DENVER, CO - MARCH 03: Paul Stastny, Gabriel Landeskog, Milan Hejduk, Ryan O'Reilly and Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche huddle up during a break in the action against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, The Hockey News, NHL.com, Sports Illustrated, and TSN. What do they all have in common? Why, I'm glad you asked: They each provide their take on who's hot and who's not in the all-too-familiar weekly Power Rankings. So, let's round 'em up and find out just what exactly they think they know about our beloved Avalanche. This week, a whole lotta love for Varly.
Oh, and for those who don't already know: our very own Adrian Dater blesses Sports Illustrated with his burgundy-brazened voice. (It's always fun to see what he has to say about the NHL's bottom-feeders).
|Outlet||Ranking||Last Week||What They're Saying|
|21||17||Of all the young top picks on the Avalanche roster, none have looked as impressive recently as Gabriel Landeskog. Losses to Columbus and a 5-1 blowout against the Penguins at home move them down this week.|
|16||21||The Avs looked miserable in a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh at home Saturday but bounced back to shut out Minnesota on Sunday to stay in the hunt for what looks to be one or two available playoff spots in the Western Conference. The streaky Avs play eight of their next 13 on the road.|
|17||16||Semyon Varlamov (.947 save percentage, two shutouts in February/March) has picked the right time to contribute his best hockey of the season. Last week's 2-0 loss to Columbus will sting throughout the summer if the Avalanche miss the playoffs by one point.|
|16||16||After slow start, Semyon Varlamov coming around to help give the Avs a push. Varlamov has allowed four goals in past five starts for 4-1 record and two shutouts. Perhaps he should have started at home against Penguins (5-1 loss).|
|-||-||They only rank the top 16 teams. So... f*** the Red Wings?|
|17||13||Just when you think they're going somewhere, they get shut out by Columbus on home ice. A win that night and the Avs would have gained sole possession of eighth place in the West, but remained on the outside looking in. On the bright side, Semyon Varlamov is heating up in net. He recorded his fourth shutout of the season in a much-needed 2-0 win at Minnesota on Sunday.|
|16||16||It's been a hot and cold season for G Semyon Varlamov -- maybe a little more cold than hot -- but he's been good since the All-Star break, putting up a 1.75 GAA and .941 SV%.|
Click on logos for links to full power rankings.
A special thanks to EmilyB and the fine folks over at Japer's Rink for their assistance. Without them I would not have
stolen been inspired with this idea. No, but seriously -- they have some nice people over there, and even better articles.