Rich 10 NHL Rankings(Dec. 9th-15th)

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  1. Washington Capitals

Previous Ranking: 2

Record over this past week: 3-0-0

The Capitals move back into first this week after having a combined 11 goals in three games, while their opponents only managed to score a combined five goals on them. With star players leading the team in points such as Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, this team is continuing to make a name for themselves. The Capitals are an improving team but goaltending needs improvement with a GAA of 2.42 and 2.78 with both goalies.  The Capitals will have to play hard during these next three games to maintain their 1st seed position. 

  1. Boston Bruins

Previous Ranking: 1

Record over this past week: 1-1-1

Boston is coming off a rough week, scoring wise, to where they just couldn’t find the back of the net.  Only scoring six goals in the last three games, they simply just got outscored which cost them that number 1 spot. The Bruins star players, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, have kept points increasing, which has influenced the mentality of this team, who are hungry to get back into the playoffs. 

  1. St. Louis Blues

Previous Ranking: 3

Record over this past week: 1-2-0

The Blues have stayed consistent in ranking but have plateaued for the last few weeks. The Blues have something to prove after winning the Stanley Cup last season but aren’t showing they want it again. The Blues have inconsistent goaltending to a point where they are either having shutouts or letting over four goals into the net. This inconsistency can damage a good team but the Blues are scoring enough, which keeps them alive. St. Louis is a good team who had a rough week and simply got beat by the teams above them in the standings. They will have to buckle down and be present in their upcoming games to try to improve in the standings. 

  1. New York Islanders

Previous Ranking: 5

Record over this past week: 1-2-0

The Islanders are a consistently top-level team that gets stuck in the middle of the rankings. The New York Islanders have some amazing young players on their team such as Mathew Barzal, who leads the team in total points, as well as veterans who are there when needed but not standing out. The main problem for the Islanders is the mediocre goaltending. The team allowed nine goals in their last three games and have struggled to keep the puck out of the net. The New York Islanders need to be consistent in preventing goals in order to catch up with the likes of Boston and Washington.

  1. Colorado Avalanche 

Previous Ranking:  7

Record over this past week: 3-0-0

With captain Gabriel Landeskog coming back onto the ice this past week and scoring two goals, it is clear the Avalanche needed to have leadership back on the team. The Avalanche have fluctuated all season due to injury but seem to be finding their groove. Coming off a 3-0-0 road trip this past week, the Avalanche should be able to keep consistency and win their three games at home against the Flames, Flyers and Devils this upcoming week.

  1. Edmonton Oilers

Previous Ranking: 4

Record over this past week: 1-1-1

Edmonton has played strong this season so far but struggled this past week with only putting up two goals each game. While, for the most part, this team stays present in games, it seems like they just can’t find the net. With top goal scorer, Leon Draisaitl, and Connor McDavid leading the team, the Oilers need to work as a group to start making big plays happen. The Oilers are first in the Pacific but have Arizona right on their tail coming for that lead. Edmonton is going against some lower-ranked teams this week, which could help them increase in the standings if they maximize on opportunities throughout the games.

  1. Arizona Coyotes

Previous Ranking: 8

Record over this past week: 3-1-0

After gaining the 1st spot in the Pacific division but then blowing the lead one game later, the Coyotes managed to keep their spot in the top ten. The Coyotes have found a way to win games and the team credits that to their goaltending by Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper has a GAA of 1.96 and has been improving all season. Another component of the Coyotes’ success has to be their ability to win shootouts and keep the game alive during these post-regulation times. The Coyotes will play the Flames, Blackhawks and Devils this week. 

  1. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous Ranking: 6

Record over this past week: 2-1-0

The Flyers are beginning to make a name for themselves this season, scoring 11 goals in the past week. This team has a strong offensive build this season and are continuing to beat strong teams. The only reason for the Flyers fall in the rankings this week is simply other teams were better. With a strong young player like Travis Konecny, who is leading the team in points, it creates a reaction from teammates of wanting to compete for that top spot on the team, which creates opportunities for players to score. Philadelphia continues to maximize on finding the net but fell short this week in being better than others.

  1. Winnipeg Jets

Previous Ranking: 10

Record over this past week: 2-0-1

The Jets are improving, which is a change compared to last week. This team is staying present in games and even post regulation. With Mark Scheifele leading the team in points and goals and having players such as Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers right behind him, this team has constant energy in scoring from these top players. They are helping this team strive and move up in the rankings. With the Jets playing Detroit this week, who is currently last in the league, it should help them improve but they are also set to play the Flyers who are moving up in the top ten as well. 

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous Ranking: NR

Record over this past week: 3-0-0

Pittsburgh is one of the teams you never know what to expect when they play. With the Penguins regaining ranking this week, it had to do with the ten goals they had in their last three games. This team is continuing to rise and fall out of standings but maintains good goal coverage. With going up against the Kings, Blue Jackets, and Canadiens this week, will they be able to stay in the top ten, or allow another team to take over?

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