Today I bring you the first post-lockout update of the official Puck Propaganda Power Rankings, the definitive and absolute word in NHL power rankings. Aside from the usual notes on injuries and recoveries that caused changes to the rankings, this week you’ll also find brief information on how each team’s players and prospects performed in various other leagues during the lockout, such as the AHL and KHL.
Players that kept active during the lockout, especially young players that have a tendency to slow as a long, grueling season progresses, will likely have greater success in this shortened NHL season. Also, this season it’s more important than ever for each team to fight for a playoff spot, as the extra gate revenue will be necessary for most teams to come close to turning a profit. To do so many teams may feel the need to employ players that have been playing well elsewhere and ride the hot hand, so to speak.
Finally, a small note on how Pittsburgh made the small jump over St. Louis in this update. The majority of other changes can largely be explained with injuries or the performance of players during the lockout, but in the case of both Pittsburgh and St. Louis there wasn’t much of a impact felt from either. The biggest impact came in the form of extra time off for Sidney Crosby. Due to the extra rest and relaxation he should be as close to 100% as possible, with no lingering concussion related symptoms. That’s enough to give the Penguins an extra little uptick, pushing them into the number two spot.