NHL Power Rankings: Philadelphia Flyers Soar High Among Stanley Cup Contenders

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NHL Power Rankings: Philadelphia Flyers Soar High Among Stanley Cup Contenders
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs less than two weeks away, the NHL's elite are preparing for what they're hoping will be long playoff runs. There are several teams who are very legitimate Stanley Cup threats and because of that, this year's playoffs could very well be some of the most exciting ever.

The Vancouver Canucks are very close to clinching their first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history. Can they match it with their first ever Stanley Cup?

The Philadelphia Flyers are leading the Eastern Conference after a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Can they copy the Pittsburgh Penguins of 2008 and 2009 by returning to the Finals and claiming the Cup?

The Boston Bruins suffered the worst collapse in NHL history in the second round last year, when they heart-breakingly blew 3-0 series and game seven leads to the Flyers. Can they avenge the loss with the ultimate win?

Then, there are the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have come together to remain in the race despite losing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to long term injuries. Captain Crosby has been cleared to resume skating with the team, but will he be able to return? Will he still be the best player in the world? Will adding him to the lineup be enough to help the Penguins claim their second Stanley Cup in three years?

Questions will be answered. History will be made. Other cliche NHL statements will be uttered. And, at the end, only one will be left standing. Who will it be?

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