Best of the Best-Part 1
This is a series of posts, one each day for the next 5 days, discussing the top ten players at each position (C,RW,LW,D, and G). Granted this is only an opinion column, but I have spoken with many different people and came up with the rankings for each position. Feel free to give any feedback.
1. Rob Blake, Colorado
This guy has a great scoring touch that is complemented by a fantastic physical presence. His style of play demands respect.
2. Chris Pronger, St. Louis
One of the best defensive minded players in the league, uses his size and strength to punish the opposition. Also has a good scoring touch.
3. Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey
Doesn’t score much, but is the best puck handling defenceman in the league. When he has the puck, he controls the play and moves it like no other in the league. Has wheels to blow by anyone. Ask anyone coach or defenceman in the league, and they will agree.
4. Nickolas Lidstrom, Detroit
Another great puckhandling defenceman, but is moer dangerous a scoring threat than anyone besides AL MacInnis. Plays terrific team defence and stands out on a older slower team.
5. Brian Leetch, New York Rangers
Leetch is the best passing defenceman in the NHL, and will only get better with the addition of Eric Lindros to the team. Leetch controls the power play and can find a sew and hit the tape on anyone’s stick.
6. Al MacInnis, St. Louis
Best scoring defenceman in the NHL. Has a shot that makes you cringe. I’d rather catch a medicine ball in the face than try to stop one of his slappers. With Pronger on the other side during a PP, MacInnis has more freedom and sets up for the slapshot. JUST PLAIN DANGEROUS!
7. Ed Jovanovski, Vancouver
While Ed hasnt reached his offensive capabilities yet, he is a force on the blueline. He can score, but his skill comes from the ability to plain out crush the opposition. Plays great team D, and they dont call his Jovocop for nothing.
8. Sergei Gonchar, Washington
Often overlooked, Gonchar can hang with the big boys. He has an extremely accurate shot from the blueline and controls the play well. Thinking about Oates and Jagr dishing it off to him this season makes me wonder in Gonchar will take a step into the elite in the league.
9. Sergei Zubov, Dallas
Very quiet hockey player, but manages to put up good numbers each year. Can move the puck very well and has a decent to good shot from the point. Playing with Hatcher helps open up space for him.
10. Oleg Tevordovsky, Anaheim
Alot of you will be upset about this decision, but you can blow it out your ear cause this guy is good. He has dissapeared after moving to Anaheim, but thats just because its anaheim. One of the top 3 PP men in the game, he can shoot the puck with incredible accuracy and can make or break a team. Playing on a team with better scoring than Anaheim would help, but when healthy, he can produce like clockwork.
Other who would round out the top 15 include McGillis, Ozolinsh, Desjardins, Sydor, and Redden.