NHL Power Rankings: The playoffs edition
The regular season is over, but the Power Rankings still live. Here is our list for Week 2 of the postseason:
1. Anaheim Ducks
For the second consecutive postseason, the Ducks moved on to the second round. Things went so well for Anaheim in the first round, it threw Jean-Sebastien Giguere in net for Game 5 after he hadn't played for three weeks! Giggy or Ilya Bryzgalov? There are worse choices for coaches to have. Last week: 1.
2. San Jose Sharks
Although the Sharks' special teams weren't great (2-for-30 in the first round), their 5-on-5 play was stellar. And though Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton were held goalless (they did combine for nine assists) vs. the Predators, their teammates stepped up. Ryane Clowe had three goals, Mike Grier had two points and Milan Michalek had four goals. Last week: 3.
3. Ottawa Senators
Sidney Crosby? No problem! The Senators threw a balanced attack at Sid the Kid and the Penguins and convincingly moved on to the second round. Only the Ducks have a better power play so far in the postseason than Ottawa's (25 percent). As long as Ray Emery holds up, Ottawa can go far. Last week: 5.
4. Detroit Red Wings
After blowing out the Flames in Games 1 and 2 of the first round, the Red Wings allowed things to get interesting. They overcame controversy, too, after Jamie McLennan's stick slap on Johan Franzen. The series could have gone either way, and the second round isn't going to be any easier. Which makes us wonder (again) about Dominik Hasek's comments on Calgary: "Even their captain, he should be in charge and he was one of the guys who probably embarrassed himself because [there were] too many penalties for no reason. I think it was embarrassing. If I watched the game on TV, I would be very disappointed as a fan." Disappointed like at some of those attempting-to-draw-a-penalty flops in the crease? Last week: 2.
5. New York Rangers
A sweep! Who knew? Apparently, not us! The thing that impressed us most about the Rangers is they never panicked. When the Thrashers took a lead or came back to tie the score, New York would stay with its game plan and not get distracted. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist -- headache-free -- is playing like a madman. He has a 1.50 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in the postseason. Last week: 6.
6. Buffalo Sabres
They beat the Islanders in five games, but it took Ryan Miller's glove save on Miroslav Satan with 12 seconds left in Game 5 to keep it from becoming more interesting. And outside of Chris Drury's four goals, only three Sabres had multiple goals vs. the Islanders (Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, Brian Campbell had two goals apiece). With the Rangers bringing a more balanced attack in the second round, we're wondering ... Last week: 4.
7. Dallas Stars
Marty Turco. Marty Turco. Marty Turco. If the Stars don't move on, it won't be Turco's fault. In the past week, he tied a league record for most shutouts in a playoff series (three) and is the sole reason the Stars have bounced back from a 3-1 hole to force a Game 7 against the Canucks. Last week: 10.
8. New Jersey Devils
Some wondered about Martin Brodeur after the Devils allowed a combined 12 goals from the Lightning's dynamic duo of Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. The netminder responded in Games 5 and 6 as New Jersey shut down Tampa Bay's top line and Brodeur returned to form. The Devils also have found success on the power play, going 7-for-28 vs. the Bolts. Last week: 11.
9. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks gave up a 3-1 edge in a series that hasn't seen more than a two-goal differential. Meaning, this could have gone either way. Still, Roberto Luongo needs help -- meaning someone other than the Sedin twins needs to score. Only Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff has seen more shots than Luongo. The Kipper saw an average of 42.5 shots against; Luongo, 36.7. Last week: 7.
10. Nashville Predators
Did the Predators even show up for Game 4? There we go wondering again. For the second straight postseason, the Predators were ousted by the Sharks. San Jose seemed to do it in a similar fashion -- using its size to wear down the Preds and taking advantage on the power play. Goalie Tomas Vokoun said it best: "I love this town, I love these fans and I wish we could have given them a better run than this.'' Last week: 8.
11. Tampa Bay Lightning
Was it just us, or were the Lightning in complete control of this series just last week? Guess that's what happens when you run into a defensive wall. The turning point was Game 4, when the Lightning could have taken a 3-1 series lead on home ice. Instead, the Devils battled to win it in overtime. Last week: 9.
12. New York Islanders
We still believe this Islanders team gave the Sabres all it could, which seemed to be enough to make a series out of it. Buffalo was never able to confidently put New York away, especially when Rick DiPietro returned after battling post-concussion symptoms. For the record, Alexei Yashin had no points in the series. Now, with the spring and summer ahead of them, the Islanders begin to make the big push to keep Ryan Smyth in Uniondale. Get ready to pay up, boys. Last week: 13.
13. Pittsburgh Penguins
Outside of a few periods, the Penguins looked lost and beat against the Senators. Sidney Crosby was, not surprisingly, the best player on the ice for Pittsburgh, and with a broken foot, no less! But Ottawa exposed one of Pittsburgh's major weaknesses: its defense. The Penguins were also one of the worst on faceoffs in the first round (46.0 percent; third-worst). Last week: 12.
14. Calgary Flames
The Flames move out of our playoffs "chateau bow wow" after coming back from dismal Games 1 and 2 to even their series vs. the Red Wings. It's all downhill from there. From the scrums to McLennan's unconscionable stick work, Calgary lost it. And who scored the series-clinching goal in overtime? Johan Franzen. Talk about poetic justice. Last week: 16.
15. Minnesota Wild
Well, the Wild's power play didn't really improve since last week as they went 2-for-27 vs. the Ducks. We also didn't get that tactic of mucking it up and dropping the gloves before the game started. Didn't work out too well as Anaheim later ousted Minnesota in five. Said Niklas Backstrom: "I feel really empty. I've been really working for this, and it's over too soon." Last week: 15.
16. Atlanta Thrashers
The Thrashers couldn't manage one win against the Rangers, but that's not what drops them into our last spot. It's all the changes in net that made our head spin. It's all the talk from the team's leaders, saying the Thrashers need to step up, and not delivering. It's too bad. Oh, and one quick memo to Ilya Kovalchuk, although it's too late now: Stay away from Sean Avery. Last week: 14.
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