Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday Power Ranking - Oct 12

Alright, so I decided to finally make a regular recurring segment in my blog (not including my Nike rants, which unfortunately probably wont go away).

I decided on Saturday, I will give my NHL Power Rankings of the teams so far.  Not much more explanation needed, so lets go!

1. San Jose Sharks (4-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've been the biggest fish in the sea so far this year (pun very much intended).  With a goal differential of 21 Goals For to 5 Goals Against, they've just been hamming teams they play.  A good portion of those goals have been scored by Tomas Mutant Ninja Hertl, the 19 year old rookie who's been plastered on every highlight reel package for the last few days.  Beyond Hertl, everyone else has been showing that this is a very hard team to compete against.

2. Colorado Avalanche (4-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

While they've haven't scored as much as San Jose, they've only allowed 3 goals in 4 games to open the season.  The Avs, led by rookie coach Patrick Roy, have been a defensive juggernaut, while getting it done offensively as well.  This team will be dangerous to play this season.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

They're only blip this season was against the Avalanche, and have otherwise been perfect so far.  Bernier has made himself the prime starter in net, but there's a long way to go before the goalie duel can be certainly put to rest.  Bernier has played great, and Toronto has been getting the offence they need to win tight games.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

After everyone (including myself) doubting the Penguins after last season, especially goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Pens have been off to a great start.  Fleury holds a .963 save%, and their only loss was when their backup goaltender Zatkoff was lit up for 6 goals.  Everything has been clicking so far, so the doubters can start believing again.

5.  St. Louis Blues (3-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

Halak has seen all of the ice time in the Blues' net so far, and has allowed only 4 goals in 3 games this season.  St. Louis is a very strong defensive team, with great goaltending to back them up.  They may not be the strongest offensively, but they're apt to find the back of the net before anyone can get past their defence.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

While goaltending is still an issue, the fiery offence of the Lighting, anchored by duo Stamkos and St. Louis, are getting the job done in the other teams' zone.  If their young goalies can step up their game, then the Lightning can be a legitimate contender in a tough Atlantic division.

7. Calgary Flames (3-0-2) - Last Week: N/A

While they have more loses then a few of the teams below them, both of those came in OT.  One of only 5 teams to not lose a game yet in regulation, they've defied the low expectations put on them and have been dominant so far with their young troop.  Monahan is looking like the future face of this franchise already, putting up extremely good numbers for someone just celebrating their 19th birthday.

8. Boston Bruins (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Despite the team's relatively new look to it, they've transitioned well and have taken out divisional foes Detroit and Tampa so far in impressive fashion.  This will be a contending team this year for sure.

9. Dallas Stars (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Even though they're looking up at Chicago right now in the standings, everyone in the Dallas organization has to be impressed with how the team is shaping up so far.  Benn and Seguin have been performing to their high expectations, and the goaltending has been great so far.

10.  Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1) - Last Week: N/A

Chicago hasn't been as impressive as a top 10 team should be, but considering the championship pedigree of the team, remaining almost entirely intact since last season, its hard to ever count them out from being a cup contender again this season.

11. Anaheim Ducks (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Most of their games have been pretty close games, and their offence doesn't appear to be firing on all cylinders yet.  But they've been getting the job done, winning all of their games so far besides the one loss against still-undefeated Colorado.

12. Carolina Hurricanes (2-1-2) - Last Week: N/A

The goaltending duo of Ward and Khudobin have been keeping the Hurricanes afloat in the seemingly-weak Metropolitan division.  None of the perennial powerhouses are doing well, so Carolina has a chance this year to sneak themselves into a playoff spot.

13. Ottawa Senators (1-0-2) - Last Week: N/A

The only team in the Eastern Conference not to lose a regulation game.  Unfortunately, the've still lost more than they've won.  With Spezza coming back from an injury, maybe Ottawa can continue their unbeaten streak for a little longer and climb up the Atlantic standings.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

With Gaborik playing as well as expected, help from secondary scoring, and Bobrovski playing good (maybe not great) so far, Columbus is proving that they can play with the tough teams of the East.

15. New York Islanders (2-1-1) - Last Week: N/A

Right in the thick of things with Columbus and Carolina are the Islanders.  Their goaltending can be better from Nabokov, and they could use some secondary scoring, but they're getting plenty of offence from Tavares, Grabner, Bailey and Nielsen.

16. Vancouver Canucks (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

While their goaltending seems as spotty as ever, there is no denying that they are offensively on track so far this season.  If Luongo can start playing a bit more consistent, and Tortz can give the team a more defensive attitude, then they might be able to make a run this year.

17. Phoenix Coyotes (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They have an identical record to both Vancouver and Los Angeles, but their wins came against easy opponents, and their losses were against teams they should have beat.  Lots to prove left on this team, but there is hope to make the playoffs yet.

18. Los Angeles Kings (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

Again, as noted above, they have the same record as divisional rivals Phoenix and Vancouver.  But the Kings have had a much easier schedule than both teams, and have had a hard time pulling off wins.  Quick needs to play a bit better, and then they will be back to an elite team.

19. Montreal Canadiens (2-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They didn't get the start that they would have liked, but the team isn't doing bad so far.  They're getting lots of offensive production from their young players, which is a good sign.  If Price can find his form, you'll see their rank improve greatly.

20. Detroit Red Wings (2-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've had the same start as divisional foe Montreal, but while Howard is helping the team keep up defensively, the strong offence Detroit should have isn't there.  Zetterburg, Datsyuk, Alfredsson, and Kronwall should be putting up better numbers to help the offence than they are, and that's why they're far down this list.

21. New Jersey Devils (0-2-3) - Last Week: N/A

Technically, they're one of only 2 teams in the league left without a win yet this season.  Why are they ahead of 9 other teams then?  There schedule has been tough so far, and every game they've played so far has been a 1-goal game, besides a 3-0 loss to the very respectable Penguins.  Their goaltending has been solid, and they still have a team that can take them far this year if they can turn things around.  This is one of the only instances where the record doesn't necessarily reflect the team's performance.

22. Florida Panthers (2-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Well their goaltending situation is a big ugly mess, even with Tim Thomas, but hope isn't lost on the Panthers just yet.  They only have 2 wins so far, and got thumped by Tampa Bay, but they also just had a very impressive victory over the Penguins.  No one else can say that yet.  They're putting up good offensive numbers, they just have to figure out who deserves to be in net, or find someone who does.

23. Minnesota Wild (1-1-2) - Last Week: N/A

Its hard to see where the Wild are sitting.  They only have 1 win, to the lowly Jets, but their losses have all come by 1-goal games.  They're staying in games, which is a good sign.  Healthy goaltenders and more offence is needed for this team to be successful.

24. Winnipeg Jets (2-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Speaking of the Jets, they're parked right behind the Wild for my ranking.  They had a good start to the season, but then lost 3 straight.  The games have all been close besides their last one, a 4-1 loss to Seguin and the Stars.  This is still a team on the outside looking in, but they've had a decent start to the season.

25. Washington Capitals (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

They haven't exactly played solid hockey so far this season, but Ovechkin is firing on all cylinders, which is a very good sign.  Once he started doing that last season, the Caps went from 15th to 3rd* in the East, very impressive.

26. Nashville Predators (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Their best player so far has probably been Seth Jones, which says a lot good about Jones, but a lot bad about the rest of the team.  They're still in the thick of things in the Central division, and Nashville is a team you can never count out.

27. Edmonton Oilers (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

While their goaltending has been bad so far, they've been doing well on offence.  Almost everyone has contributed, besides surprisingly Nail Yakupov, who is without a point in 4 games this season.

28. New York Rangers (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've been embarrassing over the last few games, being outscored 15-2 combined against San Jose and Anaheim.  Tomas Hertl has as many goals this season as the New York Rangers, 4 of his goals coming against the Rangers.  AV isn't looking to hot behind the bench right now...

29. Philadelphia Flyers (1-4-0) - Last Week: N/A

But AV is doing better than coach Peter Laviolette, who was fired after losing the Flyers' first 3 games of the season.  Holmgren isn't impressed with his team's performance, his team and fans aren't impressed with him, and nobody is impressed by Giroux, who hasn't found the scoresheet yet.

30. Buffalo Sabres (0-4-1) - Last Week: N/A

But alas, even the Flyers' managerial and coaching incompetence can't compete with Buffalo for worst in my power ranking this week.  Miller hasn't played bad, but only 6 players have a point so far, only 3 players have more than 1 point, and only Hodgson and Vanek seem to be carrying the offence with 4 points each in 6 games.  All but 1 of those 6 players have a negative +/- rating, which means even though their scoring, they're hurting the team more than the players who haven't even gotten a point yet.  Hopefully you kept up with all of that number jumping, but it all points towards an awful start and what could be a long season.

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