Monday, February 20, 2012

NHL Power Rankings - Week of February 20th, 2012

Today's President's Day and it's only fitting that the team most likely to win the President's Trophy tops my list of NHL teams this week.  I mean, you can't really argue with Detroit.  Ever.

1. Detroit Red Wings - The Wings reportedly thought about losing at home, but they won't until Nicklas Lidstrom retires.  Whoa boy...

2. Vancouver Canucks - They were recently voted the most overrated team by the league's players, including Roberto Luongo.

3. New York Rangers - Ranger fans were chanting "we don't want you!" at Rick Nash last night.  It's okay, they're still learning what it's like to win.

4. Nashville Predators - Something that literally just occured to me: if Rick Nash went to the Preds, would they name the city after him?  Nash-ville?

5. New Jersey Devils - Something that must be considered: is Martin Brodeur just as cool of an old guy as Lidstrom and Selanne?

6. St. Louis Blues - They won a game via shutout recently allowing just 13 shots on goal.  Then again, that's a lot of shots for Minnesota in one game.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins - Evgeni Malkin is not one of the three stars of the week.  It's panic time in Pittsburgh.

8. Boston Bruins - They got shut out by Niklas Backstrom yesterday, but that's okay because they won't run into any other good goalies in the playoffs.

9. Chicago Blackhawks - I'm no expert here, but Ryan Miller might be an upgrade over a guy whose stats compare well to Ilya Bryzgalov.

10. San Jose Sharks - The team of Octupi survive the Sharks, despite a courageous effort.

11. Philadelphia Flyers - Y'know, that Michael Leighton guy wasn't too bad in hindsight.

12. Phoenix Coyotes - So did you see the daily Mike Smith shutout and Radim Vrbata goal?

13. Ottawa Senators - According to Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, Erik Karlsson will be one of the greatest defensemen of all-time.  What he didn't mention is that he also thought that about Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara...before he let him go. 

14. Calgary Flames - In an ironic turn of events, Darryl Sutter is now jealous that Olli Jokinen doesn't play for his team.

15. Los Angeles Kings - If the Kings get Jeff Carter, will the rest of the hockey world finally admit that the Kings are the Flyers of the west...minus the mandatory awful goaltender?

16. Anaheim Ducks - I'm sure the Ducks really regret trading Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan away earlier this season since they had no chance at making a playoff push.

17. Florida Panthers - They had a nice run, but it looks like the Florida Panthers we knew and... (love?) are back.

18. Washington Capitals - It's also nice to know that the Caps fixed all of their internal problems from earlier this season and now that Bruce Boudreau is gone, they can finally make a Stanley Cup run.

19. Winnipeg Jets - Winnipeg would absolutely make the playoffs this season...if the NHL follows MLB's role and adds more playoff teams.  Yeah, when Winnipeg moves to the West, things will be tough for them.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs - It seems that the Leafs and Flyers share more than just the fact that Eric Lindros played for both teams.  They both need more goalies...again.

21. New York Islanders - Nothing says "we're making a playoff push" than losing 6-0 to the Ottawa Senators.

22. Minnesota Wild - If Niklas Backstrom can keep up his 1.000 save percentage pace from Sunday all season, the Wild have a shot at the playoffs.

23. Montreal Canadiens - Last night in warm-ups, all Habs players wore #8 jerseys to honor Gary Carter's passing.  This made it difficult for beat reporters to make out lines, but then again, since Hal Gill left, it's been especially hard finding players anyway.

24. Colorado Avalanche - It's been a quiet season for the Avs.  Except last night in Winnipeg.  Unfortunately for the Avs, it was very loud there.

25. Dallas Stars - Joe Nieuwendyk may have asked for James van Riemdsdyk in the Nicklas Grossman trade, but even Paul Holmgren realized that wasn't fair.

26. Buffalo Sabres - I wonder how Sabres fans feel, knowing that James Neal and Ville Leino have nearly identical contracts.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning - Dwayne Roloson recently played a game in which he allowed 5 goals and still had a .900 save percentage.  Usually when he allows 5 goals, he has a .200 save percentage.  Progress.

28. Carolina Hurricanes - Cam Ward's injury is probably a good thing, in the sense that one of their three good players is out of the lineup.  It could help them #FailforNail.

29. Edmonton Oilers - Sam Gagner has come back down to Earth, but he's still on pace to set new career highs in goals and points.  Another 8-point game couldn't hurt.  And he's a positive +/- for the first time in his career, so there's that.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets - If Nash and Carter are traded, which Blue Jacket will represent them in the All-Star weekend next their own building?