen, who's out with a knee injury. The 30-year-old netminder stopped 46 shots in a 4-3 win over Montreal on Saturday.


23-14-8, 54 points: The Red Wings are 5-1-1 in 2016 so far despite being outshot in each of those seven games. Credit that to Peter Mrazek, who owns a 1.31 goals against average and .957 save percentage in his last six starts.

8   10 

24-15-6, 54 points: John Tavares has three goals in his last 19 games, yet the Islanders still hold the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division. They're finding ways to get it done when their captain isn't at his best.

9   12 

21-16-7, 49 points: The Penguins have registered at least a point in eight of their last nine games. They're still on the outside of the playoffs, but they're only five points away from the second spot in their division with a game in hand on both the Islanders and Rangers.

10   5

29-12-5, 63 points: Not exactly where a team with the third-highest point total is expected to be, but the Stars are 2-5-2 in their last nine games, and have allowed 33 goals (an average of 3.67 goals against per game) during that span.

11   7

22-15-8, 52 points: The Wild have dropped their last four games, and it won't get any easier to dig out of as nine of their next 10 games are against teams currently in the playoffs.

12   13 

24-16-5, 53 points: The Rangers haven't won back-to-back games since Nov. 19-21. But they also haven't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 18-20, indicating they're consistently picking up points as of late.

13   14

23-16-5, 51 points: David Krejci has been upgraded to "day-to-day," which means the Bruins may be getting back their No. 1 center for Tuesday's showdown in Montreal.


23-19-4, 50 points: The Canadiens have outshot their opponents by a combined 32 in their last four games, but have lost all four of them. They've been victims of tough puck luck lately, and ran into some hot goaltenders (Corey Crawford and Brian Elliott) last week.


23-18-2, 48 points: The Jekyll and Hyde season continues for the Sharks, who have put together five straight wins, two of them coming against Pacific Division opponents.

16   21

20-15-8, 48 points: The Flyers are currently on a six-game point streak, and have quietly pulled themselves within two points from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

17   19

20-19-8, 48 points: Since Dec. 11, only Chicago (32), Washington (31) and Florida (25) have earned more points than the Hurricanes (24), according to Elias. They've picked up at least a point in eight of their last 10 games.

18   16 

20-17-8, 48 points: When Ryan Johansen and James Neal are on the ice together, the Predators control 66.1 percent of even-strength shot attempts. That's the kind of impact Johansen was supposed to make in Columbus.


19-18-7, 45 points: The Ducks are 4-3-0 so far during their eight-game homestand. Not bad, but not great for a team still looking to break through. Good news: Ryan Getzlaf is on a five-game assist streak.


22-17-5, 49 points: The Coyotes are a bottom five puck possession team, yet they keep discovering ways to collect points with a win over Edmonton and overtime loss to Detroit last week.


22-19-5, 49 points: The Devils are 2-5-0 in their last seven games, and have scored only four goals in those five losses. Cory Schneider can only do so much.

22   17 22-21-3, 47 points: Six of Colorado's next nine games are against division opponents, a prime opportunity to gain some ground and creep into a wild-card spot.
23   25 19-17-10, 48 points: The Canucks have quietly gone 8-3-2 in their last 13 games despite being outshot in 10 of them, and ended the Panthers' 12-game win streak. Bad news: Henrik Sedin won't return until after the All-Star break due to an upper-body injury.
24   22

21-18-6, 48 points: The Senators wrapped up the week with a nice 5-3 win in Los Angeles, but allowed 11 goals in the previous two games to Washington and Anaheim.

25   26 

21-21-3, 45 points: The Jets picked up back-to-back wins against Central Division opponents Nashville and Minnesota, and will play their next six games at home, where they are 12-7-1 opposed to 9-14-2 on the road.

26   24 

20-20-3, 43 points: Sam Bennett scored six goals in three games last week, including a dominant four-goal night against the Panthers on Wednesday. The Flames are currently in a stretch of playing five straight games on the road.

27   29

18-23-4, 40 points: After losing six in a row, the Sabres have won three of their last four games, including a 4-1 win over top-seed Washington on Saturday.

28   28 

18-23-5, 41 points: The Oilers locked up goaltender Cam Talbot to a three-year contract extension, which is one less distraction for a young team on the rise.

29   30 

17-25-4, 38 points: Seth Jones already has the third-most ice time on the team. It could get even better for the Blues Jackets if they land the first overall pick and select Auston Matthews, landing a No. 1 defenseman and franchise centerman in a span of half a year.

30   27

16-20-7, 39 points: James Reimer is back, but it didn't help much (if at all) as the Maple Leafs are 0-5-0 in their last five games and have been outscored 19-5 during that span.

*Advanced stats courtesy of

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis welcome Nick Gismondi into the fold before discussing Friday's win over Columbus. Robin Lehner played stellar and is forming quite a tandem in net with Corey Crawford (4:10), while the DeBrincat/Kane connection is alive and well (6:10), and the Blackhawks' struggles at even strength continued (12:10). Then, the guys react to the breaking news of Kirby Dach's recall from Rockford and discuss where he might fit into this lineup (15:10).

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007: An important Blackhawks milestone

October 19, 2007 — The Blackhawks beat the Avalanche 5-3 at the United Center. Pulling up the webpage shows an ordinary early-season NHL game, but it’s quite significant for a few reasons — and not only because of Jonathan Toews’ incredible highlight-reel goal at 06:59 of the first period to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead (please take a minute to find that highlight if you can. It’s a great goal).

Patrick Sharp added a goal at 08:29, and at 14:36, Patrick Kane scored a goal of his own. It was the first goal of Kane’s NHL career.

AND the first time that both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored a goal in the same game.

About five years ago, I started keeping track of when they both scored a goal in the same game. It became a thing. I’d post it on Twitter whenever it happened. And people started asking what their record was when it happened, so I’d have that too. It was, and still is, one of my favorite things to follow when the Blackhawks take the ice.

As of this writing, Toews and Kane have scored a goal in the same game 96 times (102 including postseason). And the Blackhawks are 84-7-5 when they do so (with an additional 6-0 in playoffs), which is to be expected when your best players combine to do good things.

I was curious, so I enlisted the help of the Elias Sports Bureau to take things a bit further.

Believe it or not, Toews & Kane do NOT have the lead among current teammates in instances with a goal in the same game. Here’s that list (regular season only):

101 — Nicklas Backstrom & Alex Ovechkin (Capitals)

96  Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane (Blackhawks)

94 — Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin (Penguins)

64 — Patrick Marleau & Joe Thornton (Sharks)

63 — Dustin Brown & Anze Kopitar (Kings)

What is probably NOT as surprising is that they don’t have the Blackhawks record in instances with a goal in the same game. Because the Blackhawks have two all-time greats who played a long time together. Here’s that list (regular season only):

139 — Bobby Hull & Stan Mikita

96 — Jonathan Toews & Patrick Kane

88 — Steve Larmer & Denis Savard

77 — Bobby Hull & Kenny Wharram

75 — Dennis Hull & Stan Mikita

Toews & Kane may not top the list of current teammates, but the duo from the Nation’s Capitol have but one Stanley Cup together whereas the Chicago tandem has three (though Crosby & Malkin are right there with them). As for trailing Hull & Mikita… well, there’s no shame in that. Plus there’s time to add to that total. There’s a good chance they break triple digits this season, and that will be fun to track. Where will they end up when they hang up the skates? That remains to be seen, as they both seemingly have plenty of good hockey left to be played.

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