Cleat Geeks

Top Ten Thursday; NHL Opening Week Rankings

With the national hockey league (NHL) preseason finally coming to close my friend Kyle McCauley and I put together what we believe are the Top 10 teams heading into the regular season.

10. Anaheim Ducks
Preseason record: 3-3-1
Anaheim starts there season on Thursday as they start the season at home against the Arizona Coyotes. The Ducks will continue with their usual stride into the playoffs but hopefully this year they can provide their fans hope as the season goes on for a much needed championship.



​9. Chicago Blackhawks
Preseason record: 4-2-0
Chicago starts their season Thursday night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks are more likely to be contender than to miss the playoffs as they have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Corey Crawford.



8. Tampa Bay Lightning
Preseason record: 3-4-0
Tampa Bay will start their season Friday night acing the Florida Panthers at home. The Lightning have so much speed, skill and depth all over their roster.



​7. Edmonton Oilers
Preseason record: 6-2-0
Edmonton started their season Wednesday as they took care of the Calgary Flames at home in shutout fashion 3-0. They showed us how they can beat anyone in size and speed. They handled playoff pressure but need to focus on building a better defense.



​6. San Jose Sharks
Preseason record: 4-2-0
San Jose began the regular season at home when they faced the Philadelphia Flyers in a loosing effort by the final of 5-3. San Jose couldn’t make any big splashes because of the salary cap. They have a solid defense but age is catching up to them.


5. Dallas Stars
Preseason record: 3-3-0
Dallas begins the regular season at home on Friday as they face the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas signed the top goalie in the market Ben Bishop which is an upgrade from Kari Lehtonen. The Stars also added shutdown center Martin Hanzal.



​4. St. Louis Blues
Preseason record: 3-5-0
St Louis begins the regular season Wednesday on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins and came away with a win 5-4 but they needed overtime. The team felt the absence of Shattenkirk last season but traded for Brayden Schenn who will make the offense better.



​3. Nashville Predators
Preseason record: 2-2-2
Nashville beings the regular season on the road as they face the Boston Bruins Thursday night. The team recently lost Mike Fisher but by gaining Ryan Johansen after nearly missing all of last season due to injury the Predators will be the favorites to win the west in 2017-2018.



​2. Washington Capitals
Preseason record: 2-5-0
Washington begins their regular season on the road as they travel to Ottawa to face the Senators Thursday night. The Capitals will still dominate the regular season even with an aging core and a few prospects.



1. Pittsburgh Penguins
Preseason record: 3-3-1
Pittsburgh began the regular season at home as they go up against the St. Louis Blues. It was the first overtime game of the young season, and the first loss for the Penguins. With Sidney Crosby still in his prime they are poised for another fantastic season but with a defense with many holes it will be hard to find constant success.

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