Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Blues on a high note
NHL Power Rankings
The trade deadline has come and gone, and there are winners, losers and innocent bystanders that never dipped into the fray. Below are plenty of comments about which teams stood out – both positively and negatively – after the March 5 deadline went by the boards, and the power rankings to end all power rankings.
With the teams finally over the Olympic break and the rosters fully formed for this year, here are the rankings:
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
30. Buffalo Sabres (19-37-8, last week: 30) – Sabres GM Tim Murray didn’t fully push the plunger down on the hockey club, but he’s got a lot of young pieces and draft picks moving forward.
29. Florida Panthers (24-33-7, last week: 27) – The Panthers simply dropped a couple of notches for still going through with a Tim Thomas Bobblehead Night after trading him to Dallas. That’s pretty tacky for an NHL team.
28. Edmonton Oilers (22-35-8, last week: 29) – The Oilers dealt away some assets at the trade deadline, but Craig MacTavish still hasn’t quite blown up what’s been a season-long tire fire.
27. New York Islanders (25-33-9, last week: 28) – If the two Thomas Vanek trades this season made by GM Garth Snow don’t get him fired, nothing probably will. What a dumpster fire.
26. Calgary Flames (25-33-7, last week: 26) – Really surprised Brian Burke didn’t pull the trigger on more deals at the trade deadline given where the Flames are sitting this year.
25. Carolina Hurricanes (27-28-9, last week: 21) – Two wins in their last 10 games for the Canes, but they did a good job of signing Anton Khudobin for a contract extension as their goalie of the future.
24. Nashville Predators (27-28-10, last week: 24) – Pekka Rinne is back for the Predators, and it’s changed absolutely nothing for a team going nowhere this season.
23. Vancouver Canucks (29-28-10, last week: 20) – Look out below as the Canucks are in an absolute free fall right now. Allowing seven goals to the Islanders in the third period is a horrendous sign of a team that’s given up.
22. Winnipeg Jets (30-28-9, last week: 19) – When you’ve lost four in a row and your big move at the trade deadline was signing Mark Stuart to a four-year deal, chances are you’ve had a brutal deadline as an NHL GM.
21. Ottawa Senators (28-25-12, last week: 21) – Trading for Ales Hemsky was a nice aggressive move for Bryan Murray, but this Senators team doesn’t seem to have a lot of heart.
HANGIN' IN THERE
20. New Jersey Devils (28-24-13, last week: 22) – It really wouldn’t have been right if Martin Brodeur went to another team at the deadline – like seeing Bobby Orr in a Blackhawks sweater.
19. Washington Capitals (30-26-10, last week: 16) – George McPhee had a quietly excellent trade deadline while bringing Dustin Penner and Jaroslav Halak into the fold as reinforcements. Penner could be a beast for them during the playoffs.
18. Detroit Red Wings (29-22-13, last week: 15) – It feels so wrong to be watching the Red Wings and Blue Jackets competing head-to-head for the last Wild Card spot in the East.
17. Phoenix Coyotes (30-24-11 last week: 23) – The Coyotes are holding strong on the playoff bubble out in the Western Conference, but have all the makings of a first round victim.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets (33-26-5, last week: 18) – The Blue Jackets are in good position, but the injuries to Ryan Murray and Fedor Tyutin aren’t helping matters for Columbus.
15. Dallas Stars (31-23-10, last week: 17) – The Dallas Stars are starting to take the look of a playoff team, but all thoughts and prayers are with Rich Peverley after a scary heart episode on the bench. Hope he’s okay.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-24-7, last week: 11) – The Bolts have lost five in a row and eight of their last 10, and seem to be falling apart without the services of Marty St. Louis.
13. New York Rangers (35-26-4, last week: 14) – Tampa Bay’s loss is New York’s gain, and Marty St. Louis puts a whole different energy on the Blueshirts playoff push.
12. Philadelphia Flyers (33-24-7, last week 12) – The Flyers are 7-1-1 in their last nine games, and playing their best hockey of the season. Watch out for the Broad Street Bullies.
11. Minnesota Wild (34-22-8, last week: 10) – Ilya Bryzgalov and Matt Moulson are really the perfect additions for a Wild team that had some needs going into the deadline. Unfortunately they look like another Western Conference sacrificial lamb in the first round.
BEST OF THE BEST
10. Montreal Canadiens (35-24-7, last week: 9) – Thomas Vanek may take a few games to get comfortable, but he’s exactly what the doctor ordered for Les Habitants. Thirty goals and 61 points in 53 career games against the divisional rival Bruins.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (35-23-8, last week: 13) – The Leafs have won three in a row, but are going through the California road trip that’s humbled many a hard hockey team this season.
8. Los Angeles Kings (38-22-6, last week: 8) – The Kings have won eight in a row, and not moved at all in the power rankings. That is just patently unfair.
7. Colorado Avalanche (42-18-5, last week: 7) – The P.A. Parenteau injury is going to hurt the Avs a little bit on the offensive end.
6. San Jose Sharks (41-17-7, last week: 6) – Raffi Torres is back for the Sharks, and he’s sketchier than ever.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (43-17-4, last week: 4) – The injuries are starting to take their toll, and Ray Shero never landed the big fish in Ryan Kesler.
4. Boston Bruins (42-17-5, last week: 5) – The Bruins have won a season-high five games in a row, and Carl Soderberg looks like he’s ready to turn into a big playoff factor for the Black and Gold with 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in his last 14 games.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (38-13-14, last week: 3) – The Blackhawks are in coast mode until the playoffs.
2. Anaheim Ducks (43-15-7, last week: 1) – The Ducks have lost three games in a row, and are losing to Eastern Conference powers like the Penguins, Canadiens and Maple Leafs. East Coast bias?
1. St. Louis Blues (44-14-6, last week: 2) – Fortune favors the brave, and the Blues went for it with Ryan Miller and Steve Ott. Miller is undefeated with the Blues thus far, and looks exactly like what they needed.