Full disclosure: We’re only doing it for the clicks.
This week’s evaluation of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League includes a scorching, fact-loose opinion on each of the 31 clubs.
As a wise mentor once advised, when it comes to sports chatter, it’s better to be memorable than right.
Anything to differentiate from the pack!
So, dear reader, slide on a pair of oven mitts. You’ll need them as you scroll through our first-ever NHL Power Rankings: Hot Takes Edition.
Get ’em while they are.
You think you’re the only one who truly understands Victor Hedman’s value? Well, chew on this: With the Norris front-runner on the shelf for three to six weeks, the Tampa Bay Lightning will blow a 22-point cushion and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
The Army is just jealous that the Golden Knights are about become the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in its inaugural season.
If they all stay healthy, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand should finish the year with a five-on-five Corsi of 107 per cent. Do the math.
Nathan MacKinnon is the best hockey player Cole Harbour, N.S., ever produced. Check the standings, buddy.
When a head coach needs to inspire his boys into the playoffs, he has one of three options: (a) give them a case of beer on a train ride, (b) throw his stick in a fit mid-practice or (c) Plan C will be revealed during the Flames’ 2018-19 skid.
Alex Ovechkin’s negative-35 plus/minus rating in 2013-14 should give the committee pause before electing the Russian into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Because it’s so dark and cold in Winnipeg, the Jets have opted to get better at hockey instead of going out at night, and here we are — atop the Central Division.
Right-shot defenceman P.K. Subban attended a Maple Leafs game during his bye week because he was dropping a subtle hint to Lou Lamoriello that he’d be open to getting traded home to Toronto.
9. Dallas Stars
Deep down, Marc Methot/Alexander Radulov wishes he was back in Ottawa/Montreal so he could help turn around the Senators/Canadiens.
10. St. Louis Blues
With Carter Hutton playing excellent in goal, the St. Louis Blues can finally put their search for a true Number 1 franchise goalie to bed.
See what happens when they don’t have to shave before every game?
Evgeni Malkin is not one of the 100 greatest of all time, and two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel is not an all-star.
Just imagine all the Hart Trophies Claude Giroux would’ve won had he been playing wing all these years.
Dustin Brown only let his production tail off to send Darryl Sutter the message that he wanted to be promoted back to the top line.
Healthy-scratching Brent Seabrook for a game should be all the incentive he needs to make sure the Blackhawks won’t regret his $6.875-million cap hit for the next seven years.
16. San Jose Sharks
Why a thatch of Joe Thornton’s beard tore out so easily is because it isn’t a real beard but a toupee beard.
17. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota will advance to the conference final and dodge elimination by scoring on one final drive with zero seconds on the clock.
The Maple Leafs will absolutely re-sign impending free agents Leo Komarov and Roman Polak this summer because they’ve earned the coach’s trust. Need proof? Look at their ice time.
19. Anaheim Ducks
The department of player safety should not punish players with incredible ironman streaks the same way it punishes players without incredible ironman streaks.
The Blue Jackets knew William Karlsson would thrive in Vegas, but depth at centre is soooo overrated.
21. New York Rangers
Renting 20-goal man Michael Grabner is worth mortgaging your team’s future.
Henrik Zetterberg, a $6.1-million cap hit, will fulfill his contract and play out the 2020-21 season for rebuilding Detroit even though his actual salary drops to $1 million. For the love of the game.
Forget Quebec. Carolina’s new ownership should consider re-relocating to Hartford for the sole purpose of reinstating the greatest logo in NHL history. Merch sales, baby.
The Islanders are only one John Tavares signing away.
The Habs are only one John Tavares signing away.
26. Florida Panthers
If they didn’t let Jaromir Jagr walk, the Panthers would be hunting down a playoff spot.
27. Ottawa Senators
Why would Erik Karlsson ever want to leave Ottawa — an organization that recently waved good-bye to his pals Kyle Turris, Daniel Alfredsson and Marc Methot — when he can be a big fish in a small pond?
28. Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid is cool, but Mathew Barzal is so much faster.
Vancouver should resist the temptation to rent Thomas Vanek for a valuable draft pick at the deadline and instead extend him so he can help mentor Brock Boeser.
30. Buffalo Sabres
When Justin Falk called Evander Kane “selfish” during their confrontation in practice, he meant it in the good way, y’know, how you want good shooters to be selfish so they can score lots of goals and help their team win a whole bunch of games.
31. Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes will totally make the playoffs in 2019. C’mon, they’re due.