NHL Power Rankings: Grading Each Team's Toughness Heading into the Season

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NHL Power Rankings: Grading Each Team's Toughness Heading into the Season
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Toughness is sometimes hard to define in hockey.

Is it a good clean check? How about a check that levels an opponent, but leads to a power play?

Is pushing and shoving after the whistle toughness?

How about guys that agitate but don't ever drop the gloves?

Or a tough guy who can throw punches with the best of them, but spends more time in the sin bin than on the ice?

Does the definition of toughness change between the regular season and playoffs?

However you define it, hockey is a sport that demands toughness if you want to win. Skill alone doesn't cut it, especially once the playoffs roll around, as evidenced by the Stanley Cup Finals last year.

With all that in mind, I've identified a few key statistics and ranked all 30 NHL teams in terms of toughness going into the 2011-2012 season. 

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