Rich 10 NHL Rankings(Jan. 14)

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10. Calgary Flames(25-18-5)

  • Record over the last week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: NR
  • Calgary is a team that has not been on many fans’ radars this season. As this team continues to fluctuate in rank, they have improved in scoring opportunities. Calgary has seemed to be in the flow of things recently as they had a combined eight goals in their last three games and only allowing five to be scored on them. Goaltending seems to be strong for this team as well as they are a cohesive team in the ability to stay consistent offensively and defensively. In order for this team to stay relevant in standings they will need to continue to find the net and protect their own. 

9. Colorado Avalanche(25-15-5)

  • Record over the last week: 0-2-1
  • Previous rank: 5
  • The Avalanche are just not playing good hockey. Colorado has seemed to struggle in the past week with finding the net and maximizing defensively. The Avalanche have a strong defensive front with players such as Cale Makar and Samuel Girard, which both players make a heavy defensive zone for opposing teams. The Avalanche also have seemed to struggle with goaltending, with the lack of stopping goals by Pavel Francouz, who has been the primary goal starter for the team at this point in the season. Colorado needs to improve on using their bulked up team to outscore opponents and find the net throughout the entirety of the game.  

8. Dallas Stars(26-15-4)

  • Record over the last week: 2-1-0
  • Previous rank: NR
  • The Dallas Stars are a team that is making themselves known in this league. A team that is full of good, old hockey and aggressive playing, which seems to be leading them to success. With players Tyler Seguin and Roope Hintz leading the team in scoring abilities and points, this team has been bound for success. One thing, however, where Dallas seems to be struggling, is in giving up easy goals to opponents. While the offense has been doing good work, the defense and goaltending has been subpar and has led to losses. The Stars need to give themselves more of a lead when possible and maximize on finding the net throughout the game to seem present.

7. Carolina Hurricanes(27-17-2)

  • Record over the last week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: NR
  • Carolina has been a team this season that has done well but struggled at times. This team has some amazing young players leading it, which have contributed highly to their success. With Andrei Svechnikov’s “lacrosse” move helping the team score goals, the Hurricanes use creative means and unique scoring opportunities to outplay competitors. Carolina will continue to rise in ranks if they can keep consistent with goaltending and defensive playing. 

6. Tampa Bay Lightning(27-14-4)

  • Record over the last week: 3-1-1
  • Previous rank: 7
  • Tampa Bay is rising slowly but remaining a top contender come playoff time. This team has struggled this season but has since seemed to find their groove. With a combined 15 goals scored this past week, it is obvious to see that the team has a strong offensive core but defensively, they lack consistency. While the team only allowed five goals to be scored on them, they allowed for sloppy playing, which cost them their winning streak. The Lightning need to regain the ability to be present throughout the entirety of the game but also keep their strong, versatile playing strategy to remain in potential playoff status.

5. New York Islanders(27-13-4)

  • Record over the last week: 2-0-1
  • Previous rank: 9
  • The Islanders were able to move up this week in rank after dropping last week. This team is winning games but, overall, seems to be struggling to score goals and out play the other team. With winning this week in shootouts and overtime, they need to be able to score in regulation to stay consistent throughout. Consistent players such as Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, who lead the team in points, are carrying this team to improve but there needs to be more of a defensive effort. The Islanders need to continue to maximize on goaltending in order to win games. 

4. Pittsburgh Penguins(28-12-5)

  • Record over the last week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: 8
  • The Penguins are a team known for fluctuating in ranking and that continues to show throughout the season. Players such as Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust are leading this team to success by having 30+ points each. The Penguins have put themselves in an ever improving position come the All-Star break.

3. Boston Bruins(27-8-12)

  • Record over the last week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: 2
  • The Bruins are a strong team but are just continuously falling short to other teams in rankings. The Bruin’s offense is starting to be a cohesive front and playing well but they are barely better than the teams they are going against. With known star players David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Torey Krug leading the team, the Bruins are moving towards success but seem to struggle defensively. If this team wants a shot at the top, they need to be a more versatile team in all aspects and continue to maximize on finding the net to outscore other teams.

2. Washington Capitals(31-11-5)

  • Record over the last week: 1-2-0
  • Previous rank: 1
  • This was not the Washington Capitals’ week. The Capitals struggled to out play their opponents this week with finding the net. With key players such as Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov, the Capitals have the power and ability to maximize on opportunities. The Capitals will need to continue to improve in goal scoring and goaltending in order to maintain their spot going into the All-Star break. 

1. St. Louis Blues(30-10-7)

  • Record over the last week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: 3
  • The St. Louis Blues are making their way back to the top. The reigning Stanley Cup championship winners have taken the number one spot this week as they continue to improve in their playing. One of the main attributes to this teams success is the goaltending of Jordan Binnington and Jake Allen. While combined, the goalies have between a 2.36-2.47 GAA, they still have managed to allow few to zero goals. The Blues are a team that makes mistakes but fans continue to see them recover and find their way when able. With key players such as Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Brayden Schenn, the Blues will continue to improve in the coming weeks before the All-Star break. 
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