Helene Elliott’s NHL rankings

Through Monday’s games

1. Philadelphia, 40-16-6. The Flyers looked to be set after claiming rugged defenseman Nick Boynton on waivers for depth last week. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. Vancouver, 39-15-9. Secondary scoring, fourth-line center were the Canucks’ main concerns after cooling off in a 5-5 stretch. (1).

3. San Jose, 36-21-6. The Sharks have won six in a row. Goaltender Antero Niittymaki is expected to return this week after a groin pull idled him on Feb. 8. (8)

4. Detroit, 39-18-6. The Red Wings were considering adding a goaltender but Chris Osgood (hernia surgery) is about a week away from returning. (3)

5. Boston, 36-19-7. The Bruins have won the first five games of a six-game trip. Acquiring puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle from Toronto was a smart move. (5)


6. Kings, 35-24-4. They were spanked by the Red Wings on Monday but have lost in regulation only twice in 16 games (11-2-3). New acquisition Dustin Penner might make his debut on Thursday. (14)

7. Phoenix, 33-21-10. The Coyotes pushed hard to take the Blackhawks to a shootout Sunday. Yotes are 0-2-1 after winning eight in a row. (4)

8. Tampa Bay, 37-18-7. Lighting has won three in a row. General Manager Steve Yzerman was looking for a gritty forward but didn’t want to give up draft picks. (7)

9. Calgary, 32-23-9. Their 3-1-1 homestand and 6-2-2 push have put the Flames back in the thick of West playoff scramble. (9)

10. Chicago, 34-23-6. Blackhawks have won a season-high best five straight. Jonathan Toews doing what a captain should: he has 23 points in his last 14 games. (19).

11. Pittsburgh, 37-21-6. Penguins have only three wins in their last 10. There’s still no guessing when Sidney Crosby, out since Jan. 5 because of a concussion, will return. (6)

12. Nashville, 32-23-8. Predators’ rally Sunday against Columbus ended a four-game losing streak. Any misstep is costly in the West. (10)

13. Washington, 33-20-10. Owner Ted Leonsis wrote on his blog that he wanted to add “jump and difference” to the Capitals. They got center Jason Arnott from New Jersey and defenseman Dennis Wideman from Florida. (12)

14. Minnesota, 33-24-6. The low-scoring Wild will miss center Mikko Koivu (broken finger). Team is coming together well after a slow and rocky start. (15)

15. New Jersey, 27-31-4. The Devils’ revival put them within nine points of playoff spot and dilemma between buying and selling. Answer: Arnott is now with the Capitals. (13)

16. Montreal, 33-23-7. Canadiens are happy with trade for defenseman Brent Sopel, acquired last week from Atlanta. And he’s happy: he can get Smarties (a nifty candy) in Canada. (11)

17. Columbus, 31-24-6. Blue Jackets intended to be buyers at trade deadline after winning seven of 10 and getting back into West playoff race. (16)

18. Dallas, 33-23-6. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk faced a defining moment while trying to turn his slumping team around: to trade Brad Richards, or not to trade Brad Richards. Richards stayed put. (23)

19. N.Y. Rangers, 33-27-4. Their acquisition of defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida was smart. But in a case of bad timing, backup goalie Martin Biron broke his collarbone Monday in practice. (17)

20. Ducks, 33-25-5. They were in a playoff position when Jonas Hiller was healthy but fell out, possibly for good, when he was struck by vertigo. Dan Ellis isn’t distinguishing himself in net. (18)

21. Buffalo, 29-25-7. New owner Terry Pegula promised to open purse strings for GM Darcy Regier. First move was good: acquiring Brad Boyes from St. Louis for a second-round pick. (22)

22. St. Louis, 28-25-9. The Blues gave up on Boyes, who totaled 76 goals in 2007-08 and 2008-09 but only 26 last season and this season. They got only a second-round pick from Buffalo but saved a lot of dough. (20)

23. Carolina, 29-25-9. Winning three of 10 is not the way to get a playoff spot. The Hurricanes were hoping for good news on Eric Staal, who missed their last game because of an upper-body injury. (21)

24. Toronto, 27-27-9. The Maple Leafs have only one regulation loss in their last 10 (5-1-4) but apparent head injury to goalie James Reimer would be a momentum-killer. (24)

25. N.Y. Islanders, 23-32-8. The team had its first sellout of the season last Saturday but lost. GM Garth Snow was getting inquiries about defenseman Radek Martinek before the deadline but no move came. (25)

26. Edmonton, 20-35-8. Three names consistently came up in trade rumors: forwards Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner, and defenseman Ladislav Smid. Penner is now with the Kings. (28)

27. Atlanta, 26-26-11. Thrashers would like to forget February: they were 2-7-2, likely killing their playoff chances. (27)

28. Florida, 26-29-7. Panthers didn’t want to deal Stephen Weiss and resisted offers for David Booth. (26)

29. Ottawa, 21-32-9. In re-signing defenseman Chris Phillips, the Senators might have slowed their rebuilding. They likely could have dealt him for youngsters. (30)

30. Colorado, 26-30-7. Avalanche looks to have given up, losing 13 of 14. Every team will have a down cycle, but not trying is unforgiveable. (29)