NHL Power Rankings
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 01/12/2009
A flip fop at the top of the NHL Power Rankings is only one of many changes in the fourth edition of the NHL Power Rankings. We are fresh off another successful Winter Classic and the NHL season is building momentum as the All-Star Game looms. More teams continue to drop out of contention while some playoff races heat up. Last edition's ranking is in parentheses followed by current Stanley Cups odds from Bodog as of Monday, Jan. 10.
1) Boston Bruins (2) 6/1 - The Beasts in the East, the Bruins are the only team not to allow 100 goals yet this season (94) while scoring the most in the entire league with 154.
2) San Jose Sharks (1) 3/1 - The fall to No. 2 has more to do with the impressive push the Bruins have made recently. Evgeni Nabokov (19-3-3, 2.45 GAA, .908 save pct.) continues to dominate in net for San Jose.
3) Detroit Red Wings (3) 3/1 - A big-time Winter Classic come-from-behind win has helped the Red Wings distance themselves from second place Chicago.
4) Washington Capitals (6) 10/1 - The climb up the Power Rankings continues for the Washington Capitals. They have won seven of the last 10 and own a dominating home record at 18-2-1.
5) New Jersey Devils (8) 20/1 - Third place in the Atlantic but do not be fooled, the Devils are playing the best hockey extremely competitive division.
6) Chicago Blackhawks (4) 14/1 - The Blackhawks are not the Red Wings; we found that out after a pair of games around New Year's, but they are not bad either. Kris Versteeg continues to be one of the top rookies and top wingers in the league.
7) Montreal Canadians (7) 15/1 - Carey Price's solid play in net has the Canadians staying put at the No. 7 spot in our power rankings. Price has a .920 save pct. this season to go with a 2.38 GAA.
8) Calgary Flames (13) 20/1 - The emergence of Maxim Lapierre has been big news around Calgary. He was a major reason for a pair of wins over Tampa Bay (shootout winner) and Florida (hat-trick).
9) Philadelphia Flyers (4) 14/1 - The Flyers continue to lead the Atlantic through 42 games but a shaky power-play and injury riddled lineup have the Flyers looking less and less dangerous.
10) New York Rangers (9) 16/1 - The team has barely been getting outscored this season through 44 games (118-117) but the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist has Ranger fans believing.
11) Vancouver Canucks (12) 20/1 - Life without Roberto Luongo has been tough for a Canuck team that is seemingly always involved in close games or shootouts. New goalie Jason LaBarbera is 0-5 in shootouts.
12) Anaheim Ducks (11) 22/1 - Catching the Sharks right now in the Pacific is just about out of the question but the team has been able to score goals at an impressive clip (126 through 44 games).
13) Carolina Hurricanes (20) 45/1 - It has been an impressive climb up the charts for the Hurricanes, fueled mostly by a four game winning streak that included three-one goal wins. Back-to-back losses against Panthers and Bruins did not help Carolina's cause as it tries to get in Southeast Division race behind the Capitals.
14) Buffalo Sabres (14) 45/1 - One of the few teams that has been able to get the better of the Bruins this season, the Sabres are hanging on for dear life in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Ryan Miller has been one of the more consistent goaltenders as of late.
15) Phoenix Coyotes (19) 100/1 - The Coyotes have been able to maintain a winning record (21-17-5 through 43 games) despite being outscored by 14 goals (120-106).
16) Pittsburgh Penguins (10) 11/1 - The free fall continues for the Penguins in the Power Rankings. Despite still having a very legitimate shot to put things together and make a Stanley Cup run, Sidney Crosby is still aching for a new winger. Evgeni Malkin continues to be perhaps the best player in the league.
17) Minnesota Wild (17) 50/1 - The Wild remain at No. 17 in the Power Rankings but Las Vegas is beginning to count the Wild out of the race dropping its odds from 28/1 to 50/1.
18) Florida Panthers (18) 66/1 - Yet another team staying put in the rankings, if the Panthers get hot they can give the Hurricanes and Capitals a run in the Southeast.
19) Edmonton Oilers (16) 66/1 - Easily the best last-place team in the league even though that is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
20) Columbus Blue Jackets (22) 66/1 - Rookie goaltender Steve Mason has quickly emerged as one of the top goalies around. He picked up five wins in December. Another rookie, center Derick Brassard, is tied for second among rookies with 25 points.
21) Colorado Avalanche (22) 66/1 - Fans in Colorado are starting to forget what goals look like. The team has been one of the more inconsistent teams in the NHL.
22) Dallas Stars (27) 55/1 - No Sean Avery and the team has 10-5-1 without the controversial player in the lineup. The Stars are still in last place but remain in shooting distance of the playoff bubble in the west.
23) Nashville Predators (15) 100/1 - Defenseman Shea Weber continues to be one of the few bright spots on the freefalling Predators. After 40 games Nashville was the only Western Conference team to not reach the 100-goal mark this season.
24) Los Angeles Kings (21) 200/1 - Kings fans have to be asking where Jonathan Quick was earlier this season. After a rough starter Quick carried a 0.79 GAA in a five game stretch.
25) Toronto Maple Leafs (25) 150/1 - Somehow the Maple Leafs are still in contention. The team has allowed 152 goals this season after only 42 games. Only the Islanders and Thrashers have allowed more in the entire league.
26) St. Louis Blues (25) 250/1 - Alexander Steen has caught on fire lately. Of course by now it's too late.
27) Tampa Bay Lighting (30) 200/1 - Don't look now but the Lighting are no longer the worst team in the league. The team has made an impressive climb from the cellar to the 12th best record in the Eastern Conference.
28) Ottawa Senators (24) 85/1 - Las Vegas still believes this Senators team has a chance to make a run. I just do not see it happening. The team has rarely been able to hold leads after two periods and when it does it is worst in the NHL when it comes to closing out a game.
29) Atlanta Thrashers (28) 600/1 - If you got 100 dollars burning a hole in your pocket you can go ahead and burn it rather than wagering on these ridiculous odds for the Thrashers. The team has given up 3.65 goals per game. Somehow they do not have the worst record in the NHL…
30) New York Islanders (29) 600/1 - …of course that distinction goes to the Islanders. With a 12-26-4 record the Islanders seem poised to make the bottom ranking in the Power Rankings home for a while.