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NHL.com Super 16: Devils ascend to 12th

by Dan Rosen / New Jersey Devils


Andy Greene, Cory Schneider and the Devils have climbed their way into NHL.com's Super 16 ranking. (Photo: Getty Images)


While the Super 16 is NHL.com's weekly power rankings, the focus will be more on the "power" than the "rankings" when determining the order. It's not always going to look like the League standings. If two teams are close the tiebreaker almost always is this: If the two teams started a seven-game series right now, who would prevail?

All rankings, records and statistics are through the games played Wednesday night.

1. Dallas Stars (15-4-0)

Last week: No. 4

What's good: Valeri Nichushkin is starting to become a consistent scoring threat again because he's using his size and speed to his advantage the way he did as a rookie two seasons ago.

What's not so good: Hard to nitpick at a flaw in their game at this point.

2. New York Rangers (14-2-2)

Last week: No. 3

What's good: Mats Zuccarello is playing like an all-star, which nobody could have predicted after witnessing his scary and potentially life-altering head injury in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.

What's not so good: They're still a product of some luck with a 106.6 SPSV% (shooting percentage + save percentage) entering play Thursday. What happens when that goes down?

3. Montreal Canadiens (14-3-2)

Last week: No. 1

What's good: Carey Price, who has missed nine straight games, is on the mend and should be back in the lineup soon.

What's not so good: The experiment with Alexander Semin is not working out.

4. Los Angeles Kings (12-6-0)

Last week: No. 6

What's good: Forward Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist in L.A.'s 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

What's not so good: Gaborik's two-point game doubled his point total for the season.

5. Washington Capitals (12-4-1)

Last week: No. 5

What's good: Evgeny Kuznetsov gives everyone constant reminders of how special he is and how much better he can get.

What's not so good: Entering Thursday, the Capitals had given up the first goal in 10 of their first 17 games.

6. Nashville Predators (11-3-3)

Last week: No. 7

What's good: Pekka Rinne has allowed three goals on 83 shots in his past three starts, and he has the best goals-against average (2.10) and save percentage (.921) of the seven goalies in the Western Conference who have started at least 15 games.

What's not so good: Filip Forsberg has gone 13 straight games without a goal and has two this season. He has seven goals in his past 38 regular-season games.

7. Chicago Blackhawks (11-7-1)

Last week: No. 10

What's good: With 30 points in 19 games, Patrick Kane is on pace for 129 points this season. He's pretty good.

What's not so good: Trevor Daley has not fit in well on the blue line, and his ice time is taking a hit. He has topped 14 minutes twice in the past eight games after going over it 10 times in the first 11 games, including seven times over 17 minutes.

8. St. Louis Blues (12-6-1)

Last week: No. 2

What's good: Paul Statsny (broken right foot) skated with the team Thursday morning, a good sign that his return could be coming soon.

What's not so good: Rookie defenseman Colton Parayko has missed two straight games.

9. Minnesota Wild (10-4-3)

Last week: No. 8

What's good: They play six of their next seven games and 12 of their next 17 games at home, where they are 7-1-0 this season.

What's not so good: They have trailed in the first period in eight of nine road games entering play Thursday.

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (11-7-0)

Last week: No. 9

What's good: They entered their game Thursday with a 9-0-0 record when scoring the first goal and 6-0-0 when leading after the first period.

What's not so good: They were 2-7-0 record when giving up the first goal and 0-5-0 when trailing after the first, calling into question their ability to overcome deficits.

Brian Metzer looks into Kris Letang's value in fantasy hockey: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=788502

11. New York Islanders (10-6-3)

Last week: No. 12

What's good: Kyle Okposo has five points in the past three games and seven points in the past six. He's again producing on a line with John Tavares.

What's not so good: Anders Lee has three goals in 19 games, including one in the past 14. He scored 25 goals in 76 games last season.

12. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (10-7-1)

Last week: NR

What's good: They're scoring 2.44 goals per game, which doesn't sound like much until you consider they haven't scored that much since the 2011-12 season, when they scored 2.63 per game, made the Stanley Cup Playoffs and went to the Stanley Cup Final.

What's not so good: They're averaging a League-low 25.8 shots on goal per game.

Here's a good feature on Travis Zajac by Mike G. Morreale: http://devils.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=787967

13. San Jose Sharks (10-8-0)

Last week: NR

What's good: They were 7-3-0 on the road entering their game Thursday at the Philadelphia Flyers.

What's not so good: They're only 3-5-0 at home.

14. Tampa Bay Lightning (8-9-3)

Last week: No. 13

What's good: Goaltending has been their strength as Ben Bishop, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Kristers Gudlevskis had combined for a .923 save percentage (517 of 560) entering play Thursday.

What's not so good: They've struggled to make the goaltending matter because they were scoring 2.30 goals per game and were shooting 8.1 percent (46 goals on 567 shots).

15. Florida Panthers (8-7-3)

Last week: NR

What's good: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad entered Thursday with four points on three goals and one assist in his previous four games after scoring only three points in his first 14 games.

What's not so good: The Panthers were being outshot 216-155 in the second period and were allowing 31.3 shots on goal per game, which was 27th in the League.

16. Winnipeg Jets (9-9-2)

Last week: No. 11

What's good: The hope is they can build on their 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, when they played fast and with good structure.

What's not so good: They lost their previous six games (0-5-1) and fell to sixth in the Central Division, 10 points off the lead, after being third and only two points off the lead two weeks ago.

Out: Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins

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