Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman this past week said he believes the New York Rangers and New York Islanders might be the two best teams in the Eastern Conference and others inside the game won’t argue with that.
That’s also a sentiment from a number of Penguin players to this point.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie released a coaches poll today with the Rangers and Islanders garnering the most votes as the best team in the Eastern Conference as the calendar nears February.
“TSN surveyed 20 NHL head coaches – 10 in the East; 10 in the West – to determine Who’s Best in five categories: Best Team; Best Goalie; Best Defenceman; Best Player; and Best Coach.”
The stipulations according to McKenzie: “One – don’t vote for your own players or team. Two – vote for only one person/team per category. Three – vote only for players/teams/coaches in your own conference and four – base your votes on what you’ve seen on the ice this season.”
- Best Team: The Rangers received five votes, Islanders four votes and the Penguins one vote. No love among the 10 coaches for the Lightning, Red Wings or Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.
- Best Goalie: Carey Price received eight votes, Henrik Lundqvist two votes.
- Best Defenseman: Kris Letang got some recommendation finishing third with two votes. Ryan McDonagh won the poll with four votes, edging out Victor Hedman who had three. PK Subban received one vote.
- Best Player: Rick Nash won the poll receiving two votes. With this poll on what the coaches have seen for just this season, hard to argue with that.
- Best Coach: Jack Capuano edged several others in TSN’s Poll, receiving three votes. First year Penguins head coach Mike Johnston didn’t receive any. A bit surprising that Mike Babcock didn’t get stronger consideration from rival coaches.
- In the West, the St. Louis Blues won the best team poll with four votes.