With summer slipping by us and the NHL season approaching, this week Sunday morning Power Rankings are about the Top 5 NHL story lines.
Onto the Rankings:
5. Can Barry Trotz solve the Washington Capitals? The Washington Capitals have always been maligned in the NHL because of Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals have been an offensive force the last several years and have been lacking in defense. With one of the best players in the NHL on their roster, the Capitals are expected to be better than what they have been. The Capitals brought in Barry Trotz to help fix the defense. They also added free agents Brooks Orpik, and Matt Niskanen to try and cure the defensive woes. With those additions can the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup?
4. Can the Penguins win without Dan Bylsma? In Byslma first year as head coach of the Penguins they won the Stanley Cup, however, Bylsma was not head coach the whole year. He only coached the Penguins for the last 25 games that season. In his tenure as head coach, the Penguins went 252-117 during the regular season. In the playoffs they were only 43-35 during his tenure. The Penguins excelled early and then fell short when it counted. The Penguins replaced Bylsma with an unproven NHL coach. Mike Johnston coached the Portland Winter hawks of the Western Hockey League. Can Johnston do what Bylsma couldn’t??
3. Who makes it out the Central Division?? The Central Division has turned into a meat grinder. The Blues added Paul Stastny to their already potent team. The Avalanche should continue to get better under Patrick Roy. The Minnesota Wild added more scoring in Thomas Vanek. The Dallas Stars added Jason Spezza to pair with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. The Chicago Blackhawks added Brad Richards to their VERY potent lineup. This is the best division in hockey and whoever survives the regular season will be battle tested and ready for the playoffs. With the new playoff format for the first two rounds, NHL could their best games in the first two rounds. Whoever survives this division should be a legit Stanley Cup threat.