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This Week's Edition of "Between the Boards"

Well I want to hello to all the hockey fans and welcome all you puckheads to my weekly review of the NHL.

Lets me start in the Eastern Conference and what can you say about the Bruins they are still the hottest team in the east. Losing players like a Guerin and Dafoe and playing the hockey they are is a great achievement. Keep on eye what they do with McLaren, my sources tell me about 4 teams have had talks with the Bruins about him but nothing serious yet. Also in the East, watch these next 3 teams carefully....they got off to slow starts but are getting back on track.  The first one of those teams is the Isles... they got Peca back and they are starting to play the hockey they played last year and it does not hurt to have Osgood playing like he did last year as well. The 2nd team that I noticed starting to play up to their billing is the Maple Leafs.  Belfour and his teammates are really playing like a team now and they showed they can beat a top team in the east by spanking the Flyers 6-0. Now we come to my 3rd team that is starting to play as expected Ottawa.  I know that is hard to say but only played 18! games least amount in the NHL but when Hossa gets his second Hat Trick in 18 games they are starting to get hot. Some other notes in the East.......Lord Byron Dafoe signed with the Thrashers may be a little late for this year but with best young talent in the NHL this will help secure this team as a legit NHL team. The Bolts home winning streak went out the window this week as well with home loss to the Flyers on Tuesday, and the whistlers were out in full force on Saturday in the Molson Centre as the Canes did it again to the Habs 7-3.

Now for the Western Conference, I want to start out west in British Columbia and start with the Canucks they had a great week and Markus Naslund is on fire with a big week. They capped off their week with a thorough beating of the Defending Stanley Cup Champions Red Wings, 5-1, while chasing Cujo from the nets early in the 2nd Period. The other team in the west that is still rolling is the Wild , they are such a fun to team to watch and the fire they play with shows they are legit NHL team they are not a fluke and Gaborik is a NHL sniper with another hat trick this week. The other hot team in the west is the Stars, they went out and got Guerin and also lost Belfour but they have not missed a beat with Turco and this team getting rid of Eddie may have really helped this team. If they stay healthy and Turco keeps up his hot net goaltending watch out western teams. In the east I gave you ! 3 teams on the rise and in the west I notice 3 teams on the decline. Lets start with the Predators the team that raised their ticket prices and said if they do not make the playoffs they will refund the difference well they may be able to cut those checks by Christmas with only 2 wins in 20 games. My 2nd team on the decline is the Flames.....with their trouble in the front office and rumblings on the job status of Greg Gilbert......the fans of a such a good hockey town in Alberta do not deserve this. My 3rd team on the decline in the West is the San Jose , I know you are saying they got Nabokov back and Brad Stuart but they are not the same team they where last year or as many predicted would be the class of the west. They were a solid team on defense last year but show no sign of that team as of now.

Good for the week-

1. Hat Tricks for-Erik Cole,Gaborik,and Hossa. By the way all in one night.
2. Dave Andreychuk- Getting goal number 600 only the 14th player in NHL history to do get that amazing level.
3. Mario Lemieux- just watching him and how he makes those players so much better on his line. This from a guy who has beat cancer and is supposed to be on the down side of his career. Leading the NHL with 41 points.
4. Mark Messier at age 41 having 10 goals shows what a true leader he his and why he will be considering one of the greatest players to put a C on his sweater.

Bad for the week-
1. The NJ Devils- after Andreychuk scores his 600th goal no mention of it over the public address system and he was a former Devil helped them win a CUP.
2. The Buffalo Sabres- yes they finally won a game but this team is bad shape I feel for good hockey city in Buffalo.
3. Garth Snow, don't get get me wrong I am for fighting in the NHL but come one Snow take off the blocker its not a weapon.
4. The NHL officials-   last month the game was called one way and now this month the game is callled different. Must have been a MEMO from Bettman on too many Power Plays must be stopped.
5. Gary Bettman when he steps down as commissioner he will be off this list.

Have a Great Hockey Week and feel free to email me any questions or comments, at sportscompound@yahoo.com.  As for the one piece of fan mail I received this week, I am still researching your question and will have an answer for you inside my 3 stars segment sometime early this week.

See you next week between the boards and also stay tuned all week for my 3 stars of the night. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone