Welcome back to Puck Drop: NHL Preview 2013-14, where our hockey department gives you a detailed look at each team from around the NHL leading to the start of this hockey season. You can check out all our articles on our Puck Drop page. Today we finish the series by bringing you our NHL Season opening Power Rankings.
The Ranking was achived through the cumulative hard work of the hockey department as all of our hockey writers submitted votes for this one. Mitch Tierney gave a one line synopsis of the team. In parenthesis we have their final regular season standings from last year.
1. Chicago Blackhawks-x (Same as 2012-13)
The Hawks will be out to prove that they are the definition of a modern day NHL dynasty.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins-x (Same as 2012-13)
Crosby and crew will be eager to save face after being swept by the Bruins.
3. Boston Bruins-x (Up 2 from 2012-13)
A new-look core doesn’t hurt their chances of once again being a major Stanley Cup contender.
4. LA Kings-x (Up 3 from 2012-13)
The Kings failed Stanley Cup defense only adds more incentive to win this year.
5. St. Louis Blues-x (Up 1 from 2012-13)
The Blues have yet to win a cup but it doesn’t look like that fact will stand for long.
6. New York Rangers-x (Up 6 from 2012-13)
A new coach should help a very talented Rangers squad achieve their potential.
7. Vancouver Canucks-x (Up 1 from 2012-13)
Their cup hopes may be fading but they are far from gone yet.
8. Anaheim Ducks-x (Down 5 from 2012-13)
The Ducks are out to prove last year wasn’t a fluke and will do just that.
9. Detroit Red Wings-x (Up 4 from 2012-13)
The Red Wings have been too old for a long time now, but that has yet to stop them.
10. Montreal Canadiens-x (Down 6 from 2012-13)
Improvement from within should help the Habs maintain their 2012-13 success.
11. Ottawa Senators-x (Up 3 from 2012-13)
A healthy Ottawa Senators team could be a scary reality for the rest of the league.
12. Washington Capitals-x (Down 2 from 2012-13)
Ovechkin is a force again and by extension so are the Capitals.
13. Minnesota Wild-x (Up 2 from 2012-13)
Young talent surrounding proven stars makes the Wild a darkhorse this season.
14. San Jose Sharks-x (Down 3 from 2012-13)
Their Stanley Cup chances continue to fade, but every year some semblance of hope remains.
15. Dallas Stars-x (Up 6 from 2012-13)
Dallas is a lot more than…. Well what Tyler Seguin said.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets-x (Up 1 from 2012-13)
Columbus finally has an answer in the crease. The rest of the team will follow.
17. Philadelphia Flyers (Up 3 from 2012-13)
Last season’s plummet may have shed insight into the identity of this team.
18. Toronto Maple Leafs (Down 9 from 2012-13)
Despite some big offseason signings the Leafs will find it tough to make the playoffs again.
19. New York Islanders (Down 3 from 2012-13)
A new division will make it difficult for the Islanders to build on last season’s success.
20. Edmonton Oilers (Up 4 from 2012-13)
The team is annually on the verge of breaking out and yet they never have.
21. Tampa Bay Lightning (Up 7 from 2012-13)
Tampa lack substance to surround their group of elite talents.
22. Phoenix Coyotes (Down 3 from 2012-13)
Ownership stability will not help the Coyotes on the ice this season.
23. Winnipeg Jets (Down 5 from 2012-13)
The move to the west will not be easy on the Jets.
24. Nashville Predators (Up 3 from 2012-13)
The playoff days may be over for a little while in Nashville.
25. Colorado Avalanche (Up 4 from 2012-13)
They have a lot of young talent, but that will not help them in the short term.
26. Carolina Hurricanes (Same as 2012-13)
Two years ago things look so bright in Carolina, now it is going to be a long climb back.
27. New Jersey Devils (Down 5 from 2012-13)
The second Kovalchuk retired it became clear that the Devils were going to have a rough 2013-14.
28. Buffalo Sabres (Down 5 from 2012-13)
The suffering that their GM outlined will be delivered in full.
29. Florida Panthers (Up 1 from 2012-13)
The Panthers had better hope that their scouting staff know what they are doing.
30. Calgary Flames (Down 5 from 2012-13)
The rebuild has finally started for Calgary. Now the team will suffer for starting it so late.
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Main photo credit: Brandon Schatsiek via photopin, CC