It has been the season of the streak. Welcome to the club, Washington Capitals -- and, by extension, to the top of the Power Rankings. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild have also continued to impress, while the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes continue to set the bar for futility.
1. (Last week: 3) Washington Capitals, 29-9-5
Sorry, Columbus -- there's a new sheriff in town. That badge goes to the Capitals, who have won nine in a row and are clearly the top defensive club in the league after whipping the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 on Sunday. On the heels of last week's emphatic win by Washington, another interesting showdown with Sidney Crosby and the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins looms on Monday.
2. (4) Minnesota Wild, 28-9-5
The Wild are alone in first place in the Central Division -- and the Western Conference -- after Sunday's win over the Chicago Blackhawks, their conference-best 14th road win. Coach Bruce Boudreau is heading to Los Angeles to coach the Central Division squad during All-Star weekend. Is he also heading toward a berth on the Jack Adams ballot as coach of the year?
3. (1) Columbus Blue Jackets, 29-9-4
The Blue Jackets have been up-and-down since their 16-game winning streak ended on Jan. 5, but credit coach John Tortorella for keeping this team playing competitive hockey pretty much every night.
4. (6) Montreal Canadiens, 27-11-6
The Canadiens, who had a nice come-from-behind win over the New York Rangers on Saturday, continue to pad what is a sizable lead in the Atlantic Division. Are they Stanley Cup-worthy?
5. (8) Anaheim Ducks, 24-13-9
The Ducks are cooking, building on a 6-1-1 record in January. John Gibson is leading the way in goal, with five wins in his past seven starts -- including two via shutout.
6. (2) Pittsburgh Penguins, 26-11-5
7. (7) Chicago Blackhawks, 27-14-5
The Blackhawks have gone just 5-5-0 over their past 10 games and have been surprisingly tepid on the road. Chicago is still comfortably ensconced in second place in the Central Division, though, which means one should never assume anything about its vulnerability.
8. (5) New York Rangers, 28-15-1
The formerly high-flying Rangers have suffered a couple of losses in a row. Getting bodies back up front, like the injured Rick Nash, will help. And, let's be honest, there are worse places to be in the standings than in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
9. (10) Edmonton Oilers, 23-15-7
The Oilers are starting to play better at home and continue to keep pace in the Pacific Division. Leon Draisaitl is quietly becoming one of the game's best No. 2 centers.
10. (9) San Jose Sharks, 25-16-2
The Sharks will miss improving young defenseman Dylan DeMelo, who is out eight weeks with a broken wrist, but are still very much where I thought they'd be.
11. (13) Toronto Maple Leafs, 20-13-8
Toronto has, at least temporarily, dislodged Ottawa for third place in the Atlantic Division. Can the Leafs keep it up? It's uncharted territory for this young team.
12. (19) Boston Bruins, 23-18-5
13. (11) St. Louis Blues, 23-16-5
The Blues have fallen into the morass in the middle of the playoff discussion in the Western Conference -- although they got a much-needed road win in Anaheim on Sunday. Still, St. Louis is terrible away from home (7-11-1), and its second-half schedule is heavily weighted toward road games.
14. (18) Carolina Hurricanes, 21-15-7
Here come the Hurricanes, winners of four straight. Carolina boasts one of the league's best home records (15-4-1) and the top penalty-killing unit.
15. (14) Los Angeles Kings, 22-17-4
The Kings are finding traction as they try to create separation in the wild-card race in the Western Conference.
16. (12) Calgary Flames, 23-20-3
The Flames have hit a flat spot in early 2017, with a 3-3-1 record in January. That won't cut it if Calgary is to be playoff-bound.
17. (21) Nashville Predators, 20-16-7
Are we finally seeing the Predators team we thought we'd see at the season's start? Nashville has won three in a row, as GM David Poile continues to tinker with his lineup. A couple of recent minor roster additions have brought a little more grit to the Preds.
18. (16) Vancouver Canucks, 20-19-6
The Canucks are still hanging around the playoff picture and have been excellent at home, where they play their next three -- including a big midweek matchup against Western Conference foe Nashville.
19. (17) Ottawa Senators, 22-15-4
The Sens are very much under the radar -- and still very much in the thick of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Coach Guy Boucher and his staff have done a terrific job of keeping this team on task.
20. (15) Philadelphia Flyers, 22-18-6
So much for that 10-game winning streak. The Flyers hit their bye week in a shambles, with just three wins in 14 games since the end of that streak -- including nine straight road losses. The postseason, once seemingly a lock for Philly, now seems unlikely.
21. (23) Florida Panthers, 20-17-8
The Panthers continue to stumble their way through the season, with five wins in their past 12 games. Florida has zero chance of making the playoffs unless it finds a way to win more consistently.
22. (24) Dallas Stars, 18-18-8
Dallas is not out of it but not quite in it. Pretty much sums up the Stars' season.
23. (22) Tampa Bay Lightning, 20-20-4
The Lightning have sunk to 12th in the Eastern Conference and have just three wins in their past 10 games. And now they are without another key leadership figure in Ryan Callahan, who is out long-term with a hip injury.
24. (25) New Jersey Devils, 18-18-9
The Devils have won a couple in a row to sneak back onto the edge of the playoff precipice in the Eastern Conference. Strangely, it's been the defense and the goaltending -- just as much as an anemic offense -- that has plagued coach John Hynes' team.
25. (20) Winnipeg Jets, 20-22-4
One win in their past five reinforces that this squad simply isn't good enough to be a playoff team. Again.
26. (27) Detroit Red Wings, 18-19-6
The Wings enjoyed a rare offensive outpouring in a 6-3 win on Saturday against Pittsburgh but need to find that level of offense more regularly to get back into playoff contention.
27. (28) New York Islanders, 16-17-8
The season is only half over, and already Islanders fans are pining for next season. Who pays for the disaster that is the current campaign? Someone will have to. Won't they?
28. (26) Buffalo Sabres, 16-17-9
The Sabres are healthy but can't find the consistency needed to be a playoff team. A franchise that thought it had turned a corner has lots of work to do.
29. (29) Arizona Coyotes, 13-27-1
The ugliness continues in the desert for the Coyotes, who are 29th in goals per game and staying out of the league's basement only by virtue of the chaos in Denver.
30. (30) Colorado Avalanche, 13-23-6
Sharks (and other teams) are circling, as the Avalanche are entertaining offers for pretty much everyone on their sad lineup.