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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

San Jose knows the way to the No. 1 spot, thanks to a 17-3-1 surge. The Kings fall eight spots to No. 14, while the Ducks move up two slots to No. 18.

March 08, 2011
  • Sharks center Logan Couture is chased behind the goal by Stars left wing Jamie Benn during the second period at HP Pavilion on Saturday night.
Sharks center Logan Couture is chased behind the goal by Stars left wing… (Jason O. Watson / US Presswire )

Through Monday's games (Previous rank)

1. San Jose, 38-22-6. The Sharks were riding a 17-2-1 surge before losing a third-period lead against Dallas on Saturday. Only cloud: defenseman Dan Boyle (upper-body injury) has missed four games. (3)

2. Chicago, 37-23-6. The defending champions are looking the part again with an eight-game winning streak. Jonathan Toews has points in nine straight games, with eight goals and 23 points in that span. That's why he's the captain, eh? (10)

3. Vancouver, 42-16-9. The Canucks ride cheers of more than 1,000 fans to wins at Los Angeles and Anaheim. Team might want to bring fans on rest of trip, to Phoenix, San Jose and Calgary. (2)

4. Boston, 38-19-8. The Bruins are 7-0-1 in their last eight. Goalie Tim Thomas leads the league in goals-against average, at 1.97, and save percentage, .939. (5)

5. Detroit, 39-19-8. The Red Wings end five-game trip by losing last three and blew a 4-1 lead at Phoenix in the third period Saturday. That's not like them. (4)

6. Washington, 37-20-10. A five-game winning streak has put the Capitals back atop Southeast Division for first time since late December. (13)

7. Philadelphia, 40-19-6. The Flyers' 7-0 loss Sunday was their worst ever at Madison Square Garden. They've lost a season-worst four in a row and are 2-5-1 in their last eight. (1)

8. Calgary, 35-24-9. Congrats to Jarome Iginla, who reached 30 goals for the 10th straight season. Flames have won seven of 10 to get back into thick of West race. (9)

9. Montreal, 36-23-7. Goalie Carey Price stopped 113 of 116 shots as the Canadiens swept a trip to Atlanta, Florida and Tampa Bay. Their winning streak is four. (16)

10. Pittsburgh, 38-21-8. No sign of Sidney Crosby (concussion) returning, though winger Chris Kunitz (abdominal muscle) is expected back this week. The Penguins are 3-3-4 in their last 10. (11)

11. Phoenix, 34-23-10. The Coyotes ended a five-game winless streak by rallying to beat Detroit on Saturday. To stay competitive they must build off that comeback. (7)

12. New Jersey, 30-31-4. The Devils are making serious playoff run, with 20-2-2 surge. Ilya Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 19 points and a plus-12 defensive rating in his last 16 games. (15)

13. Dallas, 36-23-7. Stars have recorded impressive wins at San Jose and Los Angeles without Brad Richards. He's still day to day with a concussion. (18)

14. Kings, 36-25-5. Power-play is stagnant, predictable and is costing them games. Time to make some strategic changes and fast. (6)

15. Tampa Bay, 37-21-8. Was the Lightning's fall out of first in the Southeast temporary, or part of a slide? The team has lost four in a row and scored only nine goals in its last six games. (8)

16. Minnesota, 34-25-7. Light-scoring Wild hampered without Mikko Koivu (hand) and Cal Clutterbuck, who was pulled from the lineup one game after being hit in the head by the Islanders' Trevor Gillies. (14).

17. N.Y. Rangers, 35-29-4. Steamrolling the Flyers, 7-0, after beating Ottawa helped them halt a slump that threatened their playoff spot. (19)

18. Ducks, 35-26-5. Jonas Hiller remains out indefinitely because of vertigo. Dan Ellis has been adequate but they need a healthy Hiller to crash the top eight in the West. (20)

19. Buffalo, 32-25-8. Kudos to the Sabres for climbing back into the top eight in the East on Sunday. And congrats to Rob Niedermayer for his first goal since last March 17. (21)

20. Nashville, 33-24-9. Predators are 1-1-1 on a Western swing that ends Tuesday at San Jose. Good win at Vancouver but they stumbled in Calgary. (12)

21. Columbus, 31-26-8. Blue Jackets miss first-line center Derek Brassard, who has a bruised hand. They're 0-3-2 in their last five games. (17)

22. Carolina, 31-26-9. The Hurricanes have let the Sabres pass them for the eighth spot in the East. Canes should be better than their 5-4-1 record in their last 10. (23)

23. Toronto, 29-28-9. Maple Leafs fans are talking playoffs after a 6-1-3 spurt. That's not going to happen, but they're entitled to dream. (24)

24. Ottawa, 22-34-9. The Senators are actually playing decently and are 5-4-1 in their last 10, mostly with kids auditioning for next season. (29)

25. St. Louis, 29-28-9. The Blues' young defense has struggled and team has won only twice in nine games. Goalie Jaroslav Halak (hand injury) should return this week. (22)

26. Atlanta, 27-28-11. Rookie Alexander Burmistrov's return from a broken foot is welcome for the Thrashers, who have won only twice in their last nine and were fading out of East playoff picture. (27)

27. Edmonton, 23-35-8. No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall is out for the season after suffering a high ankle sprain. He went out with a Gordie Howe hat trick: a goal, an assist and a fighting major. (26)

28. N.Y. Islanders, 25-32-10. Trevor Gillies, in his first game back from a nine-game suspension, gets suspended 10 games for a head shot against Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck. Genius. (25)

29. Florida, 26-31-9. The Panthers have lost 18 of their last 23 games, the last two in overtime. Ouch. (28)

30. Colorado, 26-31-8. The Avalanche's stunning collapse hits 1-13-2. Believe it or not, this team was 21-15-5 at the halfway point and very much in playoff contention. (30)

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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