We have officially hit the middle point of the season, and now the focus of many teams throughout the NHL is what moves are they going to make ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline, which closes on April 12th at 3:00 PM ET. Here is how the top ten teams in the NHL stack up as of 3/23.
10. Edmonton Oilers: 21-13-0 (42)
Despite the Montreal-Edmonton game being postponed last night due to Covid-19 Protocols, the Oilers are now tied with Toronto for first in the Scotia North Division.
Edmonton has won three consecutive games, improving their record to 7-3-0 in their last ten games, with a 7-3 win over Calgary, along with 2-1, and 4-2 wins over Winnipeg.
To no one’s surprise the Oilers lead the league in goals for with 116, however rank 21st in goals against with 97 goals against.
The length of Edmonton’s playoff run this year unless they acquire depth at the Trade Deadline, will rely on how hot McDavid, and Draisaitl are as the two have combined for 110 points in 34 games this year.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs: 20-10-2 (42)
The Maple Leafs have hit a bit of a rough patch now 4-6-0 in their last ten games, with two losses to the Canucks, two losses to the Jets, a loss to Ottawa, and a loss to Calgary.
With the third most goals for with 107, and the fourth best power play in the NHL, there is no question Toronto is a highly skilled offensive team, however with the 20th ranked penalty kill the Maple Leafs need to find a way to consistently play solid defensively, whether that be from in net or the blue line.
Toronto takes on Ottawa Thursday at 7:00 PM ET, before taking on Edmonton in two important back-to-back games.
8. Minnesota Wild: 19-10-1 (39)
The Minnesota Wild remain to consistently stay present in the Honda West Division.
Despite losing back-to-back games to Colorado by a combined total of 11-1, the Wild bounced back last night with a 2-1 win over Anaheim to remain in third place of their division.
Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen has been solid for the Wild posting a save percentage of .921, a goals against average of 2.29, along with two shutouts.
Minnesota will look to defeat Anaheim again tomorrow at 5:30 PM ET at home where the Wild have an impressive record of 10-3-0.
7. Washington Capitals: 20-7-4 (44)
Washington is exactly where Washington should be right now; battling for first place in the MassMutual East Division.
Having only lost two games in their last ten (5-1 vs Boston, 3-1 vs New York Rangers), the Capitals are now just two points behind the Islanders for first place in their division.
Right now the Capitals are simply a solid team that can win at home, or on the road with 10-4-2, and 10-3-2 records respectively.
The Capitals will look to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to the Rangers with two games against both the Devils, and Rangers, along with a game against the Islanders in their next five games.
6. Florida Panthers: 20-7-4 (44)
Another team that has been consistent, and solid all season long are the Florida Panthers.
Currently in third place of the Discover Central Division, the Panthers are 7-3-0 in their last ten games, falling 5-3 to Tampa Bay Sunday.
Florida currently has the tenth ranked power play, and like Washington has shown the ability to win anywhere with a home record of 10-4-2, and an away record of 10-3-1.
The Panthers take on Chicago tonight at 8:00 PM ET.
5. New York Islanders: 21-8-4 (46)
Currently sitting in first place of the MassMutual East Division, the Islanders have the best home record in the league of 13-1-2.
In their last ten games New York is 8-2-0, their latest being a 2-1 overtime win against Philadelphia.
The Islanders are currently tied for third least goals against in the NHL with 73 goals against; largely due to Semyon Varlamov boasting a .923 save percentage, goals against average of 2.17, along with three shutouts.
The main concern for New York is their offensive ability as they sit in 13th for goals for with 98, especially after recently finding out that Captain Anders Lee will miss the rest of the season due to undergoing knee surgery.
New York takes on Boston Thursday at 7:00 PM ET on the road where the Islanders are 8-7-2 thus far on the season.
4. Carolina Hurricanes: 21-7-3 (45)
Coming off last night’s 3-0 win over Columbus, the Hurricanes are 7-1-2 in their last ten games, and sit just three points behind Tampa Bay for first place in the Discover Central Division.
Special teams is no problem to this well coached Carolina team with the league’s best power play, and ninth best penalty kill.
Do not take this team lightly whatsoever come playoffs, as they have the ability to score with 104 goals for, and the ability to shutdown teams with just 78 goals against; along with a home record of 10-1-3, and an away record of 11-6-0.
The Hurricanes close their four game series against Columbus Thursday at 7:00 PM ET in which Columbus took the first two games 3-2 (one in overtime, one in a shootout), followed by the previously stated 3-0 Carolina win.
3. Colorado Avalanche: 20-8-2 (42)
There is no hotter team in the NHL right now than the Colorado Avalanche who are sitting on a seven game winning streak. A seven game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 32-8.
In net Philipp Grubauer has nineteen wins on the season in which he has posted a .930 save percentage, a 1.71 goals against average, as well as a league best five shutouts; this has no doubt played an enormous part in the Avalanche allowing a league fewest 66 goals against.
Colorado, like a top team in the NHL should be able to, is nearly unstoppable at home, and solid on the road with 12-4-1, and 8-4-1 records respectively.
The Avalanche closes out their two game series against Arizona tonight, before taking on division leader Vegas in two important games as Colorado is just three points behind the Golden Knights for first place in the Honda West Division.
2. Vegas Golden Knights: 22-7-1 (45)
As previously stated, Vegas is in first place of the Honda West Division and are 7-3-0 in their last ten games coming off their 5-1 win over St. Louis last night.
The Golden Knights have the second fewest goals against overall with 67, along with the eighth most goals for with 100 giving Vegas the NHL’s third best goal differential.
Starting 22 games this season so far, Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has 16 wins, a .931 save percentage, a 1.93 goals against average, and four shutouts.
If Vegas can improve their 19th ranked power play, no one may be able to take them down in a seven game series (Vegas has the 6th ranked penalty kill).
1. Tampa Bay Lightning: 23-6-2 (48)
The defending Champions continue to stay atop the league even after the mid-point of the season.
There is not one area of concern for this Lightning team.
Sitting on a four game winning streak, Tampa Bay has the best goal differential of plus-42, second most goals for (115), fifth fewest goals against (73), the second best power play, and eighth ranked penalty kill.
With a home record of 13-2-0, and an away record of 10-4-2, it does not matter where the Lightning have to play.
In net Andrei Vasilevskiy has twenty wins, with a .933 save percentage, 1.86 goals against average, and three shutouts.
Tampa Bay looks to extend their winning streak to five games as they take on Dallas tonight at 8:30 PM ET.
Don’t forget to check out the previous week’s NHL Top Ten Power Rankings to see the changes week to week!
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