NHL Top 10 Teams Entering Week Five
It is crazy that basically a month of hockey is finished. Some teams have already dug themselves into a hole and some teams are making noise early in the season and trying to continue that success. I haven't talked about rankings before and these are my top 10 NHL teams entering week 5.
10. New York Islanders: The Islanders's record so far this season is 6-4-1 with 13 points. They are playing hard under coach Doug Weight. The line of John Tavares, Anders Lee, and Jordan Eberle has carried them so far this season. It is a very good line, but other lines need to step up to get them to the next level.
9. Ottawa Senators: The Senators were one year wonders under Guy Boucher, but players are obviously buying into his system and they are playing hard every game. Ottawa's record is 5-1-5 with 15 points so far this season.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky is the back bone of this Blue Jackets team. John Tortorella stripped Brandon Dubinsky his assistant captain role. On a brighter note, they have good leadership and young players are stepping up. Columbus' record is 7-4 with 14 points so far this season.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray can't save the Pittsburgh Penguins every night. Their defense is horrific, but their offense can score goals at any moment. Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world. Back-to-back's seem to be the death of this team, but they are excellent when they play a game after a day off or two. Pittsburgh's record is 7-5-1 with 15 points so far this season.
6. New Jersey Devils: The Devils are off to a surprising 8-2 start so far this season with 16 points. Young players like Nico Hischier, John Gibbons, Jesper Bratt, and Will Butcher have helped sparked the Devils offense so far this season. New Jersey has scored 40 goals in 10 games and Cory Schneider has looked steady between the pipes.
5. Vegas Golden Knights: Despite an 8-1 record with 16 points to start the season, the Vegas Golden Knights are taking advantage of a weak western conference right now. Vegas's next six games are on the road against eastern conference foes. If they go 1-5 or 2-4, then the eastern conference is more superior than the western conference is. If not, Vegas is legit. They are not playing like an expansion team right now. Oscar Dansk has been sensational so far in net for Vegas with the injuries to Malcolm Subban and Marc-Andre Fleury. James Neal is scoring every witch way for Vegas.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs: Toronto's record so far this season is 7-4 with 14 points. The Maple Leafs have scored 45 goals so far this season. They have four solids and they can score at any moment. The defense can also score goals, but they are solid on the back end. The issue with the Maple Leafs is the inconsistency with goaltender Frederik Andersen.
3. St. Louis Blues: I did not think the Blues would be this good real early in the season, but they are taking advantage of a weak western conference. St. Louis's record is 9-2-1 with 19 points so far this season. Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, and Alexander Steen is a powerful first line for the Blues. St. Louis's defense is elite with Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo. Jake Allen has been consisent between the pipes.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning: The dynamic duo between Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov has been sensational for the Lightning in the 2017-2018 season. They are hoping Stamkos stays healthy. He is a top five player when healthy. Mikhail Sergahcev is emerging into a solid defense for Tampa Bay along with Victor Hedman. Andrei Vasilevskiy's training wheels are off now and he is taking full advantage of being the number one starter. Tampa's record is 9-2-1 with 19 points.
1.Los Angeles Kings: If Los Angeles can execute a faceoff with 0.9 seconds left in overtime and score a goal as time expires, the Kings deserve to be the number one team in the NHL. The Kings record is 9-1-1 with 19 points so far this season. Adrian Kempe has been a spark plug for the Kings offense. Jonathan Quick is healthy for the Kings. John Stevens has inspired his team to play well and be a serious contender.