Through games of Feb. 22
1. (1) Vancouver (38-14-9): With so many injuries on the blue line, expect the Canucks to make a deal for a defenseman before the deadline on Monday.
2. (2) Philadelphia (39-15-6): The Flyers look to be the favorite in the East to reach the finals, if not win the Stanley Cup.
3. (4) Detroit (37-17-6): Henrik Zetterberg has 2-7-9 totals in his last six games, but was a minus-3 in a loss to San Jose on Tuesday.
4. (5) Pittsburgh (36-20-5): The Penguins are 9-4-2 against the Western Conference heading into Wednesday’s game with San Jose.
5. (7) Boston (34-19-7): Acquisitions of Kelly, Peverley, and Kaberle makes the Bruins much stronger.
6. (15) Phoenix (33-19-9): Coyotes have won eight straight to grab hold of the Pacific lead.
7. (3) Tampa Bay (34-18-7): Vincent Lecavlier has four power play goals in his last six games.
8. (6) Washington (32-19-10): The Caps received a scare when Nicklas Backstrom fractured his thumb Monday. He is listed as day-to-day.
9. (14) San Jose (34-21-6): Sharks (four straight wins) looking like the elite team most through they would be.
10. (11) Nashville (31-21-8): Agitator Jordin Tootoo has returned to action after spending time in the league’s substance abuse program. He had been out of action since December 27.
11. (17) Calgary (31-23-8): The Flames continued their surge with an impressive win in the Heritage Classic.
12. (10) Montreal (32-22-7): The Canadiens need to do something to shore up their blue line at the deadline.
13. (16) Minnesota (32-22-6): The Wild are quietly climbing the standings, though captain Mikko Koivu is
day-to-day with a hand injury.
14. (12) Los Angeles (32-23-4): Jonathan Quick is 7-1-1 with a 1.82 GAA and .936 save percentage in his last 9 games.
15. (13) New York Rangers (32-26-4): Ruslan Fedotenko could be back any day, and the Rangers could use him, as they have lost seven of their last 10/
16. (9) Anaheim (32-24-4): The Ducks surrendered a franchise-record 9 goals in a 9-3 loss to St. Louis Saturday night.
17. (18) Chicago (31-23-6): Chicago has one of the best goal differential totals in the league (plus-23) but find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in right now.
18. (8) Dallas (31-23-6): Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” might be the Stars’ new pre-game warm-up song. Dallas is 1-8-1 in its last 10 and went from leading the Pacific to out of the playoffs. Got to love the Western Conference!
19. (21) Columbus (30-23-6): The Blue Jackets are making a run at the playoffs, going 7-3 in their last 10. Hard to believe they would consider trading Rick Nash, but the rumors are out there.
20. (19) Carolina (28-24-9): Eric Staal made the highlights with a bone-crushign check of his brother, Mark. More importantly, the Hurricanes need to play well in order to hold on to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
21. (23) St. Louis (27-23-9): Andy McDonald has five points in his last three games.
22. (20) Buffalo (27-25-6): Drew Stafford has 12 points (9g, 3a) in his last 10 games, and Ryan Miller has a .935 SV% and a 2.04 GAA in his last three games.
23. (25) New Jersey (26-30-4): The Devils continue to surge, going 9-1 and pulling to within 9 points of eighth-place Carolina.
24. (23) Atlanta (25-25-10): Andrew Ladd has scored four goals in his last three games and five tallies in his last five contests
25. (27) Toronto (26-27-7): Since his recall last month, James Reimar has gone 8-4-2 with a .932 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average.
26. (24) Florida (25-27-7): Dennis Wideman has recorded a point in his last three games (1-2-3) and has eight points (3-5-8) in his last eight games played.
27. (26) Colorado (26-27-7): Peter Budaj needs one win to reach 100 for his career.
28. (28) New York Islanders (23-31-7): Matt Moulson has scored six points in his last three games and now has 27 goals on the season – just three short of his career high.
29. (30) Edmonton (19-33-8): Taylor Hall netted what is likely to be the first of many hat tricks last week.
30. (29) Ottawa (19-31-9): Not much has gone right for the Senators, and they appear to be trading away most veterans.
(Steve Kendall is a freelance writer with 20 years experience covering hockey at all levels. In addition to thehockeywriters.com, he has written for The Boston Herald, The New England Hockey Journal, and The Worcester Telegram & Gazette.)