New York Hockey: power rankings

Rangers 28th in ESPN Power Rankings

October, 14, 2013
In a special Canadian Thanksgiving installment of's weekly NHL Power Rankings, the Rangers continued to plummet. Dropping four spots from last week, the Blueshirts came in at 28th in the league.

Guess that's what happens when the team manages to muster only one win in the first five games to start the season. Getting blown out in two consecutive games (9-2 vs. San Jose on Tuesday, 6-0 to Anaheim on Thursday) clearly didn't help matters, either.

Heck, they are ranked even lower than the New Jersey Devils, who have yet to win a game. The Devils, who are 0-3-3, beat the Rangers by one spot in the weekly rankings. They may be winless, but at least their competitive on most nights. Right now, that's more than the Rangers can say.

Rangers on the rise

March, 11, 2013
Adding Rick Nash back to the lineup has certainly sparked the New York Rangers. New York, 5-1-0 since Nash's return from injury, is on the move in this week's Power Rankings.

Last week, they came in at the No. 18 spot. Check out to see where they rank now as's Pierre LeBrun breaks down who's hot and who's not in this week's edition.

Devils No. 5 in Power Rankings

January, 29, 2013
After a strong first week, the reigning Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils made a rapid ascent up's NHL Power Rankings.

The Atlantic Division leaders come in at the No. 5 spot this week.

With a tough week ahead -- games against the Bruins, Islanders and Penguins -- can New Jersey (3-0-1) stay in the top five?

Rangers rise up power rankings

March, 28, 2011
The New York Rangers are on the rise in the latest edition of’s power rankings. The Blueshirts jumped from No. 16 last week to No. 12 today, the fifth-best team out of the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, on Insider's Player Power Rankings, NHL shutout leader Henrik Lundqvist checks in as the league’s No. 3 netminder, behind Boston’s Tim Thomas and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne. Those rankings are compiled by Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus using their GVT valuation metric.

Much like a double rainbow, the meaning is relative and you can take these posts for what they’re worth. But still, it’s an awfully pretty sight for Rangers fans this late in the season.

Mag rankings place Isles 28th in NHL

September, 27, 2010
The positive playoff vibes coming into the season took a hit with the shoulder injury to Mark Streit, but according to the Puck Prospectus projections used to compile ESPN The Magazine's 2010-11 power rankings, maybe Streit isn't missing much.

The Islanders place 28th in the NHL in the rankings, just ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are tagged as the East's worst team.

According to a note in the article, the numbers were crunched before the team's top defenseman went down, so it doesn't even account for Streit's absence from an already meager power play.

But let's not dwell on the dark side. Puck Prospectus also provides point total projections for young star John Tavares. While some are looking for a Steven Stamkos-like breakout season, Prospectus isn't quite so bullish, but they do see a very successful campaign.

"The Islanders would like nothing better than for John Tavares' sophomore season to resemble that of Steven Stamkos. This is unlikely, if only because so few players break out so dramatically. It's more realistic to expect 70 points from Tavares, as he and the Islanders' other young guns are still a year from contention ..."

Before anyone discounts the Prospectus scoring projection out of hand, you may want to know that the outfit accurately predicted Sidney Crosby's net-scorching season last year. They're not just pulling this stuff out of thin air. And while the projection doesn't match the epic season of Stamkos, 70 points is nothing to sneeze at.

Devils top Atlantic in Mag projections

September, 27, 2010
The ESPN The Magazine 2010-11 preseason power rankings were released today, with the Devils beating out the Penguins for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

The rankings, powered by the VUKOTA projection system of Puck Prospectus, break down each team into eight categories, weighted by importance. The Devs score a little over 6 on the 10 point scale, good for third in the East. Most interestingly though, the only get a 5 (out of 10) in the scoring category, despite acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk this summer.

Division foe John Tavares was a little more wary of the new-look Devils. From the article:
"They've always been a hardworking team," [Tavares] says. "They're one of the few teams in the league that plays as a five-man unit. And now, in addition to being tough defensively, they're going to have a huge weapon that can score at any time."

It's an Insider article (though free for ESPN The Magazine subscribers), so I can't divulge too much, but it serves as a nice teaser for the rest of the day's reading.

Evening Links

The season closes in

September, 15, 2010
Now well within a month of the start of the NHL season and mere days before veterans report for training camp, the media is starting to roll out its pre-season power rankings. Blog conglomerate SB Nation released its rankings, placing the Devils third in the East behind Washington (No. 1) and Pittsburgh.

As for the Rangers and Islanders? Well, there’s always next year.

Morning Links

  • Speaking of next season, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is already looking ahead to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
  • In the name of all things synergistic, here’s ESPN’s Gare Joyce’s first cut at the top 10 prospects from the 2011 (Insider) field from earlier this summer.
  • As a cap to the summer, ESPN’s E.J. Hradek takes a look at the best and worst offseason moves in the Atlantic Division. On that Kovalchuk signing you may have heard about? Not a fan. (Insider)
  • After losing 5-4 to Minnesota’s prospects Tuesday at Traverse City, the team’s site writes that winning isn’t everything at the tournament. Evgeny Grachev notched his third goal of the tourney, while 2010 third-rounder Andrew Yogan tallied as well. After the game, Rangers player development director Gordie Clark spoke highly of several of the prospects, particularly the defensive tandem of Ryan McDonagh and Dylan McIlrath. Clark labeled the duo the tournament’s “best pair by far.” The Baby Blueshirts wrap the tournament Wednesday against Dallas. You can follow the action here.
  • The Rangers and restricted free agent D Marc Staal continue to negotiate, according to the New York Post. Larry Brooks says the talks should conclude in a positive fashion before the opening of camp on Friday, with the discussed deal extending into Staal’s first few years of unrestricted free agency.
  • Blueshirts by the Numbers touches on No. 22, Mike Gartner.
  • Head Coach John Tortorella said newly-acquired netminder Martin Biron will hopefully start around 20 games this season. That would shed about 10 games from Lundqvist’s total last season. Tortorella also discussed the status of Chris Drury, who needs to prove he can still produce, according to the coach. The bench boss also conceded that Wade Redden’s contract affects how he looks at defenseman. Honestly, if the nails aren’t already hammered into Redden’s coffin, a new big deal for Staal should take care of that.
  • The Daily News caught up with Ruslan Fedotenko, who will fight for a job at training camp.
  • Ranger Rants examines the training camp battles on the right wing.
  • Lundqvist was among a slew of NHL stars in New York for the league’s media tour. Though I can’t seem to grab the link, on right now there’s a video interview of the Rangers’ goalie getting asked about his super-dreamy locks. This is appointment viewing, I assure you. If you’re waiting for an actual hockey question though, you can probably save the 30 seconds.

Commissioner Gary Bettman tells Tom Gulitti that there will not be an appeal on the league’s punishment of the New Jersey Devils.
“The arbitrator found that there was a circumvention in this particular case and I’ve been very clear to the board that in the event that there’s a finding of circumvention it has to be punished,” Bettman said. “It’s that simple.”

I would argue that there has been nothing simple about the Kovalchuk signing/circumvention and that the league itself is to blame for previously allowing contracts of absurd length, padded with low-rent years to alleviate a salary-cap hit.