Rich 10 NHL Rankings (Feb. 4-9)

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10. Carolina Hurricanes (30-19-3)

  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • Previous rank: 9
  • The Hurricanes have stayed consistent in the top ten but have continued to fall in ranks as they struggle to stay present in games. Carolina has some top scoring players such as Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen who continuously maximize in opportunities. However, the entire team needs to start playing together to help be cohesive and stay in a potential playoff spot and not continue to be outplayed.  The Hurricanes go against some hard playing teams this week in which they need to find a way to get the puck between the posts and by the goalie in order to win these games. 

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (28-18-7)

  • Record this past week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: NR 
  • The Maple Leafs are a team that came out of nowhere. This team has maintained a decent spot in rankings but is finally making the way to the top 10. However, this team is known for their comebacks. With leading players Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner with over 50 points each it is no surprise the Leafs are making their way to a possible playoff spot. The Leafs put up 12 points in their last three games while only allowing for six points. The goaltending on this team by Frederik Andersen is on fire right now as they continue to maximize on blocking shots and scoring opportunities.

8. New York Islanders (29-15-6)

  • Record this past week:1-0-1
  • Previous rank: 6
  • The Islanders are playing as the Mathew Barzal show right now as this young player seems to carry the team in points and assists. In order for this team to redeem itself and start playing good hockey it needs to come together and allow other players to find the net and make the plays that need to be made to outplay teams. Other players such as Brock Nelson who leads the team in goals is another key component to this team’s success but two players cannot carry a team. The islanders have played good hockey this season and kept a strong defensive game but coming off the All-Star break this team needs to turn around their strategies and begin going back to aggressive hockey to score those goals. 

7. Vancouver Canucks (30-18-5)

  • Record this past week: 3-0-1
  • Previous rank: NR
  • A team that has not been mentioned a lot this season but they have had a decent season. The Canucks played strong this week by beating out top contenders to improve into the top rankings. With key players J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson who lead the team with goals, points, and assists, it is clear this team has the ability to succeed if they continue to play good hockey. This team needs to improve on goaltending though because although they are finding the net they also are allowing theirs to remain open.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (28-16-9)

  • Record this past week: 2-0-1
  • Previous rank: 8
  • This team is a quiet team that doesn’t tend to stir the pot. Being led by Pierre-Luc Dubois this team has major rates for success but needs to improve on other players coming into high intense situations to block the goal and score goals. The Blue Jackets are set to face three good teams this week two of which are fighting for a playoff spot just as they are so it will be a battle of the boards. This team has the intensity but will they be able to keep improving in order to find the scoring opportunities that aren’t expected by other teams. 

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (32-15-5)

  • Record this past week: 3-0-1
  • Previous rank: 5
  • Tampa Bay is consistent in scoring and winning games but is also being a threat to other teams. Being able to push a game into overtime or shootout is a great thing especially if your players can stay present throughout it all. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are the top leaders on this team and it shows by how good the team does. Having strong leaders means a strong team because everyone wants the best for the team but they also want to be top dog. This team has major potential to recover from last post season in which the Lightning are fighting to prove themselves in this year’s playoffs.   

4. St. Louis Blues (31-14-8)

  • Record this past week:1-3-0
  • Previous rank: 2
  • The Blues are just losing their stride after this All-star break and it is beginning to show. The team is losing consistency and needs to start amplifying the shots scored and not allowing their opponents to run them off the ice. David Perron is carrying this team and has managed to not only lead in points but also in being a key player when it comes to power plays, leading with 8 power play goals. During advantage plays this team needs to start maximizing and not wasting that key scoring period. In order for this team to start improving they need to show up throughout the entirety of the game and be cohesive in playing possible two way hockey to be a possible threat to opponents. 

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (32-15-5) 

  • Record this past week: 2-1-0
  • Previous rank: 4
  • The Penguins are continuing to move up with their success this season. With players such as Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin, it is no surprise this team has managed to keep improving and not fall short to other teams. Pittsburgh is known to have high intensity playing and the fight to find the net which is what is helping them win. The Penguins need continue to block scoring chances and be present across the ice which they have done thus far.  Playing two strong teams this week it is clear that the Penguins will have their work cut out for them but if they continue to play across the ice and have the endurance it should be some great hockey. 

2. Boston Bruins (31-10-12)

  • Record this past week: 3-0-0
  • Previous rank: 3
  • The Bruins have managed to get past third place. This team has been a force to be reckoned with this season with how intense they have been playing. With star players Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, this duo is leading the team to victory. The ability this team has managed to show in finding the back of the net it is clear they are hungry to redeem themselves from second place last season. This team was able to score 11 points in their last three games and only allow four which shows the strong goaltending that is continuing to improve. 

1. Washington Capitals (35-13-5)

  • Record this past week: 2-2-0
  • Previous rank: 1
  • The Capitals are an untouchable team this season as they have held top spot for quite some time now. With their ability to consistently outshine other teams it is not surprising that key players Alexander Ovechkin, John Carlson, and Jakub Vrana are leading this team to success. Washington has managed to be a threat to other teams but has been falling short in blocking the net which needs to be improved. Whether that be due to goaltending or lack of defensive edge, this team needs to be focused on improving that section if they want to solidify first going into this last stretch of the season.

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