GAME OF THE WEEK
PHILADELPHIA at OTTAWA, THURSDAY
*--* Rk. Team (Rec.) Comment 1 DETROIT (35-16-9-2) Return of McCarty reunites Grind Line, adds grit and muscle. 2 OTTAWA (34-15-8-5) Bondra deal a great move for classy, consistent scorer. 3 NEW JERSEY (32-17-11-1) Defending Devils miss leadership, savvy of Stevens (concussion). 4 TAMPA BAY (32-17-7-5) At least a point in 16 of 17. St. Louis (30 goals) three from tying career high. 5 BOSTON (30-15-12-6) Murray-Knuble-Thornton line hot. Rookie Raycroft steady in net. 6 TORONTO (34-17-9-3) Will go as far as Belfour's balky back will allow -- maybe not far. 7 PHILADELPHIA (32-15-11-5) Roenick (concussion) still out. Missed by Flyers, media. 8 SAN JOSE (30-16-11-5) Won four of five but Pacific lead over Stars is shrinking. 9 DALLAS (30-22-10-0) Stars 2-0 to start eight-game home stand. Power play 6 for 14 in last three. 10 NASHVILLE (30-23-7-2) The little team that thinks it can play with the big boys. 11 COLORADO (33-14-10-4) Sauer a good pickup after injuries KO Blake, Foote. 12 VANCOUVER (32-19-7-4) Sedin twins look better by the game. Cloutier doesn't. 13 BUFFALO (28-27-6-1) Things aren't all bad in the NHL if Briere scores 21 for hot (9-2-1) Sabres. 14 N.Y. ISLANDERS (29-22-8-2) Take away five losses to Rangers and they'd have a playoff spot. 15 KINGS (24-17-14-7) Scrappiness, persistence outweigh injuries and soft goaltending -- so far. 16 CALGARY (30-23-5-3) Offense stalls, producing one goal in each of three straight losses. 17 EDMONTON (25-26-10-1) Wins over Colorado, Vancouver give them hope for playoff push. 18 MONTREAL (30-25-6-2) More fight in practice than on ice in losing five of last seven. 19 MINNESOTA (21-23-16-2) Couldn't overcome Gaborik's contract woes. Tough to gain ground now. 20 ST. LOUIS (29-23-7-2) Injury-ravaged defense helpless in 3-10-1-1 slide. Goaltending woeful too. 21 FLORIDA (22-25-13-3) Cutting ticket prices next season -- if there is a next season. 22 ATLANTA (24-31-6-2) Defense is Thrashers' downfall. Outscored, 53-32, in 3-10-2 nosedive. 23 DUCKS (21-25-9-8) Skoula moves puck well but must be more intense more often. 24 N.Y. RANGERS (22-29-7-4) Sather says he'll remain coach and GM. That a threat or a promise? 25 WASHINGTON (19-33-8-2) Sharp Kolzig helps trade value. Devils could be eyeing Gonchar. 26 PHOENIX (20-24-15-3) Nagy (dislocated wrist) done for season. So are Coyotes, in 2-9-2-1 skid. 27 CHICAGO (17-31-7-5) Dumping Zhamnov, Sullivan cut $8 million. Now Blackhawks must draft well. 28 CAROLINA (19-27-12-3) Hurricanes say they won't sell off best assets. Why not? 29 COLUMBUS (17-33-8-4) International Ice Hockey Federation to hear Zherdev case this week. 30 PITTSBURGH (11-42-5-4) Not just bad but historically bad: 18 straight losses, only one in OT.