Crosby keeps Penguins on top

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It's always a good thing when one can start off a review of the NHL by talking about games in which Sidney Crosby played. So it was as the league's marquee attraction resumed play and helped keep the Penguins on top of our Power Rankings for the second straight week. You might not like seeing him play against your team, but any real hockey fan has to be happy that he's back. Let's hope he stays a while this time around. No more concussions, please.

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."

All stats and records through games of Monday, March 19

NHL Power Rankings