|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
Hello, and welcome to Sports of Boston’s premiere of our bi-weekly NHL power rankings. Four SOB experts have ranked the top ten NHL teams so far, three have submitted their choices for surprisingly good and bad teams so far, and the results are partly stable and partly in disagreement.
The Capitals, Kings, Predators, and Avalanche all have noticeable disagreements amongst rankings. And interestingly enough, these disagreements boost the Sabres a spot, despite everyone ranking them the same.
As for the scoring logistics, a first place vote earns 10 points, a second place vote earns 9 points, and so on down the line, for a maximum possible score of 40 points.
|#1||Washington Capitals||Pittsburgh Penguins||New Jersey Devils||New Jersey Devils||(2) New Jersey Devils (37)||KC – As long as Broduer is between the pipes, NJ will be OK.|
|#2||New Jersey Devils||Washington Capitals||Pittsburgh Penguins||Pittsburgh Penguins||(1) Pittsburgh Penguins (36)||John – They’re a balanced team with just two losses behind the Devils and their impressive 11-2-1 road record.|
|#3||Pittsburgh Penguins||New Jersey Devils||Los Angeles Kings||Washington Capitals||(1) Washington Capitals (33)||John – Six overtime losses keep them from being ranked higher.|
|#4||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Blackhawks||Chicago Blackhawks||Colorado Avalanche||Chicago Blackhawks (27)||KC – Outlasted the Bruins Friday night, have NHL’s best home record.|
|#5||San Jose Sharks||San Jose Sharks||Washington Capitals||Chicago Blackhawks||Los Angeles Kings (23)||KC – Is this team for real?|
|#6||Los Angeles Kings||Los Angeles Kings||Nashville Predators||Los Angeles Kings||San Jose Sharks (20)||KC – Sick front line keeps the Sharks going strong.|
|#7||Colorado Avalanche||Phoenix Coyotes||San Jose Sharks||San Jose Sharks||Buffalo Sabres (12)||John – A solid home record and division lead keeps the Sabres up there.|
|#8||Buffalo Sabres||Buffalo Sabres||Buffalo Sabres||Buffalo Sabres||Colorado Avalanche (11)||John – A significantly improved performance coupled with KC’s fandom keeps the Avalanche ahead of the Flames here.|
|#9||Nashville Predators||Nashville Predators||Calgary Flames||Boston Bruins||Nashville Predators (9)||John – A few impressive win streaks has them in a four way tie for the top spot in the West.|
|#10||Calgary Flames||Calgary Flames||Phoenix Coyotes||Phoenix Coyotes||Phoenix Coyotes (6)||John – One of only two teams with at least 20 wins and less than 100 goals.|
|Others earning votes:||Calgary Flames (4), Boston Bruins (2)|
No one saw the Avalanche as a playoff contender, never mind a Cup contender. Their young core is developing quickly, making them a definite threat in the West.
Despite their ownership problems, the Phoenix Coyotes are currently in 6th place in the Western Conference with 44 points and currently 7-2-1 in their last 10.
22-12-3 is good for 47 points and a share of the lead for most points in the West. 22 wins is also tied for most in the West. They even held the top spot for a spell recently.
It’s hard to believe this Hurricanes team was virtually the same group of guys that beat the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. A messy start for the ‘Canes, with nowhere to go but up.
Even though they traded away Chris Pronger, most prognosticators picked the Anaheim Ducks to remain contenders in the West. Unfortunately for their fans, they’re two points away from the bottom of the conference with only 35 points and are far from being a playoff worthy team.
Okay, so they may not necessarily be considered to be playing poorly overall, but we all thought they would be up there with the leaders. And it took them quite a while to get into the brackets to begin with. After some tough losses early on, they’re much lower than we thought a team like the perennially cup challenging Red Wings should be at.
Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, NHL Power Rankings, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals