NHL Power Rankings: Lets Try Them BCS Style, Hockey Fans

Alan Zlotorzynski@@zlotsportsCorrespondent IIIJanuary 23, 2011

NHL Power Rankings: Lets Try Them BCS Style, Hockey Fans

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    There are rankings in every sport. We all know that in College Football there is quite a stir every year as the Bowl College Series Rankings are debated week in and week out leading up to the National Championship game.

    Most rankings are for fun and designed to create a debate. I have put together this NHL power poll for fun and debate, but I used the BCS to do it. Well, not exactly, but here is how I will compile the BCS NHL Power Poll every week following the All-Star break.

    The teams ranked will be the top 16 teams in the league according to the standings after Saturday night's games. This poll will appear every Sunday. I chose the top 16 because that is the number of teams that make the NHL's postseason.

    The following categories were used to determine the rankings. In each category, the top team receives 80 points with the lowest ranked team in that category receiving five points. The categories chosen are as follows:

    1. Winning percentage
    2. Goals for
    3. Goals against
    4. Difference in GF and GA
    5. Road record
    6. Division record determined by winning percentage

    There are a possible 480 points that can be obtained

    I never take rankings seriously and you shouldn't either unless your coaching an 11-0 team and your ranked number three behind a one loss team in the BCS.

    Sorry it's just 16 teams, besides do you really care where the Islanders rank?

16. Atlanta Thrashers: 100 Points

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    The Thrashers are hanging on by the hair of their chinny chin chin to that eighth and final playoff spot in the eastern conference. The Thrashers have given up eight more goals than they have scored and if they want to make the playoffs they must reverse that number.

15. Anaheim Ducks: 130 Points

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    The Ducks, like the Thrashers, are a minus on the year in goals scored and goals against. They are currently the only team in the Western conference playoff hunt that posses a minus.

    The Ducks do play well within their division boasting an 8-5 record. Anaheim is playing well as they are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They will be tested in their next 10, playing eight of them on the road. 

14. Colorado Avalanche: 155 Points

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    In case you haven't heard, 37-year-old Peter Forsberg wants to play again. He may want to but I'm not sure his foot will allow him. Forsberg said after working out this morning, "I'm just going to skate and see where I'm at." 

    Forsberg added, "I'm looking forward to seeing if I can play in this League anymore, if I'm good enough and if everything holds up.

    The Avalanche are doing pretty well putting the puck into the net with 153 goals this year. That's as many goals as the Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks have. The problem is stooping the opposition, only Tampa bay and Atlanta have given up more on this list.

13. Phoenix Coyotes: 162.5 Points

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    The Coyotes are in a real good place right now. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and play seven of their next 10 at home. With Anaheim playing eight of their next 10 on the road, Phoenix has a real good opportunity to put a little daylight between them and the Ducks.

12. Washington Capitals: 185 Points

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    Have you seen this man? The Capitals continue to transition into a more defensive style team. The Caps have not scored more than three goals in 12 games and have failed to record 30 shots in five straight.

    However they are still 5-2-3 in their last 10 and only six points behind where they were last year at this time. If Alex Ovechkin and company do breakout, the Caps will be very dangerous in April, May, and possibly June.

11. Tampa Bay Lightning: 225 Points

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    The Lightning are a good team but they still don't handle success well.

    Currently in first place in the Southeast and after two recent victories over the Capitals, the Lightning were blown out the very next game. They must start playing better defensively if they wish to parlay their offensive success in the spring.

    The Lightning are currently a minus-8 and they don't have to look far in the division to a learn a lesson on what happens if you don't play defense in the playoffs.

10. Nashville Predators: 230 Points

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    The Nashville predators are one of the hottest teams in hockey. Led by Pekka Rinne in net the Predators are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Rinne is 7-1 giving up just 1.5 goals-against with a .955 save percentage.

    Led by Ryan Suter on the blue line, Nashville was tied with Pittsburgh as the two of the three stingiest teams in this poll, allowing just 112 goals this season.

9. Chicago Blackhawks: 237.5 Points

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    The Blackhawks let the Detroit Red Wings know today that just because they lead the division, that doesn't necessarily mean they are the better team. Former Red Wing Tomas Kopecky scored twice leading the Hawks to a 4-1 win in Detroit.

    The Blackhawks have collected 11 of 12 possible points (5-0-1) since a January fifth loss to Dallas—the best six-game stretch of the season for the defending Stanley Cup champs.

8. Montreal Canadiens: 245 Points

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    Montreal is 7-1-2 in their last ten but injuries are mounting and this week Michael Cammalleri joined defensemen Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov on the injured reserved list, both out for the season with knee injuries.

    Cammalleri's injury is believed to be a separated shoulder which would keep him out for up to six weeks. Look for Montreal, as usual, to be active at the trade deadline.

7. Dallas Stars: 267.5 Points

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    The Dallas Stars play well on the road, real well. Although the Calgary Flames ended Dallas' franchise record eight-game road winning streak on Friday night, they are the third best team on the road in the NHL behind Phildelphia and Detroit this season.

    Where the Stars struggle is within their own division they are just 5-6-1 in the Pacific this year. Dallas is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

6. New York Rangers: 275 Points

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    Surprised about this? You shouldn't be. The Rangers' point total is well deserved. They are a plus-21, have only allowed 119 goals this season, and play well on the road. The Rangers are 15-9-1 away from MSG.

    What hurts the Rangers are their 10 losses when playing home. They are only one of two teams with double digit home losses in the this poll. They are 5-5 in their last 10.  

5. Boston Bruins: 317.5 Points

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    The Bruins are a plus-37, have lost just five times on the road, and boast one of the best defenses and goalies in the NHL.

    The Bruins and Flyers could be headed for another great playoff showdown. This time as a one and two seed in the Conference finals.

4. Detroit Red Wings: 340 Points

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    The Wings are looking for goaltending help. Starter Jimmy Howard returned Thursday after missing six days with a bruised knee, and backup Chris Osgood is expected to miss at least six weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery. 

    They thought they had it when Detroit general manager Ken Holland signed former San Jose Sharks net minder Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov was claimed by the New York Islanders on Saturday, less than 48 hours after signing a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. However, multiple media reports say he won't join the Isles.

    So it's back to Jimmy Howard and sorry Wings fans, but without better goaltending it may be a frustrating late winter and early spring.

    The disparity in points in this poll between goals for and against are eye opening. The Wings are just a plus-21, and while I know a plus-21 is a good number, they have scored 163 goals and with that many goals they should be a least a plus-30 or better.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins: 342.5 Points

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    The Penguins are 3-3-1 without Sidney Crosby and 0-1 without Crosby and Malkin. With or without Crosby the Penguins are great defensively. In a three game stretch without Crosby  against the Canadiens, Bruins and Red Wings the Penguins went 3-0 and surrendered just five goals in the process.

    Those three games also saw Jordan Staal breakout with his first points of the year since returning from injury. Staal had three goals and three assists in those three games.

    Don't sleep on Dan Bylsma's team this spring as everyone in that city knows that defense wins championships. The Pens do need to play better within the Atlantic as they are just 5-5-2.

2. Vancouver Canucks: 397.5 Points

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    All the Canucks do is win hockey games and if "Lungo stands on his head in Vancouver" come spring time than the Canucks with the Sedin twins will win the Stanley Cup. It's just that simple.

    The Canucks are an amazing 11-2-1 in their division, enough said.

1. Philadelphia Flyers: 440 Points

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    You can slice this pie anyway you want hockey fans but out of these 16 teams the Flyers ranked first in four categories and second in one. The only category they didn't score well in was goals against.

    The Flyers are 12-2-1 against their division and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. 440 points was almost 92 percent of the available points they could receive and were the only team to crack the 400 point mark.

    We will see how well they do next week but only a 40 second lapse against Washington, where they gave up two goals prevented the Flyers from having a perfect week. They did win the game against the Caps but it required overtime.