Welcome to the first edition of the Sunbelt Hockey Power Rankings. Each week during the season we intend to rank the nine teams that we cover based off how they performed the prior week. Remember this is a weekly ranking so just because a team is in 1st doesn’t mean that they will automatically be 1st in the rankings. And just because you win all your games in a week doesn’t mean you will be 1st either; we intend to look at strength of schedule, margin of victory, and overall performance.
So without any further ado here is the first set of rankings.
1) Anaheim Ducks (3-0-0) All three victories were on the road, and 2 were in Chicago and Detroit, that’s pretty impressive for any team to go into those cities and win back to back.
2) Carolina Hurricanes (3-0-0) Surging into first place almost got them to the top of the power rankings, but winning on Long island is a little bit easier than winning in Hockeytown, USA.
3) Los Angeles Kings (2-1-0) Like I said winning in Detroit isn’t easy, even when you are the defending champions. The Kings showed signs of life though winning 2 out of 3 this week, and since they are the defending champs, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and give them the three spot
4) Phoenix Coyotes (2-1-0) I was going to make this a tie between Phoenix and Dallas, but I thought the Coyotes showed a little more life in their 2 wins then Dallas did. Also I’m giving the Coyotes credit for playing well in the face of the chaos that is their front office.
5) Dallas Stars (2-1-0) See Above. Dallas had a good week, but I had to place them somewhere. Phoenix and LA can easily be bumped down this week, but we will see how the Stars play.
6) Nashville Predators (2-2-0) The Preds had a busy week, I wanted to bump them up for playing more games but I thought Dallas and Phoenix hung tough in their 3 games so Nashville lands at 6 by default.
7) Tampa Bay Lightning (1-2-0) The Lightning finally snuck out a win Saturday night to get a win this week but the Hurricanes have stolen the momentum in the Southeast. Tampa needs to get back on the winning track if they want to move back up these rankings.
8) Florida Panthers (0-3-0) The Panthers showed signs of life a week ago, and tried to keeps that momentum going but all they had to show for their effort was 3 OT losses. Nice try guys, but 3 losses are still 3 losses.
9) San Jose Sharks (0-3-0) Who would’ve thought a week ago that San Jose would be at the bottom of this list? They have been a disaster lately. Besides losing all 3 games this week, they have now pushed the overall losing streak to 7.