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Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 New York Rangers New York Rangers 53-22-7
This Rangers team is so good, that many of the Blueshirts faithful are trying to figure out what could possibly derail a return to the Stanley Cup Final, rather than cheering them on.
2 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 50-24-8
Detroit will provide a good tuneup in the first round of playoffs. It looks like the Bolts are on a collision course with the Rangers in what could be a spectacular Eastern Conference final.
3 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 51-24-7
A remarkable record of 33-1-7 in games decided by one goal. Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler provide as good a one-two punch at center ice as there is in the league. The only question there is about this team is regarding the two unproven, young goaltenders.
4 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 46-28-8
▲ 1
Primed and ready for a deep playoff run, their first round matchup with St. Louis should be a classic. This is the most solid team in the Central division. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk continues to impress.
5 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 50-22-10
▲ 1
Still relying quite heavily on goaltender Carey Price, this team is tied with Chicago for fewest goals allowed by any Playoff team. Their first round series vs. Ottawa will have Eastern Canada riveted.
6 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 43-26-13
▲ 2
The Senators capped off their incredible late-season charge by qualifying for the playoffs. They are underdogs in their first round series against Montreal, but an upset is not out of the question, especially with Andrew "Hamburglar" Hammond in goal.
7 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 51-24-7
▼ 3
The Blues can't catch a break. After a great regular season, they must now face the red-hot Minnesota Wild in the first round of playoffs.
8 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 45-30-7
▲ 3
The Flames have been fantastic despite the injury to Star defenseman Mark Giordano. Sensational rookie forward Johnny Gaudreau continues his push for the Calder Trophy.
9 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 48-28-6
▼ 2
This team ended the season on a four-game losing streak, having only scored five goals in the last four games. They will need to amp up the offense in their first round matchup with Nashville. There are rumors that injured forward Patrick Kane could return very soon.
10 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 45-26-11
▲ 8
The team's remarkable turnaround resulted in a return to the playoffs. The most telling stat is with Alex Ovechkin. The Russian star scored 53 goals and increased his plus/minus rating from -35 last season to +10 this season.
11 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 48-29-5
▲ 2
The Canucks managed to ride backup goalie Eddie Lack all the way to the playoffs. Fans in Western Canada will love the rekindled rivalry with the Calgary Flames in the first round of playoffs.
12 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 47-25-10
▼ 2
With six straight losses to end the season, this could be a bad omen, considering they are facing a battle-tested Chicago team in the opening round of playoffs.
13 New York Islanders New York Islanders 47-28-7
▲ 2
The Islanders finished the regular season by sputtering to the finish. What was once a promising team is now looking rather fragile heading into the playoffs.
14 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 43-26-13
▲ 7
The Jets are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07 when they were still known as the Atlanta Thrashers. If they take advantage of their physical size, they may have a puncher's chance against Anaheim in the first round of playoffs.
15 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 43-27-12
▲ 5
A five-game losing streak preceded the Pens clinching a playoff berth on the final day of the season. Barring a deep playoff run, this is likely the last season in which Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on the same roster.
16 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 43-25-14
This is a good, prideful veteran team, but beating Tampa Bay in the playoffs will be a herculean task.
17 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 42-35-5
▼ 3
Finishing the season by going 9-0-1 in the last 10 games, the Blue Jackets will spend the entire summer wondering what could have been. It was as though the injury bug was really holding a grudge against them.
18 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 40-27-15
▼ 9
So shocking was the team's failure to make the playoffs, that it prompted a prominent New York-based sportswriter to cite a two-month old incident involving the players and head coach Darryl Sutter, as a possible reason why the team faltered.
19 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 41-27-14
▼ 7
Not winning the division is acceptable, not making the playoffs is not. Head coach Claude Julien may ultimately be held accountable, but Zdeno Chara and David Krejci combined missed 56 games this season.
20 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 38-29-15
▼ 1
43-year old Jaromir Jagr felt good enough about the situation to sign on for one more year. The goaltending is solid, and defenseman Aaron Ekblad lived up to all the hype. It didn't happen for them this season, but don't be surprised to see the Panthers back in serious playoff contention next season.
21 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 41-31-10
▼ 4
The Stars seemed to get things figured out only after it was already too late. There is an abundance of talent here, but they just need to get off to a better start next season.
22 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 39-31-12
▲ 1
Head coach Patrick Roy experienced quite a sophomore jinx. It’s a guarantee that he will spend training camp getting his team in peak physical condition in order to get off to a faster start next year.
23 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 33-31-18
▼ 1
It is hard to imagine head coach Craig Berube will not get the axe this summer. It is time for GM Ron Hextall to start earning it, and to do that some tough decisions must be made.
24 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 30-41-11
▲ 1
Having a healthy Jordan Staal from day one next season will help this team greatly. The brother of Eric Staal missed 36 games this season.
25 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 40-33-9
▼ 1
The feud between pampered star Joe Thornton and GM Doug Wilson is far from over. This will be a rather uneasy offseason. Something has to give.
26 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 32-36-14
The Devils had an indifferent ending to the season, as they lost their last four games. This offseason the winds of change will be blowing.
27 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 30-44-8
Both the GM and head coach have been relieved of their respective duties. The Toronto faithful now await the fate of Phil Kessel, Nazem Kadri and Dion Phaneuf.
28 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 24-44-14
▲ 2
Playing horrible team defense might not be that bad, were the Oilers not also 25th in the league in scoring. Someone or something has to change the culture surrounding this team.
29 Phoenix Coyotes Phoenix Coyotes 24-50-8
▼ 1
What to do with high-priced underachieving goaltender Mike Smith should be the number one thing on the team's offseason agenda.
30 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 23-51-8
▼ 1
The Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan, as if that is really the solution to any of the many problems that ail this team.