TLN Player Power Rankings: March 16, 2015

Every week the Power Rankings seem to get a little harder.
Not so much the bottom of the list, but making a case for players at the top.
No one said blogging was easy and I just don’t have it my heart to tell the
good people of TLN that there will not be any power rankings this week, so here
we go once again with the planet’s definitive Leaf power rankings.

1. DAVID BOOTH (LAST WEEK: 5)

David Booth is playing like he really wants to be in the NHL next season, which brings me to three important points:

1) Why couldn’t he have done this before the trade deadline?

2) On a similar contract I would be thrilled if the Leafs brought him back.

3) If another team overpays for him because of his strong finish to this season that would be hilarious.

2. MORGAN RIELLY (LAST WEEK: 11)

Rielly will be a very good top pairing defenseman on a bad team next season. Thankfully that bad team is the Leafs and he’ll still be in his prime when this team is blindingly awful.

3. NAZEM KADRI (LAST WEEK: 9)

Nazem received a well earned paid vacation this week so he can’t be blamed for how awful the team was. Really the only thing you can hold against Naz is that Don Cherry likes him.

4. PHIL KESSEL (LAST WEEK: 4)

I don’t know about you but I think Phil Kessel is a pretty good hockey player. Also it would be very nice if Kessel could still find his way to 30 goals this season.

5. JAKE GARDINER (LAST WEEK: 8)

Jake Gardiner picked up three assists this week while playing defense on an awful hockey team. This was more points than the team’s top line center. Of course since he plays a more high risk game none of that will be talked about.

6. RICHARD PANIK (LAST WEEK: 16)

Panik continues to put up points in his career year, and at this point should be a no brainer for making a return to the Leafs next season. The interesting piece however is that Panik holds arbitration rights and the Leafs don’t want a repeat of the Mark Fraser situation where they would be obligated to accept any ruling under $3M. The needs to be some sense of panic in re-signing him before the summer because letting Richard go for nothing would be a dick move.

7. PETER HOLLAND (LAST WEEK: 7)

The Leafs were testing Holland out as a twenty minute a night center in a few games this week which is a nice change from his fourth line role a few weeks ago. He picked up a goal, so that was nice. He’ll be back in the lineup tonight after missing Saturday’s game.



8. DION PHANEUF (LAST WEEK: 10)

Have you noticed that some people really like Phaneuf and other people really dislike him. That’s weird. I think the Canucks fall into the dislike Phaneuf camp, which in my opinion is one of the best reasons to like him.

9. LEO KOMAROV (LAST WEEK: NR)

Leo scored a goal this week, so I will take a break from dumping on him. Also he seems to be aware of his issues.

10. TIM ERIXON (LAST WEEK: 15)

Tim Erixon was a scratch a couple of times this week, which is perfectly fine for a waivers claim. What’s not fine is scratching Tim Erixon when you have a perfectly good Eric Brewer to scratch. While scratching the player who might in fact be the team’s fourth best defenseman is an excellent way to tank, I would much rather see what Erixon can do than T.J. Brennan, Andrew MacWilliam, or pretty much any Marlie defenseman not named Viktor Loov or Stuart Percy.

11. JOFFREY LUPUL (LAST WEEK: 12)

Joffrey has gone seven days without an incident on social media and he deserves recognition for that, so I’ve moved him up one spot in the power rankings. 

12. JAMES van RIEMSDYK (LAST WEEK: 17)

James van Riemsdyk is still high above the modest bar set for him by being better than Luke Schenn. Of course if the bar were to be set at top line winger, van Riemsdyk has been well under that for the past three months. 

On the plus side he’s showing he still has the ability, so maybe he’s just really committed to the tank.

13. ANDREW MacWILLIAM (LAST WEEK: NR)

MacWilliam made his NHL debut, and picked up an assist in the first period of that game. That’s as close to a nice story as this team is going to have for a while, so let’s enjoy it.

14. T.J. BRENNAN (LAST WEEK: NR)

T.J. Brennan is a very good AHL defenseman. With what we’ve seen from Brennan this week he’ll likely be a very good AHL defenseman again very soon. 

15. JONATHAN BERNIER (LAST WEEK: 19)

16. JAMES REIMER (LAST WEEK: 18)

It’s almost over.

17. ZACH SILL (LAST WEEK: 6)

He’s been punching people for your viewing pleasure.

18. TREVOR SMITH (LAST WEEK: NR)

He gets on the score sheet, he gets back on the power rankings. It doesn’t change that he probably shouldn’t be in the NHL.

19. ERIC BREWER (LAST WEEK: 20)

Eric Brewer moves up one spot this week because I feel I’ve finally figured him out. He’s such a great team guy, and strong veteran presence there’s no way that he could be this bad at hockey. He’s clearly wanting to reward the Leafs for giving him another shot in the NHL by ensuring they get the highest draft pick possible. Thanks for your hard work Eric. Gordspeed.

Also, whatever Steve Simmons says you should always do the opposite.

20. TYLER BOZAK (LAST WEEK: 14)

Let’s take a look at the sound defensive play of Tyler Bozak, shall we

He’s still young, so there’s plenty of time to learn. Bozak needs 9 points in the remaining 12 games to crack 50 points for the first time in his career.

DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT

Joakim Lindstrom and Brandon Kozun are playing fourth line minutes on a team with the worst record since mid-December, I’m pretty sure that makes them bad hockey players. 

The praising Nathan Horton schtick has been retired this week after his run of number one spots. While I’m still glad he’s not David Clarkson at some point it was going to be cruel to continue pointing out that he’s likely never going to play hockey again so I’ve dropped it and simply wish him the highest quality of life possible.