Hockey World Blog Power Rankings: Preseason

One of the new features you will see this season is a Power Ranking of teams in the league. Every week you will see a synopsis of the top six and bottom six teams in the league. At the beginning of the month, you will see a full ranking of every team in the league. Factors that will go into the power ranking will be factors such as how good/bad they are playing, record, and key victories and defeats. So if you are playing good, expect them to enter/remain in the top six. Go on a slump, and you will drop. The weekly rankings will be at the beginning of the week, while the monthly rankings will be at the first of the month. Since the regular season begins today, the first weekly power ranking will be at the end of next week on Oct. 17.

Rank Team Last Week Team Notes
1 WAS NR Should steamroll through regular season. It’s Stanley Cup or Bust for Caps. How will
Varlamov handle No. 1 job without Theodore as safety net?
2 VAN NR It’s time for Sedin twins and Luongo to make that next step to the Finals.
3 SJ NR Just like Vancouver, they have what it takes to make the Finals. They just might be
the first team upset in playoffs.
4 DET NR Division favorite and could be a 2-3 seed in playoffs. Jimmy Howard must avoid
sophomore slump Steve Mason had last year.
5 PITT NR One of the best center corps in the league, can defense play big to overcome Gonchar loss?
6 BOS NR They have depth at every position. Big question is can they avoid the choke job they
had last season?
7 PHI NR Just like Canadiens, they overachieved to make Stanley Cup finals. They have too
much talent to bomb this time around.
8 NJ NR They have the offensive guns to compete. A deeper blueline and one of the best goalies
ever will have them contend for home ice.
9 CHI NR The ‘Hawks simply had too much depth to replace in the off-season to warrant a higher
preseason ranking.
10 BUF NR The Sabres will live and die by the play of Ryan Miller. Special team will have to
improve for them to make any playoff run.
11 MTL NR They overachieved last season. Now expectation is to make another deep playoff run.
Also which Carey Price will show up in goal?
12 TB NR Top end of roster always gets them into playoffs. Look for the Yzerman effect to get
more depth at trade deadline.
13 LA NR The young talent is there to either get in the playoffs or bomb and miss playoffs.
Which fork in the road will they take?
14 PHX NR Just like CBJ two seasons ago, the cinderella season flopped against DET in playoffs.
Missing playoffs could be a possibility.
15 CGY NR Everyone but Kiprusoff had a down year. Can he maintain last years stats
while everyone else improves?
16 OTT NR Sen’s have the talent up front, but possess a vulnerable defense and question marks in goal.
17 CAR NR The youth movement seems to be working. They might need another year together before
returning to the playoffs.
18 STL NR Will be in dogfight with NSH for 3rd in Central.  Halak was an upgrade in goal, and they
could be good enough to be in playoff mix.
19 COL NR Made playoffs last year, they could either take a step back or be one of the uprising teams
in the league.
20 ANA NR Good offense, but very young defense. Only Visnovsky and Lydman are D-Men
born before 1980.
21 NSH NR No matter how bad they look on paper, Barry Trotz seems to have them clicking to fight
for a playoff spot.
22 ATL NR Will be a fun, young team to watch, but the new additions won’t be enough to help
make playoffs.
23 TOR NR It’s going to be another disappointing season for Leafs fans unless Kessel can score 60+ goals
and Giguere and/or Gustavasson can win job outright.
24 MIN NR New up-tempo offense only produced 2.61 goals per game (22nd in NHL) last season.
No blue-chip scoring could doom Wild.
25 DAL NR Team is in flux between ownership groups. Outgoing owner Tom Hicks won’t spend enough to
bring good hockey to Dallas.
26 NYR NR Everyone else in East got better while the Rangers stayed status quo.
That doesn’t work in today’s age of hockey.
27 NYI NR The inability to sign a big-ticket free agent means they will have to wait another year for
young players to grow and mature.
28 CLB NR Is one of the early front runners for 2011 top draft pick. Team didn’t do enough to surround
Nash with more talent. Also look for Mason to have a bounce-back year in goal.
29 EDM NR Getting Taylor Hall No. 1  in the draft is a start. They are at the bottom now, but expect
them to rise up the rankings during season.
30 FLA NR Lack of offense will mean Tomas Vokoun will have to steal a lot of games for them to win.
Tough task I must say.

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