Monday, December 20, 2010
Hawks take a drop in Power Rankings
By Jesse Rogers
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to sit mid-pack in ESPN.com's weekly power rankings. Down two spots from a week ago they check in at No. 13.
Despite recovering to win the final two games over the weekend, it wasn't enough to help the Hawks in the rankings as back-to-back losses to the Colorado Avalanche cost them.
The Hawks have won two in a row but need a run to shoot up the rankings. Still near the league lead in games played, when the rest of the competition catches up, it could have the Hawks a long way from the playoff picture.
This week's hot team in the Central Division is the Nashville Predators. Streaky all season, the Predators moved up from No. 14 to No. 7. Nashville is 8-1-1 over their last 10 games and visits the United Center on Wednesday.
The top five in the rankings are littered with rivals of the Blackhawks, including the Detroit Red Wings who dropped from the top spot. The Wings lost to the Hawks on Friday and then lost in overtime to Dallas on Sunday, dropping to No. 4.
Checking in as the new No.1 is last year's other Stanley Cup finalist, the Philadelphia Flyers. They've lost Chris Pronger to injury but sport a 22-7-5 record showing no signs of a "hangover." Coming off a 12-game winning streak, Pittsburgh is No. 2 while the Vancouver Canucks continue consistent play, coming in at No. 3. The surprising Dallas Stars round out the top 5.
As for the rest of the Central Division, the wheels have come off for the Blues and Blue Jackets after fast starts. They check in at Nos. 20 and 22, respectively.