Once again the Central Division dominates ESPN.com’s weekly NHL power rankings, holding on to the top two spots. However, the Chicago Blackhawks are not one of those teams.
The St. Louis Blues took over the No. 1 ranking, having lost just one game in regulation this season. Detroit dropped to No. 2, while the the Hawks come in at No. 10. The Nashville Predators check in at No. 7, once again giving the division four teams in the top 10.
The Hawks fell one place after an up-and-down weekend. Friday was one of the worst home games the Hawks have played this season, as they gave up seven goals to the lowly Edmonton Oilers, but their rebound effort the next night in a 3-1 win over Minnesota was top-notch.
The key to the Blues’ hot start has been their stingy defense. New goaltender Jaroslav Halak has had some easy nights as St. Louis has allowed the NHL’s least amount of shots per game. That was a Blackhawks’ specialty a year ago, but has not been a strong part of the Hawks’ arsenal this year.
The Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins climbed the rankings to take over the No. 3 and 4 spots while Tampa Bay dropped from three to five. The Bruins are doing it with Tim Thomas in net. He’s been the best goaltender in the NHL for the first month of the season. The Kings survived the loss of Drew Doughty to move up from eight.