Mike Zeisberger's weekly NHL power rankings

Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots the puck for a goal against Jonas Hiller #1 of...

Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks shoots the puck for a goal against Jonas Hiller #1 of the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on January 17, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Ducks 4-2. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:29 PM ET

DENVER - The return of Patrick Roy to Colorado has left recently-suffering Avs fans feeling a Mile High these days.

And with good reason.

If not for the record season turned in by Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Roy’s magic touch easily would be THE sports story in Denver right now.

As it is, no one could have predicted that St. Patrick, who won a pair of Stanley Cups during his days between the pipes for the Avs, would have led his young team to an impressive 30-12-5 mark out of the gates in this, his first season as an NHL bench boss.

“I knew this was the right time and the right place to take the opportunity to coach at the NHL level,” Roy said.

The team’s core of kids, including Canadian Olympian Matt Duchene and 2013 first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, are certainly glad he did.

“Patrick has been amazing with us,” Duchene told QMI Agency. “Not only as a teacher, but as a supportive figure as well.”

Thanks to Roy’s guidance, the Avs, who did not even have a sniff of a playoff spot a year ago, are entrenched in the Top 10 of QMI’s weekly NHL power rankings, which are listed below. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses. Saturday’s games not included.

1. Chicago Blackhawks (1): Big 4-2 win over Ducks Friday.

2. Anaheim Ducks (2):Six pp goals vs. Canucks.

3. St. Louis Blues (3): Plus-60 goal differential entering play Sat.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (4): Just three regulation-time home losses.

5. San Jose Sharks (5): Still successful despite Couture injury.

6. Los Angeles Kings (6): Still struggling to score goals.

7. Boston Bruins (7): Emotional win over the Dallas Seguins Thursday.

8. Colorado Avalanche (8): Three-game win streak entering play Sat.

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (9): Imagine how good they’ll be when Stamkos returns.

10. Montreal Canadiens (11): Just 21st in league in goals scored.

11. Vancouver Canucks (10): Humiliated 9-1 by Ducks.

12. Minnesota Wild (15): Surviving without Harding, Parise, Koivu.

13. Ottawa Senators (16): Entered Sat. as one of NHL’s hottest teams.

14. Toronto Maple Leafs (20): Silly “fire Randy” talk muzzled after 3 wins.

15. Phoenix Coyotes (12): Just three wins in past 12.

16. Philadelphia Flyers (21): New extension for G Mason.

17. New York Rangers (18): Lundqvist regaining his Vezina form.

18. Washington Capitals (14): This “musical goalies” schtick is wearing thin.

19. Detroit Red Wings (13): Other than Zetterberg, Datsyuk, goals are scarce.

20. Dallas Stars (17): Just two victories in past 10 as of Sat. morning.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets (23): Five consecutive victories.

22. New Jersey Devils (22): 0-8 in shootouts.

23. Nashville Predators (24): Dubnyk? Really?

24. Winnipeg Jets (25): Maurice has this team playing hard.

25. Carolina Hurricanes (19): Has the bloom come off the Cam Ward rose?

26. New York Islanders (26): 8-2 run has them talkin’ playoffs again.

27. Florida Panthers (27): Thomas has been impressive of late.

28. Calgary Flames (28): Brutal 7-14-3 home record.

29. Edmonton Oilers (29): Scrivens reunited with ex-Marlies coach Eakins.

30. Buffalo Sabres (30): Miller in top Sochi form.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/zeisberger


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