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Burnside's Power Rankings: Don't look now, but here comes Smashville

On a 9-1-1 stretch, the Preds continue their ascent up the Terrific 10

by Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB /

Break up the Vegas Golden Knights. The Washington Capitals are back so look out Eastern Conference. And a bevy of red hot teams are making it more than a little challenging to limit it to a Terrific 10 this week. 

As for the Frigid Five, a slight changing of the guard. But there's a reason they use the term "when hell freezes over," because it's hard to climb out of the Frigid Five. 

That's the cold, hard truth.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

1. Vegas Golden Knights (5) Lots of choices at the top of the rankings, but winning five straight to take over top spot in the Pacific Division? Well, good on the Knights, who continue to make expansion dreams come true in Sin City.

2. St. Louis Blues (3) The Blues own the second-best winning percentage in the NHL and have the most points (35) of any team in the NHL. The model of consistency, the Blues are 9-3-0 at home and 8-3-1 on the road.

3. Nashville Predators (6) Nashville continues to ascend not just the power rankings but the Central Division standings, thanks to a 9-1-1 stretch, during which they've scored 42 times not counting shootout goals.

4. Winnipeg Jets (4) The Jets own an identical 14-6-3 record to the Predators' record, as those two teams continue to dog St. Louis for top spot in the Central and top spot in the league. Steve Mason, out with injury, puts some pressure on Connor Hellebuyck, who's been the man this season in goal for the Jets

5. New Jersey Devils (8) The Devils continue to get it done, although they'll miss Kyle Palmieri, who is out with injury for more than a month. New Jersey is 8-2-2 away from home with John Hynes working magic behind the bench.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (7) The Blue Jackets are in the heat of the Metropolitan Division race, thanks to a six-game winning streak. Sergei Bobrovsky, now tops in GAA and save percentage among all NHL netminders, and owns a tie for the league lead in shutouts.

7. Tampa Bay Lightning (1) See, this is what happens when you lose two in a row and the competition is keen. A blip on the radar but still, the facts are the facts for a Bolts team that still remains atop the Eastern Conference standings, one point back of St. Louis for first overall.

8. New York Islanders (9) The Isles have won three in a row and continue to be one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference. Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss have been getting it done in goal in recent days, although New York still ranks 23rd in goals allowed per game.

9.  Washington Capitals (-) Welcome to the Terrific 10, Capitals. The Caps are starting to groove after a very tepid start to the season and have won three in a row. Alexander Ovechkin has surged into the goal-scoring lead with 18.

10.   New York Rangers (-) The Rangers continue to roll, making the Metropolitan Division the most compelling place in hockey. They have won four straight and are 9-2-0 in November.


Frigid Five

27. Philadelphia Flyers (-) Yes, the Flyers are getting points. But there's a reason they call them loser points, and somehow, the Flyers have five of them in their last 10 games. Given the competition in the Metro, that's a ticket out of the playoffs.

28. Arizona Coyotes (30) The 'Yotes are 4-2 in their last six games. But they've still managed to win just twice on home ice (2-8-1), so that gets you out of the basement -- but not out of the frigid.

29. Edmonton Oilers (29) How bad are you when you get shut out by Buffalo? Yes, the Oilers bounced back for a much-needed win in Boston on Sunday, but at 9-13-2 and 4-7-0 at home, it's nigh on panic time for an Edmonton team that sits in 14th place in the Western Conference.

30. Florida Panthers (27) The Panthers have won twice in a row just once since the first week of the season. Pleasant surprise Evgenii Dadonov (18 points) looks like he could miss time with an injury, further darkening an already bleak outlook for the Cats.

31. Buffalo Sabres (31) The Sabres are starting to take root in the NHL basement, having gone 3-7-2 in November.

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

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