NHL Power Poll

Craig Custance

The first glimpse we got that the Coyotes might be better than expected came in their second game of the season. Phoenix traveled to Pittsburgh and beat the reigning Stanley Cup champions 3-0. It was impressive.

Looking back at that game, Penguins center Jordan Staal said there were definitely signs the Coyotes were on a mission.

“A team like that, that has something to prove, they don’t stop,” Staal said.

And they haven’t stopped. Phoenix, which jumps to No. 2 in the power poll, entered this week tied with the Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the Western Conference.

“They’re dangerous,” said Chicago’s Kris Versteeg, whose Blackhawks play Phoenix on Tuesday. “Every team knows what they’re going to bring every night—work ethic and a great system. Us, and every team, have to be ready.”

1. Capitals (last poll: 1) Jose Theodore has one regulation loss in 2010. It might be time to ease up on the Washington goalie complaints.

2. Coyotes (6) It’s not enough to just give Dave Tippett the Jack Adams Award, it should be renamed after him.

3. Blackhawks (3) The Chicago-Phoenix showdown is for first place in the Western Conference. No, the Blackhawks didn’t see that coming. “You never even looked for Phoenix in the standings,” Versteeg said. “All of a sudden, they’re right behind. … They’re for real.”

4. Canucks (5) The $5 million per season Ryan Kesler got in his six-year extension is a healthy salary, but it could look like a bargain by the end of the contract.

5. Penguins (4) The Penguins have had to play without Evgeni Malkin, who is dealing with a foot injury. But coach Dan Bylsma said it doesn’t change how his team plays. “We’re going to play as quickly as we can,” he said. “We’re going to get to the offensive zone and try to play there as much as we can. That doesn’t change much without Geno.”

6. Predators (14) A six-game win streak all but assures a return trip to the postseason for Barry Trotz and the Predators.

7. Sharks (2) Brilliant move by the Sharks to go on a losing streak and avoid the top seed, which more than likely will draw Detroit in a first-round playoff matchup.

8. Sabres (11) The Sabres wrapped up their five-game March road trip a solid 3-1-1.

9. Devils (8) Lately, when the Devils lose, it’s to non-playoff teams. So there should be nothing to be worried about once the postseason arrives.

10. Red Wings (9) In their first 10 games after the Olympics, the Red Wings went 7-2-1.

11. Kings (7) Brad Richardson went from zero goals in 31 games last season to 11 goals in 69 so far this year for the Kings.

12. Canadiens (17) After playing at Buffalo on Wednesday, the schedule lightens up for the Canadiens. Five of the last eight games are at home and five of the eight are against likely non-playoff teams.

13. Avalanche (10) Paul Stastny has raised his level of play since the Olympics. He has 16 points in the 10 games since playing for Team USA.

14. Flames (15) Vesa Toskala picked a bad time to struggle on Sunday. Losing to the Wild was a huge blow to Calgary’s playoff hopes.

15. Flyers (13) Jeff Carter’s streak of 286 consecutive games ends with a broken foot. He’s out three to four weeks.


One Response to NHL Power Poll

  1. hockey_lover says:

    Uhh .. yeah. Theodore hasnt lost a game in 2010. Very true.

    Except that the caps have scored less than 4 goals in a game 8 times out of 32 games.

    That MIGHT have something to do with it.

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