I sometimes wonder whether power rankings authors have ever watched some teams play.
You all know about my problems with ESPN's preseason rankings, which had the Dallas Stars ranked 27th behind the ludicrous notion that Kari Lehtonen somehow wasn't a very good goaltender.
Well after about 10 percent of the season has been played, that outlet has moved the Stars all the way up to fifth in those same power rankings with again very little information given in the caption.
The Stars finally were slowed in a 1-0 loss to the Kings on Saturday night. They'll get a chance at revenge Thursday at home against Los Angeles.
Wow, that's some deep insight, Pierre LeBrun.
Now, it might seem like I have created a no win situation for the writers of posts like this (or this one from NHL.com, which has the Stars 6th of their top 16 teams), and I probably have. Half the reason people create power rankings is because they generate argument and, therefore, page views.
But all I want is a little bit of evidence for placement. I don't think the Stars are the fifth best team in the NHL, but Lehtonen is playing like he might be one of the top five goalies. Make that the rationale if that's really why he thinks they're up so high. If all they show is something I could have picked up by looking at the schedule, I have to presume they really don't know what they're talking about at all.
TSN's Scott Cullen does it right here. He has the Stars in seventh and gives (gasp) a pretty solid reason why and what they need to fix to stay that high.
After the jump, more non-updates from Monday's practice in preparation for tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes, fun with hockey stats from Mile High Hockey and a new mostly-daily video feature for you all to munch on.
- To blatantly steal the first line of this quick Mike Heika blog update from practice, the good news is there is no news. [DallasNews.com]
- They say great minds think alike, and Mark Stepneski and Brandon Worley had a brainshare when they posted Stars prospect updates at about the same time Monday evening. [ESPN Dallas]
- The Dallas Stars might not have made any roster moves recently, but their AHL counterparts in Austin made a pair of demotions today. One is not at all surprising while the other raised a few eyebrows. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Inspired by the mess in the NFL last weekend, Razor gives us a primer on the art of the sports handshake and when it should be properly deployed. [Razor With An Edge]
- Oh poor Buffalo Sabres fans, still working under the assumption that Brett Hull's Stanley Cup winning goal was illegal. It wasn't. But aside from that, I enjoyed this column about a Sabres fan's reaction to Brett Hull's new Twitter avatar. [Yahoo]
- Meet the enemy: The Phoenix Coyotes showed signs of life on offense in Sunday's 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, but they are still looking for production out of forward Radim Vrbata, who is on a five-game goalless streak. [Arizona Republic]
- Around the Pacific Division: The game against the Stars kicked of a string of four games in three nights for the Los Angeles Kings, so coach Terry Murray is going to give streaking netminder Jonathan Quick the next game against the New Jersey Devils off. That would have been rather nice Saturday, but what can you do? [USA Today]
- Remember Bill Guerin and his bloody eye, which I will spare you the picture of? I'm gonna bet that's what happened to Chris Pronger in last night's Philadelphia Flyers game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, where Pronger caught a follow through to the face. I'm not so sure a visor would have prevented this injury since the stick came from below, but regardless, it's scary to have to go through. [Philly.com]
- In my ongoing quest to give you all something to laugh or at least smile about each morning, I present this primer on "Advanced Quantitative Analysis For Hockey Fans" from our friends at Mile High Hockey. Go ahead and give the comments a read too. [Mile High Hockey]
- And now, our new feature. The Stars are starting to do a great job of getting post-game and post-practice interview and highlight videos posted, but they don't always do a great job of making them easy to find on the website. So to cater to you, our loyal reader, we're going to try and find at least one video to embed at the end of the links post each day. Most times it will be Stars related, but you can't hold me responsible if something really funny happens that I think trumps that (like, say, the Columbus Blue Jackets giving up two goals in the final 40 seconds). In today's inaugural edition, we give you head coach Glen Gulutzan looking like my teenaged little brother and talking about scoring chances enough to set off the Josh Lile batsignal.