1. Washington Capitals (38-12-6, Last Week: 1)
The best team in the NHL by a long shot. They have an 11-game winning streak and are showing no signs of slowing down.
2. San Jose Sharks (36-11-9, Last Week: 3)
Only one win over the past week, but I think this team still has the most talent in the league.
But can they use that talent once the playoffs get here?
3. Chicago Blackhawks (37-15-4, Last Week: 2)
The loss to the Hurricanes was kinda embarrassing. Not the greatest week in the world, but this ‘Hawks team is still looking strong overall.
4. Vancouver Canucks (34-19-2, Last Week: 4)
I hope this team packed their backs well. This team is going to be on the road for a while. The loss to the Habs was a rough start to the trip though…
5. New Jersey Devils (35-18-2, Last Week: 5)
In my opinion, this is the second-best team in the conference, but didn’t play like it over the past two games. I know they had Yann Danis in goal against the Maple Leafs, but c’mon guys, give the guy a little help.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins (35-21-1, Last Week: 7)
7. Buffalo Sabres (32-16-7, Last Week: 6)
Not the best performance this past week by Lindy Ruff’s club, but I still think this team is the perfect dark-horse team in the East.
8. Colorado Avalanche (31-18-6, Last Week: 8)
9. Los Angeles Kings (34-19-3, Last Week: 10)
Can you say “awesome”?
10. Philadelphia Flyers (28-24-3, Last Week: 9)
Not too bad of a week. The 1-0 loss to the Oilers was a bit confusing. But overall, this team is still a little better than their record indicates.
11. Phoenix Coyotes (34-18-5, Last Week: 11)
Dave Tippett should at least be in the running for coach of the year. He’s got to feel pretty good about himself and his team after a recent win over his former team…the Dallas Stars.
12. Ottawa Senators (32-21-4, Last Week: 14)
This team is finally starting to become as fierce as their logo on their sweaters. Like the Capitals, this team is showing no signs of weakness. It‘s always good to grab three wins in a week over Eastern Conference foes.
13. Calgary Flames (28-21-8, Last Week: 13)
This was a rather inconsistent week for the Flames. This team is going to have to do some adjusting with the loss of Dion Phaneuf, regardless if they wanted him out of Calgary or not. He’s going to be hard to replace.
14. Nashville Predators (30-21-4, Last Week: 12)
Not a very impressive week for the Preds. The only win was over a slumping Thrashers team. Not sure where this team is going but I guess we’ll find out in the future.
15. Detroit Red Wings (27-20-10, Last Week: 21)
The Red Wings is another team that had an inconsistent week.
These aren’t the Red Wings that were used to seeing over the past years. The only impressive thing they did this week was beat the Sharks so I did move them up a little bit because of that.
16. Montreal Canadiens (26-25-6, Last Week: 18)
This was quiet a week for these guys. But the lone win over the Canucks was an impressive one considering how good of a team Vancouver has.
17. St. Louis Blues (25-22-9, Last Week: 20)
Last night’s win over the Blackhawks was impressive. Let’s see how they can build on it and pull together a string of wins.
18. Boston Bruins (23-22-9, Last Week: 15)
What happened to these guys? It was another week of not-so-great hockey with losses to the Sabres, Kings, and Capitals.
Should I start getting use to the losses?
19. Atlanta Thrashers (24-23-8, Last Week: 19)
As a Dallas Stars fan, I would love to Have Ilya Kovalchuk on my team. I was a trade like this: Ilya Kovalchuk, Tobias Enstrom, and Ondrej Pavalec for Mike Ribeiro, Trevor Daley and Marty Turco?
20. Minnesota Wild (27-25-4, Last Week: 16)
Not a very good past few games. Now I know why Marian Gaborik wanted to leave St. Paul: he’s got a good future while the Wild don’t.
21. New York Rangers (25-25-7, Last Week: 22)
I still think the Rangers can make the playoffs. They just added Olli Jokinen and they have great talent and great coaching. They just can play like they did last week with only a single win over the Avs.
22. Florida Panthers (24-23-9, Last Week: 17)
23. Anaheim Ducks (27-23-7, Last Week: 24)
It’s going to be interesting to see how far the Ducks can go with the new additions to their team.
24. Dallas Stars (25-20-11, Last Week: 23)
The Stars have picked it up a bit over the past couple of weeks. Now all they need is a good trade and consistency over the next couple of months and they will be in the playoffs.
25. Tampa Bay Lightning (23-21-11, Last Week: 25)
Wins over the Ducks and Thrashers give Tampa some promise. Don’t count these guys out of the playoff picture just yet.
26. New York Islanders (23-25-8, Last Week: 26)
27. Carolina Hurricanes (19-30-7, Last Week: 27)
This team isn’t playing like they were during the first three months of the season. The win over the Blackhawks was the most surprising of the season.
28. Columbus Blue Jackets (22-27-9, Last Week: 28)
Happy trails Ken Hitchcock. With the way this team was going (which was south) and the lack of defense they have, something needed to be changed.
29. Edmonton Oilers (18-31-6, Last Week: 29)
This team won’t make the playoffs, but they did a great job at bouncing with wins over the Hurricanes and Flyers after losing to the Blues and Flames.
30. Toronto Maple Leafs (18-28-11, Last Week: 30)
The Toronto Maples Leafs will make the playoffs in 2011. Mark it down!
CARTER’S NHL AWARD RACES:
Hart Trophy (League MVP):
1. Henrik Sedin (Canucks)
2. Alex Ovechkin (Capitals)
4. Ryan Miller (Sabres)
5. Joe Thornton (Sharks)
6. Marian Gaborik (Rangers)
7. Nicklas Backstrom (Capitals)
8. Evgeni Nabokov (Sharks)
9. Patrick Marleau (Sharks)
10. Martin Brodeur (Devils)
Vezina Trophy (NHL's Top Goaltender)
1. Ryan Miller (Sabres)
2. Evgeni Nabokov (Sharks)
3. Martin Brodeur (Devils)
4. Miikka Kiprosoff (Flames)
5. Ilya Bryzgalov (Coyotes)
Norris Trophy (NHL’s Top Defenseman)
1. Mike Green (Capitals)
2. Duncan Keith (Blackhawks)
3. Dan Boyle (Sharks)
4. Tomas Kaberle (Maple Leafs)
5. Drew Doughty (Kings)
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
1. Matt Duchene (Avalanche)
2. John Tavares (Islanders)
3. James van Riemsdyk (Flyers)
4. Tyler Myers (Sabres)
5. Niclas Bergfors (Devils)
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)
1. Bruce Boudreau (Capitals)
2. Todd McLellan (Sharks)
3. Joel Quenneville (Blackhawks)
4. Dave Tippett (Coyotes)
5. Jacques Lemaire (Devils)