Helene Elliott’s NHL rankings

Rank; Team; Record; (previous ranking)

1. Vancouver; 38-13-9; Injuries have forced them to use three rookies on defense but the Canucks aren’t wobbling. NHL’s best home team (21-4-5) is 1-0 on six-game homestand. (1)

2. Philadelphia; 39-15-5; Flyers’ penalty-free victory over the Rangers on Sunday was their third in franchise history without a sin-bin visit. Surprised it’s that many. (2)

3. Detroit; 37-16-6; Red Wings extended their winning streak to five thanks to Todd Bertuzzi’s shootout goal against Minnesota in his 1,000th career game. Here’s the sound of one hand clapping. (4)


4. Phoenix; 32-19-9; Coyotes took over Pacific Division lead by winning seven in a row, six by one goal. There isn’t enough praise for the work of Coach Dave Tippett and GM Don Maloney. (8)

5. Boston; 33-19-7; Adding puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle in trade with Toronto signaled Bruins are serious about going for it this season. (6)

6. Pittsburgh; 36-20-5; Penguins have gone more than seven periods against Washington without scoring. They’re glad the season series is done. (9)

7. Tampa Bay; 34-18-7; Lightning is winless in three straight. But adding defenseman Eric Brewer for a prospect and a third-round draft pick should pay strong dividends. (3)

8. San Jose; 33-21-6; Sharks have won three in a row, eight of 10 and are riding a 12-2-1 surge. Let’s see them play this well in April and May. (14)

9. Calgary; 31-22-8; Victory in chilly Heritage Classic outdoor game Sunday moved them into sixth in crazy West scramble. Flames’ run has reached 17-4-5. (16)

10. Nashville; 31-20-8; Forward Jordin Tootoo returned after being treated in NHL/NHL Players Assn. substance abuse and treatment program. But defenseman Ryan Suter is day to day because of upper-body injury. (7)

11. Montreal; 31-22-7; Canadiens have only one win in their last seven (1-4-2) and were outscored, 8-1, in losses at Edmonton and Calgary. (5)

12. Washington; 32-19-10; Defenseman Mike Green has played only one game since he was hit in the ear by a puck on Feb. 6. He’s likely to return later this week. (11)

13. New Jersey; 25-30-4; Devils’ surge hits 15-1-2 and puts them within reach of a playoff spot. Replacement Coach Jacques Lemaire has done a remarkable job. (19)

14. Kings; 32-23-4; Their point streak was snapped at 11 (8-0-3) in a listless loss to speedy Islanders. It was the last game of a long trip but the Kings have been streaky all season and can’t afford to slump again. (13)

15. Minnesota; 31-22-6; Wild captain Mikko Koivu reportedly has a broken left index finger but won’t need surgery. Low-budget team might try to make a trade before deadline. (12)

16. Columbus; 29-23-6; With a 15-10-4 road record, Blue Jackets are one from matching their record for road wins in a season. Overall they’re 6-3-1 and still within reach of a playoff spot. (20)

17. N.Y. Rangers; 31-26-4; They’ve won only two of their last 10 and now face losing winger Marian Gaborik to a concussion. That’s a blow to this light-scoring team. (18)

18. Ducks; 32-24-4; Goalie Jonas Hiller is lightheaded and his teammates aren’t feeling so good either after yielding 21 goals in three games. Ray Emery won’t stay in the AHL much longer. (10)

19. Chicago; 31-23-6; With the defending champions outside the top eight in the West it’s no wonder Coach Joel Quenneville is stressed. He’s recovering from a bleeding ulcer and is expected to return Thursday. (17)

20. St. Louis; 27-22-9; Blues made a bold move to acquire Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart from Colorado for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement. They should win this deal. (24)

21. Carolina; 28-24-8; Kudos to the Hurricanes for honoring Rod Brind’Amour and retiring his number. That inspired them to beat the Flyers, but they returned to earth in a loss to New Jersey. (21)

22. Buffalo; 27-25-6; Sabres’ new owner, Terry Pegula, will be introduced at news conference Tuesday. After losing three straight, Sabres must hope there’s no buyer’s remorse. (22)

23. Dallas; 31-22-6; A 2-9-1 slump has dropped the Stars from Pacific Division leader to nearly out of the playoffs. It’s not all due to injuries. (15)

24. Toronto; 25-27-7; Maple Leafs got a good return after finally trading Tomas Kaberle to Boston: a first-round pick, prospect Joe Colborne and a pick conditional on Kaberle staying in Boston. (26)

25. N.Y. Islanders; 23-30-7; They have some good pieces, and kudos to Al Montoya for shutting out the Kings. Kudos also to former King Matt Moulson, who has five goals in his last two games and 26 on the season. (25)

26. Florida; 25-27-7; Panthers might be willing to trade winger David Booth before next Monday’s deadline but are likely to hold on to center Stephen Weiss. (27)

27. Atlanta; 25-25-10; Ownership issues again rear their ugly head with no local investors apparently stepping up. Thrashers might be the next NHL team to move, not the Coyotes. (23)

28. Edmonton; 19-32-8; The Oilers put defenseman Sheldon Souray on reverse waivers but there were no takers even at half-price. (30)

29. Colorado; 25-27-7; The bottom has fallen out for the Avalanche in an 0-9-1 tailspin. Trading Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart to St. Louis might come back to haunt them. (28)

30. Ottawa; 19-31-9; Toronto Sun reported 16 scouts were credentialed for Senators-Maple Leafs game Saturday to look at “what might be left to pick from the carcasses of these two bad teams.” No mention whether all 16 walked out in disgust. (29)