ESPN’s NHL Power Rankings

ESPN.com‘s Scott Burnside posted his power rankings for the National Hockey League, and the Pittsburgh Penguins took home the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Never mind the absence of Marian Hossa, Ryan Malone, Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque, the Penguins still have the most formidable lineup down the middle of any team in the NHL, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, plus an emerging elite netminder in Marc-Andre Fleury.

The rest of the standings are as follows:

Pittsburgh is 'tops' in the East
Pittsburgh is 'tops' in the East

Eastern Conference:

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Montreal Canadiens
3. Philadelphia Flyers
4. New York Rangers
5. Washington Capitals
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Carolina Hurricanes
8. Tampa Bay Lightning
9. Buffalo Sabres
10. Ottawa Senators
11. Boston Bruins
12. Florida Panthers
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. New York Islanders
15. Atlanta Thrashers

Two things stuck out at me when I first saw it.

First, the Atlantic Division is the toughest division in the conference. The winner, in my mind, should be the Eastern Conference Champion and represent the conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. With four of the top six teams residing in the Atlantic, no team will be better prepared for the playoffs.

I’m making that prediction right now.

Second, why is the Southeast Division getting so much credit all of a sudden? The Capitals made the playoffs thanks to the rule requiring each division winner to have one of the first three spots. At the end of the season, the Caps were the third seed with 94 points and Boston was the eighth seed with 94 points.

Also, Burnside is obviously tending to his former colleague Barry Melrose. The worst team in the east last year is a playoff contender without even playing a game.

I just have a few problems with the Southeast getting three teams in the top eight. But then again, the depleted Northeast Division may be the Southeast of last year. Montreal should dominate for nothing less than they have no competition within the Northeast.

Detroit remains atop the West
Detroit remains atop the West

The Western Conference looks like this:

1. Detroit Red Wings
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Dallas Stars
4. Anaheim Ducks
5. Edmonton Oilers
6. Chicago Blackhawks
7. Calgary Flames
8. Nashville Predators
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Columbus Blue Jackets
11. Phoenix Coyotes
12. Vancouver Canucks
13. Colorado Avalanche
14. St. Louis Blues
15. Los Angeles Kings

So basically get set for another Pens vs. Red Wings final. If only it were that simple.

Pre-season rankings are stupid. Why does anyone pick for these? It’s almost as stupid as seeing Valdosta, GA win ‘Titletown USA.’

This has got me thinking.  Look for my own power rankings to be posted soon.

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One thought on “ESPN’s NHL Power Rankings

  1. kevin

    tbl making the playoffs are you out of your mind getting ohlund and hedman dosent mean theyre a playoff team there going to do the same thing last year and leafs 13th..? waht! they are definetely a 7th 8th 9th or 10th place team …

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