Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NHL Power Rankings-1st Installment

1) Our first of what we anticipate will be a bi monthly posting of who is playing at what level. Based loosely upon overall record, and recent trends over the past few weeks. Obviously the first installment is all about how well teams came out of the gate. Subsequent Power Rankings will give their previous ranking along with their current placement in our unbiased poll

  1. Pittsburgh: Hard to quibble placing the Penguins on top of our poll. Despite injuries to key personnel Bylsma has his team playing at peak performance. Scary to imagine how well they'd do/be once they're healthy/get Crosby back?

  2. Chicago: Have the most points of any NHL team as of today. have been putting the puck in the net quite regularly helped by their PP coming to life with avengence, helped by their potent backline

  3. Philadelphia: Surprisingly the Flyers are among the highest scorers in the league. So much for the defense first approach? heck, it seems to be working so far. The best road team thus far If they can get their PP working they might be tough to beat!

  4. NY Rangers: Winners of 7 strait the Broadway Blue Shirts have turned an early season slump around in a hurry. Is Sean Avery really the difference? Actually its been Lundqvist and Dan Girardi helping to propel the Rangers up the standings

  5. Minnesota: Despite having one of the worst PP units the Wild are pacing the NW division. Its again their defense and goaltending led by Josh Harding's amazing start to the season. can he and the Wild keep it up? So far we're liking what new coach Mike Yeo is doing

  6. Phoenix: Another surprise is the way the 'Yotes are playing. Ownership uncertainty remains and they lost Bryzgalov, but so far Mike Smith has been doing well as his replacement in the desert

  7. Buffalo: Wit the most wins in the East the resurgent Sabres are a top the NE division. Have slipped in the past week or 2, and lost starting goalie Ryan Miller to injury so its time to step up for the soft Sabres?

  8. Dallas: After the fastest start in team history the Stars have cooled a bit They remain on top of the Pacific after their long road trip. Can Lehtonen continue to play at this high level? He will probably need to for the Stars to stay in playoff contention

  9. Detroit: Seems that the Wings have finally found their skating legs. Winning 4 strait Franzen has been on fire of late to help the surging wings. Now if they can get Zetterberg going the Wings will be totally back

  10. Washington: After a fast start the caps are reverting back to their old ways of taking periods off and not playing up to their talent level. New personnel, same old habits. Their PK is a tad better of late, but still needs improving

  11. Edmonton: The Kids are alright. They got off to a fast start, but have comeback to earth with a recent road trip. Khabibulin still looking like his old self despite recent set backs. Hall and Nugent-Hopkins look like real deals. If they can get Magnus Paajarvi on board they would really have something

  12. Boston: The Bruins have finally awoken from their early season Cup-Coma. The past 2 weeks they have been playing as good as anyone. Early season scoring woes are long forgotten Super Soph Tyler Seguin is double digit in goals and appears ready to assert himself as their #1 forward

  13. San Jose: Winners of 7 of their past 10 the Sharks are playing their best hockey thus far after their usual slow start. If they can get Antti Niemi playing like he can the Sharks will once again be the team to beat out West

  14. Florida: Surprising most of us with their early record that has them right in contention for the weak SE division. Not surprising they can score. Surprise is the strong play of defenesemen Dmitry Kulikov

  15. Nashville: Congrats to Trotz and his 1000 games coached. As we expected the Preds are goal starved, but have one of the best goalies in the game in Rinne so they are in every game. Rookie Craig Smith off to a nice start

  16. Toronto: Would probably been in the top 5 if this had been done 2 weeks ago. Injuries and poor play have hurt the Leafs of late. Biggest injury is to Reimer, who's replacement, The Monster' has been down right ugly in goal

  17. St. Louis: They're initial/expected spurt after 'Hitch took over not withstanding, can it continue, or will they revert back? 2 regulation goals in 3 games is certainly Hitcock-like! However if they want to make the post season he better work on the leagues worst PP unit!

  18. Montreal: The Habs are slowly coming back to life after a disastrous start. Uncharacteristically they have a very poor PP. Martin will have to find a way to revive that else it'll put too much pressure on Price to be the difference maker nightly

  19. LA: With that kind of talent, no excuse for winning a mere 2 of their past 8 games! Murray deservedly should be on the hot seat! Through 17 games they have scored 2 or more only 4 times! This team should be scoring more!

  20. Vancouver: Like Boston had a bit of a hang over, although they didn't win anything. They seem to have little trouble scoring, its their defense and Luongo that seem to be the issue. We're not big Roberto fans, but we'd expect he'll turn things around

  21. TB: Another team that got off to a less than stellar start but have turned the corner the past couple of weeks. Roloson not looking 48 years old in net helps. Scoring has been there all year, its their defense and goaltending that'll determine if they get in the top 8

  22. Ottawa: As expected the young Sens are a fickle bunch. Look great on some nights and God-aweful the next. The offense certainly has done their share. Its the back line and in goal that has been the biggest reason the sens are under .500

  23. Calgary: So far nothing is distinguishing this team from last season's squad that missed the playoffs. Inconsistency abounds. No extended winning or losing streaks, but with their offense invisible how long before GM Feaster decides enough is enough and unloads a vet or two?

  24. NJ: The Devils record is a bit deceiving. 4 of their 8 wins have come via the shoot out. Rookie Adam Larsson looks solid, but how long/far can a team have a teen age rookie lead their defense in ice time and succeed? Getting Kovalchuk back soon should help

  25. Winnipeg: Few had expectations they'd be great this season, but after a dreadful start the Jets appear to be playing at least competitively. They don't have any stars up front so if they don't give a full effort they probably have little chance of victory

  26. Colorado: After an initial great start, most of which was away from Pepsi center, the Av's are crashing back down to Earth and sputtering to say the least to stay in contention. Two wins in their past 10 games not good

  27. Carolina: Isn't it time Rutherford see that Paul Maurice is NOT the right fit here? The Hurricanes GM is a savvy man so we can't see the canes not making a move if they continue to flounder

  28. Anaheim: Very disappointing start for the Ducks. They should not be playing this poorly. WE had to check twice, but they have won 2 of their past 12 games!! Its gut-check time in southern California(for both teams!)

  29. Columbus: Like on the Island, the GM has much to answer for here. Scott Howson spent and traded for a team that was supposed to compete for a playoff spot. Instead they stand(sit) at the bottom of all 30 teams!

  30. NY Islanders: Not exactly where Isles fans thought they'd be. Its time for accountability from the man who assembled the roster, Garth Snow? One win in their past 11 puts them dead last in our poll. Most thought they'd at least stay in contention until the All Star break, not out of it by the holidays!

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