Tampa Bay has been one of the most consistent and dominant teams in the NHL. It is safe to say that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the most well-rounded team in hockey. They have finished near or at the top of all of Uncut’s power rankings. So can a streaking team dethrone Tampa? Let’s take a look at the ten teams that have had the best season so far.
10. Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers have the best player in Connor McDavid for years to come so it is no surprise they rank in the top ten. McDavid is barely shy of a rare two-point per game pace. Only a few NHLers have ever reached this pace over a full season. The most famous of which Wayne Gretzky who did so on numerous occasions. So the fact that McDavid can come closer than most to this pace pays dividends for Edmonton.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs had the most threatening offense earlier this season. However, their goaltending has been underwhelming so far and the Leafs have had trouble outscoring the opposition of late. Nevertheless, they are still first in the North. Their sizeable lead at the beginning of the season has allowed them to stay in a relatively good spot in the standings despite their troubles of late. If Toronto cannot figure things out quickly, Edmonton and Winnipeg are lurking right behind.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins have been doing exceptional of late. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten games and top-three in the East. Despite injuries to key players, Pittsburgh has played a well-rounded game. They are sixth in goals for and twelfth in goals allowed. Pittsburgh has seemed to shake off their mediocre start as goaltending has improved significantly.
7. Minnesota Wild
The Wild have been one of the most successful teams regarding defense and young talent. They have some of the best shutdown defensemen in the league. Names that come to mind include Mathew Dumba, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, and Ryan Suter. Additionally, the rookie phenoms Kirill Kaprizov and Kaapo Kahkonen gave been crucial in the team’s success.
6. Las Vegas Golden Knights
The Knights have been the most dominant team in the West nearly the entire season. Their success is largely due to the likes of the defense and goaltending. Alec Martinez, Shea Theodore, and Alex Pietrangelo have all been amazing in the defensive end. However, their performance comes nowhere close to Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has controlled the crease better than most this season and there would be uproar in Vegas if he did not receive Vezina votes.
5. Colorado Avalanche
The Avs have been playing great hockey of late. They have finally caught up to Vegas in the West standings. However, their offense has been much more threatening. Colorado is third in goals scored in the NHL and tied with Vegas for the second-fewest allowed. When a team can score and play defense to that caliber, they will be a force to be reckoned with come playoffs time.
4. Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina’s game has succeeded in all areas. They have better depth than most NHL teams. This has allowed Head Coach Rob Brind’Amour to slot players line Andrei Svechnikov on the third line. So the Hurricanes are one of very few teams who have stars throughout their lines. While goaltending was a concern, Alex Nedeljkovic, stepped in for the injured Petr Mrazek and has been consistent.
3. Washington Capitals
The Capitals have been exceptional. They are 8-2-0 in their last ten and have fired on all cylinders to this point. Their offense is stellar. Led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, the Caps have scored the fourth-most goals in the NHL. They had a big boost to the roster once starting netminder Ilya Samsonov returned. Now, Washington has a reliable tandem in net when there were concerns earlier in the season.
2. New York Islanders
The Islanders have managed to stay ahead of the Caps and Pens in the top-heavy East. The Islanders have been consistent over the last two months. They have one nineteen of their last twenty-five games. Their success has been largely due to goaltending. The tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin has been exceptional. They have given the Isles a chance to win every single night.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa has yet again emerged as the number one spot on Uncut’s power rankings. They have the best all-around team. They are first in goals, fifth in goals against, and have numerous players who could walk away with hardware at the end of the season. To name a few Victor Hedman is the Norris favorite as of right now and Andrei Vasilevskiy is the Vezina favorite. A team with so much star power is hard to go against so no team managed to dethrone Tampa this week.