NHL Power Rankings: January 23rd
1. Pittsburgh Penguins -206 No team made a bigger statement in the first two days of the season. Pittsburgh dominated the Flyers and Rangers on its way to a perfect 2-0 start. Oddly enough, it's been the Pens role players that have led the way.
2. Chicago Blackhawks -202 Chicago has become a bit of a forgotten team since lifting the Cup three years ago. So far, so good here in 2013, as the 'Hawks are 3-0, with quality wins over the Kings, Coyotes, and Blues.
3. Boston Bruins -196 No Tim Thomas, no problem. The B's have given up only two goals in notching back-to-back wins to open the season.
4. St. Louis Blues -193 St. Louis suffered its first loss of the season on Tuesday night. Perhaps the Blues were a little worse for wear, playing their third game in four nights to open the campaign, with a shootout win thrown in the mix.
5. San Jose Sharks -188 It's far too early to tell whether the Sharks are actually for real, but scoring 10 goals in two victories to start the season is certainly a step in the right direction.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning -183 Few teams have more to prove than the Lightning this season. Their offense has looked downright explosive, but whether Anders Lindback can carry the load between the pipes remains a big question.
7. Minnesota Wild -177 What you see is what you get when it comes to the Wild. They've been involved in three hard-fought, tight-checking games, featuring only 11 goals combined.
8. Buffalo Sabres -172 Buffalo has taken full advantage of a rather favorable schedule so far, handling both the Flyers and Leafs. Things will get tougher with four of their next six games coming on the road.
9. Los Angeles Kings -166 I won't drop the Kings out of the top 10 - it is still very early after all. Their 0-2 start is concerning, even moreso when you consider they've scored only three goals while giving up eight.
10. New York Rangers -161 No real conclusions can be drawn from the Rangers 0-2 start, as they faced some tough competition in the Bruins and Penguins. They'll get another shot at Boston on Wednesday night.
11. Ottawa Senators -156 The Senators are out to prove that last year's success was no fluke. They've done a nice job so far, shutting down the Jets and Panthers in back-to-back wins.
12. Vancouver Canucks -151 The Roberto Luongo trade talks are heating up, and so is the pressure on GM Mike Gillis to make a move following an ugly 0-2 start.
13. Anaheim Ducks -145 Perhaps no team has been more exciting to watch in the early going, as the Ducks have found the back of the net 12 times in two games.
14. Dallas Stars -141 Veterans Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney have looked sharp, helping the Stars to two wins in their first three games.
15. Nashville Predators -136 Credit the Preds for taking at least a point in each of their first thee games. Pekka Rinne has looked a little shaky between the pipes. Chris Mason earned the team's first win of the season on Tuesday night in Minnesota.
16. New Jersey Devils -131 This ranking might be a little low for a team that's off to a 2-0 start - not to mention one that won the Eastern Conference last year. I simply feel the Devils schedule has had a lot to do with their early success.
17. Detroit Red Wings -126 The Red Wings aren't accustomed to playing from behind, but until they sort out their issues between the pipes, they might be doing it a lot.
18. Washington Capitals -122 The look of concern on head coach Adam Oates' face during the latter stages of Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Jets said it all. The pressure is mounting.
19. Colorado Avalanche -118 The Avs picked up their first statement win of the season on Tuesday, rallying to defeat the Kings 3-1 in their home opener.
20. Toronto Maple Leafs -111 There's no reason to knock the Leafs - not yet anyway. They'll face a stiff test in Pittsburgh on Wednesday - perhaps our first opportunity to see what they're made of defensively.
21. Winnipeg Jets -105 The Jets have shown plenty of fight, earning a point in a shootout loss in Boston before taking down the Capitals in Washington on Tuesday.
22. Carolina Hurricanes -101 Expectations are high in Carolina this year, but the 'Canes haven't looked good out of the gates, suffering blowout losse at the hands of two division foes.
23. Edmonton Oilers 106 The Oilers youth showed on Tuesday, as they allowed six first period goals in a lopsided loss to the Sharks. It was a big step back following an impressive win in Vancouver to open the campaign.
24. Philadelphia Flyers 109 It's unlikely the Flyers will stay this low for long, but there's no question, they've looked downright awful through three games. A date with the Rangers looms on Thursday night.
25. Montreal Canadiens 112 Based on the look of the Habs lineup, Carey Price is going to have to turn in an MVP-type year in order to get this team into the postseason.
26. Phoenix Coyotes 116 If the Coyotes can't keep pucks out of the net, they're going to be hard-pressed to ice a competitive team. Their success has been build on playing hard-nosed defense in recent years, but that hasn't been the case early on.
27. Florida Panthers 120 The Panthers blitzed the Hurricanes in their home opener, but it's been all downhill from there. I can't help but think the 'Cats are in for a long season.
28. New York Islanders 122 Credit the Isles for bouncing back from a season-opening loss. Inconsistently will likely plague them for much of the year.
29. Calgary Flames 126 Flames fans have to be more than a little concerned after watching their team get off to an 0-2 start at home. There just isnt' a lot of upside on this roster right now.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets 131 The Jackets have taken at least a point in their first two games - a positive start for a team that most have pegged to finish last place again this season.
- April 23, 2014 - 7:05 PM
- Doc's Sports
- Offered at:
- betonline @ -135 Cleveland
Doc's Sports Wednesday MLB Free Play!
Wednesday MLB Free Play from Doc’s Sports Take #972 Cleveland Indians (-135) over Kansas City Royals (Wednesday, 7:05pm EST) The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals both exceeded expectations in a big way last year. The Indians grabbed a wild card berth with 92 wins while the Royals were in the race most of the way with 86. They were two of the best stories in baseball last season, but only one of those teams has a realistic shot of doing it once again. The Royals were successful in 2013 due to a dynamite bullpen and superb defense. Good bullpens are very hard to maintain from year-to-year as they are already finding out. Their bullpen ERA is over a full run higher than last season and two of their top guys are on the disabled on top of it. The Royals had unbelievable defensive metrics last season, and those will also be hard to repeat. The Indians, on the other hand, were successful last year mainly due to a well-balanced offense and good starting pitching numbers. Those variables are much more consistent from season-to-season, so I think the Tribe has a good chance to be in the thick of things again in 2014. Team ace Justin Masterson takes the ball for Cleveland on Wednesday, and he looked good last time out after a couple of shaky outings. On the other side is Jason Vargas for Kansas City – a guy who generally keeps his team in the game but won’t dominate the opposition. Big edge to the Indians there. Add in the home field advantage and the fact that Cleveland has the better overall team, and it all adds up to a play on the Indians here.