Dave B’s NHL Power Rankings – March 1, 2012
The NHL season is about to enter the stretch run. Some teams are positioning themselves well heading into the most important part of the year while others are sputtering at precisely the wrong time. Get weekly NHL Handicapping tips from CappersPicks.com.
The NHL Trade Deadline is over thankfully and now players, analysts and fans can concentrate on HOCKEY! There have been some interesting developments since my last edition of the Power Rankings two weeks ago – there are some climbers and some serious fallers on the board!
Below is a breakdown of all 30 teams and where they sit in Dave B’s Power Rankings. The number in brackets represents where they stood two weeks ago at this time.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
1. Canucks 40-16-7 (3) – The Canucks sit atop the NHL standings even though they have played their last five games against terrific opponents on the road. Wins over Detroit and New Jersey last week has them on Top of this week’s Rankings. They are 7-1-2 in their last 10 and are the first team to 40 wins this season.
2. Rangers 40-15-6 (1) – the Rangers stood pat at the Trade Deadline and for good reason – the chemistry is terrific and the team seems to have all the pieces in place for a long playoff run. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games overall and are showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.
3. Penguins 36-21-5 (6) – Pittsburgh has won three straight games against the likes of the Rangers, the Lightning and the Avalanche. With Evgeni Malkin front running for the MVP it is no wonder the Pens have crept into the Top 5!
4. Blues 39-17-7 (5) – The Blues have won three straight games and are actually tied with Detroit in the Central – shocking! They are on the road this week where they are just a .500 team so they could slip a tad however!
5. Red Wings 41-19-3 (2) – The Wings had their 23 game home winning streak snapped by the Canucks – then they lost two nights later at home to the Avs. Still, without Pavel Datsuyk in the lineup the Wings are top notch! The best organization in the NHL deserves to be Top-5!
6. Predators 37-19-7 (7) – Nashville arguably won the Trade Deadline picking up Hal Gill before Monday, Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad for virtually nothing. They are a decent offensive team for the first time in forever and they have one of the best keepers on the planet. Nashville is going to surprise this season!
7. Bruins 37-20-3 (4) – Boston got Greg Zanon and Brian Rolston at the Deadline which should make them better. They are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and although they have looked better the last week, they still don’t quite resemble the Cup contender that they were last year.
8. Coyotes 32-21-9 (14) – Phoenix is 10-0-1 in their last 11 games overall and goaltender Mike Smith has won 10 straight! While I don’t expect it to last, it is nice to see the Desert Dogs in the Top 10.
9. Devils 35-23-4 (9) – The Devils are barely hanging onto #9 with three straight losses but they are 5-4-1 in their last 10 to show us how well they were playing before.
10. Panthers 29-20-12 (11) – The Panthers have won two straight games and are in the Top 10 because of the strong recent play of Jose Theodore. With nobody from 10-15 ripping it up, Florida gets the nod at #10 by process of elimination.
11. Avalanche 33-27-4 (20) – Colorado has won four straight games and find themselves on the cusp of a Western Conference playoff spot. They are getting some healthy bodies back – could they be Top 10 in two weeks?
12. Senators 33-23-8 (18) – Ottawa didn’t really do all that much at the trade deadline except for shoring up their questionable goaltending situation by acquiring Ben Bishop. The Sens are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and are firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
13. Stars 33-26-4 (19) – Dallas has won four straight games including a win against the best team in the NHL – Vancouver. With Dallas climbing the Western Conference standings and occupying a playoff spot, they are deserving of a Top 15 spot.
14. Flyers 34-20-7 (8) – Ugh – #14 is generous based on Philadelphia’s 4-5-1 record over their last 10 games. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt knowing that West Coast road trips are often very difficult on East Coast teams- boo-hoo!
15. Blackhawks 33-24-7 (12) – Chicago is another team that is lucky to be holding onto a top 15 spot in the Power Rankings. They have lost three straight games and made no effort at the Trade Deadline to better themselves.
16. Kings 28-23-12 (13) – The Kings haven’t been much better but the acquisition of Jeff Carter to play alongside old buddy Mike Richards should kick start the anemic offense. The Kings are 16 but should rise in the next couple of weeks!
17. Sharks 32-22-7 (10) – The Sharks are in real danger of slipping out of the Top 10 – 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and 5-6-1 since January 15th. They made some decent moves at the Deadline and should be Top 15 soon.
18. Ducks 27-26-10 (21) – maybe a bit low based on their current 6-2-2 stretch but the fact that their best player Ryan Getzlaf has no goals in 16 games is reason for concern.
19. Jets 30-27-8 (22) – The Jets currently occupy a playoff spot but just barely. They largely stood pat at the trade deadline and are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.
20. Capitals 31-26-5 (15) – 4-5-1 in their last 10 games has the Caps barely holding onto a Top-20 place in the Rankings. They have won two straight giving their fans at least a little reason for optimism.
21. Flames 28-24-11 (17)
22. Lightning 28-28-6 (27)
23. Maple Leafs 29-26-7 (16)
24. Sabres 27-27-8 (26)
25. Oilers 25-31-6 (28)
26. Wild 28-25-9 (25)
27. Canadiens 24-29-10 (23)
28. Islanders 26-28-8 (24)
29. Hurricanes 23-26-13 (29)
30. Blue Jackets 18-37-1 (30)
Dave B will analyze all the risers and the fallers for the rest of the season in his bi-weekly NHL Power Rankings.