Hawks rank No. 14 in power rankings

SAN JOSE -- The weekly power rankings on ESPN.com have been released and the Chicago Blackhawks continue to hover in the middle of the pack.

This week the Hawks sit at No. 14, down one spot from a week ago.

The bigger story revolves around an extremely competitive Central division. All other four central teams rank higher than the Hawks, including the Detroit Red Wings, this week’s new No. 1 team.

It’s hard to argue with the Hawks bringing up the rear of the division in the rankings. Afterall, they have no less than four more regulation losses than the other four teams but have played the most games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are the surprise team of the week. They rank No. 9 after sweeping a trio of games in California. It’s the same three teams the Hawks will face this week in the second half of their "Circus Trip."

Even Nashville has recovered from a five-game losing streak to move ahead of the Hawks in the rankings, coming in at No. 13. The Predators have been winning the tight ones, something that’s plagued the Hawks in the first quarter of the season.

St. Louis took a drop after suffering some injuries, from No. 8 to No. 11 but the Blues' 11-5-3 record has them solidly entrenched in a playoff spot. The Wings, meanwhile, continue to roll with only three losses in regulation, including just one at home. Compare that to the Hawks seven home losses and it’s not hard to understand why one team sits atop the rankings and the other in the middle of the pack.

It can’t be easy ranking this Hawks team. On the current road trip they’ve won 5-0 and 7-1 over Edmonton and Vancouver, respectively. But sandwiched between those victories was an ugly 7-2 defeat to Calgary.

The Hawks will play another three games in four nights to conclude the trip and undoubtedly determine where they rank next week.