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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

Washington Capitals take over No. 1 ranking, with the Chicago Blackhawks close behind. The Kings stay at No. 8 but the Ducks fall to No. 30.

December 08, 2009|Helene Elliott

Through Monday's games (last week's ranking)

1. Washington, 19-5-6; Capitals win six straight games, including two without suspended Alexander Ovechkin. Even the NHL couldn't overlook his last transgression. (5)

2. Chicago, 18-7-3; Blackhawks lock up Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith long term. Insane money for Keith: 13 years, $72 million. (2)

3. Pittsburgh, 20-10-1; Penguins are upset by Hurricanes despite the return of Sidney Crosby from a sore groin. (4)

4. New Jersey, 20-7-1; Martin Brodeur ties Terry Sawchuk's career shutout record of 103 by blanking the Sabres. (1)

5. Calgary, 18-8-3; Flames go 4-2 on tough trip that ended Monday against Kings. Their road record (11-3-3) is impressive. (7)

6. San Jose, 19-7-5; Sharks are only 1-1-1 in five-game homestand after shootout loss to St. Louis and come-from-ahead loss to Flames. (3)

7. Phoenix, 18-11-1; Coyotes have won five straight games. Youth, speed and good goaltending will make up for a lot. Ilya Bryzgalov takes NHL shutout lead with four. (14)

8. Kings, 18-10-3; Anze Kopitar (13 games without a goal) and Dustin Brown (0 for 14) can thank Wayne Simmonds, Jarret Stoll and Brad Richardson for stepping up (8).

9. Buffalo, 16-9-2; Great stat from Buffalo News: Since Lindy Ruff was hired July 21, 1997, there have been 148 coaching changes in the NHL. (6)

10. Boston, 15-9-5; Bruins fans boo Phil Kessel when he returns with the Maple Leafs -- and also get the last laugh with a 7-2 win. (12)

11. Nashville, 16-11-2; Predators have lost three of their last four home games, whatever the arena is called now since its naming-rights deal with Sommet has ended. (10)

12. Atlanta, 15-9-3; Thrashers have won five of last seven games. Ilya Kovalchuk has seven goals and 17 points in 13 games back from an injury. (11)

13. Dallas, 13-8-8; Stars are losing points in losing shootouts. They're only 1-6 after starting season with 32-14 record since the tiebreaker was adopted. (13)

14. Colorado, 17-9-6; Goalie Craig Anderson has a pain in the neck. Better than being one. Backup Peter Budaj shakes off rust to get two wins and an assist. (18)

15. Detroit, 14-10-5; Red Wings are still missing lots of forwards. Defenseman Brian Rafalski returned Sunday after sitting out two games because of a back injury. (17)

16. Vancouver, 16-13-0; Loss to Hurricanes is almost cause to drop Canucks out of top 20. Ryan Kesler's goal drought reaches 14. (16)

17. Tampa Bay, 11-10-8; Mike Smith's shutout of Islanders ends a four-game winless streak. Rookie defenseman Victor Hedman is developing into something special. (15)

18. Ottawa, 13-10-4; Shootout win over the Ducks on Sunday was the Senators' only victory on a five-game trip. (9)

19. St. Louis, 12-11-5; Paul Kariya went 14 games without a goal and then gets four in six. Go figure. (27)

20. Columbus, 13-11-5; Fans came Saturday to boo ex-Blue Jacket Adam Foote, returning with Colorado. They left booing the Blue Jackets for losing eight of nine. (17)

21. Minnesota, 13-13-3; The Wild had won five straight games before being shut out by Phoenix on Monday. (26)

22. New York Rangers, 14-14-1; They'll go only as far as inconsistent goalie Henrik Lundqvist will take them. Brilliant in beating Sabres, he was less than that in loss to Red Wings. (25)

23. New York Islanders, 11-11-7; Goaltender Rick DiPietro, out nearly a year, began minor league rehab assignment. Good news? You decide. (23)

24. Edmonton, 13-13-4; Goalie Jeff Deslauriers goes from one extreme to another: After being chased by Vancouver, he beats Red Wings, 4-1.(28)

25. Montreal, 14-14-2; Canadiens' 100th birthday celebration was stirring. Almost makes folks forget the team hasn't won the Cup since 1993 -- and won't win this season, either. (24)

26. Philadelphia, 13-13-1; Shame on the Flyers for quitting on John Stevens and welcoming Peter Laviolette with an 8-2 loss to Washington. They've lost five straight games and eight of nine. (19)

27. Toronto, 9-13-7; Maple Leafs' first home win on a weeknight this season comes Monday against Atlanta. (29)

28. Florida, 11-13-6; Panthers have lost eight of nine games. At least Tomas Vokoun is OK after being struck in the ear by teammate Keith Ballard. (22)

29. Carolina, 7-17-5; Hurricanes end 0-10-3 road losing streak by beating defending Stanley Cup champions Penguins. (30)

30. Ducks, 10-13-6; Losing Teemu Selanne to hand surgery is tough loss. Their winless streak hits five, a season low. They're nearing the point of no return. (21)

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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