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LinkSpeak: Central Division Power Ratings "Donut Do This To Me" Edition

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I don’t like power rankings. They are more arbitrary and less valuable than a JC Penney necktie. Despite my aversion there is something appealing about blandly ranking NHL teams on a regular basis and pretending that it means is something. I stole chocolate from the gods and peanut butter from the hallowed walls of science itself, mashing them together into the Central Division Power Ratings.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Last edition, we had seen little change in the Central Division standings. At the same time we in Middle Tennessee were experiencing the changing of the weather. Two weeks later, the weather decided it was absolutely against change, while the Central Division experienced notable upheaval. Of all the changes in the Central, Preds fans clearly suffered the worst. The anguish has been so deep that the only viable option I've found is to immerse myself in one of the ultimate comfort foods.

These are the Central Division Power Ratings: Donut Do This To Me Edition. Donuts are a glorious treat. I'm often amazed at what a variety they offer despite the often narrow definition of what some feel constitute a true donut. What makes donuts truly interesting is much like a sandwich, it is often in how they are dressed. One must also take a moment to understand that individual styles of donuts are not always appropriate at all times, based on one's tastes. Some days demand a rich, robust donut while others are best suited for lighter yeast donuts full of gentle pockets of softly sweet air. Also, I feel that this rating system is only appropriate since Dunkin' Donuts is sponsoring the first ever NWHL All-Star Game.

  1. Custard-filled:
    Many feel that yeast donuts are the true kings of donuts, leaving cakes donuts to their dense, gooey fate. I don't feel that strongly, but yeast donuts are clearly the best when fillings are in play. The airiness of the donut gives way to whatever sweet filling is being added, and what better filling is there than custard? Custard has a viscosity and richness that perfectly compliments a light glazed donut. Custard-filled are subtle and satisfying in ways that other filled donuts can only dream.

    1. Dallas Stars: At this point can the Stars even be touched by another team in the West? They are defying the systems established by the Kings and Chicago by scoring beautiful goals at a ridiculous pace. The Dallas Stars are pure custard with a thin veneer of pastry wrapped around the outside. Should the goaltending or defensive depth truly collapse, then the entire team could find themselves in a bit of trouble. Whether or not that happens isn't important as long as fans just enjoy the ride.

    2. St. Louis Blues: How do the Blues earn this spot? Consistency. They aren't on the strongest stretch, being 4-3-3 over their last ten, but they have been strong on the road and at home. Through the course of the season the Blues have posted a record of 8-4-2 both at home and on the road. That is an excellent sign for the franchise that has yet to win a Stanley Cup in their fifty year history. If it weren't for that incredible consistency and continued strong play, the Blues would likely drop down one category.

  2. Old-Fashioned (or cake):
    Guess what, cake donuts are super good. They have a better shelf-life, and generally can be satisfying where a mediocre yeast donut may leave you wanting. There isn't as much variety in the world of cake donuts, but the blueberry cake donut is truly something to behold. Everyone loves blueberry muffins, cake, and donuts...and then some tortured genius combined all three into a single treat. What cake donuts lack is subtly. You know what you're going to get from them the second you decide to purchase it. They may be little bits of magic, but they are the sort of practical magic that retrospectively made Harry Potter look like an easily impressed tool for several of the earlier books.

    1. Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago continues to do Chicago things. Chicago does the same sorts of things every year and they work. This is a team guaranteed to make the playoffs. This is a team that will remain competitive until they get eliminated in dramatic action or manage to secure another Stanley Cup. The Patrick Kane point streak is keeping them afloat a bit. I can't help but believe that breaking that point streak would cause Chicago to stumble, not enough to cause any lasting problems, but enough for me to enjoy for a couple of days.

  3. Iced with sprinkles:
    This is the classic that transcends donut makers across America. This donut is satisfying in the way that any breakfast pastry needs to be satisfying. An iced donut with sprinkles is also not going to deeply excited anyone (unless the donut came from Shipley's, but that's an entirely different topic.). These donuts are top heavy and lack depth, but they have enough going for them to see them through most early dining situations. When purchasing donuts for an office, iced with sprinkles are a great way to distract your co-workers from the good donuts that bought for yourself.

    1. Minnesota Wild: I'm wondering if I even need to write something specific for the Wild after re-reading the description I wrote for the donut. After all the other donuts have been pulled from the box, it's going to be the Minnesota wild and three-quarters of a glazed donut because someone decided that cutting off and eating a quarter of a donut was a fine idea. It's not. Please, don't do that. "Please, don't do that" is also the phrase I utter when anyone suggests that we watch a Minnesota Wild game.

  4. Apple Fritter:
    Here's the secret, I really like apple fritters. Some argue that apple fritters are not truly donuts. These people are wrong, but I understand and respect their stance. Apple fritters do suffer from a lot of issues. As drop donuts, fritters risk uneven frying which can lead to dry sections, perfectly cooked sections, and gross doughy sections (unless you like the doughy sections). Fritters also tend to have creases and folds that trap grease. Trapping grease can be great in a slice a pizza, but having your tongue unexpectedly coated in oil isn't the most fun way to enjoy your donut.

    1. Winnipeg Jets: The Jets have not changed much since day one of the 2015-2016 season. They lack depth and they lack reliable goaltending and maybe the lack quality coaching. I look at the Jets and see a team that could implode into a rebuild by selling off the surprising number of quality assets that line the roster. Yet that is not the Jets way. The Jets are sort of like a blander Edmonton Oilers with less schadenfreude and more annoying fans.

    2. Nashville Predators: Ugh. Talk about lumpy, unevenly cooked, and oozing oil from unexpected places. So much of the Predators should be better than what fans have been seeing for the last few weeks, but the actual team hasn't come together. Parts of the team have been great, Roman Josi being the starring example, but a poor PK and unacceptable net minding from Pekka Rinne have left the Preds in an eroding position on the table. But, despite what anyone may tell you, the Predators have been deeply unlucky while they have been doing a lot of things well. Ironing out a few of the defensive zone issues and a return to form for Pekka could elevate the team from confusing to being once again delicious.

  5. Cronut:
    Cronuts are not donuts.

    1. The Colorado Avalanche are only sort of a hockey team.