Monday, January 22, 2007

All-Star Break Power Rankings!

1) Welcome to our latest edition of our Power rankings. All-Star Break edition. The format will be essentially the same as our previously lauded offerings. With the addition of adding our latest divisional Power Rankings as well. Enjoy. : )

2) As always: Rank Team Last Poll's Ranking Comments
1- Nashville (4)- NHL's hottest team right now. Easy schedule aside, they have been beating just about everyone they've played the last few weeks
2- San Jose (2)- Moving up yet another spot, the team that the Ducks made most forget about is quietly having a great season. Look out Anaheim!
3- Buffalo (1)- First 3 game losing streak 'plummets' Sabres out of top spot for first time in our poll. Still a VERY formidable opponent that is still the beast of the East
4- Anaheim (2)- Have been continued solid despite injuries. After the break and the return of many of those injured the Ducks will probably again be the team to beat out West
5- Detroit (5) Overall the geezers continue to amaze. Key we feel will be the health of the over 65 crowd down the stretch. Will their Rheumatism set in!
6- New Jersey (9)- Its all about the goalie. Without Brodeur Lamarello would look much less the genius than many give him credit for. If Marty gets hurt, the Devils are not even a playoff team! Our Hart Trophy candidate as of now.
7- Vancouver (12)- Swept through the east like a hot knife through butter. Luongo trade looking better and better. The Devils of the West? Without Robbie, the 'Nucks are cellar dwellers!
8- Ottawa (13)- Starting to play to expectations. When healthy may be a tough opponent to play in spring. Key will be is Emory ready to come up big?
9- Dallas (6) - Inconsistent couple of weeks have cost a few spots in Big D. Turco remains an enigma. Amazing one night, very average the next. They are stuck with the 'Bad Marty' so they best get used to it
10-Minnesota (11)- Finally winning a few road games. That continues they may win the black and blue NW division
11- Atlanta (8)- Sliding a bit back recently. Up and down play has allowed Carolina and TB to start to again sniff for the division lead. Still has the fire power and goaltending to maintain edge.
12- Calgary (10)- Hot couple of weeks put Flames right back in division race. With Kipper between the pipes they can never be counted out of any game
13- Montreal (7)- Have struggled the past couple of weeks with injuries and poor play, but recently rebounded looking a bit like they did most of the fall. Live or die with special teams
14-Tampa Bay (20)- Maybe the hottest team in NHL. Tortorella's sextant is looking more like 2004 than any time since, well 2004. Can the 'Big 3' keep it up?
15- Edmonton (17)- Rebounding after hitting rock bottom. Still only 6 points from division lead. Though may need to make some roster adjustments to get back to the playoffs
16- Colorado (16)- Continue to stay right in there. Budaj looking like a true # 1 on most nights. Rookies complementing vets. Can they keep it up down the stretch?
17- Carolina (14)- Just when it looks like they have turned the corner the 'Canes play another 'stinker'. Still in division race with Atlanta slowing, but will have to get more consistency to return to Finals
18-Pittsburgh (25)- Crosby & co. recent good play places them in the top 8 in the East. Far ahead of schedule in their rebuilding. Will the good folks of Pittsburgh be allowed to see them develop further beyond this year?
19- N.Y. Rangers (19)- Stagnating at 19th spot. Porous defense and no scoring beyond 1st line taking toll. Jagr's pouting showing with a -4 and some bad penalties last week. Still with Lundqvst they are still a playoff contender
20- Toronto (22)- Have looked dreadful at times. Can't expect to get into playoffs playing under .500 at home! 40 years since last Cup. Looking like it'll be 41!
21- Boston (15)- Dave Lewis's team underachieving. Making his job tenuous. No playoffs-new coach in Bean town. Think they might want to take back that silly Thornton trade?
22- Phoenix (21)- Falling a bit recently, but overall much improved over their early dreadful start. 2 years running that the 'Yotes lost a chance at the playoffs in October/November. Will they be sellers at the deadline?
23- N.Y. Islanders (18)- Up and down few weeks for the Isles. Bet they wish they could play the Flyers and Rangers every night! Without those 2 teams the Isles are on the bottom. Yashin returning to form, of invisibility. Not to worry Isle fans, he only has 4 years left on his deal!
24- St. Louis (29) Slowly pulling themselves upward. had a very good couple of weeks. Still well out of playoff contention. Sell-off of vets likely to start after the break
25- Washington (24) Defense injuries and inconsistent goaltending illustrated teams' weaknesses. Only 3 scoring threats also not helping. Playoff hopes dimming quickly
26- Florida (27) Move up 1 spot, but still are not a good team. Trouble winning away from Miami. Biggest story here will probably be the inevitable trading of vets at the deadline
27 - Columbus (26) Bad week in Ohio. Best player Nash gone for a while. How does GM, McClean still have a job??
28- Chicago (23) Totally dead! Hard to discern the worst team of the bottom 3. All have had a hard time winning in 2007. Sad is too mild a word to describe the state of hockey in once proud Windy City
29- Philadelphia (29) Pulled out of last only because Forsberg is back and LA appears to want to be last more. Without Peter, Flyers ARE the worst team by far. Guess the coach wasn't the problem?
30- Los Angeles (28) Firmly in the Angelo Esposito sweep stakes. Confirmed their aspirations when they acquired 58 year old Sean Burke to play net

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