The NHL this season was full of Chris Simon, Huge comebacks, surprising playoff matchups and series, and a Stanley Cup Finals filled with stars that dosen't stand in my top 3 Stanley Cup final series. Here are the my top 20 season Rankings.
1. Detroit Redwings. Not a huge suprise. With depth from guys like Mikael Samuelsson and scorers like Zetterberg, and defense from Filppula and Lidstrom. Even between the pipes, Osgood and Hasek were pretty solid. This one is a no-brainer.
2. San Jose Sharks. The Sharks were deadly almost all year long except for a few slumps. Nabakov was simply...incredible, amazing and phenomenal. Joe put up a good season and Jonathan Cheecho provided some scoring. This team had a deadly power play and are just incredible.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins. A team with great chemistry, awesome young talent, great leadership from a young captain, and veterans like Gonchar for the tough times. This was a team with deadly scoring ability. The Penguins are a great young team who bounced back after a disappointing 1st round loss in 07. I'm disappointed that they all won't be together because of the cap rule. This a rising young team that will get even better.
4. Dallas Stars. This might be a suprise to some people, but the way they could move the puck as a team, and won as underdogs makes this the number 4 team. With Ribero, Morrow, Modano and Richards, this is a great team. I don't know how many highlights of tick tack to passing from the Stars I have seen. A lot. I think the best "passing" team in the league.
5. Montreal Canadiens. As a Bruins fan, I hate to say this, but, this is an incredible young team, with speed from the kastitsyn brothers, talent from Ryder and Kovalev(who seems to live forever). One of the best offensive teams in the league. With guys like Higgins do to all the little things as well, this team is definitely worthy of the top 5.
6. Anaheim Ducks. With D from Pronger and talented forwards from Getzlaf, this should come as no suprise. Great goaltending from Giguere, this team had a great season, put to a disappointing end. The defending champs played a very good season.
7. New Jersey Devils. The Devils played yet again another, great, solid season. With never aging Brodeur, Patrick Elias as a great leader, Zach Parise, with outstanding young talent. This is a team that is still solid. Lou has done a very good job with the guys in New Jersey.
8. Colorado Avalanche. A team with good chemistry, good leadership, and good offense. Not to mentioned the strengthened defense. A strong offense led by Sakic, Hejduk, and Smyth, and in the defense front, Hanan and Leopold held their own. This is a good team, but has some older players that can't hold on forever.
9. Minnesota Wild. Marion Gaborik. He is the man that led this team. The team was centered around him. Even though Gaborik made up much of the offense, they had players like Pierre-Marc Bouchard, to help with the little things. The goaltending was terrific. Backstrom and Harding were probably the youngest pair of NHL goalies in the history of the NHL to do so good. This is a good team, but they need some more depth.
10. Washington Capitols. I can't ignore Alexander the Great. He definitely made up this team. This is one of the funnest teams to watch, because of him. Other players like Backstrom and Green greatly contributed to the success of this team. Bruce Boudrea is what turned this team into a...well...a good team. Cristobal Huet was a huge factor to making the playoffs as well. I look forward to the next 13 years of watching Ovechkin.
11. New York Rangers. This is only because of the 97 points they got as a team. with two new super stars (Gomez and Drury) coming in, the chemistry wasn't at all good. Jagr still has that great shot but he whined a little more this season because he had to share the spot light. I think this team will get better as its chemistry gets better.
12. Ottowa Senators. They had one of the greatest starts I can ever remember. They pretty much had a playoff berth 30 games into the season. A great team with the deadliest 1st line in the NHL(Spezza, Heatley, and Alfredson). They have good D led by Redden. After the All-star game this team just plummeted. This is a good team, that let a great season turn into only an OK season.
13. Philadelphia Flyers. This team deserves to be in the 9. spot, but, other teams are just as worthy. This is the team that finished dead last, in the 06-07 season, yet came back to finish 7th in the eastern conference. With Briere, Richards, and Gagne on the scoring front, this is a solid team that deserved to go as far as they did, the Conference Finals.
14. Calgary Flames. Another decent season filled with winning and losing streaks. Iginla, again the center piece of this organization. A team with again, outstanding goaltending from Mikka Kipprusoff and solid hitting from Phaneuf. A good team with room to grow.
15. Boston Bruins. A team projected to finish 30th this season, I can't help to give my Bruins a round of applause. A team that went through injuries to just about all their key players at one time, including Patrice Bergeron who was out for the season, the young players really stepped it up to put this team in the playoffs. With great goaltending from Tim Thomas and solid D from Big Z, great young talent, watch out, this is a team on the rise.
16. Nashville Predators. A inconsistent team, but with good goaltending. Chris Mason did a great job. David Legwand, Jordin Tootoo, and Martin Erat helped to give this team a chance in Lord Stanleys playoffs.
17. Carolina Hurricanes. A team that jussssst missed the playoffs. A team that deserved to make it with guys like Eric Staal, Erik Cole, and Rod Brind'Amour. With Cam Ward in net, this is a great team, even better with recently acquired Patrick Eves and Joe Corvo. Sergei Samsonov has really added to the mix as well.
18. Buffalo Sabres. A young rising talented team. With Paul Gaustad, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Maxim Afinogenov. A team with awesome goaltending with Ryan Miller and a Lindy Ruff brings discipline in the coaching staff. A great team with a great future.
19. Chicago Blackhawks. A team with amazing, outstanding and yes, phenomenal young talent. Johnathan Toews had a goal of the year contender and Patrick Kane should be a total no-brainer for rookie of the year. A team with good young talent that has a bright future.
20. Vancouver Canucks. Awesome goaltending and another good season for the swedish twins. The season is capped with the sad departure of Trevor Linden. A good team with good talent that should go far in the future.
There are the top 20, the next ten will come.
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