OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
30. Buffalo Sabres (19-42-8, last week: 30) – One win in their last 10 games doesn’t exactly illustrate a team inspired by Ted Nolan to finish strong, does it? The Sabres actually went through a five game losing stretch where linemates Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford were the only Buffalo players to score goals.
29. Edmonton Oilers (25-38-9, last week: 27) – Two Oilers jerseys thrown onto the ice by disgusted fans in the same season has to be some kind of record for NHL futility, doesn’t it?
28. Florida Panthers (27-35-8, last week: 28) – The Florida Panthers finally took their California trip beating like so many other Eastern teams have already this season.
27. New York Islanders (28-35-9, last week: 29) – Kyle Okposo is still healthy, so the Isles have that going for them…which is nice.
26. Carolina Hurricanes (31-32-9, last week: 23) – Jim Rutherford will step down as the GM with the Hurricanes once the season is over. It does feel like it’s time for a change down in Carolina.
25. Calgary Flames (30-35-7, last week: 25) – The Flames have put up an 8-5 record in their last 13 games, and continued to fight hard for head coach Bob Hartley.
24. Winnipeg Jets (32-32-9, last week: 21) – Winnipeg never had a shot at the playoffs in the Western Conference, but at least they’ve had close to 95 percent of their season ticket holders renew thus far.
23. Ottawa Senators (29-29-14, last week: 24) – The Sens have won twice in their last 10 games, and the whispers out of Ottawa are that Jason Spezza’s days might be numbered. Tough to understand what’s wrong with this team.
22. Nashville Predators (31-31-11, last week: 26) – The Predators shut out the Blackhawks last weekend, but it was a little too late this season for an offensively challenged team.
21. Vancouver Canucks (33-30-10, last week: 22) – The Canucks have won four of their last six games to keep their playoff hopes on life support, but who are we kidding here?