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NHL Barometer: Postseason Player Rankings

Jan Levine

Levine covers baseball, basketball and hockey for RotoWire. In addition to his column writing, he's the master of the MLB and NHL cheatsheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets.

Here are the 2011 playoff rankings, based on a final four of Washington-Tampa Bay and Vancouver-Nashville, with a Stanley Cup final of Vancouver-Tampa Bay, with Vancouver winning.

Rankings are based on games played and expected points per game, PPP, +/- and PIMs by skaters and wins/shutouts by goalies. If your quarters, semis and finals differ, adjust the rankings accordingly.


EAST (none of the favorites won a season series against their opponents)

Washington defeats Rangers - 7 games

(In a rematch of the series from two years ago when Wash came back from 3-1, they get just enough offense from Ovie and goaltending to beat Henrik Lundqvist, who stands on his head. I could see the Rangers winning this series with Wideman out and Green just getting his sea legs.)

Buffalo defeats Philly - 6 games

(The Flyers late-season cruise into the playoffs hurts them as Buffalo rides a healthy Ryan Miller and playoff-ready team from their three-way battle to make the post-season into the next round. Bobrovsky is replaced by Boucher. The key here may be how much Chris Pronger plays)

Boston defeats Montreal- 7 games

(Tim Thomas against Carey Price from 195 feet. Two Original Six teams with no love lost for each other, add in more controversy following the Chara-Pacioretty incident and you have a powder keg that could explode. The Krejci-Lucic-Horton line is the difference.)

Tampa Bay defeats Pittsburgh- 6 games

(Marc-Andre Fleury played well down the stretch and will do so again here but the absence of Evgeni Malkin and possibly Sidney Crosby, likely not back to at least Game 3, dooms Pitt. Dwayne Roloson plays well enough so that Tampa Bay's snipers make the difference.)

(NOTE: In Scenario B, Wash, Philly, Montreal and TB advance, making it Wash-Mont, Philly-TB, which would change conference semis, finals and Cup finals projections.)


Vancouver defeats Chicago- 6 games

(Chicago got a mulligan when Dallas lost to Minnesota to make the playoffs. That luck runs out as Vancouver gets revenge on Chicago for their Conference semi-finals losses to them the past two years.)

San Jose defeats Los Angeles - 5 games

(Kings welcome back Justin Williams but are unable to make up for the absence of Anze Kopitar. Antti Niemi proves he is no Evgeni Nabokov leading the Sharks, who ride a balanced offense, past LA.)

Phoenix defeats Detroit- 6 games

(Ilya Bryzgalov remains hot while Ray Whitney and Shane Doan, who missed the last two games of the Coyotes' 4-3 loss to the Red Wings in 2009-10, lead Phoenix past Detroit, who defensive struggles comes to the forefront in the series. Monitor Henrik Zetterberg's availability coming off a knee injury that cost him the last two games of the year.)

Nashville defeats Anaheim - 6 games

(The Predators, the second best home team this year in the West, find a way to win on the road to capture the series. Anaheim's unsettled goaltending situation proves to be the Ducks' downfall as Nashville's defensive first philosophy, led by Suter/Weber, is enough to win the contrast of styles against an offensively superior team led by Perry-Getzlaf-Ryan and Selanne.)

(NOTE: in Scenario B, results are chalk, save for the Nashville series, so it's Van-Nash and Det -SJ)

Conference Semifinals

Washington defeats Buffalo - 7 games

(Secondary scoring from Semin and Knuble help lead Washington the finals. Coach Bruce Boudreau changes goalies, turning either to Varlamov or Holtby, which is the difference over Buffalo, who stay in the series thanks to Vanek and Boyes and Myers' play on Ovie.)

Tampa Bay defeats Boston - 6 games

(Thomas is brilliant but the Lightning come in waves to win a close series. Boston's inability to get scoring beyond the top line and PP led by Chara and Kaberle ultimately dooms them while Lecavalier comes up big to lead Tampa Bay to the conference finals.)

(NOTE: In Scenario B, Wash just gets by Montreal while TB beats Philly, leaving conference finals as same Wash-TB)

Vancouver defeats Phoenix - 5 games

(The Sedins and Kesler provide just enough scoring to defeat the plucky Coyotes. Ilya B outplays Bobby Lu but a deep and now healthy Vancouver blue line shuts down the Phoenix offense.)

Nashville defeats San Jose - 7 games

(Rinne is the difference as the Predators advance to the conference finals. Fisher, Erat, along with a healthy Sullivan get enough offense to defeat Vancouver, who get most of their scoring from the second line as Weber and Suter are on against the Thornton line nearly the entire series.)

(NOTE: in Scenario B, Vancouver beats Nashville and SJ beat Detroit, making it a Van-SJ finals)

Conference Finals

Tampa Bay defeats Washington - 7 games

(Roloson plays well enough and the Lightning's offense is too much for the Capitals' back line as Tampa Bay advances to their first Stanley Cup Finals since winning the Cup in 2004. Green, Wideman and Ovie play well, but lack of scoring from Semin etc results in ouster.)

Vancouver defeats Nashville - 6 games

(The Predators' magic runs out, Ryan Kesler has a big series, and Nashville can't cope with all the offense in Vancouver. Luongo finally helps lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals.)

(NOTE: in Scenario B, San Jose rides Niemi to beat Vancouver and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals)

Stanley Cup Finals

Vancouver defeats Tampa Bay - 6 games

(Ryan Kesler wins Conn Smythe Trophy, Luongo outplays Roloson but Stamkos regains his scoring touch, though it's not enough to defeat the Canucks)

(Note - in Scenario B with Tampa Bay-SJ, take SJ in six games with Martin St. Louis as the Conn Smythe winner.)

The Rankings

RK Player POS Team
1 H. Sedin C Van
2 S. Stamkos C TB
3 R. Kesler C Van
4 V. Lecavalier C TB
5 N. Backstrom C Was
6 D. Legwand C Nsh
7 J. Pavelski C SJ
8 D. Krejci C Bos
9 P. Marleau C SJ
10 M. Fisher C Nsh
11 J. Thornton C SJ
12 C. O'Reilly C Nsh
13 P. Bergeron C Bos
14 R. Getzlaf C Ana
15 L. Couture C SJ
16 M. Raymond C Van
17 M. Johansson C Was
18 J. Arnott C Was
19 B. Boyes C Buf
20 T. Connolly C Buf
21 J. Toews C Chi
22 P. Datsyuk C Det
23 D. Briere C Phi
24 D. Moore C TB
25 D. Roy C Buf
26 S. Crosby C Pit
27 C. Wilson C Nsh
28 P. Sharp C Chi
29 D. Bolland C Chi
30 M. Richards C Phi
31 J. Carter C Phi
32 L. Stempniak C Pho
33 J. Staal C Pit
34 C. Kelly C Bos
35 V. Filppula C Det
36 T. Plekanec C Mtl
37 K. Wellwood C SJ
38 R. Peverley C Bos
39 S. Koivu C Ana
40 J. Stoll C LA
41 M. Handzus C LA
42 S. Gomez C Mtl
43 D. Desharnais C Mtl
44 A. Anisimov C NYR
45 D. Stepan C NYR
46 C. Drury C NYR
47 K. Turris C Pho
48 T. Mitchell C SJ
49 E. Belanger C Pho
50 M. Hanzal C Pho
51 V. Fiddler C Pho
52 G. Campbell C Bos
53 T. Seguin C Bos
54 P. Gaustad C Buf
55 D. Helm C Det
56 M. Modano C Det
57 M. Letestu C Pit
58 B. Boyle C NYR
59 E. Christensen C NYR
60 M. Talbot C Pit
61 M. Perreault C Was
62 B. McMillan C Ana
63 T. Marchant C Ana
64 J. Halpern C Mtl
65 L. Eller C Mtl
66 J. Dowell C Chi

RK Player POS Team
1 M. St. Louis W TB
2 D. Sedin W Van
3 A. Ovechkin W Was
4 S. Gagne W TB
5 R. Malone W TB
6 A. Semin W Was
7 M. Erat W Nsh
8 A. Burrows W Van
9 M. Samuelsson W Van
10 M. Lucic W Bos
11 S. Kostitsyn W Nsh
12 B. Laich W Was
13 S. Downie W TB
14 D. Stafford W Buf
15 T. Vanek W Buf
16 P. Hornqvist W Nsh
17 R. Whitney W Pho
18 S. Doan W Pho
19 D. Heatley W SJ
20 M. Knuble W Was
21 R. Clowe W SJ
22 M. Sturm W Was
23 T. Purcell W TB
24 N. Horton W Bos
25 J. Pominville W Buf
26 T. Ennis W Buf
27 S. Sullivan W Nsh
28 C. Perry W Ana
29 T. Selanne W Ana
30 B. Marchand W Bos
31 M. Recchi W Bos
32 N. Gerbe W Buf
33 D. Setoguchi W SJ
34 B. Ryan W Ana
35 M. Ryder W Bos
36 P. Kane W Chi
37 R. Vrbata W Pho
38 J. Franzen W Det
39 M. Hossa W Chi
40 C. Giroux W Phi
41 L. Korpikoski W Pho
42 H. Zetterberg W Det
43 R. Torres W Van
44 J. Hansen W Van
45 C. Higgins W Van
46 M. Lapierre W Van
47 E. Fehr W Was
48 J. Ward W Nsh
49 M. Gaborik W NYR
50 M. Boedker W Pho
51 C. Kunitz W Pit
52 M. Hendricks W Was
53 N. Thompson W TB
54 S. Bergenheim W TB
55 D. Brown W LA
56 J. Williams W LA
57 M. Cammalleri W Mtl
58 B. Dubinsky W NYR
59 V. Prospal W NYR
60 V. Leino W Phi
61 S. Hartnell W Phi
62 B. MacLean W Pho
63 T. Pyatt W Pho
64 J. Neal W Pit
65 J. Chimera W Was
66 A. Hall W TB
67 J. Tambellini W Van
68 J. Dumont W Nsh
69 J. Tootoo W Nsh
70 M. Halischuk W Nsh
71 J. Hecht W Buf
72 B. Bickell W Chi
73 M. Frolik W Chi
74 T. Kopecky W Chi
75 D. Cleary W Det
76 T. Bertuzzi W Det
77 J. Hudler W Det
78 T. Holmstrom W Det
79 D. Penner W LA
80 R. Smyth W LA
81 A. Kostitsyn W Mtl
82 B. Gionta W Mtl
83 W. Wolski W NYR
84 K. Versteeg W Phi
85 J. van Riemsdyk W Phi
86 T. Kennedy W Pit
87 A. Kovalev W Pit
88 M. Comrie W Pit
89 A. Gordon W Was
90 J. Caron W Bos
91 C. McCormick W Buf
92 R. Niedermayer W Buf
93 B. Geoffrion W Nsh
94 J. Blake W Ana
95 P. Eaves W Det
96 J. Abdelkader W Det
97 O. Moller W LA
98 W. Simmonds W LA
99 M. Zuccarello W NYR
100 N. Zherdev W Phi
101 A. Nodl W Phi
102 M. Cooke W Pit
103 P. Dupuis W Pit
104 R. Fedotenko W NYR
105 B. Eager W SJ
106 S. Thornton W Bos
107 M. Grier W Buf
108 P. Kaleta W Buf
109 A. Asham W Pit
110 D. Carcillo W Phi
111 D. Powe W Phi
112 S. Avery W NYR
113 B. Prust W NYR
114 D. Sexton W Ana
115 M. Beleskey W Ana
116 B. Winchester W Ana
117 K. Draper W Det
118 D. Miller W Det
119 B. Pouliot W Mtl
120 M. Darche W Mtl
121 T. Brouwer W Chi
122 V. Stalberg W Chi
123 F. Pisani W Chi
124 B. Richardson W LA
125 A. Ponikarovsky W LA
126 T. Lewis W LA
127 D. Paille W Bos
128 L. Adam W Buf
129 M. Rupp W Pit
130 J. Ruutu W Ana
131 T. Moen W Mtl
132 K.Clifford W LA

RK Player POS Team
1 C. Ehrhoff D Van
2 S. Weber D Nsh
3 A. Edler D Van
4 J. Carlson D Was
5 R. Suter D Nsh
6 M. Bergeron D TB
7 K. Yandle D Pho
8 D. Boyle D SJ
9 K. Bieksa D Van
10 M. Green D Was
11 T. Kaberle D Bos
12 Z. Chara D Bos
13 D. Hamhuis D Van
14 V. Hedman D TB
15 B. Clark D TB
16 S. Salo D Van
17 T. Myers D Buf
18 P. Kubina D TB
19 D. Wideman D Was
20 L. Visnovsky D Ana
21 N. Lidstrom D Det
22 K. Letang D Pit
23 D. Doughty D LA
24 I. White D SJ
25 A. Sekera D Buf
26 D. Seidenberg D Bos
27 D. Keith D Chi
28 B. Rafalski D Det
29 J. Johnson D LA
30 J. Wisniewski D Mtl
31 J. Braun D SJ
32 E. Brewer D TB
33 S. Montador D Buf
34 C. Pronger D Phi
35 C. Franson D Nsh
36 C. Fowler D Ana
37 B. Seabrook D Chi
38 P. Subban D Mtl
39 B. McCabe D NYR
40 M. Carle D Phi
41 K. Timonen D Phi
42 T. Sloan D Was
43 J. Demers D SJ
44 A. Aucoin D Pho
45 M. Rozsival D Pho
46 E. Jovanovski D Pho
47 J. Boychuk D Bos
48 F. Bouillon D Nsh
49 J. Blum D Nsh
50 J. Leopold D Buf
51 B. Campbell D Chi
52 N. Kronwall D Det
53 R. Hamrlik D Mtl
54 D. Girardi D NYR
55 M. Vlasic D SJ
56 D. Morris D Pho
57 R. Klesla D Pho
58 O. Ekman-Larsson D Pho
59 T. Poti D Was
60 A. Ference D Bos
61 A. McQuaid D Bos
62 D. Schlemko D Pho
63 S. Kampfer D Bos
64 P. Martin D Pit
65 B. Lovejoy D Pit
66 Z. Michalek D Pit
67 A. Meszaros D Phi
68 M. Staal D NYR
69 T. Lydman D Ana
70 B. Stuart D Det
71 J. Ericsson D Det
72 J. Spacek D Mtl
73 Y. Weber D Mtl
74 C. Campoli D Chi
75 A. Martinez D LA
76 N. Leddy D Chi
77 B. Orpik D Pit
78 M. Niskanen D Pit
79 B. Coburn D Phi
80 S. O'Donnell D Phi
81 N. Boynton D Phi
82 F. Beauchemin D Ana
83 L. Sbisa D Ana
84 D. Syvret D Ana
85 R. Scuderi D LA
86 M. Greene D LA

RK Player POS Team
1 R. Luongo G Van
2 D. Roloson G TB
3 P. Rinne G Nsh
4 M. Neuvirth G Was
5 T. Thomas G Bos
6 R. Miller G Buf
7 I. Bryzgalov G Pho
8 A. Niemi G SJ
9 J. Quick G LA
10 C. Price G Mtl
11 H. Lundqvist G NYR
12 M. Fleury G Pit
13 C. Crawford G Chi
14 J. Howard G Det
15 S. Bobrovsky G Phi
16 M. Leighton G Phi
17 S. Varlamov G Was
18 B. Holtby G Was
19 J. Enroth G Buf
20 D. Ellis G Ana
21 A. Niittymaki G SJ
22 C. Schneider G Van
23 B. Boucher G Phi
24 T. Rask G Bos
25 M. Turco G Chi
26 J. Bernier G LA
27 J. Hiller G Ana
28 R. Emery G Ana