NHL.com's Super 16: Predators Finish Season Ranked 5th

Monday, 04.09.2012 / 8:21 AM / Features
NHL.com

We've finally reached the point where the debate about the NHL's top 16 teams is over. But that doesn't mean we can't deliver one final installment of our power rankings before the Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way.

The postseason begins Wednesday, and NHL.com's Super 16 this week takes a snapshot of which teams participating in the postseason are playing their best heading into their first-round series.

Who are the teams to beat? Who is stumbling into the second season? Let's take a look:

TEAM (RECORD) LAST WK COMMENTARY
1 Vancouver (51-22-9) 1 The truly impressive part of the Canucks finishing 8-1-0 is they did it without Daniel Sedin, who has been out since suffering a concussion. If he returns for the first round, there's no more dangerous team entering the postseason.
2 Pittsburgh (51-25-6) 5 A note of warning for Pens fans: the last team to have a Hart Trophy winner and win the Stanley Cup in the same season was the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 with Martin St. Louis.
3 Boston (49-29-4) 6
Last year's championship team finished 6-3-1 in the regular season; this year's went 7-2-1 in its last 10 games. Tim Thomas allowed more than two goals once in his final eight starts.
4 N.Y. Rangers (51-24-7) 3 They're a tough team to gauge entering the postseason. The Rangers lost three of their last four, but the final two were almost meaningless with backup Martin Biron making one of the starts. Can they flip the switch vs. Ottawa?
5 Nashville (48-26-8) 8 They won their final three games, and split the season series with Detroit. If the Red Wings don't solve their road woes, the Predators have a chance to reverse their fortunes against Detroit in the postseason.
6 New Jersey (48-28-6) 9
Their current six-game winning streak is the longest in the NHL right now. The Devils haven't made it out of the first round since 2007, but perhaps their strong finish can carry over against the Panthers.
7 St. Louis (49-22-11) 4
They battled for the Presidents' Trophy and would've won it if not for their 4-4-4 finish to the season. The Blues scored just 10 goals over their final five games. They'll need to score more vs. San Jose.
8 Chicago (45-26-11) 7
Much like the Canucks, the Blackhawks found a way to close strong without a star playing recovering from a concussion. Jonathan Toews missed the final 22 games, but Chicago went 13-5-4 without its captain.
9 Philadelphia (47-26-9) 2 They alternated wins and losses over their final eight games. Facing the Penguins in round one, the Flyers' PK needs to improve -- it's allowed five goals in its last 17 times shorthanded.
10 Phoenix (42-27-13) 13 Goaltender Mike Smith carried the Coyotes to the Pacific crown, and he'll likely have to do the same in the playoffs. He went 7-0-2 in his last nine games and allowed a mere two goals in his last five starts.
11 San Jose (43-29-10) 16 Have the real Sharks stood up? They went 7-2-0 in their last nine and 9-4-0 after Martin Havlat's return March 15. They'll need that momentum against the Blues, who swept the Sharks in the regular season.
12 Detroit (48-28-6) 12 Injuries played a part, but they don't completely explain Detroit's 7-11-4 finish. The Wings' last regulation road win against a playoff team was Dec. 26; on the bright side, it came in Nashville.
13 Washington (42-32-8) 15 They enter the playoffs about as healthy as they've been all season. Nicklas Backstrom looked like his old self Saturday vs. the Rangers. The Caps went 10-4-2 to finish the season.
14 Los Angeles (40-27-15) 11 A pair of losses to the Sharks to close the schedule cost the Kings a chance at the Pacific title and a No. 3 seed. Now they draw the Canucks, with whom they split the season series two games apiece.
15 Ottawa (41-31-10) 10
The Sens dropped their final three games and scored just four goals in that stretch. They took three of four from the Rangers this season and earned more points on the road (48) than they did at home (44).
16 Florida (38-26-18) NR To say they stumbled into the playoffs would be an understatement. The Panthers went 2-3-5 in their final 10 games, but they did go 2-1-1 against the Devils in the regular season.
If you have any problems, questions, anger or praise for this list, you can let me know on Twitter: @davelozo

Author: Dave Lozo | NHL.com Staff Writer

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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