Monday, December 17, 2007

December Power Rankings

1) Here is our latest Edition of the FAUXRUMORS Power Rankings. We will continue to only do this monthly. Any sooner in our opinion wouldn't give a full view of any possible trends. Anyway here is today's Edition. Number in parentheses is last month's ranking:

1 Detroit Red Wing (2)- The Red Wing have continued their steady excellence with by far the best record in the NHL to date. Winning regularly at The Joe as well as away from Detroit. As always, the key to their continued success will be how their veteran roster holds up.

2 San Jose Shark-(7) Have continued their amazing road record. If they start to win regularly at the Shark tank, they will soon be #1, They have all talent to be THE team , and we fully expect they'll improve their home record and be one of the contenders throughout the season.

3 Ottawa Senators (1)- The Senators started off hot and have finally hit a bit of a rough patch recently. Still the best team in the East, yet seem to be missing something to give us at FR2 the feeling that they are a legit Cup threat. Perhaps its because we're not sold on them in goal.

4 Dallas Star-(21) Make the 2nd biggest positive move of any team this rankings. They continue to prove many prognosticators(including us) wrong with their strong play. Since the Armstrong dismissal they have been record wise the best team in the NHL. It will be interesting to see if they can continue this pace.

5 NJ Devils-(24) Made THE biggest move upward of any team. Left for dead by many. We even called for Sutter's dismissal, the Devils have been one of the best teams in the east the past month. Propelled into 1st place in the competitive Atlantic. No team with Brodeur can ever be over looked!

6 Minnesota Wild-(12) Move up 6 spots. After starting off on fire, they abruptly came back to the pack, but have turned back up the throttle again . Injuries hurt them on offense last month, but they are more healthy and playing solid hockey once again, in 1st place in the tough NW.

7 Boston Bruins- (13) Have risen 6 spots, and continue to generally play good hockey for Julian. Even with goaltending injuries(Fernandez likely out for the year) are playing very good hockey in the very competitive NE division. Looks like these bears are for real!

8 Carolina Hurricanes (3)- The 'Canes have struggled of late with consistency. Looking like a contender one night and a pretender the next. dropping the boys from Tobacco Road 5 spots in our rankings. The SE division again seems to be weak which is probably, helping the boys from Carolina pad their win totals a bit.

9 Vancouver Canuck-(18) Gained significantly in this months rankings. Up 9 positions. Fighting for 1st in the NW. If they could somehow play better on home ice they'd be tough to fight off for the title.

10 Pittsburgh Penguins- (25) No team with the reigning MVP can be over looked or stay down long. The Pens have turned up their game the last few weeks to get back into the playoff race. Much like last year when they had a rough start, but this years team had expectations to live up to. The injury to M-A Fleury may be a blessing as we didn't think he was/is ready to carry this team. can Sabouin, or will they make a deal?

11 Colorado Avalanche(4)-Move down 7 slots with their continued struggles on the road, but thankfully for them continue to be lights out in Denver. If they get their road situation turned around they could be competing for the Conference title, but 5-10 away is not the record of a Cup contender!

12 Calgary Flame-(23) Another team that looked lost a month ago, that now seems ready to compete for a playoff spot if not the division. Despite continued goaltending issues, the Flames continue to score and win. A recent successful road trip propelled them back into the thick of things.

13 Montreal Canadians(5)- Dropping 8 slots, despite the Habs potent PP unit. Their PK has not been as impressive. Its an oddity for a team from Montreal to not have a stellar home record so its hard to look at them and see that .500 home record and wonder why?

14 Toronto Maple Leafs-(17) Though they continue to be inconsistent, they did manage a nice run of games the past month to get back into playoff contention. We still maintain that they will be among several teams that will likely stay on the bubble throughout the season. Vesa Toskala seems like he is now the #1 tender which would explain their recent success.

15 Anaheim Duck-(19) A modest rise for the defending champs. Still they have yet to play consistently well for any stretch so far. With the return of the selfish Scott Niedermayer( many expect the team to solidify. However there has been significant turn over(no thanks in part to Scott) so we wouldn't expect they will suddenly become a top 3 team, but should still be a playoff contender

16 Philadelphia Flyers-(8) Fall 8 more slots as the boys from The City of Brotherly Love return to Earth. Have continued to basically play .500 hockey the last 6 weeks, falling behind the red hot Devils from the top spot in the Atlantic. Still despite that, they appear to be the real deal and shouldn't fall apart and out of the playoff race.

17 St. Louis Blue-(22) Have risen a few spots this month in our rankings, still are playing well above last years team. The recent trade of McDonald for Weight could conceivably push them into playoff contention IF they get the required goaltending. Regardless, things are looking up in St Louis!

18 NY Rangers (6)- After moving up an incredible 19 slots last moth the blue Shirts drop back into the pack, dropping 12 spots with a very poor last 2 weeks or so. Coinciding with the loss of super agitator Sean Avery. Even their team MVP from October/November Lundqvist looked human at times. They may need to make a move or two(a new coach?) and/or get Avery back to get back to their winning ways. Patience is NOT something that the Ranger faithful/brass usually display

19 Buffalo Sabres-(26) They couldn't have gone much lower. Especially with a roster full of young talent and a world class goalie in Miller. They have improved considerably. However, they have yet to fully recover from their early season awful start. They clearly are NOT a Cup contending team at this point, but will probably compete for one of the bottom 3-4 playoff slots by years end.

20 Edmonton Oiler-(27) We originally didn't see them as a playoff team, but not as awful as they started the season either. They move up 7 spots. The return of Souray seems to have helped bolster the team with them playing quite solidly above .500 most of the past month putting them squarely back into the playoff hunt. Not sure they have the horses to stay the course, but shouldn't fall too far back if healthy.

21 Florida Panthers-(29) Haven't exactly been world beaters, but have clawed themselves off the door matt at least. Is this a start toward respectability or a temporary improvement? Vokoun had a very good month helping to carry the team toward the .500 mark. At least temporarily saving Jack Martin's job

22 Columbus Blue Jackets-(12) Move back down 10 levels. Were one of the pleasant surprises here early on. However they appear to be stumbling a bit lately. Still far better than in years past, but certainly not appearing to be playoff ready as of yet. Continued kudos to Hitch to get this bunch playing this well

23 NY Islanders-(10) Move down 13 spots. Have played well below the level they showed the first 6 weeks. They are by no means out of it, but their goal scoring woes could keep them out of the playoffs. DiPietro has continued to be the team MVP, and helped them stay in games they had no business getting points from. The recent Simon incident we would surmise won't help team morale either.

24 Chicago Black Hawk-(14) The youngsters(Towes/Kane) from the Windy City have not been able to maintain their placement above the top 15. Once one of the surprises in the central, they have fallen back into the bottom eschelon with a very poor 2-3 weeks. However with those 2 things are still looking much less bleak in Chicago than in many a year!

25 TB Lightning- (15) The Lighting take a significant slide 10 spots as they have a mediocre to below par month. Their goaltending must have Tortorella pulling his hair out as neither tender seems to be able to stop a beach ball. On the bright side Lecavalier is having an MVP type season, else things would be far worse. Continue to be good at home and God-awful away from the St Pete Times Forum!

26 Nashville Predator-(11) As amazing as they rose 17 slots last time around, they dropped 15 in this months poll. As with the rest of the Central, they had a good November, but poor December thus far. falling back in the standings in the process. basically where we figured they'd reside.

27 Phoenix Coyote-(28)Seemed poised to turn the corner when they obtained former Duck Ilya Bryzgalov and went on a nice spurt. However in the last couple of weeks they have been less than consistent. Looking good one night and poor the next. They don't have oodles of talent up front, so they will need Ilya to play well if they are to salvage their season to respectability. the playoffs are a pipe dream at this point.

28 Atlanta Thrashers-(20) Jumped 10 spots last month, only to back slide 8 slots this time around. Has the post Hartley firing adrenaline push evaporated? How long can Don Waddell last if the team again falls into oblivion? If this team were in a good sports city, we would hear tons of rumblings/rumors of his imminent dismissal. He has been a disaster fro the franchise and needs to get the boot!

29 Washington Capitals-(30) Since last month they have changed coaches. They seem poised to turn their season around and could find themselves significantly higher in our poll if they can. However they have been just a tad over .500 the past 3 or so weeks. A breakout season for defender Mike Green is tempered by the invisibility of forward Alex Semin. Also starting goalie Kolzig may be showing signs of his advanced age. Not good for a team with noone ready to step right into his skates any time soon

30 Los Angeles King-(16) We thought that they had finally turned their season around a month ago, only to fall back into dead last in the league. The Crawford watch is on, and we'd be shocked to see him still as coach if they continue to wallow near or at the bottom of their conference.


vakfan said...

Those poor Kings. It is a pity, they are such an entertaining team to watch. That Kopitar guy doesn´t get the attention he deserves. (And maybe that is good for him..)


1) It IS a shame that they decided to improve the team in the off season but forgot to address the teams biggest weakness and the most important position on ANY NHL team; Goaltending
2) If that team had a good goalie they may not be a Cup contender, but would in our opinion be in playoff contention. It was an egregious error

Antzmarching said...

Can't we begin to discuss the Washington Capitals in the same context? ONE great player, a decent supporting cast, and failing goaltending... Olie Kolzig was great in his day, but his movement around the crease has greatly diminished - particularly, with regard to his lateral movement... He's soon to be 38, and unless he frequents the NY Yankees, SF Giants, and NY Mets clubhouses, there's little chance its going to get better in the future... Obviously, Brent Johnson brings virtually no help in his backup role...

GMGM had a shot at Ilya Bryzgalov last month, but he's an idiot, and thought the Caps were in good shape... Also, the minor league goaltending prospects are still years away... You can't win w/o good goaltending, as that's why the Caps and Kings are 29th and
30th, respectively...

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