Joe’s Take: Pre-season Power Rankings


Being the new guy sometimes means doing some daring things to make a name for yourself. I’ve decided that the best way to do that? Take our Editor’s Preseason Power Rankings, and modify them.

Some things I left alone, some I thought were insane (for example- if you think the Capitals won’t make the playoffs, I’m not sure why you’re still here). Overall, here’s what I think:

Sep 24, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Bogdan Yakimov (39) scores a goal against Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) during the second period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

30- Winnipeg Jets– Wasn’t the move to Winnipeg supposed to help this franchise? It’s hard to find success when your top players want out – cough Evander Kane cough cough Blake Wheeler cough – and seemingly nobody wants in. Not looking good in Winnipeg this year

29- Carolina Hurricanes– Things just keep going from bad to worse for this club. With a roster chalked full of could be/used to be good players, the recent injury to Jordan Staal definitely doesn’t help. Let’s get real though, the Staal brothers are the most overrated “stars” in the league and not the saviors the Raleigh faithful hope they’ll be. It’s going to be long season in Carolina.

28-Edmonton Oilers– Is this the year the trifecta of number one overall picks turns things around in Edmonton? Yeah, I don’t think so either. This team is laughable. NO identity, no structure, and going nowhere fast. It’ll be yet another year full of momentary highlights and lots of talk about the future, whenever the hell that is.

27- Florida Panthers– You signed Dave Bolland to a 5 year 27.5 million dollar contract. Enough said.

26- Buffalo Sabres– Hey 26! Not too bad for an AHL team… I mean “NHL” team… I mean… you get the point. Don’t count out these pesky Sabres though. This team took on a whole other look last season when Ted Nolan took over. There may not be a lot of wins in Buffalo this year, but you can bet this will be a tough team to play.

Sep 24, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators forward Darren Kramer (37) celebrates a goal by Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel (43) against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third period at the Air Canada Centre. Ottawa defeated Toronto 4-3 in an overtime shoot-out. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

25- Ottawa Senators– At least there’s Erik Karlsson! That’s all I really have to say about that. Oh, and Paul Maclean still looks like a Walrus.

24-Nashville Predators– So let me get this straight- the strength of your team is in your defense and goaltending, and you hire Peter Laviolette? Yep, this should be good.

Wait, I’m afraid some of you may have taken that literally. This will definitely NOT be a good year for Nashville.

23- Vancouver Canucks– Who? This team was so irrelevant last year I almost forgot they played in a Stanley Cup final not all that long ago. Aside from the whole Ryan Kesler ordeal, not a whole lot to talk about here this offseason. Oh except- FOR THAT TRAITOR RADIM VRBATA.

22- New Jersey Devils– Too many question marks here to earn a higher rank. Don’t count a Lou Lamoriello team out though, a resurgent Michael Cammalleri could have a big impact on this club.

21- Calgary FlamesJOHNNY HOCKEY. ‘MERICA but in Canada. YEAH.

20- Toronto Maple Leafs– This ranking definitely has nothing to do with my personal hatred for Dion Phaneuf. Okay, you caught me, but can anyone honestly tell me what direction this team is headed? I’m not convinced Randy Carlyle and Brendan Shanahan do either. Maybe a long stare into Joffrey Lupul’s eyes will do the trick.

Sep 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes right wing David Moss (18) shoots on Los Angeles Kings goalie Jeff Deslauriers (33) during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

19- Arizona Coyotes– Don’t get me wrong, there is a TON to love with this Coyote’s roster. However, there are a lot of question marks- will Mike Smith return to form? Will age finally catch up with Shane Doan? Will Michael Bay ever make a good movie!? (I know that’s not hockey related… but I still want to know)

18- New York Rangers– This season will be a classic case of postpartum Stanley Cup for the boys in blue. They lost far more than they gained this offseason, and if we’re being honest with ourselves – don’t worry this is a safe place -that Stanley Cup run was ALL LUNDQUIST. I’m not confident he can do that again.

17- Minnesota Wild– I just don’t buy the hype with these guys, plain and simple. Last post season was a fluke, but maybe they will prove me wrong. However, Nino Niederreiter wins best name in the league so you’ve got that going for you Wild!

16- Philadelphia Flyers– This is a team that benefited from a lot going wrong with other teams last year, not a lot going right for them. I like the Hartnell trade to get R.J. Umberger but overall I’m not in love with this roster.

15- Detroit Red Wings– This team just doesn’t inspire the same fear that it used to. Age is starting to catch up with this roster, it’s time for a tune up in Motor City.

Sep 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders celebrate the win against the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. New York Islanders won 3-2 in shootout. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

14- New York Islanders– With some key Veteran pickups including center Mikhail Grabovski and goalie Jaroslav Halak things are headed in the right direction for John Tavares and the Islanders.

13- Pittsburgh Penguins– Hey, let’s take a talent packed roster and give one of the least successful GMs in recent memory the reigns. What could possibly go wrong!? I hate the Jim Rutherford signing and Penguins fans will too come Spring 2015.

12- Tampa Bay Lightning– Also known as the South Rangers, it’ll be interesting to see how this team comes together. Stay tuned for more.

11- Washington Capitals– You mean to tell me the Caps actually spent money on defenseman AND signed a veteran head coach? This could be a big year for this cup hungry club, especially after missing out on the playoffs last year. I’m expecting big things out of the capitals this year, and they now have the roster to do it.

10- San Jose Sharks–  Sure, that 1st round loss was a tough pill to swallow for Sharks fans, but this is still a very good team. Let’s just hope that goalie controversy doesn’t turn into a huge problem. I expect to see the Sharks back in the playoffs again this year.

9- Columbus Blue Jackets– Hear me out, this is a good team. Ryan Johansen, Nathan Horton, Sergei Bobrovsky, oh and now Scott Hartnell!? Yeah, shocked me too, but that round 1 series with the Pens was no fluke. With young stars like Boone Jenner on the rise, this team is looking scary good.

8- Colorado Avalanche– Man is it a good time to be an Avs fan or what!? This will be a fun team to watch this year, especially with the edition of veteran star Jarome Iginla.

7- Montreal Canadiens– Aside from this circus of co-captains, the Canadiens are poised to make another run this year with a blend of speed, skill, and toughness across the board on this roster. At least there’s one hope for Canadian teams.

6- Dallas Stars– This is one team I believe the hype on. The addition of Jason Spezza made a great team last year that much better. In a conference loaded with depth at center, the Stars are ready to compete with the best of them.

5- St. Louis BluesPaul Stastny. Paul Stastny. Paul Stastny. Has that sunk in yet? This team has arguably the best depth at center in the league now and more toughness than they know what to do with. Look out for the Blues this year.

Sep 26, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Liam O

4- Boston BruinsClaude Julien knows how to win. I don’t care what ends up happening with the roster, or who they end up signing. With Julian in charge, you can be sure the Bruins will be a force in the East.

3- Anaheim Ducks#50in07

2- Chicago BlackhawksKane, Toews, Hossa, what more really needs to be said? With the addition of Brad Richards in the offseason this team may have even gotten better. A frightening thought if you’re the rest of the league.

1- Los Angeles Kings– This is a no brainer. The defending Stanley Cup champs and for good reason. Their post-season run may have appeared miraculous but it just goes to show the type of heart and depth in L.A. With virtually no turn over, the Kings are ready to begin their campaign towards repeating as champs.