Power Rankings, Week 27: The Rise of the Dark Horses
Tyler J. Altemose
Ah, it's crunch time. Just one week left to go after this, then it's playoff time. This week, conveniently enough, my choice as dark horse of each conference is making a push--that being the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers. How'd they do? How about everyone else? Without further adieu...
Current Rank: 1 | Previous Rank: 3 | +2
And just like that, the Washington Capitals look to claim the number one seed in the East. They're looking like the hottest team in the league right now, so they're back on top of the rankings.
San Jose Sharks
Current Rank: 2 | Previous Rank: 5 | +3
The Sharks will end up with the #2 seed in the West. They've been solid for some time now, and things didn't change this week.
Current Rank: 3 | Previous Rank: 9 | +6
An OT loss to the Red Wings was the only thing that kept the Preds from a perfect week.
Current Rank: 4 | Previous Rank: 1 | -3
Sit down, because this news is pretty hard to break. The Vancouver Canucks, the best team in the NHL, just got swept by the Edmonton Oilers.
Los Angeles Kings
Current Rank: 5 | Previous Rank: 2 | -3
Mixed results from the Kings this week. You really want to see this team perform better against the top teams in the West.
Current Rank: 6 | Previous Rank: 8 | +2
The Sabres keep on going strong. They have to be one of the two dark horse teams of the East along with the Rangers.
Current Rank: 7 | Previous Rank: 4 | -3
Two tough SO losses will knock the 'Yotes down a few pegs.
Current Rank: 8 | Previous Rank: 10 | +2
The Penguins are creeping in on the Flyers' territory in the Atlantic. That division is going to go down to the wire.
Detroit Red Wings
Current Rank: 9 | Previous Rank: 13 | +4
The Wings turned it on enough this week to take the Central division. They can do no worse than 3rd in the West, which is where they sit now.
New York Rangers
Current Rank: 10 | Previous Rank: 12 | -2
I'm going to make the prediction now: whichever team the Rangers meet in the first round of the playoffs (should they make it) will be upset. I'm calling it.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Current Rank: 11 | Previous Rank: 15 | +4
They may not have won their division, but the Lightning have their sights set on a 4/5 seed in the East.
Current Rank: 12 | Previous Rank: 16 | +4
It's down to the wire, and the Hurricanes aren't giving up.
Current Rank: 13 | Previous Rank: 6 | -7
It was a rough week for Ray Emery and the Ducks.
Current Rank: 14 | Previous Rank: 7 | -7
Tim Thomas was another goaltender who had a less-than-productive week.
Current Rank: 15 | Previous Rank: 18 | +3
How do you say "playoffs" in french?
Current Rank: 16 | Previous Rank: 11 | -5
You have to believe that the Blackhawks are going to rely on Crawford heading into the post season. That is, of course, if he can get them there.
Current Rank: 17 | Previous Rank: 19 | +2
The Senators have AHL-level talent and have been doing fairly well for a little over a month now.
Current Rank: 18 | Previous Rank: 14 | -4
Four straight losses this week. This has fans wondering if this team is good enough.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Current Rank: 19 | Previous Rank: 17 | -2
The Maple Leafs started strong but ended weak. They'll go yet another season without making the postseason.
St. Louis Blues
Current Rank: 20 | Previous Rank: 20 | +/-0
The Blues hada good showing this week. Out of all the young teams not making this season, I like their chances for next year the best (although I said the same thing a year ago).
Current Rank: 21 | Previous Rank: 22 | +1
Three straight wins and a glimmer of hope. It's going to come down to game 82 for the Flames.
Current Rank: 22 | Previous Rank: 23 | +1
The Stars finished the week strong despite a slow start. Mathematically, they're still in this thing.
Current Rank: 23 | Previous Rank: 21 | -2
The Wildwent almost winless in the preseason. They finish up the regular season by mailing it in. Yet they stood a chance in the playoffs. It's like a sandwich with delicious meats but rotten bread.
Current Rank: 24 | Previous Rank: 24 | +/-0
The Thrashers did little more than thwart the efforts of the Flyers to lock up the Atlantic division.
New Jersey Devils
Current Rank: 25 | Previous Rank: 25 | +/-0
Yeah, the Devils definitely just ran out of gas. It's a shame on one told them the season started until early January.
Current Rank: 26 | Previous Rank: 30 | +4
The Oilers won two games this week, which is enough to catapault themselves above a couple of other teams that are even more terrible than they are.
New York Islanders
Current Rank: 27 | Previous Rank: 26 | -1
The Islanders have some promising kids on their roster (eh-hem Grabner). If Garth Snow really cared, he'd make an effort to bringin some veteran leadership to actually make this team competitive again.
Current Rank: 28 | Previous Rank: 27 | -1
The Panthers have lost 9 straight and have essentially given themselves a lock as dead last in the East.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Current Rank: 29 | Previous Rank: 28 | -1
The Blue Jackets have won just three games since 1 March. Only one of them was in regultion. None of them were by more than one goal.
Current Rank: 30 | Previous Rank: 29 | +1
The Avs have won just four games since 24 January. Only one of them was in regulation. None of them were by more than one goal. You have to go back to 14 January for the last time they won by more than one goal.