Mantaray Power Rankings for the week of 12/21/02

The Holiday MantaRay report for games ending Saturday, December 21st.

Here they are your weekly power-rankings:


Top Ten 10:

-Red hot Sens ascend over everyone to #1 spot.

-Killer B’s stung by poor play of recent

-St Louis singing the Blues this week dropping two spots.

Middle of the Pack:

-Av’s make scapegoat of Hartley and move up.

-Kolzig helps Caps regain

-Canes swept away four spots

-The Habs????

Bottom of the Barrel:

-Pens drop into bad team category

-Everyone else pretty much the same.

Did people seriously want to debate that the Rangers (#25) are as good as the Wings (#5) because they both have similiar payrolls???

Please tell I didn’t read that.

*DYK: Did you know.

Finally, I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday and/or winter solstice! Enjoy!1 (3) Ottawa Senators:

Hottest team in NHL: 15-2-3 in last 20; Big Conf wins vs NJ & Philly; Todd White: 17P in last 12 games.

2 (2) Vancouver Canucks:

First NHL team to win 20 games this season. 2-1-1 this week. Cloutier to rest knee.

3 (4) Dallas Stars:

0-1-2 since Modano injury. Modano’s 4th (or 5th) Concussion cause for concern in Big D.

4 (1) Boston Bruins:

Winless in last 6 (0-5-1); Imploded last night vs FLA. Samsonov out 3 months. Mike Knuble +18???

5 (5) Detroit Red Wings:

Legace stops 80 of 83 shots (.963) wins starting job? Wings 6-1-3 in last 10. Yzerman to retire?

6 (7) New Jersey Devils:

Back on track (2-1) this week. John Madden 2G-2A +4 in last four games. PP still dead last.

7 (8) Minnesota Wild:

Trapping Wild puts 47 shots on Roy??? Fernandez 2-5 in last 7 starts. Gaborik hits 21 Goals.

8 (6) St.Louis Blues:

Did not score any even strength goals this week in going 0-2-1. Johnson now 1-1-2 since return.

9 (9) Philadelphia Flyers:

Philly is 5-2-1 in there last 8. Robert Esche is 6-1-2 in nets. NHL: Beware the Brasher-Handzus-Somik line.

10 (10) Edmonton Oilers:

Four game winless streak. Mike York 7 Goals in 7 Games. Whatever happened to Eric Brewer?

11 (11) Toronto Maple Leafs:

8 game home winning streak ended. Still 1-1-2 this week. Belfour #2 in GAA and #3 in SV%.

12 (13) Los Angeles Kings:

Kings are 7-3 since acquiring Yushkevich. Schneider 2G-8A since trade. Team 5-1 in last 6 games.

13 (14) Chicago Blackhawks:

PP is dying going scoring only 1 goal in 34 chances. Simon healthy scratch last 2 wins. Klemm hurt.

14 (12) Tampa Bay Lightning:

Bolts are 3-5-2 since Andreychuk injury (now day to day); Richards 10 games scoring streak (13 Pts).

15 (17) Montreal Canadiens:

Lead by red hot Doug Gilmour (4G-4A in last 5 games) Habs are now 6-2 in last 8; Petrov out 3 weeks.

16 (16) Anaheim Mighty Ducks:

5 game win streak snapped. DYK: Anahiem is best face-off team in the NHL (54.78%). Player Watch: Andy Mcdonald: 6 game scoring streak- 9 points.

17 (19) Washington Capitals:

Caps are winning: Kolzig must be back.

Biggest steal of the year: Michael Nylander 10G 20A in 23 games as a Cap.

18 (21) Colorado Avalanche:

The Granato era is starts off 2-0, but giving up 47 shots to the Wild??? Reinprecht: 6 points in 7 games.

19 (15) Carolina Hurricanes:

Weekes wins in return; team 3-5-1 in his absence. Francis on fire: 4G-2A in last 4 games; Oneil ice cold.

20 (20) San Jose Sharks:

1-2-1 this week including a crushing loss to Sens. Breakout year for Marleau 15G-15A +5; Nolan out?

21 (22) Columbus Bluejackets:

Slow week (1-1). Quietly Ray Whitney starting to put up numbers: 10 points in last 8 games.

22 (18) Pittsburgh Penguins:

10 game losing streak ended last night. Tarnstrom injury prolonged? Kovalev (-20) New Jersey bound?

23 (23) New York Islanders:

1-3-1 in last 6. Three way competition for starting job. PK has killed off 36 in a row. Jason Blake is the best player on the Isles right now. That is a problem.

24 (25) Florida Panthers:

As I have been pointing out: the Keenan’s Kitty Kats don’t quit: 1-0-3 in last 4; 11 straight road game points going 3-0-3.

25 (24) New York Rangers:

NHL’s most expensive punchline: 1-7 in last 8. Lindros 11 PTS in 13 games. Woeful acquistions of late. Desparate measures for the leagues $75 team. Drew Banister awaiting his call.

26 (26) Phoenix Coyotes:

2-0-1 since the return of Claude Lemieux. Nagy 3G-3A in last six games; Sean Burke returning after next week.

27 (28) Calgary Flames:

Rudderless ship; 1-4-1 in last six including two shut outs against with the return of Iginla. Interviewing the ghost of Toe Blake next.

28 (27) Buffalo Sabres:

Winless in five of their last six games (1-4-1). Financial troubles taking toll on team psyche. Hamilton Sabres anyone?

29 (29) Nashville Predators:

Scored just six goals during a 1-4-1 stretch. With playoff commitment are more deals in offing?

30 (30) Atlanta Thrashers:

Lord Byron said it best: “Right now, I think guys just need to learn how to win.” Suffered heartbreaking loss to Canes.

34 Responses to Mantaray Power Rankings for the week of 12/21/02

  1. Sundinfan says:

    avs will be #1 by the end of the season

  2. meetak says:

    That’s so funny sundinfan.

    The Avs will be counting their blessings just to make the playoffs.Oh how the mighty have falen.


    GO SENS GO!!!

  3. pantherboy says:

    I think that the Panthers are doing well as of late. After taking the Leafs into a tie on Wed. in a game that could of gone either way with all those posts. then they shutout the Sabres 3-0, which really was a good game for the team. Then last night they tied the Ruins 3-3. The tie against the Ruins wouldnt have happened if Loungo wasn’t on top of his game. 40 saves, one was play of the year material on his breakaway save against Rolston. The team should a lot of heart and character to come back down 3-1 with 57 sec. left. Kozlov scored, then with like 1.5 sec. Novoseltsev tied it up. Great week guys!

    BTW, for the holidays this year I am travelling down to Florida to go and watch the Cats play the Stars and Rangers. Hope they are good ones. But don’t worry, I’m not leaving until the 26th!

  4. Habs4ever says:

    Panthers should be ahead of the isles and the penguins. Panthers are doing good lately, and I think the penguins are like 1-9 in their last 10. As for the Isles, well, the loss last night hurt.

  5. Tony says:

    Detroit should be ahead of Dallas and Boston. They have only lost 1 time in their last 10 games. They are also only 2 points behind Vancouver for first overall but they have a game in hand.

  6. titans says:

    Why is it when your driving around at night and you look up at the sky it looks like the moon is following you around?

  7. Robert says:

    Titans. Considering posting anything related to hockey in the near future? I liked the old titans better, not this new weekly punch line one.

  8. Stanajax says:

    I’ll never understand how you make your power rankings Manta Ray!!!!

    Do tou put all the team names in a hat and pick them one after the other????

    I thought power rankings were based on 2 things :

    – overall standings

    – teams’ last performances

    So, explain me :

    – How can the Ruins still be ahead of Detroit and Minnesota while they have the same amount of points and Boston is playing that terribly?

    – How can the Flyers be behind the Blues, while the Blues have less points and are playing worse?

    – How can the Leafs be 11th while they’re 18th in the League with many games played (only Carolina, Minny and Dallas have more)???

    Especially, how can the Leafs be in front of hot Habs (2 points ahead, 6-2 in last 8), hot Kings and hot Ducks (both 1 point ahead, with 1 or 2 games in hand)?

    – Same for the Hawks with Habs and Ducks.

    – Caps, way too high too. Still far from the Canes.

    – Florida : up please, they’re still fighting well.

  9. burky says:

    GO CANUCKS GO, even without Ohlund, Linden and Cloutier were still unstoppable. Definition of firing on all cylinders= Chubarov scores 2 goals. Good to see the Canadian teams doing well also (excluding Toronto and Calgary).

  10. titans says:

    Well it’s nice to know someone once likled me. We all just wanna be loved when it comes right down to it.

  11. CaptainCanuck says:

    How can Boston be #4 when they’ve played so terrible of late? (0-5-1 in their last six.) Detroit should be #4 and Boston should be bumped down to #7

  12. Leaf_Expert says:

    Good job Manta….!

    except the “Canucks should have been higher”

    I bet you didn’t see that one comin….lol

  13. Tradedude says:

    Lord Byron is right! Thrashers do suck. lol. But they have plenty of potential in guys like Nurminem, Heatley, Kovalchuk, F. Kaberle, Hartigan, and other guys. Mceachern, kozlov are their for leadership and some skill.

    Detroit has to be ahead of Bruins. I mean, come on.

    And who thinks a line of Lang, Nylander, and Jagr would be a great line, oh, and nylander has 10 goals, 24 assists for 34 points, so yes, big steal.

    Leafs should be 12th, they haven’t won a game since last saturday although they did tie twice.

    Granato suprises me and every way. Hats off to him…..for now.

  14. Tradedude says:

    It is because, when you drive, the moon shadows your path, and looks like it follows you, same goes with the sun, although i’d rather not taking a risk looking AT IT And blinding myself! it’s just the way God made the world, ppl see illusions of the earth.

  15. bruinfan37 says:

    Boston should be bumped down to 7th? r u a crackhead. They may be playin pretty poorly, but u don’t drop a team from 1st to 7th. 6 spots?? c’mon now, ur being too hard on them. In the next couple weeks, back to number one!!! Panthers should be MUCH MUCH higher up. Although some would say Luongo is the biggest and sometimes only reason they win? Look at the boston game last night. what was it? 45 saves?

  16. fleury14NYRCHI says:

    my 2 problems with this: how is anaheim not a little bit higher? and why is flordia in the 20’s?? THERE .500!!!!!!

  17. aaron says:

    I’d say much the same as most of the ppl above. Detroit higher, LA higher, Anaheim higher, Montreal higher, Florida higher. Boston lower, St. Louis lower, Edmonton lower, Washington lower, Toronto lower, Colorado in 30th…ok, that last one’s a little biased. :p

  18. cwhockey says:

    Just think what happens when Atlanta gets a coaching staff that will take advantage of the players it has. Oh how very sweet it will be for me when the Thrashers turn into a contender. Too bad I’ll probably have to wait for quite a few more years.

  19. bruinfan37 says:

    am I the only one that thinks that Thrashers shouldn’t be last?

  20. MantaRay says:


    Enjoy. That area is fantastic and its only about a half an hour to South Beach.

    The Cats arena is fantastic as well.

    have fun!

  21. MantaRay says:

    In either case both the Pens and Isles have more wins than the Cats, in the same amount of games (at the time this was compiled-33).

    If this keeps up I could see the Panthers moving ahead in the next week or so. I love the job Keenan is doing with this team.

  22. MantaRay says:


    You could make a good case for that.

    The top teams are always the most difficult to assess. In fact the top five are incredibly close, but based on overall winning pct and margin of victory this is the way it ended up.

    Boston and Dallas have played consistent all year long. Detroit has only recently climbed up from the #8 spot in recent weeks with their improved play.

    If next week is a repeat for all team I could see Detroit ahead of both, but not at this juncture.

  23. MantaRay says:


    You bring up many valid questions and points.

    The PR are based on your criteria:

    Overall standings & the team latest performances

    as well as aggregate performance.

    Boston is ahead because with the exception of the past two weeks, they have been the only consistent winning team in the league. Their latest performance has lead them to drop from 1 to 4.

    But, they have a better winning pct and a slightly better margin of victory over the Wings and the Wild. The Wings are playing better, but not by much. The Wild have also played two more games than the B’s.

    St Louis & the Flyer were virtually tied, but St Louis got the nod because of margin of victory. The Flyers have had to climb back after playing several weeks of poor play.

    Leafs have the 11th best winning pct in the League.

    The Habs have scored 98 goals but given up 104.

    Kings and Ducks have been playing better of late, but Leafs have been more consistent in recent weeks, even though they started off poorly.

    I agree with you about the Panthers.

  24. MantaRay says:

    I agree with your comments on the B’s (not 7th), but the Thrashers are just not getting the job done even when they are ahead by 2 or 3 goals going into the third.

    This team needs a coaching change, they have too much talent to be this bad.

  25. Sundinfan says:

    ok i’ll count them….sakic, forsberg, hejduk, roy, aebischer (soon as roy steps down he’s gonna be good), hinote (our agitator), reinprect (6 pts in 7 games), mccammond (starting to get some goals).

    Well, that looks like enough blessings to me, see you in the playoffs.

  26. Sundinfan says:

    avs won the last 2 games come on give them a break…..29th, lol.

    you all just wait #1 by the end of the season

  27. Habs4ever says:

    I thought power rankings were based on the teams recent performances? The Penguis just came off of a 10 game lsoing streak, and I live in New York, I watch every isles game, they’re not playing well. The only players that play with passion are Jason Blake and Steve Webb. Dipietro played well against the Capitals saturday night though.

  28. MantaRay says:

    They are. The Pens dropped from 13 all the way to 22nd in the past few weeks reflecting their 10 game losing streak.

    Isles are not playing well, but they did beat the Wild the other night and the other teams around them are doing worse.

  29. MantaRay says:

    At the time of this writing Anaheim only had 14 wins. They have a lot of room to make up for as they haven’t played well all season with the exception of the past three weeks.

    Florida is .500, but the have only 10 wins (25th in the league). Emphasis is on winning, not tying or coming close.

    I would love to move them up, but they have not discovered how to win, regardless they are a tough a team they are to play. The way the rankings are set up it takes at least two/three weeks of consistent play to move up or down.

    If they play at thier current level they will move up.

  30. MantaRay says:

    Boston and St. Louis have been dropping because of their recent efforts.

    Detroit has not been as consistent as Boston or St. Louis. Remember Detroit was only a .500 team a month or so ago. They are climbing each week (from 8th a few weeks ago) because they are getting it together, but still have another week or so to go.

    Same for LA, Anaheim and Montreal–they all have been inconsistent from week to week. Since teams only play about 3 games a week, it takes about two/three weeks of consistent play to make a dent in the standings.

  31. aaron says:

    Its been like two months since they were a .500 team. And they’ve only lost one in their past 10, which is almost a month in and of itself.

    And St. Louis and Boston have been consistant? Last I checked, both were slumping really badly right now. Detroit’s been pretty steady across the board; some little mini-streaks, but overall more consistant than some teams. I think our worst slump has been like four games. That’s pretty consistant to me. And they’ve been hot lately, despite the piling injuries.

  32. NYIchooch75 says:


    Psst…pass the bong…

  33. Tradedude says:

    I just knew you were going to respond to that. lol.

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