Updated: April 14, 2014, 1:41 PM ET

Bear season


By Scott Burnside (posted April 14, 2014)

And here we are at the end. Where did 1,230 games (not counting preseason or Olympics) go? In a short time the regular season will be a blur and the focus will be on the 16 teams hoping to end their June with a parade and a place in history. As it should be. Until then, our final look at the 2013-14 Power Rankings.

• Have your say: Rank all 30 teams!

• Hockey Prospectus final 2013-14 player rankings

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1
Boston
54-19-9
The Bruins are our consensus pick to win it all this spring. They will start with a tough out in Detroit, but they have been the class of the NHL all season long.
2
Anaheim
54-20-8
Congrats to Bruce Boudreau and the Ducks for a record-setting season in Anaheim. They fully deserve their top seed in the West. Now, which of their dozen or so goaltenders will Boudreau tab for the starter's job in Game 1?
3
Colorado
52-22-8
There should be a strong Colorado presence at the NHL's annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas with Patrick Roy, Nathan MacKinnon, Semyon Varlamov and Ryan O'Reilly all looking at potential hardware. All the Avs are concerned with, though, is that big silver trophy, and there's no reason to think they won't be right in the mix as the surprise winners of the Central Division.
4
San Jose
51-22-9
The Sharks let the Pacific Division title get away from them but got rookie Tomas Hertl for the stretch. Will the goaltending hold up in their first-round match with the Kings?
5
Pittsburgh
51-24-7
The Penguins are a bit under the radar after an injury-plagued regular season but still ended up with the second seed in the East. They are getting healthy at just the right time, too.
6
Chicago
46-21-15
The Blackhawks insist they'll get Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane back for the first round, but the team has gone more than a little sideways in recent days. Can the Blackhawks find the level of play that saw them win championships in 2013 and 2010?
7
St. Louis
52-23-7
Talk about a lost month. The Blues have gone from the hot Stanley Cup pick after the trade deadline to a team that collapsed through the final weeks of the regular season, losing six straight to end the season and fall out of the division lead.
8
Tampa Bay
46-27-9
Great performances from a couple of rookies, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, and a rookie head coach in Jon Cooper have the Bolts back in the postseason. But their chances hinge on the health of netminder Ben Bishop, who missed the last few games of the regular season with an injury.
9
Los Angeles
46-28-8
The Kings remain a team many believe is capable of yet another long playoff run. So much hinges on Drew Doughty's health (he says he'll be fine), but the offense remains an on-again, off-again proposition, and the Sharks will provide an intense first-round opponent.
10
Montreal
46-28-8
Carey Price will likely earn a spot on the final ballot for the Vezina Trophy, but will the Habs be able to generate enough offense to move on, especially having given up home-ice advantage on the final afternoon of the season?
11
Minnesota
43-27-12
Kudos to head coach Mike Yeo for righting a ship that was listing badly late in the regular season. And to Ilya Bryzgalov for proving doubters wrong about his ability to be a top NHL netminder. Now, can that goodwill be carried into the playoffs?
12
NY Rangers
45-31-6
How good is the Rangers-Flyers series going to be? The Rangers weren't the powerhouse some expected them to be, but they still have the goods to be a dangerous playoff team.
13
Philadelphia
42-30-10
Hard to overstate the job done by coach Craig Berube in turning this franchise around after a dismal start. Likewise, Claude Giroux has established himself as one of the true leaders in the game. Still, it will come down to Steve Mason's ability to get the job done.
14
Columbus
43-32-7
Strong finish from one of the feel-good teams of the season. Just the second postseason appearance for the Blue Jackets -- and how good is Ryan Johansen? Real good. Real, real good.
15
Detroit
39-28-15
You wonder if that Game 81 loss to Carolina -- which could have opened the door to a first-round matchup with Pittsburgh -- will come back and haunt the plucky Wings. Still, a terrific job by Mike Babcock in guiding this team through myriad injuries to top players to get them to the playoffs for an astounding 23rd straight season.
16
Dallas
40-31-11
Credit to rookie GM Jim Nill for believing in Tyler Seguin as a top center, a faith that was rewarded with the team's first playoff berth in six years.
17
Washington
38-30-14
So typical of this team to win like crazy when it didn't matter. One wonders what kind of offseason carnage awaits management/coaches/players.
18
New Jersey
35-29-18
Farewell to the incomparable Marty Brodeur (at least farewell to seeing him in a Devils jersey). How does a team lose 13 straight shootouts? The good news for Devils fans is that Pete DeBoer will be back behind the bench.
19
Ottawa
37-31-14
Surely GM Bryan Murray isn't really thinking about canning coach Paul MacLean. Still, a most disappointing turn of events for a team most thought would be playoff-bound.
20
Nashville
38-32-12
A strong finish for the Preds won't ease the pain of a second straight playoff miss. Lots of good talent, but as always, is there enough offense to make this team a real contender? With Barry Trotz out, a new coach will be counted on to change the team's direction.
21
Winnipeg
37-35-10
Typical of this franchise: not good enough to be a playoff team, not bad enough to get a top-five draft pick. Hard to imagine this changes next season.
22
NY Islanders
34-37-11
The Isles, perhaps buoyed by the news the team might soon be sold, put in some good work down the stretch of an otherwise forgettable season.
23
Calgary
35-40-7
The feeling is that the Flames are now ahead of the Canucks and Oilers in terms of their evolution. Credit Bob Hartley with keeping this team moving in the right direction.
24
Phoenix
37-30-15
What a disastrous finish for the Coyotes, who could not get enough clutch scoring when they needed it most in the waning days of the regular season.
25
Carolina
36-35-11
What changes await this franchise after missing the postseason for a fifth straight season?
26
Edmonton
29-44-9
Yep, another season, another top-five draft pick in the offing. Um, that's not how it's supposed to work, right?
27
Toronto
38-36-8
Nice way to finish: 2-8-0 and four straight losses. Hard to imagine Randy Carlyle survives this finish, especially with new sheriff ... er ... president Brendan Shanahan in place.
28
Vancouver
36-35-11
Like Brendan Shanahan, new president Trevor Linden has a mountain of work to do in restoring this now-broken franchise.
29
Florida
29-45-8
Try this on for size: Alexander Ovechkin in a Panthers' jersey. Why not?
30
Buffalo
21-51-10
Easily the NHL's worst team and has been for weeks and weeks and weeks. Only one way to go for new GM Tim Murray and head coach Ted Nolan.

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