Eastern Conference Team Rankings

These are my power rankings for the Eastern Conference teams based on the first half of this year.
1) Ottawa- After a slow start and people wondering what’s wrong with this team, Ottawa has sneaked their way up the standings and are very close to taking over the number one spot in the NHL. The second highest scoring team in the NHL and third best goals against in the NHL, this team is well balanced. Only one loss in their last 10 games, and recent blowout wins against Toronto and NJ.

MVP- Hossa

2) NJ- They are going through a pretty rough losing streak, but NJ still has the best goals against in the NHL, and are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They haven’t lost to Toronto or Philly this year. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this team pick up a forward at the deadline and make another Cup run.

MVP- Brodeur

3) Toronto- Had the best streak going this year and are getting big career years out of Klee and McCabe. Still this team has had a tough time beating the other big 3 teams in their conference, and are 1-3-2 against NJ, Philly and Ottawa this year. They need to start beating the other big 3 teams head to head if they want home ice advantage or they might find another early exit in the playoffs.

MVP- Sundin

4) Philly- Started the year as the best team in the NHL, but have had some recent problems. Only 2-4-2-2 in their last ten games has seen them drop in the standings. Recent problems between the players and coach have surfaced, and the question mark in net continues to be a problem. Mike Comrie has been pretty good since joining the team.

MVP- Roenick

5) Montreal- They have only 2 less wins then the Eastern Conference leading Leafs. It looks like the Canadians have a pretty good shot at making the playoffs this year, and maybe even a first round upset. Good defense and a great goalie, with balance scoring has put them into the playoff picture this year.

MVP- Souray

6) Boston- They lead the NHL at the very start of the season but went into a bad slump. Only team I know of that are better on the road then at home. At 6-2-2 in their last 10, including 2 wins against the Wings, the Bruins are starting to turn it around. The play of rookie goaltender Raycroft has been a big part of their success. Thornton needs to pick it up a little bit to put them into the elite class.

MVP- Raycroft

7) New York Islanders- After recent threats by their crazy GM, this team is starting to finally turn it around. Good team at home but they suck on the road. Depending how they do in their next 15-20 games will determine if they have a fire sale at the trade deadine.

MVP- Aucoin

8) Tampa Bay- Right now they are a playoff team because of their division but Atlanta will be right behind them all year. Ongoing problems between the coach and their top franchise player Lecavalier have caused big distractions on this team. Grahame has saved this team from dropping out of contention.

MVP- Grahame

9) Atlanta- The feel good team of the year is fading fast. At 3-5-1-1 they have seen another struggling team Tampa Bay pass them. Strong seasons by Kovalchuk, Savard and Kozlov have given this team a chance at the playoffs. Look for this team to make a strong push for a playoff spot if or when Heatley comes back.

MVP- Kovalchuk

10) New York Rangers- Will this team ever make the playoffs? I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it this year. Although they didn’t have that great of a first half of the year, they are starting to come on strong and always seem to beat the Islanders in head to head games. I’m going to predict they end up grabbing the last playoff spot this year. I wonder when this team is going to make the big trade we are all expecting?

MVP- Messier

11) Buffalo- Believe it or not this team is not out of the playoff picture yet. A very streaky team, they will be hard pressed to make it to the playoffs this year. Still their future doesn’t look to bad. Biggest news this year will be who gets Satan?

MVP- Briere

12) Florida- This team won’t make the playoffs this year, but they do have some pretty good younger players coming up. Bouwmmeester, Horton, Weiss, Huselius and Stewart lead the youth movement on this team.

MVP- Luongo

13) Carolina- What has happened to this team since making it to the finals two years ago? Problems all around this team. Expect a fire sale at the trade deadline with O’Neill going for sure, even though he only has 5 goals this year. Top point producer on this team has 22 points, ouch.

MVP- Staal

14) Washington- How the heck is this team doing so bad? They have enough talent to be at the very least a middle of the pack team or even a low playoff seed team, but right now are at the bottom of the NHL. Not often do you see a team near the bottom of the NHL with one of the leading scorers in the NHL in Lang, and the top scoring defensemen with Gonchar.

MVP- Lang

15) Pittsburgh- Their not as bad as I thought they would. They have wins over Detroit, Philly and NJ. I’m trying to look at the bright spots for this team, like Lemieux saying he will be back next year, or the play of Marc-Andre Fleury, and the fact they will most likely get that Russian kid everyone is talking about at next years draft.

MVP- Fleury

Thats it for now, should have the Western Conference mid-season rankings done soon.


50 Responses to Eastern Conference Team Rankings

  1. nocuphere says:

    Whats all this head to head crap. Ottawa beat New Jersey for the first time in three games last night, and has a win and a loss against the leafs. Points don’t lie. Leafs have 59 points as of right now good enough for 1st place in the Eastern Conference. 31 points on the road and 28 at home. They have had a much tougher schedule, and have played and beat more teams over 500 than either Ottawa or New Jersey. Ottawa has two games in hand, so it would seem to be Toronto or Ottawa 1-2, Jersey pullling in for the third spot.

    It’s all opinion though I guess.

  2. distance7 says:

    Good article. Disagree on a small part though. Ottawa’s MVP should be Alfredsson. Otherwise I really don’t see anything to complain about.

  3. icebull says:

    Tampa is in the playoffs right now weither they win the div or not, check the points. Also, to not give the defense any credit is wrong, granted, they dont have any big names but they limit the shots their goalies have to face, case in point, last night Grahame saw 13 shots total(I know it was Pittsburgh but still that is a low number even for them considering they just be the Flyers the night before). And the team MVP so far is Marty St.Louis, he has been the best player night in night out for this team, indicated by his all star starting spot. Grahame has played well when he plays but he is still the backup as the team is riding him while he is hot and allowing Habby to rest just like they did last year. And for all those that think they are going to get Habby in a trade, according to Feaster he isnt trading either goalie. There are other teams in the league that have to good goalies as well, why cant the Lightning(and dont say moeny because the team is doing better then in past years.

  4. Bretzky says:

    Good article. Here’s my opinion on the MVPs.

    Ottawa – Alfredsson

    New Jersey – Brodeur

    Toronto – Belfour

    Philadelpha – Hackett… Just kidding – Roenick

    Montreal – Theodore

    Boston – Thornton

    Islanders – Trent Hunter

    Tampa Bay – Martin St. Louis

    Atlanta – Kovalchuk but almost Savard

    Rangers – Lindros or Rucinsky

    Buffalo – Briere

    Florida – Luongo

    Carolina – Weekes

    Washington – Lang (interesting note: not a single player on Washington is a plus.)

    Pittsburgh – Fleury

    And I’m bored and don’t feel like going to class so here are my picks for the West.

    Detroit – Datsyuk

    St Louis – Tkachuk

    Nashville – Vokoun

    Chicago – Sullivan

    Columbus – Nash

    Vancouver – Naslund

    Colorado – Forsberg (Yes Sakic and Tanguay have the most points, but Forsberg has 34 points in 21 games and his return has really sparked the Avs. I still think he’s the best player in the game.)

    Calgary – Iginla (Kiprusoff if he played more games)

    Edmonton – York

    Minnesota – Andrew Brunette

    San Jose – Marleau

    Dallas – Guerin

    Phoenix – Nagy

    Los Angeles – Palffy :(

    Anaheim – Federov

  5. n0rea11y says:

    I dont think O’neill is gone from Carolina “for sure” He is still relatively cheap and still leading the teams in points. It certainly wont be a deadline salary dump unless the Canes are up to something shady because of the work stoppage. I also agree with the post above. Weekes is the MVP and should be an Allstar.

  6. GretzNYR99 says:

    I like the picks on MVP, I agree with every damn one.

    As for Lindros, I think he should be the clear cut MVP. He’s been great all year, and has quietly had a great year. He should be an all star. Rucinsky had a really hot streak going when he was named player of the week, a little while after he started tailing off, but never completely fell of pace, so that’s why I think that Rucinsky is a close 2nd. Holik should be a close 3rd, then Messier, then Leetch.

  7. nocuphere says:

    C’mon bro he hasn’t been great “all year”, don’t get me wrong I am a big Lindros fan, but he has only lately has he looked like the Lindros of old.

    Rangers MVP could be shared among Devries with his plus 17, or Rucinsky with his plus 21. Lindros is only a plus 7, but he’s firing himself around out there now, and could and should be the Rangers second half MVP. Kasparitas has looked decent first half too.

  8. RangerSteve says:

    MY predicition on NYR….

    1-Dunham plays like he did when he came over from Nashville last season and provides the Rangers solid goaltending to make Sather not want Khabibulan or whoever’s name comes out.

    2-Lindros keeps using his consistant play and looks some what like his Phillyself providing goal scoring and leadership.

    3-Holik/Rucinsky/Kovalev-the line continues to gel as Kovalev heats up and goes on a tear in the 2nd half.

    4-Messier keeps proving everyone wrong at the age of 43?(i lost count) and gives leadership to have this team make the playoffs.

    THis week is huge…Devs, Habs, back to back vs. Boston. This could def. make or break this season for the Rangers.

  9. CupBoundFlyers says:

    devries is out and lindros has stepped up, as of right now he is the teams MVP

  10. CupBoundFlyers says:

    Just can’t wait for this home and home matchup between the Leafs and Flyers should be a War. None the less look for the flyers to kick Toronto in the ass again and take both games from the maple losers.

  11. the_expert_44 says:

    i disagree with montreal, carolina, and pittsburghs mvps.

    souray? are you kidding? i guess then schneider, pronger, gonchar, and blake are all mvps of their teams? 30 pts, tssssssssss. its clearly theodore

    carolina- weekes for sure

    pittsburgh- how can it be fleury when he only played a handful of games? they really have no mvp.

    im glad you acknowledged aucoin of the islanders, hes been excellent, id rather have him than hunter if i had to pick.

  12. GeniushockeyKID says:

    i absolutely agree that they cannot underestimate the importance of the next 4 games. they seem to understand this year, that they will probably be fighting with the isles again for the 8th spot and have responded by beating them down in the last 4 games. now they must show the same ergency this week.

  13. mattdude says:

    all you guys have is a bunch of sour puss americans ie: roenick (threw am water bottle at the ref) and wwho’s gonna stop the puck? hackett, no, esche no. bunch of soft defenceman. you guys are going to get killed. at least our tough guys provide scoring. tucker nolan klee. i’d get the golf clubs early if i were u.

  14. mattf says:

    roenick is ugly

  15. mikster says:

    What are you specifically basing things on though?

    Rangers are just 5 points behind the Devils, are sweeping the Isles and Pens in the series so far.

    Isle’s have been quite bad in their last 7 games or so. They should not be 7th.

    Philly should also be higher than the Devs.

  16. nocuphere says:

    Yeah right on. Go Pittsburgh!! Home ice at that!

  17. nocuphere says:

    Lindros has only played like 32 games.

  18. G_Money says:

    The rankings look good- didnt take time to read the paragraph about them but the ratings look pretty accurate.

  19. Tradedude says:

    yeah man we have to look out..you guys might shut us out or throw a water bottle at us

  20. wheresthesoda says:

    lindros is definetly been the team mvp, he has 27 points. his injury definetly gave him a let down but his play of the past 20 games has been amazing.

    he is playing like he did in his 1st season as a ranger and like he did in phili.

    my prediction for the rest of they way is 6th place.

    i say this because i really think they’re going to pick up the play even more, after beating the islanders, and kovalev and lindros and every1 is chipping in. especially dunham, who better not leave. he has earned his respect back from me and playing his best this season.

    dunham will finish off the season very solid just like last year. last season the rangers came up short due to a horrible 1st half, which they’re 1st half this season is much better.

    if dunham,lindros, and the holik line keep playing well i think the rangers will easily end up being in 5th.

    LETS GO RANGERS

  21. wheresthesoda says:

    your completly right, i have the same exact thoughts as you

  22. B-man says:

    Rangers completely dominated the icelanders again last night, and they should make the playoffs this year. Lindros has been on a tear as of late.

  23. nocuphere says:

    He’s got a mean aim with that water bottle.

  24. habs_punk says:

    not bad, but sundin is DEFINATELY the leafs mvp, belfours held them in games, but his numbers are not among the league leaders, will sundin has been unbelievable potting late goals. when its late and the game is on the line, he somehow finds a way to get the puck in the net

  25. CupBoundFlyers says:

    you dumb asses can’t be serious……. who cares if we lost 10 in row that doesn’t erase GAME 7 last year and not to metion a 7-1 annihilation of the maple losers earlier this year. Wow it’s funny to think back on how bad the Flyers have embarressed your loser franchise recently, maybe you should stop trying to talk shit untill you actually beat us let alone “embarress” us like we have done to you so often!

  26. distance7 says:

    Ok guys, let’s run that into the ground. While your best player is throwing sticks at fans? I like the Leafs, I don’t like the Flyers, but still, if you’re going to keep talking about a damn bottle, why hasn’t anyone mentioned tossing a stick 20 rows up at an old man? GO LEAFS! WOO! HIT ‘EM WITH THOSE STICKS!

  27. kidhenry1 says:

    Actually, Toronto and Ottowa are in the same division, so they can’t finish 1-2. In all likelyhood it’ll be Ottowa 1, NJ 2, Atlanta 3, Toronto 4. It’s a stupid rule, but get used to it.

  28. kidhenry1 says:

    I also agree 100% Everybody on the ranger$ will play like a superstar, nobody will get injured, and hell will freeze over.

  29. kidhenry1 says:

    It’s actually physically painful for me to say this, but you have given my islanders too generous a ranking. They should still be ahead of the ranger$, but only because injuries have been a major problem for the isles and not the ranger$.

    Also, I can’t see any situation in which they decide to firesale at the trade deadline, due to how close the bottom of the standings are. All Mad Mike wants is to win. He’s not as crazy as we think.

    Finally, so the ranger$ dominated the islanders last night. I could’ve dominated the isladners last night. Even when they were the worst team in the NHL, they didn’t play that badly. Any ranger fan will praise the defense, but the islanders didn’t get shots because they turned the puck over in the ranger$ zone and were constantly shorthanded. It was a real embarrasment to Steve Stirling.

  30. GretzNYR99 says:

    Ehh

    I think it’s Lindros because if you’ve watched him, it’s not just looking like the Lindros of old I’m talking about. It’s the fact that he’s set up an uncountable number of bona-fide scoring chances only to have Simon and Barnaby not finish because they’re nothing close to goal scorers. That, and he’s been playing good defensively. He had 4 blocked shots against the Isles on Saturday, a game which I went to. He’s been quiet, that’s why he isn’t getting the recognition. He’s quietly had such a great year on a team that has been mediocre. If only the Rangers were better as a team, Lindros would be the starting center for the East at the midseason classic.

  31. GretzNYR99 says:

    I said earlier on in the year…

    “Overall I think we’ll make it, could be as high up as the 5th spot, but I’m gonna go with 6th-8th.” –

    http://www.hockeytraderumors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=comments&op=showreply&tid=62650&sid=3464&pid=62642&mode=&order=&thold=#62650

    Right there. Not easily, we could, but not easily. Lets not get too cocky.

  32. GretzNYR99 says:

    Completely agreed, well said.

  33. GretzNYR99 says:

    Yeah…

    But Rangers and Toronto fans can agree on one thing…

    1983, THE LAST FUCKING CUP THEY’LL EVER SEE!

    HAHAHAHHAHAHA… annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… one more thing…

    Potvin Beats His Wife. :)

    P.S.: WE WANT FISHSTICKS!

  34. GretzNYR99 says:

    “I could’ve dominated the isladners last night.” – Give me a break, the Rangers played a GREAT GAME. Give credit where it’s due. I’m not saying the Islanders played good and lost, they could have played much better, but the Rangers played a great, uptempo, disciplined and defensively responsible game, and cashed in on their chances offensively. That’s hockey.

  35. GretzNYR99 says:

    Toronto was playing like a well-oiled machine, of course Belfour’s numbers aren’t going to be as high, he probably wasn’t facing that many shots.

  36. rojoke says:

    How’s about Ryder for MVP. If he doesn’t make the team, then Zednik is still playing with Koivu and Bulis, and Audette is probably on the second line with Ribeiro and Dagenais. Either him or they move Ribeiro to the wing and Perreault centers the second line. But now, they have two lines scoring at the same time, instead of one hot and one cold. And Audette gets bought out.

  37. nocuphere says:

    Relax dude! We’re all friends here.

  38. nocuphere says:

    Yeah right on pickle. Your first playoff series win in 3 years. Not bad. You did well the next round.

  39. nocuphere says:

    No I meant 1-2 in terms of this guys post of the top teams in the east, not playoff standing wise.

  40. wheresthesoda says:

    i’m not saying it’ll be easy but it will seem easy if the rangers keep playing as well as they are now.

    and a question..when lundmark gets back who is gonna stop playing??

    bc he is a rw and that position is filled, unless u send down jed, that would be a bad move i think lundmark wil have to play lw.

  41. Bretzky says:

    MVP isn’t just about numbers. It’s about exactly what it stands for. The most valuable player. And if Belfour wasn’t on this team, the Leafs would be completely lost. He solidifies and stabilizes their entire system. Yes, their defense is a lot better than it has been in the past few years, but Belfour is one of the main reasons. He’s playing the way he used to and really making the defense look even better. Yes, the team is playing great in front of him, but he’s the most important part of this team right now. If the Leafs were without Sundin, however, they finally have the depth to replace him. Yes he’s a fantastic player and he produces, but not as valuable to the team as Belfour is right now.

  42. Bretzky says:

    Your first two… good job taking them from my post. But Fleury should definitely get MVP for Pittsburgh. Not only has he been the brightest star of hope for the future of the Pens, but he’s played great despite a very young, very unexperienced defensive squad. Yea, so he lets in 3,4 goals a game. But he’s usually facing 40 or more shots. And he’s making 35-40 saves a game! He’s back from WJC now so he’ll be playing more and really making Penguins games fun to watch than they would be. They have a lot of other great young players like Fata, Malone, Koltsov, Meloche, and Tarnstrom, but Fleury stands out because of the way he has handled starting in the NHL in his first year. He’s 18 years old and it doesn’t seem like he’s gotten rattled or lost his confidence playing on the worst team in the NHL.

    And Aucoin sucks. The guy is huge but he hooks, grabs, and slashes more than anyone I’ve ever watched. And for every good play he makes for the Isles, he makes a bad one. He’s very strong, but doesn’t use his strength as much as he could. Instead he stickchecks a lot. He’s not a very smart player but he gets away with a lot. Hunter, on the other hand, has come out of nowhere as a rookie and sparked the Islanders offense. Without him, not only would the Islanders not have gotten great offense from an extremely young, extremely cheap player, but the morale of the team would be a lot lower. He plays his heart out every night and is one of the few Islanders that I, as a Ranger fan, can honestly respect for his hard work and physical play. Btw, Yashin is garbage. He was NEVER, EVER, EVER good. He had Alfredsson to set him up, or finish for him. Alfredsson is world class. Yashin is trash.

  43. Bretzky says:

    Maybe you should go write a letter to Gary Bettman at the end of the regular season when the Rangers are in the playoffs and Islanders aren’t. Make sure that you tell him that the only reason the Islanders didn’t make the playoffs was because of injuries! And that’s just not fair. That’s never happened to any other team. The Islanders have introduced major injuries to the league this year! Something we’ve never seen before. I’m sure he’ll feel some sense of sympathy towards you and your Isles and he’ll grant them a magical playoff spot! Weeee! …… Hey wait! Then how come the Rangers didn’t get a magical playoff spot when Bure, Leetch, Richter, etc were injured? No fair! Somebody call the Waaaaaaaaaaaambulance!

  44. RangerSteve says:

    Your a moron, go eat some fishsticks and lick your wounds!

  45. 24cups says:

    I’m glad to see that you ranked the Habs where they deserve to be. They’re playing awesome. I didn’t see the habs play like this since too long : protecting each others, scoring a lot of goals, coming back in a game when they’re losing, smiling on the bench, respecting each others, giving everything they’ve got!!! wow!!!

    One or two more changes and this team is one of the best in the league : return of Bégin and acquisition of a power forward who can shake things up when needed!!!

    I’m not all happy just because they’re winning but because how they’re playing. Trust me, it’s a new team, they lost their loser mentality they had for too long. It’s great to see!!! go habs go (1pt behind NJ)

  46. habs_punk says:

    come on, you could throw any number of goalies into the leafs net and they would do better than belfour has. it doesnt seem right that the mvp of one of the top teams in the nhl isnt even one of the top players at his position this year. hes 24th in gaa and 22nd in save pct. ya, some of those goalies have only playe 15 or 16 games

    but heres a list of goalies with a better save pct than belfour: luongo, theodore, aebischer, raycroft, brodeur, cloutier, weekes, khabiboulin, nabokov, and denis

    better gaa? here ya go: brodeur, theodore, weekes, raycroft, aebischer, lalime, turco, cloutier, khabiboulin, and cechmanek

    there are 7 starting goalies that have a better gaa AND better save pct. than belfour. playing on a team like the leafs, denis and luongo would both probly have a much better gaa than they do right now, better than belfour? i think so, not for sure obviously.

    even with all the depth that TO has, they wouldnt be able to replace him. tied for 8th in league scoring, and i couldnt find stats on gwg or third period stats, but he’s gotta be the league leader, or close to it, in those two. hes been possibly the league mvp so far this year, hes gotta be the leafs mvp.

  47. nocuphere says:

    Not to mention that of the 30 shots a night the leafs give up at least half are quality scoring opps.

    Go Eddie!!

  48. habs_punk says:

    that was the stupidest thing i have read in a long time on these boards

  49. DirtySanchez says:

    Dude please just shut the fuck up about the rangers! They suck and everybody thinks so…..for you to post anything is a waste of time. 5th spot hahahahahaha they won’t make the playoffs bitch. Go put your fingers back into your mother’s asscrack chicken fucker.

  50. mattdude says:

    if you cant remember, that 7-1 loss started our record breaking streak.

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