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Burnside's Power Rankings: Hot stretch lands Stars in Terrific 10

With just about everything going right on its homestand, Dallas has closed the gap in the Central

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB /

A day late, but never a dollar short as we present the first power rankings of 2018.

For most teams, the mid-point of the National Hockey League season has been reached, or will be in the coming days. That means time is of the essence. Of course, time is always of the essence when it comes to the Terrific 10 and the Frigid Five.

Happy New Year. Happy reading.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12


1. Vegas Golden Knights (26-9-2)

Last week: No. 2

The Golden Knights powered their way into 2018 with seven straight wins and have not lost in regulation in a month. Dominant at home (16-2-1), they play six of nine on the road to start January.


2. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-8-2)

Last week: No. 1

Degrees of greatness at the top of the Terrific 10 as the Lightning boast a whopping plus-51 goal differential -- by far the best in the league. The Bolts went 11-2 in December and will play four straight on the road to start the month, including an interesting tilt with Atlantic Division foe Toronto to kick off their January schedule.


3. Washington Capitals (24-13-3)

Last week: No. 7

The Capitals have edged ahead of the pack in the Metropolitan Division thanks to 10 wins in December. Alexander Ovechkin ranks one spot behind Nikita Kucherov for the league lead in goals with 24.


4. New Jersey Devils (22-10-6)

Last week: No. 4

The Devils are hot on the Caps' heels for the top spot in the Metro with a 6-2-2 record in their last 10.


5. Winnipeg Jets (23-11-6)

Last week: NR

The Jets have righted the ship after a brief sideways slide, hitting the new year with three straight wins and sneaking ahead of Nashville for the top spot in the Central. Their next big test will be how they can respond with Mark Scheifele out with an upper-body injury for a month or so.


6. Boston Bruins (21-10-6)

Last week: No. 5

The Bruins might be the surprise of the second quarter of the NHL season as they've jumped over Toronto for second place in the Atlantic Division and are 9-1-2 in their last 12 games. David Backes is playing his best hockey since signing with Boston two summers ago.


7. New York Rangers (21-13-5)

Last week: NR

The Rangers overtook slumping Columbus for third spot in the Metropolitan Division with an emotional overtime win over Buffalo in the Winter Classic on Monday. Don't sleep on the Blueshirts.


8. Los Angeles Kings (23-11-5)

Last week: No. 3

The Kings still boast the top goals allowed per game numbers in the league, as well as the most efficient penalty kill. They're locked in a great battle with Vegas for the top spot in the Pacific heading into 2018.

9. Nashville Predators (23-10-5)

Last week: No. 6

The Predators ended 2017 with a shutout win over Minnesota, but lost top-scorer Filip Forsberg to injury. That's a tough trade-off.


10. Dallas Stars (22-15-3)

Last week: NR

The Stars have won four straight at home, their power play is cooking and they should get defenseman Marc Methot back in the coming days as they've closed the gap on the top dogs in the Central Division with their best stretch of play this season.


Frigid Five

27. Edmonton Oilers (17-19-3)

Last week: NR

A brief spasm of life from the talented Oilers was followed by a three-game winless slide into 2018, including an embarrassing thrashing at home on New Year's Eve at hands of Winnipeg.


28. Ottawa Senators (12-17-8)

Last week: No. 30

The Senators have a shocking minus-30 goal differential -- the third-worst in the NHL -- as they hit the end of the calendar year with a 5-0 blanking at the hands of the Bruins.


29. Vancouver Canucks (16-18-5)

Last week: No. 29

The Canucks have two wins in their last 11 games. Enough said.


30. Montreal Canadiens (16-19-4)

Last week: NR

The season is soon becoming a lost cause as the Habs have spiraled with four straight losses and are now eight points out of a wild-card spot. The question now is: Who goes from the lineup before the trade deadline?


31. Arizona Coyotes (9-27-5)

Last week: No. 31

The season from hell continues uninterrupted for the Coyotes, who have three wins in their last 16 games. They're the only team in the NHL not to hit double-digit victories.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. You can follow Scott on Twitter at @OvertimeScottB, and listen to his Burnside Chats podcast here.

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