MantaRay Power Rankings 2/17/03

With apologies for last week, here are the MantaRay powerrankings for games concluded on Sunday, Feb 16, 2003.

In light of the Kovalev giveaway last week I decided to put a Craig Patrick trade evaluation for some of his past deals. Patrick was once hailed as a trade genius, but in light of recent deals it seems that his star has faded.

Please note that previous rankings are from two weeks ago.


Top Ten:

-Rushings prayers answered: the Stars finally earn the #1 spot finally.

-Sens also move to #2,Devs drop in light of recent play.

-Av’s go from #20 a few months ago to #10 and break into the elite with some impressive play.

Middle of the Pack:

-Bruins drop out of the elite for the first time all season.

-Oilers jeopardizing playoff spot

-Long live the Kings?

Bottom of the Barrel:

-Patrick has lost his trade touch, Pens fall

-Canes drained

-Watch the Yotes.

1 (2) Dallas Stars:

Sign of a great team: Stars (3-1) overcoming injuries but still rise to the top. Turgeon, Arnott, Lehtinen hurting; Morrow, Matvichuk, Muller and Turco out. If the Norris trophy was awarded to the best overall defenseman Hatcher would be the front runner. Would you trade Zubov for KEVIN Hatcher–even up?

2 (3) Ottawa Senators:

Getting back to normal the Sens (2-1) sustained their first loss in Feb on Saturday (4-1-1). Bonks bad back hinders them slightly, but gives Spezza a chance to play. Lalime playing stellar hockey all season tied for lead in shutouts (7). Would you trade Lalime for Sean Pronger?

3 (1) New Jersey Devils:

Demons in mini-slump (2-2); Burns overplaying Brodeur. If the Norris trophy was given to the best overall defensemen Scott Niedermayer (+19, #4 PK) would be a top 5 choice.

4 (4) Vancouver Canucks:

Canuckleheads (2-0-1) still playing great and unbeaten in 9. Return of Jovo adds a spark and makes Canucks tougher to play. Would you trade Marcus Naslund for Alek Stojanov?

5 (5) St.Louis Blues:

Remember the Operatic Fat Lady; the Blues (1-2) forget to play a full 60 minutes. Q-man overplaying Johnson in nets. Weight out 2 weeks but Tkchuck picking up the slack (8G-5A in 8 games). People have to recognize the greatness of Al Macinnis (top Norris Candidate), but in the future watch out for Barrett Jackman (+14, 129 PIMS) whose in the mold of Jovo, Hatcher, Foote and Stevens–defensemen who do the heavy lifting and allows your team to WIN.

6 (7) Detroit Red Wings:

Coincidence? Since Fedorov’s complaining about ice-time the Wings are undefeated (3-0) and outscored opponents 15-8. Chelios return will offset teams goaltending woes. Hull much more relaxed (3G-4A in last 3 games). Lidstrom is always a top Norris choice.

7 (6) Philadelphia Flyers:

The Flyers (1-2-1) were grounded by Minny and that seemed to carry over. With Murray, Leclair and Gagne on IR you can barely recognize this line-up, but Hitchcock is making them earn every point. Norris Candidates: none, but Hitchcock will make Kim Johnsson a candidate within the next two seasons in the mold of Lidstrom.

8 (8) Toronto Maple Leafs:

Leafs (2-1) chemistry starting to solidify; Toronto is 7-1 in past 8 games and now Roberts is back. IF you subtract the first two months of the season the Leafs would be in the top 5. Is Antropov the real deal? Norris candidates: none. Quinn is starting to make the case for Kaberle; McCabe is regressing after last years progress.

9 (10) Minnesota Wild:

The Devils of the West; the Wild (2-3) impressive, successive shut-outs of Philly, but then lose two in a row. Healthy Fernandez should help, but over dependance on ice-cold Gaborik (0G in 9 games) to score hurts.

10 (13) Colorado Avalanche:

Av’s (3-1) continue to make strides. Who needs Joe Sakic? The Av’s are 15-1-2-2 in the 20 games he has missed this season. Raymond Bourque’s inspirational speech motivates and enlivens Roy. If the Norris trophy was awarded to the best overall defenseman Adam Foote (+22, 22 points) would be the Av’s only candidate. Team is beatable when he is not in the line-up.

11 (9) Boston Bruins:

B’s (1-2) are still sputtering to find their early season ways, but have lost 5 of 7 games since Sean O’Donnell’s injury and now Hal Gill will miss at least a week. B’s need more productivity from lines 2-4. Thornton is a Hart candidate, but he can’ t be expected to do it all. Norris candidate: none, but Nick Boyton (+10, 18pts, 53 PIMS) is someone to watch in the next few years. Boyton basically stole Mclarens’ job and made him #7 on the Bruins depth chart and expendable.

12 (12) Washington Capitals:

Leonsis Jekyl/Hyde Caps (2-2) starting to pull away in the South Least division…by default. Has anyone noticed Jagr is #3 in the NHL in goals (31)? Would you trade a 31 goal scorer for Michael Sivel, Ross Lupaschuk and Kris Beech (who combined have only 3 goals)? The continued defensive development of Sergei Gonchar (+11, 58 points) finally warrants Norris consideration.

13 (15) Anaheim Mighty Ducks:

Disney’s Ducks (3-1) keep soaring and are 10-3-1-1 in last 15. Reason: return of healthy forwards gives Ducks more depth up front and the leagues most underrated goalie J.S. Giguere and the leagues most balanced speciality teams (PP #7-PK #2-Faceoff% #1).

14 (14) New York Islanders:

Isles (2-1) continue to solidify a playoff spot (#7 seed) after a horrible start. Isles have been winning without any help from $8 million man Yashin (-19) who has been demoted to the 4th line. Marius who? Aaron Asham now has 4G-3A in last 9 games. Osgood set to return this week.

15 (11) Edmonton Oilers:

Unimpressive Oilers (1-2) going through the motions and are 2-4 in their last 6. Already weak defense will be even weaker with Jason Smith’s injury (4 weeks). Tip of the cap to Todd Marchant (+10, 42 points) who gets no publicity, but is the Oilers best all around player this year. Mike Comrie has been a godsend to the opposition since his return, in four games he has: 0 points and is -6. Team better wake-up or the currently ranked #8 seed will miss playoffs.

16 (16) Chicago Blackhawks:

Hawks (1-3) continue to be own worst enemy. Powerplay is dead last and Thibaut the only thing keeping Chicago in the playoff mix. Mark Bell (3G-3A in 6) the only consistent forward. Injury to Housley (6 weeks) will show if Dempsey is the real deal.

17 (21) Los Angeles Kings:

Are the Kings (2-2) really dead? Have trade rumors sparked something? They are 5-2 in last 7 and coming on. Palfy is on fire: 6G-7A in 7games as is Scheider: 2G-5A in last 6. Loss of Allison till March doesn’t seem to make a difference. Vishnovsky returns to line-up.

18 (17) Tampa Bay Lightning:

Dolts (2-2) are on the brink of blowing their best chance of making the playoffs in years. Khabibulin wins first game in a month while back-up John Graham is 4-2. Dan Boyle is tied for third (43 points) from defensemen.

19 (19) Montreal Canadiens:

After losing 4 in a row the Habs (3-1) are starting to make their playoff push. The Habs lead Tampa by 1 point for the #8 seed, but have played 2 more games. The new Jeff Hackett, Mathiew Garon (2-0) helped to build moment before Jose Theodore ended a 5 game losing streak on Saturday. The return of Perreault will help the Habs.

20 (18) Pittsburgh Penguins:

Based on the Kovalev deal you would have the impression the Pens (1-2) have given up, but they are playing a fiesty and competitive brand of hockey. It was a poor trade for the Pens, essentially a salary dump for cheaper younger fringe players. But they weren’t winning with Kovy so it can’ hurt.

21 (20) Phoenix Coyotes:

Don’t count out the Yotes (2-1) just yet. After a team meeting on Thursday the “team means business” and have played impressive. With last seasons MVP Sean Burke set to return this week and Daymond Lankow (9G-2A in 10 games) on fire and Edmonton floundering, who knows?

22 (22) Columbus Bluejackets:

Jackets (2-1) and Marc Denis started off well and then got hammered by the Hawks. Ray Whitney has 6A in his last 4 games. Columbus leads the league in short handed goals (11).

23 (23) San Jose Sharks:

Stick a fork in the Sharks (1-3) they are done for the season. Team is 3-6 since Mclaren trade and just sloppy. How did so many pundits pick them in the finals this season? Look for a lot of moves around March 11th: Nolan, Marchment and Graves will probably be gone to playoff contenders.

24 (24) New York Rangers:

The Ranger$ (2-1) will unveil a line of Bure-Lindros-Kovalev when Bambi returns to the line-up. Regardless of what is upfront, the Rangers, other than Vlad Malakhov, have no real defensemen to speak of and only average goaltending. Would you trade Matthew Barnaby for WAYNE Primeau?

25 (25) Nashville Predators:

The Preds (2-1) will also probably fall short of their playoff bid. The team will attempt to smother teams defensively and pray that Andy Delmore can score on their PP. Not a very stable plan, but given the team quality, at least they have a plan.

26 (28) Calgary Flames:

Playoff hopes in Calgary (0-3-1) should be sufficiently doused by now. All the Flame-outs can do is to watch the March 11th deadline come and Chris Drury, Martin Gelinas and maybe the overpaid Iginla go.

27 (26) Florida Panthers:

It appears Keenan has lost control of this team and the Kitty Kats (0-3) are done for the season. Bure is injured again, no one is happy and the team is just losing. Only Luongo keeps this team from drowning his its own mediocrity. The Caps’ can thank the Panthers for first place in the division they are 3-0-1 against Florida.

28 (29) Atlanta Thrashers:

The Thrashers (0-2-1) are starting to slow down. They will have to relie on rookie Frederic Cassivi with recent injuries to Dafoe and Pasi Nurminen. Injury to Sutton overshadowed by the return of Uwe Krupp.

29 (27) Carolina Hurricanes:

What a nightmare season for the Canes (1-2-1) who have just two wins in its last 19 (2-12-2-4). Kapenan deal was terrible and look for the Canes to unload Wesley and Battaglia.

30 (30) Buffalo Sabres:

Sabres (1-2) end an 8 game losing streak against the Ranger$. The season is virtually finished and look for Sabres to deal Gratton, Satan and Zhitnik in the next few weeks.

37 Responses to MantaRay Power Rankings 2/17/03

  1. flyersruleclarkstillsucks says:

    flyers got shutout in back to back games against the wild and you have them in the top ten? what up wit dat?

  2. MantaRay says:

    Hard to believe, but they are still #4 in the Conference. Solid goaltending and steady defense will do that when you can’ t score.

  3. Tradedude says:

    also got shutout by the leafs…………..TWICE this season.

  4. mikster says:

    Oh God, watch out, Rushing will have an orgasm now that the Stars are in first!!!

    Also, Patrick traded Stu Barnes for Barnaby.

    Good one Manta.

  5. mikster says:

    Oh God, watch out, Rushing will have an orgasm now that the Stars are in first!!!

    Also, Patrick traded Stu Barnes for Barnaby.

    Good one Manta.

  6. titans says:

    So your not face first in some ditch somewhere with your pants around your ankles as I suspected…good for you.

  7. MantaRay says:

    Barnes for Barnaby was a little even, but then Patrick turned around and traded Barnaby for Wayne Primeau….so in a sense got nothing in return.

  8. MantaRay says:

    No, thankfully.

    Though it doesn’t hurt when I pee.

  9. Aetherial says:

    They also beat the Leafs… twice I think?

  10. Aetherial says:

    Did you somehow mention Kim Jonnson in the same breath as Niklas Lidstrom?

    ROFLMAO! Good one Manta…

    Uh, I don’t think so. There should be no comparison there at all.

  11. MantaRay says:

    I’m not sure if you had your reading glasses on or were sitting on them, but I did NOT say that Johnsson was as good as Lidstrom.

    I said that under the tutledge of a defensive oriented coach like Ken Hitchcock, that Johnsson would potentially be trained in the same mold as Lidstrom (as in a goal to emulate) in a few YEARS.

    What did you miss?

  12. titans says:

    Well thats good…did it previously hurt when you went pee?

  13. MantaRay says:

    Just a harsh burning sensation…

  14. mikster says:

    Well…I see your point, but i don’t think so at all.

    Johnsson is heading into his late 20’’s almost a little too late for that.

    I see what Hitch did to Desjardins this season, but Johnsson? I expected a whole lot more from Kim. At least 10 goals and he’d be a PP QB type.

    Lidstrom is awesome on the PP, and if anyone has to turn into the same mold as Nik, then he’d have to be a leader on the PP and PK. Kim is not near that.

    If anything, you’ll see this guy Pitkanen turn into a Lidstrom type.

  15. calflyers says:

    G- #29 Maxime Ouellet

    leads the AHL in shutouts with 7


    2.22 18 10 4 0.935

    “I sit and watch, as tears go byyyyyyy”

    ah, i just wanted to share that…

    How ’bout this Buffalo!

    Seidenberg, Fedorouk, Murray, and BOTH #1’s

    for Satan??

    huh? huh? wink wink nudge nudge say no more eh?

    (I hear Clarke is TRYING at least Flyer fans!)

  16. MantaRay says:

    Yeah, late 20’s he must be washed up.

    Its his second full season!!!! Wake-up.

  17. MantaRay says:

    Not a very good trade for the Clarke fan base.

    “Is she a goer, eh?” whoooooaa, eh?

  18. Tony says:

    I don’t understand the Rangers, they get Kovalev and Bure back in one week so I figure they’re going to win, so I pick them in pro-line. What do you know they lose again. This team should be in the top 10 in the NHL, what the hell is wrong with them?

    Ok anyways pretty good rankings but I would put Colorado up a couple of spots. Also Yzerman might return Thursday so look for them to pick it up again.

  19. calflyers says:

    maybe the Flyers throw in another “#2” and 2 million for Zhitnik?

    If the Rangers can do it…


  20. mikster says:

    Not saying he is washed up, but just saying that he is sort of like “behind schedule” when you say he could be a Lidstrom type.

  21. titans says:

    You should get that checked out!

  22. Aetherial says:

    Not sure if you were sitting on YOUR reading glasses but I did not accuse you of saying Johnsson was as good as Lidstrom. Go back and re-read.

    I suggested that they don’t even deserved to be mentioned in the same sentence/breath.

    In the mold of Niklas Lidstrom…

    Go see about that chemical addiction thingy Manta. You are way off base here. in a couple years he still won’t be fit to carry around Lidstrom’s jock, Hitchcokc or no Hitchcokc. Lidstrom is one of the bext defenseman to ever play the game.. top 10 at least.

  23. Aetherial says:

    Geeze for an otherwise pretty interesting poster, what an arrogant moron you are turning out to be on this issue Manta.

    His play THIS year is disappointing already.

    Oh yeah, when you go ahead and ask someone “what they missed” about one of your posts you might want to make sure you don’t look like a total ass and make sure you read the other person’s post first…

    What did YOU miss?

  24. Aetherial says:

    If the Rangers get defensive help, one or two *decent* NHL defenseman.

    And they keep the team together after this year.

    They could be very tough next year.

    In fact, they are not dead yet this year. If they get hot and squeak into the playoffs we all might be laughing out the other side of our faces.

    I wouldn’t bet on them; you have to admit though that they have some scary potential.

  25. Tony says:

    I just don’t understand why they can’t win. This team should be able to win games on their powerplay alone. I mean look who they can put out, Lindros, Bure, Kovalev, Leetch, and Poti. Only Colorado and Detroit could put out five better players then that.

  26. rooney says:

    they cant win becuase everyone of those players can’t play any defense. thats why a team like the devils is better.

  27. rooney says:

    they cant win becuase everyone of those players can’t play any defense. thats why a team like the devils is better. if the devils could pick up drury another scorer and another big checking center they would score more than the rangers

  28. matrix2003 says:

    Truley a great job, I think I would have ranked the same way, exactly the same way. Nashville will definately fall short, but are continually getting better, in the off-season they may want to spend some money. Talking about making the playoffs, the teams that I think will not make the playoffs are: Buffalo, Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, Calgary, Nashville, Rangers, San Jose, Columbus, Phoenix, Kings, Chicago, Montreal, and Pittsburgh.

  29. Rushing says:

    Sorry, I’m so pooped from an overnighter at work that I can’t. lol

    I just had to pull a 17.5 hour shift since the company hired to do our inventory had screwed up at the other store. They didn’t have enough people so had to call in about 50 more people being our store was even larger.

    I just wok up and just don’t have it in me. lol

  30. Rushing says:

    Perhaps Dallas? 🙂

  31. Rushing says:

    I’m rahter shocked but, again thank ya.

    BTW……welcome back dude. Long time no see. Was beginning to wonder ’bout ya.

    Tugnutt did suck his first game back but he did show some great moves in his seconde game.

  32. MantaRay says:

    They earned the number #1 spot. They have been overcoming alot of adversity and still winning.

    I think the injury to Turco will end up being a blessing in disguise. He will be 100% and rested for the playoffs and Turco will be rid of the rust.

    I am a huge Brendan Morrow fan and I believe he will have a huge playoff run when he gets healthy.

    -Welcome back yourself.

  33. MantaRay says:

    They earned the number #1 spot. They have been overcoming alot of adversity and still winning.

    I think the injury to Turco will end up being a blessing in disguise. He will be 100% and rested for the playoffs and Turco will be rid of the rust.

    I am a huge Brendan Morrow fan and I believe he will have a huge playoff run when he gets healthy.

    -Welcome back yourself.

  34. MantaRay says:

    I agree: Buffalo, Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, Nashville, Ranger$, San Jose and Columbus, BUT:

    Watch out for Pittsburgh, Phoenix and the Kings.

    Pittsburgh is going to make a run, believe it or not the trade of Kovalev, makes them a better team.

    I have watched the past three or four games and they look hungary and with something to prove.

    The same with Phoenix especially with Burke coming back. The Kings are getting healthy and Palffy is RED HOT.

  35. bruinfan37 says:

    can u please explain how Vancouver stays the same when they are unbeaten in 9? U’ll probably give me a good one, and shut me up but… I’m just curious

  36. MantaRay says:

    Not a problem; Though they are unbeaten in 9, Vancouver also has the least amount of wins (33) and the most amount of loses (16) in comparing the top 4 teams.

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