|Connelly’s Top Ten: USA Women, Red Sox Bore Astros into Submission||Preparing for Another Year of Rebuilding for the Celtics||Red Sox Bullpen Sleeper: Matt Barnes||The Case For Trading Clay Buchholz|
Three of us are here once more to give you our rankings of the NHL’s top 10 teams, in addition to our picks for who will make the final round of the playoffs, which start in two weeks. This edition of the rankings sees the Coyotes as a new powerhouse, right there challenging for the West’s #1. But there’s absolutely no catching Washington, who only needs one more overtime loss to clinch the East.
Only Colorado had to be booted off the rankings, in favor of New Jersey, who has come surging back to reclaim their spot. The Avs started with such a Cinderella season and are now in danger of getting the lowly 8th spot out West.
A first place vote earns a team 10 points, a second place vote earns 9, and so on. Ties are broken based on who received the most first place votes, then the most second, and so on. The second tiebreaker is based on rank in the previous power ranking, then the one before that, and so on.
|Erikk||John||KC||SoB Composite||Last Time||Comments|
|#1||Washington Capitals||Washington Capitals||Washington Capitals||(3) Washington Capitals (30)||#1, even||KC – The Caps are, far and away, the best team in the East.|
|#2||Phoenix Coyotes||San Jose Sharks||Phoenix Coyotes||Phoenix Coyotes (26)||#5, up 3||KC – They are absolutely on fire, and the hot teams usually do well in April and May.|
|#3||San Jose Sharks||Phoenix Coyotes||Chicago Blackhawks||San Jose Sharks (24)||#2, down 1||KC – Sure, they lead the West, but it’s only a matter of time before they lose in the 1st rd.|
|#4||Vancouver Canucks||Chicago Blackhawks||San Jose Sharks||Chicago Blackhawks (21)||#3, down 1||KC – This may be the year. Well, in their case, it has to be, because they can’t afford this team next year.|
|#5||Chicago Blackhawks||Buffalo Sabres||Vancouver Canucks||Vancouver Canucks (15)||#4, down 1||John – Eight games left, and Vancouver has a five point lead and four wins in hand over Colorado. While they’re pretty safe in the 3rd seed, they’d better milk home rink for all it’s worth.|
|#6||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins||Pittsburgh Penguins (13)||#6, even||John – Pittsburgh’s trying to pick things up, they’ve clinched a playoff spot, New Jersey has a game in hand and a win in hand in the Division race, but still all we can think about is @#$& Matt Cooke.|
|#7||Nashville Predators||New Jersey Devils||Nashville Predators||Nashville Predators (13)||#10, up 3||John – Nashville has gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 to vault to #5 in the West. Now they’re in line to face Phoenix, which has already proven they can win in Nashville.|
|#8||Buffalo Sabres||Pittsburgh Penguins||New Jersey Devils||Buffalo Sabres (10)||#8, even||KC – Olympian Ryan Miller finally has his game, and his team, back on track.|
|#9||New Jersey Devils||Vancouver Canucks||Los Angeles Kings||New Jersey Devils (9)||NR||John – The Devils are once more in command of the Atlantic Division, meaning it’s only a matter of time before we start feeling better about them.|
|#10||Colorado Avalanche||Detroit Red Wings||Buffalo Sabres||Los Angeles Kings (2)||#9, down 1||John – Los Angeles is back down to #7 in the West, and one Colorado win away from falling to #8, which may not be a bad thing if it means facing the Sharks.|
|Others earning votes:||Colorado Avalanche (1), Detroit Red Wings (1)|
The Phoenix Coyotes may become the first ever NHL team to win the Stanley Cup after having their only regular season sell-out come 76 games into the season… they also lowered prices to get it, but at least they did it! Congratulations, Jobing.com Arena!
The Capitals are the obvious choice, and have a large point advantage that will probably win them a title. In the West, you can’t really trust San Jose after last year, and Phoenix isn’t exactly familiar with going that deep into the season.
It’s clear the Sharks won’t make it all the way, so let’s stop it there. The Blackhawks are all or nothing this year, and they need to make it count. The Capitals, meanwhile, should shred their way through the East. Alex Ovechkin is the most dominant player since Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
Tags: Buffalo Sabres, 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, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals