The 2017-18 NHL regular season is quickly moving through. On February 26, the NHL Deadline will be a treat for all hockey fans. The buyers and sellers will make moves to help their organizational needs. With the NHL Trade Deadline a few weeks away, which teams are the NHL’s elite? Which teams make the top 10 rankings this week?
Let’s look at this week’s top 10 teams:
1. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (1)
2. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (2)
3. BOSTON BRUINS (3)
4. NASHVILLE PREDATORS (4)
5. WINNIPEG JETS (6)
6. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (5)
7. ST. LOUIS BLUES (7)
8. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (8)
9. DALLAS STARS (9)
10. SAN JOSE SHARKS (NR)
Note: These rankings will change every week
*(#) indicates last week’s ranking
*”NR” indicates “Not Ranked”
THOUGHTS ON THIS WEEK’S TOP 10
-The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be a team to watch as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches. The Maple Leafs have a handful of unrestricted free agent forwards that need new contracts, and they will likely need to part ways with a forward to get defensive help. Veteran Matt Martin has seen more healthy scratches, and Josh Leivo has reportedly requested a trade out of the organization.
-Despite a recent suspension to Filip Forsberg, the Nashville Predators are still rolling in the Central Division. It was quite impressive how they handled their matchups with the New York Rangers and New York Islanders this week. They have a 3-game road trip through East Canada this week. The Predators simply have very few flaws, and this club is likely on its way to win the Stanley Cup. It has been reported that GM David Poile is actively working the phones, as he is trying to acquire another scoring forward. Poile likes to make splashy moves, and there is no doubt he will acquire the player he is looking for.
-The Washington Capitals have lost 2 straight games to Pittsburgh and Vegas. These losses have happened because of poor special teams and defensive play. The Capitals have a tough 2-game set coming up with Columbus, who has slipped a bit in the standings. The Capitals should be in the market for a defenseman and a forward at the NHL Trade Deadline.
-Some good news recently for the St. Louis Blues is the return of forward Jaden Schwartz. He missed 20 games with a right-ankle injury. Schwartz, 25, is one of the Blues most productive forwards. He has recorded 15 goals and 36 points in 34 games this season. Before he got injured, he was pacing at the top of the league scoring race. The Blues will need him to continue his strong production down the stretch, as the ultra-competitive Central Division seems to have a new leader every week.
By: George Foussekis