Thursday, October 13, 2011
NHL Power Rankings
1. Vancouver- The Sedins are tearing it up as usual. Ryan Kesler should be returning to help with the minor struggles felt early on.
last week: 2
2. San Jose- San Jose is in a tough division but Havlat will be back in the lineup very soon and with Burns and Boyle there is a lot to love about San Jose this year and it's got me thinking they may just get over that playoff hump.
Last week: 1
3. Boston- The Bruins are going to beat up on an easy division and walk back into the playoffs looking to repeat. They've slipped a bit early on but Boston is always a steady team and will quickly turn things around. Lot's of composure with this team.
Last week: 8
4. Detroit- Detroit looks hungry this year. I like their depth and they are off to a strong start. Look for Detroit to make a play at the trade deadline for either a replacement for Lidstrom or a top 6 winger. The Ian White pick up is looking better and better.
Last week: 4
5. Washington- 2-0 right now and will be battling it out with Tampa Bay in the southeast. Vokoun has looked very unspectacular as well as Alex Ovechkin. (1 assist for the number 1 fantasy draft pick? It's not right i tell ya!)
Last week: 5
6. Pittsburgh- Malkin is going to tear it up this year if he stays healthy. I'm worried about how well Crosby will play when he comes back but this team is always a lock for the playoffs. I'm sure after some time back Crosby will be firing on all cylinders.
Last week: 3
7. Chicago- Chicago's forwards are intimidating this year. A lot of skill up front and a lot of grit throughout. Young netminder is my only question mark and without much proven experience behind him that could prove to be a problem. The teams depth will make sure they make the playoffs regardless.
Last week: 9
8. Los Angeles- They are ready to become a playoff contender. I have high expectations for this team with the aquiring of Richards. Now with Doughty locked up you have to believe this team is ready to contend year in and year out.
Last week: 7
9. Tampa Bay- Lost a bit of depth during the off season but with the big 3 back they still have plenty of fire power. Aging goaltender in net is a question mark but they will still be in the hunt. They won't catch anyone by surprise this year though.
Last week: 6
10. Philadelphia- Off to a great start so far 3-0. This team was a huge question mark heading into the season. Nobody knew quite what to expect but they have looked strong in the early going. I'm thinking they will keep it up and still finish very high in the east.
Last week: 13
11. Anaheim- Split their first two games. I expect about the same as we always expect from Anaheim. Plenty of offensive talent and grit to cover up for a lackluster defense.
Last week: 12
12. New York Rangers- 2 losses in extra time so far. This team has been a playoff bubble the past few years. Just waiting to see if Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik can create some magic.
Last week: 11
13. Colorado- Varlamov has looked spectacular for Colorado. We've seen this team and the difference solid goaltending can have and I am expecting this team to turn a lot of heads.
Last week: 20
14. Buffalo- Things are clicking so far for this team. Winning both games so far, the increased bank account seems to be paying off (<- see what i did there :P) Pretty solid all around team.
Last week: 10
15. Nashville- The defense is still intact so expect this team to continue to defy reality and make the playoffs once again. Off to a 2-0 start so far and many are picking Pekka Rinne for a Vezina favorite if he can build off last years success.
Last week: 15
16. St. Louis- They've split their first two games so far. If this team stays healthy they have an impressive group but a few key injuries and this young team may be looking on the outside once again.
Last week: 17
17. New Jersey- The Devils can't seem to catch a break with the injuries. I see them as a playoff bubble but if this team clicks the way it should with Parise and Kovalchuk lighting it up this team could go deep.
Last week: 14
18. Calgary- Dropped both games so far. Not much changes from last year. I don't expect that different of a season this year. Iginla will do his part to keep this team afloat and if he gets some scoring help this team could squeak into the playoffs.
Last week: 19
19. Carolina- Their in a tough division with Tampa Bay and Washington but I see Skinner looks ready to take on more responsibility. A great year from Staal and Ward and this team could find themselves in the postseason again. 1-2-1 so far.
Last week: 21
20. Toronto- Toronto has won both of their games so far. Reimer has looked solid and the new additions to Toronto seem to be clicking quite well. Toronto has a chance to end a very long playoff drought this season.
Last week: 23
21. Montreal- The injuries Montreal has already suffered is obnoxious. Their defense is almost depleted and they have already lost their top goal scorer (again!!) I predict struggles ahead for the Canadiens.
Last week: 16
22. Minnesota- The Wild have gone 1-1-1 so far. The upgrades in the offseason will help to increase goals for, however the fact that they have no blueline will also increase goals against. Sorry Backstrom!
Last week: 18
23. Columbus- The Blue Jackets have dropped all 4 of their games. Mason has looked shakey and basically what we've come to expect from him. The upgrades may draw more attention to Mason's mistakes and cause them to go in a "different direction" by seasons end.
Last week: 27
24. Dallas- The Stars have the offensive talent for the postseason, even without Brad Richards, but the lack of a blue line will cause them to miss the playoffs and drop even further in the standings. They are 2-1 in their first 3.
Last week: 25
25. New York Islanders- Their moving in the right direction I'll give them that. 1-1 so far but I expect more of the same this year from the Islanders.
Last week: 22
26. Edmonton- The young core has shown flashes of brilliance. Smyth will help to guide them in the right direction. I am very excited for this team when they begin to mature and hit their potential.
Last week: 30
27. Phoenix- The Coyotes have dropped their first 2 games and without a Vezina caliber goaltender in net I just don't see this team making it into the postseason. Or putting together much wins at all. A lot of question marks about this team.
Last week: 26
28. Florida- 1-1 so far. Versteeg, Campbell, Fleischmann, Bergenheim were all solid pickups and could form this teams new core. They have finally begun their rebuilding process.
Last week: 24
29. Winnipeg- The Jets are back and they look even worse than expected. They've only played one game but looked extremely sloppy and they are essentially the exact same Thrashers that skated last year. At least this way their selling out an arena.
Last week: 28
30. Ottawa- Rebuilding. Be back in 2015
Last week: 29
Weekly Question: Who will win the Vezina Trophy this year?