[SPORTS] NHL Power Rankings – November 4th, 2010.

DJ on ICE: Hockey coverage with DJ Sullivan

Team Current Prior Record
Detroit Red Wings 1 6 6-2-1 Boston is great, but would you bet your house on the Bruins in a 7 game series v Detroit?  My gut tells me to choose Detroit.  The Red Wings have more firepower than a Navy battleship.  Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan Franzen lead with 6 goals apiece. Nicklas Lidstrom is 40 years old and still has more assists (10) than 99% of NHL players.
Boston Bruins 2 14 7-2-0 The Bruins defense led by Tim Thomas is stingier than my landlord, who has yet to turn on the heat.  Tyler Seguin is a star in the making.
St. Louis Blues 3 15 6-1-2 Anybody heard of Matt D’Agostini, TJ Oshie, or David Perron? Those are the players scoring for St. Louis.  Balanced scoring combined with Jaroslav Halak, who is receiving Vezina consideration, has the Blues singing.  Injuries on D (Colaiaocavo, Polak) haven’t slowed down the Blues who’ve won 4 straight.
Washington Capitals 4 1 8-4-0 Ovechkin, Semin, and Backstrom are scoring for The Caps.  Power outages (4-1, 3-1 losses) against The Bruins are keeping the Caps from the top of the charts.  22 yr old goaltender, Michal Neuvirth has a solid 2.15 GAA & .926 SV % in 11 games.
Los Angeles Kings 5 7 8-3-0 Justin Williams (5+6) & Jarret Stoll (4+6) might be 2nd line in the depth chart, but they’re #1 on the Kings roster in scoring.  The Kings have scoring depth (Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jack Johnson, & Ryan Smyth) & they’re also currently #1 in the NHL standings.
Tampa Bay Lightning 6 19 7-2-1 Steven Stamkos is… en fuego.  Quality wins against Pittsburgh, Phoenix, and Dallas have the Lightning thinking Playoffs.  They’re doing this with no contribution from Simone Gagne who is injured and a (-9) rating.
Vancouver Canucks 7 9 6-3-2 Early season expectations haven’t been met.  Alex Burrows returns from injury and hopes to put a name other than Sedin on the score sheet.  The Sedin’s each have 13 points.  Roberto Luongo has a respectable .915 SV % and a not so respectable 2.61 GAA.
Chicago Blackhawks 8 4 7-7-1 The Hawks have an average record, but they’re still an incredibly tough team to beat.  Marian Hossa will make them better when he returns from injury.  Patrick Sharpe leads this talented Hawks team with 10 goals and 6 assists.  The Hawks just lost to the Devils; they’ve got to do better to stay on top.
Montreal Canadiens 9 8 7-4-1 The Canadiens have a good record, but good teams don’t lose 3-0 to the Blue Jackets.  Watch out for rising youngster PK Subban on Defense.  Andrei Markov’s return from injury is sure to shore up the Habs D.  Carey Price continues to be average in net; and average isn’t good enough in Montreal.
Pittsburgh Penguins 10 10 6-6-1 Jordan Staal suffered another setback as he suffered a hand injury in practice.  Three losses in a row to St. Louis, Tampa, and Philly were followed by a 3-0 shutout win against Carolina.  Crosby leads the team with 15 points (6+9). Evgeni Malkin is not at full strength as he deals with a knee injury.
San Jose Sharks 11 18 5-4-1 The Sharks top flight power play, solid goaltending from Antero Nittymaki, and a bevy of points from top line (Thornton, Heatley, Marleau) has the Sharks back in familiar waters.
New York Rangers 12 12 6-4-1 The Rangers recently gutted out a nice 3-2 W against Chicago.  The team doesn’t seem to miss Marian Gaborik, who still has a few weeks left of rehab on a dislocated shoulder.  The Rangers give up tons of shots (35/game) but Henrik Lundqvist has been up to the task.
Philadelphia Flyers 13 27 7-4-1 C Danny Briere recently embraced his inner goon and received a 3 game suspension.  Other than that the Flyers Power Play is on fire and Chris Pronger is back full-time.  Four straight wins for Philly.  They’d be a top 4 team if only they had an above average goalie.
Dallas Stars 14 5 7-4-0 The Stars have gone 3-4 after a 4-0 start.  Nice fight-filled win tonight vs. Sidney Crosby & crew.
Minnesota Wild 15 21 5-4-2 Wins against the Caps and the Sharks are keeping the Wild afloat.  Five players are tied with 3 goals apiece for the lead.  Good thing the Wild have the league’s #2 PP and #9 PK.
Nashville Predators 16 3 5-2-3 After a 3-0-1 start, the Preds have gone 2-2-2.  Nashville still deserves credit for having a decent record in the NHL’s best division.  Power Play is 1 for 26 in their past three games.  Center Matthew Lombardi and Defenseman Ryan Suter are both out with injury.  Steve Sullivan leads the Preds with 7 points (3+4).
Atlanta Thrashers 17 20 6-4-2 Who needs Ilya Kovalchuk when you’ve got Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane, Tobias Enstrom, Rich Peverly, Niclas Bergfors, Nik Antropov, Chris Thorburn and Anthony Stewart?  The Thrash is doing it with teamwork this year.
Toronto Maple Leafs 18 2 5-5-2 The Leafs are back down to earth after a great start.  Captain Dion Phaneuf is out 4-6 weeks with a leg laceration.  Ouch!  The Leafs will need someone other than Clarke MacArthur and Phil Kessel to score goals if they hope to make it a playoff year.
Florida Panthers 19 11 4-6-0 Stephen Weiss was injured playing soccer before a game against Montreal.  It’s tough enough to get fans to the games and now the Panthers will do it with less offense.
Carolina Hurricanes 20 25 6-6-0 Win One, Lose One.  The Canes allow tons of shots and don’t score a whole lot.  However, they did beat the Islanders 7-2 tonight, so I suppose they’re due up for another loss.
Colorado Avalanche 21 17 6-4-1 Goalie Craig Anderson is injured (knee), but the Aves are still winning.  Chris Stewart has 16 pts (9+7) to lead Colorado.
New York Islanders 22 13 4-6-2 Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to sign Rick DiPietro to a 15 year contract.  The Isles goalie has a GAA of 3.75.  John Tavares has 6 goals, but apparently isn’t big on playing defense.  Tavares has a (-9) rating.  The Isles lost 7-2 to the Canes tonight.
Calgary Flames 23 26 6-5-0 Discontent is growing in Cal-Gary after back to back home losses in which the Flames allowed a total of 13 goals.  LW Rene Bourque has 6 goals while Captain Jarome Iginla has a mere two tallies.
Columbus Blue Jackets 24 24 7-4-0 Most casual fans don’t even know there’s a hockey team in Columbus, Ohio.  Rick Nash and crew are looking to change that by making the playoffs this year.
Anaheim Ducks 25 23 4-7-1 Teemu Selanne is old, but can still score (5+7).  Ryan Getzlaf is a beast, but he needs help on offense and defense.  The Ducks have the league’s 2nd worst goal differential at (-13).
Phoenix Coyotes 26 22 3-4-3 The Coyotes are awesome… at losing shootouts.  Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, and Wotjek Wolski are all without a goal.
Ottawa Senators 27 30 5-6-1 Losing defenseman Milan Michalek to injury won’t help the Sens, but winning a couple games has them out of last place, at least in the rankings.
Edmonton Oilers 28 16 3-5-2 Edmonton is taking their rightful place near the bottom of the league standings.  A 7-4 win against Chicago doesn’t entirely counterbalance losing 6 in a row.
Buffalo Sabres 29 28 3-8-2 Jason Pominville returns from injury, however Ryan Miller is sitting out at least temporarily.  The Sabres must dig out of this hole, or coach Lindy Ruff will soon be looking for a new job.
New Jersey Devils 30 29 3-9-1 Times are tough for the Devils.  Zach Parise is out for three months with a torn meniscus.  The Kovalchuk gamble looks to be a big failure.  The good news is there’s only 14 more years to go on his contract.  This just in: Brodeur leaves game with elbow injury.

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