Week 10 of NHL action was one of the ugliest we’ve seen in a long while. Mostly everything awful that the sport has to offer was showcased during a 24-hour window from Saturday night to Sunday evening. Within that span of time we saw James Neal knee Brad Marchand in the head, Shawn Thornton assault Brooks Orpik for a clean hit and Dion Phaneuf try to run a defenseless player into the nosebleed section with a nasty hit from behind.
It’s amazing that any of these guys found time to actually play hockey, what with all the effort they spent trying to defend the honor of the game while actually defacing it.
It’s a shame that these events have drawn and will continue to draw so much negative attention to the NHL. This week’s storylines should have been about resurgence. Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner and Tyler Seguin all dominated the score cards while their respective teams tried to pick themselves up off the mat following these outstanding performances.
Don’t expect to see Seguin’s natural hat trick playing front and center on national news broadcasts though. Not when there’s bloodsport going on out on the ice and injuries to report on.
The soapbox is tucked away under the couch now, so let’s get on with the power rankings. As usual, no team can move up or down more than five spots in any given week. This prevents an overreaction to any particular game or event and forces teams to be consistently good to climb or consistently bad to fall.