With every passing week in the NHL, the top teams continue to distance themselves from the rest of the pack. While this only relates to a handful of teams, it is worth looking at who should be crowned the number one seed in the NHL Power Rankings based on last week’s play.
TSN’s hockey expert, Scott Cullen has his latest installment of the power rankings and he has the Chicago Blackhawks as the top ranked team, followed by the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins who round out the top five.
Not surprising that the top five is made up of these teams, but perhaps they are worth looking at again in a different order.
For example, do the Anaheim Ducks deserve to be number one? You could make that argument based on their fine level of consistent play over the course of last week along with the re-signing of Corey Perry that will cement this club as a lock in the top three of the Western Conference barring injuries.
The Blackhawks deserve an incredible amount of respect, I just feel that losing two games in a row last week, including one on home ice to the Edmonton Oilers is reason for them to be knocked off their perch at the top.
The Boston Bruins sitting at number three could also be debated, especially when you’ve got the red hot Penguins who have won nine games in a row. Granted both the Bruins and Canadiens have only lost five times in regulation versus the eight that the Pens have dropped. But come on, nine wins in a row? And a couple of those came against the Bruins which helped propel the Pens to first overall in the Eastern Conference. Sure they are without Evgeni Malkin and now Kris Letang, but this club is still too good to be at number five.
The bottom five comprise of the Buffalos Sabres at number twenty-six, followed by the Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and the beat up and lowly Florida Panthers.
It’s no surprise to see the Sabres, Capitals and Panthers at or near the bottom. All three teams are miserable this season and despite a small rally from the Caps, none of those clubs will be making the playoffs.
The Predators are another team that is falling and doing so in a rapid pace. Key injuries and bad line changes have led this team to three losses out west and now they face an uphill battle to try and jockey for playoff position. I wonder if losing Ryan Suter hurt them that much?
As for the Calgary Flames, well it’s rebuild time in cowtown. Jarome Iginla should be traded along with Jay Bouwmeester and probably Miikka Kiprusoff. No sense going half way with the fire sale. It’s all or nothing for Jay Feaster and the Flames.
Biggest mover: St. Louis Blues who climbed twelve spots from twenty to number 8 this week and are starting to again play like the team that so many picked to contend for the Stanley Cup. A nice surprise from netminder Jake Allen who could become involved in the Calder Trophy conversation.
Biggest drop: Dallas Stars fell nine spots this week from eight to seventeen. A struggling offense that saw the club lose four straight last week has them fighting for their playoff lives.