After a fun-filled weekend at the NHL All-Star Game, the regular season is back in action. With the NHL Trade Deadline looming over 3 weeks away, the playoff push has begun for all 31 NHL clubs.
Which NHL teams are the best as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches?
Let’s look at this week’s top 10 teams:
1. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (1)
2. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (2)
3. BOSTON BRUINS (6)
4. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (5)
5. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (3)
6. WINNIPEG JETS (4)
7. ST. LOUIS BLUES (7)
8. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (8)
9. DALLAS STARS (NR)
10. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NR)
Note: These rankings will change every week
*(#) indicates last week’s ranking
*”NR” indicates “Not Ranked”
THOUGHTS ON THIS WEEK’S TOP 10
-Entering Tuesday, the Washington Capitals are the only Metropolitan Division team in playoff contention with a positive goal differential. The Capitals lead all Metropolitan Division teams with a +12 goal differential. The only other Metropolitan Division team with a positive goal differential is the New York Rangers (+2). Tampa Bay currently leads all clubs with a +50 goal differential.
-The Boston Bruins are hot coming out of the break. They have won 5 straight games, and have won 8 out of their last 10 games. They have the fewest amount of regulation losses in the league with only 10. The recent bad news for them includes Brad Marchand’s 5-game suspension. He has served one of those games, but he will miss important games coming up versus St. Louis and Toronto.
-There are rumors surrounding the Washington Capitals at the upcoming Trade Deadline. The most recent rumor involves current Red Wings and former Capitals defenseman Mike Green. Green took part in the All-Star festivities in Tampa, and may be on the Capitals radar before the upcoming deadline. Green, 32, is in the final year of his 3-year contract with Detroit. Could a Mike Green-Capitals reunion be in the works? Capitals GM Brian MacLellan will likely want to add to his blueline before the Deadline in hopes of a deep Stanley Cup playoff run. Green will likely have plenty of suitors at the upcoming deadline. Look for Toronto, Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Dallas to make pushes.
-The Dallas Stars are rolling, even in the tough Central Division. Defenseman John Klingberg is a major reason for their success. Klingberg has recorded 48 points this year, with 42 of those points coming as assists. The Stars have a potent powerplay, which is ranked in the NHL’s top 10. The Stars have already won 17 games at home, and look for that number to climb as the season gets into spring.
-By: George Foussekis