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Monday, November 20, 2000
Updated: November 29, 9:40 PM ET
Habs hit rock bottom



Nov. 20, 2000

Talk about tough weeks. Only four of the top 10 had winning records. When the formula spits out the bottom 10 exponentially quicker than the top five, red flags abound. Montreal at No. 30 was an easy choice, while San Jose gets the nod because it's time to shake up th establishment and realize that the San Joses and Vancouvers of the NHL world must be reckoned with.

ESPN.com's secret formula has taken it all into account. To right any wrongs, click here and give us a few Rank Comments of your own.

Team PVS W-L-T-OL ESPN.com says
1. Sharks 5 12-4-2-0 Why? Why the heck not, baby! Owen Nolan is back. They've got offense and goaltending. A feeding frenzy in the Shark Tank.
2. Blues 2 13-3-3-0 Ho hum. Undefeated at home. Don't be surprised if GM Larry Pleau makes a few moves to tweak this well-oiled machine.
3. Avalanche 1 14-4-3-0 Avs hit a few bumps, but next four are at home and injured players getting closer to returning.
4. Canucks 16 11-5-3-1 Two question mark are: goaltending and depth. But as far as good, young top-end talent, the Canucks are for real.
5. Stars 6 9-5-3-1 How can a team be in fourth in its division and be fifth in the NHL? Don't ever question the secret formula!
6. Maple Leafs 8 10-6-3-1 Leafs aren't exactly tearing it up. But Curtis Joseph, probably the best goalie in the East, has been amazing.
7. Sabres 9 10-5-2-1 Dominik Hasek might take exception to the last statement, especially since he beat the Leafs on Oct. 27 ... but sorry, Mr. Hasek, you beat Glenn Healy, not CuJo.
8. Kings 11 11-6-4-0 Jamie Storr. Tough haircut but stellar play. Stephane Fiset, like Steve Shields in San Jose, has to take a seat for a while.
9. Coyotes 4 11-4-6-0 Getting spanked by Anaheim at home isn't good for self esteem. If anyone mentions ownership again (oops), Keith Tkachuk's gonna come over and smack you in the kisser ... and then raid the fridge.
10. Red Wings 3 11-7-1-1 Goalie Chris Osgood getting paid a lot of money to watch Manny Legace take his job.
11. Flyers 12 9-7-4-0 Flyers back on track at just the right time because with Devils' signings, Atlantic Division just got tighter.
12. Devils 17 8-8-3-0 Two OT wins and the Jason Arnott-Scott Niedermayer signings mean we can take coach Larry Robinson off the Tazmanian Devil-tantrum watch.
13. Penguins 10 10-6-2-1 It's one of those 'Who cares?' signings, but Jeff Norton coming on board will help and is another example of GM Craig Patrick's talent.
14. Senators 7 10-5-4-0 Don't be surprised if the Sens do a little dealing to perk things up a bit.
15. Oilers 15 12-8-3-0 Losing Bill Guerin is a bummer, and don't expect Anson Carter to do much before the New Year. But the Oilers are still good. Tommy Salo would start all 82 games if the coaches would let him.
16. Rangers 13 10-9-0-0 Vlady Malakhov, we hardly knew ye.
17. Ducks 20 8-9-3-2 A few wins mask the same issues: They won't win with two stars and no one else. Get someone good up front for Guy Hebert and hope the goalie scrap heap can hold up.
18. Lightning 19 6-8-2-1 The Southeast stinks, but the race will still be exciting because everyone knows the winner gets the No. 3 seed, even if the team is two, three or 30 games under .500.
19. Predators 14 7-6-5-1 Do you think the Preds would have a better record if they played Detroit 82 times?
20. Hurricanes 18 6-9-3-1 First place, baby! Woo-hoo. Get the PR bus rolling. They said if they build a winner in Raleigh, people would come. Are the Canes, in fact, winners?
21. Thrashers 28 4-6-6-1 Thrashers feel they've turned the corner. But it's still the corner of Bad and Mediocre.
22. Blue Jackets 21 7-12-1-1 The Southeast theme continues. ... Blue Jackets would still be tied for the lead in said division.
23. Panthers 30 3-8-4-3 Beating a dead horse? Us? From the dumb irony department: Panthers still in last place, but when healthy, they'll be on top.
24. Capitals 23 4-9-6-1 A Rankings correspondent was at Friday's Caps-Habs game and reported that both teams stink. Caps are an Olaf Kolzig and Peter Bondra away from oblivion.
25. Blackhawks 26 6-10-2-2 Four points in four games isn't bad. It's great that Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov are playing well, but Tony Amonte shouldn't be the No. 3 point-getter on this team.
26. Flames 24 5-11-3-3 Derek Morris isn't a savior, but moves need to be made, and it might start with the holdout defenseman.
27. Wild 27 5-12-3-1 A 6-1 win on the road over an Original Six team deserves better, eh? Well, see below because the Bruins ain't exactly big, bad or even remotely good.
28. Islanders 22 6-9-2-1 A win over the Rangers can make being bad feel very, very good.
29. Bruins 25 6-9-2-2 Bill Guerin: Welcome to a personal hell. Coming home is great, but not if your front yard has been nuked to shreds.
30. Canadiens 29 5-13-2-0 Do you really think a new coach and GM will make a difference? Or even new owners? None of that will bring back guys like Mark Recchi, John LeClair, Vincent Damphousse and a host of other departed talent.