NHL Power Rankings: Stumbling Predators fall out of No. 1 spot this week.
Welcome to the newest installment of our 2014–15 NHL Power Rankings. After three weeks at No. 1, the Predators have been replaced by the Canadiens, who held the top spot for a week back in early January. Meanwhile, a surprise team has shown up in the top 10 for the first time this season.
Our three sage scribes—Allan Muir, Sarah Kwak and Sam Page—submitted their detailed choices for the top 10 and ranked all 30 teams. Our final order has been carefully weighted according to results on the ice during the week, strength of competition, a quick glimpse at the tea leaves (future schedule, injuries), trade deadline acquisitions and losses, our ouija board's otherworldly pronouncements and how high each club came in on each of our writers’ ballots. In some cases another purely intuitive, wholly unscientific and certifiably insane method was used to break ties, rank teams that were chosen by only one or two writers, and inspire you, gentle reader, to leave hoary oaths and epithets in comments section below.
We’ve presented the 30 teams in groups, with the Top 10 receiving the most trenchant commentary. Overview paragraphs precede both the Middle 10 and Bottom 10. Weekly movement up or down has been duly noted. So without further ado, commence to stew!
Losing Patrick Kane, their leading scorer, for the rest of the regular season is tough news, but that didn’t stop the Blackhawks from making trades to go for the Stanley Cup. They picked up centers Antoine Vermette, Andrew Desjardins and defenseman Kimmo Timonen in separate deals. Their ranking this week seems harsh, but it more reflects the wide-open Cup race, with no core group of dominant teams to fear, e.g. the Kings, Bruins, and Hawks of old. And, hey, we had to bump them pretty considerably for the loss of Kane.
Not a great start to the Andrej Sekera era in SoCal, but no need to panic just yet. The veteran blueliner just needs a few more games under his belt to get fully adjusted both to a new system and a new conference. Given time, he could be the piece that not only solidifies the blueline but helps spark another long postseason run.
Defenseman Mark Giodano’s season is over, as the Flames' leading scorer suffered from a torn biceps tendon that will require surgery. And with him, so too may go the their postseason hopes. It seems hard to believe that Calgary, teetering on the playoff bubble, will be able to hold off the Kings or Sharks.
The Coyotes have lost nine straight, but you could argue they may have won trade deadline day. Playing aggressive sellers, they got some nice assets to keep in their coffers, including prospect Anthony DuClair and an extra second-rounder (from New York), plus a first-round pick (from Chicago) and promising prospect Maxim Letunov from St. Louis to boot.