Rich 10 NHL Rankings(Dec. 16-22)

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10. Arizona Coyotes(19-12-4)

  • Previous Ranking: 7
  • Record this past week: 1-2-0
  • The Arizona Coyotes are an inconsistent team this season thus far. From starting the season on a low note to moving to the first in the Pacific Division, then blowing that lead and declining in the rankings, this team is nothing but unpredictable. Arizona has a great team of young players that is maximizing on opportunities during games and leading the team this season, while the veterans are seeming to take the back seat behind the younger guys. With the recent trade in which the Coyotes acquired Taylor Hall, this could benefit the team tremendously in finding them a spot in the playoffs. With Hall joining the Coyotes, this could mean more variations in offensive lines and more opportunities to try different offensive attacking options. The Coyotes need to start playing a two front team both offensively and with defense instead of one or the other. 

9. Dallas Stars(19-11-4)

  • Previous Ranking: NR
  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • Dallas is an unpredictable team this season, whether that be in points or rank. The Stars have increased in standings after becoming a threat. With consistently scoring goals in games to matching goals allowed on them, the Stars have continued to improve. With Tyler Seguin leading in points and Roope Hintz leading in goals, these two players are maximizing on opportunities to advance the team further along. Dallas is a team that could potentially be a wild card contender for the Central Division come playoffs. 

8. Pittsburgh Penguins(19-10-4)

  • Previous Ranking: 10
  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • It is no surprise to see a known Stanley Cup Playoff team making their way up the ladder in rankings. This team has struggled at times to stay alive during games but are known for showing up when it matters. With Jake Guentzel leading the team in goals, points and assists, he has been an unstoppable player so far. Goaltending is a high point for the Penguins at the moment with Tristan Jarry at a GAA of 1.92 and Matt Murray at a GAA of 2.85. This goaltending and defensive duo is proving to maintain this teams agility during games. Pittsburgh will be playing the Flames, Oilers, and Canucks this upcoming week and will be looking to advance in the rankings.

7. Winnipeg Jets(20-11-2)

  • Previous Ranking: 9
  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • The Jets are a team that continues to improve and make a name for their organization. With scoring 14 goals in their last three games and only allowing six goals, this team is constantly maximizing on opportunities during games but, goaltending-wise, can get sloppy. This team can lack the offensive aggression that is needed to push back the opposing team but can, defensively, push back teams during other times. Winnipeg is a team to watch come playoff time due to their ability to improve game-to-game as well as the drive this team is showing to succeed. 

6. Carolina Hurricanes(20-11-2)

  • Previous Ranking:NR
  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • The Hurricanes are a team to be watched on everyone’s radars. As the so called “jerks” of the league, this team continues to prove their abilities by scoring ten goals in their last three games. This team is being led by Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen, who lead in points. Carolina has managed to fall and rise in the rankings but are able to stay a constant competitor against teams. 

5. Colorado Avalanche(21-9-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 5
  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • The Avalanche are a team who has had their ups and downs this season with injuries. The top line for this team has recently all come back from IR and these players are starting to become uniform as a team again in scoring chances and maximizing during games. Colorado knows how to play smart hockey and consistently do. However, they can lack energy at times because of players being overworked due to compensating for missing players. The Avalanche take on the Blues, Blackhawks, and Hurricanes this week, who can all prove to be difficult opponents.

4. St. Louis Blues(21-8-6)

  • Previous Ranking: 3
  • Record this past week:  2-1-0
  • The Blues are not a bad team. They are simply just being beaten by teams who played better on a certain night. St. Louis has shown their consistency by matching how many goals they score to how many are being scored on them. This team needs to start maximizing on scoring opportunities in order to find their way into playoffs this season. The Blues top-five players, this season, each have over 20 points and are within a couple points of each other. The leadership on the team is what keeps this team alive during games and able to match the speed and agility of opponents. 

3. New York Islanders(22-7-2)

  • Previous Ranking: 4
  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • The New York Islanders are a team that fluctuates frequently in the standings but stays consistently at the top half of the top ten. Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal continue to be the star players for the team, leading in points and goals. However, Devon Toews, Josh Bailey and Jordan Eberle are beginning to make names for themselves on this team. The Islanders need to improve in goaltending, as well as finding the net, in order to make their way to the top and become the biggest threat to all teams.

2. Boston Bruins(21-7-6)

  • Previous Ranking: 2
  • Record this past week: 1-3-0
  • The Bruins maintained their second-place rank this week despite losing three games.  With Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak being the only players to continuously find the net, the team struggles to generate a cohesive offense. Goaltending for the Bruins can also use some work as they allowed 13 goals to be scored in their last four games, while only being able to score eight. This team has managed to keep themselves high in ranking but won’t increase until proving that they can be a consistent team.  

1. Washington Capitals(24-6-5)

  • Previous Ranking: 1
  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • The Capitals are maintaining their first-place ranking and have continued to prove themselves in the league. This team has been able to maintain their overall top rank with the help of captain Alex Ovechkin, who leads the team in goals and John Carlson, who leads in points. These two players have contributed to the success of this team by playing both great offense and defense in order to keep the team alive during games.  The Capitals took a loss this past week but bounced back in the next game. This team has three games this upcoming week against lower-ranked teams, which could give them the boost they need to lock in the top spot once again.

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