Hawks again trail Boston in power rankings

The Blackhawks and Bruins are the NHL's hottest teams. ESPN.com Illustration

CHICAGO -- It’s starting to be a weekly thing. The last two Stanley Cup winners continue to sit atop ESPN.com’s Power Rankings with the Blackhawks just behind the Boston Bruins again in rankings released on Monday.

The teams have nearly identical records -- Chicago is 24-10-4 while Boston is 24-10-1 -- heading into action on Monday, so it’s a flip of the coin which one deserves the top spot.

The Hawks had a fantastic December, going 10-2-1. The Bruins went 9-3 after a 12-0-1 November. So who would win in a playoff series if it was held today? Statistics can be misleading but if the point of the game is to score and stop other teams from scoring then Boston has the edge. They lead the league in both categories and are the only team giving up -- incredibly -- less than two (1.91) goals per game. That alone makes them deserving of the top spot.

The Hawks, meanwhile, rank fifth in scoring and 15th in defense. At the end of the day those statistics don’t mean much when you have the record the Hawks do but in choosing the top team for the power rankings, Boston gets the edge for its current domination at both ends of the ice.