The NHL Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away from us, Alexander Ovechkin is two goals away from joining the 700 Club, and Toronto is back in a Playoff Spot.
Let’s take a look at how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up as of right now.
10. Philadelphia Flyers (31-18-7):
The Flyers find themselves back in the top ten as they sit on back-to-back wins over the Capitals in Washington, and the Florida Panthers at home.
Philadelphia is now 7-2-1 in their last ten games and are in the second Wild Card Spot of the Eastern Conference.
Some improvement on their power play would certainly be useful as they have the 9th worst power play in the league.
Philadelphia will head to New York to take on the Islanders tonight at 7:00 PM ET as they look to win three consecutive games.
9. Dallas Stars (31-19-5):
The Dallas Stars went even this week falling to the Islanders 4-3 in overtime, the Wild 3-2, but ended on a high note with a 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis.
Dallas’ biggest set back right now is their lack of offense; the Stars have the fourth fewest goals for, and are in the middle of the pack on the power play.
However, Dallas has found a way to win games by playing incredible defense, which has led them to allowing just 141 goals against (second fewest in the NHL).
The Carolina Hurricanes come to Dallas to face the Stars at 8:30 ET tonight as Dallas looks to climb within a point of Colorado who is in second place in the Central Division.
8. New York Islanders (32-16-6):
After a few rough weeks, the Islanders find themselves back in the top ten as they currently sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division.
This past week New York went 3-1-0 with wins over Dallas, Los Angeles, and Washington.
Coach Barry Trotz has the Islanders playing just like he had them last year with strong defensive, and great positional play allowing just 148 goals against (fourth fewest in the NHL).
New York has an important divisional matchup tonight as Philadelphia comes to town with the two teams separated by just one point in the standings.
7. St. Louis Blues (32-15-9):
Not the greatest, but not the worst week for St. Louis.
After taking down Carolina 6-3, the Blues fell to Winnipeg 4-2, and then finished the week with an overtime loss to Dallas 3-2.
With the third best power play, and tenth best penalty kill in the league, the Blues still remain in first place of the Central Division despite going 3-5-2 in their last ten games.
St. Louis will look to get back on track with a fairly easy game against the struggling Anaheim Ducks tonight at 10:00 ET.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (30-17-10):
Columbus had another solid week capturing five of a possible eight total points.
The Blue Jackets defeated Florida 1-0, Detroit 2-0, then fell to the Avalanche 2-1, and Tampa Bay in overtime 2-1.
Going 7-1-2 in their last ten games, Columbus now sits in the first Wild Card Spot in the Eastern Conference.
Allowing just 139 goals against (fewest in the NHL), and having the fourth best penalty kill has gotten Columbus this far; what could push them to the next level is improving their power play, and scoring more goals as the Blue Jackets have the sixth worst power play, and fifth fewest goals for.
Columbus heads to Buffalo to take on the Sabres Thursday night at 7:00 ET.
5. Washington Capitals (36-15-5):
It appears Ovechkin’s chase to 700 may be distracting the rest of the Capitals as Washington went just 1-2-0 this past week.
After defeating Los Angeles 4-2, Washington fell to Philadelphia 7-2, and the Islanders 5-3.
Washington now loses the tiebreaker with Tampa Bay for second place overall in the NHL with 77 points.
Offense has definitely not been a problem as the Capitals have recorded the most goals for with 202 on the season.
Washington takes on the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night at 9:00 ET as they look to avoid losing three consecutive games.
4. Colorado Avalanche (32-16-6):
Colorado was red hot this week going 4-0-0, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 15-5, with wins over Buffalo, Ottawa, Columbus, and Minnesota all on the road.
The Avalanche are now 7-1-2 in their last ten games and are just three points behind stagnant St. Louis for first place in the Central Division.
With a goal differential of plus-43, Colorado has recorded the fourth most goals, and has allowed the seventh fewest goals against.
Thursday night the Avalanche will host the Washington Capitals at 9:00 ET as they seek their fifth consecutive win.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins (34-15-5):
The Penguins are right behind the Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division, going 7-3-0 in their last ten games.
Pittsburgh has one of the best home records in the league going 19-5-3 thus far; this could become a factor come playoff time as the Penguins are 15-10-2 on the road.
The Penguins have a great test tonight as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning who are quickly climbing to the top of the standings, and who also defeated the Penguins 4-2 last Thursday.
2. Boston Bruins (34-11-12):
Despite ending with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Detroit, the Bruins had another impressive week as a whole, defeating Vancouver, Chicago, and Arizona.
Sitting a top the standings right now, Boston has gone 7-3-0 in their last ten games and have the second best goal differential in the league of plus-45.
Special teams continues to perform as the power play is the second best in the league, and the penalty kill is the third best in the league.
Boston will look to add to their league best home record of 19-2-9 when they host arch-rival Montreal tomorrow night at 7:30 ET.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (36-15-5):
Well, well, well, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves back at the top of the power rankings.
Currently on a seven game winning streak, Tampa Bay defeated Vegas, Pittsburgh, the New York Islanders, and Columbus this week.
With a league best plus-50 goal differential, the Lightning have recorded 201 goals for (second most in the NHL), along with having the fourth best power play, and second best penalty kill units in the NHL.
It should be no one’s surprise if Tampa Bay finds themselves in first place of the Atlantic Division as they sit just three points behind Boston and look to have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.
Tampa Bay heads to Pittsburgh tonight to face the Penguins at 7:00 ET as they seek their eighth consecutive game, and second win over Pittsburgh in less than a week.
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