This week in the NHL we saw some shake ups in power in the top ten along with the reappearance of a few teams.
Let’s take a look at how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up right now.
10. Vegas Golden Knights:
With the addition of Mark Stone, Vegas is back on the map.
It appears Marc-Andre Fleury is also getting ready for another stellar playoff performance as he leads the league in wins, and shutouts at 32, and 8 respectively; including back to back shutouts at the moment.
Vegas is currently third in the Pacific Division, however has won four consecutive games and appears to just be starting to warm up.
The Golden Knights will take on the Calgary Flames tonight at 10:30 PM ET as they look to improve even more their 20-10-4 home record.
9. Carolina Hurricanes:
Currently third in the Metropolitan Division, Carolina is 8-1-1 in their last ten games, and just took league contender Boston to overtime by tying the game 3-3 in the third period; the Hurricanes did have a 2-0 lead earlier in the game.
Carolina did ultimately lose the game however, being an away game, Hurricanes fans can not complain about this loss.
Before last night’s loss Carolina had won their last five games in a row.
The Hurricanes are now just four points behind the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division; Washington is currently in second however also have 83 points like New York.
Carolina will take on the Winnipeg Jets Friday night at 7:30 PM ET.
8. New York Islanders:
The Islanders took a dip this week.
New York still sits first in the Metropolitan Division, however have gone 5-4-1 in their last ten games and appear to be hitting little turbulence at the moment.
The Islanders will have to start consistently beating teams at the top of the league if they want to be considered a top team.
With the Islanders beating the Ottawa Senators 5-4 last night, New York will now travel up to Ottawa to take on the Senators again tomorrow night at 7:30 PM ET as they look to win back to back games.
7. Washington Capitals:
The defending champs looked sharp this week going 7-3-0 in their last ten games, including currently sitting on four consecutive wins.
The Capitals are now tied with the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division at 83 points, and could take back the division tonight if they win, or go to overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ovechkin currently leads the league with 45 goals, and looks as if he wants to bring another Stanley Cup to Washington.
6. Nashville Predators:
Jumping up two spots from last week are the Nashville Predators.
Reclaiming the first seed in the Central Division, Nashville has gone 6-4-0 in their last ten games, and have won back to back games over Minnesota, both going to shootouts.
With the fifth least goals against per game in the league of 2.65 goals, Nashville certainly has the fire power to average over three goals for per game which would pose a problem to many teams.
The Predators have a home record of 22-12-1, and will host the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday at 8:00 PM as Nashville looks to win three consecutive games.
5. San Jose Sharks:
San Jose stayed in the same spot this week.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, San Jose still remains in second place in the Pacific Division, but are now just three points behind first place Calgary.
The Sharks are averaging the third most goals per game at 3.61 goals per game, and have the capacity to improve their game even more.
If San Jose has another strong week, and Calgary continues to drop a few games, we could be looking at a shift in power in the Pacific Division.
4. Calgary Flames:
With the third best goal differential in the league of plus-43, the Calgary Flames did drop a few spots this week.
Flames fans should not be worrying right now, however losing back to back games, especially 6-2 to Toronto at home at this point in the season is not what Calgary needs.
However, there is plenty of hockey remaining, a month to be exact, and the Flames very well could remain a top the Western Conference.
Calgary has a chance tonight to make a statement as they travel to take on the Vegas Golden Knights and snap their back to back losses against a Pacific Division playoff opponent who has won four games in a row.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs:
The Maple Leafs jumped up a spot from last week with their 6-3-1 record in their last ten games, including currently two wins a row.
Toronto also has the second best goal differential in the league at plus-51, and are third in the Atlantic Division three points behind Boston for second, and twenty points behind Tampa Bay for first.
Toronto will need to improve their special teams if they want to crawl into one of the top two spots in the league as they currently have the eighth ranked power play, and twelfth ranked penalty kill.
The Maple Leafs will travel from Calgary to Vancouver to take on the Canucks tonight at 9:00 PM ET as they look to pull within one point of Boston, and win three games in a row.
2. Boston Bruins:
Moving up one spot from last week are the red hot Boston Bruins.
Coming off a 4-3 overtime win over Carolina last night, the Bruins have won four games in a row, and are 9-0-1 in their last ten games.
Boston is also on a seventeen game point streak, and took down the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 last Thursday in a huge match up.
Toronto is right behind Boston and could arguably take this spot, although to me, with Boston now on a four game winning streak, better special teams, and a better last ten record, they take the slight edge.
The Bruins will host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at 7:00 PM ET with a fifth consecutive win, and hitting their 90th point of the season at stake.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning:
Remaining in the number one spot are the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa Bay has the league’s best goal differential, power play, penalty kill, goals for per game, and the fourth best goals against per game.
With an overall record of 51-12-4, the Lightning are first in the NHL by 17 points over Calgary and Boston.
The Lightning are also showing no signs of slowing down, with a record of 9-1-0 in their last ten games, and their 5-2 win over Winnipeg last night marks the 25th game this season that Tampa Bay has scored five goals or more.
Tampa Bay will host the Minnesota Wild tomorrow at 7:30 PM ET.
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