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A Tuesday morning ratings roundup, plus my USA Today votes.

Just about to head over to the Penguins’ afternoon practice at St. Pete Times Forum. Weird how it seems like forever since they played, and that only Saturday it seemed like forever since they had a break. Anyway, how about a dip into some NHL rankings?

= “Uncle Scottie” Burnside at ESPN.com has the Penguins at No. 5 in his latest rankings: http://espn.go.com/nhl/powerrankings

= Sportsline.com’s Wes Goldtein has the Penguins’ at No. 6 (and a surprise at No. 1): http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/story/14186910/power-rankings-spotty-sharks-give-west-wideopen-feel

= TSN.ca has the Penguins at No. 6: http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/rankings/nhl/

= Yahoo! Sports and SI.com should chime in sometime later today.

= A request of dear readers: If you know of any rankings you’d like me to add to this group, just drop me a note with the web site link — hockeyday@tribweb.com

= Always a good guy when I worked with him, former ESPN Radio 1250 hockey guy Chris Mack has a new blog, and I encourage dear readers to make a habit of reading it: http://www.thechrismack.com/

Also, a couple of bloggers who I’ve come across at the stray Penguins practice/game:

The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports: http://insidepittsburghsports.com/

Kulkas Korner: http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tc/

And, finally…

=USA Today really plays at both ends of the ice with its rankings, and I’m not just saying that because I’m part of the voters — though, certainly that doesn’t hurt my endorsement. Anyway, note all the Penguins either in or receiving votes among top-5 defensemen: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2010-10-25-power-rankings_N.htm

I cannot speak for all voters, by my votes are based one criteria: best team/player for respective category at the time my ballot is due. In other words, a team I think can make a deep playoff run, such as San Jose, might be lower because of its early-season struggles. Additionally, a defenseman such as the Kings’ DREW DOUGHTY might win the Norris, but right not he’s not in my top-5 at that position. Finally, I reserve the right to be wrong. In the interest of full disclosure, my ballot, which was submitted Monday:

TEAMS:

1 – Nashville

 2 – Detroit

 3 – Los Angeles

4 – Pittsburgh

5 – Washington

6 – St. Louis

7 – Chicago

8 – Tampa Bay

9 – Calgary

10 – Dallas

11 – Toronto

12 – Montreal

13 – Vancouver

14 – Boston

15 – Colorado

16 – NY Islanders

17 – San Jose

18 – Philadelphia

19 – Carolina

20 – NY Rangers

21 – Phoenix

22 – Columbus

23 – Buffalo

24 – Atlanta

25 – Florida

26 – Minnesota

27 – Anaheim

28 – Edmonton

29 – New Jersey

30 – Ottawa

 

MVP

1 – Steven Stamkos, TBL

2 – Marian Hossa, CHI

3 – Brad Richards, DAL

4 – Sidney Crosby, PIT

5 – Patrick Sharp, CHI

 

GOALIES

1 – Jaroslav Halak, STL

2 – Tim Thomas, BOS

3 – Jonathan Quick, LAK

4 – Jimmy Howard, DET

5 – Brent Johnson, PIT

 

DEFENSEMEN

1 – Nicklas Lidstrom, DET

2 – Kris Letang, PIT

3 – Shea Weber, NSH

4 – Paul Martin, PIT

5 – John Carlson, WSH

 

ROOKIES

1 – John Carlson, WSH

2 – Mark Letestu, PIT

3 – Derek Stepan, NYR

4 – Tyler Ennis, BUF

5 – Cam Fowler, ANA

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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