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Bruins finish regular season on top of NHL Power Rankings

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Scott Cullen
4/14/2014 9:58:12 AM
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The Boston Bruins finish the 2013-2014 regular season on top of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.

Even though they were playing in the weaker Eastern Conference, the Bruins finished on top of the league standings, with the league's best goal differential and had four regulation losses in 28 games against the Western Conference, so they earned their way to the No. 1 ranking.

Making late-season moves in the rankings, the Dallas Stars climbed from 13 to 10, their second-best ranking of the year (ranked ninth once in late November).

The New Jersey Devils finished as the highest-ranked non-playoff team, thanks to relatively strong stats that were undone (in the standings) by an abysmal 0-13 record in the shootout, but they were up from 19 to 15 in the season's final rankings.

Heading the other way, the St. Louis Blues, who have been a Top Three team since October, have fallen to a season-low ranking of five, after losing six straight to end the season. Five could be generous if first-liners David Backes and T.J. Oshie aren't ready to start the postsason after suffering late-season injuries.

The Tampa Bay Lightning slide from 12 to 17, and it's due to the arm injury suffered by goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop has been such a big part of the Lightning's success this year, and the drop to backup Anders Lindback is so large, that Tampa Bay lost ground despite finishing the year with four straight wins.

The Phoenix Coyotes were close to a playoff berth, but were winless in seven down the stretch, before a season-ending win against Dallas in a meaningless game, so the Desert Dogs drop from 15 to 19.

It was a rough year for Canadian teams. The Montreal Canadiens finished as the highest-ranked club, at 11, 10 spots ahead of the Calgary Flames, who finished competitively over the final 40% of the season.

The Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs are, in order, from 23 to 26, while the Edmonton Oilers end the year at 28.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

Bruins celebrate (Photo: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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