FTC Power Rankings through 10/12/09
1. New York Rangers: The Blueshirts are 5-1 on the season. Free agent signing Marian Gaborik as 5 goals and 9 points in those games but can he stay healthy?
2. Pittsburgh Penguins: It’s hard to pick against the defending champs at 4-1. They were shutout in their one loss by a Phoenix team flying under many people’s radar.
3. Los Angeles Kings: After dropping their season opener to the Coyotes, Anze Kopitar and Captain Canada Ryan Smyth have led the upstart Kings to four straight wins.
4. Calgary Flames: Brent Sutter’s debut behind the Calgary bench has been fairly successful thus far. The Flames can thank a league best 43.8% power play that has already netted seven goals through six games.
5. Chicago Blackhawks: Who says you can’t split up Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? Joel Quenville’s spreading out the scoring and the Hawks are 3-1-1 thus far with no Hossa.
6. Edmonton Oilers: A pair of 4-3 losses to the Flames keep the Oils out of the top five. Losing Sheldon Souray for some time with a concussion could hurt their chances of breaking in.
7. Philadelphia Flyers: After starting off 3-0, the Flyers have slowed down a bit with a pair of losses, one coming in OT. Chris Pronger seems comfortable in his new home. Matt Carle is certainly enjoying playing with him.
8. Colorado Avalanche: Through five games at least, it looks like the Aves may finally have found their goaltender. Free agent pickup Craig Anderson is 3-1-1 with a .935 save percentage and a shutout on the young season.
9. Columbus Blue Jackets: Who would have guessed that Mathieu Garon would pitch the first shutout for the Union Blue after reigning Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason put up 10 last season. Aside from a lopsided affair in San Jose, the Blue Jackets are off to one of the best starts in franchise history.
10. San Jose Sharks: Memo to the rest of the NHL: Joe Thorton and Dany Heatley are going to combine for a lot of goals. Thorton’s made All-stars out of 3rd liners before and it’s scary to envision this duo all season.
11. Phoenix Coyotes: It appears thus far that the ‘Yotes have been able to keep all the off-season turmoil outside the locker room. New head coach Dave Tippett can’t get enough credit for the 3-2-0 start.
12. New Jersey Devils: Jacques Lemaire’s start to his second tenure with the Devils was rather dubious. Three consecutive road wins are easing concerns from the New Jersey faithful.
13. Ottawa Senators: The jury is still out on the beginning of the Pascal LeClaire era in Canada’s capital. After a lot of turnover from last year’s roster, it looks like the Sens players are still trying to feel each other out.
14: Buffalo Sabers: In three games in net Ryan Miller has allowed a grand total of three goals. However, the Slugs – errr Sabers have only managed to net 4 goals of their own on the season.
15. Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman, you know the player taken after Tavares in this summers draft, has four assists and a plus 2 rating in five games played. Flyers castoff Antero Nittymaki is 2-0 in two starts in net.
16. Atlanta Thrashers: Ilya Kovalchuk has 5 goals in 3 games played. The Thrashers need to get him under contract pronto.
17. Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks are 2-2-1 on the young season. Goaltender Jonas Hiller has both of those wins and is doing his best to stake his claim to the starting spot in net.
18. Detroit Red Wings: After dropping a pair to St. Louis in Stockholm, the Red Machine has started churning again with two straight wins. No Lidstrom, Zetterberg and co. did not decide to stay in the home country after the losses.
19. Washington Capitals: After a pair of wins to start off the season the Capitals have lost four consecutive games by a one-goal margin. The line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin has combined for 31 points through six games.
20. St. Louis Blues: St. Louis is on the opposite end of the spectrum from their Stockholm counterparts. After winning a pair in Scandinavia, the Blues haven’t been able to get the W on American soil.
21. Dallas Stars: Four games in and the Stars already have three overtime losses. Marty Turco’s rebound season has been put on hold so far with an 0-3 record and giving up three OT game-winners is not going to help his confidence.
22. Vancouver Canucks: After an 0-3 start to the season, the Canucks have picked up wins in their last two games. There’s still a lot of uncertainty in British Columbia, especially with Daniel Sedin sidelined until November with a broken foot.
23. Nashville Predators: The Predators never seem quite sure who their starting goalie is. After making a strong bid for the Calder Trophy last year, Pekka Rinne is 0-2 this season while Dan Ellis has both Nashville wins.
24. Boston Bruins: Last year’s President’s Trophy winners aren’t on pace to repeat this season. The Bruins are 2-3-0 on the season and the reigning Vezina winner Tim Thomas has allowed 12 goals in three games.
25. Carolina Hurricanes: The Canes are 2-3-0 on the season and have the league’s 26th ranked power play. Eric Staal’s two goals account for half of their PP production but he hasn’t registered a single point at even strength.
26. Montreal Canadians: After starting off 2-0, Montreal has lost its last 3. The new-look Habs may be having some difficulty getting acclimated. Mike Cammalleri hasn’t socred a goal through five games after potting 39 last season.
27. New York Islanders: The Jonathan Tavares era hasn’t started off quite as planned. The Isles are 0-1-3 on the season but the summer’s 1st overall pick has done his best with two goals and three assists on the season.
28. Minnesota Wild: The Wild are the proud owners of the leagues fifth best power play. The problem: Minnesota has scored only three goals without the man advantage and Nik Backstrom is off to a relatively slow start.
29. Florida Panthers: After opening the season with a 4-3 shutout win over the Blackhawks in Helsinki, the Panthers have dropped their last four games.
30. Toronto Maple Leafs: A lack of firepower up front can’t be blamed for the Leafs’ 0-4-1 start. The “new and improved” Toronto defense has given up a staggering 24 goals in five games.