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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

The Red Wings are again the No. 1 team. The Kings check in at No. 3, and the Ducks are No. 25.

October 25, 2010|By Helene Elliott

Through Monday's games

Rank; Team; Record; (Previous rank)

1. Detroit; 5-1-1; Henrik Zetterberg (three goals, 10 points) and ageless defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom lead the way in three-game winning streak. (6)

2. Nashville; 5-0-3; Predators are the last team without a regulation-time loss. In their last two they've handled Dallas and Tampa Bay. (4)

3. Kings; 6-2-0; They've won five of their last six. The only cloud: Drew Doughty remains out because of a concussion. (5)

4. Tampa Bay; 5-2-1; Steven Stamkos (eight goals, 15 points) can play. Simon Gagne, scoreless in six games and -8 defensively, missed the last two games because of a stiff neck. (10)

5. Dallas; 5-2-0; Stars have only three players with negative plus/minus ratings. (2)

6. Pittsburgh; 5-3-1; Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has only one win in four games, but Brent Johnson (1.39 goals-against average, .952 save percentage) has been excellent. (9)

7. St. Louis; 4-1-2; Goalie Jaroslav Halak (1.81, .929) has been a great pickup for the Blues. (13)

8. Chicago; 5-4-1; Patrick Sharp (eight goals, 11 points) and Marian Hossa (seven goals, 11 points) have carried the load during slow starts for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. (8)

9. Washington; 5-3-0; Goalie Semyon Varlamov is day to day because of an undisclosed injury. He just returned after missing three weeks because of a groin problem. (3)

10. Montreal; 5-2-1; Carey Price has easy time against Ottawa earning first shutout of season and fifth of his career. (11)

11. Boston; 4-2-0; Steady defenseman Johnny Boychuk expected to miss four weeks after breaking his arm. (16)

12. N.Y. Islanders; 4-2-2; Week includes solid wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto but loss to Florida. (12)

13. Toronto; 4-2-1; Maple Leafs have lost three straight, falling to the Islanders, Rangers and Flyers. Hold those Stanley Cup parade plans. (1)

14. N.Y. Rangers; 4-2-1; They earned their first home win in their third try, subduing the rival Devils. (18)

15. Carolina; 4-3-0; Hurricanes still haven't played their home opener. They'll finally get the last line change Wednesday. (24)

16. Calgary; 5-3-0; Rene Bourque makes strong return after concussion, scores five times in his last two games. (22)

17. Vancouver; 3-3-2; Goalie Cory Schneider (0.86, .968 in three games) is carrying them while Roberto Luongo wobbles. (20)

18. Atlanta; 3-4-1; Thrashers have given up 13 goals in their last three games, all losses. (7)

19. Columbus; 5-3-0; Blue Jackets are still waiting for Rick Nash (three goals, four points) to step up his game. (17)

20. Philadelphia; 3-4-1; Coach Peter Laviolette rips team after loss at Columbus. "We played mindless hockey." (15)

21. Colorado; 4-4-0; Very thin on defense, though John-Michael Liles is having a career-reviving season. (14)

22. Phoenix; 2-2-3; Coyotes are finding it tough to repeat the great start they had last season. (25)

23. Minnesota; 3-3-2; Wild's league-leading power play blanked in loss to Kings. (27)

24. San Jose; 3-3-1; Antti Niemi is struggling and the Sharks are underachieving. Usually they wait for May to do that. (23)

25. Ducks; 3-5-1; Win over Flyers seemed a good step, but they squandered a lead at Detroit and complained about the officiating. Time to look within, not at the zebras. (26)

26. Florida; 3-3-0; Goalie Tomas Vokoun (2.14, .925) keeps the Panthers in most games. (21)

27. Buffalo; 3-5-1; Last season's rookie of the year, defenseman Tyler Myers, has a -8 plus/minus. (30)

28. Ottawa; 2-5-1; General Manager Bryan Murray tries to quash the Jason Spezza trade rumors. Good luck with that. (28)

29. Edmonton; 2-4-0; No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall is having bumpy adjustment to the NHL as team loses four straight. (19)

30. New Jersey; 2-6-1; Coach John MacLean's decision to bench Ilya Kovalchuk on Saturday was either brilliant or career suicide. At a salary of $6 million this season, Kovalchuk earned $73,170.73 to not play. (29).

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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