The NHL regular season has hit the half way point and teams are beginning to separate in the standings. The NHL All Star Break is right around the corner, and many of the league’s top stars will be in Tampa for a fun filled weekend. With the All-Star Break quickly approaching, which teams are the best of the best in the NHL?
Let’s look at the new top 10 team power rankings:
1. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (1)
2. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (2)
3. WINNIPEG JETS (4)
4. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (3)
5. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (6)
6. ST. LOUIS BLUES (7)
7. LOS ANGELES KINGS (5)
8. BOSTON BRUINS (9)
9. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NR)
10. NEW JERSEY DEVILS (8)
Note: These rankings will change every week
*(#) indicates last week’s ranking
*”NR” indicates “Not Ranked”
THOUGHTS ON THIS WEEK’S TOP 10
-The Vegas Golden Knights story is very real in its inaugural season. They are the hottest team in the NHL now. They have won 2 straight games, and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. They have recorded an impressive 18-2-1 home record, which is tops in the NHL. Jonathan Marchessault, who just signed a 6-year extension with the Golden Knights, is on a tear for them. He has recorded 16 goals and 40 points in 38 games. William Karlsson was a great find for the Knights during the expansion draft process, as he leads their club with 22 goals. Head Coach Gerard Gallant will lead the Pacific Division All Stars in the All-Star weekend festivities in Tampa. He has done a tremendous job this year leading his new franchise to the top spot in the Pacific Division.
-Another team that has performed well at home is the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets have climbed back up in the rankings since they are currently leading the tough Central Division. The Jets are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Blake Wheeler is among the NHL’s top producers with 14 goals and 50 points. The Jets are having a good year, and are getting the appropriate goaltending they have needed for some time.
-The Los Angeles Kings have slipped a bit in the recent rankings. They have only won 4 out of their last 10 games. The Kings are currently on their bye week, and Head Coach John Stevens recently said that he would like his team to get a “mental refresh” during the bye. Before the bye, they recently dropped key games to Calgary and Nashville. With Vegas soaring in the standings, the Kings will need to find some offense in their game when they return home over the weekend to face the Anaheim Ducks.
-The Washington Capitals have won 4 in a row, and have won 9 straight home games. Alex Ovechkin, 32, is playing like he is 22 years of age. Ovechkin has 27 goals in 42 games, and has been selected as the Captain of the Metropolitan Division All-Stars. The Capitals Captain is just 6 goals shy of matching his goal total from last season. There is no slowing down Ovechkin, as age is still only a number for the future Hockey Hall of Famer.
By: George Foussekis