The top-five are the same teams although Washington and Winnipeg switched places with the Capitals at three. Tampa Bay and Toronto continue to be the top-two teams in the NHL and that will make for an interesting second round in the Atlantic Divisions if it remains the same and there are no upsets in the first round of the playoffs.
Pittsburgh, Vegas and the New York Islanders made nice moves upwards this week while Colorado and Edmonton plunged down the rankings.
Ottawa sank to the basement and are currently the worst team in the NHL.
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1. Tampa Bay
Record: 31-7-2 (3-0-0)
Last Week 1
The Lightning beat Philadelphia, Montreal and Anaheim and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. This week they take on Vegas and Edmonton at home. The Lightning are firing on all cylinders. Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL with 65 points and Brayden Point is having an outstanding season with 23 goals and 52 points.
Record: 26-11-2 (1-1-0)
Last Week 2
The Maple Leafs beat Columbus and lost to the Islanders this past week. Toronto is home this week to Minnesota, Vancouver and Nashville. Auston Matthews has not scored in his last four games and William Nylander continues to struggle since returning from holding out the first two months of the season. He has only two assists in 11 games. Coach Mike Babcock played them together at practice so look for the duo to break out of their slumps together.
Record: 24-11-3 (2-1-0)
Last Week 4
The Capitals lost to Nashville Monday after beating Carolina and Ottawa. They are on the road this week with games against St. Louis, Dallas and Detroit. Brooks Orpik returned to the lineup Monday after missing 27 games with a knee injury that required surgery. Jakub Vrana has 12 goals and is giving the Capitals some nice scoring from the second line.
Record: 25-12-2 (1-2-0)
Last Week 3
The Jets were beaten by Calgary and Minnesota before they toppled the Oilers on Monday. This week they take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh and are home to Dallas. The Jets suffered a big loss on the weekend when Dustin Byfuglien suffered an apparent knee injury and will be lost for at least four weeks. Brendan Lemieux scored twice Monday in the 4-3 win.
Record: 24-12-4 (2-0-1)
Last Week 5
The Flames knocked off Winnipeg and San Jose and lost in overtime to Vancouver. It’s a busy week for Calgary as they are on the road for all four games as they play Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Sean Monahan had a big game Monday with five assists giving him eight assists in his last three games. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists against San Jose Monday while James Neal found the back of the net for the first time in 25 games.
Record: 23-13-3 (2-1-0)
Last Week 8
The Blue Jackets sandwiched wins over the New York Rangers and Ottawa around a loss to Toronto. Columbus will play in Carolina and Florida this week. Pierre-Luc Dubois had two goals and four points Monday and is up to 16 goals and 36 points this season. Artemi Panarin loves playing alongside him and it could be a determining factor as to whether or not Panarin stays and signs a long-term deal with the Blue Jackets.
Record: 21-12-6 (3-0-0)
Last Week 13
The Penguins were a perfect 3-0 for the second week in a row as they beat Detroit, St. Louis and Minnesota. Pittsburgh plays the New York Rangers, Winnipeg and Chicago this week with the Jets being a big test for the red-hot Penguins. Phil Kessel has three straight games with three points in each one as he has three goals and six helpers including six points on the power play in the three games. Bryan Rust is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and Zach Aston-Reese has taken his spot on the top line with Sidney Crosby.
Record: 23-15-4 (3-0-0)
Last Week 12
The Golden Knights defeated Colorado, Los Angeles and Arizona this past week. They take on the Kings again this week as well as Anaheim and New Jersey. Vegas is playing like they did last season and are 6-1-3 in their last 10. Paul Stastny has had a goal and an assist in each of his last two games and has nine points in 12 games this season. He has given the Golden Knights the second scoring center that has been missing all season.
Record: 23-15-2 (1-2-0)
Last Week 6
The Predators ran their losing streak to five games before defeating Washington Monday. They lost to Dallas and the New York Rangers at home. They are 2-5-3 in their last 10 contests. Nashville is home to the Flyers this week before travelling on the road to face Detroit, Montreal and Toronto. Filip Forsberg continues to lead the Predators in goals with 14 despite missing the last 14 games with an upper-body injury. Craig Smith is the only other Predator in double digits and he has 10 goals.
Record: 21-13-6 (0-2-1)
Last Week 7
The Sabres lost to St. Louis and the Islanders in regulation time and were beaten in overtime by Boston. This week they take on Florida and the Bruins once again. Jack Eichel left Monday’s game with an upper-body injury. It is not considered to be long-term. Both he and Jeff Skinner have combined to score 41 of Buffalo’s 112 goals this season. Skinner has 26 markers in 40 games.
11. San Jose
Record: 21-13-7 (2-1-0)
Last Week 11
The Sharks beat Anaheim and Edmonton and then got whipped by Calgary. The Sharks are in Colorado before returning home to play Tampa Bay and Los Angeles the rest of the week. Erik Karlsson missed a couple of games with a suspension and then returned to pick up six points in his last two games. He has three goals and 32 points in 39 games. Aaron Dell gave up all eight goals to Calgary Monday on only 27 shots.
Record: 21-14-4 (1-1-0)
Last Week 9
The Bruins beat Buffalo and lost to New Jersey this past week. They face Chicago on the road and then return home to play Calgary and Buffalo. The game against Chicago Tuesday is the Winter Classic and Boston is hopeful that Brad Marchand is able to go as he missed Saturday’s contest with an upper-body injury. Torey Krug has four goals and 23 points in 28 games this season.
13. New York Islanders
Record: 21-13-4 (3-0-0)
Last Week 16
The Islanders were 3-0 this past week, defeating Ottawa, Toronto and Buffalo. This week they face Chicago and St. Louis. Mathew Barzal picked up his first career hat-trick Saturday against the Maple Leafs and has 10 goals this season. He was the second star of the week with five goals and six points in only two games. Ryan Pulock has a goal and eight points in his last seven contests.
Record: 19-13-8 (0-1-2)
Last Week 10
The Avalanche continued their slumping ways as they lost to the Golden Knights in Vegas and then lost a couple in overtime at home as Chicago and Los Angeles were victorious. Tyson Jost saw action on the top line Monday with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen but continued his slump as he has only one assist in his last 15 games.
Record: 21-14-5 (2-1-0)
Last Week 15
The Canadiens finished off a six-game road trip by defeating Florida and Dallas while losing to the red-hot Lightning. They finished the trip at 4-2 and they will take that anytime. They are home this week to Dallas, Vancouver and Nashville. Carey Price hopes to return this week from a lower-body injury. Max Domi continues to lead the Habs in points with 37 and has four assists in his last four games. Phillip Danault has five goals and eight points in his last four games.
Record: 20-16-4 (2-0-1)
Last Week 18
The Stars defeated Nashville and Detroit but lost in overtime to Montreal despite putting 48 shots on Antti Niemi in a 3-2 loss. They take on New Jersey, Washington and Winnipeg this week. The big news of the week was CEO Jim Lites calling out Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. After the big three of Benn, Seguin and Alexander Radulov, Radek Faksa and rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen lead the Stars in goals with seven.
Record: 19-15-7 (0-2-1)
Last Week 14
The Ducks lost to San Jose on the road to finish a six-game road trip and came home only to lose in overtime to both Boston and Buffalo. This week they play Vegas and Edmonton. They have not won in their last six games. Anaheim is not scoring and Ryan Getzlaf leads the team with only 29 points as the Ducks close in on the halfway mark of the season.
18. New York Rangers
Record: 17-14-7 (2-0-1)
Last Week 22
The Rangers lost in overtime to Columbus and then beat Nashville and St. Louis on the road. This week New York hosts Pittsburgh before travelling out west to play Colorado and Arizona. Kevin Shattenkirk returned on Monday after a three-week absence with a shoulder injury. He had an assist upon his return. Cody McLeod returned on Saturday after missing five weeks with a broken hand.
Record: 17-15-6 (2-1-0)
Last Week 20
The Panthers beat Philadelphia and Detroit but opened the week with a loss to Montreal. Florida are in Buffalo and then come home to play Columbus this week. Roberto Luongo was pulled after giving up three goals on eight shots Monday and the Panthers came back to win. Florida dealt Alex Petrovic to Edmonton and received Chris Wideman in return.
Record: 18-17-3 (1-2-0)
Last Week 19
The Wild beat Winnipeg but lost to Chicago and Pittsburgh in the last seven days. Minnesota swings through Eastern Canada this week for games against Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Mikko Koivu picked up a goal and an assist Monday for his first points since November 29, a span of nine games. Zach Parise is still turning back the clock and has 33 points in 37 games this season.
Record: 19-19-4 (2-1-0)
Last Week 23
The Canucks defeated Edmonton and Calgary but were shut out by New Jersey 4-0 Monday. They travel across the country this week as they have been kicked out of their arena by the World Junior tournament, and play in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. Jacob Markstrom has been great of late, winning eight of his last nine contests. He has given up 15 goals on 261 shots. No wonder the Canucks are moving up the standings.
Record: 18-18-3 (0-3-0)
Last Week 17
The Oilers lost to Vancouver, San Jose and Winnipeg to lose all five games on their home stand. They are in Arizona, Los Angeles and Anaheim this week. Edmonton made a couple of trades last week to shore up their blueline and picked up a couple of third pairing defensemen who are tough in Alex Petrovic and Brandon Manning. Ty Rattie and Jujhar Khaira are seeing some time with Connor McDavid.
Record: 16-17-5 (1-2-0)
Last Week 21
The Hurricanes salvaged the week beating Philadelphia after losing to both Washington and New Jersey. Carolina are in Philadelphia for a return match and then face Columbus and Ottawa to finish the week. Second overall pick in 2018 Andrei Svechnikov, has 11 goals this season. Curtis McElhinney continues to shine in the Hurricanes net as he is 8-5-1 with a 2.22 GAA and a .924 save percentage.
24. New Jersey
Record: 15-16-7 (3-0-0)
Last Week 30
The Devils were perfect this week, defeating Boston Carolina and Vancouver. This week they are on the road for all three games as they play Dallas, Arizona and Vegas. New Jersey is strong at home as they are 11-4-4 while they are 4-12-3 on the road, second-worst in the NHL, behind only Ottawa. Taylor Hall missed all three games this week with a lower-body injury. Mackenzie Blackwood was the third star of the week as he stopped 77-of-79 shots in winning twice. He continued his excellence on Monday with a 25-save shutout over Vancouver, finally giving the Devils some great starting goaltending.
Record: 15-20-6 (2-0-0)
Last Week 31
The Blackhawks beat Minnesota and Colorado this past week. They are home to Boston Tuesday in the Winter Classic and then play the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh and Calgary the remainder of the week. Patrick Kane was the top star of the week with five goals and six points in a pair of games. Kane has 50 points this season in 40 games and it appears that last season’s point total of 76 (less than a point a game) was an aberration. They dealt Brandon Manning and prospect Robin Norell to Edmonton for Jason Garrison and Drake Caggiula.
Record: 17-20-2 (1-2-0)
Last Week 25
The Coyotes defeated Anaheim but dropped decisions to Los Angeles and Vegas. They are home to Edmonton, New Jersey and the New York Rangers this week. Congratulations are in order for Oliver Ekman-Larsson who became the all-time leader among Coyotes defensemen in points with 312, one better than Keith Yandle. Alex Goligoski and Alex Galchenyuk were each a minus-four against Vegas. Brad Richardson continues to be the only Coyote in double digits in goals and he has only 10.
Record: 15-19-7 (0-2-1)
Last Week 26
Detroit lost in a shootout to Florida after blowing a 3-0 first period lead and started the week with losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas on the road. Gustav Nyquist has eight goals since Thanksgiving in 18 games as well as 10 assists. He started the season with only two goals in his first 23 contests. Dylan Larkin has 17 goals this season in 41 games after scoring only 16 in 82 games last season. His career best is 23 in his rookie season of 2015-16. He looks like a cinch to easily surpass that.
Record: 15-18-5 (0-2-1)
Last Week 24
The Flyers lost to Tampa Bay in overtime as well as losing to Florida and Carolina in regulation time. This week they take on Nashville on the road before returning home to play Carolina, Calgary and St. Louis. After winning his first two games in a Flyers uniform, Carter Hart has lost the last three and has given up nine goals in 137:16. He has faced only 65 shots in the three games, albeit, he was pulled after giving up three goals in 22:19 on 10 shots Monday. Shayne Gostisbehere has only five goals and 16 points this season with a minus-15 rating.
29. Los Angeles
Record: 16-21-3 (2-1-0)
Last Week 28
The Kings defeated Arizona and Colorado but lost to Vegas. They have won five of their last six and are playing a lot better since Dustin Brown returned after missing the start of the season. He leads the Kings in goals with 11, after missing the first 10 games of the season. Sean Walker scored his first NHL goal Monday. The Kings recalled Jack Campbell and sent Cal Petersen to the minors Monday. Petersen was outstanding in keeping the Kings even close when both Campbell and Jonathan Quick went down with knee injuries.
30. St. Louis
Record: 15-18-4 (1-2-0)
Last Week 29
The Blues beat Buffalo and lost to Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers this week. St. Louis are home to Washington and the New York Islanders before they travel to Philadelphia to finish out the week. Something must be wrong with Vladimir Tarasenko. After four straight 30-plus goal seasons, Tarasenko has only 11 goals and 22 points in 37 games this season and is a minus-15. He has been a minus only once before in his five-and-a-half year NHL career and that was two seasons ago when he was a minus-one.
Record: 15-21-4 (0-3-0)
Last Week 27
The Senators lost all three games this week as New York Islanders, Washington and Columbus all beat them. Ottawa plays Vancouver, Minnesota and Carolina at home this week. The lowly Senators have dropped to the bottom of the NHL standings and no team is happier than the Colorado Avalanche who hold the Sens first round pick. Colorado acquired it last season in the Matt Duchene trade. Cody Ceci was a minus-five Monday.