FTC Power Rankings Through 10/19/09
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (2): At 7-1-0, the Stanley Cup champs are playing like the champs. Marc-Andre Fleury appears to have solidified his spot the short list of elite goaltenders in the league. His seven wins lead all NHL goaltenders and his .922 save percentage ain’t to shabby either.
2. Colorado Avalanche (8): The Aves added three road-wins last week to extend their incredible turnaround. This team drafted third overall this summer but find themselves atop the Western Conference standings. It looks like that third overall pick Matt Duchene’s going to spend the rest of the season in Denver.
3. New York Rangers (1): Despite last night’s 7-3 shellacking at the hands of the Sharks, the Blue Shirts are still tied with their Atlantic Division nemesis the Pens with 14 points on the season. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto leads all rookies with four goals and nine points on the season.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets (8): The Union Blue own the top ranked penalty kill and have scored one more goal PK (2) than they have allowed on the season (1). Tonight’s bout with the Flames, owners of the second ranked power play, will be a big test for the CBJ, especially with the Flames eager for payback.
5. Phoenix Coyotes (11): The Coyotes are quietly off to a tremendous start, adding a pair of wins last week to extend their record to 5-2-0 through seven games. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov leads the league with two shutouts, Pittsburgh and San Jose no less, and was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for last week.
6. Edmonton Oilers (6): The Oilers stand pat this week after going 2-1 last week, including wins over a pair of division rivals in Minnesota and Vancouver. Gilbert Brule is finally starting to contribute to the Oiler Country with seven points on the season.
7. Chicago Blackhawks (5): The Hawks had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday by Dallas on a fluke goal. While goalie Cristobal Huet has struggled, backup Antti Neimi has three of the Hawks’ wins. Patrick Sharp appears to be shrugging off trade rumors and leads the team with 10 points.
8. Calgary Flames (4): After falling to Columbus last Tuesday, the Flames came back with a vengeance potting five goals against Roberto Luongo this past Friday. The Flames host the Jackets tonight in Calgary in what is most assuredly going to be a very chippy match.
9. Atlanta Thrashers (16): Showing some love for a team with four wins in only five games so far. The Thrashers have been an offensive juggernaut averaging 4.00 goals a game and own the top power play in the league at 37.5 percent. Ilya Kovalchuk is tied for second in the league with seven goals on the season.
10. San Jose Sharks (10): The Sharks are winners of their last two and have scored four goals or more in six of their nine games. Joe Thorton leads the league with 12 assists and is tied for second in points. Three Sharks have scored six or more goals.
11. Ottawa Senators (13): The Sens won both of their games last week beating up on the hapless Lightning and Canadiens. After starting the season off a bit shakey, Pascal Leclaire has looked solid in net and only gave up two goals last week.
12. Buffalo Sabers (14): Speaking of looking solid in net, Ryan Miller has been spectacular for the Sabers thus far this season. His .938 save percentage and 1.58 goals against average are second only to Bryzgalov in goalies with at least five starts.
13. Washington Capitals (19): The Caps won a pair of games last week to stretch their record to 4-2-2. Despite his 3-0 record in starts, Semyon Varlamov hasn’t done much to stake claim to the start position in net. Alex Ovechkin is leading the league in goals and points. He also is the league leader in shots with 21 more than second place.
14. Los Angeles Kings (3): The Kings snapped a three-game losing streak with a win last night over Dallas. It must be some sort of terrible deja’ vu for Oilers fans to see Ryan Smyth tearing it up in Hollywood, albeit his is a different journey from the Great One’s.
15. New Jersey Devils (12): The Devils have won four of their last five after starting out the season 0-2. Martin Brodeur grabbed his first shutout of the season Saturday night against Carolina and is one away from tying the all-time record held by Terry Sawchuk.
16. St. Louis Blues (20): It took St. Louis awhile, but they finally got a win on American soil, and not just a win, a 5-0 shutout of the Ducks. Former first overall pick Erik Johnson seems to be picking up right where he left off two seasons ago with six helpers in as many games.
17. Dallas Stars (21): It’s been a tough start in the Lone Star state with three overtime losses, in shootouts no less. Brendan Morrow and Brad Richards are tied for the team lead with nine points apiece but can they stay healthy?
18. Detroit Red Wings (18): The Red Wings went 1-1-1 last week and have looked beatable for the first time in more than a decade. Chris Osgood just seems out of gas, which is bad news for the Hockey Town faithful.
19. Anaheim Ducks (17): Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan have looked largely invisible this season after registering 91 and 57 points respectively last year. The Ducks have a soild core and two above average goaltenders so no need for panic just yet in Disney.
20. Philadelphia Flyers (7): After starting off the season with three wins, the sexy pick in the Atlantic has dropped their last three. Mike Richards is in a bit of a role-reversal leading the team with four power play goals as opposed to short handed.
21. Boston Bruins (24): The Bruins haven’t been able to string consecutive wins (or losses for that matter) so far this season. GM Peter Chiarelli has already started making changes, dealing away Chuck Kobesew to Minnesota on Sunday and acquiring Daniel Paille from Buffalo today.
22. Vancouver Canucks (22): Roberto Luongo: 3-5-0 with a .879 save percentage and a 3.22 goals against average? It looks like the Canucks are a bit hung-over from their playoff loss to Chicago.
23. Tampa Bay Lighting (15): The Bolts have been outscored 11-2 in their past two games. If it’s any consolation, Martin St. Louis seems to have returned to form with 11 points through seven games and assisted on both Tampa Bay goals.
24. Florida Panthers (29): The Panthers got their first win last Friday since opening night in Helsinki. Thomas Vokoun has looked shaky in net in five starts. Florida brass must be shooting themselves for letting Craig Anderson walk right about now.
25. Carolina Hurricanes (25): Things are not look too good in Raleigh. Eric Staal still hasn’t managed a single point on even strength and with 11.1 percent conversion rate, the ‘Canes power play is trumped only by…
26. Nashville Predators (23): After starting off the season 2-0, the Preds have dropped their past five games and things don’t get much easier with games in Boston, Ottawa and Chicago this week. And for those of you keeping score, Nashville has managed only one power play goal on the season for an 4.2 percent success rate.
27. Montreal Canadiens (26): The Habs have lost their past five games. Uh’oh GM Bob Gainey, Maybe turning over half the roster over the summer and fielding a first line all under 6 foot isn’t the recipe for bringing a Cup back to Quebec.
28. Minnesota Wild (28): The Wild needed some sort of spark after dropping their last five games. The St. Paul faithful and rookie head coach Todd Richards are sure hoping that naming Mikko Koivu the permanent captain might be able to provide it.
29. New York Islanders (27): The Islanders have yet to win a game, although it should be noted that three of their six losses have come in overtime. John Tavares can only do so much but the Isles will have their chance this week with games against Carolina and Montreal.
30. Toronto Maple Leafs (30): Three Leafs goaltenders have played in games and none has a save percentage over .900. Unfortunately for the Leafs, Phil Kessel won’t be ready until November at the earliest.