Rankings, Surprises, Busts, Who's Hot and Who's Cold

Can surprising teams like Carolina and the Rangers keep it up? Or will teams like the Bruins and Sharks come back to life and make a run for it? Will Eric Staal stay hot? Can anyone stop Jagr?

Who’s the hottest team right now? Who’s the coldest? It’s all in here…..

Well, first let’s start off with the rankings.

1 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: In my opinion the hottest team in the league right now. Lost both their top two scorers in Gagne and Forsberg for about 6 games, missing Keith Primeau, and still kept winning. And now challenging Ottawa(only 3 points back)for first place.

2 OTTAWA SENATORS: Haven’t lost a step all season and an easy favourite for the Stanley Cup.

Although, injuries to Spezza and Alfredsson could hurt this team big time. This will show if this team has the depth I feel they’re lacking up front.

3 CALGARY FLAMES: My favourite to win the Stanley Cup, and no I am not saying this because they got to the finals last season. I am saying this because they have the best defence in the league, not to mention a top 5 goalie. And with these new rules you don’t have to worry about offence. The hardest working team in the NHL.

4 DETROIT RED WINGS: I wasn’t expecting them to have such a great start. But then you look at their division, and there are alot of easy wins. But they’ve still shown they can beat the big teams, so that’s why there #4 in my books.

5 NASHVILLE PREDATORS: I haven’t seen this team play at all, but they just won’t drop. From what I’ve heard they are a solid overall team. Before this season I wasn’t even sure if they’d make the playoffs.

6 DALLAS STARS: Marty Turco is having a sensational year. I really wish we got him instead of Belfour. Modano and Lehtinen are lighting it up together on the top line and don’t expect them to stop. All the questions marks on this team have seemed to be erased. Everything’s going right for them. Their biggest injury has been to Philippe Boucher!

7 VANCOUVER CANUCKS: The Sedin twins have finally picked it up, and the Bertuzzi-Naslund-Morrisson line keeps producing. This team needs a goalie if they want to make it far though.

8 CAROLINA HURRICANES: As long as Eric Staal does well this team does well.

9 LOS ANGELES KINGS: Always been underrated in my books. If this team wants to win, Jeremy Roenick (13 pts) and Luc Robitaille (10 pts) have step it up a huge notch.

10 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Yes, that’s right. The Leafs are hot right now. Without Allison, Lindros, Antropov and Steen, this team is on a 5 game winning streak, and defeated one of the hottest teams in the league…the Buffalo Sabres.

11 BUFFALO SABRES: This team just won’t stop winning! They are an amazing (15-3-2) in their last 20 with three of those losses coming from the……….Florida Panthers?????????

12 EDMONTON OILERS: Have come on strong in the last month and are now battling for first in the Northwest. A very streaky team this year, and I now feel they will make it to the playoffs.

13 PHOENIX COYOTES: Sneaking up from behind, and are now holding down 8th spot. CuJo is on fire this year, and does anyone know how good Ladislav Nagy actually is? 16th on the scoring leaders with 13 goals 31 assists and a +9 to go along.

14 NEW YORK RANGERS: It’s all about the first line consisting of Jagr-Rucinsky-Straka and the goalie Lundqvist. Some people may think i’m missing Prucha with his 18 goals. He has 4 assists!!!!! I’m just asking Rangers fans….Does he pass the puck?

15 COLORADO AVALANCHE: Are a great team and should get a playoff spot, but they’re in the toughest division right now, and it’s hard to compete when you don’t have a proven #1 goalie.

16 ATLANTA THRASHERS: Starting to turn it up, and I feel they will take over 7th spot in the conference in a few weeks. Once they get Dunham (I have no idea when that is), or if they do, they should be just fine.

17 MONTREAL CANADIENS: Falling rapidly, after having a tremendous start.

18 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: This team is just not the team you saw last season without Khabibulin. The Thrashers are only 1 point behind them for 8th spot.

19 MINNESOTA WILD: Same as Colorado. It’s going to be hard for them to compete in the toughest division. They have the most underrated goalie in the NHL, and that’s Manny Fernandez. He has the best record (14-5-3-1), the highest saving pct in .930 and the lowest GAA in 2.05!!!!! And still they decide to play Dwayne Roloson (4-12-1-0) in half of their games.

20 NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Have been hanging around .500 all year, and I expect them to stay like that. You’re not going anywhere when your captain is Alexei Yashin.

21 SAN JOSE SHARKS: Starting to get better after aquiring Joe Thornton, but they still have a long way to go.

22 ANAHEIM MIGHTY DUCKS:

23 FLORIDA PANTHERS: For once they are hotter than their climate. They probably won’t keep it up though.

24 BOSTON BRUINS: What did trading Joe Thornton accomplish. Really? I think they should play Toivonen more often. He could turn out to be a really good goalie.

25 WASHINGTON CAPITALS: The only thing that makes you happy right now is that you have an up and coming superstar, and you still have Kolzig.

26 NEW JERSEY DEVILS: I predicted they would drop to the bottom about 4 years ago. No fan support whatsoever.

27 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: The biggest bust in the NHL, and I hate how they made an 18 year old Asst. Captain. I wonder what’s going to happen next off-season?

28 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: They just suck.

29 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: They suck too.

30 TEAM GERMANY: Atleast they have a goalie unlike St. Louis.

31 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Their nothing without Owens, whether you like it or not.

32 ST. LOUIS BLUES: Noone would take their #1 goalie off free agency. They can’t win, and even worse, their own player scores on his own net on a powerplay!

SURPRISES:

Nashville Predators (24-10-3)

Carolina Hurricanes (24-10-4)

New York Rangers (22-12-5)

Buffalo Sabres (26-12-2)

G A PTS +/-

Marc Savard (Atl) 18 35 53 +4

Eric Staal (Car) 26 25 51 -2

Bryan McCabe (Tor) 14 32 46 +4

Brian Gionta (NJ) 21 18 39 -2

Alexei Yashin (NYI) 14 22 36 -3 (I know what I said before, but I got to admit a pt a game is not shabby)

Marek Svatos (Col) 20 14 34 -4

Jason Williams (Det) 10 24 34 0

Dion Phaneuf 9 14 23 +2

BUSTS:

Boston Bruins (14-18-6)

Pittsburgh Penguins (10-19-8)

St. Louis Blues (9-22-5)

Ed Belfour (17-11-1) GAA 3.26 (I know his records pretty good but he has been letting in soft goals)

Jocelyn Thibault (1-9-2) GAA 4.41

Jozef Stumpel (FLA) GP 40 G 4 A 13 P 17 -2

Jeremy Roenick (LA) GP 32 G 6 A 7 P 13 -2

Mike Peca (Edm) GP 36 G 5 A 8 P13 -1

Alexei Zhamnov (Bos) GP 21 G 1 A 7 P 8 -5

Radek Bonk (Mtl) GP 19 G 0 A 6 P 6 -3

WHO’S HOT

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: This team is overcoming injuries and climbing to the top.

BUFFALO SABRES: (15-3-2) In their last 20 and are too hot to say they won’t make the playoffs. Although, they look they might be cooling down soon.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Have won 5 straight without 4 key players in their lineup.

ATLANTA THRASHERS: Finally doing as good as they should be. This team is a scoring machine.

JOFFREY LUPUL: 15 points in his last 15 games.

GARY ROBERTS: 12 points in his last 5 games!

SCOTT GOMEZ: Got a hat trick against the Leafs and has scored the last 5 goals for New Jersey.

JAROMIR JAGR: When’s the last game he didn’t get a point??????

WHO’S NOT

MONTREAL CANADIENS: Something’s got to wake this team up. They’ve lost 15 of their last 21 games.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Have lost 6 of their last 7 and 7 of their last 9.

ALEXANDER MOGILNY: Hasn’t scored a point in his last 5 games and has 2 points in his last 8.

That’s just my 2 cents.

GaryRoberts7