Tarik El-Bashir assesses the top teams in the National Hockey League this week (Dec. 9). Records are through Thursday’s games.
1 (6 last week): Chicago Blackhawks; 17-8-4 Since the last ranking, the Blackhawks went 3-0-1 to extend their lead over Detroit in the Central Division. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa have 32,31,30 and29 points, respectively, to pace an offense that’s averaging 3.21 goals per game (third best). After playing at the Wild on Wednesday, the 'Hawks played seven of the next eight at United Center. Kathy Kmonicek/AP Buy Photo