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Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

Canucks top list, but Dan Hamhuis' concussion is a big concern.

March 29, 2011|By Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times
  • Canucks goalkeeper Roberto Luongo and teammate Dan Hamhuis collide whle chasing the puck as Montreal's Michael Cammalleri looks for a rebound during a game last month at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Canucks goalkeeper Roberto Luongo and teammate Dan Hamhuis collide whle… (Rich Lam / Getty Images )

Through Sunday's games

Rank, Team, Record, (previous ranking)

1. Vancouver 50-17-9. Canucks have won three in a row and nine of 10 in their first 50-win season but lost defenseman Dan Hamhuis on Sunday to his second concussion this season. That's worrisome for him. (1)

2. Washington 44-22-10. The Capitals have won 12 of 14 and are about to welcome injured Alexander Ovechkin and Jason Arnott back to the lineup. (2)

3. San Jose 44-23-9. Rookie Logan Couture hit 30 goals by scoring twice against Phoenix and is only one behind the Islanders' Michael Grabner for the lead among rookies. (3)

4. Pittsburgh 45-23-8. The Penguins have won four in a row — all by shootouts — and eight of 10. And Sidney Crosby (concussion) has increased the tempo of his workouts, so he might return soon. (12).

5. Phoenix 41-25-11. The Coyotes' loss to San Jose on Saturday was their eighth in a row against the Sharks, one of those oddities that are tough to explain. (7)

6. Philadelphia 45-20-10. Flyers earned only two of six points against Capitals, Penguins and Bruins. They're hearing Pittsburgh's footsteps in Atlantic Division. (5)

7. Detroit 44-22-10. Chris Osgood's return from hernia surgery was delayed and Jimmy Howard suffered an apparently minor shoulder injury over the weekend. (4)

8. Kings 43-26-6. Their season took two terrible turns with injuries to top scorers Justin Williams (dislocated shoulder) and Anze Kopitar (torn ankle ligaments). Defense is their foundation, so they'll need a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 wins. (9)

9. Nashville 41-25-10. It's in the genes: Rookie Blake Geoffrion, a fourth-generation NHLer, has six goals and seven points in 14 games with plucky Predators. (11)

10. Ducks 43-28-5. Late-game heroics from Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry have lifted Ducks back into playoff position. Perry leads the NHL with 44 goals — and with 20 third-period goals. That's clutch. (13)

11. Boston 41-23-10. The Bruins clinched a playoff spot by beating the Flyers on Sunday. They're 3-0-1 against Philadelphia this season. Nice, but no consolation for collapsing and losing their playoff series last spring. (10)

12. Chicago 41-26-8. Patrick Sharp (knee) is missed. The Blackhawks are still not as cohesive on defense as they should be and have a tough final stretch, facing Detroit three times in their last eight games. (8)

13. N.Y. Rangers 41-30-5. An 8-1-1 surge has put the Rangers in good shape for the playoffs. They could climb a spot or two above seventh. (15)

14. Montreal 40-29-7. Sacre bleu! The Canadiens were shut out in three straight games, the first time that has happened since 1949. (6)

15. Tampa Bay 40-24-11. The month of March hasn't been kind to the Lightning, which is 3-6-4 including a win at Carolina on Saturday. (16)

16. Buffalo 38-28-9. Sabres are solidly in the East playoff picture with a 4-0-1 streak. Ryan Miller's shutout of New Jersey on Saturday tied his single-season high of five. (19)

17. Dallas 38-26-10. Stars are merely 4-3-3 in their last 10, just bad enough to put them outside the top eight in the West. (14)

18. Calgary 38-28-11. The Flames are mathematically still in the West playoff chase, but all of their rivals have games in hand, taking their fate out of their hands. (18)

19. Carolina 35-30-10. Hurricanes are five points out of eighth with seven to play. Baffling why their talent just doesn't seem to mesh. (20)

20. New Jersey 34-36-5. Devils' playoff push hit the wall when scoring dried up. They've won only four of their last 10. (17)

21. Toronto 34-32-10. The Maple Leafs came alive for a while in the second half of the season, but they're not deep enough yet. But youngsters like goalie James Reimer offer hope. (21)

22. St. Louis 34-32-9. The future of President John Davidson is in limbo while the Blues remain for sale. He's worth keeping. (25)

23. Atlanta 32-31-12. The Thrashers are on the fringes of the East race, but their upcoming five-game trip is likely to do them in. (23)

24. Columbus 33-31-11. Blue Jackets will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. Inconsistency did them in. Time for some soul searching there. (24)

25. Minnesota 35-32-8. Wild has lost three in a row and nine of 10, stirring speculation that Coach Todd Richards won't return next season. (22)

26. Ottawa 29-37-10. The Senators are winning the battle for last in the East, but they're in a close fight with the Islanders and Florida. (26)

27. N.Y. Islanders 29-35-12. Rookie goal-scoring leader Michael Grabner (31) deserves serious Calder Trophy consideration for his success with an injury-thinned team. (28)

28. Florida 29-36-11. The Panthers are 0 for 4 on a five-game trip. Merciful end comes Tuesday at Columbus. (27)

29. Colorado 28-39-8. From the Denver Post: "Amid the rubble that is the 2010-11 Avalanche, here's one positive note: Veteran winger Milan Hejduk … reached the 20-goal benchmark for the 11th consecutive season on Saturday." (29)

30. Edmonton 23-41-11 Oilers have lost nine in a row and pretty much have last overall locked up. Their kids will be terrific someday though. (30)

helene.elliott@latimes.com

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