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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

The Canucks are back at No. 1, thanks to the play of the Sedin twins. The Kings rise six spots to No. 8, while the Ducks move up one spot to No. 17.

March 14, 2011
  • Minnesota's Matt Cullen misses a check on Vancouver 's Christian Ehrhoff during the third period Monday night, when the Canucks won, 4-2.
Minnesota's Matt Cullen misses a check on Vancouver 's Christian… (Geoff Howe / Associated…)

Through Monday's games

(Previous rank)

1. Vancouver 46-16-9. Canucks have won six in a row and lead the NHL with a plus-66 goal differential. Daniel Sedin leads league in points with 90 and twin Henrik in assists with 68. (3)

2. Washington 40-20-10. Capitals have won eight in a row and nine of 10. They've proved they can grind, which should serve them well come playoff time. (6)

3. Chicago 38-24-8. Blackhawks earned four of eight points on their trip to Toronto, Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington. They redeemed themselves with a home rout of San Jose on Monday. (2)

3. San Jose 39-23-8. Antti Niemi chased Monday by former Chicago teammates in a 6-3 loss. The good news is they regained defenseman Dan Boyle, who missed six games because of an upper-body injury. (1)

5. Boston 38-21-9. The Bruins have points in eight of their last 10 games but they're only two ahead of the Canadiens in the Northeast, with a game in hand. (4)

6. Detroit 41-20-8. The Red Wings have won two in a row but only four of their last 10. Defenseman Brian Rafalski (back spasms) and goalie Chris Osgood (hernia surgery) might return this week. (5)

7. Philadelphia 42-19-7. Definition of bad timing: The Flyers blew a three-goal lead over Atlanta in the third period at home Saturday and lost in OT — on Fan Appreciation night. (7)

8. Kings 39-25-5. Jonathan Quick became first goalie in club history to record back-to-back 30-win seasons. They're 3-0 on four-game trip that ends Tuesday in Nashville. (14)

9. Montreal 38-24-7. Carey Price's shutout of Pittsburgh on Saturday was his eighth this season, the most by a Canadiens goalie since Ken Dryden's 10 in 1976-77. That's impressive. (9)

10. Pittsburgh 40-22-8. Penguins have played to 200 consecutive sellouts, a nifty achievement. But they reached that milestone in a loss to the Canadiens, which wasn't so nifty. (10)

11. Phoenix 36-23-11. They're staying! They're moving to Winnipeg! There's a different rumor every day. The constants: exceptional work by Coach Dave Tippett and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. (11)

12. Dallas 37-24-8. Stars welcomed the return of Brad Richards, who missed 10 games because of a concussion. Last-minute loss to Kings on Sunday, though, will be difficult to forget. (13)

13. New Jersey 32-32-4. Devils' remarkable revival has reached 23-3-2 and has lifted them within reach of an East playoff spot. It will be tough but Coach Jacques Lemaire is working miracles. (12)

14. Tampa Bay 39-22-9. Lightning was in 1-4-2 slide before beating Toronto on Monday. (15)

15. Calgary 36-26-9. In falling to Phoenix and Vancouver, Flames absorbed first back-to-back regulation losses in two months. But they're barely clinging to eighth in the West. (8)

16. Nashville 35-24-10. Sterling goaltending of Pekka Rinne (2.07 goals-against average, .930 save percentage) is keeping Predators near the top eight in the West. (20)

17. Ducks 37-27-5. They got by for a while with Dan Ellis while Jonas Hiller battled vertigo but the smallish Ellis has some weaknesses. (18)

18. Buffalo 34-27-8. R.I.P. Richard Martin of the famed "French Connection" line. He died Sunday at 59. He and his linemates were mesmerizing to watch. (19)

19. N.Y. Rangers 36-30-4. They rebounded nicely from a 5-2 spanking in Anaheim to beat the Sharks in a shootout at San Jose. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is their backbone. (17)

20. Minnesota 35-28-7. Back-to-back shutout losses to Nashville and Dallas and a loss at Vancouver put the Wild's playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. (16)

21. Columbus 32-27-9. Blue Jackets' 3-2 victory over Carolina on Saturday ended an 0-4-3 slump that probably took them out of the playoff hunt. (21)

22. Carolina 31-28-10. Hurricanes continue to flail. They have too much talent to be sitting outside of top eight in the East. (22)

23. Atlanta 29-28-12. Thrashers stay in striking distance in East with 3-0-1 point streak that includes rally from 3-0 deficit in Philly (26).

24. Toronto 30-30-10. Fifteen of the Maple Leafs' last 21 games have been decided by a goal. That's probably as close as they'll come to playoff hockey, though they're making a decent push. (23)

25. Florida 28-32-9. Panthers have earned points in four of their last five games, including wins over Chicago and Tampa Bay. Good for the kids trying out for next season. (29)

26. St. Louis 31-29-9. The Blues had a three-game winning streak ended by the Red Wings on Saturday at home. Just too many injuries for the Blues to compete for playoff spot. (25)

27. Ottawa 25-35-9. The Senators picked a bad time to have a 3-1 trip. The more games they win, the worse their chances at the No. 1 draft pick in June. (24)

28. N.Y. Islanders 27-32-11. Congrats to winger Matt Moulson, who's one goal from his second straight 30-goal season. He almost had it Saturday until a scoring change took it from him. (28)

29. Edmonton 23-38-9. Oilers' goal differential is a league-worst minus-59. Those kiddies will have to learn to play defense next season. (27)

30. Colorado 26-34-8. Avalanche has lost 18 of 19 games. How the once-mighty have fallen … and keep falling. It's sad. (30)

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