NHL Top 10 Teams Entering Week 20
With less than two months until the NHL postseason begins, each game seems to be more important. Some teams are already in playoff mode. Here are this week's top 10 NHL teams:
10. Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers are on a 4-game winning streak and they are breathing down the Penguins and Capitals necks in a hurry. They could be a dangerous team come April. Shayne Gostibehere and Ivan Provorov are one of best defensive pairings in the NHL. Sean Couturier continues to light it up for the Flyers (28 goals 29 assists). Michal Neuvirth made 38 saves on Sunday Night in Philadelphia's 4-1 win on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Flyers record so far this season is 28-19-9 with 65 points. Last week's ranking: not ranked.
9. Washington Capitals: Something seems to be off about the Capitals as of late. They are just 4-3-3 in their last 10 games. The Capitals lost 5-4 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday Afternoon after trailing by three goals in the third. Braden Holtby (28-10-3 record .914 save percentage 2.79 GAA and no shutouts) hasn't been the same goalie this season and the defense isn't spectacular either. Alex Ovechkin continues to rack up the scoring and he now has 33 goals this season. The Capitals record so far this season is 32-17-6 with 70 points. Last week's ranking: 8.
8. St. Louis Blues: The Blues took 34 shots in Sunday Afternoon's 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jake Allen only had 15 saves in that game. The Blues have a good goal differential (167 goals scored/147 goals given up). St. Louis's record so far this season is 34-21-3 with 71 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 6.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs are 8-2 in their last ten games and they have the third-best offense in the NHL. Toronto has scored 188 goals so far this season and they have given up 159. This is a huge week for the Maple Leafs as they will face the Tampa Bay Lightning (Monday Night), Columbus Blue Jackets (Wednesday Night), and at Pittsburgh Penguins (Saturday Night). Toronto's record so far this season is 33-19-5 with 71 points. Last week's ranking: 7.
6. Vegas Golden Knights: The Golden Knights got walloped to the Flyers 4-1 on Sunday Night at home. Fleury had a rare bad game and he only made 14 saves. Fleury made 33 saves in a 5-4 loss on Tuesday Night to the Pittsburgh Penguins. This was the first time Fleury was in Pittsburgh since being a member of the Penguins organization. He received a video tribute and it was very emotional for him. They are just 6-4 in their last ten games and the Golden Knights might be cooling off a little bit. Vegas's record so far this season is 36-15-4 with 76 points. Last week's ranking: 2.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby scored his 400th & 401st career goal(s) in Sunday Afternoon's 4-1 win on the road against the St. Louis Blues. Matt Murray is 4-0-1 in his last five starts since the death of his father and he made 33 saves against the Blues. His save percentage in his last five games is .917. When the calendar turned 2018, Pittsburgh's record is 12-4-1. Pittsburgh is starting to figure it out at the right time. Their record so far this season is 31-22-4 with 66 points. Last week's ranking: 10.
4. Winnipeg Jets: Sunday Afternoon's 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers was a tough one to swallow for the Jets. Winnipeg looked sluggish and took a ton of outside shots. Connor Hellebuyck continues to impress for the Jets. He made 25 saves against the Rangers. The Jets power play was horrendous yesterday and they were ranked the second best power play in the league heading into the game. Winnipeg's record so far this season is 32-15-9 with 73 points. Last week's ranking: 3.
3. Nashville Predators: Nashville continues to find ways to get the job done. They are on a mission and the players love Peter Laviolette. They have scored 169 goals and given up 140 so far this season. Nashville's record so far this season is 33-12-9 with 75 points. Last week's ranking: 5.
2. Boston Bruins: All the Bruins do is find a way to win every game. They destroyed the New York Rangers 6-1 on Wednesday Night on the road, but Boston suffered a rare 4-2 loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday Night at home. Boston bounced back on Sunday Night with a 5-3 win on the road against the New Jersey Devils. Bruce Cassidy has everyone on board right now and they could possibly pose the biggest threat to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. Boston has the second-best goal differential (180 goals scored/131 goals given up) in the NHL right next to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston's record so far this season is 34-12-8 with 76 points. Last week's ranking: 4.
1.Tampa Bay Lightning: Tampa Bay has the best goal differential in the NHL (198 goals scored/145 goals given up) so far this season. However, the Boston Bruins are creeping up on them in that category and the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay continues to win and they are the best team in the league. Last week's ranking: 1.