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A Closer Look: The Sporting News Power Rankings (Your Cats: 17th)

The Sporting News' Craig Custance (who formerly covered our friends in Atlanta) submits his picks for this week. The Panthers check in at number 17. Reasonable given the meltdown in Carolina (who's only making us look better and better), and razor-thin escape against the Flames on Saturday.

Teams listed above: Carolina (, Washington (8...WOW).

Teams listed below: Phoenix (19, with two wins), Ottawa (21 and no sign of Alfie), Colorado (27. Joe Sakic mulls retirement. Quickly.)