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NHL Power Rankings 2018: Bruins Get Closer To Top As Devils & Rangers Plummet
The latest NHL power rankings of 2018 find the Boston Bruins reaching closer to the top as several other squads are looking less like contenders than before. In this week’s edition of the rankings, putting them closer to the mighty squads leading the way. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston has now reached the top five, and Nashville Predators remain unchanged from last week,Authentic Patrik Laine jersey, Washington Capitals, Vegas Golden Knights, but they’ll be on notice as the Bruins are moving higher. Here are the latest details on this week’s movers and shakers in the NHL power rankings.

As reported by Sporting News‘ Jim Cerny, the Tampa Bay Lightning., the Boston Bruins have continued their upward momentum because of a five-game winning streak ahead of the NHL All-Star break. The team’s 10 losses in regulation is the best of any team in the league. It’s pointed out that the Bruins suffered their last regulation loss back on December 14 as they are currently second in the Atlantic Divison behind only the team atop the power rankings

Boston ranks in the top seven in the league for goals per game (3.2) and power play percentage (21.2 percent), three of their players rank within the league’s top five for player plus/minus stat. That has the Bruins looking like a tough opponent for teams throughout the remainder of the season and a legitimate contender for when the postseason begs if they can continue this great momentum., while ranking second in goals against (2.4) and fifth in penalty kill percentage (83.3 percent). In addition

For the most part, with the exceptions seeming to be slight drops amongst the bottom half. Of those, the other teams above didn’t move a whole lot, a team ranked at No. 20 right now, having lost three games in a row. That’s giving the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks are looking like they could slip out of the top 10 if they struggle more. The Sharks are hanging onto second place in the Pacific division by a thread right now, some hope to move up if they can continue on their latest winning streak and overtake San Jose.

Two other teams that don’t show in the top 10 but that have continued to drop quite a bit are Eastern Conference squads New York and New Jersey. The Rangers fell from No. 12 to No. 19 in the last week’s rankings due to recent injuries to Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk. The team sits at 25-20-5 and are third to last in the Metropolitan division.

Fellow tri-state area team New Jersey is third in the division with a 52-28-21 record and has recently won but they’ve gone just 2-7-3 over their last 12 games. There’s still plenty of time for both the Rangers and Devils to regain composure and put together a solid stretch as they look towards the postseason.

With the NHL season more than halfway over now in 2018 with teams will be looking to improve their rosters with some moves ahead of the trade deadline in February. Some of these moves could make a major impact on the upcoming rankings depending on how well teams do to fix any glaring issues as the playoffs draw closer.

Veteran coach Ken Hitchcock struck a nerve earlier this season when he decried the longstanding NHL practice of describing injuries in the vaguest terms possible.

 lower-body or undisclosed,An injury can be upper-body, Martin Hanzal had a hamstring injury and Stephen Johns was dealing with concussion symptoms., except Hitchcock and the Dallas Stars prefer to be more forthright. Defenseman Marc Methot had a knee injury

 we just decided let's get it out there so they can print it,"Rather than go through the dance and play the big game," Hitchcock said., move on and let's get on with the subject of what's going on on the team

This is a far cry from the world of the NFL, noting hockey has far less of that; one NHL player even joked that it would be foolish for anyone to bet on the sport., where teams must reveal specific injuries. Coaches and NHL officials point to gambling and fantasy football as driving forces behind those detailed NFL injury reports

Yet more people are. Westgate sports book vice president Jay Kornegay said the addition and success of the Vegas Golden Knights has at least tripled the amount of bets placed on NHL games this season. He said the gambling public isn't affected much by the information or lack thereof about injuries.

" Kornegay said. "There's only maybe a handful of guys that might make a major impact,"There's information out there if you really want to dissect the injury,Authentic Auston Matthews jersey, which is very minimal. Almost everybody else is like zero impact or maybe five cents impact. ... It wouldn't be like (Tom) Brady being out.", like (Connor) McDavid or (Auston) Matthews or someone like that. Could make maybe a 15-cent impact in the line

 and less than 6 percent for online sports book Bovada.,The NHL represents less than 5 percent of the total amount bet at the Westgate

League executives and coaches have little to no appetite to change things.

 'Why is it important that you know everything?'" Los Angeles Kings coach John Stevens said. "I think sometimes it protects the player. Sometimes a player's working through an injury. If he's coming back,Authentic Daniel Sedin jersey,"I would ask the question, they might try to take advantage of it.", opponents might know. If it's a knee injury

The collective bargaining agreement doesn't require any specificity be included in injury announcements. And that means they vary dramatically among the 31 teams.

NHL Injury Viz ,Authentic Henrik Sedin jersey, ranks teams on an "evasiveness index" based on how many injuries are called upper- or lower-body, which tracks information about player injuries and illnesses, undisclosed or soreness. Through Jan. 20 games, while the New York Rangers,adidas Alex Ovechkin jersey, the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers were labeled the most evasive, Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild were the most open.

When Washington Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky underwent surgery to repair a broken left thumb in October, Burakovsky wore extra padding and worried little about opponents hacking at his thumb to try to reinjure it.,adidas Patrik Laine jersey, the team announced it as such. Upon his return

"When I'm playing," Burakovsky said. "I don't really focus on if they're going to go after my thumb or whatever it is.", I'm playing

 but Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik disagreed.,The central debate over disclosure comes down to whether revealing specific injuries puts players in danger of being targeted. Hitchcock said "there's too much respect in the league" for that

"I wouldn't say there's a lot of guys," Orpik said. "I don't really see what you gain by releasing it.", but there's definitely more than a handful of (players) in the league that would target guys if they knew where they were hurt

 but don't expect the current system to change any time soon.,Hitchcock's comments generated chatter around the league and a variety of opinions

"At the end of the day," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. "Perhaps there's kind of fan interest in how long he'll be gone, I'm not sure it's really anybody's right to know exactly what's ailing a player, etc., etc., when he can be back to the lineup, but what the precise nature of the injury is I'm not sure is really appropriate for public consumption."

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said he generally agrees with Hitchcock and doesn't mind disclosing injuries, saying teams have a "responsibility" to show the NHL is handling concussions the right way but cited privacy concerns in the larger discussion about revealing specific injuries.,Authentic T. J. Oshie jersey, except he doesn't like talking about head injuries. Jets coach Paul Maurice went the other way

 who wouldn't mind an NFL-like policy.,Then there's Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters

 hey,"It'd be nice if the NHL just said," Peters said., make it full disclosure. I'd have no problem with that - as long as it's consistent across the board

 as they set the record for most wins by an expansion team,The Golden Knights are coming off a history win last night, who each won 33 games during their inaugural season., with 34. Their triumph over the Winnipeg Jets allowed them to pass the 1993-94 Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers

” said Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury,“It’s fun, per “We’re not talking about breaking records and reaching records; we’re just focusing on improving as a team,adidas Auston Matthews jersey, trying to be as consistent as a team and good things like this will happen., playing well as a team every night

“I’m proud and happy to see where our team is at right now.”

What a season it’s been for Vegas. No one expected them to be where they are in the standings at this point. Nobody. Heading into tonight’s tilt with the Wild, they’re also in first place in the Western Conference and second overall in the league behind Tampa Bay.,adidas Daniel Sedin jersey, not only are they in top spot in the Pacific Division (12 points clear of anybody else)

 the Golden Knights are particularly great at home,Authentic Alex Ovechkin jersey,As you may have heard, where they’re 15-9-2 this season., as their 19-3-2 record indicates. They’ll take their show on the road tonight

 Minnesota is on the outside of the postseason picture,adidas Henrik Sedin jersey,The Wild don’t have the same cushion as their opponent. They’re actually in a full-out battle for the final playoff spots in the conference. As of right now, but they’re just one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final Wild Card spot.

There’s some good news if you’re a fan of the Wild. It sounds like forward Nino Niederreiter (lower body) will make his return to the lineup tonight. It hasn’t been confirmed, but head coach Bruce Boudreau told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that “he’s looking good” and that he’ll “probably” play.

The 25-year-old has missed the last eight games because of the injury.

The next three games will be huge for the Wild,adidas T. J. Oshie jersey, as they have the Golden Knights tonight before they travel to take on the Stars and Blues tomorrow and Tuesday. All three teams area ahead of them in the standings.

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