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NHL Power Rankings: Rangers Climb Into Third; Devils (14th), Islanders (27th) Stay The Same

The past week in the NHL schedule was shortened by two days for a mini holiday break, but that didn't limit the action on the ice for the New York-area teams. Christmas also did not bring any "bonus" presents for the locals, as the team that has been rolling (New York Rangers) kept doing so, the New Jersey Devils continued to be hard to grasp as to what they're all about and the New York Islanders continued to lose.

All of this didn't mean a whole lot of movement in the RCS power rankings, which averages six media NHL power rankings from around the Internet into a streamlined one. The Rangers were able to jump two spots, into third place, this week -- and they're just below the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawsk (and above the Philadelphia Flyers). The Devils (14th) and the Isles (27th) remained status quo.

The Blueshirts and Islanders each played three games in four nights this past week. The Rangers dominated the Devils, 4-1, then took down the Islanders, 4-2, and beat the Flyers for the second time this season -- this time by a score of 4-2. Sandwiched in between the loss to the Rangers, the Isles managed a shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets and lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Devils began their week with a weak showing at home against the rival Rangers, and then lost in the shootout to the Washington Capitals.

The week for the locals has already begun, with the Rangers getting a shutout win over the Islanders on Monday and putting up a clunker at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.The Devils have also won and lost once -- losing to the Carolina Hurricanes and defeating the Buffalo Sabres. Meanwhile, the Isles' only game has come against the Rangers, but they'll play two more at home against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers before the week is out. The Rangers and Devils have one more game remaining in the week.