Please read and post your thoughts and what you like/dislike or what you'd change.
Well, it's early... and it's very safe to say that Power Rankings at this point in time in the season don't mean very much. They're mostly a combination of last year's finish and this year's promise.
I like James Duthie's column on TSN.ca about Premature Evaluation, in reference to jumping to conclusions too early in the season.
Regardless, here's a look at the top 10 of the year so far... I'd do the whole league, but I don't want to be here all day and you certainly don't want to be reading this all day.
1. Philadelphia Flyers: The big win over Washington vaults the Flyers into the top spot. Mike Richards is a born leader and is proving it day-in, day-out. He hates to lose and will do whatever it takes to avoid it. Emery will remain a wild card but has passed the test so far. Over/Under for Jeff Carter goals set at 45. What do you think? At the Team Canada Red/White game in late August, Carter was arguably the best player on the ice.
2. Calgary Flames: Let's not get too excited. A 3-0 start for the first time in 15 years is great... but 3 one goal games doesn't exactly spell dominance, they could easily be 1-2 or even 0-3. On the bright side, you can expect this squad to improve all year long now that they've finally got a good coach behind the bench. Oh, and Jay Bouwmeester logging 29 min/per isn't too bad either.
3. Washington Capitals: The question marks have to be in goaltending and probably even the defense. But when your forwards can go out and get you 6 goals a night, you'll probably be OK. Ovechkin seems possessed. Could be ranked as high as 1 quite easily.
4. Chicago Blackhawks: A tough loss in the opener to the Blues overseas. However, Antti Niemi looked fantastic which bodes well for the team as we all know Cristobal Huet isn't capable of carrying a team for 65+ games and playoffs. Patrick Kane's off to a hot start This team has a great supporting cast and a great defense. They will make some noise.
5. St. Louis Blues: They're well coached and disciplined. A healthy Paul Kariya is a large boost for this team... and don't forget about Erik Johnson. TJ Oshie showed everyone in the playoffs last season that he's capable of being a major contributor and Brad Boyes can flat out score. These guys will be a handful in the West.
6. Boston Bruins: A shaky start to the season against a Capitals team that was flying out of the gate. But they've settled down and got back to their game. Milan Lucic is an X-factor and Marc Savard will distribute regardless of who's playing the wing on his line. Can Tim Thomas keep it up?
7. Pittsburgh: A very dangerous team with an improving and maturing Marc-Andre Fleury is going to be a threat to make their 3rd consecutive Stanley Cup finals appearance. The drive and leadership out of the youth on this team (a lot like Mike Richards of Philly) makes me hope that Team Canada goes for the youth movement this year in Vancouver!
8. Columbus: When you hire Ken Hitchcock, you know it's just a matter of time before things start to come together. Well, they're more than on their way. Rick Nash has developed into a 40 goal scorer who excels at both ends of the ice. Solid goaltending and improving defense makes them a tough matchup every night.
9. San Jose: Dany Heatley proves once again that, as a "superstar", enough whining and moaning and you can still eventually get exactly what you want. Okay, so I'm a tad sour on that note... but let's face it, if Jonathan Cheechoo can score 56 with Big Joe then a realistic season for Heatley would have to be at least 50. Joe Pavelski is as underrated as they come and Patrick Marleau continues to quietly produce.
10. Vancouver: Okay, they've had some tough losses. And, having lived in Van City in 2007, I know how the media and fan base can get the second they lose as few as two games. Here's the bottom line... Roberto Luongo will be fine. This team will be fine. Let them get their identity back and settle down, okay Vancouver? They b*tch-slapped the Habs last night in a chess match of traps (although that was mostly due to Carey Price's inability to make any saves). And just for fun... check out this link Canuck fans
Detroit: 0-2 looks a little rough but they'll get it figured out. But a quick memo to Babcock who apparently still considers Todd Bertuzzi a "power-forward". He's not. They'll be ok in the end, just like they always are.
Pheonix: A couple big wins early in the season, but I hesitate to get too excited about a team who's top pairing of defense would be a 3-4 on any other team in the league.
Colorado: Not getting very excited here either. Craig Anderson tweaked his groin and it could end up being a long season in Denver.
New York Rangers: Montreal may regret getting rid of Chris Higgins. But let's face it, this team will only go as far as a healthy Marian Gaborik will take them. Cross your fingers NYC.
So that's that... obviously there are several other teams that should be put in honorable mention this early in the season... but let's let them iron it out for another week to see if we can separate the men from the boys a little bit more shall we!
Comments and thoughts?