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Top Rank NHL Power Rankings

The Top Rank Power Rankings compile its numbers based upon tried and true statistics Stanley Cup winners have used to win championships. Some categories are more obvious than others. They include seven sets of numbers: team plus-minus, winning percentage trailing after two periods, goals scored/game, 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio, three-goal game win percentage, shots/game, and team goal differential.

Some categories not included: goals against/game, times outshooting/outshot, PIMs/game, goals allowed/game.

With few exceptions, Stanley Cup winning teams have finished in the top 10 of the included categories every year since the 2004-05 lockout season (cringe).

Rankings are based on a point system, with the top team receiving 30 points per category and the bottom feeders getting just one point. Rankings include games played through Saturday, Dec. 3.

John Toperzer

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1. Boston Bruins (202)Rank in top four of every statistical category. No regulation losses in November.
2. Detroit Red Wings (182)Jimmy Howard has turned around slow start, as has Pavel Datsyuk.10-2-1 at Joe Louis Arena.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (181) SId, Geno, and Jordan Staal give Pens edge down the middle but defender Kris Letang now hurt.
4. Philadelphia Flyers (178)Remaking of perennial contender looking good, even without Ilya Bryzgalov on top of game.
5. San Jose Sharks (167)Joe Pavelski has cooled – 3 pts last 10 – but Sharks look strong again. Havlat not yet working out.
6. New York Rangers (162)Rangers elite in six of seven rankings but fifth fewest shots, NYR 8-0 when outshooting teams.
7. Chicago Blackhawks(158)Crawford hasn't been elite in goal. Leddy development surprising, backup Emery not working out.
8. St. Louis Blues (151)New head coach Ken Hitchcock has team believing in itself, even Jaroslav Halak. Perron back.
9. Vancouver Canucks (149)Canucks are a machine as long as Sedins stay healthy. Luongo back but Schneider needs starts.
10. Edmonton Oilers (142)Oil just 10th in West but future bright. Recent Sam Gagner sighting. Which vets stay, leave. Hemsky?
11. Phoenix Coyotes (127)Newcomer goalie Mike Smith getting it done but can he keep it up? Whitney not ready for AARP yet.
12. Florida Panthers (125)Proof that throwing stuff up against the wall sometimes sticks. Kulikov, et. al. must learn how to win.
13. Buffalo Sabres (117)Leino public enemy no. 1 or is that Milan Lucic? Enroth not yet the stud some expected in goal.
14. Montreal Canadiens(114)So-so offense and little defense in front of Carey Price. Cammalleri needs to produce soon.
15. Minnesota Wild (107)Lead NHL with 37 points, 8-2 last 10. Dany who? 17 points in 27 games. How are they winning?
16. Washington Caps (101)Identity crisis after hiring of PIMs guru Dale Hunter? Ovie getting $9 million to lead in hits or points?
17. Colorado Avalanche (95)Cooled off after hot start, still have top road power play, clicking at 35.3 percent (12-for-34)
18. Ottawa Senators (94)Erik Karlsson w/23 points in 26 games, has minus-2 after minus-30 last year. Plenty of youth here.
19. Dallas Stars (92)Strong start but now missing Kari Lehtonen and Brenden Morrow. Benn been great. Souray cooling.
20. Winnipeg Jets (91)Beat Pens for first home win, beat Coyotes 1-0 in big game last week. Healthy Enstrom would help.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs (86)Fifth in goals per game, but in bottom half for rest of stats. Somewhat surprised of low ranking.
21. Tampa Bay Lightning(86) Roloson damaged fantasy teams, Garon a bit better. Hedman does less with more minutes ...
23. Calgary Flames (81)Where should Iginla buy his ticket to? Phaneuf would fit nicely on Flames now. Need Granlund.
24. Nashville Predators (77)Weber, Suter anyone? Smith 21 points. Rinne 2.57 GAA up from 2.12 but same as 2.53 year before.
25. Los Angeles Kings (76)Doughty not doing it, Richards now on IR. Kopitar, Quick fine but team missing certain gene se qua.
26. Columbus B Jackets (56)Wisniewski, Carter great pickups in alternative universe. Rick Nash deserves to be freed.
27. New Jersey Devils (49) Never thought I'd drop Martin Brodeur from a fantasy team. Kovalchuk possibly worst signing. Ever. 
28. Carolina Hurricanes (39)Why do I always get Cam Ward in his off years and miss his elite ones? Pickup Staal cheap now.
29. New York Islanders (24)DiPietro jokes are too easy. Tavares 5 pts in 2 Dec. games after 4 pts in 12 Nov. contests.
30. Anaheim Ducks (23)Let's see how far and fast the Ducks can move up under barbeque Bruce Boudreau. Too good.