The Hawks are just ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins as both teams are coming off stellar undefeated weeks. After several overtime/shootout wins the Hawks have been more definitive in their last two victories, outscoring their opposition 8-3. Overall, they’ve scored no less than three goals in eight straight contests and have won five in a row.
One key to the Hawks run has been the play of goalie Ray Emery. He started the season as the backup, winning the job in training camp but has started the past five games and played in the last seven, with the Hawks earning points in all of them. Balanced scoring along with Emery’s stellar play has vaulted the Hawks to the top spot in the rankings. They deserve the position based on their play in December so far.