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Top 10 NHL teams entering week 15

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Feature
124   //    08 Jan 2018, 23:53 IST

New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders

Most teams in the NHL this week will be on a bye week and most teams in the NHL will be on a bye week next week as well. The games will lighten up for the next couple of weeks. The all-star break isn't very far away either. Teams are already gearing into the playoff mode. Here are this week's top 10 teams:

#10 Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus was in a bad stretch at one point and all teams have them at some point during the regular season. The Blue Jackets got a much-needed win yesterday against the Florida Panthers (3-2 shootout).

Columbus still has some players hurt and once they return, they will be more consistent. Columbus's record is 24-16-3 with 51 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: not ranked.

#9 New Jersey Devils: New Jersey blew a 4-2 lead against the New York Islanders in the third-period and they eventually lost 5-4 in a shootout. That was a bad loss for the Devils, but they are still playing effectively. The Devils record is 22-11-8 with 52 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 9.

#8 Boston Bruins: Boston lost a tough 6-5 game in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but they are still one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Boston has won their last 17 out of 23 games. Boston smoked the Carolina Hurricanes 7-1 on Saturday Night.

Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak continue to spark this team offensively. Boston's record is 23-10-7 with 53 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 8.

#7 Los Angeles Kings: Los Angeles continues to be the most consistently inconsistent team in the NHL. They are all over the map. The Kings at one point will win eight in a row and at one point they will lose four in a row.

They are currently on a two-game losing streak. Their goal differential is still pretty good with 126 goals scored and 99 goals given up. Jonathan Quick's record is 19-13-2 with a .926 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA, and three shutouts. The Kings' record this season is 24-13-5 with 53 points. Last week's ranking: 6.

#6 Nashville Predators: Nashville has been average at best in their last ten games with a 4-4-2 record and their record is currently 24-11-6 with 54 points. Filip Forsberg being out will hurt this teams offensive production. Last week's ranking: 4.

#5 St. Louis Blues: The Blues are starting to find depth scoring without Jaden Schwartz. Mike Yeo runs a very good system in St. Louis and it is rather steady for the most part.

The Blues have scored 130 goals so far this season and they have given up 115 goals so far this season. St. Louis had a tough 4-3 loss against the Washington Capitals in overtime. The Blues record is 26-16-3 with 55 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 7.

#4 Washington Capitals: The Capitals continue to be one of the quietest and most successful teams so far this season. Alex Ovechkin continues to bury the puck in the back of the net and he has 27 goals this season.

Washington has scored 132 goals so far this season and they have given up 120. The Capitals record is 26-13-3 with 55 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 5.

#3 Winnipeg Jets: The Jets continue to be one of the most surprising teams in the NHL this season. They also have one of the best goals scored/goals given up differential in the NHL. Winnipeg has scored 144 goals and they have given up 117 goals so far this season. Blake Wheeler continues to lead by example for this team.

He has scored 14 goals and recorded 36 assists so far this season. Whenever Connor Hellebuyck plays in net, this team gets a spark in a big way. Hellebuyck's record is 23-4-6 with a .923 save percentage and a 2.36 GAA, along with three shutouts.

Hellebuyck could be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. Winnipeg's record so far this season is 25-11-7 with 57 points. Last week's ranking: 3.

#2 Vegas Golden Knights: The Vegas Golden Knights are 9-1 in their last ten games and they are one of the best teams protecting home ice this season. Vegas is 18-2-1 this season when they are at home.

The Golden Knights have scored 143 goals and given up 113 goals so far this season. Marc-Andre Fleury continues to inspire Golden Knight fans with a 9-2-1 record with a .945 save percentage and a 1.73 GAA, along with two shutouts. The Golden Knights record is 29-10-2 with 60 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 2.

#1 Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning still have the best goal differential in the NHL this season. They have scored 155 goals and given up 103 goals so far this season. Tampa Bay got feisty against the Detroit Red Wings yesterday. The Lightning won the game 5-2 and backup Louis Domingue stopped 34 shots.

However, starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy might be the favourite to walk away with the Vezina Trophy this season. His record is 26-6-2 with a .935 save percentage and a 2.04 GAA, along with six shutouts.

He had two consecutive shutouts against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 31st with 21 saves and against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 2nd with 29 saves. He stopped 37 out of 38 shots against the Montreal Canadiens on January 4th before getting lit up for six goals against the Ottawa Senators on January 6th. Tampa Bay's record is 30-9-3 with 63 points so far this season. Last week's ranking: 1.

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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