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Super 16 NHL Power Rankings
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Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Super 16: Stars making goaltending tandem work

Friday, 11.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff has no intention of putting a No. 1 goalie label on either Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen any time soon, if ever.

"I told them at the start of the year if they're playing well they're both going to play," Ruff said.

Lehtonen and Niemi have equally split the starts through 20 games this season, which wasn't intentional but is a byproduct of how they're playing, Ruff said.

Dallas entered its game Thursday against the Washington Capitals with 30 points, first in the Central Division, arguably the deepest and toughest division in the NHL this season.

Super 16: Blackhawks could dominate Hall weekends

Friday, 11.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Detroit Red Wings have been front and center in Hockey Hall of Fame weekends for much of the past eight years because of what they accomplished in winning the Stanley Cup three times in a span of six years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The Chicago Blackhawks also have won the Stanley Cup three times in a span of six years and are heading down a similar path that could lead to their being the dominating presence at several Hall of Fame weekends to come.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov became the fourth and fifth players who played on all three of Detroit's Stanley Cup championship teams from 1997-2002 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when they were enshrined Monday in Toronto. They were the eighth and ninth players from the 2002 team to be inducted. A 10th player from that team, Pavel Datsyuk, could get into the Hall eventually.

Super 16: Canadiens top voting

Friday, 11.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The Montreal Canadiens were the unanimous choice as the No. 1 team in the Super 16 this week as voted on by a panel of editorial staff members who participated in a point-based ranking exercise to arrive at the final rankings.

The Dallas Stars were the only other team to be selected in the top three in the five separate polls submitted.

The participating staff members were managing editor Arpon Basu, deputy managing editor Brian Compton, deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman, staff writer Mike G. Morreale, and senior writer Dan Rosen.

Super 16: Kings find line where Lucic clicks

Friday, 10.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic looks to be finding his stride on his new team, proof that coach Darryl Sutter's latest experiment is working.

The Kings' second line of Lucic with center Jeff Carter and right wing Tyler Toffoli (Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown technically make up the first line) has become one of the best lines in the NHL this season. Lucic is a big part of it, literally and figuratively, and is a key reason for the Kings' current six-game winning streak.

Lucic has two goals and three assists during his four-game point streak. Carter has seven of his team-high nine points in the past four games on three goals and four assists. Toffoli has scored six of his team-high seven goals in the past six games.

Super 16: Naming the All-Calder team

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

All the talk about the top-flight rookie class this season has led to early season debates about whether Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid or Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel can be caught by a trailing pack of contenders for the Calder Trophy.

But why debate the Calder Trophy race now? Why not do a more constructive exercise, such as trying to figure out what the lineup would look like if you could have a team of rookies this season?

Doesn't that seem like more fun than a trophy debate that won't be decided until June? Yes, yes it does. So let's do that instead before getting into this week's rankings, which are flooded with rookie influence.

Super 16: Canadiens' impressive start has them at top

Friday, 10.16.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Take your finger off the panic button and remember two important words:

Sample size.

The early-season challenges have been obvious for four teams with high expectations: the Anaheim Ducks (0-2-1), Los Angeles Kings (0-3-0), Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3-0 going into their game Thursday) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0-4-0).

All four were ranked in the preseason Super 16, including the Ducks at No. 2 and the Penguins at No. 6. Eight of the nine people tabbed as prognosticators predicted the Ducks to win the Pacific Division; five had them representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final; and two had them winning the Cup.

It can still happen; the Ducks, Penguins, Blue Jackets and Kings can have good seasons and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Three or four games do not make a season, even if these teams have looked dreadful in those three or four games.

Again, remember, sample size.

Super 16: Fast, skilled, experienced Lightning at top

Friday, 10.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

This is the preseason edition of the Super 16. It will return on Oct. 16, nine days after the start of the regular season, and will run every Friday for the duration of the season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos' words at the time he said them, last month during the NHL's Player Media Tour, a week before training camps would get going, seemed like nothing more than an elite player trying to stay humble about his clearly impressive team.

"The goal should just be the same as it was last year, just getting to the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Stamkos told "It's so hard now that it's wrong to start thinking we made it to the [Stanley Cup] Final and we'll be right back in that position."

Super 16: Growth of analytics a boon for hockey fans

Friday, 04.10.2015 / 11:59 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The months following the 2013-14 NHL season were dubbed "The Summer of Analytics" as teams scrambled to add experts in the field to bolster hockey operations departments with new ideas in an attempt to close the gap on competitors which had already embraced the movement.

The 2014-15 season has been a fascinating one on multiple fronts as NHL teams attempted to weave new concepts and new thinkers together with more traditional ideas and "old school" employees. 

That same process is happening for many fans of the sport. Access to advanced statistics is expanding exponentially, and interest, whether it is a passing fancy or a desire for deeper understanding, is driving forward analytics in the public sector.

Super 16: Little clarity on favorite as playoffs beckon

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

By the end of the 2013-14 season, the top teams in the NHL had distinguished themselves.

The top of the West was pretty clearly a group of five teams: the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks. The top teams in the East was a smaller group, with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers leading the way.

Save for the Bruins losing to the Montreal Canadiens, those other five teams that didn't win the Stanley Cup had their season ended by the Kings or the Blackhawks.

Two seasons ago, the Blackhawks went wire-to-wire but Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston were the three best puck possession teams to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and all reached the final four. Even the Detroit Red Wings, a No. 7 seed facing the team with the second-most points (Anaheim), was tied for fourth among playoff teams in score-adjusted shot attempts percentage (SAT%) and they were the de facto fifth-place finishers, taking the eventual champs to seven games in the second round.

Super 16: Three must buck metrics trend to win Cup

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

There have been some crazy championship marches in the NHL in the past four seasons.

The Boston Bruins needed three Game 7s, including two decided by one goal and one that went overtime, to win the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Los Angeles Kings tore through the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012 like no team had in the sport's history, and did so while becoming the first No. 8 seed to win a title.

Two years later, the Kings might have upped the ante, rallying from a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round and playing the full 21 games against a gauntlet of elite teams (San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks). Even in 2013 when the Blackhawks essentially went wire-to-wire in a shortened season, the Stanley Cup Final was filled with overtimes and incredible games.

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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