Hockey World Blog NHL Power Rankings: Playoff Week 7

After 32 weeks of doing this every Monday, it is time to write the final weekly Power Rankings of the 2010-11 season. By this time next weekend we will be down to two teams left in the running to lift the Stanley Cup. But don’t worry, my weekly column during the Stanley Cup Final will be recaping the week that was in the playoffs as well as previewing what will come in the next week. Next season we might tweak the format a little and could possibly add other leagues besides the NHL. After the Stanley Cup Final, there will be a 1-30 final team rankings.

The most exciting game of the past week was yesterday’s Tampa Bay-Boston game. The Bruins raced out to a 3-goal lead only to have the Lightning storm back to score five consecutive goals to win 5-3. That series is tied 2-2 and tonight’s Game 5 in Boston could decide who will take pictures next to the Price of Wales Trophy. The two teams will also meet in Game 6 Wednesday night.

Rank Team (LW) Team Notes
1 VAN (2) For the first time since 1994, the Canucks are one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup. They rallied around three power play goals in a two minute span to take apart the Sharks. As we saw yesterday, once the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler get going, they can be hard to stop. Roberto Luongo has to keep playing the way he is playing. He reminds me a lot of Peyton Manning: on fire when he’s on, ice cold when he’s rattled or off his game.
2 TB (1) Tampa Bay could have a goaltending question for tonight’s Game 5. Will Guy Boucher roll with Dywayne Roloson or Mike Smith? Early word on the street says he will go with Roloson. Simon Gagne might be known as the Bruins killer for the remainder of his career. After all, he has scored a couple of memorable winners against Boston in the last couple of years. He scored the game-winning goal yesterday as well as last season’s series-clincher when he was with Philadelphia.
3 SJ (3) The Sharks took four costly penalties in the second period. Three of them were for dumb/lazy reasons: hooking, too many men on the ice, and delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass. The Canucks did what the Red Wings couldn’t do: score power play goals. If they don
4 BOS (4) Claude Julien better get his team in shape for tonight’s Game 5. If they don’t show up to play, they could risk going on the road needing to win to extend the series. The Lightning have a 6-1 record in the playoffs. Their only defeat was to the Bruins in Game 2.

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