The Chicago Blackhawks aren't providing even the slightest opportunity for challengers to knock them out of top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings.
It's tough to overtake the Blackhawks when they are so stifling to the opposition, allowing six even-strength goals in their last eight games, but this is not a new revelation. They are 15-0-3, have the league's best goal differential (+23) and are healthy now that starting goaltender Corey Crawford has returned from injury, so they have the credentials for that top spot, ranking immediately ahead of Boston and Anaheim.
The Detroit Red Wings bounced back with a couple of blowout wins on the weekend to climb from 17 to 13, while five wins in six games lifts the Los Angeles Kings all the way from 24 to 14.
In the lower tier, the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames have been slightly better than mediocre lately, enough to rise four spots, to 21 and 22, respectively.
Injuries play a part in the Phoenix Coyotes falling from 13 to 17 as well as the New York Rangers plummeting from 10 to 20. Minnesota and Colorado took the opposite path of the Islanders and Flames, dropping four spots apiece to 23 and 26, respectively.
The Buffalo Sabres have a new coach for the first time since 1996, but that hasn't snapped them out of their recent slump, so they fall from 20 to 27.
Among Canadian teams, the Montreal Canadiens are highest-ranked, moving from seven to four; the Vancouver Canucks slip from five to eight, with an injury to Kevin Bieksa and Sunday's ugly loss in Detroit hurting their grade.
Toronto and Ottawa continue to play well in the face of injuries and sit at 10 and 11, respectively, while the Edmonton Oilers drop one spot form 18 to 19. The Winnipeg Jets are the lowest-ranked of the Canadian clubs, and can't keep their blueliners healthy it seems, but they are up from 27 to 25.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.