A new work week means it’s time for another review of TSN’s NHL Power Rankings courtesy of Scott Cullen, a hockey expert with the network. While there isn’t a lot of change at the top, the Stars are falling and the Jets are in a tailspin.
The top four remains unchanged with the San Jose Sharks comfortably at number one, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. Again, do the Hawks deserve to be ahead of the Bolts? Probably, but it’s petty at this point arguing over number 2 and number 3 so we’ll move on to bigger and badder issues.
The Montreal Canadiens surprisingly hopped up into the top five this week based on the signing of P.K. Subban and the unexpected return of Max Pacioretty. Petty reasons? Perhaps, but given they are 6-2 to start the year and beat the Ottawa Senators on the weekend, we’ll let it slide this time.
The Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers round out the top ten. The Ducks are soaring thanks to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry who have helped propel the Orange County club to a nice 5-1-1 start.
The Oilers at number 10 is surprising given their record of 4-3-1. They haven’t scored a lot of even strength goals, rather relying on the power play which leaves many questions if this club is top ten worthy.
The bottom of the pack is relatively unchanged with the Carolina Hurricanes holding steady at number 25. The biggest drop of the week belongs to the Winnipeg Jets who were railroaded on their trip to Florida over the weekend that led to their three game losing streak in which they were outscored 18-9. Their blueline is suddenly thin with the absence of Zach Bogosian and now Dustin Byfuglien, meaning this team does not have a lot left to rely on offensively. Don’t be surprised to see if the Jets linger around the bottom of the rankings all season long.
Sitting at 27 are the Nashville Predators, down three spots from 24. The loss of Patric Hornqvist and Martin Erat is devastating but this club continues to grab at least a point via the shootout, making their ranking a surprise.
The Calgary Flames slid down another two spots this week from 26 to 28 and while the sit in last place in the league, they have played the fewest amount of games. Injuries and absences haven’t given the Flames a full roster yet this season and Jarome Iginla is slow out of the gate. Miikka Kiprusoff has been hot and cold to start the year, looking great one night and terrible the next. Many experts have picked the Flames to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference and so far the Flames are making them look like….well….experts.
The Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals flip flopped spots this week as the Caps continue to surprise everyone and lose more games than they’re winning. Their goaltending has been bad and Ovechkin isn’t scoring. Two things that are surely adding grey hairs to Adam Oates.
Meanwhile, back-to-back wins for the Panthers have them out of the basement in the rankings. Throw in a healthy Stephen Weiss and a return from Kris Versteeg and suddenly the cats have a decent lineup, now they just have to start winning consistently.
It’s worth noting that the Dallas Stars fell twelve spots this week from 12 to 24. A strong start has been replaced by a 3-5-1 record and too often they’re giving up more shots on goal then they’re generating.
Movers and Shakers: The Phoenix Coyotes were the biggest mover this week, jumping nine spots from 22 to 13 that saw them go 2-0-2 over the last seven days.
Free Fall: as already discussed, the Jets are in a nasty free fall, tumbling down seventeen spots from number 9 to 26. And there aren’t a lot of reassuring points or perspectives for fans to grasp to, aside from pulling the rip cord. But they signed up for five years, which could turn into five years of misery if management doesn’t get creative with this roster.
Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Corey Perry, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Dustin Byfuglien, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Jarome Iginla, Kris Versteeg, Los Angeles Kings, Martin Erat, Max Pacioretty, Miikka Kiprusoff, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, P.k. Subban, Patric Hornqvist, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf, San Jose Sharks, St.Louis Blues, Stephen Weiss, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets, Zach Bogosian