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Eastern Conference

USA Today unveils power rankings

From Kevin Allen of USA Today:

1. Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings are the New York Yankees of the NHL. You can hate them if you want, but they have more talent than any other team by far. The only caution is that there was another pro sports team in Detroit that was supposed to march to the title this summer and that didn’t go as planned.

2. Montreal Canadiens: This team may score 280-plus goals this season. Mike Komisarek is one of the more underrated players in the league. I didn’t like Bob Gainey’s decision to turn over the goaltending  to Carey Price last spring, but I think he will be ready this season.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins: I’m not sure I believe Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko can make up for the loss of Hossa and Ryan Malone. But I do believe that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can be among the scoring leaders even if they had a trained chimpanzee on their wing. The Penguins will be in the Stanley Cup mix as long as Crosby is captain.

4. San Jose Sharks: It’s almost as if everyone has forgotten that San Jose had more regular-season wins than any NHL team except the Red Wings. Dan Boyle’s arrival will improve the transition and new coach Todd McLellan will freshen the outlook.

5. Dallas Stars: With Sean Avery now joining Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott, this team will have the annoyance factor of fingernails across a chalkboard. They have enough offense now and their goaltending and defense is better than you think.

Read the entire rankings from Mucking and Grinding here.

I don’t disagree with his top five picks but I’m not quite sure why the Oilers are not in his top 16…