With the All-Star weekend just one week away from us, we have witnessed one of the most contested NHL Regular Seasons with the teams in 6th to 18th place separated by just three points.
Let’s take a look at how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets (25-16-8):
Despite losing key pieces to their roster this off-season the Blue Jackets have been no team to mess with.
Sitting in a Wild Card Spot in the Eastern Conference, Columbus is 8-2-0 in their last ten games, and are currently on a four game winning streak with shutout wins over Vegas, Boston, and New Jersey.
Columbus travels to take on the New York Rangers tonight at 7:00 PM ET.
9. Vancouver Canucks (27-18-4):
The Canucks are currently catching fire going 7-3-0 in their last ten games with back-to-back wins over Arizona, and San Jose.
In the past week Vancouver went 4-1-0 and sit in first place of the Pacific Division.
Their power play is certainly getting the job done as they are seventh in the league, however their penalty kill could use some help as they are the 16th best in the league.
Vancouver takes on the St. Louis Blues after the All-Star Break on January 27th at 10:00 PM ET.
8. Colorado Avalanche (27-15-6):
Colorado had themselves a solid week, after hitting a small rough patch.
After a 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas, the Avalanche shutout San Jose 4-0, and then defeated St. Louis 5-3.
Despite struggling on special teams, the Avalanche sit in second place in the Central Division.
Colorado will host the Detroit Red Wings tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM ET as they look to win three consecutive games.
7. Edmonton Oilers (26-18-5):
The Oilers are finding ways to get the job done this year, sitting in second place of the Pacific Division.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, Edmonton has won back-to-back games against Nashville, and Arizona, outscoring them by a combined score of 11-5.
Edmonton also has recorded at least one point in eight of their last nine games.
The league’s best power play will take on the Calgary Flames after the All-Star break on January 29th, in what will be a much anticipated game as it is Zack Kassian’s first game back from suspension since his incident with Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk.
6. New York Islanders (28-15-4):
New York struggled this week, going 1-3-1 in their five games with losses to Boston, the Rangers twice, and Washington.
However due to their strong defensive play, this Islanders team still finds themselves in the top ten.
The Islanders will need to improve their play as of late if they want to remain at the top of the standings; New York takes on division foe Carolina today at 5:00 PM ET.
5. St. Louis Blues (30-11-8):
The Blues have been impressive consistently all season, and have a solid lead over Colorado for first place in the Central Division, eight points to be exact.
With an impressive 17-4-4 home record, St. Louis defeated the Rangers, and Anaheim before falling to the Flyers in overtime, and the Avalanche 5-3.
After hosting All-Star Weekend, the Blues travel to take on the Canucks in Vancouver on January 27th at 10:00 PM ET.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (29-15-4):
Tampa Bay is back, and is back for good.
With the second ranked power play, and fourth ranked penalty kill, the Lightning have gone 8-2-0 in their last ten games, and have the league’s best goal differential of plus-38.
In five games this week Tampa Bay went 3-2-0 with wins over Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Winnipeg.
Following the All-Star break Tampa Bay will take on Dallas on January 27th at 8:00 PM ET.
3. Washington Capitals (33-11-5):
Sitting in first place of the NHL, the Capitals have won three consecutive games with wins over Carolina, New Jersey, and the Islanders.
Despite being exceptional on the penalty kill with the NHL’s second best penalty kill, Washington has struggled on the power play as they are currently ranked 15th in the league.
Alexander Ovechkin has also recorded back-to-back hat tricks against the Devils, and Islanders.
The Capitals travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens after the All-Star break on January 27th at 7:00 PM ET.
2. Boston Bruins (28-10-12):
Boston has hit a bit of a rut in the last ten games going 4-3-3.
With the league’s most regulation wins of 25, the Bruins have the NHL’s third best power play, penalty kill, and goal differential.
This week Boston went 2-2-1 with wins over Pittsburgh, and the Islanders.
Pastrnak leads the league with 36 goals however has scored just one goal in the past four games.
Boston will look to bounce back from their 4-3 loss to the Penguins, in which they allowed four consecutive goals after getting out to a 3-0 lead, as they host Vegas Tuesday at 7:00 PM ET.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (31-13-5):
This season Pittsburgh has found a way to get it done regardless of any set back.
Going 7-2-1 in their last ten games, the Penguins defeated Arizona, Minnesota, Detroit, and Boston this week.
Pittsburgh also has the league’s second best goal differential of plus-35, along with an impressive 18-5-3 home record.
Since his return, Crosby has six points in three games played.
The Penguins take on inner-state rival Philadelphia Tuesday at 7:30 PM ET before breaking for the All-Star Weekend.
Photo Source: http://www.pensburgh.com
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