Mighty Morphin Power Rankings: Real Or Fake?

ESPN
This week: 4
Last week: 4
Reasoning: The Devils were stung by the Islanders on Saturday but are still within a point of the top spot in the conference. Impressive 6-1-1 home record.

CBS
This week: 3
Last week: 13
Reasoning: OK, so losing 5-1 at the Islanders is ugly, but they stay up here because they’ve still won six of their last eight … all in regulation, too.

Yahoo! Sports (2/16)
This week: 4
Last week: 6
Reasoning: David Clarkson’s power forward prowess is (deservedly) the hot topic in Jersey, but 36-year-old Patrik Elias is leading the team in scoring (18 points in 14 games) and plus/minus (plus-10). Not to mention, the octogenarian goaltending tandem of Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg are playing like they’re half their age.

FOX Sports
This week: 4
Last week: 2
Reasoning: Penalty-kill troubles, including allowing three goals Saturday in a loss to the Islanders, need to be solved quickly. David Clarkson also has yet to have back-to-back multi-point games this month.

Sports Illustrated
This week: 5
Last week: 3
Reasoning: A 5-1 spanking by the Islanders and a 2-1 shootout loss to the Senators on Presidents Day has cooled some of the buzz in Newark. Alexei Ponikarovsky was brought back last week for a second stint with the team and scored a goal in his first game. The Devils could use a bit more offensive punch, particularly from their defense, which has contributed just three goals this season. “You’re not going to win many hockey games scoring just one goal,” Devils veteran Patrik Elias told reporters after the loss to the Sens.

This week’s video is a sign of when I started to realize what I was watching and became more realistic about my childhood heroes. The same goes for the Devils at this point — are we seeing bumps in the road or legitimate cracks in the armor? Time will tell.