Monday, January 9, 2012

NHL Power Rankings - Week of January 8th, 2012

After a two-week absence, DGA's NHL Power Rankings returns.  A lot has happened since the last edition of power rankings, so I'll start over without considering where teams were before the little break.  Take a look.

1. Boston Bruins - The Bruins are to the rest of the league as Zdeno Chara's height is to every other Bruin.

2. New York Rangers - Since John Tortorella is obsessed with conspiracies recently, maybe it's time to remind everyone how the Rangers cleared cap space for Brad Richards (hint: he's an overpaid defenseman currently in the AHL).

3. Vancouver Canucks - Cory Schneider gets the win in Boston?  Imagine what could have been last June...

4. Detroit Red Wings - Detroit rallied in Toronto on Saturday, but then realized they were on the road.  So they lost.

5. St. Louis Blues - Brian Elliott might be the best goaltender in hockey right now, but he has no chance to be an All-Star, because he is no longer an Ottawa Senator.

6. San Jose Sharks - The Sharks have been rather quiet lately.  Maybe they're trying to draw less attention in the regular season to minimize the impact of their inevitable playoff collapse.

7. Chicago Blackhawks - Pierre McGuire said that Brent Seabrook is the Hawks' versions of Nick Kronwall, although Sea-brook'ed doesn't sound as good as Kron-wall'ed...

8. Philadelphia Flyers - Some of the Flyers caught the latest episode of "The Biggest Loser" on TV recently, however the next day at practice, the coaches yelled at them for making fun of the Flyers' goalie controversy.

9. Nashville Predators - Shea Weber is on his way back from his concussion, which presumably means his headaches are getting better.  They'll return, though, as the trade deadline approaches.

10. New Jersey Devils - The Devils' depth at center will be tested with the demotion of Tim Sestito.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs - For those who questioned how dangerous the waffles thrown at Leafs players were last year, Dustin Penner injured himself eating pancakes today.  Breakfast foods are dangerous.

12. Los Angeles Kings - Darryl Sutter has done a nice job with the Kings, which is good, because the next step down from a head coaching job is coaching the Columbus Blue Jackets.

13. Florida Panthers - The Panthers no longer have to feel bad about losing 8-0 to Boston, because that seems like a slim defeat these days.

14. Ottawa Senators - The Sens dominated the All-Star ballot, however Tim Thomas narrowly edged...well, whoever Ottawa's top goaltender is this week.

15. Dallas Stars - Jamie Benn is on pace for a career year this season, thus meaning will inevitably sport the headline "THE NEW BENN-CHMARK" at some point.

16. Washington Capitals - Alexander Ovechkin is heating up again, causing people to believe that the Caps will rely on him to carry the team.  Actually, he has been all season, hence where they are in the standings.

17. Colorado Avalanche - Semyon Varlamov has done all he can to help Nail Yakupov land in Washington with the draft pick the Avs traded to D.C., but J.S. Giguere keeps winning, thus helping Anaheim land Yakupov.

18. Minnesota Wild - The Minnesota Wild have been slumping dramatically, but they're still pretty high up offensively: 29th.

19. Winnipeg Jets - The Jets recently called up Patrice Cormier.  Advice to their opposition: hide your star players.

20. Phoenix Coyotes - After years of nothing but zero, one and two goal games, Shane Doan finally recorded his first NHL hat trick over the weekend.  Now the Coyotes can finally leave Phoenix, riight??!

21. Pittsburgh Penguins - After years of big breaks for the Penguins franchise, it seems that luck has come back to bite them all at once.  The franchise has called up the AHL Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team to Pittsburgh, by the way.

22. Montreal Canadiens - Lars Eller's four-goal performance doubled his goal output for the season, but what people didn't realize is that Scott Gomez also doubled his goal output for the season.  Just do the math! (*awaiting a confused response from Paul Holmgren*)

23. Tampa Bay Lightning - Steven Stamkos has proven that he doesn't need the power play or Martin St. Louis to score goals this season.

24. Buffalo Sabres - So, Mr. Pegula, this "winning a Stanley Cup" thing is harder than you thought, eh?

25. Calgary Flames - Jarome Iginla scored his 500th goal and his team didn't give up 9 in the process.  See, they are moving in the right direction!

26. Carolina Hurricanes - Ex-Cane Tomas Kaberle was so inspired when Cam Ward scored a goal that he went out and scored one of his own.

27. Edmonton Oilers - I would make a joke about how the Oilers have become an AHL team with their injuries, but that would be a bit rhetorical...

28. New York Islanders - The Islanders are so bad this season that Jay Pandolfo has taken two penalties.

29. Anaheim Ducks - I wonder if Corey Perry made a deal that once he scored a hat trick this season, they'd trade him...

30. Columbus Blue Jackets - Well, they've changed coaches.  What's next?  Trading Steve Mason to Philly for a pair of first rounders?