Power Rankings: Week Ending Dec. 18, 2009

December 19th, 2009 by Ed Cmar Leave a reply »
Sure, it's getting to look a lot like XMAS, but it's also getting to look like it's separating "pretenders from contenders" time.

With that, here are the power rankings for the week ending Dec. 18:

1. New Jersey - Winners of eight of their last 10 games, the Devils are being buoyed, not only by the return of several (previously) ailing vets (Niedermayer, Oduya, and Pandolfo) but by the performances of Niclas Bergfors and Vladimir Zharkov. Marty Brodeur's back, as if there was any concern, to the contrary.

2. Los Angeles - Well, lookie here! Look who's tied for the lead in the Western Conference standings. Sure, they've also been buoyed—in their case, via overtime and shootout wins—but, quite an accomplishment for a team who no one predicted this level of success. Well, except for me (shameless gloating alert).

3. Chicago - Interestingly enough, this electrifying team has been doing it as much with defense as they are with offense, leading the league in fewest goals allowed. Prior to his victory in a high-scoring affair, backup goaltender Antti Niemi had given up only one goal in his previous three starts.

4. Washingto ...

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