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NHL Rankings...By Jerry Butler

NHL Rankings for January 6, 2003 By: Jerry Butler

1-Detroit Offensively, defensively and between the pipes, the Wings are playing their best hockey of the season.

2-Ottawa Outstanding overall depth is the key to the Senators success.

3-Dallas The goaltending tandem of Marty Turco and Ron Tugnutt is as good as any in the League.

4-Vancouver Losing Ed Jovanoski for 4 to 6 weeks is a big blow but the Canucks have excellent depth on defense.

5-St. Louis Young Bryce Salvador has developed into a dependable performer on the Blues backline.

6-Colorado Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg have been on a big time roll on offense for the high-flying Avalanche.

7-New Jersey The Devils are a hard working, top notch defensive team but if they plan on running with the big dogs they.ll have to do something about their non-existent offense.

8-Minnesota Goaltenders Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson continue to be the strength of this team.

9-Philadelphia The Flyers played very good hockey during their just completed 4-2-1- road trip.

10-Boston The Bruins are really starting to miss Sergei Samsonov.s outstanding offensive skills.

11-Chicago The Hawks need some more goals from struggling winger Eric Daze.

12-Toronto The Leafs are anxiously awaiting the return of injured forward Gary Roberts.

13-Edmonton The very erratic Oilers are either red-hot or ice-cold.

14-Pittsburgh Martin Straka has bounced back from early season injuries to play outstanding hockey for the Penguins.

15-Washington Robert Lang has yet to play the kind of hockey that the Capitals expected when they signed him as a free agent in the off season.

16-Montreal The Canadiens continue to get maximum results from a team that is not blessed with a whole lot of talent.

17-Tampa Bay The Lightning have struggled mightily at both ends of the ice during their current 3 game losing streak.

18-San Jose Unimpressive losses to the Stars and the Avalanche show that the Sharks still have a lot of work to do.

19-NY Islanders Chris Osgood has bounced back from a very poor start to play outstanding goal for the improving Islanders.

20-Anaheim The Ducks are going to have to improve on their 6-13-2 road record if they are serious about being a Playoff team.

21-Carolina With only 5 goals in 29 games, Sami Kapanen continues to have an absolutely horrible season for the struggling Hurricanes.

22-Florida The Panthers lead the league with an amazing 7 overtime losses.

23-Los Angeles With as many as 10 regulars sidelined, the Kings are a team that has been decimated by injuries.

24-Phoenix Speedy forward Mike Johnson is a solid player but you know your stars are not playing up to their potential when he is leading the team in scoring.

25- NY Rangers Mike Dunham has given the Rangers excellent goaltending in 8 out of his first 9 starts since coming over from the Predators.

26-Calgary The Flames are 3-0-1 since Darryl Sutter took over as the Coach.

27 .Columbus Columbus is a much different team on the power play when big time playmaker Andrew Cassells is in the lineup.

28-Nashville With Mike Dunham off to the Rangers, the Predators must be careful not to overwork Tomas Vokoun.

29-Buffalo Rookie Ryan Miller has looked like a different goaltender in allowing just 5 goals in his first 3 starts since returning from the AHL.

30-Atlanta The free agent signing of goaltender Byron Dafoe has not worked out well for the Thrashers.

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