Where do teams stand in the NHL? (Dec 28th)
2016 is almost here – the landscape of the NHL has definitely taken shape. The only question is whether or not the top dogs can maintain their strong play. My guess is that there is some movement yet to come in the Power Rankings – the Canadiens will be a different team once Carey Price returns and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be heard from at some point in the season. But for now the top 2 in the Ranking remain the same with a shocking team climbing all the way to the #3 spot.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
So where does your favorite team sit as we head into 2016? Let’s take a look in Dave B’ bi-weekly NHL Power Rankings.
1. Washington Capitals (26-6-2) Two Weeks Ago: 1
The Capitals will head into the New Year in first place in the Eastern Conference and have gained at least a point in 15 of their last 16 games overall – seven straight wins heading into this week.
How about Braden Holtby who has a 1.92 GAA this year and has gone 14-0-1 in his last 16 games. Gotta love the Caps and how they are playing at both ends of the rink.
2. Dallas Stars (27-7-3) Two Weeks Ago: 2
The Stars have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games are #1 in Overall Standings. They are the best offense in the game by a mile – 129 goals so far this year! Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin continue to dominate and Patrick Sharp looks like a key addition to this team. Nobody is going to outscore this team!
3. Florida Panthers (20-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 18
How about the Florida Panthers? I think they are channeling the Carolina Panthers! They head into this week having won six straight games and in a tie for fourth in the overall standings. The team defense has been strong and the offense has done just enough so far. I’m not sure it will last but for now the Panthers are the most unforeseen top 3 team I can remember.
4. Los Angeles Kings (21-11-2) Two Weeks Ago: 5
Have gone 9-3-2 in their last 14 games and continue to be one of the most difficult teams in the NHL to play against. Anze Kopitar is finally heating up for the club and the Kings are the second best team in the NHL in terms of goals against – a pretty good recipe for success for this deep and talented club.
5. St. Louis Blues (22-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 8
The Blues enter the week in third place in the NHL Overall standings and looking uber-balanced as per usual. Vladimir Tarasenko continues to be a true difference-maker. As long as he maintains his strong play the Blues will be a threat.
6. Detroit Red Wings (18-10-7) Two Weeks Ago: 7
The Red Wings have gone 5-2-3 in their last 10 games and enter the week just one point out of the Atlantic Division lead. Detroit has the horses to make some noise and finally they are!
7. Chicago Blackhawks (20-13-4) Two Weeks Ago: 6
Lost to the Hurricanes on Sunday – their second straight loss but maintain the drop just one spot in the Rankings because of who they are! I am expecting Chicago to vault into the top 5 before too long – but I have been saying that for a while!
8. New York Islanders (19-12-5) Two Weeks Ago: 4
Have lost four of their last five games after going 8-0-2. I have faith that this team will turn it around – otherwise I wouldn’t have them in the top 10 heading into the week.
9. Minnesota Wild (18-10-6) Two Weeks Ago: 9
Are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games overall and continue to be one of the best defensive teams in the league – they are second best in the NHL in goals against. Darcy Kuemper has been terrific between the pipes – he has allowed just five goals in his last five starts.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning (18-15-3) Two Weeks Ago 16
Are the hottest of the middle-of-the-pack teams. They have gone 6-4-0 in their last 10 games and 4-2-0 in their last six. The Lightning are a much better team than they have been playing – it is about time we all started to see some results!
11. Ottawa Senators (18-12-6) Two Weeks Ago: 14
The Sens have gone just 4-5-1 in their last 10 games but still sit in a tie for 11th in the Overall standings. Goaltender Craig Anderson has caught fire as of late going 3-0-1 in his last four starts with a .953 save percentage over that span. Ottawa could use more numbers like that – they are among the worst of the dirty dozen in terms of goals against.
12. Boston Bruins (19-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 11
The Boston Bruins enter the week on a three game losing streak after a 5-1-1 stretch. Somehow Boston is just 8-9-2 at home but 11-3-2 on the road this year. I expect that all to change and for Boston to remain a part of the top 12 for the season.
13. Calgary Flames (17-16-2) Two Weeks Ago: 25
14. New York Rangers (20-12-4) Two Weeks Ago: 10
15. Montreal Canadiens (20-14-3) Two Weeks Ago: 3
16. Philadelphia Flyers (15-13-7) Two Weeks Ago: 19
17. New Jersey Devils (17-14-5) Two Weeks Ago: 12
18. Carolina Hurricanes (15-16-2) Two Weeks Ago: 20
19. Nashville Predators (17-12-6) Two Weeks Ago: 13
20. San Jose Sharks (17-15-2) Two Weeks Ago: 24
21. Colorado Avalanche (17-17-2) Two Weeks Ago: 28
22. Arizona Coyotes (17-15-3) Two Weeks Ago: 22
23. Vancouver Canucks (14-14-9) Two Weeks Ago: 23
24. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-14-7) Two Weeks Ago: 29
25. Pittsburgh Penguins (17-15-3) Two Weeks Ago: 15
26. Winnipeg Jets (16-17-2) Two Weeks Ago: 17
27. Buffalo Sabres (15-16-4) Two Weeks Ago: 27
28. Edmonton Oilers (15-19-3) Two Weeks Ago: 21
29. Anaheim Ducks (13-15-6) Two Weeks Ago: 26
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-22-3) Two Weeks Ago: 30
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