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#TribHKY NHL Power Rankings (foolish preseason edition).

A great day for hockey will be when we realize that the NHL plays a regular season to determine its top teams and stages a tournament to declare a champion. In other words, power rankings are not necessary. That said, since everybody else is doing one, why shouldn’t the Trib get in on this power poll game?

The preseason #TribHKY Rankings, submitted for your disapproval:

1 – Kings

To the champs goes the top spot. For now.

2 – Blues

Built for the regular-season, whether the season, be it a marathon or a sprint.

3 – Canucks

Built to win the Cup, and it’s about time for this group, right?

4 – Bruins

Big, bad and built for 7 games of brutality; but what about the backup goalie?

5 – Rangers

The time for Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash to deliver is upon us.

6 – Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews and the Hart Trophy seem like they should try dating.

7 – Flyers

Really, they are too high for this spot, but… (see No. 8).

8 – Penguins

Motivation + skill = ???

9 – Red Wings

This is the year when they finally – uh, nope.

10 – Coyotes

Gut feeling: Last spring was no fluke.

11 – Hurricanes

Gut feeling: This spring will be wild in The Triangle.

12 – Capitals

Adam Oates knows how to work with goal scorers. Keep that in mind.

13 – Stars

Don’t discount what Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney might pull off over 48 games.

14 – Ducks

Either a legit contender, or destined to shape the race by trading Bobby Ryan at the deadline.

15 – Panthers

Don’t laugh. The Southeast is better than anybody thinks.

16 – Lightning

Seriously.

17 – Sharks

Well, at least they aren’t starting the year overhyped, eh?

18 – Sabres

In Ryan Miller we trust. But do we, really?

19 – Senators

Seems so long ago, and it wasn’t, that they were up, 3-2, on the Rangers.

20 – Predators

The ranking this blog author will most surely regret?

21 – Wild

Far more exciting than Zach Parise and Ryan Suter is that fast-approaching group of prospects.

22 – Islanders

If only they were in another division.

23 – Avalanche

May be ranked a lot higher in a month.

24 – Oilers

Admittedly would be cool to see them get the No. 1 pick again.

25 – Maple Leafs

Hot mess.

26 – Devils

Hotter mess.

27 – Jets

It’s never hot in Winnipeg. Ever.

28 – Flames

Jarome Iginla to the [INSERT TEAM HERE].

29 – Canadiens

If only they could acquire more buyout options.

30 – Blue Jackets

John Davidson will get this right. Just not right now.

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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