Monday, November 21, 2011

NHL Power Rankings - Week of November 20th, 2011

It's that time of week again!  It's time for NHL Power Rankings for Week 6 of the 2011-12 season.  There's another #1 this week, but unfortunately, not a new #30.

1. Minnesota Wild (+8) - The Wild are among the worst teams in the NHL offensively.  In other news, the sun is still bright and Zdeno Chara is really tall.

2. San Jose Sharks (+5) - Antti Niemi is determined to win another Stanley Cup this season, contrary to the rest of his team, since every time Niemi talks about the Stanley Cup, he teammates keep asking "who's Stanley?"

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (-2) - There is absolutely nothing new to report from Penguins camp this week.  I think...

4. Chicago Blackhawks (-3) - The only thing red hot about the Blackhawks right now is Joel Quenneville's temper.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (+3) - Phil Kessel's superhuman act this season has forced the rest of the Leafs to be mediocre in order to balance things out for a while.

6. Detroit Red Wings (--) - It was nice of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to return to Detroit after an extended summer break.

7. New York Rangers (-2) - Martin Biron is known as an excellent backup goalie, but you'd never know it if Saturday's Rangers/Habs game was your first ever hockey game.

8. Philadelphia Flyers (+2) - I've decided to exclude all games against the Winnipeg Jets when considering the Flyers' power ranking position.  At least they won't have to deal with them in the playoffs.

9. Boston Bruins (+7) - Angered by their 2-1 shootout win over Columbus, they decided to destroy their next awful opponent, the Islanders, at home, although some people claim it wasn't a Bruins home game...

10. Buffalo Sabres (+2) - Tyler Myers spent his day off as a healthy scratch kissing up to Brendan Shanahan to avoid being Shana-banned after any apparent head-shots.

11. Nashville Predators (+6) - Following an embarassing overtime loss to Columbus at home, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are duking it out to see who gets to leave Nashville next off-season.

12. Los Angeles Kings (-1) - Jonathan Quick hasn't had a shutout in quite some time, which begs the question: is the world ending?

13. Washington Capitals (-10) - Caps' second line left wing Alex Ovechkin has 14 points in 18 games, which is good for a second line winger, but I'm sure the coaches are concerned about his -6 plus-minus rating.

14. Dallas Stars (-10) - If the NHL season was based entirely off of the first month of the season, the Dallas Stars would be perennial Stanley Cup contenders.

15. Phoenix Coyotes (--) - Steve Mason has reportedly been in contact with the Coyotes lately, because he heard that Phoenix is hallowed ground for an NHL goaltender.

16. New Jersey Devils (+3) - David Clarkson's shooting percentage is double that of one year ago and he has more goals than Zach Parise.  It's the craziness of the NHL, folks.

17. Florida Panthers (+3) - The Panthers have turned average top-6 forwards into star players this season, rather than their tradition of turning top-6 forwards into washed up scrubs.

18. Vancouver Canucks (-5) - Pretty much every Canucks skater has a negative plus-minus rating, and Roberto Luongo is determined not to change that.

19. St. Louis Blues (+3) - The Blues are at the bottom of the league offensively and the top defensively.  Why else would Ken Hitchcock agree to coach them?

20. Tampa Bay Lightning (-2) - Since the Flyers game, teams have actually tried to beat the 1-3-1, and unfortunately for the Lightning, they have been quite successful in doing so.

21. Edmonton Oilers (--) - If Sam Rosen was the Oilers' announcer, he'd have said "And this one will last a lifetime" after beating the Blackhawks, 9-2 the other night.

22. Ottawa Senators (+1) - I don't know why everyone is so high on Milan Michalek this season.  He's not even the best forward that plays in the province of Ontario...

23. Colorado Avalanche (-9) - Avs "phenom" defenseman Erik Johnson is a -12 this season. 

24. Montreal Canadiens (+1) - Scott Gomez started to get going offensively this past Saturday, courtesy of Martin Biron.

25. Winnipeg Jets (+3) - Many people say that every Jets home game feels like a playoff game, which would explain why they beat Washington the Philadelphia so convincingly.

26. Calgary Flames (-2) - The Flames are on pace to have approximately zero 60-point scorers this season, yet people are still baffled and confused as to why this is a terrible hockey team.

27. Anaheim Ducks (-1) - When all else fails, it's time to start the overhaul in Anaheim.  Luckily, they can build around guys like Teemu Selanne.

28. Carolina Hurricanes (-1) - Eric Staal, Joni Pitkanen, Tomas Kaberle...this would have been a good team in 2006.  Oh wait, Carolina was a good team in 2006.

29. New York Islanders (--) - CBC and Versus will be nationally televising the return of Kyle Okposo to the Islanders lineup and Anders Nilsson's first NHL start tonight.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets (--) - Steve Mason's apparent injury only hurts helps the Jackets.