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Canadian Division Power Rankings: February 24

One team makes a big jump while others fall back

NHL: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Another week goes by and we see a couple of teams in the Power Rankings take a tumble while others make moves up thanks to a hot streak. Things should only heat up more as all teams will be busy this week including #1 and #2 matching up three times.

LATE UPDATE: And we have a coach firing!!

1. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-4-2, 3-1-0) Last Week: #1

Upcoming Games: 02/24 vs CGY, 02/27 at EDM, 03/01 at EDM

The Maple Leafs extend their streak atop these power rankings to three weeks with another very solid week, pickup up three straight wins before a blemish against Calgary on Monday night. It should be noted that they were also without Zach Hyman, Joe Thornton, and starting goaltender Frederik Andersen in that game while laying a rare egg on the powerplay going 0/7. They’re pretty comfortably in first and there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue being comfortable if they play their game. They also have a great chance to pull further away with three straight against Edmonton coming up.

2. Edmonton Oilers (13-8-0, 4-0-0) Last Week: #5

Upcoming Games: 02/25 at VAN, 02/27 vs TOR, 03/01 vs TOR

While they don’t quite make the complete jump, the Oilers do rise all the way to #2 from #5 in an impressive leap thanks to four straight wins over the past week. A pair of strong wins against their provincial rivals followed by a pair of wins in Vancouver moves the Oilers to within striking distance of Toronto. These two teams play three times coming up, it should be extremely exciting and whoever comes out on top will likely take over the top spot in these rankings.

3. Winnipeg Jets (11-6-1, 2-1-0) Last Week: #4

Upcoming Games: 02/25 vs MTL, 02/27 vs MTL, 03/01 vs VAN, 03/02 vs VAN

The Jets put together a pretty solid week, picking up three wins over the course of a four game road trip which concluded with a pair of victories in Vancouver. Winnipeg is getting a nice mix of scoring and goaltending so far this year, sitting 3rd and 1st respectively in terms of Goals For and Goals Against in the division. Pierre Luc Dubois had a stellar coming out party in his third game as a Jet on February 21 after rehabbing an injury, picking up two goals and an assist which included the overtime winner. He’ll make the Jets even more dangerous as he gets rolling.

4. Montreal Canadiens (9-5-4, 0-1-2) Last Week: #2

Upcoming Games: 02/25 at WPG, 02/27 at WPG, 03/02 vs OTT

For the first time in five weeks, Montreal finds themselves outside of the Top 2 in these rankings. They’ve lost three in a row and seem to have lost that spark they had going for them early in the season, or perhaps it was just that they played Vancouver a lot which puts Tyler Toffoli into Gretzky-mode. Either way it is concerning to see them on a three game losing streak including back-to-back losses to Ottawa but at the same time they were a team that finished 24th last year. I feel that this record is more indicative of the team they are compared to a few weeks ago.

EDIT: And the Habs just fired Claude Julien this morinng, amazing what two losses to Ottawa can do. We’ll see if they get a new coach boost or continue falling this week.

5. Calgary Flames (9-9-1, 1-3-0) Last Week: #3

Upcoming Games: 02/24 at TOR, 02/25 at OTT, 02/27 at OTT, 03/01 at OTT

It’s been chaos in Calgary lately. Fire the coach! Fire the GM! Trade everybody! The Flames managed to avert some of the calamity with a somewhat surprising victory over Toronto, but the whispers are still there. This is a team with many more questions than answers at this point in the season, but they have to start figuring things out before they fall too far behind the top four.

6. Ottawa Senators (6-14-1, 2-2-0) Last Week: #6

Upcoming Games: 02/25 vs CGY, 02/27 vs CGY, 03/01 vs CGY, 03/02 at MTL

As I said last week, while they still might not be winning a ton nor have any real shot at the playoffs, this does look like a team that is really starting to figure things out. They rallied off two straight wins against Montreal and five of their last six games have been decided by one goal. That’s a big step forward for a rebuilding team. I will say that I am glad the Flames won’t have to deal with them in their division after this year as their young stars develop.

7. Vancouver Canucks (8-13-2, 1-2-1) Last Week: #7

Upcoming Games: 02/25 vs EDM, 03/01 at WPG, 03/02 at WPG

Just when it looked like Vancouver was starting to turn things around, they went and lost three straight on home ice and their record falls to five games below .500. Things just aren’t great in Vancouver and as they close in on the halfway point of the season, they’re quickly running out of room to turn things around.