In the second week of December let’s take a look at the NHL’s top ten teams.
10. San Jose Sharks
Ten weeks into the season, San Jose sits third in the Pacific Division with a record of 16-11-5.
Having much success at home with a record of 10-3-2, the Sharks are struggling on the road at 6-8-3.
Meier, Burns, and Couture lead the team with 30 points a piece.
Joe Pavelski, and Tomas Hertl have contributed on the power play with six, and five goals a piece while on the power play.
San Jose will take on the Dallas Stars at 10:30 PM ET tonight.
9. Vegas Golden Knights:
Well, Vegas has cracked the top ten for the first time this season.
Going 8-2-0 in their last ten games, Vegas now sits fourth in the Pacific Division with a record of 18-14-1.
Vegas also has had their success at home with a record of 10-3-1.
Vegas now sits in the first Wild Card Spot, and with a weaker Pacific Division, expect them to continue to climb up the standings.
8. Colorado Avalanche:
The Avalanche currently sit third in the Central Division with a record of 17-9-5.
Led by Mikko Rantanen with 52 points, Colorado has the most dangerous line in the NHL.
Rantanen, MacKinnon, and Landeskog combine for 137 points.
That is unreal 31 games into the season.
Colorado will have to continue to perform at a high rate playing in a tightly contested Central Division.
7. Buffalo Sabres:
After going on a ten game winning streak, the Sabres have gone 5-3-2 in their last ten games.
Sitting third in the Atlantic Division with a record of 18-9-4, Jack Eichel, and a Jeff Skinner have given Sabres Mafia hope with 35, and 31 points respectively.
However, playing in the same division as Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Boston, the Sabres will need to continue to improve on the power play as they are currently 18th in the league on the power play.
Buffalo will look to continue their impressive season with a win over Arizona tonight at 7:00 PM ET.
6. Washington Capitals:
The Washington Capitals are here.
Going 8-2-0 in their last ten games, the Capitals are first in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 18-9-3.
Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Carlson lead the team in points with 39, 38, and 32 respectively.
T.J. Oshie has also contributed with 10 goals.
With Tom Wilson imposing the fear of god into people, Washington will continue to improve and march their way to the top of the standings.
Washington will take on division foe Carolina tomorrow at 7:30 PM ET where they will look to win four straight games.
5. Winnipeg Jets:
Winnipeg is simply consistent to me.
One point behind Nashville, the Jets have the league’s best power play, and the ninth best penalty kill.
Winnipeg also has gone 7-3-0 in their last ten games, and have an impressive 11-4-2 home record.
With Nashville not exactly at their best, don’t be surprised if we see Winnipeg take over the Central for a period of time.
4. Nashville Predators:
This season has been injury after injury for this team.
Rinne was placed on IR and returned, and Subban, Arvidsson, and Forsberg are currently all on IR.
Kyle Turris is also fighting injuries right now as well.
How can a contender continue to play at a league best rate when four of your best players are injured, and your Vezina Trophy winning goalie missed games earlier in the season as well?
In their last ten games the Predators have gone 5-5-0.
Nashville will need to rely on depth players to step up and fill in the holes if they want any hope of staying a contender at the top.
3. Calgary Flames:
The Flames are currently first in the Pacific Division with a record of 20-10-2.
Calgary has found their rhythm and are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, including an electric 6-5 come from behind overtime win against the Flyers yesterday.
If Calgary continues to play at this level, the Flames won’t just be sitting atop their division.
The Flames also have room for improvement on the penalty kill as they currently are 18th on the penalty kill.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Nylander is here to stay. Toronto is here to stay.
Behind only the red hot Tampa Bay Lightning, the Maple Leafs are 21-9-1, and have a goal differential of 28.
However Toronto currently face the third most shots against per game in the league.
Not a stat you want to have when playing against high powered offenses like Tampa Bay.
But Toronto has been solid on the power play, with the 7th best power play in the NHL.
Toronto and Tampa Bay will face off in a key matchup between the top two teams in the NHL tonight at 7:30 PM ET.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Lightning are riding high right now.
Holding a six point lead over second place Toronto, Tampa Bay has gone 9-1-0 in their last ten games, including seven wins in a row.
Tampa Bay also has the best goal differential in the NHL of 39.
Also impressive, this team can win at home and on the road.
Their home record is 14-4-0, and their away record is 10-3-1.
Tampa Bay’s special teams have also been excellent.
Third best power play, and eighth best penalty kill.
Kucherov, and Point lead the team with 45, and 41 points respectively, along with Stamkos adding 33 points to the mix.
Tampa Bay: www.theathletic.com
San Jose: www.newsday.com
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