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

Monday, 04.9.2012 / 7:21 AM CT / Features
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NHL.com\'s Super 16: Predators Finish Season Ranked 5th

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

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 10 3 5 6 8
S. Weber 10 3 4 -4 7
R. Johansen 10 3 4 1 7
R. Josi 10 0 7 -3 7
M. Ekholm 10 3 2 3 5
J. Neal 10 3 1 -2 4
M. Fisher 10 2 2 -2 4
F. Forsberg 10 2 2 -7 4
R. Ellis 10 0 3 1 3
C. Smith 7 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 5 5 0 .920 2.33
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00