Due to the fact that I find most power rankings by any publication in any sport to be pedestrian and lazy (with the exception of cbssportsline's MLB rankings) I thought it was about time I did my own. I'll try and do these once a week if people actually read them. Now without further ado KingHenrik's 2009/2019 Week 1 POWER RANKINGS.
(note: I started these before the first games were played, and they had no bearing on the first order of teams)
1. Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks are without Marian Hossa until no later than December, but even without him they are still returning the same group essentially that took them to the conference finals last season. Once Hossa Returns they will have the deepest set of forwards in the league, thanks to the addition of John Madden. Not to mention if anyone gets out of line Patrick Kane will show them some discipline..whether it's warranted or not.
2. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks responded to problems of team grit and poise by adding potentially the biggest locker room cancer in the NHL. That being said, a line of Heatley Thornton and Setoguchi, instantly becomes the class of the West. The addition of Heatley, plus contract efforts by Marleau on the second line with Clowe and Pavelski should provide the Sharks with scoring that more than compensates for the loss of Michalek and Cheechoo the free loader. The Defense is anchored by Dan Boyle and Evgeni Nabakov. I do not see any reason why The Sharks can't return to Regular Season glory once again.
3. Washington Capitals
The Capitals added Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison to their already potent offense and in my opinion are the best team in the East right now. Their defense anchored by glorified 4th forward Mike Green who scored more goals last season than the entire Ranger organization, Wolfpack included. Not to mention their defense features perennial loser Tom Poti....err alright so maybe it could pose some problems, but Semyon Varlamov for a full season should improve their GAA.
4. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers hopes for Stanley Cup glory rest squarely on the shoulders of Ray Emery *sniff* *sniff*. Adding a goalie who has had discipline problems in the past, to a team that likes discipline about as much as they like Sean Avery may seem like a terrible decision at first, until you realize that the Flyers traded full time party boy/guitar player part time hockey player Joffrey Lupul, 12 year old Luca Sbisa and a couple first rounders for Chris Pronger, who will not tolerate any of the nonsense that usually surrounds this team. Since John Stevens was named coach 3 seasons ago by front office, he has since vanished seemingly into thin air; luckily Mike Richards has taken over in Stevens' absence and done a great job basically allowing his buddies to do whatever the hell they want on or off the ice, as long as it doesn't interfere with his shorthanded greatness. In all seriousness The Flyers outside of the mammoth question mark that is Ray Emery, have the most complete team in the East, and could have the best offense should 20 year old James VanRiemsdyk make a quick leap.
5. Boston Bruins
The Bruins had quite the interesting offseason indeed. They traded shut down d-man Aaron Ward to the Hurricanes for a couple of "Canes Country" t-shirts, so they could make room to sign 35+ goal scorer PHIL KESS- uhhh...competent D-Man Derrik Morris. The Bruins also extended Tim Thomas to be the starter this year, which is foolish if you ask anyone on the Rangers about Tuukka Rask and his first class ticket to The Hockey Hall of Fame. Besides the Kessel trade The Bruins' forwards remain intact for the season and should take them to the top of their division which features the rebuilding Leafs, Canadiens and Senators, and the decomposing Sabres.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
It's common practice to put the reigning champs at #1 the following season, however I will not be doing that because I truly think this is where this team belongs. Marc Andre Fleury has fluctuated from underrated to overrated more than any other player in recent memory. There is no doubt he raises his game in the playoffs, but he also has bouts of inconsistency. I remember making jokes with a buddy of mine during a Habs Pens game that Price and Fleury were having a contest as to who could get their coach fired faster (they both won). The Penguins have replaced Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill with veteran Jay Mckee (who the Blues couldn't buy out fast enough) and young talent Alex Goligoski. They also lack depth on the wing and have yet to really establish who will play with Rising Superstar Evgeny Malkin and gliding mediocrity Ruslan Fedotenko. Jordan Staal anchors the third line and he puts fear into the heart of opponents with his ability to...competently defend all over them. A 2nd place finish in the Atlantic seems logical to me, after of course they get tired of Dan Bylsma and spend 2/3 of the season trying to get him fired.
7. Detroit Redwings
The class of the west may have to take a step back this season after losing key cogs such as Marian Hossa, Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelson. They replaced Hossa with Todd Berutzzi (who I guess has just as good a chance as scoring in the finals as Hossa does), and they signed veterans Patrick Eaves and Jason Williams to add some depth at forward. The Redwings return 56 year old Chris Osgood for the starting job and one of these years Osgood just isn't going to have it anymore...(THIS COULD BE IT). I think the Wings get off slow in the first couple months and then turn it on heading into the playoffs. (Unfortunately Dan Cloutier's bid for backup glory didn't work out to well.)
8. Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks finally have a second scoring line with the additions of the already mentioned Joffrey Lupul, and the underrated Saku Koivu. My feeling is that Koivu will have a bit of a rejuvenation playing with fellow Finn Teemu Selannee and being away from the relentless French. The Lupul addition I'm not as high on, Lupul is kind of one of these guys if you asked someone who only watched Flyers games last year and never looked at stats "how many goals did Lupul score this season?" they would probably say something like 11 when it was actually 25. The loss of Pronger will by eased by the additions of veterans Nick Boynton and the underrated Steve Eminger, plus Scott Neidermeyer and his beard have returned for one last go around. All of this and a surplus of goaltending make the Ducks a legitimate contender.
9. Calgary Flames
The Flames added Jay Bouwmeester and former Ranger great Nigel Dawes. They currently have two forwards they can count on and nobody seems to mention that Miikka Kiprusoff's play has declined steadily since the lockout. Of course adding a playoff warrior like Bouwmeester should easily remedy the Flames post lockout problem of getting bounced in the first round...
10. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks will likely be hurt by their ridiculous schedule that will likely see them fall to the bottom 3 of the West Playoff teams. This might be the year however when Roberto Luongo's over-sized pads finally show up in the playoffs and put this team on their back. If anything I think losing Mats Sundin and his distracting shiny head will only help this team as the offense he provided last season wasn't exactly overwhelming.
I'll have another 10 teams hopefully up tomorrow...