Top 10 NHL teams entering Week 6 of the 2017-18 season
A look at the most impressive teams as we head into the major part of the season.
The teams are already wheeling and dealing early in the regular season, trying to make themselves better. Some teams have called up prospects already who are making an immediate impact, while some others have struggled to manage their resources.
These are my top 10 NHL teams heading into week 6.
10. New York Islanders
The Islanders have an 8-5-1 record with 17 points so far this season. Matt Barzal had five assists in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, which is a very good sign - it shows that the Islanders' depth is starting to step up.
John Tavares continues to inspire this Islanders' team, who may well be climbing up the ladder in the coming weeks.
Last week's ranking: 10.
9. Ottawa Senators
It's obvious that the Ottawa Senators are trying to win it all this season with the recent acqusition with Matt Duchene. He is a major upgrade from Kyle Turris, without a doubt.
Ottawa's record this season is 6-3-5 with 17 points. The defense, however, was shaky this week, and it will need a bit of sprucing up.
Last week's ranking: 9.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs
The offense is continuing to score goals, but the team is having problems stopping opponents from scoring. Defense isn't the problem for the Maple Leafs; it is the goaltending duo of Frederik Andersen and Curtis McElhinney that is clearly not working.
Andersen has to be worn out because of how horrendous McElhinney is, and they should call up Garret Sparks from the AHL. Toronto's record is 8-7 with 16 points.
Last week's ranking: 4.
7. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are off to a surprising start in the 2017-2018 season; their record is 7-3-3 with 17 points.
Winnipeg are a very physcial team and they are tough to play against. Connor Hellebuyck has been an early season candidate to win the Vezina - his record is 7-0-2 with a .932 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA.
Last week's ranking: not ranked.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
Despite having a tough week, they took a step ahead because some of the other teams regressed majorly during the week. It wasn't a big step, but they went 1-1-1 this week.
Pittsburgh's record is 8-6-2 with 18 points this season. The goaltending hasn't been the issue and they might have solved their backup goalie situation with Tristan Jarry; he had 32 saves in his season debut against the Calgary Flames.
Pittsburgh's offense remains lethal, which should hold them in good stead going forward.
Last week's ranking: 7.
5. New Jersey Devils
The Devils' young players continue to step up and score goals; they have scored 49 goals in 13 games. Brian Gibbons has sparked the Devils' offense in a big way and he has scored seven goals this season.
New Jersey are playing fast and furious, and their 9-3-1 start with 19 points is the best start they have been off to in a while, if not in franchise history.
Last week's ranking: 6.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
Sergei Bobrovsky continues to be impressive between the pipes for the Blue Jackets. With an 8-2-1 record, a .927 save percentage, a 2.23 GAA and one shutout, he is the backbone of this Blue Jackets team.
They continue to play hard and frustrate other teams, and they are currently 9-4-1 with 19 points.
Last week's ranking: 8.
3. St. Louis Blues
The Blues' first line continues to tear it up. Jaden Schwartz has 20 points so far this season, and that's top 5 in the NHL. Jake Allen, meanwhile, continues to shut the door between the pipes.
They are getting better every day, and their record is 11-3-1 with 23 points so far this season.
Last week's ranking: 3.
2. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings continue to be impressive, recording a 10-2-2 start with 22 points. That said, there's a big difference when Jonathan Quick is healthy compared to when he is not.
The Kings are very similar to the Blue Jackets in that regard. If both of those teams don't have their top goaltender, they are medicore at best.
Last week's ranking: 1.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
With a 11-2-2 record and 24 points, the Lightning continue to be rock-solid. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamos have been thoroughly dominant, giving no quarter to their opponents.
The Lightning also have dependable role players, and they are well coached by John Cooper.
Last week's ranking: 2.