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Beware of Ducks

While we all breathlessly await Monday's NHL trade deadline (or what I like to call "Men in suits checking their Blackberries around a glossy TV studio table"), there is still hockey to be played by the players who haven't been moved yet -- which if you believe the rumors, will account for half the league. There is no change at the top here this week, as you just can't put a team that has won 23 in a row at home anywhere but at No. 1. The Vancouver Canucks did displace the Rangers at the No. 2 spot, though. Say, did you hear about the big deal brewing between the Rangers and...oh, never mind.

A DISCLAIMER (of sorts): These rankings are based not just on each team's record, 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 that 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."

On with this week's list:

NHL Power Rankings