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NHL Power Rankings

NHL Power Rankings

As we approach the start of the 2008 NHL Playoffs, it
is time to take a serious look at the contenders for Lord Stanley. Once again,

there appears to be a traffic jam around the eighth spot in both divisions. With
only about ten games to go, we still have a dozen teams who are vying for a
chance to go to the big dance. Here's our list of the top rated teams for both
divisions.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Ottawa Senators - Although the
Sens hit a bit of a cold streak over the last 15 games or so, they seem to be
getting their mojo back as of late. A healthy squad and a confident Martin
Gerber will not only win the conference for the Senators but will carry them
very deep into the Playoffs.

2. New Jersey Devils - These guys are
perennial contenders. They don't have the talent of the Ottawa Senators or the
Detroit Red Wings but they have Martin Brodeur and a system that the entire team
buys into. Roddy White
jersey

3. Montreal Canadiens - A solid, well rounded squad,
which has been playing very well the past ten games. Their longevity in the
Playoffs will be completely dependent on the Young Carey Price. His lack of
experience may mean an early exit from the Playoffs for Les Habitants.

4. Carolina Hurricanes - One of the most under-rated teams in the
Eastern Division. Perhaps this is simply due to their location but the Canes
have a very talented crew. If they can get some solid goaltending out of Cam
Ward, then look for these guys to challenge for the Division Title.

5.
New York Rangers - Currently one of the hottest teams in the league, winning 7
of their past 10 games. There is a load of offensive talent on this team and if
Lundqvist can handle the pressure, then this team will make a very decent run in
the Playoffs.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins - Yes, we have the Pens ranked
sixth in the Eastern division. Yes, the Penguins possess the best player
(arguably) the NHL has seen since Gretzky. Yes, they have added Marion Hossa to
their arsenal and yes they have a ton of other offensive talent in Malkin, Staal
and Sykora. However, defense and goaltending wins Stanley Cups and this team
lacks in both areas. Could be another first round exit for the Pens.

7.
Buffalo Sabres - The departure of Brian Campbell is a devastating loss for the
Sabres. Although they have had Tony
Gonzalez jersey
a horrible stretch over the past ten games, winning
only three of them. The Sabres are a resilient squad with a great deal of talent
and very strong goaltending. Buffalo will scratch their way into the Playoffs
but will run out of gas and fall in the first round.

8. Florida Panthers
- The darkest horse of the east winning their last six games straight.. Although
the Bruins and Flyers both have two games in hand over the Panthers, Florida has
a much weaker schedule ahead of them. Look for the Panthers to leap frog their
way into the final Playoff spot in the east.

9. Philadelphia Flyers -
It's been a tough season on Broad street this year. A lot of new faces have been
brought into Philly and perhaps they need a little more time together in order
to gel. Next year may be their year but for now, can you say...Fore?

10.
Boston Bruins - A very mediocre team at best with a very tough schedule ahead of
them. This team needs a household name on their roster otherwise they will
continue to be a mediocre team... At best!

11. Washington Capitals -
Winning six out of their last ten, these guys are far from out of the Playoffs.
However, out of the ten teams they have remaining, Asante
Samuel jersey
they have lost to seven of them the last time out.

12. Toronto Maple Leafs - One of the hottest teams in the league right
now. Too little too late! Fletcher's got his work cut out for
himself.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Detroit Red Wings - The most
talented, well-rounded club in all of hockey. Superior in all aspects of the
game, from top to bottom. Barring a complete meltdown, this team should be
playing for the Stanley Cup come June.

2. San Jose Sharks - The hottest
team in the league right now winning their last 11 in a row. The Sharks are kind
of like the New Jersey Devils of the West. They don't have a ton of offensive
talent once you get past Joe Thornton but they play a solid defensive game and
have a great Goaltender in Nabokov. The addition of Brian Campbell doesn't hurt
either.

3. Anaheim Ducks - Solid on offense, solid on defense and solid
in goal. Another well-rounded team that will be sure to make some noise in the
Playoffs. Especially now that Burkey has his boys’ back (Selanne and
Niedermayer).

4. Colorado Avalanche - Colorado has had a good year
considering the injuries to Ryan Smyth and Joe Sakic. Some may even say they
have overachieved. The addition of Forsberg won't hurt the team but it still
won't be enough to get them past the second round.

5. Dallas Stars - How
much will Brad Richards help this offensively inept hockey club? Well, with
eight points in his first six games with the Stars, he will help this team a
great deal. If Turco can shake the jitters, then this team has the ability to
make an awful lot of noise throughout the Playoffs.

6. Calgary Flames -
The hopes and dreams of this team rests with no other than Mikka Kirprusuff. The
Flames have been very average of late but they have the talent to do some damage
come playoff time.

7. Vancouver Canucks - Another team that is somewhat
average in nature. Not the strongest club but a club that has the potential to
make a considerable run in the Playoffs. Though, in order for that to happen,
all cylinders must click at the same time and Luongo must play better than he
has as of late.

8. Phoenix Coyotes - Talk about your underdog. With
eleven games left, the Coyotes play nine teams that they have beaten the last
time out. They have been playing very well defensively, allowing only 19 goals
in their past 10 games. Ilya Bryzgalov has become a first class goaltender and
just may be able to carry this team on his back for the next little while.

9. Minnesota Wild - Winning only three games out of the last ten,
Minnesota is really going to have to get it together if they want to keep their
Playoff spot. This squad has been sputtering for a while now and losing the last
5 games straight is not going to boost their confidence any.

10.
Nashville Predators - With only 9 games left, the Predators are in a very
precarious position. The good news is they have a fairly weak schedule coming
up. Six of their remaining nine games are against Chicago, Columbus and St.
Louis.

11. Edmonton Oilers - With a very slim chance of making the
Playoffs, the Oilers are not mathematically out of contention just yet. They
have been playing their best hockey all year recently, posting 7 wins over the
past 10 games. Another case of Too little to Late.

12. Chicago
Blackhawks - Playing 3 games over .500 is considered a very good year for the
falcons super bowl
jersey
Hawks. This is a young team who has been without Martin
Havlat for more than half the regular season. Look for the Hawks to be a serious
contender... Next year!

So who's going to take Lord Stanley home this
year? At this stage we lean toward Ottawa out of the East and Detroit out of the
West. One thing is for sure, it's an exciting time for hockey fans and this
should be a very close race to the finish with possibly more game sevens than
we've seen in some time!

By Kimberly
Tuesday, 15 Jan 2013

 

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