Monday, March 5, 2012

NHL Power Rankings - Week of March 5th, 2012

The regular season is winding down, and at this point, we know most of the teams who will participate in this spring's Stanley Cup playoffs.  We also know that others will hope to land Nail Yakupov in this June's entry draft.  All 30 teams get to be in the power rankings, so here's my top 30.

1. New York Rangers - I can't deny it anymore: the Rangers are the President's Trophy favorites, which by default, means they aren't Stanley Cup favorites.

2. Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks knew Cody Hodgson could never succeed in Vancouver, thus proving that no actual human beings can be superstar scorers in Vancouver.

3. St. Louis Blues - If Jamie Langenbrunner had sustained an injury last season with the Devils, fans probably would have celebrated.

4. Nashville Predators - Pekka Rinne : Vesa Toskala :: Ferrari : Kia

5. Pittsburgh Penguins - Here's a new outlook on the Penguins that nobody has thought of before me: if Sidney Crosby returns this season, the Pens are going to be reeeeally good.

6. Detroit Red Wings - They can't win at home.  Throw in the towel, the season's lost.

7. Chicago Blackhawks - The Hawks have found ways to win without Jonathan Toews.  Hopefully, before they can blink, Toews will be back.  Unless they're waiting for Toews to blink.

8. Philadelphia Flyers - Ilya Bryzgalov shut out the Caps last night.  Michael Leighton could have shut out the Caps last night.

9. Boston Bruins - Boston is still looking for back-to-back wins, but ever since Tim Thomas skipped the White House trip, that's been tough.  Good thing they have Tuukka...okay never mind.

10. New Jersey Devils - The Devils had a bad case of Nassau Coliseum-syndrome on Sunday.  Can't say I blame them.

11. Ottawa Senators - I still can't believe that it's March and I'm not power ranking Ottawa 30th this season.

12. Phoenix Coyotes - Mike Smith has been making a lot of saves this season, but not even he can save the franchise from relocation.

13. Los Angeles Kings - Jeff Carter's presence has helped the Kings score more goals.  Imagine that, Dean Lombardi bringing in a star offensive player, and they score more goals...

14. San Jose Sharks - Umm, San Jose, the playoffs haven't started yet.  Isn't it too early to be slumping?

15. Florida Panthers - Big win over Ottawa last night.  Who would've thought we'd say that in March?

16. Dallas Stars - I wonder how it makes Jerry Jones feel that the Cowboys are likely going to be the only Dallas-area team to not make the playoffs this year.

17. Winnipeg Jets - If MTS Centre has a "playoff atmosphere" for every regular season game, is it a regular season atmosphere in the playoffs?

18. Tampa Bay Lightning - In hindsight, Dwayne Roloson over Mike Smith might be one of Steve Yzerman's regrettable moves this past year.

19. Colorado Avalanche - Gabriel Landeskog is probably the best two-way forward in the NHL...right now.

20. Buffalo Sabres - Ryan Miller must be on the NBA schedule this year, since his season started a few months late.

21. Washington Capitals - The Caps have been shut out, in back-to-back home games.  Before last season, their fans hadn't seen a shutout in years...for or against.

22. Calgary Flames - Put all of your "Calgary Flames are going for it" jokes away for now.  They're actually going for it.

23. Anaheim Ducks - Teemu, please come back next season.

24. Toronto Maple Leafs - The Leafs are magically back in the playoff race after beating the worst team in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, say most Toronto fans.

25. New York Islanders - Anders Nilsson shut out the Devils yesterday.  Garth, give this man a 15-year contract!

26. Minnesota Wild - If the Wild played in Toronto, Mike Yeo would never be able to set foot in public since the team's miserable downfall.

27. Carolina Hurricanes - If the Canes can't shut the Caps out tomorrow night, they will have failed the hockey world.

28. Montreal Canadiens - Now is probably not the best time to mention that the Habs have three Ontario-born players on their roster.

29. Edmonton Oilers - Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov (potentially).  Man, the Oilers are going to have a lot of players to trade for the next season's 1st overall pick someday when they're not last in the league anymore.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets - For what it's worth, Columbus is on a 2-game winning streak.