Hawks improving, but still not in Top 10

DENVER -- The Chicago Blackhawks sit just outside the Top 10 in ESPN’s power rankings this week, logging in at No. 11.

Though the arrow has been pointing up for the Hawks -- they’ve earned points in 10 of their last 13 games -- they haven’t been able to climb the rankings. Few defining victories and the lack of a considerable win streak have undoubtedly held the Hawks down.

After the Detroit Red Wings, of course, the Hawks do get the benefit of the doubt as the best of the rest of the Central Division. The Wings lost their hold on the top spot due to a massive run by the Pittsburgh

Penguins, but Detroit still checks in at No. 2.

Nashville has won five of six and is ranked No. 14 while the Blues and Blue Jackets aren’t far behind at Nos. 18 and 19, respectively. The Central Division once boasted four teams in the top 10, but streaky play -- by St. Louis, Nashville, and Columbus in particular -- have contributed to major changes in the rankings from week to week.

Rounding out the top five are Philadelphia, Vancouver, and Montreal. The New York Islanders, at 5-17-5, bring up the rear of the rankings.