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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

New Jersey takes over top spot after San Jose scuffles against Chicago.

December 01, 2009|By Helene Elliott

Through Monday's games

Rank Team Record Comment (previous rank)

1. New Jersey, 17-6-1; Devils have won three straight thanks to remarkable depth and talented kids who stepped in for injured veterans. An embarrassment of riches. (3)

2. Chicago, 16-6-3; Eight-game win streak ends in SoCal as 'Hawks are shut out by Ducks and lose in shootout to the Kings to end their annual circus trip. (2)

3. San Jose, 18-6-4; Sharks are humbled by Blackhawks and barely beat Oilers, but those are blips. Joe Thornton takes NHL scoring lead with 37 points, including 30 assists. (1)

4. Pittsburgh, 19-9-0; Penguins win five of six, and get Tyler Kennedy, Alex Goligoski and Kris Letang back from injuries. Sidney Crosby's hat trick a highlight. (9)

5. Washington, 16-5-6; Capitals worrying that Alexander Ovechkin might be out a while after being the agressor in a knee-on-knee hit on Monday. (4)

6. Buffalo, 15-7-2; Ryan Miller (1.84 goals-against, .937 save percentage) holds the fort, as usual. Sabres' injuries include the team's captain, Craig Rivet (knee and ankle), and Paul Gaustad (knee). (7)

7. Calgary, 17-6-3; Flames are road warriors: They've lost in regulation only once away from home, at 10-1-3. Jarome Iginla (17 goals) ranks among league leaders. (5)

8. Kings, 15-10-2; Ryan Smyth can't return soon enough for Anze Kopitar (no goals in nine games) or Justin Williams (no goals in eight). (12)

9. Ottawa, 13-7-4; Senators will face Sharks on Tuesday for the first time since the Dany Heatley trade. Milan Michalek (13 goals, 18 points) has been OK. Jonathan Cheechoo (two goals, four points) not so much. (13)

10. Nashville, 15-10-1; Predators are 8-3 in their last 11. Jordin Tootoo becomes franchise penalty minutes leader with 548. Eddie Shore would be proud. (14)

11. Atlanta, 14-7-3; Thrashers end 14-game losing streak against Flyers with 1-0 win. Johan "Moose" Hedberg gets the shutout. Gotta love the nickname. (22)

12. Boston, 13-8-5; Tim Thomas returns from two-week absence -- reportedly because of a broken hand -- and wins shootout. Bruins are 6-1-3 in last 10. (20)

13. Dallas, 12-8-7; Stars have scored more than three goals only twice in last 14 games. (10)

14. Phoenix, 15-11-1; Just when Coyotes seem about to fade, they beat Dallas and the Ducks. They're 6-3-0 within the Pacific Division and 12-7-1 within the West. (17)

15. Tampa Bay, 10-7-8; Defenseman Mattias Ohlund (ankle) returned after missing seven games because of an ankle injury. Lightning has missed his experience. Grit -- and Steven Stamkos' 17 goals -- keep the team going. (18)

16. Vancouver, 14-12-0; Canucks were 3-2 on a five-game homestand that ended Sunday. Loss to Sharks on Sunday showed they're not up there with the big boys yet. (15)

17. Detroit, 13-9-4; Red Wings are shut out twice in a row at home for the first time since 1977. They've won only three of the last eight. Injuries are taking a big toll. (6)

18. Colorado, 15-8-5; Avalanche is hurting in every sense, winning only three of the last 11. Winger David Jones might be out for the season because of a torn ACL. (16)

19. Philadelphia, 13-10-1; Flyers have faded badly, losing five of their last six. Inconsistency is their only consistent trait. (8)

20. Columbus, 13-9-4; Blue Jackets end five-game losing streak by beating Blues, but sophomore jinx is hammering Steve Mason: 3.38 goals-against, .892 save percentage. (11)

21. Ducks, 10-11-4; They're 4-1-1 with one game left on a homestand they said was make-or-break. They're making progress, but it's slow. (27)

22. Florida, 10-12-4; Panthers lose three straight games, reversing course after earning standings points in eight straight. (19)

23. New York Islanders, 10-10-7; From the sublime to the ridiculous: They beat the Penguins one day and the next day get trounced by the Devils. (23)

24. Montreal, 12-12-2; Canadiens on Friday will celebrate 100th anniversary of their first game. Too bad they're likely to celebrate it out of a playoff spot. (24)

25. New York Rangers, 13-13-1; Stinkers in Tampa and Pittsburgh are inexcusable. Standout rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto was minus-five against Penguins. Ouch. (21)

26. Minnesota, 10-12-3; Former Ducks center Andrew Ebbett, acquired on waivers from Chicago, scores winner in shootout against Colorado. (26)

27. St. Louis, 10-10-5; Blues continue to be the NHL's big disappointments. Is Andy Murray running them into the ground?(28)

28. Edmonton, 10-13-4; Oilers end November 3-7-3 and, even worse, lose winger Ales Hemsky to potentially season-ending shoulder surgery. (25)

29. Toronto, 6-12-7; Maple Leafs celebrate first anniversary of Brian Burke's hiring with a shutout loss. Nothing new there. (30)

30. Carolina, 5-17-5; Hurricanes are winless on the road (0-10-3). They've also blown third-period leads in two of their last three games. (29)

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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