This week we see a few top teams have some struggles, along with some shake ups and the reappearance of a team in the top ten.
Let’s take a look at how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up right now.
10. Vegas Golden Knights:
Staying at number ten this week are the Vegas Golden Knights.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, Vegas remains in third place in the Pacific Division, eight points behind the Calgary Flames.
The road record still remains a concern with me, especially if the Golden Knights can not climb into the second seed and secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs; Vegas is 21-10-4 at home, but is just 17-17-1 on the road.
9. Carolina Hurricanes:
Also remaining in the same spot as last week are the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are in the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for third in the Metropolitan Division.
Carolina has won back to back games, are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and have the capability to win games on the road with a road record of 20-13-3.
Carolina will travel to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night in a game between the two current wild card teams in the Eastern Conference.
8. New York Islanders:
With an overall record of 40-22-7, the Islanders are second in the Metropolitan Division, however are 5-4-1 in their last ten games.
Coming off a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York will take on the Montreal Canadiens Thursday at 7:00 PM ET as they look to make it back to back wins.
The Islanders still have the least goals against in the league with 168, and an impressive goal differential of plus-32.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins:
Making a huge jump this week are the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins are 6-2-2 in their last ten games, and are sitting on back to back wins currently.
Pittsburgh also snapped Boston’s nineteen game point streak with a 4-2 win, and defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3 last night; the Capitals are arguably one of hottest teams in the league right now.
Currently in second place in the Metropolitan Division, Pittsburgh is dangerously explosive offensively and have the fifth best power play in the league with a success rate of 25.3%.
Pittsburgh travels to take on the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night at 7:00 PM ET.
6. Washington Capitals:
The defending champs climbed up one spot this week, going 8-2-0 in their last ten games, and sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Of those eight wins, the Capitals won seven of them consecutively including wins over the Islanders, Flyers, and Jets.
Alexander Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 46, and Carl Hagelin has been a solid addition with a goal, and two assists in his last five games.
5. Calgary Flames:
Calgary is currently second in the Pacific Division just one point behind the San Jose Sharks.
Going 6-4-0 in their last ten games, the Flames have won back to back games after snapping their four game losing streak with a solid 6-3 win over Vegas, and 9-4 offensive onslaught over the New Jersey Devils.
The Flames are tied with the Maple Leafs for the second best goal differential in the NHL with a differential of plus-47.
Calgary will take on the New York Rangers Friday night as they look to make it three wins in a row, and get back on top in the Pacific Division.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-2 definitely was not what Toronto needed, but it does not cause the Maple Leafs to drop a spot, considering they have gone 6-3-1 in their last ten games.
The Maple Leafs are currently third in the Atlantic Division four points behind the Boston Bruins for second place.
Toronto will travel to Chicago tonight to take on the Blackhawks in an Original Six Match-up as the Maple Leafs look to bounce back from their 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
3. Boston Bruins:
After their nineteen game point streak was snapped by a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh, and last night’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston is sitting on back to back losses to Metropolitan Division opponents.
However, the Bruins are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and are currently second in the Atlantic Division with 93 points.
Boston also is solid on special teams.
The Bruins have the third best power play with a success rate of 26.2%, and have the ninth best penalty kill in the NHL with a kill rate of 81.3%.
Boston will have to put these last two games in the past however as they take on the Winnipeg Jets on the road Thursday night at 8:00 PM ET who are 4-5-1 in their last ten and hanging on to the first place in the Central Division.
2. San Jose Sharks:
Jumping up one spot this week are the San Jose Sharks.
San Jose is currently on a six game winning streak, and are 8-2-0 in their last ten games.
As a result of this the Sharks completely capitalized on the Flames losing four games in a row and are now first in the Western Conference with 94 points.
With the sixth best power play in the league, and a home record of 23-5-5, if San Jose clinches significant home ice in the playoffs watch out for this team.
The Sharks will look to make it seven wins in a row as they host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at 10:30 PM ET.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Lightning are the first, and currently only, team to clinch a spot in the playoffs (what a surprise).
Tampa Bay displayed to the NHL just how strong of a team they are with their 6-2 road win over Toronto, which was 6-1 until four seconds remaining in regulation.
With a goal differential of plus-89, Tampa Bay is 8-2-0 in their last ten games and has an overall record of 53-13-4 for a total of 110 points in 70 games.
The Lightning continue to dominate on special teams with the best power play, and penalty kill in the league (28.5% powerplay, 85.6% penalty kill).
Tampa Bay will look to continue their incredible season with another win over Detroit Thursday night at 7:30 PM ET.
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