Preseason NHL Power Rankings: Bruins top the list

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Lord Stanley’s Cup will reside with the Chicago Blackhawks for the summer. With that being said, attention turns to next season and who some of the early favorites to dethrone the defending champions might be. It’s never to early to begin ranking NHL teams, as the 2013-2014 season will be upon us before we know it.

Based on free agent additions and subtractions here is my pre, preseason NHL power rankings.

With little roster turnover, veteran leadership, tremendous chemistry, top-notch coaching and complete high-end depth, Boston figures to be a logical favorite to make a return to the Cup finals. With the additions of Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla, coupled with a relatively young squad, look for the Black and Gold to be the front runners to capture the hardware.

Chicago checks in with the number two spot and possesses high odds of repeating as Cup champions. It’s quite difficult to see them improving upon their historic 2012-2013 run. Though with guys like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford and Duncan Keith, anything is possible.

The Los Angeles Kings will begin play as my third ranked team. Only one year removed from a Cup championship, Los Angeles will be gunning hard for a return to glory. The Kings are one of the top teams in the Western Conference and are very well rounded. They, like Chicago and Boston, understand what it takes to win.

Despite a few holes to their game, Pittsburgh cracks my top 5, settling into the four spot. The Penguins have all the offensive tools needed to reach the dance. There lack of grit and suspect goal tending cost them last season. Those areas must improve.

The Anaheim Ducks round out my top five clubs. Anaheim was one of the more dominant teams in the NHL a year ago. Unfortunately a premature playoff exit has sent them back to the drawing board. They are a young team that is loaded with offensive talent. The sky’s the limit for them.

Here’s how I rank the remaining NHL teams:

6. St.Louis Blues
7. Detroit Red Wings
8. Ottawa Senators
9. San Jose Sharks
10. Vancouver Canucks
11. Montreal Canadiens
12. New York Islanders
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. New York Rangers
15. Washington Capitals
16. Edmonton Oilers
17. Philadelphia Flyers
18. Minnesota Wild
19. Winnipeg Jets
20. New Jersey Devils
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
22. Carolina Hurricanes
23. Nashville Predators
24. Dallas Stars
26. Colorado Avalanche
27. Tampa Bay Lightning
28. Phoenix Coyotes
29. Calgary Flames
30. Buffalo Sabres
31. Florida Panthers

Frank O’Laughlin – Senior NHL Contributor – Title Town Sports Network

Follow along with Frank on Twitter: @BruinsHub

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