Rich 10 NHL Rankings(Jan. 20-26)

10. Dallas Stars(27-17-4)

  • Previous Rank: 8
  • Record this past week: 1-2-0
  • The Stars are on a decline this week with the lack of strong play. This team lacked goaltending ability and the capability to outscore their opponents. Dallas seemed to have a frustrating week allowing 13 goals and only managing to score three. With the same, consistent players running the team, the need for more players to start to shine is a must in order for this team to make it to the playoffs. 

9.  Carolina Hurricanes(28-18-3)

  • Previous Rank: 7
  • Record this past week: 1-2-1
  • Carolina took a heavy hit this week dropping in rankings. The Hurricanes are being consistent with star players Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen leading the team in points. However, with underdog players Dougie Hamilton and Justin Williams, it should be no surprise if this team goes back to the top. The lack of goaltending seems to contribute to the Hurricanes demise the most. In order for this team to stay consistent, they need the defense and goaltenders to start working as a cohesive front to keep the competitors from finding their net.

8.  Columbus Blue Jackets(26-16-8)

  • Previous Rank: NR
  • Record this past week: 4-0-0
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are a team that is beginning to prove themselves in the league. With only allowing three goals this week and scoring 10, this team is proving to beat out some tough competitors. With players returning from injury this late in the season, it is clear that the dynamic of the team is starting to reform. The chemistry of players rotating in and out of the lineup seems to be moving the team forward and helping them instead of causing more issues. This team clearly out beat the teams offensive and provided a dynamic front using players from both offense and defense to find the net.

7.  Colorado Avalanche(28-15-6)

  • Previous Rank: 9
  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • The Avalanche seem to be returning to their game and coming out of their slump. This team started the season in a high-intensity battle for the top in which they held for quite some time, but lost it due to sloppy play and lack of goaltending. Colorado has strong players such as Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri, who are leading the team right now and all season. With the return of injured players, this team needs to focus on building a better goaltending front to keep the opposing team from finding the net. 

6.  New York Islanders(28-15-5)

  • Previous Rank: 5
  • Record this past week: 3-1-1
  • The Islanders are a team that has been consistent all season with finding the net and progressing their team further ahead. With putting up 17 goals this past week and allowing 19 goals, they have maintained a close game with opponents. However, to bring themselves to continue to win games, the team needs to focus on a more dynamic form. Being able to extend players beyond their abilities of just offense or defense could benefit their team in being able to put up more points and prevent the opposing team from beating them out in the final periods or overtime. 

5.  Tampa Bay Lightning(29-15-4)

  • Previous Rank: 6
  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • Tampa Bay is also a team who continues to hold their ground but with little improvement. With scoring 13 goals this week and only allowing opponents to score eight, it is clear that the offense on this team is working hard to stay on top throughout the game. Goaltending, however, seems to be lacking when it comes down to it and goalies seem to be tired by the end. To improve, this team needs to add stronger and more defensive players coming out of the All-Star break and approaching the trade deadline.

4.  Pittsburgh Penguins(31-13-5)

  • Previous Rank: 4
  • Record this past week: 3-1-0
  • Pittsburgh is a team that has improved but isn’t improving well enough to advance in the long run. With the consistency of players already on the team, the return of captain Sidney Crosby has contributed to the team’s success as they are now on a two-game winning streak. The Penguins just need to continue to find the net and move faster against opponents to stay present in all three periods. 

3.  Boston Bruins(28-10-12)

  • Previous Rank: 3
  • Record this past week: 1-2-1
  • The Bruins cannot manage to move forward in rankings and have consistently stayed in third for quite some time now. Boston isn’t playing bad hockey but they simply just are being outplayed. With players being consistent in finding the net, there isn’t much this team hasn’t done to try and improve this season. Being in third going into the All-Star break, this team needs to take time to strategically think of how to create a dynamic force to beat opponents out in playing better hockey. 

2.  St. Louis Blues(30-11-8)

  • Previous Rank: 1
  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • After gaining the first place spot last week, the Blues could not keep it for long. Moving back to second this week, the Blues simply fell short. St. Louis is going into the All-Star break in a good spot being the best in the west right now but will they be able to move forward after the break? Players such as David Perron, Ryan O’Reilly and Jaden Schwartz are all some of the strong players providing consistency for the team, but more underdog players need to come forward in order to make a dynamic block on the ice.

1. Washington Capitals(33-11-5)

  • Previous Rank: 2
  • Record this past week: 3-0-0
  • Back in the top spot, the Washington Capitals didn’t expect to be out of it long. This team had an incredible past week beating out strong competitors in order to push themselves back in the lead come break. With captain Alexander Ovechkin creating a strong leadership role on the team, it is clear that fellow teammates are starting to follow in his footsteps and be dynamic in offense and defense on the ice. The Capitals will need to keep up with goaltending to prevent opponents from scoring, but this team is in good standing compared to opponents.

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