Just one week away from the NHL Trade Deadline, and five teams have hit the 200 goal milestone on the season, while just one team has allowed fewer than 150 goals against.
Here is how the top ten teams break down 19 weeks into the Regular Season.
10. St. Louis Blues (32-17-10):
We are now going on the third week of a rough ten game stretch for the Blues who have only won two games in their last ten.
This past week saw St. Louis fell to Vegas 6-5 in overtime, and Nashville 4-3, and 2-1 in a back-to-back home and home weekend series; prior to Sunday’s 2-1 loss, the Blues had allowed at least three goals against in eleven consecutive games.
Despite the power play performing well with the fourth ranked unit, the penalty kill has certainly struggled as they sit 17th in the league when short handed.
St. Louis will look to get back on track tonight as they host the 28th placed New Jersey Devils at 8:00 ET.
9. Carolina Hurricanes (33-21-4):
The Hurricanes find themselves back in the top ten after a solid week of hockey.
After falling to Dallas 4-1 on the road, Carolina defeated New Jersey 5-2, and battled Edmonton to a 4-3 overtime loss.
Carolina is now 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and are just two points outside of the third seed in the Metropolitan Division.
The Hurricanes head to Nashville to take on the Predators tonight at 8:00 ET as they look to improve their road record of 14-12-2.
8. Philadelphia Flyers (32-20-7):
Philadelphia has been taking care of business lately going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and sit in the second Wild Card Spot of the Eastern Conference, however are just one point behind New York for third in their division.
The Flyers have the third best home record in the league of 19-5-4, however have struggled on the road with a record of 13-15-3 which could pose a big problem if Philadelphia can not clinch home ice in the playoffs.
Special teams may be an area of concern for this team as the Flyers have the 14th ranked power play, but are slightly better on the penalty kill with the 10th ranked penalty kill.
Philadelphia hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 7:00 ET as Columbus aims to snap their five game losing streak.
7. Edmonton Oilers (32-21-6):
Despite losing Connor McDavid for numerous games, the Oilers still found a way to win games going 3-1-0 this week.
Edmonton defeated Chicago, Florida, and Carolina while falling to Tampa Bay 3-1.
Special teams is certainly not an area of concern for the Oilers as Edmonton has the best power play, and are tied with Boston for the second best penalty kill unit in the NHL.
Going 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and sitting on back-to-back road wins, the Oilers will host the Boston Bruins tomorrow night at 8:30 ET as they look to make a statement win over the league’s first place team.
6. Washington Capitals (37-17-5):
The Capitals have gone stagnant the past two weeks going 4-6-0 in their last ten games, and now sit just one point ahead of Pittsburgh for first in the Metropolitan Division.
This week saw Washington defeat Colorado 3-2 before falling to Arizona, and Vegas 3-1, and 3-2 respectively.
The power play could use a boost as the Capitals have the 11th ranked power play, while having the third ranked penalty kill.
Washington has the best road record in the league of 21-8-1 despite having an average home record of 16-9-4.
The Capitals will host the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at 7:00 ET as Ovechkin’s hunt for 700 goals continues.
5. Colorado Avalanche (33-18-7):
The Avalanche took a step back this week going 1-2-1, suffering losses to Washington, Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay.
Now with Mikko Rantanen out for a few weeks with a shoulder injury, Colorado has a tough task in hand to finally climb to first place in the Central Division.
Both the penalty kill, and power play need to improve greatly for Colorado to solidify themselves as a league’s top contender as neither are in the top fifteen in the NHL as well.
Colorado will host the Islanders tomorrow night at 10:00 ET as they look to snap a three game losing streak, and reach first place in the Central Division.
4. Dallas Stars (34-19-6):
Dallas had an impressive week going 3-0-1, improving their recent record to 6-2-2 in their last ten games.
The Stars have allowed the third fewest goals against of 151, and have proved they can win at home, or on the road with records of 17-9-2, and 17-10-4 respectively.
In order for Dallas to become a serious threat to make a run for the Stanley Cup come April, the Stars need to find a way to increase their productivity on offense as the Stars have scored the fifth fewest goals in the NHL with just 161.
Dallas hosts the Arizona Coyotes tonight at 8:30 ET, and then host St. Louis Friday night at 8:30 ET; Dallas, and St. Louis are currently tied at 74 points for first in the Central Division.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (36-15-6):
Not a bad week at all for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After falling 2-1 to Tampa Bay, the Penguins defeated the Canadiens 4-1, and the Red Wings 5-1 convincingly.
Pittsburgh is now 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and now sit just one point behind Washington for first in the Metropolitan Division, which could be an incredible help come playoffs as the Penguins have the second best home record of 21-5-4.
Hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at 7:00 ET, Pittsburgh will look to get their third consecutive win, and slide into first place of the division.
2. Boston Bruins (37-11-12):
Sitting first overall in the NHL, the Boston Bruins are 9-1-0 in their last ten games, and have won three consecutive games outscoring their opponents 11-3 in those three games.
With the sixth most goals for with 199, the Bruins have also played excellent defense in front of Tuukka Rask, who is in the running for the Vezina Trophy, which has resulted in allowing just 146 goals against, the fewest in the NHL.
Add to the mix the best home record of 21-2-9, and the seventh best road record of 16-9-3, as well as the second power play, and penalty kill units, Boston will certainly not be an easy team to defeat in a best of seven game series.
Boston will start a three game road trip in western Canada Wednesday night at 8:00 ET when they take on the Oilers.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (40-15-5):
The Lightning are by far the hottest team in the league right now currently on an eleven game winning streak, and are 20-2-1 in their last 23 games.
With 85 points, Tampa Bay is now just one point behind division foe Boston for first overall in the NHL.
Tampa Bay has the league’s best goal differential of plus-56, and has recorded the most goals for with 215 thus far.
Add to the mix the fact that the Lightning have the sixth best power play, and fifth best penalty kill, along with having the second best road record, and fourth best home record with 20 wins at both home, and on the road; Tampa Bay is arguably the most dangerous team heading into the trade deadline.
Tampa Bay heads to Vegas to take on the Golden Knights Friday night at 10:00 ET as they look to extend their franchise’s longest winning streak of eleven games.
Photo Source: http://www.nhl.nbcsports.com
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