Hockey World Blog NHL Power Rankings: Playoff Week 5

In an incredible week of playoff action, there were three teams to start 3-0 in their playoff series. But only two were able to sweep as the Lightning and Bruins advance to the East finals. But the San Jose Sharks still have work to do as the Detroit Red Wings won both games four and five to set up a knee-knocking game six Tuesday night in Detroit. The Fighting Yzerman’s (Tampa Bay) will seek to play for the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2004 while the Bruins are hoping to advance to the final since 1990. In the other West series, the Canucks hope to avoid a second-straight game 7 when they travel to Nashville to take on the Predators tonight.

Rank Team (LW)  Team Notes
1 TB (1) I must say, Steve Yzerman struck gold by trading for Dwayne Roloson. He is the front runner for the Conn Smythe should they go that far. They also became the first team to sweep the No. 1 seed since the 1-8 seeding format began in 1994.
2 BOS (3) The Bruins would not allow another historic collapse occur like last season. They make their first conference final since 1992 and they face a team on a seven-game winning streak. The big concern is the availability of Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a head injury in game 4.
3 DET (7) The Red Wings live to fight another day. Their series with the Sharks has been nothing short of thrilling the last two seasons. Nine of their last 10 playoff meetings the last two seasons has been decided by one goal. Game six should be no different, expect them to start the game with the same energy seen in game 4 at home.
4 NSH (4) Just like the Red Wings, they got a third period spark to play another night. Saturday’s win was the first elimination-game victory in franchise history, thanks to Joel Ward and David Legwand. Ward had only 10 goals in the regular season, now he has seven in 11 games.
5 SJ (1) The Sharks should have and could have wrapped up this series. But they have given the Red Wings a small glimmer of hope to win the series. Should they collapse and lose, Sharks fans might think they can never win the big one.
6 VAN (5) If it weren’t for Ryan Kesler, the Canucks would be the ones down 3-2 instead of leading the series. He has been their best source of scoring while the last two Art Ross Trophy winners are left off the score sheet for the third time in the last five games. Mikael Samuelsson was injured Saturday night and will not travel to Nashville for game six.
7 WAS (7) For the second straight year, the Capitals go from Stanley Cup favorite to biggest playoff disappointment. I see a lot if Michal Neuvirth as I see in Jimmy Howard last season: a goalie who won a lot before the NHL but has not performed to playoff standards. People want Bruce Boudreau gone, but I beg to differ.
8 PHI (8) Can you really be surprised at how the season ended for the Flyers? They had to make a goalie change in six of 11 playoff games and they struggled with defense in the Boston series. They have a lot of work to do in the offseason if they want to get back to the Stanley Cup finals.

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