NHL Power Rankings, Is it Vancouver Or Philly

Steve O Speak

A Guest Blog By Fanspeak Contributing Writer Alan Zlot:

Welcome to the second week my NHL Power Rankings. I do this a little differently than most. I use a point system similar to that of the Bowl Championship Series. I have selected six categories in which I feel give the overall feel of just how good or bad a team is during a current week.

I only rank the top 16 teams in the NHL. I also add any team not ranked in the top 16 but is currently playoff eligible in their conference. This week the Rangers and Hurricanes fall into that spectrum.

The categories are winning percentage, goals for, goals against, division winning percentage, road record winning percentage, and goal differential.

I never begin until after the All-Star break, what does it matter before then and I do not rank the bottom half of the NHL, because, well, you already know how bad your team is.

Please enjoy and if there are any hateful, comments please them below.

  • 18- Carolina Hurricanes- (115 pts), The Canes are holding on to the last playoff spot in the east. Right now, they are there by default. With a record of 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, nobody behind them wants to win either.
  • 17- Dallas Stars- (140 points), The Stars at night are no longer big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. The Stars have slid from third in the Western Conference all the way to eighth during a current 2-7-1 slide, and they have not won in regulation since Jan. 26. Losers of four straight, Dallas is in danger of missing the playoffs.
  • 16- Anaheim Ducks-(195 points), Jonas Hiller is out with symptoms of fatigue and dizziness, and that is how the Ducks are playing without him on defense. The Ducks need backup goalie Curtis McElhinney to step up, and it has not happened. Two nights after surrendering four leads and seven goals to Washington, McElhinney was beaten five times by the offensively challenged Wild in a 5-1 loss at Minnesota, and on Saturday night, were hammered by the Blues 9-3. .The Ducks have dropped to 10th in the west and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
  • 15- Calgary Flames-(195 points), The Flames are winners of three in a row and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. The Flames have collected 27 of a possible 34 points in their last 17 games. Over that span, Calgary is averaging 3.76 goals per game.
  • 14- Montreal Canadians- (210 points), Montreal is 4-4-2 in their last 10, and without Carey Price, could easily be 2-8 over that stretch. The Canadians need help on offense, and with the Boston Bruins very active this week on the trade market, the Habs are now backed into a corner. The Bruins made big trades last week, what will the HABS do to respond.
  • 13- Washington Capitals- (225 points), Everybody in Washington was proclaiming the return of the Caps offense and Alexander Semin this week when they put seven goals on the board against the Ducks. Problem is not only did Anaheim make the Caps feel good about their offense this week; they obliged the Minnesota Wild and St. Blues as well. In fact, seven goals were not even the most the Ducks surrendered this week. The Blues scored nine times Saturday night. Washington’s power play and offense are in bad shape, and now, their defense showed some signs of weakness this week. Lately, the Capitals have been vulnerable, allowing at least one third-period goal in five of their last six games, the first time this season that has occurred. Washington has allowed two or more goals in the last period in three of its last six games and has surrendered nine third-period tallies in its last six games.
  • 12- Minnesota Wild-(242.5 points), Minnesota is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and has cooled slightly over last week, what drops the Wild down three spots are their drop in offensive production. Now a minus-one in goal differential, the Wild must start to find some kind of offensive rhythm, or this will be a season of would have, could have, and most definitely should have made the playoffs.
  • 11-New York Rangers- (245 points), The Rangers, like the Hurricanes, are holding on, just barely. The Blue Shirts take a trip to Carolina on Tuesday to play in a game with a lot of meaning. The Rangers are just 2-7-1 in their last 10, and since the clock struck 2011, the Rangers have won just seven of 20 games. So why in the hell are they ranked so high you ask? Compared to the rest of the poll, the Rangers score 40 or more pints in four of the six categories and are a plus-16 in goal differential compared to teams like Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Anaheim and Dallas who are all a minus on the year.
  • 10- LA Kings- (257.5 points), the Kings are sitting pretty right now. L.A.is pretty much finished with their franchise record 10-game road trip, with the last stop coming just 50 miles from home, in Anaheim on Wednesday night.6-1-3 over their last 10 games, the Kings play 11 of their next 15 games at home where they are 17-9-1 this season. I have a feeling that this team could separate from the pack over that span, but it still must be frustrating to be playing so well, and after Sunday, not be in a playoff spot.
  • 9- TB Lightning- (270 points), The Lightning, who were on fire, have dipped lately, especially late in games. After winning six in a row, the Bolts have now lost five of their last seven. They have managed to earn a point in two of those losses, but it is very different from the streak they were enjoying. Tampa Bay acquired defenseman Eric Brewer from the St. Louis Blues for prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft.
  • 8- Phoenix Coyotes-(275 points), Another game, another win for the streaking Coyotes, who have not lost since Vancouver, blew them out, 6-0 on Feb. 2. The Coyotes have won seven in a row and began a five-game road trip with a big win over a team ranked ahead of them in this poll—the Nashville Predators Saturday night. Only New Jersey is hotter over their last 10 games. The Coyotes are 8-2 over that span and are playing tight defensive-trapping hockey.
  • 7- San Jose Sharks- (312.5 points), The Sharks and Coyotes are both 8-2 over their last 10 games and battling it out for the lead in the Pacific. They are ranked ahead of Phoenix because they have a better winning percentage (only slightly), have given up fewer goals, and have a better record within the Pacific. They also have a better goal differential than the Coyotes. San Jose is 3-0 against Phoenix this year with three left to play, including a home-and-home to close out the regular season. This is a long way from being decided.
  • 6- Nashville Predators (315 points), Before losing to Phoenix, the Predators were coming off one of their best performances of the season in a 3-1 win over Vancouver but are just 4-4-1 over their last 10, dropping to fifth in the west. Suffering offensively, GM David Poile went out and acquired Mike Fisher. The veteran center was acquired from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick. Fisher has 14 goals and 24 points this season. Nashville is 23-4-1 when they score three or more goals this season.
  • 5- Pittsburgh Penguins (355 points), despite the absence of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Pens have managed to accumulate points. Pittsburgh managed to earn a point Sunday in a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago. Brett Sterling erased a 2-1 deficit for the Pens when he scored with 3:18 left in regulation. With all of the injuries, the Pens are still over .500 in their last 10 games with a record of 5-4-1.
  • 4– Detroit Red Wings (387.5 points), Detroit won its fifth straight game in a shootout on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild. Getting healthier by the day, the Wings seem to be surging at the right time. The Red Wings had at least one goal in 12 straight periods, scoring 20 times over the previous four games, but Wild goalie Nick Backstrom and the Minnesota defense stopped every opportunity by the league’s second-highest scoring team over the first two periods on Sunday. Detroit’s offense was ”red wing” hot prior to today’s game as it had combined for 20 goals in its last four games after netting only four goals in its previous four games. Over their last 10, they are 7-3 and have managed to close to within five of the Vancouver Canucks.
  • 3- Boston Bruins- (392.5), On Friday afternoon, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the club had acquired defenseman Tomas Kaberle in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wait, there’s more,  Just hours before the Boston Bruins were set to take on the Ottawa Senators, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the club had acquired forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik in a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers. I would say these moves send a very clear message about Boston’s intentions this postseason—Stanley Cup.The Bruins are 6-4 in their last 10 and seemed to be back on track after losing three straight games for just the second time this year.
  • 2- Philadelphia Flyers- (510 points), The Philadelphia Flyers made a great move Monday night in an attempt to end their 36-year-old Stanley Cup draught, as they acquired right wing Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Versteeg, who has 14 goals and 21 assists this season in Toronto, should bolster an already potent offense. The Flyers are third in the League in goals per game and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They finally beat the Lightning this year. Philly beat Tampa last Tuesday in a shootout to avoid the season series sweep.
  • 1- Vancouver Canucks- (515 points), after winning six straight games, the Canucks have alternated wins and losses over their past four. Things are getting a bit out of hand for Vancouver on the injury front. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa will miss the next 2-3 weeks of action with a broken foot. You can add Bieksa to the Canucks defensive injured list that includes Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard, Alex Edler, Lee Sweatt and Andrew Alberts. Getting to join the party from the AHL to take Bieksa’s place is Evan Oberg.Vancouver led the poll in goals scored and goal differential with a plus-60. Vancouver will play five in a row at home before traveling to play five in a row on the road.

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