There was some movement in the top five as Tampa Bay and Toronto remained static at first and fifth overall but the Calgary Flames dropped to fourth spot from second, allowing the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks to move up one spot each.
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1. Tampa Bay
Record: 53-13-4 (3-1-0)
Last Week 1
The Lightning won three-of-four this week as they lost to Minnesota but defeated Winnipeg, Detroit and Toronto. This week they are in Detroit and return home to face Washington and Arizona. Tampa Bay is the best team in the NHL but as everyone should know, the best team doesn’t always win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning do have outstanding forwards, a more than solid blueline as well as possibly the best goaltender in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Record: 42-19-8 (3-1-0)
Last Week 3
The Bruins finally lost this week in regulation as they were beaten but the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Before that, they continued their 19-game streak with at least a point in each game, defeating Carolina, Florida and Ottawa. It is not an easy schedule this week for Boston as they take on Columbus twice, once at home and once on the road, and also travel to Winnipeg. Boston is looking forward to getting David Pastrnak back in the lineup and his return should be within the next week or two barring any setback.
3. San Jose
Record: 42-19-8 (3-0-0)
Last Week 4
The Sharks were perfect this week, defeating Montreal, St. Louis and Minnesota. They face the Jets in Winnipeg before returning to play Florida, Nashville and Vegas. Tim Heed has eight points in nine games and has been a pleasant surprise with the absence of Erik Karlsson from the lineup. The Sharks look very strong up front and on the blueline but the question mark as far as San Jose is concerned is their goaltending. Martin Jones finally hit the .900 mark in save percentage with the shutout over Minnesota but that is not at an NHL-elite level, or even close.
Record: 42-18-9 (1-2-0)
Last Week 2
The Flames did not have the best of weeks as they split with Vegas, losing on the road and winning at home, and also losing in Arizona to the Coyotes. Calgary takes on New Jersey, the New York Rangers and Winnipeg this week. Matthew Tkachuk returned to second line duty and had the hat trick Sunday. Johnny Gaudreau is in a big slump with only one goal in his last 19 games. Calgary has to decide who their starting goaltender is, Mike Smith or David Rittich and try to get on a run.
Record: 42-22-5 (1-1-1)
Last Week 5
The Maple Leafs lost in overtime to Vancouver, beat Edmonton and lost to Tampa Bay. This week they face Chicago, Philadelphia and Ottawa. Morgan Rielly continues to be one of the top defensemen in the NHL. The Leafs need defensemen Travis Dermott and Jake Gardiner back in the lineup and both are making progress with Dermott now skating.
Record: 41-21-7 (3-0-0)
Last Week 6
The Capitals were perfect yet again as they knocked off Philadelphia, New Jersey and Winnipeg at. They are on the road for all three games this week with tilts in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. That’s a tough week. The Capitals have received some sharp goaltending of late as Braden Holtby is coming off a shutout with Pheonix Copley giving up only one goal on 34 shots in a win over the Jets. That bodes well for the post-season.
7. New York Islanders
Record: 40-22-7 (3-1-0)
Last Week 8
The Islanders won back-to-back games against lowly Ottawa before they were knocked off by Philadelphia. They finished the week with a shutout over Columbus. The Islanders are home to Montreal before going on the road to play Detroit and Minnesota. Thomas Greiss had a shutout Monday versus the Blue Jackets and he really needed it after giving up five goals on 15 shots to the Flyers Saturday before he was pulled. He took over the reins in net this week with Robin Lehner out with an upper-body injury.
Record: 40-24-4 (1-2-0)
Last Week 7
The Jets finished their road trip with losses to Tampa Bay and Washington sandwiching a huge 8-1 win over Carolina. The Jets return home this week to face San Jose, Boston and Calgary which will be a very tough week as they face three of the top-four teams in the NHL. Connor Hellebuyck has not been strong this season as he has a 2.97 GAA after a 2.36 GAA last season. He is 2-4-1 in his last seven, giving up 25 goals in the process.
Record: 37-23-9 (3-1-0)
Last Week 10
The Penguins beat Florida, split with Columbus and then handed the Bruins their first regulation loss in 20 games. This week they are home for three games against Washington, St. Louis and Philadelphia with a road game in Buffalo, Thursday. Jared McCann has been a stud since he was placed on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. The former Panther has eight points in his last seven games and is fantasy-worthy. Matt Murray has returned to prominence since his return from injury in mid-December. He is 23-11-3 and has won four of his last five games, giving up only eight goals.
Record: 39-26-5 (1-1-0)
Last Week 9
The Predators defeated the Wild in a shootout and lost to Carolina. This week they face Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose in a trip to California. Mikael Granlund scored his first goal in a Nashville uniform against the Hurricanes. Roman Josi is one point off the team lead as he has 54 points to Ryan Johansen’s 55. Pekka Rinne has been so-so of late after a great start to the season. He has given up 14 goals in his last four games, going 2-2.