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NHL Power Rankings 2011: Sharks Flirt With Top Ten

The San Jose Sharks are streaking and have won four in a row. How are they placing the NHL power rankings?

The San Jose Sharks are off to a solid start to their 2011-12 NHL season. They've won four games in a row and are tied for the lead in the Pacific Division with the Dallas Stars as both teams hold 41 points. They're surging heading into the Christmas weekend and all of the pieces finally seem to be falling into place for the team.

Let's take a look at how the experts are placing the Sharks in their various power rankings.

Based on the power rankings aggregator at Real Clear Sports, the Sharks are slotted in at No. 11 when the top six lists are averaged out. They clock in behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers and just ahead of the Nashville Predators.

FOX Sports also places the Sharks at No. 11, although those rankings from December 19 reflect the mini-slump before the Sharks' winning streak over the past week. Expect them to make at least a slight jump in next week's power rankings there.

ESPN slots the Sharks in at No. 9, and praises the recent work by Martin Havlat.

Finally, the Hockey News likewise places the Sharks at No. 9, behind the Wild and the Panthers. Based on the Wild's three-game losing streak contrasted with the winning streak by San Jose, expect the Sharks to move up at least one slot in the next rankings.

It is worth noting that in every one of these lists, the Sharks are placed a minimum of two spots above the Dallas Stars, whom the Sharks had been chasing for first place during the past week.

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