NHL Power Rankings, Week 18

The trade deadline is now past, so onto the playoff push.  But first, the rankings . . .

#31 Los Angeles Kings (23-32-7, -46, LW:  29)

#30 Ottawa Senators (22-35-5, -41, LW:  30)

#29 Detroit Red Wings (23-31-9, -35, LW:  26)

#28 Anaheim Ducks (24-30-9, -56, LW:  25)

#27 Edmonton Oilers (26-29-7, -32, LW:  31)

#26 Vancouver Canucks (27-28-8, -19, LW:  24)

While Jacob Markstrom has been adequate between the pipes (98 GA%-), the rest of the Canucks’ goaltending has been less than stellar.  While Markstrom has been about two percent better than average, the rest has been about 16% below.  The fact that they are 4-10-1 when he’s not in goal is a big reason why they are missing the postseason yet again.

#25 Chicago Blackhawks (26-28-9, -25, LW:  18)

#24 New Jersey Devils (25-30-8, -30, LW:  27)

#23 Buffalo Sabres (29-25-8, -15, LW:  23)

#22 New York Rangers (27-26-9, -24, LW:  20)

#21 Philadelphia Flyers (29-26-7, -26, LW:  15)

#20 Vegas Golden Knights (32-26-5, +4, LW:  16)

#19 Minnesota Wild (30-27-6, -11, LW:  28)

#18 Dallas Stars (31-26-5, -5, LW:  17)

#17 Arizona Coyotes (29-28-5, -13, LW:  21)

#16 Montreal Canadiens (33-23-7, +3, LW:  14)

Four years ago Carey Price has a goalie’s season for the ages.  That season he was All-NHL First team, won the Hart Trophy (MVP), Vezina Trophy (Top Goalie), Jennings Trophy (Best Goals Against (min. 25 games)), and Pearson Award (now the Lindsay Award; the NHLPA’s Player of the Year), and carried an otherwise so-so Canadiens’ team to the Conference Semi-Finals.  Since then two of the three season had been injury riddled.  This season he’s healthy and again carrying the Canadiens to another possible playoff appearance.

#15 Florida Panthers (28-25-8, -13, LW:  19)

#14 Colorado Avalanche (27-24-12, +9, LW:  22)

#13 Pittsburgh Penguins (32-22-8, +18, LW:  9)

#12 Winnipeg Jets (37-21-4, +25, LW:  8)

By dropping seven of their last ten the Jets have allowed the Predators and now the Blues to sneak back into the race for the division title.  A big reason for the struggles has been Partik Laine.  Before Friday night’s two-goal performance the 20-year old had just two goals and eight points in his last 28 games.  The Jets have a lot of fire power, but Laine’s offense will be a huge factor in the Jets’ playoff success.

#11 Washington Capitals (35-21-7, +10, LW:  11)

#10 Nashville Predators (37-23-5, +25, LW:  12)

#9 St. Louis Blues (33-23-6, +10, LW:  3)

#8 Carolina Hurricanes (33-23-6, +11, LW:  10)

#7 Columbus Blue Jackets (35-23-3, +15, LW:  13)

#6 New York Islanders (36-18-7, +32, LW:  4)

#5 Toronto Maple Leafs (38-20-4, +45, LW:  7)

#4 Boston Bruins (36-17-9, +26, LW:  2)

#3 San Jose Sharks (37-18-8, +31, LW:  5)

#2 Calgary Flames (39-16-7, +45, LW:  6)

#1 Tampa Bay Lightning (48-11-4, +82, LW:  1)

I’m probably in the minority here, but I don’t view athletes as commodities.  I still look at them as people.  Well paid people, yes, but people nonetheless.  I bring this up because every league has a trade deadline (the NHL’s was today) and every year players get sent packing from one team to another.  And while we as fans get excited as our team s add pieces to a potential championship, these guys are under constant observance as writers and fans and have the added joy of being discussion topics while trying to concentrate on the games.  While they may be well prepared for that, they have families who aren’t necessarily ready for it.  Even if the trade means that they are only a part of the new team for a couple of months, that still means free agency and yet another move.  This is not an easy time those we don’t know about – the wives, the kids, the community they call home.  While we look at sports as a medium where athletes aren’t exactly human, we should remember that they are exactly human.

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