MantaRay Power Rankings 10/26/03

Welcome to the first weeks installment of the MantaRay Power Rankings.

This ranking includes all games played through Saturday, October 25th.

The ranking in parathesis reflects how each team finished the previous season’s MRPR.


Top Ten:

-Undefeated Bolts rank #1

-First time ever in top 10: Isles, Habs and Trashers

-Av’s & Blues remain top 10….for now.

Middle of the Pack:

-Panthers and Flames break out of the bottom

-Poor starts hinder Stars & Flyers

-Yotes and Kings hang in

Bottom of the Barrel:

-Devils drop below top 10 for the first time

-Ducks: this years flash in the pan

-Caps worst team in hockey thus far.


1 (12) Tampa Bay Lightning:

Undefeated in 6 games due to league leading defense and goaltending (8 GA in 6 games). Stillman 5 Goals/ Dan Boyle has emerged as a top notch defensemen in TB.

2 (1) Ottawa Senators:

Still the best team in the league. Everyone pitches in: Spezza (3G-4A in 7 games), Havlat back (3 points in 2 games), Bonk (1 point in every game), Lalime (5-1-0), Redden/Rachunek tops in +/- (+7). Sore spot: Penalty killing (rank #25) needs improvement.

3 (6) Vancouver Canucks:

Canucks 4-0 at home riding on the new young guns: Jason King (3G/2A) and team scoring leader Daniel Sedin (1G-6A). If Naslund/Bertuzzi/Morrison start clicking Van won’t be the #12 PP team for long.

4 (16) New York Islanders:

What locker room strife??? Habs reject Marius Czerkawski 2nd in NHL in Goals (7). Rick Dipietro has best GAA (1.29) in NHL. Don’t underestimate Isles defense #5 in the PK.

5 (21) Montreal Canadiens:

Saku who? Habs riding high off the play of young guns Ribeiro (3G/4A) and Ryder (1G/4A) along with strong play of underrated Yanic Perreault (4G/2A and 59% FOW%).

6 (3) Detroit Red Wings:

Strong defense and special teams make this team win: Leagues best PP & PK units. Big win over Dallas Friday. Yzerman’s knees will not allow him to play in back-to-back games this season.

7 (22) Atlanta Thrashers:

Hats off to Hartley: Atlanta tied for 6th in defense? Number 3 in the league in PK?? Marc Savard #3 in Face-off wins (116)? Kovlachuk leading NHL in scoring (14) doesn’t hurt. Coaching: the key in Atlanta.

8 (15) Boston Bruins:

B’s are 5-0-1 in their last 6 road games. Thornton/Knuble/Murray line reunited. Samsonov and rookie Zinovjev getting chemistry. Andrew Raycroft takes #1 goaltending job. Sore spot: PK ranks 29th.

9 (7) Colorado Avalanche:

Aebisher standing tall while facing the 5th most shots per game (25.8). Av’s are 19th in the NHL in goals against. Players only meeting ignites Forsberg-Hedjuk-Tanguay (2G/7A in 5 games).

10 (9) St.Louis Blues:

Osgood (1.86 GAA/.928 SV %) keeping team winning while injuries decimate team defense: MacInnis (eye), Khavanov (foot), Laflamme (leg), Salvador (wrist) and now Jackman (out 2-4 weeks dislocated shoulder).

11 (8) Toronto Maple Leafs:

Leafs go 3-1 this week with Nieuwendyk (3G-1A) leading the way. Sundin and Nolan finally adding some offense. Mogilny and McCabe back. Special Teams are a disaster in Toronto: PP: #24/PK #20.

12 (23) Calgary Flames:

The Flames building momentum with Jamie McLennan (4-1-0). Reinprecht makes immediate impact in first 3 games back (1G/3A). Calgary’s PP ranks #8, but weak D hurts PK which ranks #26.

13 (2) Dallas Stars:

Stars (2-2) have problems. Modano is a having an awful start (-6) and has effected ineffective PP (#21). Jason Arnott having great start (2G-5A +7). Boucher and Morrow a bit banged up but should be fine.

14 (17) Los Angeles Kings:

Ziggy Palffy is 3rd in the NHL in points (12) and Lubomir Visnovsky leads all defensemen (8). But the Kings severly miss Miller and Nordstrom and are dead last in PK (#30). No return for Allison and Deadmarsh.

15 (20) Phoenix Coyotes:

The Yotes have given up 19 goals in their last 4 games. Burke looks shaky in his last two starts (0-2 5.08 GAA). On the positive side the Phoenix PP is ranked #7 helped by the improved play of Paul Mara (1G/7A in last 4 games).

16 (5) Philadelphia Flyers:

Since his first two games (shutouts) Hackett has allowed 12 goals in his last three. Special Teams play has helped Philly: PP: #10/PK: #6. Mark Recchi coming around (3G/4A in last 4 games). Gagne is back.

17 (26) Buffalo Sabres:

Sabres starting to click: Pyatt (4G’s in 2 games) with Briere & Drury. Biron posting back-to-back wins in impressive fashion may have won his job back. Andy Delmore looks like another FA bust: 0 pts in 8 games.

18 (28) Florida Panthers:

Keenan’s Kitty Kats 2-2 this week but learning: Panthers PK: #4. Luongo still sees the most shots against per game (33.4) due to young defense. Olli Jokinen (3G/2A in 4 games) is #2 in the NHL in faceoffs won (118).

19 (27) Columbus Bluejackets:

Marc Denis see the Third most shots per game (27) against, yet still has a 1.88 GAA and stellar .936% SVP. Injury bug: Klesa, Sanderson and Wright hurt. Jackets have the #2 PK unit in the NHL.

20 (24) Nashville Predators:

Pred’s have let up 12 goals in there past three games. Marek Zidlicky(2G/5A) ranks #3 in scoring by defensemen but the Pred’s PP ranks only 25th. Young guns perking up: Hartnell/Hall. Johansson possible concussion last night.

21 (18) New York Rangers:

Undefeated in their last 4 games thanks to Mike Dunham (2-0-2, 0.96 GAA, .966% SV%). The Ranger$ have the worst offense in the League (11 GF) and the worst PP (#30). You know your team is bad when Chris Simon (0G/4A) leads your team in scoring.

22 (19) Chicago Blackhawks:

Undefeated in their last 3 games thanks to Thibault (2-0-1, 1.94, .942% SV%) who see’s the 2nd most shots per game (30.1). With Daze and Zhamnov out younger kids taking advantage: Arnason (3G/3A) and McLean (3G/2A).

23 (30) Carolina Hurricanes:

1-0-4 in last 5 and reflected in their 13GF/14GA. PP is ranked #29/PK is #17. Brind’amour (129 FOW) is #1 face-off man in NHL. Kevin Weekes is the #3 Goalie in the league (1.45 GAA/.934% SVP). Rookie Eric Staal (1G/2A in last 2 games) is adjusting to big game.

24 (4) New Jersey Devils:

2003-04: Bizzaro World Devils: They can’t hold a lead, not a single player is a positive in the +/- category, and they rank #18 on the PK and have the #5 PP??? Brodeur is overworked and it shows.

25 (14) Edmonton Oilers:

NHL’s most homesick team: 0-3-0 and have been outscored 10-1 on the road. Next to worst special teams in the league: PP: #23 and PK: #28. Team Defense (26 GA) is a horror. Steve Staios (2G/4A) leads weak defense in scoring.

26 (10) Minnesota Wild:

Uncharacteristically impatient and are making too many high-risk plays leading to high goals against (24). Gaborik signing on Monday??? Bouchard looking very impressive (2G/5A). Zholtok back from fainting spells next week and so is Dupuis.

27 (11) Anaheim Mighty Ducks:

Last season’s Western Conference Champions were strong on fundementals—not this year. The Ducks have the worst special teams in the league: PP#27/PK#27.

28 (25) San Jose Sharks:

Oh the Sharks have…a nasty team dear: winless in 5. Nabokov is 0-4. Team is 0-2-3 at home including two shut-outs against them. This team is a mess.

29 (29) Pittsburgh Penguins:

Mario and the Wilkes-Barre Bunch are just not very good. They have been outscored in the first period this season 12-2. Pity poor Marc-Andre Fleury (1.98 GAA/.947% SVP)….if he isn’t traumatized by the end of this season.

30 (13) Washington Capitals:

How can a team with Bondra/Jagr/Lang and Gonchar be #18 on the PP?? Kolzig (1-5-1, 3.38 GAA/.857% SVP) is finished. He looks fried playing behind a young, mediocre/patch work defense (see MA Fleury above). Things are not well in Washington in many ways.