TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings
This Week16Last Week17Ottawa Senators 44-32-6
It's not like Alex Kovalev (49 points, minus-8) has been a world-beater this season, but the Sens go into the playoffs without a top-six forward and top-four defenceman from the team with the worst goal differential in the postseason. So, while I'm obviously not high on them, I'm not entirely sold on Pittsburgh either, so if Brian Elliott wants to go on one of the runs he's had this year -- posting nine and six-game winning streaks -- the Sens could have a shot at the upset.
Key Injuries: D Filip Kuba (back), RW Alex Kovalev (knee).
This Week17Last Week18Anaheim Ducks 39-32-11
The Ducks weren't deep enough to withstand the number of injuries they faced this season, finishing six points out of a playoff spot despite missing C Ryan Getzlaf and RW Teemu Selanne for 16 and 28 games, respectively. Facing the (seemingly annual) possibility of having Scott Niedermayer and Selanne head into the sunset, the Ducks may need to rebuild on the fly.
This Week18Last Week19Dallas Stars 37-31-14
With ownership changes looming, Stars legend Mike Modano may be winding up a Hall of Fame career and it surely appears that Marty Turco's days in Big D are coming to and end as well, so it's time for the next generation to take over...and for Stars management to see to it that they upgrade the blueline in order to give the next generation a better chance to succeed.
This Week19Last Week15Calgary Flames 40-32-10
The only question for the Flames this summer is just how far the cuts will go. Does missing the playoffs cost GM Darryl Sutter his job? Does franchise forward Jarome Iginla get shopped in order to jumpstart the rebuilding process? Something has to be done for a team that finished 29th in the league with 2.45 goals per game.
This Week20Last Week21St. Louis Blues 40-32-10
A popular pick as a young team on the rise after they reached the playoffs in 2009, the Blues took a small step back (92 points to 90) this year and this season marks the end of the road for Keith Tkachuk, a nine-time 30-goal scorer who was among the game's elite power forwards in the 1990s.
This Week21Last Week24Philadelphia Flyers 41-35-6
Won three of their last four to secure a playoff spot, but they face a decidedly uphill battle with Brian Boucher in goal. He's the only playoff starter to have a losing regular season record and without a save percentage over .900. Boucher's had success in the past, however, so if can pull it together, perhaps the Flyers will give the Devils a challenge.
Key Injuries: G Ray Emery (hip), G Michael Leighton (ankle).
This Week22Last Week21Florida Panthers 32-37-13
Not enough talent means the Panthers end up relying too much on G Tomas Vokoun, so the Panthers could really use a serious roster overhaul this summer. You know, something more befitting the promise that was made before the NHL trade deadline.
This Week23Last Week22Carolina Hurricanes 35-37-10
A miserable start, combined with a long-term injury to G Cam Ward made it difficult for the Hurricanes, but they went 25-14-3 in 2010 to, ultimately, cost them some balls in the draft lottery, but that strong finish, with a number of good young players, provides a sense of optimism for next season.
This Week24Last Week23Atlanta Thrashers 35-34-13
Went 3-5-2 in the final ten games to end up five points out of a playoff spot, which is really no worse than what would have been expected had they kept Ilya Kovalchuk, so there is no great loss in that regard. It's a matter of building a strong core around the young players they do have -- Zach Bogosian, Evander Kane, perhaps Niclas Bergfors and Bryan Little -- but it's understandable if patience is starting to wear thin.
This Week25Last Week27Columbus Blue Jackets 32-35-15
Hopes were high for the Blue Jackets this year, coming off a 2009 playoff appearance and with young players like Steve Mason, Nikita Filatov and Derick Brassard expected to take the team to the next level. Mason and brassard endured sophomore slumps and Filatov ended up back in the KHL after playing sporadically under Ken Hitchcock. With either Claude Noel or a new bench boss next season, the Blue Jackets' success may still be tied to the performance of that young trio.
This Week26Last Week26Minnesota Wild 38-36-8
It took the Wild some time to adjust to new coach Todd Richards, but after going 7-12-2 (.381) in the first quarter of the season, they were a more-than-respectable 31-24-6 (.667) the rest of the way, with Guillaume Latendresse a revelation after coming over from Montreal, helping to offset a disappointing season from last summer's big free agent addition, Martin Havlat.
This Week27Last Week28Toronto Maple Leafs 30-38-14
A terribly disappointing season, particularly when the Phil Kessel is now going to cost the Maple Leafs a high first-round pick in this year's draft, but the silver lining to this season has been that Toronto made some bold moves to acquire Kessel and Dion Phaneuf and, being out of contention, had the chance to audition some young players -- most notably C Tyler Bozak and D Carl Gunnarsson -- who look like they can be part of the solution.
This Week28Last Week29Tampa Bay Lightning 34-36-12
The Bolts have already cleaned house, firing GM Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet, which is not surprising with new ownership coming in for a team that was an also-ran yet again. Of course, if you're going to be an also-ran, it doesn't hurt to have a 20-year-old 51-goal scorer around which to build for the future and the Lightning do have Steven Stamkos.
This Week29Last Week25New York Islanders 34-37-11
While he led the Islanders with 54 points, it was an uneven rookie season for C John Tavares, who was probably unfairly expected to be a franchise player right out of the gate. His knack around the net seems to assure that he'll be a productive player, but will need continued development from the Islanders' supporting cast to make the Islanders a playoff team -- something they've been once in the last five seasons.
This Week30Last Week30Edmonton Oilers 27-47-8
Perhaps it's somewhat fitting that the Oilers' collapse came during a season in which underachiever Dustin Penner finally turned the corner with his most productive NHL campaign. There are a lot of good young players in the pipeline -- including Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and whomever the Oilers select with their pick in this year's draft -- but finishing at least a dozen points behind every other team means massive changes are needed.
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