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NHL Rankings December 2, 2002...By Jerry Butler

1-Boston Glen Murray has been a big time goal scorer since returning to the Bruins early last season.

2-Vancouver Brendan Morrison is playing the best hockey of his career and he is leading the red-hot Canucks in scoring.

3-Dallas Mike Modano has played excellent hockey at both ends of the ice for the high-flying Stars.

4-Minnesota Brad Bombardir has developed into a very reliable defender for the Wild.

5-New Jersey Coach Pat Burns has stepped in done a very good job in his first season behind the Devils bench.

6-Ottawa Night in and night out Captain Daniel Alfredsson has been the Senators best player.

7-St. Louis The Blues insistence on playing journeyman Tom Barasso before he got hurt means that Fred Brathwaite is probably gone when Brent Johnson comes off of the injured list.

8-Carolina The Hurricanes appear to have the talent to continue to challenge for their second straight Division title.

9-Tampa Bay Veteran Dave Andreychuk has fit in nicely on a very young Lightning team.

10-Detroit The Red Wings have looked old and slow during their current cold streak.

11-Pittsburgh The Penguins have to have the most nondescript group of defenseman in the NHL.

12-Philadelphia How can a team with this much talent manage to score just 14 goals in their last 11 games.

13-Los Angeles Felix Potvin has been rock solid between the pipes for the hard working Kings.

14-Edmonton Soon to be free agent Todd Marchant has improved his trade value with his strong play so far this season.

15-Toronto Young Nikolai Antropov is starting to show signs that he is ready to take a regular shift in the NHL.

16-Colorado Rumors around the League have the Bruins trading Kyle McLaren and Martin Lapointe to the Avalanche for Alex Tanguay and Martin Skoula. My only question is what is Colorado waiting for?

17-Montreal With 11 goals in 24 games Yanic Perreault has been a big part of the Canadiens offense this season.

18-Anaheim Despite a very thin talent base the Ducks continue to be a competitive team.

19-Chicago Chris Simon has not played well defensively since coming over from the Caps last month.

20-NY Rangers Forty year old Mark Messier has been the Rangers most reliable goal scorer through the first quarter of the season.

21-NY Islanders The Islanders are a totally different team with Captain Mike Peca in the lineup, but they still don.t look like a Playoff team.

22-Florida Goaltender Roberto Luongo has not been the same goaltender since he was injured earlier this season.

23-Columbus The Jackets need a legitimate backup for goaltender Marc Denis.

24-Phoenix The Coyotes need Tony Amonte to get on a roll on offense.

25-San Jose With only 2 goals in 24 games and a minus 8 plus-minus rating, Adam Graves has been a big disappointment for the Sharks.

26-Washington A very shaky team defense and a lack of depth are the Caps 2 biggest weaknesses.

27-Atlanta The Thrashers need size and a more physical presence on the forward lines if they are going to develop into a competitive team.

28-Nashville The Predators know that goaltender Mike Dunhan can play better hockey but they may be getting tired of waiting.

29-Calgary Rob Niedermayer should wear a ski mask when he goes to pick up his paycheck.

30-Buffalo There is not a whole lot to like about this season.s edition of the Sabres.

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