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March-17-2003,
NHL Rankings...By Jerry Butler

For March 17, 2003

1-Detroit The Wings have definitely looked like Stanley Cup champs during their current 15-2 hot streak.

2-Ottawa The inability of the Senators to add some quality muscle before the deadline could hurt come Playoff time.

3-Dallas Scrappy Brenden Morrow has had a very solid season for the Stars.

4-Vancouver With 39 goals and 83 points, Todd Bertuzzi continues to be the premier power forward in the NHL.

5-New Jersey The failure to pickup a legitimate offensive threat makes a long Playoff run highly unlikely.

6-Philadelphia A healthy John LeClair makes a big difference on offense for the Flyers.

7-St. Louis Veteran Scott Mellanby.s 23 goals and strong work ethic make him a very valuable member of the Blues.

8-Colorado Hard working Greg deVries is the most unheralded member of the Avalanche defense corp.

9-Toronto The key acquisitions at the trade deadline will definitely help but the Leafs will go only as far as Eddie Belfour, Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny will take them.

10-Tampa Bay Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin has allowed 2 goals or less in 12 out of his last 14 starts.

11-Minnesota Sergei Zholtok has been one of the Wild.s most reliable players during the course of the last 3 weeks.

12-Anaheim Winger Samuel Pahlsson has been a much improved player since his recall from the minors early last month.

13-Washington Off the ice distractions and inconsistent play on the ice, Jaromir Jagr has not been the same kind of player for the Caps that he was for the Penguins.

14-Boston The Bruins think Ian Moran and Dan McGillis will help plug up a very shaky defense.

15-NY Islanders Impressive wins over the Oilers and the Senators have the Islanders back on track.

16-Edmonton The Oilers fans are not very pleased with the Janne Niinimaa and Anson Carter trades.

17-Nashville The Predators have managed to score just 9 goals in 7 games since Andreas Johansson and David Legwand went down with injuries.

18-Los Angeles The Kings think that winger Alexander Frolov has all the tools that you need to be a top notch NHL player.

19-Phoenix Feisty defenseman Brad Ference was a very nice pickup for the Coyotes.

20-Montreal Goaltender Jose Theodore played some of his best hockey of the season during the Canadiens just completed road trip.

21-NY Rangers Despite a ton of individual big name talent, the no-heart Rangers are a lock to miss the Playoffs for the sixth straight year.

22-Chicago The Blackhawks have the look of a team that can.t wait for the season to end.

23-Florida Roberto Luongo has played some exceptional hockey between the pipes for the Panthers.

24-San Jose The Sharks will get a good look at their young prospects during the final 3 weeks of the season.

25-Calgary It is very hard to believe that the Flames were able to get 2 good young prospects for career underachiever Rob Niedermayer.

26-Columbus Winger David Vyborny has quietly had a very good season for the Blue Jackets.

27-Carolina The Hurricanes have liked what they have seen from backup goaltender Patrick DesRochers.

28-Atlanta Whatever happened to goaltender Byron Dafoe?

29-Buffalo Young Tim Connolly has not developed into the kind of player the Sabres thought he would be after coming over from the Islanders in the Michael Peca trade.

30-Pittsburgh The Penguins have managed to win just 3 out of 18 games since the Alexei Kovalev trade.



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