Helene Elliott's NHL rankings

Through Monday's games

Rank; Team; Record; (previous ranking).

1. Kings; 12-4-0; Club-record 8-0-0 start at home and 31 for 31 penalty killing at home have been impressive. Jonathan Quick (1.85 goals-against, .944 save percentage) has been stellar. (1)

2. Detroit; 11-3-1; Red Wings have won nine of their last 11. Jiri Hudler gets first goal since his brief stint in Russia's KHL. (5)

3. Philadelphia; 12-4-2; Flyers have won nine of 11 and Jeff Carter has new 11-year, $58-million contract. Win-big win. (4).

4. Vancouver; 10-4-3; Only one regulation loss for Canucks in their last 11. Roberto Luongo looking better every game. (6)

5. Washington; 13-4-1; Capitals defensemen have been contributing offensively during team's 8-1-1 surge. (3)

6. Montreal; 11-5-1; Canadiens have won three in a row and four of five. One key reason: Brian Gionta has goals in three of their last four games. (10)

7. St. Louis; 9-4-3; Blues are sliding, losing four straight after 9-1-2 start. David Backes got five-year, $22.5-million extension. (2)

8. Ottawa; 9-8-1; Brian Elliott (no relation) earns first shutout of the season, against Boston. (15)

9. Boston; 9-5-1; Bruins have had a light schedule so far. At some point it will hammer them. (7)

10. San Jose; 9-5-2; Sharks have won seven of 11. Antero Niittymaki apparently has won starting job over Antti Niemi. (13)

11. Pittsburgh; 9-8-2; Back-to-back weekend wins for Marc-Andre Fleury tripled his season win total. (18)

12. Chicago; 9-9-2; Blackhawks take to the road for next six because of annual circus trip. They're the ones on the tightrope. (9)

13. N.Y. Rangers; 10-7-1; Marian Gaborik is back and they've won three in a row to rise in the East. (19)

14. Minnesota; 8-6-2; Cal Clutterbuck — one of the best names in hockey — scores a goal Sunday but then suffers upper-body injury.(8)

15. Ducks; 10-7-2; Six-game winning streak ends with overtime loss in Chicago. Defense still suspect but offense looks better. (21)

16. Columbus; 9-6-0; Defenseman Mike Commodore (sprained thumb) is expected to return soon after missing 13 games. (16)

17. Phoenix; 7-5-5; Coyotes have won three straight but there's still something missing compared to last season. (26)

18. Tampa Bay; 8-7-2; Lightning has lost three straight. Vincent Lecavalier will undergo surgery on his right hand and miss three to four weeks. (11)

19. Nashville; 7-5-3; Predators win two in a row but have lost six of their last 10. (23)

20. Dallas; 8-7-0; Stars score three goals in losing three in a row. Even worse: Mark Cuban says he doesn't want to be majority owner. That would be fun. (12)

21. Colorado; 9-7-1; Veteran defenseman Adam Foote returned after missing eight games because of a concussion. (17)

22. Carolina; 8-9-0; Hurricanes' 8-0-2 streak at Montreal smashed in 7-2 loss to Canadiens on Saturday. (14)

23. Florida; 7-8-0; Right wing Steve Bernier will be out several weeks after suffering broken orbital bone. (27)

24. Atlanta; 7-8-3; Thrashers' defense has been unraveling in a 1-4-1 slump. (20)

25. Buffalo; 7-9-3; Ryan Miller's return from injury at least makes them respectable most nights. Coach Lindy Ruff passes 1,000 games behind bench. (29)

26. Calgary; 7-9-0; Flames have lost six of seven. Jarome Iginla's goal Saturday was only his third of the season. (24)

27. Edmonton; 4-9-3; Only two wins in last 14 for Oilers. Kids and veterans alike are struggling. (22)

28. Toronto; 5-8-3; Maple Leafs have won only once in last 10. But Brian Burke insists they can't build through the draft. This is better? (25)

29. New Jersey; 5-11-2; Devils averaging fewer than two goals per game. Ilya Kovalchuk's blunder on shootout attempt was a classic. (30)

30. N.Y. Islanders; 4-10-3; Coach Scott Gordon became victim of 0-9-1 slump with a team that has no depth. (28)



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