Through games of 12/27/2010
1. (1) Philadelphia (22-8-5): The Flyers had eight days off heading into a five-game road trip that starts Tuesday against No. 2 Vancouver and ends on Jan. 6 in New Jersey.
2. (2) Vancouver (21-8-5): The Canucks’ top three scorers were drafted by the team: Henrik Sedin (3rd overall in 1999) is second with 44 points (8-36-44). Daniel Sedin (2nd overall in 1999) leads the Canucks in scoring with 43 points (18-25-43), while Ryan Kesler (23rd overall in 2003) has 31 points (17-14-31) and leads the team in game- winning goals (4).
3. (4) Pittsburgh (24-11-2): The Penguins lead the NHL in goal differential at plus-33, and Sidney Crosby continues to score (30-31-61) and has a point in 24 straight games.
4. (3) Detroit (23-9-4): In the Red Wings’ 4-3 overtime win over Colorado, Chris Osgood became just the 10h goalie in history to win 400 games. He also tied his career high with 46 saves. Congrats Ozzie – could not happen to a better guy.
5. (10) Tampa Bay (21-10-5): Tampa is one of four teams with at least 10 wins both at home and on the road (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Detroit are the others).
6. (5) Dallas (21-11-4): The Stars are 10-1-3 in their last 14 home games and are 14-3-4 in one-goal games.
7. (12) Los Angeles (22-12-1): After shutting out San Jose Monday, goalie Jonathan Quick has four shutouts on the season and a 7-2-1 record in his lat 10 starts.
8. (15) Washington (21-12-5):Thirteen different players have scored for the Capitals in their last six games.
9. (13) Boston (19-11-4): Shawn Thornton opened Thursday’s game with a fight two seconds in, then followed it with a pair of goals to give him a career-high seven.
10. (11) San Jose (19-12-5): Antti Niemi continues to struggle. The defending Stanley Cup-winning goalie has a 7-9-2 record and a 3.08 GAA.
11. (7) Colorado (19-12-5): Kevin Shattenkirk leads all rookie defensemen with 19 points (5-14-19) in 25 games.
12. (17) Chicago (20-14-3): The Blackhawks lead the NHL with a 25 percent success rate on the power play.
13. (8) Montreal (20-14-2): Josh Gorges does not have a point in 19 straight games.Gorges
14. (14) New York Rangers (21-14-2): The Rangers are a tough team to playa against, leading the league with 1,010 hits and third in the leagur with 571 blocked shots.
15. (21) St. Louis (18-12-5): The Blues did not get whistled for a single penalty in Sunday’s win over Nashville. It was the first time since April 1, 2004 they managed that feat.
16. (9) Atlanta (19-13-6): The Thrashers are one of two Eastern Conference teams with five 10-goal scorers: Dustin Byfuglien (13), Andrew Ladd (12), Evander Kane (11), Anthony Stewart (10) and Bryan Little (10).
17. (6) Nashville (17-12-6): Pekka Rinne has posted a 1.45 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in his last 10 starts.
18. (16) Phoenix (16-11-7): Shane Doan has 13 points (3-10-13) in his 14 games since returning from an injury.
19. (22) Columbus (18-15-3): The Blue Jackets need to be much better on the power play, as they rank 29th with a 12.2 success rate.
20. (19) Minnesota (16-14-5): Brent Burns is second among NHL defenseman with 10 goals.
21. (18) Anaheim (18-17-4): Defenseman Toni Lydman ranks tied for second in the NHL in plus/minus (+18) this season.
22. (20) Carolina (15-15-4): Coach Paul Maurice reunited Tuomo Ruutu, Jeff Skinner, and Jussi Jokinen against the Capitals Sunday night. The line scored both goals in a 3-2 loss.
23. (23) Florida (16-17-1): Chris Higgins needs three goals for 100 in his career.
24. (26) Ottawa (16-17-4): Jason Spezza may be out up to eight weeks with a shoulder injury.
25. (24) Calgary (16-18-3): Good news for fans of the Flames: report says management told Jarome Iginla they will not ask him to waive his no-movement clause. Bad news: the Flames are still not good.
26. (27) Buffalo (14-18-4): Ryan Miller’s next win will be the 200th of his career.
27. (25) Edmonton (12-16-6): The Oilers have not lost in regulation (5-0-2) when leading after the first period.
28. (28) Toronto (13-17-4): Mikhail Grabovski has scored a goal in seven of his last nine games. He is currently on a five-game point streak with six points (4-2-6) during that span.
29. (30) New York Islanders (9-19-6): Islanders won three straight before a 7-2 loss to the Rangers on Monday.
30. (29) New Jersey (9-24-2): Five straight losses and a league-worst minus-51 goal differential. Wow … minus-51. The dismantling begins with Brian Rolston being shipped to Albany.
(Steve Kendall is a freelance writer who has covered hockey for nearly 20 years for publications such as The Boston Herald, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and New England Hockey Journal.)