On Monday, Mr. Rob Pizzo and I have taken to doing our power rankings on the podcast. However, today is the high holy holiday “Family Day” in Ontario (all of Canada, maybe?), so there won’t be a podcast. In light of this, I thought I’d present my print version.

Here’s where I see the top 10 teams in the NHL. Even I’m weirded out by the order chosen, and I wrote the piece. The NHL landscape is changing.

1. Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings have won six straight games, pushing them ahead of the Rangers in the race for the President’s Trophy by three points (though it’s worth noting the Rangers have three games in hand). They haven’t shown they can win on the road, but when you can’t lose at home, you don’t have to. Joey MacDonald has been a great fill-in, but once they get Jimmy Howard back they’ll be even better.

2. New York Rangers

The Rangers didn’t lose the #1 billing on this list so much as the Red Wings took it. These guys are still bombing along on cruise control, piling up a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. Henrik Lundqvist is a rock, their back-end is extremely solid, and they can score. Oh, and with Prust, Rupp and Boyle, they can play tough. If they stay healthy, you have to believe in this team come playoffs.

3. Vancouver Canucks

It’s always good when there’s a “0″ in the middle of your teams “last 10 games” column, and the Canucks can be proud that they do (8-0-2). While not the League’s most popular team, it doesn’t matter – they just keep winning, and there’s no reason to believe they’ll stop. They’re two points behind Detroit for first in the League (with a game in hand), and currently boast a +50 goal differential.

4. St. Louis Blues

This is the third straight season that I’ve claimed St. Louis is going to break out, and it seems I may finally be right. This team has grown up over the past few years, and now find themselves defensive superstars with some offensive pop and great leadership. Their team depth and consistent play (save for a tough loss yesterday) has them cracking the top 5.

5. New Jersey Devils

Marty Brodeur continued his dominance in Monreal (21-12-1 there lifetime) as the Devils downed the Habs in the Bell Centre this weekend. The Devils find themselves tied with the Bruins (did not see that coming) after their most recent stellar run in which they’ve won three straight, which adds to their 8-1-1 last 10.

6. Boston Bruins

The Bruins have nine regulation wins in their last 20 games, and really let the wolf pack back in it this year. It looked like they were going to runaway with the league for awhile, but man – they’re only three points up on Ottawa, who are 7th in the East. Still: they’re the Boston Bruins, and we know how good that team can be. I’m not writing them off in any way.

7. Nashville Predators

I said this on Twitter last night: looking towards playoffs, the Predators remind me of Boston last year. Depth at forward without a true stud (they have nine players with 10+ goals), rock-solid goaltending, some great shutdown defenders and a good coach. They’ve been battling it out in a tough division all year, but still sit 5th in the West.

8. Chicago Blackhawks

After the Blackhawks disastrous nine-game losing streak, the’ve finally righted the ship. They’ve won three consecutive games (including a win over the tough Blues on Sunday), and just have too much talent on their roster to overlook. If they can patch that hole in net for playoffs, I sure wouldn’t want to play them.

9. Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers are 3-5-1 in their last 10 games, which includes coming out on the losing end of a game against division-rival Pittsburgh on Saturday night. But them still being in the top-10 shows you what I think of their team. I like the moves they’ve made to shore up their D, I think Bryzgalov has been underachieving and could snap out of it at any time, and I like their firepower. They’ll be alright.

10. Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes just continue to find a way to get it done. They’re 7-0-1 in their last eight games, and suddenly Mike Smith is a star – look at the goals they’ve given up to opponents in their past seven games: 1 (Detroit), 1 (Dallas), 1 (Calgary), 0 (Chicago), 1 (Vancouver), 0 (Los Angeles), and 1 Dallas). Yep, five goals in seven games. And THAT gets you in the top 10.

Comments (8)

  1. I don’t think NYRangers should be above Canucks this week

  2. um….family day is only in three provinces this year. next year i know that BC is to be included. i’m in alberta and seems that most people are still having to work today regardless of the provincial holiday

  3. The league should just give the Adams to Dave Tippet every year for what he’s able to do with that knee-capped franchise. There’s a reason Bryz is struggling and I think it’s got more to do with no longer playing in the desert than anything else.

  4. Vancouver is in the weakest division in the league – they are at least 20 pts ahead of everyone else (30 in the case of Edmonton.) They usually catch teams at their worst in the tail end of road trips, etc….

    Put them in either the Atlantic or Central div’s where it’s a dog fight most nights and I can’t believe they’ll have 82 points.

    • finally someone else sees this as well…they are a good team bt have inflated stats based on their weak division….even minnesota has fallen off, giving vancouver the division withot much of a fight

      • Also…FINALLY somebody else sees this as well? Where have you been man, people have been crapping on the NW for a while now.

        Maybe this all falls under the umbrella of the NHL’s most hated team? :) You sound pretty relieved that someone else is trying to poke holes in a team that made it all the way to the SCF last year…not sure what the NW division had to do with the Canucks beating two Central division opponents then a Pacific division winner.

    • That’s fair, and there’s no denying that the Northworst Division lives up to it’s name. However one thing that Western conference teams at least need to acknowledge is that there is only an 8 game difference between a team from the Pacific or Central division’s schedule and the Canucks schedule against the NW.

      Detroit, Chicago, St.Louis, Nashville, San Jose, Dallas, Phoenix etc… play a total of 16 games against the ‘other’ teams in the NW division each year (4 games against 4 teams), the Canucks play 24 (6 games against those same 4 teams).

      So people like Jordan are putting an awful lot of stock into the huge benefits the Canucks apparently reap in those 8 games. If you are an Eastern conference fan, then fair enough, I would probably counter with the SE division being a team without a clearcut #1 contender this year, and pretty much a feeding ground for the entire Eastern conference.

    • Put them in the Atlantic division and they would only have to leave their own time zone like 10 times a season? The Canucks have had and will always have one of the worst travel schedules of any team based on geography.

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