At the moment we all know the Tampa Bay Lightning are the best team in the NHL with an overall record of 50-12-4, and a league best plus-84 goal differential.
Tampa Bay also tied the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings as the fastest team in NHL history to reach 50 wins, doing so in 66 games.
However, this year in the NHL there are also several contenders that if Tampa Bay cools off and, I’m saying IF, that could be looking at a Stanley Cup this season.
Let’s take a look at these four teams.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Coming off their 6-2 routing of the Calgary Flames, the Maple Leafs are now just one point behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Toronto has the second best goal differential in the league with a differential of plus-51.
The Maple Leafs are also now 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and are sitting on back to back wins.
Toronto is also averaging 3.62 goals for per game, second in the NHL to Tampa Bay.
Tavares, and the Maple Leafs will be traveling to Vancouver to take on the Canucks tomorrow at 9:00 PM ET.
3. Boston Bruins:
Right now the Boston Bruins may be the hottest team in the league, going 9-0-1 in their last ten games, and are sitting on three consecutive wins.
With the second best power play, 26.8 percent success rate, the Bruins have proven they can score goals, averaging just shy of three a game at 2.95 goals for per game.
However, with playing in the Atlantic Division, Boston will have to continue to play at a high level in order to keep pace with Toronto and Tampa Bay.
Boston takes on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 7:00 PM ET in Boston; the Hurricanes are 8-0-2 in their last ten games, have won five consecutive games, and are third in the Metropolitan Division.
4. Calgary Flames:
Up until this week Calgary has been right behind Tampa Bay, but with back to back losses, the Flames need to make sure this does not continue.
Last night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at home was certainly not Calgary’s finest hour.
The Flames do have a goal differential of plus-43, third best in the league, have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and will travel to take on the Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow at 10:30 PM ET, in an important Pacific Division match up.
The Flames are currently first in the Pacific Division, and Western Conference with 89 points, with Vegas third in the Pacific Division at 77 points.
5. San Jose Sharks:
San Jose has gone 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and are currently second in the Pacific Division with an overall record of 39-19-8.
For some reason my gut is telling me the Sharks have the potential to improve their play even more than they are showing right now, which would not be a good thing for other Western Conference strongholds such as Calgary, Winnipeg, Nashville, and Vegas.
The Sharks are coming off back to back wins, and have an incredible home record of 21-5-5; which could greatly have a role in how San Jose fares in the playoffs.
San Jose will host the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at 10:30 PM ET, as they look to win three consecutive games and crawl closer to first seeded Calgary.
Photo Source: http://www.flamesnation.com
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