NHL Power Rankings
March 4, 2011
1. (1) Vancouver (40-16-9): Roberto Luongo is one victory shy of becoming the 25th goaltender in league history to reach the 300-win milestone.
2. (2) Philadelphia (40-17-6): The Flyers were lucky enough to be a part of Rod Brind’Amour’s No. 17 retirement in Carolina last week. Brind’Amour starred for Philly before going to the Hurricanes.
3. (5) Boston (38-19-7): The surging Bruins are 7-0 since trading for Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley, and Chris Kelly.
4. (9) San Jose (38-21-6): The Sharks have won eight straight and seem to be peaking at the right time.
5. (3) Detroit (39-19-6): In his last 18 games, Jiri Hudler has four goals, 14 assists, and a plus-7 rating.
6. (7) Tampa Bay (37-19-7): Dwayne Roloson’s 4 shutouts this season are the most in a single season among goaltenders age 40 or older since Dominik Hasek had 5 in 2007-08.
7. (5) Pittsburgh (37-21-7): Tyler Kennedy has seven goals in his last 12 games.
8. (8) Washington (35-20-10): Michael Neuvirth set a team record for wins by a rookie goalie with a 3-2 win over St. Louis Thursday. His 21 wins bests the old mark held by Bob Mason (1986-87).
9. (17) Chicago (35-23-6): The Blackhawks will have one last celebration of their Stanley Cup win with a visit to the White House on March 11.
10. (6) Phoenix (33-23-10): Norris Trophy candidate Keith Yandle leads all NHL defensemen and the Coyotes in scoring (10-44-54).
11. (11) Calgary (33-24-9): Jarome Iginla has scored 50 or more points in 12 consecutive seasons and 13 of his 14 seasons
12. (12) Montreal (35-23-7): Carey Price made 30 saves for his seventh shutout of the season as the Canadiens blanked Florida on Thursday.
13. (14) Los Angeles (36-24-4): The Kings continue their late-season surge, thanks to a 25-save shutout of Phoenix by Jonathan Bernier Wednesday night.
14. (11) Nashville (33-23-9): Blake Geoffrion, the fourth generation of his family to play in the NHL, netted his first career goal on Tuesday vs. Edmonton.
15. (18) Dallas (34-23-6): After losing five straight, Dallas has now won three straight. It is the sixth time this season the Stars have won at least three consecutive games.
16. (13) Minnesota (34-25-6): Greg Zanon is currently 2nd in the NHL with 166 blocked shots. He has ranked in the top 10 in blocked shots in each of the past four seasons.
17. (16) Anaheim (34-25-5): Bobby Ryan scored the Ducks’ fourth-ever penalty shot OT goal to beat Detroit, 2-1, on Wednesday.
18. (15) New York Rangers (33-29-4): Vinny Prospal has recorded seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last 10 games for the fading Rangers.
19. (20) Carolina (31-25-9): The Hurricanes are in a fight for the final playoff sports in the East, and currently sit in seventh place after back-to-back wins.
20. (19) Columbus (31-25-7): The Blue Jackets are six points out of the playoffs, and will need a hot streak to get back in contention.
21. (22) Buffalo (30-26-7): The Sabres are two games into a huge seven-game road trip that includes stops in Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Minnesota. They need a minimum of three wins (if not four) to stay in contention in the East.
22. (25) Toronto (29-27-9): The Maple Leafs are 6-1-3 in their last 10 and making a playoff push. Phil Kessel has nine goals and five assists in his last nine games.
23. (23) New Jersey (28-31-4): Hard to believe the Devils are just three games under .500. Despite their late-season surge, a [playoff spot is unlikely with Toronto and Buffalo playing much better.
24. (21) St. Louis (28-27-9): T.J. Oshie has 12 points (4-8-12) in his last 14 games, while Chris Stewart had six goals and an assist in his last seven games.
25. (28) New York Islanders (24-32-9): Though not as hot as the Devils, the Islanders have played well since, and have gone 5-3-2 in their last 10.
26. (24) Atlanta (26-28-11): Bryan Little’s 69 takeaways rank third in the league and first in the Eastern Conference.
27. (26) Florida (26-31-7): When Hugh Jessiman took the ice Sunday night against New Jersey, he became the 30th, and final, first round selection in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft to play in an NHL game. It marked the first time since the draft expanded to 30 first-round selections in 2000 that every player taken in a draft’s opening round played at the NHL level.
28. (27) Colorado (26-30-8): The Avalanche once looked like a playoff team, but won just one game in February (1-11-1).
29. (30) Edmonton (22-35-8): Taylor Hall had his first Gordie Howe hat trick against Columbus Thursday, and it might be his last as the rookie suffered an ankle injury in a second-period fight with Derek Dorsett.
30. (29) Ottawa (22-33-9): Colin Greening netted his first NHL goal against Atlanta on Thursday.
(Steve Kendall is a freelance writer with 20 years experience covering hockey at all levels. In addition to thehockeywriters.com, he has written for The Boston Herald, The New England Hockey Journal, and The Worcester Telegram & Gazette.)