By: Rossy Pasternak
Here on SportsNak, we will be doing weekly updated power rankings, with features about three teams each week. The season is now a few weeks in, things are starting to heat up in the NHL. These rankings are not only based on the standings, but also the level of team play. All stats are taken from NHL.com. (GD stands for goal differential, the difference between goals scored and goals against)
The Bottom Feeders (30-21):
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (5-12-0, 10 pts, -20 GD)
29. Edmonton Oilers (6-11-0, 12 pts, -10 GD)
28. Calgary Flames (6-11-1, 13 pts, -24 GD)
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-8-4, 12 pts, -10 GD)
26. Colorado Avalanche (6-9-1, 13 pts, -1 GD)
25. Philadelphia Flyers (4-4-2, 10 pts, -8 GD)
24. Carolina Hurricanes (6-9-1, 13 pts, -14 GD)
23.Anaheim Ducks (5-8-4, 14 pts, -16 GD)
22. Florida Panthers (6-7-3, 15 pts, +2 GD)
21. Boston Bruins (7-7-1, 15 pts, +1 GD)
The Colorado Avalanche are not going to fire team legends Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy. That leaves just one way for Colorado to try and fix whatever is wrong with this team (there is a lot): trades. The rumours have already started for the Avs, with goalie Semyon Varlomov, and centre Matt Duchene being the first victims of the rumour mill. I do not think either of these players will be traded, as most contenders will already have good goaltending, and why would Colorado, a budget-conscious team, trade one of it’s young, cheap stars. The Avs do have to do something however, as the team is not playing to expectations. One area of the team that Sakic will aggressively look to improve is defence, where Tyson Barrie, Francois Beauchemin, and Erik Johnson could use some help. A few names to look out for are Cam Fowler, Trevor Daley, Carl Gunnarsson, or Roman Polak.
The Middle of the Pack (20-11):
20. San Jose Sharks (8-8-0, 1 pts, +1 GD)
19. Buffalo Sabres (8-8-0, 16 pts, -5 GD)
18. New Jersey Devils (9-6-1, 19 pts, E GD)
17. Detroit Red Wings (8-7-1, 17 pts, -3 GD)
16. Arizona Coyotes (9-6-1, 19 pts, +2 GD)
15. Chicago Blackhawks (8-7-1, 17 pts, E GD)
14. Vancouver Canucks (7-5-5, 19 pts, +8 GD)
13. Tampa Bay Lightning (8-8-2, 18 pts, -1 GD)
12. Winnipeg Jets (8-7-2, 18 pts, -4 GD)
11. Ottawa Senators (8-5-4, 20 pts, -3 GD)
The Patrick Marleau Era in San Jose appears to be coming to a messy ending. It has been reported that the Sharks are shopping their former captain, and there have also been rumblings that Marleau asked out. The Ducks, Kings, and Rangers are Marleau’s preferred destinations – he has a no-trade clause – but all of those teams are close to the cap already. The Predators and Blackhawks have also been rumoured to e in the mix for Marleau, but no trade is expected in the very near future. The Sharks are trying to transition from Marleau and Joe Thornton to Joe Pavelski and Logan Coutue, and a trade of Marleau would begin that process. That being said, as the season goes on and teams know where they stand, a trade is more likely. Look for Marleau to be gone by the trade-deadline, if not sooner, and Thornton to join him either this season, or in the summer.
The Best of the Best (10-1):
10. Los Angeles Kings (10-6-0, 20 pts, +6 GD)
9. New York Islanders (9-6-3, 21 pts, +7 GD)
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (10-6-0, 20 pts, +3 GD)
7. Nashville Predators (9-3-3, 21 pts, +5 GD)
6.Minnesota Wild (10-3-2, 22 pts, +6 GD)
5. St. Louis Blues (11-4-1, 23 pts, +8 GD)
4. Washington Capitals (11-4-1, 23 pts, +13 GD)
3. Dallas Stars (13-4-0, 26 pts, +17 GD)
2. New York Rangers (13-2-2, 28 pts, +24 GD)
1.Montreal Canadiens (13-2-2, 28 pts, +29 GD)
Is there anything left to be said about these Montreal Canadiens? They are dominating their opponents most games, even while missing possibly the best goalie since Marty Brodeur, Carey Price, to injury. Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban, and Max Pacioretty have continued their impressive offensive start to the season, and backup goaltender Mike Condon is 6-0 with a matching Sv% (.936), as Carey Price, and a lower GAA. This does not mean Condon is even close to as good as Price, but goes to show that Montreal’s team game is outstanding, shutting down the opponent, no matter who is between the pipes. Dale Weise, off to his best ever start with 11 pts, also is injured, but the Canadiens look to have enough depth and talent that another player will step up and fill the role. When a team has so many people capable of playing their role, and doing the simple things, it is fun to watch. Everyone on the Habs play their role perfectly, keep the game simple, and go into the corners and dirty areas, and work harder than the other team. This team is going to be hard to stop, and has a very realistic chance to bring the Cup back to Canada this season; and as a Toronto native, it takes a lot for me to say that.
That concludes this week’s rankings. Check back next Saturday for the updated rankings and stories.
Do you agree, or disagree with our picks? Comment below!