NHL Power Rankings: Top 15 Players of the 2010-11 Regular Season
Hockey fans, the NHL regular season is finally over and the best part of the year is yet to come. The NHL playoffs are the most exciting time of the season, and everyone cannot wait to see who will be hoisting the Stanley Cup come the middle of June.
But before we start predicting which teams will advance and who will be the player that will shine above the rest, we must recognize the top players from the 2010-2011 regular season.
This season was full of excitement, so let us now rank the best players from this year.
15. Eric Staal
We start off our countdown with Eric Staal. The Carolina Hurricanes' captain had another great year. The oldest Staal brother scored 33 goals and added 43 helpers to finish with 76 points. Even with another solid year, his Hurricanes fell two points short of the playoffs at the end of the season.
14. Jonathan Toews
The defending Stanley Cup champions' captain scored 32 goals and had 44 assists this season for the Chicago Blackhawks.
His 76 points this season were barely enough to bring his team back to the playoffs, as they hold on to the eighth seed because of the Dallas loss to Minnesota. Chicago will play the No. 1-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
13. Henrik Lundqvist
King Henrik is the reason the New York Rangers are in the postseason.
Lundqvist put the Rangers on his back and led his team to clinching the final spot in the Eastern Conference. Lundqvist finished with 36 wins and a save percentage of .923. He allowed only 2.28 goals a game, which was one of the best goals-against averages in the league. Henrik Lundvist will have the tough task of dealing with the powerful Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.
12. Jeff Carter
Jeff Carter had another outstanding season for Philadelphia.
He scored 36 goals, ranking him seventh in the league, and added 30 assists to finish with 66 points. Carter finished with a plus-27 rating and ranked third in the NHL in shots on goal with 335. Carter helped carry the Flyers to the second overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Jeff Carter and the Flyers will start the postseason against Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres.
11. Sidney Crosby
Some may not agree with him being on this list, but Sidney Crosby had one of the best first halves of the season the NHL has ever seen.
Before suffering a concussion, Crosby led the league in points with 66 and in goals with 32. Before injury, Crosby had the Hart Memorial Trophy all wrapped up. Coach Bylsma has said he doesn't think Crosby will be ready for the postseason opener, but there is still the possibility of him returning at some point in the playoffs, if the Penguins can advance. Yes, Crosby did miss the second half of the season, but his remarkable first half should not go unrecognized.
10. Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin did not have a typical Ovechkin year.
For the first time in his career, he failed to score over 45 goals and rack up at least 90 points (32 goals and 85 points). However, Ovie led the NHL in shots on goal with 367 and was tied for first in game-winning goals with 11. Ovechkin led the Capitals to the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and they will face the New York Rangers in the first round.
9. Carey Price
Carey Price had the best season of his career in net for the Montreal Canadiens.
Price won 38 games, recorded eight shutouts, posted a save percentage of .923 and gave up only 2.35 goals a game (all career bests). Price led Montreal to be the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and will face the Boston Bruins in the first round.
8. Jarome Iginla
Jarome Iginla had a phenomenal season for Calgary. The Flames' captain scored 43 goals and assisted his teammates 43 times to finish the season with 86 points. However, Iginla was not able to lead his team to the postseason, finishing 10th in the Western Conference.
7. Henrik Sedin
Henrik Sedin had a great season.
He led the NHL in assists with 75, and he also scored 19 goals. He finished the 2010-2011 season fourth in points and helped his brother lead the Vancouver Canucks to the President's Trophy. Vancouver will host Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.
6. Martin St. Louis
Martin St. Louis played a huge role, along with Steven Stamkos, in leading Tampa Bay to the postseason.
St. Louis finished second in the NHL in both assists (68) and points (99). He also scored 31 goals for the Lightning. St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning finished the season with the fifth seed and will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.
5. Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo had another amazing year for the Vancouver Canucks.
Luongo led goaltenders in the NHL in wins with 38. He also averaged giving up only 2.11 goals per game, ranking second behind Tim Thomas. His save percentage was a very strong .928. He is the main reason Vancouver won the President's Trophy and will be the main reason if Vancouver finds success in the playoffs. Vancouver hosts the Blackhawks in the first round.
4. Steven Stamkos
Steven Stamkos had a great year for the Lightning.
Stamkos scored the second most goals in the league with 45 and recorded 46 assists. His 91 points ranked him fifth in the NHL. Steven Stamkos and the Lightning face off against Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs.
3. Corey Perry
Corey Perry won this season's Rocket Richard Trophy.
Perry scored a league-high 50 goals and also finished with 48 assists. His 98 points ranked him third in the league. Perry scored 14 power-play goals and also finished with 11 game-winning goals. Perry led the Ducks to be the fourth seed in the Western Conference and will face off against the Nashville Predators in the first round of the postseason.
2. Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas was the best goalie in the NHL this season.
He won 35 games and averaged giving up only two goals a game. His save percentage was best in the league at .938. Thomas led the Bruins to the Northeast Division title and the third overall seed in the Western Conference. Thomas and the Bruins will play Montreal in the first round.
1. Daniel Sedin
Daniel Sedin was the best player in the NHL this season.
The Hart Memorial Trophy is all his. Sedin put up 104 points, making him this season's Art Ross Trophy winner. Sedin scored 41 goals and added 63 helpers to finish with his 104 points. Along with his twin brother Henrik and goaltender Roberto Luongo, the Vancouver Canucks are the best team going into the postseason. They face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the postseason.