Thursday, October 6, 2011

NHL Power Rankings

Every Thursday, we have decided to produce an updated Power Ranking. The focus is based on where the individual team will be by the end of the Regular season. It will be rotated between myself and Chris Hoobler on a weekly basis so keep an eye out on your teams, and the Red Wings, rankings throughout the year!

2011-12: Week 1

1. San Jose - They only improved there squad in my opinion. With the addition of Burns and Havlat and the emergence of a young star-in-the-making with Couture, look for San Jose to again be at the top of the League by seasons end.

2. Vancouver - They lost Ehrhoff to Free Agency without filling the hole and that is the only logical reason I could keep them from that top spot.

3. Pittsburgh - Bylsma proved last season that they don't need there top stars, Crosby and Malkin, to be a great team. He put in place a fantastic defensive system that holds down the fort in there own end.

4. Detroit - An already veteran squad, look for the Red Wings to fill up that free cap space with a significant trade by the deadline. They have the high-end talent and depth to compete for the Presidents Trophy.

5. Washington - Just looking at the roster, it's tempting to place them at the top spot. They have the depth, high-end skill, and a good mix and young and old. I don't believe in there coaching staff though.

6. Tampa Bay - A team which came out flying last season with significant upgrades throughout management. Coaching change over to Boucher was huge. Look for them to be near the top of the East.

7. Los Angeles - Getting Doughty signed was important for this team to get a good start on the season. Expect them to press San Jose for the Pacific division title.

8. Boston - Reigning Stanely Cup Champs. I feel it was more of a perfect storm that they won it all.

9. Chicago - They have the growth of young stars on there side, but there defense has a question mark after trading away the best 3rd defenseman in the league in Brian Campbell.

10. Buffalo - Love the additions on defense, not so much on offense. I'm looking at you, Leino.

11. New York Rangers - Brad Richards was a gigantic land, but do they have enough depth? Question marks on Defense.

12. Anaheim - They are loaded with top end talent at forward but lacking in depth. Can Hiller stay healthy?

13. Philadelphia - Such a wild card. How much will trading Carter and Richard affect them? Question marks all around but I believe there young guns will step into the spotlight just fine.

14. New Jersey - They don't seem to be getting a lot of love around the league these days, but I'm chalking up there start to last season as a fluke.

15. Nashville - Underrated again? Suter, Weber, and Rinne is plenty to secure a playoff spot for the Preds.

16. Montreal - An always stiff defense, with a great system. Look for Cammalleri to have a career year.

17. St. Louis - I can never predict this team. Everyone I see, year after year, ranks them higher then they end up. I'll keep my predictions realistic.

18. Minnesota - Good additions to the Offense at the cost of the Defense. Can Backstrom get back to his winning ways?

19. Calgary - Another year older, another year just outside the cut. Iginla won't win a cup unless he gets out of Calgary.

20. Colorado - High end offense. Decent defense with the pickup of EJ last season. Goaltending hole has been plugged. There not bad on paper.

21. Carolina - They are always so close, but so far. Another year of disappointment unless Staal and Ward can carry this team a long, long ways.

22. New York Islanders - Will they make the jump and become a playoff team this year? I hope so. They can't afford any top end injuries.

23. Toronto - Another year, another playoff miss. They continue there post lockout streak, along with Florida, and miss the cut.

24. Florida - They did there best filling in the holes, everywhere. But it was mostly 2nd/3rd line tweeners.

25. Dallas - They lost Brad Richards. Huge blow.

26. Phoenix - They lost Bryzgalov. Bigger blow.

27. Columbus - Is Carter and Wiz enough? I don't think so.

28. Winnipeg - The fans of Winnipeg got there team back. It's not a good one though and they have lots of work ahead of them.

29. Ottawa - Rebuilding and doing it the right way. A lot of high end prospects giving reason to be excited for the future.

30. Edmonton - Read above.

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