NHL’s Super 16 – Tampa Bay tops, Edmonton insulted

NHL’s Super 16 – Tampa Bay tops, Edmonton insulted

NHL's Super 16 - Tampa Bay tops, Edmonton insulted 2016 images

In an article written by Dan Rosen, the NHL released its “first in-season ranking” of the top sixteen teams in the NHL on October 27th. The Super 16, as it’s called, is updated every Thursday and it is compiled from numerous writers. The flavor of the week, according to the weighting from numerous writers, are the Tampa Bay Lightning. TB enter Thursday as a 5-1-0 team that currently sits 2nd in the Atlantic Division.

The Lightning certainly are not a discrediting pick as they only have one bad result to date. Tampa Bay lost to Colorado 4-0 on home ice earlier this month. However, due to scheduling, they haven’t beaten a top team yet, and I made them 5th in my own power rankings earlier this week. Since the publication of those rankings, they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 in a game from Toronto, a solid result for sure but one that doesn’t sway me much due to the fact that Toronto aren’t exactly solid competition.

Tampa Bay play the Canadiens on Thursday in a game from Montreal, the first tough team test of TB’s season. The Canadiens themselves are 2nd in the Super 16. On Wednesday night Montreal won on the road against the New York Islanders, a result that further adds to their impressive resume so far this season. If Carey Price stays healthy, then Montreal are clear favorites for the Atlantic and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern conference.

When it comes to third, fourth, and fifth picks the ‘experts’ at really drop the ball. Other teams that finished high were No. 3 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Washington, and No. 5 St. Louis. Interestingly enough those three teams combine for a straight-up record of just 10-9 on the season. Whatever it is that the ‘pundits’ are considering, on-ice results between teams seems to be peripheral.

One question that could be asked is what does Edmonton have to do to get on the radar with some of the writers? That’s not to say that they aren’t already on some of their radars already as Tim Campbell, Brian Compton, Adam Kimelman, and Robert Laflamme all ranked Edmonton 3rd. That’s a position that is credible in my view, although I had them second in my own rankings on Monday. Truthfully, I might bump them to first next Monday following a three-goal win against Washington. However, there are other games to be played between now and Sunday night still.

But let’s look at the “ever-critical” Shawn Roarke’s Super 16. He rated Edmonton 15th of the 16 teams, the lowest of any of the contributors. That’s a 6-1-0 team that just beat Washington 4-1 in a showdown on Wednesday. Nonetheless, the Capitals remain ranked 5th with Roarke while the Oilers barely remain on his radar. Edmonton also have a win over St. Louis, another fine example of how results are not considered to be overly relevant in the Super 16.

The Chicago Blackhawks are another mishandled team. They finished 10th in the rankings despite a losing straight-up record of 3-4. Most recently, the Blackhawks hosted Calgary and lost, a poor result at home against a low-rated team.

With Chicago and Edmonton rated where they are it’s pretty clear that the Super 16 is based on shadows and ghosts more heavily than anything of substance. The Blackhawks are rated 10th despite being 3-4 straight-up, because the Cups in recent memory buoy them even though they kind of suck this year. Meanwhile, Edmonton, playoff no-shows since 2006, are rated low because of the accomplishments of former leadership in E-town that is now largely disempowered (i.e.,. Craig MacTavish, Kevin Lowe).

If you don’t think that’s true, then let me ask you this: if Chicago was 6-1-0 would they not be first? Likewise, if Edmonton was 3-3-1 would they not be out of the Super 16 and a huge afterthought? Prejudice prevails, but I think if you just stick to this year’s results so far this is what you get for a top five: (1) Montreal Canadiens (2) Edmonton Oilers (3) New York Rangers (4) Tampa Bay Lightning (5) Pittsburgh Penguins.


Shane is a sports writer with a big interest in tennis, but he's also a noted writer about travel and fiction. Plus he can handle long walks in the cold Canadian tundra!

More in Hockey

stanley cup playoffs 2017 images

2017 Stanley Cup NHL Playoffs – Second-round preview predictions

Shane LambertApril 24, 2017
anaheim ducks have an edge nhl 2017

Anaheim Ducks have huge edge over San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers

Shane LambertApril 20, 2017
Calgary Flames' Fans Upset over Game 3 Ruling vs. Anaheim Ducks 2017 images

Calgary Flames’ Fans Upset over Game-3 Ruling vs. Anaheim Ducks

Shane LambertApril 18, 2017
Toronto Maple Leafs, other Canadian teams, go 0 5 to start NHL playoffs 2017 images

Toronto Maple Leafs, other Canadian teams, go 0-5 to start NHL playoffs

Shane LambertApril 14, 2017
2017 Stanley Cup Predictions and Preview images

2017 Stanley Cup Predictions and Preview

Shane LambertApril 11, 2017
Montreal Canadiens Screwed With Bad 2017 NHL Playoff Luck images

Montreal Canadiens Screwed With Bad 2017 NHL Playoff Luck

Shane LambertApril 9, 2017
Why Washington Capitals Will be Different in Playoffs 2017 images

Why Washington Capitals Will be Different in Playoffs

Shane LambertApril 7, 2017
Will Ilya Kovalchuk lead Russia to 2018 Olympic Gold 2017 images

Will Ilya Kovalchuk lead Russia to 2018 Olympic Gold?

Shane LambertApril 5, 2017
Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks to duel for NHL Pacific Division title 2017 images

Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks to duel for NHL Pacific Division title

Shane LambertMarch 31, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription