The NHL Trade Deadline is just twenty days away, and we have witnessed one of the most exciting Regular Seasons thus far.
Let’s take a look at how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up.
10. Carolina Hurricanes (30-19-3):
The Hurricanes just barely made it into the top ten this week.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, Carolina sits just one point outside of a Wild Card Spot.
Despite this, Carolina’s strong defensive play certainly helps them defeat teams such as Vancouver 4-3 in a shootout; this win snapped Vancouver’s five game winning streak.
The Hurricanes have a tough test tonight as they take on the Blues in St. Louis at 8:00 ET.
9. Florida Panthers (29-17-5):
The deeper we get into the season, the more impressed the Panthers make me.
The league’s sixth best power play has gone 8-2-0 in their last ten games, including an important 5-3 win over Toronto, who they currently have the tie breaker over for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Florida takes on the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road tonight at 7:00 ET; Florida is 13-9-3 on the road which may be a stat worth watching if the Panthers do not earn any home ice for the playoffs.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (28-16-9):
The team that no one gave them a shot to accomplish anything this year is continuing to find ways to win games.
Head Coach John Tortorella has his team playing extremely smart hockey, which has lead to just 135 goals against on the season.
After defeating Montreal 4-3, Columbus is now 8-1-1 in their last ten games, and sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division.
7. St. Louis Blues (31-14-8):
The St. Louis Blues are in a bit of a rough patch right now, although still remain in first place of the Central Division by six points.
In their past six games, the Blues have lost games to Philadelphia, Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, and defeated the Flames 5-4 in a shootout.
There is no doubt the Blues will remain a top team in the NHL, however the past few weeks have not been St. Louis’ finest days.
St. Louis will look to improve their home record of 17-4-4 when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 8:00 ET.
6. Dallas Stars (30-18-4):
Sitting on back-to-back wins over the Devils, and Rangers, Dallas remains to look consistently solid.
Dallas is currently in second place of the Central Division with 64 points, and have allowed just 132 goals against due to incredible defensive play, and strong goaltending from Ben Bishop.
The Stars could use an improvement on special teams with the 11th ranked Penalty Kill, and the 19th ranked Power Play, however really need to find a way to score more goals as they have just 139 on the season.
In attempt of inching closer to the Blues for the Central Division, Dallas will seek their third consecutive win as they take on the Islanders in New York tonight at 7:00 ET.
5. Vancouver Canucks (30-18-5):
There may be no hotter team right now than the Vancouver Canucks.
Before suffering a 4-3 shootout loss to Carolina, the Canucks were on a five game winning streak with wins over the Islanders, San Jose twice, St. Louis, and Arizona.
With the 8th ranked Power Play, scoring is not a problem for Vancouver as they have 177 goals on the season.
The Canucks travel to Boston to take on the Bruins tonight at 7:00 ET, who have started a little win streak of their own with three consecutive wins.
4. Washington Capitals (35-13-5):
The past week has been full of ups, and downs for the Capitals.
In their last four games Washington has defeated Montreal 4-2, lost to struggling Nashville 5-4, defeated Ottawa 5-3, then fell 4-3 to Pittsburgh.
The Capitals currently sit in first place overall in the NHL with 75 points, just one point ahead of Boston, and four points over division rival Pittsburgh.
Washington will look to start a hot streak tonight as they host the Los Angeles Kings at 7:00 ET.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (32-15-5):
Tampa Bay finds themselves inching closer, and closer to the top of the standings after a sluggish start to their season.
Going 7-2-1 in their last ten games, the Lightning have defeated the Kings 4-2, and the Sharks 3-0 on the road in their last two games.
Even on special teams Tampa Bay is strong with the third best Power Play, and fourth best penalty kill in the league.
The Lightning will look to climb within three points of Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division tonight as they host the Vegas Golden Knights at 7:00 ET.
2. Boston Bruins (31-10-12):
Boston is looking strong as of late, winning their last three games over Vegas, Winnipeg, and Minnesota.
On special teams the Bruins are second on the Power Play, and third on the Penalty Kill, which certainly has helped their plus-40 goal differential.
The Bruins also have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and have the most wins in regulation with 28.
Boston will look to add another win to their league best home record of 17-2-9 as they host the Vancouver Canucks tonight at 7:00 ET.
The last time Vancouver came to Boston, the Canucks defeated the Bruins 8-5.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (33-14-5):
Sitting on impressive back-to-back wins over division rivals Philadelphia, and Washington, the Penguins have now gone 8-2-0 in their last ten games.
Right now the Penguins are finding ways to win games, regardless of who is injured, or who the opponent is.
Just four points behind Washington for first in the Metropolitan Division, as well as overall in the NHL, the Penguins could improve their 14th ranked Power Play unit, although have had no problem scoring with 176 goals on the season.
The Penguins will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning Thursday night at 7:00 ET.
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