Welcome to the 2016-17 NHL End of Season Power Rankings.
When it was all said and done, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed the world why they are still the best team in the league. A 4-2 series win against the underdog Predators was more lopsided than it looked. In the 4 victories, the Penguins outscored the Predators 17-4, Making them look more like the Prey.
A second straight Stanley Cup Title, it’s only a matter of time till the three-peat discussion begins. In 9 seasons, the Penguins have managed to string in 3 championships. It would have been interesting to see if the Penguins would have won a championship in 2011, and 2012 during the two season where Crosby suffered from a concussion.
As their captain and leader, Sidney Crosby has shown the league why he is still the best player. Crosby managed to grab his second straight Conn Smyth Trophy, making him the third player in NHL history to accomplish that.
During the final NHL Power Rankings of the year, we’ll recap some of the highlights of the year, while adding predictions for next season. If you’re looking to grow with the NHL, these final rankings will be a cheat sheet for whats occurred and what to expect in the near future.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
- The best offensive team all year long, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed why there is no such thing as having too much firepower. Sidney Crosby is still the man in Pittsburgh, and the NHL golden boy (sorry Connor McDavid). Expect nothing but a real shot at a three-peat.
Team MVP: Sidney Crosby
2. Nashville Predators
- The expectations going into the season were high for the Predators. The team just traded for a game-changing player in P.K Subban, and the sky was the limit. The regular season didn’t go their way, but their postseason run was something else. Many expected the team to be eliminated quickly against the Blackhawks, but they defied all statistics and eliminated the once Stanley Cup Champs in 4 straight games. Next season will be interesting for the Preds, if they can maintain health and consistency, I’m not sure many teams can beat them.
Team MVP: P.K Subban
3. Ottawa Senators
- Nobody expected the Senators to be this good during their Stanley Cup run. Many questioned their boring 1-3-1 scheme, but regardless of how beautiful it looked, it sure was effective. The team struggled towards the end of the regular season, but came alive in the playoffs. It’s crazy to think they were one goal away from the Stanley Cup Finals considering what the Penguins did to the Predators. It might seem like the Senators blew their window. If the team can find a way to get playoff Bobby Ryan to show up all season, they could make some noise in the East.
Team MVP: Erik Karlsson
4. Anaheim Ducks
- Ryan Getzlaf is the engine that makes the Ducks run, and comes up clutch when it matters most. A Conference Finals loss to the Predators was discouraging; considering it’s happened three times in the past four seasons. Corey Perry really wet the bed this year, only scoring 16 goals. A goal scorer is needed, but let’s just hope this was an off year for Perry.
Team MVP: Ryan Getzlaf
5. Washington Capitals
- Has someone cursed the Capitals? Another postseason, another year the Capitals are not in the Finals. The Presidents’ Trophy winners had their eye on the Cup and the Cup only this year. Their first round series with the Maple leafs spelled disaster early. The team maintained to hold it together, to eliminate the young and pesky Leafs in 6. The Second Round loss was more expected than blown, as they went on to lose to the eventual Stanley Cup Champs. Next season might be more of the same. The team might will need to dethrone the 2-time champs if they want to end this playoff drought.
Team MVP: Nicklas Backstrom
6. Edmonton Oilers
- The Oilers bad years might finally be behind them. A young and skillful team led by 20 year old Connor McDavid, the sky is the limit for the Oilers. Milan Lucic signing in the previous offseason added a gifted and gritty player needed for the Oilers locker room. The future is bright. Expect a big season next year.
Team MVP: Connor McDavid
7. New York Rangers
- The most underrated team in the Eastern Conference, the Rangers often got overshadowed by their other Metropolitan Division members (Capitals, Penguins, Blue Jackets). The team finished with 102 points, and bullied the Montreal Canadiens in the First Round. A shocking 2nd round exit to the Senators must have been quite a bit to deal with for New Yorkers. On the bright side, the team is young and filled with talent. 3 rookies scored 20+ points and Lundqvist is still in net.
Team MVP: Henrik Lundqvist
8. St. Louis Blues
- A team with many good players, but still looking for a great one. Yes, the St. Louis Blues have a really good team but lack that “it” factor. Tarasenko is their best player, and might be on the verge to stardom. A season filled with a coaching change, and trading away their best defenseman. The 2nd Round playoff appearance could be looked at as a silver lining. Consistent play through the 82 games will critical for the Blues success.
Team MVP: Vladamir Taresenko
9. Toronto Maple Leafs
- The postseason’s youngest team only played one round, but what a round it was. A match-up much like David versus Goliath, the Leafs battled the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners to 6 hard-fought games. Despite losing every overtime game in the series, they went on to force 6 of them in total. Austin Matthews is the real deal. A 40-goal rookie campaign is only the beginning of something special for the third most valuable team in the NHL.
Team MVP: Austin Matthews
10. Montreal Canadiens
- The Canadiens stringed together their third 100 point season in four seasons. Despite losing in the First Round, the team pulled through late in season after a mid-season collapse. Lacking a true elite center is the main reason the team won’t be contending for the Cup. The team ranks in the middle of the pecking order in almost all offensive categories. That won’t cut it.
Team MVP: Carey Price
11. Calgary Flames
- The hottest team in the second half of the season really surprised many. A fringe playoff team to most people, the Flames came together mid-season and played with heart and grit; terms that would make most NHL legends smile.
Team MVP: Johnny Gaudreau
12. San Jose Sharks
- The Sharks learned in the First Round that they couldn’t swim in oil. It was a disappointing season for a team that was expected to make a deep playoff run. Many can attribute age to the lack of energy the team had late in the season, with an average age of 28.40 (oldest in the league), and the injury to Joe Thornton. Expect the Sharks to miss the playoffs next season.
Team MVP: Brett Burns
13. Boston Bruins
- The first half of the season was a disaster for the Boston Bruins. Claude Julien overstayed his welcome as a head coach, and cutting him was exactly what they needed. The Bruins won 18 games with Bruce Cassidy (2nd in the league in span). During that time, the team was 1st in goals per game and shots allowed. Injuries really derailed the Bruins’ post-season run, but expect this team to be ready next year.
Team MVP: Brad Marchand
14. Columbus Blue Jackets
- The Blue Jackets went from winning 16 games in a row, then went on a funk, all before getting their sh** together late in the season. Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets, their division was dominated by two of the best teams in the league. First, they met up with the Penguins and showed signs of a faulty playoff system, but the Blue Jackets weren’t real Cup contenders… right ?
Team MVP: Sergei Bobrovsky
15. Chicago Blackhawks
- Some of the best teams in all major sports have said that sometimes after winning a few championships, you lose the fire. I can’t guarantee this is what’s happening with the Hawks, but the First Round sweep had many fans scratching their heads in confusion. The teams late season dominance was what makes their loss even more disappointing. Many are forgetting their dominance in the decade, due to the Penguins quest for a three-peat. It’ll be amazing for the league to see a Blackhawks-Penguins Cup next season.
Team MVP: Patrick Kane
16. Minnesota Wild
- Balanced offense, balanced defense. Those are the 2 descriptions most people would label the Wild for the first half of the year. The team saw itself win the most wins in franchise history, only to get ousted in the First Round. A late-season collapse was too much to come back from.
Team MVP: Mikael Granlund
17. Tampa Bay Lightning
- When your best player is out 90% of the season, nobody expects much. Hell, they might see you favorites one day, and a lottery team the next. The lighting battled through the year, and were a last day snub from the Playoffs. When Stamkos returns, they’ll probably be back in the playoff picture.
Season MVP: Nikita Kucherov
18. New York Islanders
- Doug Weight rejuvenated the Islanders mid season, ending the season 24-12-4. Despite missing the playoffs, the team might have found the right man to try and convince Jonathan Taveres to stay in the future. The star has one year left on his deal, and if he doesn’t sign an extension, expect his name to be the biggest come next trade deadline.
Season MVP: Jonathan Taveres
19. Carolina Hurricanes
- If you don’t have a great quarterback in the NFL, you’ll probably lose a lot of games. The same goes for goalies in the NHL. If the Hurricanes can solve that problem, they’ll mainly need to make a couple roster tweaks before returning to the playoffs.
Season MVP: Jeff Skinner
20. Los Angeles Kings
- The Kings have been looking like the joker since their improbable 2014 Stanley Cup. Every preseason comes with high expectations for a talented team, but they haven’t had much to show for it since. (*Cough, only one playoff win since 2014.*) The team has decided to clean house, and add a new GM and head coach. If the culture of winning can be implemented, the Kings can be something special.
Team MVP: Jeff Carter
21. Philadelphia Flyers
- Luck has been on the side of the Philadelphia Flyers. The team finished with 88 points in the season, but still managed to snag the 2nd overall pick in the NHL Draft. Steve Mason will be a free agent this summer, so getting a quality goaltender will a priority. The team does have many high level prospects in minors that should be getting a call up next season. Overall, everything is going to be upwards from here.
Team MVP: Wayne Simmonds
22. Winnipeg Jets
- Talent is definitely in Winnipeg. The Jets are equipped with many players capable of leading a team to the post season. The issues really fall in the consistency and goaltending. If the team can somehow lure a quality net-minder, they’ll just need to continue to practice, and get this team back into the playoffs.
Team MVP: Mark Scheifele
23. Buffalo Sabres
- A young team led by a dysfunctional front office, will go bad 10 times out of 10. The Sabres cleaned house a bit after the season, but there have been many reports of second-year star, Jake Eichel, being frustrated with the direction of the team. The Sabres have a long way to go, but discussing the blue line issues maybe one of the first problems to address.
Team MVP: Jake Eichel
24. Dallas Stars
- The Stars have a high-powered offense on paper. It didn’t manage to translate on the ice this season. Many could see the Stars just lacked discipline; the team couldn’t control the puck, and with a non-existing goalie, that just made things tougher for the team. If there was a team to make a major leap next season, I would definitely have my money on the Stars.
Team MVP: Tyler Seguin
25. Florida Panthers
- Jaromir Jagr playing 82 games at the age of 45 might be the best highlight for the Panthers. The team that generates the least amount of money in the league, and has one of the lowest game turnouts is still inconsistent and ways from a playoff appearance. Maybe hockey shouldn’t be played in Florida?
Season MVP: Jaromir Jagr Health
26. Vancouver Canucks
- The second worst team at the end of season, the Canucks’ bad luck became worse. Their draft odds had them picking second before the lottery, but are now slated at number 5. The Canucks have an average team, and nobody in the minors with true superstar potential. In such a not-so-deep star-studded NHL Draft, expect another dismal season from the Canucks.
Season MVP: Bo Horvat
27. Detroit Red Wings
- Everyone wants to win forever, but the time has come for the Red Wings. 25 straight years of playing in the playoffs has come to an end. The scariest part about this streak ending is that the team might not see the playoffs for a while. The Red Wings are only getting older, and possess some bad contracts that are providing nothing to the team. If there was a goal that needed to be attained, that would be collecting as much young talent as possible. A rebuild is necessary and better start now than later.
Team MVP: Henrik Zetterberg
28. Arizona Coyotes
- It’s hard to expect much from such a young team. The talent is there, but only time and great player development will tell how it goes. Don’t be surprised to see the Coyotes have another losing season next year.
Team MVP: Radim Vrbata
29. New Jersey Devils
- I don’t know who was worse in the second half of the season– The Devils or the name of the new Las Vegas team (Golden Knights). If there was one consolidation prize in a horrific season, the Devils managed to land the number one pick in the NHL Draft. Taylor Hall is seen as the face of the franchise, hopefully they can find him some help.
Team MVP: Taylor Hall
30. Colorado Avalanche
- The worst team to start the season, the worst team to end the season. The fact that the Avalanche have some really interesting roster pieces makes their issue more upper management. I know dropping from number 1 to number 4 in draft selection isn’t making any of this better. Expect more of the same.
Team MVP: Avalanche Supporters
That’ll do it or the NHL End of Season Power Rankings. What did you think of this year’s season? Will the Penguins repeat as champs next year? What did you think of the final list of the season? Be sure to tell us all about it and more in the comment section below. Finally, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More, and follow us on our Instagram page for all of the latest information from Power Rankings and More.
Published on 6/18/17 at 8:00 PM EDT.Share this post on:
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