NHL Power Rankings By:
Editor Wager On Hockey.com - NHL Sportsbook
March 6th, 2006 Page Updated at 1:00pm
do we do this? Why do the NHL HOCKEY Power Rankings?
Why do the NHL Power Rankings even matter? Well
let me tell you!!! They don't! But we still
love the NHL power rankings anyways. Here is
the October edition of the NHL Power Rankings.
NHL POWER RANKINGS
1. Ottawa Senators
(1): The league’s finest team both at
even strength and when killing penalties, the
Senators’ power play is second only to
the Red Wings. And though those stats were padded
by an otherworldly start, the Sens remain a
bona fide Cup favorite.
2. Detroit Red Wings
(2): Six players have already tallied 20 or
more goals for the Wings this year, and two
more (Robert Lang and Jason Williams) are likely
to join them before the regular season concludes.
That scoring depth will make the Wings a very
dangerous playoff team.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
(3): Lost in the justifiable excitement surrounding
Eric Staal’s breakout season (he’s
already tallied 90 points) has been the re-emergence
of Rod Brind’Amour, who is quietly putting
together his best numbers since 1998-99.
4. Dallas Stars (5):
He has struggled at times this season, but star
netminder Marty Turco has gotten back on track
in recent weeks, posting a miserly 2.11 goals-against
average and a .907 save percentage to go along
with an 8-2 record in March.
5. Buffalo Sabres
(4): By keeping Martin Biron in the fold, sensational
rookie Ryan Miller is going to have to battle
to earn the starting job. Over the next three
seasons, look for this strategy – not
rushing Miller – to pay huge dividends
6. Nashville Predators
(6): He’ll face some hefty competition
from the Flames’ Miikka Kiprusoff and
the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, but the
ever-steady Vokoun has been the NHL’s
finest goaltender this season and is the top
candidate to win the Vezina Trophy.
7. New York Rangers
(8): Distributing the puck on the power play
has worked wonders for the Rangers, as opponents
can no longer focus their attentions squarely
upon Jaromir Jagr. Not surprisingly, that change
has enabled Jagr to re-emerge as the league’s
8. Philadelphia Flyers
(9): Peter Forsberg returned to the lineup and
led the Flyers to victories against the Devils
and Rangers this week. If the injury-riddled
Flyers can get healthy in time for the postseason,
they will be extremely dangerous.
9. Calgary Flames
(7): Jarome Iginla is a minus-seven in games
played in 2006, and that’s cause for concern
in Calgary; if their captain is not at his best,
the Flames will struggle mightily when the playoffs
10. Anaheim Mighty
Ducks (11): The Ducks have posted an impressive
8-2-1 record since the Olympic break concluded,
and – Wednesday’s performance notwithstanding
– Jean-Sebastien Giguere has once again
returned to his 2003 Conn Smythe Trophy-winning
11. Colorado Avalanche
(10): They’ve already lost Marek Svatos
to a shoulder injury, and now leading scorer
Alex Tanguay will miss 2-4 weeks with a knee
sprain. Look for Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk
to pick up the slack in their absences.
12. San Jose Sharks
(15): Netminder Vesa Toskala is slowly wresting
the starting job away from the injury-riddled
Evgeni Nabokov; were the playoffs to start tomorrow,
it’s a good bet that Toskala would get
13. Edmonton Oilers
(12): The team hasn’t jelled yet following
the big trade deadline acquisitions of Sergei
Samsonov and Dwayne Roloson, but the Oilers
should find their way into the playoffs before
all is said and done.
14. Vancouver Canucks
(16): An impressive 4-1 victory over the Oilers
in Edmonton on Tuesday night may have marked
a turning point for the Canucks. In particular,
goaltender Alexander Auld (30 saves on 31 shots)
was absolutely stellar.
15. Los Angeles Kings
(13): The Kings’ coaching change was a
calculated maneuver by GM Dave Taylor, and should
yield positive results. The normal short-term
impact of a new coach might well be enough to
spur the Kings into the postseason.
16. New Jersey Devils
(14): The Devils are reeling, largely due to
their severe lack of scoring depth, and if they
don’t get back on track quickly, look
for them to slip out of the Eastern Conference
17. Tampa Bay Lightning
(18): The Lightning fell behind 5-1 against
the Panthers on Monday night before storming
back to tie the game in an impressive demonstration
of resiliency. Unfortunately, they then fell
18. Montreal Canadiens
(17): The biggest factor for the Canadiens down
the stretch is the health of defenseman Andrei
Markov; they have lost the last four games he’s
19. Atlanta Thrashers
(19): With their come-from-behind victories
over the Bruins and Devils, the Thrashers have
battled themselves into playoff position.
20. Toronto Maple
Leafs (21): Mikael Tellqvist has outplayed veteran
Ed Belfour this season, and now that Belfour
is out for the season, he'll get a chance to
prove that he deserves the starting role next
21. Minnesota Wild
(22): Talented sniper Marian Gaborik has been
on fire in recent weeks, and has re-emerged
as one of the league’s finest players.
22. Florida Panthers
(24): It’s highly unlikely that the Panthers
will earn a playoff spot, but they are gaining
invaluable experience making the effort.
23. New York Islanders
(20): It is a classic case of addition by subtraction
for the Isles, who are far better following
their trade deadline purge and youth influx.
24. Phoenix Coyotes
(23): Though their playoff hopes have faded
in recent weeks, the Coyotes have an excellent
core of young players upon whom they can build.
25. Boston Bruins
(25): The Bruins’ nagging propensity to
blow two-goal leads has cost them dearly this
season, something they must improve upon next
26. Columbus Blue
Jackets (26): Since Rick Nash returned to the
lineup in mid-season, the Blue Jackets –
and promising youngster Nikolai Zherdev –
have improved immensely.
27. Washington Capitals
(28): Alex Ovechkin suffered his first NHL setback
on Tuesday night, as he was benched for taking
too-long shifts and for poor defensive play.
28. Chicago Blackhawks
(29): The hapless ‘Hawks need to make
dramatic systemic and organizational changes
if they’re to ever re-join the league’s
29. St. Louis Blues
(27): The injury-plagued Blues suffered yet
another setback on Tuesday night when former
Calder Trophy winner Barret Jackman was lost
for the season with a broken jaw.
30. Pittsburgh Penguins
(30): He’s faced more than his share of
adversity, but rookie phenom Sidney Crosby has
met all expectations in his debut season.
Kevin Greentein is
the Editor-in-Chief of www.InsideHockey.com.
He can be heard every Wednesday at 2:30pm EST
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