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  • Power Rankings: Penguins back in familiar territory Print
    Written by Blake Benzel   
    Sunday, 06 November 2011 03:31

    Pittsburgh PenguinsPittsburgh Penguins have found themselves in familiar territory – back atop the NHL. With Sidney Crosby's return on the horizon, things are looking up in the Steel City, and the rest of the NHL is looking up a Pittsburgh in this week's Power Rankings.


     Pittsburgh Penguins (9-3-3) – Sidney Crosby had a doctor’s appointment this weekend and there’s speculation that he’s going to be in action on Nov. 11. Of course, there’s also the chance that Dan Bylsma will keep him out because he doesn’t want to mess with a winning formula. Then again, there’s also the chance that Crosby could defect to the KHL …


     Dallas Stars (10-3-0) – Steve Ott missed time against Colorado and could miss some more time against Carolina as well, causing the Stars to shuffle their top lines. Of course, seven goals in the game he missed makes his absence a lot easier to swallow.


     Edmonton Oilers (8-3-2) – So, the well-travelled story is that Linus Omark would rather go play in Sweden than play in the AHL. Given the fact that he seems to have a permanent bed in Tom Renney’s dog house, that might not be that big of a threat.


     Washington Capitals (9-3-0) – So, apparently Alex Ovechkin was benched during an important moment in a game. We didn’t know if you’d heard or not.


     Chicago Blackhawks (8-3-3) – Apparently, Patrick Kane is starting to get noticed. Maybe now cabbies will know who he is.


     Toronto Maple Leafs (9-4-1) – Well, what do you know? Rex Ryan is a Leafs fan.


     Minnesota Wild (7-3-3) – What a difference a week makes. The Wild are playing great hockey and Josh Harding is making it very hard for them to put starter Niklas Backstrom back in the cage. At this rate, Harding might do to Backstrom what Rask did to Thomas a few years back.


     Philadelphia Flyers (8-4-2) – If you hadn’t noticed by now, the Flyers can score goals.


     Buffalo Sabres (8-5-0) – Patrick Kaleta has been suspended for four games for his headbutt of Jakub Voracek. I guess he figured, with Matt Cooke seemingly reformed, someone had to fill the void.


     New York Rangers (7-3-3) – The big story out of New York is that Sean Avery returned to action on Saturday. Of course John Tortorella’s definition of “play” is pretty loose.


     Phoenix Coyotes (7-4-2) – Dave Tippett coached his 100th game behind the ‘Yotes bench on Saturday and the surprise Coyotes just keep on winning. What’s even better is that there might actually be a trade market for Phoenix’s underachieving, young center, Kyle Turris.


     San Jose Sharks (7-4-1) – San Jose’s defensemen are still trying to feel each other out this season. That said, once they get their footing they’re going to be a pretty scary opponent.


     Nashville Predators (7-4-2) – The re-signing of Pekka Rinne had many questioning whether or not the Predators would be able to keep Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. As our friend Justin Bourne pointed out, this just might have just made doing that a little easier.


     Ottawa Senators (7-7-1) – The Sens may be the surprise of the East this season if it weren’t for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Of course, their main goal is just letting people know they exist.


     Los Angeles Kings (6-4-3) – Most people would use their celebrity status to get into hard to access restaurants or backstage at concerts. Dustin Brown uses his to play video games.


     Florida Panthers (6-4-3) – Brian Campbell is fine with getting assists, but all he wants for Christmas is one measly little goal.


     Colorado Avalanche (7-6-1) – Hey, here’s an idea. How about Ryan O’Reilly for captain?


     New Jersey Devils (6-5-1) – So, guess who’s the hottest Devil right now. Ready? Adam Henrique.


     Detroit Red Wings (6-5-1) – So, how do you end a six-game losing streak? How about a 50-shot, 5-goal win?


     Tampa Bay Lightning (7-5-2) – So Steven Stamkos realized that there’s more to scoring goals than just a one-timer from the left circle.



     Carolina Hurricanes (5-6-3) – Paul Maurice would like to see more energy from the ‘Canes. Eric Staal, on the other hand, would just like to see a shot of his go past the goaltender.



     Winnipeg Jets (5-7-2) – Hey, look at this. Someone who realizes that the Winnipeg Jets used to be the Atlanta Thrashers and not, you know, the Winnipeg Jets.



     Calgary Flames (6-6-1) – It might be time for Jay Feaster to start thinking about trading Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. That price could probably get them Kyle Turris.



     Montreal Canadiens (5-6-2) – So Montreal is the best NHL city. That’s not going to cause any inferiority complexes across Canada.



     St. Louis Blues (6-7-0) – Tony LaRussa dropped the puck at Cardinals Night with the Blues and the World Series trophy was in the building as well, marking the first time the Blues have been associated with a championship trophy. Hey-o! Was La Russa in town for an interview? They probably didn't tell Davis Payne.



     Vancouver Canucks (7-7-1) – So, Keith Ballard is apparently a big outdoorsman. I guess, when a team’s playing like this, you need something that’s not depressing to write about.



     New York Islanders (4-5-2) – So, you can get a tattoo at an Islanders game now, which is less painful than sitting in the stands.



     Boston Bruins (5-7-0) – The Bruins took a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame before stomping the Maple Leafs 7-0. Unfortunately, their request to move the Hockey Hall of Fame to Boston was denied.



     Anaheim Ducks (5-6-3) – Two questions. What is Teemu Selanne putting in his Wheaties? And where can we get some?



     Columbus Blue Jackets (2-11-1) – Can anything help the Jackets? The answer, in case you’re wondering, is Nail Yakupov.

    Photo by Getty Images

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    Last Updated on Friday, 11 November 2011 17:10