Haggerty's Not-Your-Typical NHL Power Rankings: Lightning light years ahead
Can we just give Tampa Bay the President's Trophy already? Meanwhile, Johnny Hockey has the Calgary Flames firing on all cylinders.
TOP 5 TEAMS
Tampa Bay Lightning (36-10-2) – The Lightning lost an Atlantic Division showdown with the Maple Leafs this week, but still light years ahead of everybody else. Can we just crown them the President’s Trophy winners already?
Calgary Flames (31-13-5) – Johnny Gaudreau is on pace for 47 goals and 120 points. Those are vintage 1980s numbers, so you’ve got to respect Johnny Hockey’s game this season. Looks like the Flames are starting to put things together.
Winnipeg Jets (31-14-2) – What’s up with Patrik Laine? Sure, he’s got 24 goals and that’s pretty good. But he’s also only got nine assists and the worst plus/minus ranking on the team. Otherwise, things are going according to plan for the Jets.
San Jose Sharks (28-14-7) – The Sharks are finally putting it all together with eight wins in their last 10 games, and they’re looking like the team everybody thought they’d be at the beginning of the year. 52 points in 49 games for Brett Burns is pretty awesome.
Nashville Predators (28-17-4) – They’re no longer in first place in the Central Division, but nobody doubts the Predators will be there when it matters most. Got to respect a team where two of the top three scorers are D-men.
BOTTOM 5 TEAMS
Chicago Blackhawks (16-24-9) – The Blackhawks have lost five in a row, they were on the losing end of the Winter Classic and they truly look like a bad team. It’s amazing that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews went from champions to this.
Los Angeles Kings (19-25-4) – I’m bound and determined to call the Kings old and slow every single week. They’ve got plenty of scouts around at NHL rinks, so they’ll probably be trade deadline sellers pretty soon as well.
Philadelphia Flyers (18-23-6) – Speaking of Flyers, Philly is 3-6-1 in their past 10 after going the route of firing the coach and the GM. Next comes moving on from some of the players on what’s been a disappointing team.
Detroit Red Wings (18-24-7) – Dylan Larkin on pace for 33 goals and 80 points in a pretty nice season for the Wings, but the rest of the team is in pretty rough shape rounding out the bottom in the Atlantic Division.
Ottawa Senators (19-24-5) – We all knew that the Senators could be there this season. And now they’ve finally reached the bottom of the barrel and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be moving from here at all the rest of this season.
VIDEO GAME NUMBERS
(Top 5 performers of the week)
1. Sean Couturier continued a string of hat tricks with three goals against the Bruins in a 5-2 win for the Flyers on Wednesday night in Philly. A great 200-foot effort from the typically excellent Couturier.
2. It was in a losing effort, but Patrick Kane finished with two goals and four points along with a whopping nine shots on net in an 8-5 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. It was kind of par for the course for Chicago this season.
3. Mika Zibanejad stepped up for the Blueshirts and finished with a couple of goals and four points in a 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
4. Dylan Larkin is one of the few bright spots for the Red Wings this season, and he continued that trend with a pair of goals and a dominant eight shots on net in a 6-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
5. Mark Giordano isn’t really known as one of the big guns on offense for Calgary, but he came through with a pair of goals, three points and a plus-5 in 20:57 of ice time in a 7-1 rout of the Arizona Coyotes last weekend.
GOALIES THAT DON'T SUCK
1. With Sergei Bobrovsky off the reservation in Columbus, the Blue Jackets have needed Joonas Korpisalo to step up in a big way for the Blue Jackets. He’s done just that and was at his best in stopping 32 of 33 shots in a 2-1 overtime win over the defending Cup champion Washington Capitals last weekend.
2. Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson brought his A-game with 37 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night that gave the Ducks a badly needed ‘W.’
3. Anders Nilsson is getting a solid workload from the Ottawa Senators and he responded this week by stopping 33-of-34 shots in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
4. It was ultimately a losing effort, but the Kings don’t even get to the shootout without a massive 40 saves from Jonathan Quick in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
5. The Canadiens need Carey Price to be pretty much perfect if they’re going to have success, and he was almost that in stopping 34 of 35 shots in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.