The doldrums of summer… a hockey waste land where hockey fans pull out hair and taking up smoking. It’s a time when hockey news slows and speculation run rampant. But for fans of the game, there’s always something to keep us entertained. Recently, Sam McCaig, who has written for Hockey News, TSN and Yahoo!, posted his rankings for each position in the NHL.
The link is here if you’d like to check it out.
This may not be significant to most of you, but for me, and my Bruins pride, I like to peruse these lists and bitch and moan about how this player or that player got overlooked or underrated. I can’t really do that with this list.
Quickly, here’s how the Bruins ranked.
Tim Thomas, who had to overcome being benched last season, was ranked #1 overall among NHL goalies. It’s decidedly satisfying to see a guy who at some points didn’t even have the support of his home fans finish the season so strongly that he would be ranked this highly. As Bruins fans, we see it, but it’s nice that the opinion runs wider than just us.
Zdeno Chara, after failing to overcome Niklas Lindstroms monstrous star in the Norris Trophy voting, nabs the top spot among D-men. This is only surprising because for a long time, Chara has had to deal with the weight of his potential. He may still have some detractors, but there’s very few, and the argument for him not being the best in the league is a thin one. And if it wasn’t enough that he was ranked highest, at least 3 or 4 times players were compared to being “hopefully” their teams Chara.
When we get to forwards it gets murky.
Patrice Bergeron was ranked 18th, and far to low for my liking. I understand that the Center position is deep, but for anyone to rank Mikko Koivu or Jeff Carter higher than Bergy is out of their minds.
At Right wing, Nathan Horton gets the nod at 19th among Right Wingers, and a few spots AHEAD of Phil Kessel. This was another satisfying moment reading these rankings. I had a few points of contention here though, as he was ranked BEHIND Chris Stewart, Claude Giroux, and Ales Hemsky. They’re great players for sure, but none of those guys are as complete as Horton.
Left Wing was where I was surprised the most. It seems the lore of Milan Lucic has escaped the streets of Boston and worked it’s way into the imagination of the NHL. First, here’s a list of players Lucic was ranked HIGHER than: Taylor Hall, Simon Gagne, Cammalleri, Tomas Vanek, and Brendan Morrow. Whether you believe one 30 goal season and a disappearing act in the playoffs warrants it or not, Lucic was ranked 6th among Left Wingers.
Now, I implore you to not read too deeply into any of this. It’s just one hockey writers rankings, and we can and will find many faults with lists like these. The reason I visited this was to give us an idea of where the hockey world sees our team and our top players. Every month we tick through into the season, this list would change, but for now, the Bruins look to be at the top of the hockey world again.