I'll pause for a minute to let that sink in.
The Carolina Hurricanes are sitting in third.
I agree with a couple of things in Cullen's top three: The Sens are #1, and the Leafs are one spot ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.
He also writes a regular column defending his rank-ings from outraged emailers - the latest one is here. His explanations are the usual for these sorts of things. He only takes into account real injuries and real stats. When it suits him, that is. When taken to task on the Flyers low position last week, he explained:
"...Forsberg has a greater propensity for getting injured than either Naslund or Thornton."
A half a page later, he has the nerve to say his ranking of Toronto...
"...was based on a team with a healthy Eric Lindros and a healthy Jason Allison. If they do get hurt, as you suspect, then it's possible that they'll drop in the rankings, but not before."
It's pretty obvious that the Leafs high standing this week is due to their 9-1 rout of Atlanta. Running up the score and padding stats is good for Power Rankings. So is a severely anomalous penalties for/against ratio. Toronto is currently standing in first overall with 51 power play opportunities, and is tied for 8th with 34 times shorthanded. This is not a clean team. These figures will change. Of course none of these statistical blips are mentioned in Cullen's write-up.
I'll try to make this my last post on the subject of "Power" Rankings.