Hawks ride win streak up rankings

SUNRISE, Fla. -- After winning eight games in a row, the Chicago Blackhawks have returned to the elite in ESPN.com’s weekly Power Rankings, checking in at No. 3.

The surge up from ninth a week ago is due to a flawless seven days in which the Hawks won all five games they played.

The only teams ahead of them in the rankings are the Vancouver Canucks (1) and San Jose Sharks (2). The Hawks even jumped ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the rankings despite still trailing them by six points in the Central Division. Detroit is No. 4.

The Philadelphia Flyers, losers of four in a row, dropped from No. 1 to No. 5 as they try to recover from their latest defeat, a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the New York Rangers.

The Blackhawks are the story of the league. They languished in the mid-teens in the weekly rankings, even dropping as low as the bottom third for much of the season. Their first extended win streak has changed the perception they can’t repeat.

And for now, it’s changed their weekly ranking.