Haggerty's Power Rankings: Stars aligning
Haggerty's Power Rankings: Stars aligning
Things are starting to pull loose around the league with trades, teams coming to grips with what exactly they are, and other players re-signing contract extensions so they don’t get moved prior to the Feb. 29 deadline. It also paints a much more accurate picture of who, or what, is going to be available in the next couple of weeks, and it bodes well for teams looking to move salary that the Maple Leafs were able to ship out Dion Phaneuf without eating a large portion of his salary.
The trade market hasn’t yet been set for rental players, so that is a big mystery headed into the last couple of weeks prior to Feb. 29. But with Dustin Byfuglien, Dion Phaneuf and Jared Cowen off the board and players like Dennis Wideman, Keith Yandle and Kevan Shattenkirk unlikely to be moved, it just might not be a very good pool of D-men talent that becomes available for trade in the next two weeks.
Without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Washington Capitals (40-10-4, rank last week: 1)
A loss to the Stars last weekend and a big game against the Kings on Tuesday night should keep the Capitals from wandering despite their staggering lead in the East.
2. Dallas Stars (37-15-5, rank last week: 4)
Four wins in a row with victories over the Capitals and the Blackhawks over the last week means the Stars are winding things up again.
3. Florida Panthers (33-18-6, rank last week: 2)
The Panthers bounced back from a couple of losses to Western Conference opponents for an important overtime win over the Penguins.
4. Chicago Blackhawks (37-18-5, rank last week: 3)
Losses to the Stars and Ducks knock the Blackhawks down a couple of pegs for right now.
5.New York Rangers (32-18-6, rank last week: 6)
The Rangers have snapped out of their midseason funk, and are again looking like an upper echelon team in the East.
6. Los Angeles Kings (33-19-3, rank last week: 5)
The Kings waive Christian Ehrhoff, and will be looking for defensemen help prior to the Feb. 29 deadline.
7. St. Louis Blues (32-17-9, rank last week: 7)
Huge game against Dallas on Tuesday night after getting the sweep in a road trip through Florida in yet another Western Conference team taking it to the East.
8. Anaheim Ducks (28-19-8, rank last week: 11)
The Ducks are on a 16-4-2 run in their last 22 games that’s pushed them to second place in the Pacific Division, and again has them rattling cages with the playoffs not too far away.
9. New York Islanders (30-19-6, rank last week: 9)
A goalie controversy is brewing in Brooklyn where Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak are vying for the bulk of the playing time.
10. Detroit Red Wings (29-19-9, rank last week: 8)
The Wings are in with the middle class group in the Eastern Conference that can’t seem to get any separation. It was a good win over the Bruins on Sunday afternoon where all their best players were going.
11. San Jose Sharks (29-20-5, rank last week: 10)
The Sharks should be neck-and-neck with the Ducks for second place in the Pacific for the rest of the season, and right now they’re looking up at them for the first time in a long time.
12. Tampa Bay Lightning (30-21-4, rank last week: 12)
Steven Stamkos won’t be traded before the deadline. So Tampa Bay has that going for them, which is nice.
13. Boston Bruins (30-20-6, rank last week: 13)
Where the heck would this team be without Brad Marchand? Thirteen goals in thirteen games is something that hasn’t been done in Black and Gold for quite some time.
14. Nashville Predators (26-21-10, rank last week: 16)
The Predators unleashed the fury on the Panthers last weekend, and perhaps showed what they’re capable of in the last couple of months.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (28-19-8, rank last week: 14)
The Penguins are in pretty good position to make a run at this point, and that didn’t seem to be the case in the first half of the year.
16. New Jersey Devils (29-21-7, rank last week: 15)
A big win in the 1-0 shutout of the Kings on Sunday, and further confirmation the Devils are a team to be worried about down the stretch.
17. Colorado Avalanche (29-26-4, rank last week: 18)
The Avalanche are hanging around, but they can’t lose to teams like the Sabres if they want to be taken seriously.
18. Arizona Coyotes (26-24-6, rank last week: 23)
The Coyotes finally broke out of the doldrums with a Martin Hanzal offensive explosion, but will have to prove their ruggedness over the next few months.
19. Minnesota Wild (24-22-10, rank last week: 20)
The Wild have stopped the bleeding and fired their head coach, but is it too late for this season in Minnesota?
20. Montreal Canadiens (27-26-4, rank last week: 19)
Carey Price out for the season? It just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be Montreal’s year.
21. Carolina Hurricanes (25-21-10, rank last week: 21)
Three of four points against the Penguins and the Islanders keeps the Canes on the periphery as they wait for a team or two in the East to start falling.
22. Philadelphia Flyers (24-21-10, rank last week: 24)
The Flyers have lost five of six games, and are dropping like a stone. It will be interesting to see if Ron Hextall deals off some of the veterans in the next two weeks.
23. Vancouver Canucks (22-22-12, rank last week: 17)
The loss to the Leafs and the accompanying injuries that went along with it seem to be the final blow that knocked the Canucks out of the playoff picture.
24. Ottawa Senators (25-26-6, rank last week: 22)
It’s been my belief that Dion Phaneuf doesn’t make any situation better in the NHL. So good luck, Ottawa.
25. Buffalo Sabres (23-28-6, rank last week: 28)
The Sabres have won two in a row, but they rise up the rankings simply by suspending Evander Kane after his excellent NBA All-Star weekend.
26. Calgary Flames (25-27-3, rank last week: 26)
It’s time for the Flames to start shipping out the expendable assets.
27. Winnipeg Jets (19-24-9, rank last week: 25)
The Jets have signed their Big Buff, and now have to figure out what to do with the rest.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs (20-26-9, rank last week: 27)
While the Leafs are a dumpster fire right now, they pulled off a great move in getting out from under Dion Phaneuf’s contract mess. That’s a win all by itself.
29. Edmonton Oilers (22-29-6, rank last week: 29)
The Oilers have lost four of five games, and their only win was against the Maple Leafs. At least they have Connor McDavid piling up points now, though.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (23-28-6, rank last week: 30)
Four wins in five games will get the Blue Jackets out of the basement if they can keep it up for another week.