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NHL Rankings for January 20, 2003...By Jerry Butler

1-Ottawa With shutouts in 3 straight games last week, goaltender Patrick Lalime is playing great hockey and in the process showing the rest of the league that the Senators are a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.

2-Dallas Veteran Mike Modano is in the midst of another excellent all around season for the Stars.

3 -Vancouver Todd Bertuzzi has gone to the head of the class as the top power forward in the NHL.

4-New Jersey The Devils have played outstanding two-way hockey during their current 7 game unbeaten streak.

5-St. Louis Rookie defenseman Barret Jackman has been playing very strong defense for the Blues.

6-Philadelphia With only 6 losses in 22 road games the Flyers continue to be one the top road teams in the League.

7 -Detroit With just 4 goals in 45 games, and relegated to being a healthy scratch against the Avalanche, Luc Robitaille is mired in the worst slump of his career.

8-Toronto The Leafs showed tremendous heart in winning weekend road games against the Canadiens and Capitals without star winger Alexander Mogilny and goaltender Eddie Belfour.

9-Edmonton Ryan Smyth is currently playing the kind of outstanding offensive hockey that the Oilers always knew he could play.

10-Chicago With only 1 goal in 47 games it appears that 39 year old winger Steve Thomas has finally run out of gas.

11-NY Islanders Hard working Jason Blake has had an outstanding season at both ends of the ice for the Islanders.

12-Minnesota The Wild need more goals from Andrew Brunette, Sergei Zholtok and Cliff Ronning.

13-Boston With John Grahame off to Tampa, young goaltender Andrew Raycroft is getting a chance to show his stuff for the Bruins.

14-Colorado Milan Hejduk appears to be on the verge of developing into an offensive Superstar for the Avalanche.

15-Washington Rugged forward Mike Grier has been a very a very solid pickup for the Capitals.

16-Anaheim Goaltender J.S. Giguere has allowed just 5 goals in winning his last 7 home starts.

17-Pittsburgh Rookie goaltender Sebastien Caron has been very impressive in allowing just 6 goals his first 5 appearances for the Penguins.

18-Tampa Bay The Lightning are hoping that John Grahame can be a solid backup for overworked Nikolai Khabibulin.

19-Montreal The Canadiens are going to have to improve their road record if they are going to be a Playoff team.

20-NY Rangers Bobby Holik who is finally healthy is contributing on offense and playing his best hockey of the season for the improving Rangers.

21-Florida Roberto Luongo is back in form after shutting out the Bruins and the Penguins in his last 2 starts.

22-Los Angeles After a very strong year in 2002 Felix Potvin has not been the same goaltender this season for the struggling Kings.

23-San Jose The Sharks continue to be a team that has too many players along for the ride.

24-Buffalo The fine play of rookie goaltender Ryan Miller has sparked the Sabres dramatic turnaround.

25-Nashville Promising young defenseman Tomas Kloucek has been recalled from the minors to see if he can win a regular job on the backline with the Predators.

26-Columbus Underrated Ray Whitney comes to play every night and he is leading the Blue Jackets in scoring.

27-Carolina Speedy Jeff O.Neill has been the only consistent offensive threat for the slumping Hurricanes.

28-Calgary Coach Darryl Sutter has been less than pleased with the performances by most his top players of late.

29-Phoenix The Coyotes have gone back in the tank going winless in 6 games since goaltender Brain Burke went back on the injured list.

30-Atlanta The Thrashers made a great choice in hiring Bob Hartley as their new Coach.

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