No this is not a post about He-Man’s possible hockey abilities (although I just put that in the bank for a slow day). Every Monday a bunch of Score employees who watch WAY too much hockey are asked to submit their NHL Power Rankings. I happen to be one of those employees. We are asked to hand in our top 5 teams in the NHL at the moment, and from those many top 5 lists a guy named Steve compiles one Score Power Rankings list. Usually, this final list is talked about on The Backhand Shelf podcast with myself and Justin Bourne, and I also reveal the list on The Score Television Network. However, we were all off yesterday for “Family Day” (a holiday that if you do not live in Ontario, sounds completely made up) . Yesterday, Mr. Bourne released his Power Rankings, So I thought it may be a good time to list the Score’s consensus list and see how it stacks up.
#1 Detroit Red Wings
23 straight home wins and the most points in the NHL gave the Red Wings the number one spot for the first time this season. Truth be told, I actually had the Rangers as my number 1 team, mainly because they have played less games and have been impressive on both home and road ice. However, it’s tough to call Detroit the “wrong” choice for number 1, especially since they have still been winning despite losing Jimmy Howard to a busted finger.
#2 New York Rangers
They just continue to win. On Sunday they shook off a late tying goal from possible future teammate Rick Nash and won in OT. It was their 5th win in 6 games and they haven’t had a losing streak since mid-December. They are still relying heavily on Henrik Lundqvist, but Artem Anisimov has four goals and three assists in his past eight games. By the way, how good is this team when their fans chant “We don’t want you” to Rick Nash? That’s like a dude that gets so many good looking women that he turns down a super model.
#3 Boston Bruins
I have to admit that I’m a bit surprised that the Bruins ended up at #3. They have been shut out in 4 of their last 9 games and are no longer the highest scoring team in hockey (Philly now holds that spot). Some would argue that they are playing well and the scoring opportunities are there (they averaged 43 shots in the 4 games that they were shut out), but that gap between first and second in the East is getting bigger with every loss.
#4 Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks are just 2 points behind the Red Wings for first place in the West. That tends to happen when you pick up a point in 13 straight games, with 10 of those coming in wins. When this offense heats up it gets scary, and both Sedins are sitting top 7 in scoring (big surprise).
#5 St Louis Blues
It’s not too often that a team that already fired their coach is actually within striking distance of first place at this point of the season, but Ken Hitchcock and the Blues have done just that. If it wasn’t for Detroit record breaking play at home, we would be talking a lot more about the Blues play in St Louis. They are tied with the Detroit with 26 wins at home, but like the Red Wings, are sub-500 on the road.
Let’s head to the links
Hey Krejci…take the wing (Pro Hockey Talk)
Here is a shocker, players like fighting! (Puck Daddy)
Want to see a zamboni get repossessed? I really hope you replied out loud with “DO I!!” (Dirty Dangle)
Katie Baker of Grantland takes a look at the wild week between the Capitals pipes.
So what did Rick Nash think of those affectionate taunts at MSG? (ESPN)
Speaking of the Rangers, Blueshirt Banter wonders if they should look for some playoff experience at the deadline.
Wondering what Canucks fans thought of being listed as the most overrated team? Days of Y’Orr got some reactions
Alexander Ovechkin was limping after the Caps game last night (Washington Post)
Just in case you missed it, the Ducks are a mere 5 points out of a playoff spot (Anaheim Calling)
and I know it’s not from last night, but you have to admire the kid asking for a stick!