Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zandberg's Top 10 Power Ratings

Based on personal opinion mostly, in regards to off season acquisitions or losses, or just potential to turn it all around this coming season.

1. San Jose Sharks. Plenty of talent up front plus adding Boyle, Lukowich and Rob Blake on defence AND a new coach gives the Sharks a new feel and outlook, plus a feeling of a complete team. Will Thornton take his game to the next level in the playoffs though?

2. Detroit Red Wings. Adding Hossa has everybody jumping on the wagon for a repeat. But not so fast. I am not one of those people. Detroit may kick teams' butts in the regular season, but come playoff time I think hungrier teams will come into play, like San Jose and Dallas, and we'll see if Detroit can match that hunger after having just won the Cup. It's tough to repeat in today's NHL.

3. Dallas Stars. Pushed the Wings almost to the limit in last year's playoffs. The Stars continue to excel every year. A healthy Zubov in the post season will help, and I don't care what anyone says....the addition of Avery was a good one. Giving Brad Richards a full season with the Stars under his belt will help him.
These guys are my super early pick to win the Cup this year. I'd pick San Jose, but Thornton has yet to really step it up in the playoffs.

4. Philadelphia Flyers. Just keep maturing and getting better and better. I got these guys making the Finals this coming season. Bold huh?

5. Montreal Canadiens. Tough call here. A lot of pressure will now fall upon the shoulders of a young Carey Price. Can he handle it? The rest of the team is solid. I like the acquisition of Tanguay, a francophone. Francophones play hard for their home province. Montreal doesn't even need Sundin, really. They will have to keep Kovalev happy for another year and Koivu healthy.

6. Carolina Hurricanes. Ready to erase last season's disappointing performance. These guys boast a heavy offence, but can the defence core help out Ward enough? My answer to that is: look at the not-so-big names that were on their defence when they won the Cup. You don't always need big-name players on D to succeed.

7. Boston Bruins. I hope Ryder finds his scoring touch back in Beantown. Add a healthy Patrice Bergeron and my god, the Bruins have no excuses anymore. They should make some noise.

8. Edmonton Oilers. Adding Cole and Brule and Visnovsky just proves that Lowe is the man for the job in Edmonton. Add a healthy Souray with Visnovsky on the PP and that is one massive blueline presence. The Oilers' PP is going to be awesome. I really doubt that Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano will suffer from a sophmore slump. They should only get better. And Horcoff needs to stay healthy. I really like the Roloson/Garon combo in net as well.
The Oilers seem to be headed down the same path as the Flyers had when they revamped their team and gutted it.

9. Pittsburgh Penguins. Once again, I'm not buying into the hype. Sure, Crosby and Malkin are on the team and that counts for a lot. But losing Hossa, who was a playoff monster and adding Satan and Fedotenko just doesn't translate into playoff (or maybe even regular season) success in my mind. Or, I should say that it doesn't put the Pens over the hump to make the Finals again.

10. Chicago Blackhawks. The Windy City fans SHOULD be excited about the Hawks. They boast a solid core of youth complemented by the sweet additions of Huet and Campbell.
Finally, a Hawk playoff berth is attainable at long last!

Other Power Rankings out there:

- Davis21Wylie at Armchair GM.

- Ross McKeon at Yahoo Sports

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.