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NHL Rankings...By Jerry Butler

For February 17, 2003

1-Dallas The Stars expected more than 13 goals in 49 games from winger Jason Arnott.

2-Ottawa Unheralded forward Todd White is a having an excellent season for the Senators.

3-Vancouver Goaltender Dan Cloutier has been playing some top notch hockey between the pipes for the Canucks.

4-New Jersey Gritty John Madden continues to be a factor a both ends of the ice for the Devils.

5-Toronto Defenseman Robert Svehla has been a solid addition to the Leafs blueline.

6-Colorado Winger Alex Tanguay has bounced back from a slow start to play very well on offense for the Avalanche.

7-St. Louis The very shaky play of goaltender Brent Johnson has the Blues fans and management very concerned.

8-Detroit The Wings need more offense from talented forward Pavel Datsyuk.

9-Philadelphia The Flyers need Jeremy Roenick to do a little less talking and a lot more scoring.

10-Minnesota Speedy Annti Laaksonen has developed into a very good two-way player for the Wild.

11-Washington Brendan Witt doesn.t do much on offense but his strong physical presence makes him the Caps most dependable defensive defenseman.

12-Anaheim With 22 goals in 58 games, Peter Sykora has more than justified the off-season trade that brought him over from the Devils.

13-Boston The Bruins continue to be a very inconsistent team.

14-Edmonton Todd Marchant has had a surprisingly strong season on offense for the Oilers.

15-NY Islanders Hard working Dave Scatchard has been a solid performer at both ends of the ice for the Islanders.

16-Tampa Bay Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has not given the Lightning the kind of goaltending a team expects and needs when they are fighting for a Playoff spot.

17-Chicago The Blackhawks need to pick up the pace on offense if they are going to be a Playoff team.

18-Montreal Winger Niklas Sundstrom has played excellent two-way hockey since coming over from the Sharks last month.

19-Los Angeles With 57 points in 52 games, Ziggy Palffy has been the main man on offense for a Kings team that has been decimated by injuries.

20-Nashville Goaltender Tomas Vokoun has been simply outstanding in net for the Predators.

21-Columbus Overworked goaltender Marc Denis has been the Blue Jackets MVP this season.

22-San Jose The Sharks 1-4 road trip has not done much for their Playoff chances.

23-Phoenix Winger Tony Amonte has been a huge disappointment in his first season with the Coyotes.

24-Pittsburgh Many people think that the Penguins were robbed by the Rangers in the Alexei Kovalev trade but the Penguins think the speed of Rico Fata, the offensive talents of Joel Bouchard and the well rounded skills of Mikael Samuelsson will add a lot to their team but the fact that the 3 of them combined make 3 million a year less than Kovalev was really the key to the deal..

25-NY Rangers When is the Rangers management team going to figure out that it takes a lot more than big name talent to win games in the NHL these days?

26-Florida The word out of Florida is that coach Mike Keenan has been making a whipping boy out of talented but erratic Kristian Huselius.

27-Calgary It is extremely hard to believe the Flames are serious about trading Jarome Iginla.

28-Carolina Talented Pavel Brendl will get a legitimate chance to develop his offensive skills for a Hurricanes team that desperately is in need of them.

29-Atlanta With 30 assists in 54 games, Slava Kozlov.s playmaking skills have been a huge key to the success of youngsters Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk.

30-Buffalo Stu Barnes and Curtis Brown are 2 big reasons that the Sabres are the worst offensive team in the NHL.

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