Pittsburgh Penguins Still Top Six In Week 10 NHL Power Rankings


The Pittsburgh Penguins (21-6-4. 46 points), in first place in the Metropolitan Division, have built a four point lead over the New York Islanders (21-10-0, 42 points). The Isles are not too far off the pace as they are 6-4-0 in their last 10 contests, and both teams have won their last two games.

Hoping to continue the streak, the Black and Gold will be back in action at Consol Energy Center on Saturday, Dec. 20 to take on the Florida Panthers (14-8-8, 36 points). The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. and the matchup will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

With 31 contests played in the National Hockey League, here is the Tale of the Tape for Mike Johnston‘s crew:

Pens At Home: 12-4-1 On The Road: 9-2-3

Last 10 Games: 6-2-2

Metropolitan Division Record: 5-4-3

Atlantic Division Record: 9-0-1

NHL Eastern Conference: 14-4-4

NHL Western Conference: 7-2-0

Goals Scored: 99 Goals Allowed: 71

Power Play Percentage: 25.7 Penalty Kill Percentage:86.2

With two partial practices under his belt, Chris Kunitz, 35, concluded his first full practice with contact on Friday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center since being sidelined with a slight fracture in his foot. The 6-foot, 190-pound left wing, who missed the past eight games after an X-ray showed the fracture, could return to the ice Saturday when the Penguins host Florida. It will be a game-time decision according to Johnston.

More from Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh announced on Thursday that defenseman Olli Maatta was diagnosed wtih the mumps. He is the third Penguin to be effected following Sidney Crosby and Beau Bennett. Goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury, and Thomas Greiss and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo tested negative for the mumps.

The Penguins re-assigned goaltender Jeff Zatkoff on Friday to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. He served as the back up to Fleury on Thursday against Colorado.

Meanwhile, let’s see what the experts around the internet have to say about where they place the Black and Gold this week in the pecking order of the NHL.

Bleacher Report – This Week #4 / Last Week #7 – Jonathan Willis observes that while Pittsburgh keeps alternating wins and losses in December, they also continue to accumulate points in the standings.

CBSSports – This Week: #4 / Last Week: #4 – Chris Peters has the team holding steady in the rankings and likes their effort over their last 10 games in spite of the mumps.

ESPN – This Week: #4 / Last Week: #6 – Scott Burnside is impressed that the Pens have been able to maintain their lead in the Metropolitan Division.

FanSided – This Week: #6 / Last Week: #3 – Patrick Schmidt is concerned about the overall health of the team including the mumps outbreak.

Fox Sports – This Week #2 / Last Week #2 – By keeping the Penguins at No. 2 in the rankings, they are Craig Morgan’s highest ranked Eastern Conference squad.

The Hockey News – This Week: #6 / Last Week: #4 – Ken Campbell is also keeping an eye on how the team handles the mumps situation.

Puck Drunk Love – This Week #4 / Last Week #5 – Mike Burse’s set of analytics moves the team up one notch and thinks that luck is on their side.

SBNation – This Week: 5 / Last Week: 3 – Andrew Hirsh dropped both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Penguins in his Top Five this week to make room for the Anaheim Ducks and the St. Louis Blues to follow the Chicago Black Hawks at the top.

TSN – This Week: 6 / Last Week: 5 – Scott Cullen is concerned about who the next player might be put out of action, how it will affect the team’s performance.

The Penguins seem to own more downs that ups this week in the rankings. Do you think that Crosby, Malkin, and Company deserve better or they are right where they should be? Let me know in the comments section below.