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Super 16 NHL Power Rankings
(Page 3 of 4)
Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Super 16: Ducks dominance raises many questions

Friday, 01.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Before the Anaheim Ducks blasted the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night, they had played 48 games this season, which is obviously the same number as the entirety of the 2012-13 campaign.

Anaheim was 30-12-6 last season, good for third in the NHL standings. The Ducks were nine points better through 48 games this season and are setting the pace in the League, six points clear of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Are the Ducks better this season, or better yet, why are they better?

The goaltending has been almost identical. Anaheim's save percentage was .9169 in 2012-13 and it is at .9148 this season. Jonas Hiller had a .913 save percentage last season and is at .914 in 2013-14.


Super 16: Goalie depth can be top teams' biggest key

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The goaltender is often seen as not only the most important position in hockey but maybe in all of professional sports. If a team doesn't have a solid or better goaltender, it is probably losing a lot of games and in the process of trying to find an upgrade at the position.

Another position in the discussion is the NFL quarterback. There is no question having an elite goalie or an elite quarterback gives a franchise an advantage and a piece around which to build.

Where the two positions diverge is in overall depth. There are 32 NFL teams, and not only is the group of elite quarterbacks relatively small, there aren't enough who can provide consistent, competent play for every team to have one, let alone two or three.


Super 16: Blackhawks hold top post-Christmas spot

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The holiday break has given players, coaches and general managers for every team in the NHL a chance to stop, take a couple of deep breaths, and evaluate where this season has been and where it is headed, which is a mad dash to the Olympic break and another compressed scramble to the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There have been plenty of prominent pre-Christmas storylines, from the fast starts by the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs, to the outstanding goaltending depth in Southern California, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin dominating leaderboards, and, of course, the incredible tale of goaltender Josh Harding.


Super 16: Flames, Sabres work from similar positions

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

When Jay Feaster was removed from the position of general manager of the Calgary Flames, it meant there were now two such openings in the NHL because the Buffalo Sabres have yet to replace the departed Darcy Regier.

Though it is the same position and the two franchises are relatively close to each other in the League standings, there are a lot of differences about the two jobs and the situations make for an interesting contrast.

Neither franchise has been very successful of late, though the Flames reached the Stanley Cup Final a decade ago and the Sabres soon followed with back-to-back Eastern Conference Final appearances. Each made significant trades last season to signal a full-scale rebuild, trading their captain and other key players for prospects and draft picks.


Super 16: Blackhawks can join select company

Friday, 12.13.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks both played game No. 34 of the season Wednesday night, and both teams continue to help set the pace near the top of the Western Conference and NHL standings.

By doing so, they were the first teams to reach 82 regular-season games played since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. Much of what was written last season came with the caveats about a shortened season and small sample sizes.

The 82-game benchmark is a good place to stop and admire the dominance of the Blackhawks, while trying to decipher if the 2013-14 Ducks are more like the team from the first half of last season or the one from the second half.


Super 16: Can Lundqvist remain 'The King'?

Friday, 12.06.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Henrik Lundqvist signed a legal document Wednesday that will pay him a lot of money to stop hockey pucks for the New York Rangers until he turns 40 years old.

Lundqvist almost certainly will finish his career with all of the important team goaltending records, and someday his No. 30 could hang from the rafters at Madison Square Garden IV (or V). While his legacy with the Rangers could be affected by whether or not there is another Stanley Cup banner at MSG by the end of the 2020-21 season, where Lundqvist might rank among all NHL goaltenders could make for an interesting debate around that time.


Super 16: Top teams have plenty to be thankful for

Friday, 11.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The passing of Thanksgiving in the United States on the hockey calendar is typically considered a time to take stock of what has occurred around the NHL in a given season and a good first marker for general managers who are trying to decide if their clubs are going to be contenders or if they need to brush up on the scouting reports of the top prospects in the forthcoming draft.

If recent history is a strong indicator, 12 of the 16 teams currently in a playoff position will go dancing at the end of the season and four will be left to wonder what happened after a good start. Four teams that were in a playoff position on Nov. 28 have not finished in one in each of the past three full NHL seasons.

That number was typically lower in the seasons before that, but the rise of the shootout and competitive balance has brought teams closer together and made it more possible for teams to surge and fade because the margins are so close on any given night.


Super 16: Ovechkin chasing own version of 50 in 50

Friday, 11.22.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Fifty goals in fifty games is an incredible accomplishment, and a quirky milestone the hockey world treats with reverence.

Officially, the milestone is 50 goals in the team’s first 50 games of the regular season. This has happened eight times in NHL history, and not since Brett Hull did it in back-to-back seasons (1990-91 and 1991-92). There have been unofficial 50 in 50s, as five times a player had 50 goals in his first 50 games of a season but not the team’s. No one has done that since Cam Neely in 1993-94.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has an outside chance to craft his own version of the NHL’s 50 in 50. He scored 23 goals in the final 23 regular-season contests in 2012-13, and he hasn’t stopped this season, with 17 in his first 20 games.

That’s 40 in 43 games -- he had 40 in 42 before his team was shut out Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can Ovechkin score 10 times in his next seven games? Obviously it wouldn’t be an official 50 in 50 if he pulls it off, but it might be seen as the greatest scoring surge of the past 20 years.


Super 16: Niedermayer the model for today's top D's

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Scott Niedermayer was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, and despite all of his accomplishments and his reputation as one of the greatest defensemen in the history of the sport, it still is surprising to see one Norris Trophy on his resume.

That can be explained partly because of Nicklas Lidstrom, who won seven times in eight years (Niedermayer broke his run of dominance in 2004) and partly because Niedermayer's talents probably were not properly appreciated.

He didn't have a booming shot or the offensive numbers of players in more goal-friendly systems, and he didn't dish out the highlight-reel hits like Scott Stevens or Chris Pronger. He was like Lidstrom, an all-round marvel who didn't make mistakes.


Super 16: Teams taking stock one month into season

Friday, 11.08.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The 2013-14 season passed the one-month mark Nov. 1, and that typically is about the time for teams to take stock in where they are at and where they need to go.

One of the trusted axioms in hockey is the importance of a fast start to the season. The general thought process is points are easier to come by in October and November than in the final months of the season when teams become more focused, the pressure becomes greater and the games become tighter.

That might not necessarily be true in the current NHL. The tables above show the top eight teams in each conference at the end of the day that is one month from the start of the regular season (for seasons when teams played games in Europe, we're using opening night in North America as the "official" start date).

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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