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NHL Power Rankings - Nashville and Detroit? What is this, 2007?

Nasvhille and Detroit top the rankings, Robert Lang and Jason Arnott take the draw.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Flashback to 2007: The Buffalo Sabres were the best in the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers were fresh off of a Stanley Cup run and primed for a quick rebuild after trading Chris Pronger for five assets. And the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators were the 2nd and 3rd-best teams in the league.

Fast forward 8 years and the Sabres are the worst team in the NHL, the Oilers are entering their 4th or 5th rebuild and ... the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators are back on top of the league. Though none of the 2007 Predators remain with the franchise, the Red Wings still have Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Kyle Quincey is back.

About these rankings:

Two seasons ago, I set out to eliminate the non-sense behind power rankings by building a power rankings model based on underlying statistics and their predictive ability. The rankings were built on points earned, special teams, even strength play and goaltending, so they were constantly in flux.

I'm still playing around with the model, but here is my best effort at predicting the standings and playoff pairings at the end of the season. One item of note - 38% of the game is luck, and I don't attempt to predict or model that 38%, and I don't plan to.

Rank Team Last
1 Nashville Predators 1
2 Detroit Red Wings 4
3 Anaheim Ducks 2
4 St. Louis Blues 5
5 New York Islanders 3
6 Tampa Bay Lightning 7
7 Montreal Canadiens 9
8 Chicago Blackhawks 8
9 New York Rangers 6
10 Pittsburgh Penguins 10
11 Boston Bruins 15
12 Washington Capitals 12
13 San Jose Sharks 13
14 Winnipeg Jets 11
15 Vancouver Canucks 14
16 Los Angeles Kings 18
17 Calgary Flames 19
18 Florida Panthers 17
19 Minnesota Wild 16
20 Dallas Stars 20
21 Ottawa Senators 21
22 Philadelphia Flyers 24
23 Colorado Avalanche 23
24 Toronto Maple Leafs 22
25 New Jersey Devils 26
26 Carolina Hurricanes 27
27 Arizona Coyotes 29
28 Columbus Blue Jackets 25
29 Edmonton Oilers 28
30 Buffalo Sabres 30
  • Both the Red Wings and Predators are anchored by veterans, but both teams have a plethora of players under the age of 24.
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but dear Stars, TRADE FOR A DEFENDER.
  • Is anyone confident Tampa Bay can make a playoff run? They're a strong team at evens, but they certainly don't inspire confidence just yet.

Playoff Matchups:

Western Conference
Central Pacific
1 Nashville Predators
3 Anaheim Ducks
4 St. Louis Blues
14 Winnipeg Jets

5 St. Louis Blues
13 San Jose Sharks
8 Chicago Blackhawks
15 Vancouver Canucks
  • Jets crossover? No Kings? I think the rankings are wrong on the Kings. They'll kick in soon.

Eastern Conference
Metropolitan Atlantic
5 New York Islanders
2 Detroit Red Wings
12 Washington Capitals
11 Boston Bruins

9 New York Rangers
6 Tampa Bay Lightning
10 Pittsburgh Penguins
7 Montreal Canadiens
  • This side of the league continues to unimpress, but there is still plenty of time for personnel movement. The Red Wings can still land Jeff Petry, for example.