We have a new No. 1 team this week. You're it, New York Rangers. Uneasy has been the head that's worn this crown, so let's see how long the precious jewels stay aloft on your collective dome. But ye Blueshirts deserve the recognition, especially after Monday's Winter Classic win in freezing Philly.
A DISCLAIMER (of sorts): These rankings are based not just on each team's record at the moment, but an empirically tested formula that includes a) realistic near-term future expectations; b) consensus talent level and payroll considerations and; c) whatever the Magic 8-Ball I've had since I was seven years old tells me will happen. One more thing: Rest assured, I don't have it in for your team. OK, so I once hated the Philadelphia Flyers with a passion bordering on the psychotic, but that was 30-something years ago and Dave Schultz has long since retired. I welcome your emails to the link attached to my name above, and I always respond -- even to the ones that start with "Dear Idiot".
Let's begin the latest roll call for the NHL's power pack (all stats and records through games of Jan. 2:
NHL Power Rankings