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...





Washington Capitals

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.




Nashville Predators

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.




Vancouver Canucks

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.




Buffalo Sabres

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.




Phoenix Coyotes

Current Rank: 7 | Previous Rank: 4 | -3

Two tough SO losses will knock the 'Yotes down a few pegs.





Pittsburgh Penguins

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.




Carolina Hurricanes

Current Rank: 12 | Previous Rank: 16 | +4

It's down to the wire, and the Hurricanes aren't giving up.





Anaheim Ducks

Current Rank: 13 | Previous Rank: 6 | -7

It was a rough week for Ray Emery and the Ducks.





Boston Bruins

Current Rank: 14 | Previous Rank: 7 | -7

Tim Thomas was another goaltender who had a less-than-productive week.




Montreal Canadiens

Current Rank: 15 | Previous Rank: 18 | +3

How do you say "playoffs" in french?





Chicago Blackhawks

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.




Ottawa Senators

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.





Philadelphia Flyers

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).




Calgary Flames

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.





Dallas Stars

Current Rank: 22 | Previous Rank: 23 | +1

The Stars finished the week strong despite a slow start. Mathematically, they're still in this thing.





Minnesota Wild

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.




Atlanta Thrashers

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.




Edmonton Oilers

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.




Florida Panthers

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.




Colorado Avalanche

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.