Blackhawks slip in Power Rankings

CHICAGO -- Not surprisingly ESPN.com’s weekly Power Rankings released on Monday have four Central Division teams among its top 7.

The Chicago Blackhawks fell from No. 4 to No. 5 while Detroit and St. Louis are both in front of the Hawks, coming in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Nashville, coming off a 5-2 win over Chicago moved up to No. 7 from No. 9.

While the Hawks continue to win games with their offense, the other three teams in the division are buckling down with defense. That has allowed for some lopsided scores both for and against the Hawks and makes them tough to rate on a weekly basis.

Anytime one Central Division foe beats another one, as Nashville and Detroit recently did to the Hawks, there is bound to be movement in the rankings. If the Hawks lose their rematch game against the Predators on Tuesday there’s no reason to believe they’ll be ahead of Nashville when next week’s rankings are released after the All-Star break.

Things are that tight in the Central Division where one loss can affect the rankings. And with the Hawks dropping their last three divisional games it’s no wonder they’re behind two of the other three teams this week.