Hockey will be back tomorrow!
After a three day break to celebrate the holidays let’s take a look at where the top ten teams in the NHL stand.
10. Buffalo Sabres:
The Sabres sit third in the Atlantic Division with a record of 21-11-5.
However they have gone just 4-4-2 in their last ten games.
Jeff Skinner leads the team in goals with 26, and Jack Eichel leads the team in points with 14 goals, and 34 assists.
Skinner also has 6 power play goals, and an impressive plus minus of 21.
Buffalo’s penalty kill is also impressive, currently fifth in the NHL with a kill rate of 83.6 percent.
9. San Jose Sharks:
The San Jose Sharks have gone 6-2-2 in their last ten games, and are hot at home, however they are not on the road.
At home the Sharks are 11-4-4, and away San Jose is 8-8-3.
With Erik Karlsson being suspended two games, I expect a burst coming from San Jose.
This roster is too solid to be placed this high, however this is where the San Jose Sharks are right now.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins:
Well welcome to the top ten Pittsburgh.
Currently on a three game win streak, the Penguins appear to be finding their way once again.
Goaltending has been their biggest issue this season with an injured Murray.
In their last ten games, the Penguins are 7-2-1.
Pittsburgh’s penalty kill is fourth in the league with a kill rate of 84 percent.
Sidney Crosby has 16 goals, and 25 assists to add to the mix.
7. Nashville Predators:
Nashville is struggling right now.
Going 4-5-1 in their last ten games, the Predators have lost three games in a row.
Although Nashville is in a rough spot, Pekka Rinne continues to shine with the best goals against average of 2.15, and the fifth best save percentage of .925.
However, special teams is in dire need of improvement.
Their power play is currently 26th in the league, and their penalty kill is 12th in the league.
The Predators have had success at home with a record of 14-5-0, but have struggled on the road with a record of 8-8-2.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets:
Columbus is making a splash in the top ten with a current four game win streak.
In their last ten games the Blue Jackets are 6-3-1.
Atkinson has produced this year with 23 goals, and 15 assists.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been a brick wall as of late with a goals against average of 2.68, and a save percentage of .913, and 16 wins.
The Blue Jackets have been able to win on the road with a record of 11-5-1.
5. Calgary Flames:
The Flames continue to be a top team in the NHL.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, Calgary is now 22-12-3.
Gaudreau, Tkachuk, and Monahan lead the team with 38, 42, and 40 points.
Calgary has been good on special teams, however they will need to improve a little bit.
Their power play is tenth in the league, and their penalty kill fifteenth in the league.
4. Washington Capitals:
The defending champions are finding their way back up to the top of the league after a somewhat slow start.
After winning back to back games, the Capitals are now 7-3-0 in their last ten games.
With a home record of 11-5-2, and an away record of 11-5-1, Washington is currently first in the Metropolitan Division.
Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 29, Backstrom also has 10 goals to add to the mix as well.
Washington’s penalty kill however is ranked 26th in the league with a kill rate of 76.4 percent.
But with the help of Ovechkin’s 8 power play goals, Washington is ranked 8th in the league on the power play.
3. Winnipeg Jets:
Laine and Scheifele are propelling the Jets to the top of the league this season.
Laine has 23 goals, and 7 assists, and Scheifele has 22 goals, and 27 assists with a plus minus rating of 19.
In their last ten games, Winnipeg has gone 8-2-0, and have won back to back games.
With Nashville struggling, if Winnipeg continues this hot streak, the Central Division may be going through Winnipeg.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Toronto has won four games in a row, however still remains second in the Atlantic Division.
The Maple Leafs have also gone 6-2-2 in their last ten games.
With the seventh best power play in the league, the Maple Leafs have seen production from Matthews on the power play with his 7 power play goals.
Tavares, Matthews, and Marner lead the team with 42, 34, and 52 points respectively.
If Toronto can improve on their penalty kill (17th), this team will be nearly unstoppable.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning:
There is no team better than Tampa Bay.
With the best power play in the league, Point has 9 power play goals.
The Lightning have gone 9-0-1 in their last ten games, including three games in a row.
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has the second best save percentage in the league (.928), and a goals against average of 2.39.
Kucherov and Point lead the team in points with 57, and 47 respectively.
With Tampa Bay’s dominance continuing both at home on the road the Lightning now have a home record of 15-4-0, and an away record of 13-3-2.
Tampa Bay: www.puckprose.com www.tampabaytimes.com
Winnipeg: www.CBC.ca www.newsday.com
Washington: www.newsday.com www.WTOP.com
Nashville: www.bleacherreport.com www.predlines.com
San Jose: www.mercurynews.com www.jewelsfromthecrown.com
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