Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 12-3-1
The Penguins are 9-1 in the last 10 games and at +25. They have the best goal differential in the NHL.
2 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 12-4-2
Much of the focus is always on Steven Stamkos, but don't underestimate the value of defenseman Anton Stralman, who leads the team in plus/minus (+13).
3 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 11-4-2
▲ 2
Having fully recovered, former All-Star goaltender Pekka Rinne has quietly become a dominant force in the NHL, yet again.
4 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 12-4-1
▲ 2
With the emergence of Vladimir Tarasenko as a legit goal-scoring threat, the Blues are becoming a much more dominant force in the Western Conference.
5 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 11-4-4
▼ 2
The Ducks recently proved they can be effective, even with their best goal-scoring machine Corey Perry out of the lineup. Center Ryan Kesler is playing like an All-Star.
6 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 14-4-1
▼ 2
Montreal is riding a six-game win streak. They have the best record in the NHL, despite an overall goal differential of just + 8. This could mean they are great in close games, or that this is all smoke and mirrors.
7 New York Islanders New York Islanders 11-6
▲ 4
For years, the Islanders have been stepchildren to the Rangers. Those days are over. This Islanders team is not just a flash in the pan.
8 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 12-6
▲ 2
It has been good to see the Sedins get back to their normal selves. Goalie Ryan Miller is 11-3, but beware: he has given up 13 goals in his last three starts.
9 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 10-8-2
▼ 2
The Sharks are sitting in fifth place in the Pacific division. With Vancouver and Calgary playing much better this season, Sharks cannot assume playoffs are a given.
10 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 9-5-4
▼ 2
The reigning champs have fought through a lot of adversity. Amongst the defense corps, 16 man games have already been lost to either suspension or injury.
11 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 10-7-1
▼ 2
The overall record is still decent, but Marian Hossa only scored two goals, and Patrick Kane has a -6 plus/minus rating.
12 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 8-5-4
▲ 1
Ottawa is still holding their own in the Atlantic division. Winger Bobby Ryan only has four goals this season; if he hits his normal 30 goal pace, things will be much better.
13 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 7-7-2
▲ 2
The Flyers have finally arrived. Winger Jakub Voracek has had five goals and 14 assists in the last 10 games.
14 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 11-8
▼ 2
Boston is usually one of the most defensively responsible teams in the NHL. The Bruins gave up a combined 11 goals in losses to Toronto and Montreal.
15 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 8-4-5
▼ 1
Their record is not overwhelming, but Detroit just will not go away, despite continued reports of their demise.
16 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 9-7-2
▲ 4
If either James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier could really solidify the spot as number one goaltender, it would really help to stabilize the team.
17 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 9-7-3
▲ 8
It is not just about the talent of Evander Kane. It is that this is a much different team, and a much better team, when he is in the lineup.
18 New York Rangers New York Rangers 7-6-4
▼ 2
Rangers are second on the team in goal-scoring as 39-year old forward Martin St. Louis continues to sip from the fountain of youth. The team is still dealing with injury problems, but is playing through it.
19 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 8-8-2
Corey Schneider remains solid in goal, while 42-year old Jaromir Jagr leads the team in scoring. So far, it is keeping the Devils in playoff contention.
20 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 11-6-2
▼ 3
The Flames continue to surprise everyone. They are solidly in contention in the Pacific division. It is amazing, what good goaltending, and a little confidence can do.
21 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 7-7-3
▼ 3
Capitals are one of three .500 teams in the Metropolitan division. Last season was abysmal. This season, Barry Trotz is doing a fine job in his first year as the team's head coach.
22 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 10-7
▼ 1
The Wild have won three in a row, and may be ready to separate from the Central division cellar dwellers.
23 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 6-8-4
▼ 1
Two of the team's top four scorers (Jason Spezza and Trevor Daley) also have, by far, the team's worst plus/minus rating. Both are -9.
24 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 6-8-5
▼ 1
The team is still struggling. With only two goals in 19 games, Jarome Iginla has been far from the offensive force the team had hoped for.
25 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 6-10-1
▼ 1
Decimated by injuries, it will be a while before this team can really be gauged. Hopefully they will get healthy before the season slips away.
26 Phoenix Coyotes Phoenix Coyotes 8-9-1
Goalie Devan Dubnyk started, and won, the two games straight. It is time to ignore Mike Smith's bloated salary and go with Dubnyk if this team is to have any kind of chance to salvage the season.
27 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 6-4-5
There is actually hope. The 6-4-5 record indicates that with a little luck, this team could be 11-4. Hard to fathom, but it is just simple arithmetic.
28 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 5-9-3
Carolina began the month of November by winning five of six games, and then - much like a groundhog who'd gazed upon its own shadow - the team went back under ground.
29 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 6-10-2
Having played 18 games this season, the Oilers are 0-8-1 vs the Western Conference. This means the Eastern Conference should feel a great deal of shame.
30 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 4-13-2
Ted Nolan earned coach-of-the-year honors while coaching the Sabres in the 1996-97 season. If he turns this year's team around, he will win it again, guaranteed.

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