Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Power Rankings

This week's PROTRADE NHL rankings theme is... early surprises.

Surprises indeed...
1) (Last Week: 3) Buffalo Sabres (8-0-0, 16 points)
Thomas Vanek leads the league in +/-. Chris Drury leads in goals. Maxim Afinogenov leads in points. And Buffalo leads the league in goals by 10(!) after only 8 games.

2) (1) Dallas Stars (7-1-0, 14 points)
Brendan Morrow never struck me as the point-per-game type. That said, he is just entering his prime.

3) (2) Minnesota Wild (7-1-0, 14 points)
Minnesota's stats look exactly like Dallas', except they played more home games and scored one fewer goal. Pierre-Marc Bouchard looks like he's about to have a breakout season with that +5 and a nearly point-per-game rate.

4) (8) Anaheim Ducks (6-0-2, 14 points)
I still don't think the average Anaheim resident could tell you the Ducks two top goalscorers are Kunitz and Perry. I mean, the average Anaheim resident might not know that Kariya isn't there anymore either, but...

5) (5) Atlanta Thrashers (6-1-1, 13 points)
Does Lehtonen count as a surprise? Probably not, but maybe to some of you.

6) (4) San Jose Sharks (6-2-0, 12 points)
Who is Matthew Carle?

7) (6) Edmonton Oilers (5-2-0, 10 points)
Didn't a whole bunch of people say the Oilers D was toast after losing Pronger? They have given up the third-fewest goals in the league. They really have no breakout players, so I'll just put down Petr Sykora.

8) (9) Montreal Canadiens (4-1-2, 10 points)
That they're ranked 8th in these power rankings is a surprise in itself, but surely Chris Higgins deserves a mention.

9) (10) Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1, 11 points)
Of the Canucks first 11 games, only 2 are/were at home. As for the surprise, Naslund gets my vote for proving he still knows how to score. Maybe Bertuzzi was depressing him.

10) (14) Colorado Avalanche (3-3-2, 8 points)
Ian Laperriere, a career -40, leads the team with a +3 rating after 8 games.
Complete rankings >>> here.

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