Cleat Geeks

Winged Wheel Watch: Petr Mrazek traded to Flyers

The long-awaited Detroit Red Wings sell-off has apparently begun.

Late on Monday night the Red Wings sent netminder Petr Mrazek to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for conditional draft picks in the 2018 (fourth round) and 2019 (third round) NHL Entry Drafts. The Red Wings will also retain $2 million of Mrazek’s $4 million salary owed for this season.

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The team’s decision to leave Mrazek unprotected in the 2017 expansion draft gave the first indication that the 26-year-old was not in the organization’s future plans. The decision to select the highly-touted, 19-year-old Keith Petruzzelli, who is lauded as having the potential to be a truly special goalie, only two days later furthered this sentiment. The situation was further solidified as Mrazek sat as a backup to a resurgent Jimmy Howard.

Mrazek is set to make his debut with the Flyers on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

The picks received in return, for now, give the Red Wings nine selections in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, including at least five in the first round, potentially increasing to six depending on how the Flyers and Mrazek perform for the rest of the season and in the playoffs.

This trade may very well mark the first steps into a larger scale sell-off in Detroit, as the team looks to stockpile picks and prospects at this year’s deadline.

“I’m looking to the future,” general manager Ken Holland told The Detroit Free Press on Monday. “I’m working the phones to see what’s out there that makes sense for us.”

With names like Mike Green, Danny DeKeyser, and Gustav Nyquist drawing attention from suitors around the league, expect things to pick up as the February 26th trade deadline approaches.

What are your thoughts on the Mrazek trade? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

The Burgundy Breakdown

Welcome to the Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps the Colorado Avalanche’s latest action!Image result for Connor McDavid colorado

With the All-Star Break over, the Avalanche got back to business with a game in Vancouver. The Avs were down 2-0, only to take the lead after the second period, but ended up going to overtime and losing 4-3. After that, the Avs started February with a road game against the Oilers, which also went to OT thanks to Connor McDavid tying things up late in regulation (his second goal of the game). In the extra frame, JT Compher scored to give the Avalanche a 4-3 victory. The Avalanche couldn’t feed off that victory when they traveled to Winnipeg on the 3rd, as the Jets blanked them 3-0; only the second time that the Avs were blanked this season.

Regarding this past week, the Avalanche faced off against the San Jose Sharks this past Tuesday at home, winning 3-1 to continue the team’s home winning streak. After that bit of home cooking, though, the Avs went back on the road, beginning with a game in St. Louis that saw Colorado trounced, 6-1, in a game where Semyon Varlamov had to come in for Jonathan Bernier. Colorado later played back-to-back games this past weekend, losing 3-1 to the Hurricanes in Raleigh, but picking up a 5-4 win in Buffalo despite giving up two shorthanded goals.

The Avalanche have hit a bit of a lull since winning ten straight games, going 3-5-1 since then. Six of the nine games they’ve played have been without their All-Star, Nathan MacKinnon, but the Avalanche have racked up a 3-3 record without their best player. Colorado had problems scoring in that stretch, though the five goals they put up in Buffalo on Sunday seemed to have solved things. Their problems giving up shorthanded goals have resurfaced, as the two they surrendered gave them a grand total of 10 shorties surrendered, which leads the league. Even with this lull, the Avs haven’t fallen off too far. They reached 30 wins and have 64 points, which is only two points out of a playoff position, with only the Wild, Kings, and Ducks ahead of them.

For the Avalanche, a new week doesn’t begin until Wednesday, when they return home to face the team who ended their 10-game winning streak a couple of weeks ago, the Montréal Canadiens. After that, the Avalanche go back on the road on Friday to face the Jets, and return home for an early Sunday game against the Oilers. These three games will move them into the latter half of February, with the pivotal month of March drawing closer.

That’s the Burgundy Breakdown for this week! Until next week!

Duelly Noted: What Can The Blues Improve On Before The End of The Season

The St. Louis Blues are on a skid down the Central Division. They sit in 3rd place at 30-20-3 and there is not as much good news as many Blues fans hoped for coming out of break. Despite the return of Jaden Schwartz, the Blues still do not have the killer instinct that they displayed at the beginning of the season and if the Blues can’t patch up their weaknesses the rest of the season will be short.

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It all begins with the man wearing the “C” on his jersey, Alex Pietrangelo. He has not had the commanding presence one would expect of a team captain in recent games and the Blues are lacking direction as a result of that lack of consistent leadership. The Blues need somebody that is willing to step up their game on the ice and help their team show that same fire. If Pietrangelo is not that motivated then he has no business being captain if the Blues continue to lose big games.

The other problem is their lack of offensive production on the power play and in general. The most egregious part of the Blues’ struggles on the power play is their continued focus on flashy passing and attempting to try for the big plays and not passing to someone like Vladimir Tarasenko and letting him fire the puck at the best moment. Tarasenko has not posted a single goal in any of his last 5 games and the Blues haven’t been able to score many goals at all. Their most recent win was a 1-0 victory against the Sabres on Saturday and that was from defenseman, Carl Gunnarsson. The Blues need more production from their big shooters from Tarasenko to Alexander Steen to have continued success.

Then comes the big question. Who deserves to start in net as goalie? Statistically speaking, Carter Hutton would be at the top of the list because he has made some  unbelievable saves to help the Blues win games and he has a 1.74 goals against average compared to Jake Allen’s 2.75. The issue with this is that Carter Hutton has played in way more games than Allen has this season. Riding the hot hand works for a little while but eventually the hot hand fizzles out and the back up has trouble because he has not been kept fresh. If the Blues were to mix up the goalies every few games, it would lead to the team being fresher and it would be a wake up call to the players in front that they cannot rely on a goalie’s hot streak to keep them in the game and that winning is a team effort. If it does not, a trade is always an option.

Image result for Carter Hutton Jake Allen

The Blues are struggling and it is very hard for many fans to watch. Hopefully, Mike Yeo helps them find a way to return to the winning ways the Blues once had and they can put together a strong finish. Maybe it will take a reshuffle or maybe it will take some deals but they cannot afford to stay as they are. Doing that means an early end to the season and that is something that the Blues and their fans really do not want to happen.

The Burgundy Breakdown

Welcome to The Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps the latest week in action featuring the Colorado Avalanche!

The red-hot Avalanche went on the road last Monday for the first game of a six-game road trip. The first stop was Toronto, and the Avs took care of the Maple Leafs, 4-2. For the first time in a while, the team had to come for behind, but it wasn’t for long, as they scored three straight goals following the 2-1 deficit. The next stop was Montréal on the following night, but the Canadiens were too much for the Avs. After a scoreless first, the Habs put up two quick power play goals, and the Avalanche went on to lose 4-2, ending the team’s 10-game losing streak. The Avalanche went to St. Louis to face the Blues, and that outing saw Colorado fall, 3-1, to their division foes.

Sunday was the NHL’s All-Star Game in Tampa Bay, which was the third year of the divisional tournament format. The lone Avalanche representative on the Central Division squad was Nathan MacKinnon; making his second straight All-Star appearance. MacKinnon was on a line with Nashville Predators defenseman (and Central Division team captain) PK Subban, as well as Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler. The Central again lost to the Pacific, 5-2, with the MacKinnon-Subban-Wheeler line providing all of the offense. MacKinnon scored the first goal and picked up an assist on Subban’s goal.

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Though they entered the break losing back-to-back games, the Avalanche still ended the last month before the break on a hot tear. The Avalanche are 27-18-3 with 57 points. The win total and point total are both vast improvements from last season. Entering the second half, the Avs are in a playoff position, holding the second Wild Card position. It’s a four way tie in points, but the Avalanche have one game in hand over Los Angeles and Minnesota, and two games in hand over Anaheim. So what do the Avalanche need to do to stay in playoff contention and possibly climb the Central Division ladder? They don’t need another 10 game winning streak, just win games in bunches and in the right time. They have been scoring goals at the right time as well; it needs to continue.

A brand new week contains the second half of the Avs’ six-game road trip. On Tuesday, the Avalanche head to Vancouver to face the Canucks, followed by road games in Edmonton (on Thursday) and Winnipeg (on Saturday), as the league enters the month of February.

That’s the Burgundy Breakdown! Until next week!

The Burgundy Breakdown

Welcome to The Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps the latest week in action featuring the Colorado Avalanche!

The Avalanche looked to continue their winning ways this past week, beginning with a Monday matinee meeting against the Anaheim Ducks. Thanks to timely goals and Jonathan Bernier’s clutch saves, the Avs won 3-1 over the Ducks. Next up was a Thursday game against the San Jose Sharks; the team’s first meeting with SJ this season. The Avs went up 4-0, with two of the goals scored by Nathan MacKinnon. The Sharks whittled their deficit to one goal, and nearly tied it on numerous occasions, but Matt Nieto’s late goal clinched it for Colorado, who won 5-3. The game saw Colorado kill seven San Jose penalties.

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On Saturday, the Avs played another early game, this time against the New York Rangers. The Avalanche’s season began with a road victory over the Rangers, and Colorado was looking to complete the season series sweep. They got off to a good start with goals from Erik Johnson (1st period) and Nathan MacKinnon (2nd period) to go up 2-0, but the Rangers cut the lead in half later in the period. Bernier continued his red hot performance in the 3rd, and it was Mikko Rantanen who sealed it with an empty net goal with .1 seconds left, giving Colorado a 3-1 victory.

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To say that the Avalanche are on a roll would be a huge understatement. The Avs are winners of nine straight games; the longest current streak in the league this season, and are the only team who hasn’t lost a game in 2018–earning that nod after the Calgary Flames lost via shootout to the Winnipeg Jets. In fact, it appears that the Avalanche have been on a winning tear since trading Matt Duchene to the Senators on November 5. Colorado is 18-10-3 since the trade went down, while the Senators are 9-17-4 in that span. Overall, the Avalanche are 26-16-3 with 55 points in the standings. They enter the final week before the break in a playoff position; tied with the Wild in points, but have two games in hand over them. Colorado is two points ahead of the Kings and Ducks, and three points behind the Dallas Stars. Regarding the Central Division standings, the Avs are four points behind third place St. Louis, and seven points out of first place, which is held by the Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators.

The three game homestand is over, and a new week will see Colorado begin a six game road trip, with five of the games being played in Canada. On Monday, the Avalanche will head to Toronto, followed by a trip to Montréal on the following evening. Thursday features the team’s only American stop, a game in St. Louis. Those three games will be Colorado’s last before All-Star Break.

That’s the Burgundy Breakdown! Until next week!

Winged Wheel Watch: Deadline Trade Pieces

After their bye week, things still aren’t looking up for the Detroit Red Wings.

They sit in 12th place in the NHL’s eastern conference and fourth in the Atlantic Division with 43 points, eight points out of the second wild card spot. After missing the playoffs in 2017 for the first time in 25 seasons they are no closer to making their return to the race for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The NHL’s trade deadline isn’t until February 26th, so the Red Wings have some time to show general manager Ken Holland exactly what course that he should take as clock ticks down. Though, if we were going off of the current state of affairs, Holland should look into what assets he can offload to better set the Red Wings up for the future.

The Candidates

Mike Green

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The 32-year old defenseman is the obvious choice for a trade due to his expiring contract. His $6 million cap hit will be off of the books at season’s end but the Red Wings would be foolish to not earnestly shop Green and net a return for him, rather than letting him walk away for free in July.

He’s also the most movable asset the Red Wings possess. An offensive blue line player is always a hot commodity for a team looking to make a contending run. With 25 points through 44 games, Green is on pace to record his highest scoring total since signing with the Red Wings. And his even plus/minus rating is the best he’s recorded in that span. While his exact market remains unclear, Green is Holland’s best bet to make a deal at the deadline. And if he finds the right partner, the return will not be shabby, either.

Trevor Daley

A signing that seemed out of place when it occurred in July, the 34-year old Daley has added very little besides a veteran presence to a Red Wings team laden with veteran deals. This loomed larger still when 21-year old blue line prospect Joe Hicketts impressed in the preseason only to be assigned to the minors due to an abundance of veteran defensemen.

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Admittedly, the proposal of a Daley trade is little more than a salary dump that opens a roster spot for someone like Hicketts. While they’ll have nearly $14 million in cap space to work with in the 2018 offseason, they’ll still be on the hook for Daley’s $3,166,667 cap hit until after the 2019-20 season. Moving him would allow them nearly $17 million with which to secure the long-term futures of Mantha, Larkin, and Athanasiou, as well as retaining other RFAs Martin Frk and Tyler Bertuzzi.

However, any move is complicated due to a no-trade clause in Daley’s contract, which he would have to waive before allowing any trade. But should another opportunity arise that would allow him to win his third Stanley Cup it’s hard to imagine Daley staying put for a rebuild that is just now getting underway.

Darren Helm

Predominantly a third-line presence for the Red Wings this season, the 31-year old Helm has posted 13 points in 41 games and is currently out through at least Saturday, per coach Jeff Blashill.

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While he provides a solid presence on the lower lines, his absence due to injury has allowed for 21-year old center Dominic Turgeon to gain ice time, allowing for him to develop and have the chance to crack the lineup long-term if his performance merits it. Should Turgeon emerge as a viable NHL-level player in need of no further minor league development, the idea of moving Helm is one that Holland should consider.

While he has speed he provides little else, especially for the $3.85 million of his contract that counts against the salary cap. He is injury-prone, playing more than 75 games only four times since entering the league in 2008-09. A move akin to the Riley Sheahan trade with the Penguins would be acceptable return for someone like Helm, though the size of his contract will make him difficult to move.

David Booth

Moving Booth would do little besides free up a roster space for someone like Turgeon long-term. It would likely bring in a late-round pick in a future draft at the most, similar to the Steve Ott/Montreal Canadiens trade of last year’s deadline. But allowing Turgeon to get more time at the NHL level could benefit his development. And if they don’t feel Turgeon is ready, the way is clear for someone like Evgeny Svechnikov or another well-performing player from Grand Rapids to step in.

Luke Witkowski

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A rugged winger who can drop back to play on the blue line with a beard game that rivals the best in the league, Witkowski is little more than an enforcer-type on a less than physical Red Wings team, similar to Ott on the 2016-17 team.

Witkowski’s $750,000 cap hit is not crippling the team by any means. But his ill-timed penalties, no matter how legitimate they may be, have proven costly to the Red Wings, most notably in Tuesday’s loss to the Dallas Stars. Any compensation for him would be meager, like cash considerations or a low draft pick. But, like a Booth trade, his absence would open roster space for a younger player to wet his feet and gain experience at the NHL level as the rebuild looks to begin in earnest.

Who would you like to see the Red Wings move at this year’s deadline? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

The Burgundy Breakdown

Welcome to the Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps the latest week in action featuring the Colorado Avalanche!

The Avs started the New Year with the continuation of their homestand. On the 2nd day of the year, the Avs played host to the Winnipeg Jets, and after 60 minutes, it was tied at two. A back and forth overtime ended with defenseman Erik Johnson breaking away and scoring the game winner with 9.9 seconds left, resulting in a 3-2 Avalanche victory. Two days later, the Avalanche hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Jonathan Bernier was red-hot in goal; stopping every Columbus shot en route to a 2-0 victory.

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Last Saturday, the Avalanche honored Milan Hejduk by raising his #23 to the rafters; a spectacular event that included his former fellow linemates, Peter Forsberg and Alex Tanguay, distributing the Stanley Cup that Hejduk helped win in 2001. Later that night, the Avs got to work against the Minnesota Wild, and it was a very heated affair that saw the Avalanche pour it on against their division rivals of 18 seasons. The Avs won, 7-2, to continue their streak. After the team’s obligatory six game hiatus, the Avalanche got right back to work this past Saturday in Dallas; their fourth meeting against the Stars. The Avs scored first in the opening period, only for Dallas to even things in the second. However, Colorado answered with three goals in the third en route to a 4-1 victory.Image result for milan hejduk retirement night

To say that the Avalanche are on a roll as of late would be an understatement. Colorado has now won six straight games, with three of the last four being important division wins. Not only are the Avs putting the puck in the net at the right time, but Jonathan Bernier has been spectacular in goal, and he’ll have to continue his roll with Semyon Varlamov out for two weeks. With All-Star Break two weeks away, the Avalanche are 23-16-3 with 49 points; only two out of a playoff position. It’s always said that a team cannot solely rely on the teams ahead of them to lose, so the Avs just need to keep racking up wins.

A new week begins with an early home game against the Ducks on Monday. After that, it’s two more home games against the Sharks on Tuesday and the Rangers on Saturday. On another note, congratulations to Nathan MacKinnon, as he is an All-Star for the second straight year! MacKinnon has racked up 53 points (19 G, 34 A) this season; definitely good enough for him to be part of the Central Division squad in Tampa Bay.

That’s the Burgundy Breakdown for this week! Until next week!

Top Ten Thursday; NHL Hockey

Teams continue to hit their stride and some continue to struggle as we hit Week 13 of the NHL season. Some of their struggles are turning into real slides while other teams are making recent strides as our top ten has none of the 10 teams in the same ranking as last week.

10. St. Louis Blues (26-17-3) Previous Rank: 5
Last Game: Lost to the Florida Panthers 7-4
Next Game: Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs
Carter Hutton has started 4 of the past 5 games for the Blues and has allowed 1.81 goals through those starts with a .941 save percentage.

 

9. Los Angeles Kings (24-13-5) Previous Rank: 8
Last Game: Lost to the Nashville Predators 4-3
Next Game: Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks
The Kings should be happy since Drew Doughty hasn’t missed any time due to the elbowing he received against Patrick Maroon.

 

8. Dallas Stars (24-16-3) Previous Rank: N/A
Last Game: Defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-1
Next Game: Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche
Ben Bishop has finally established himself has the top goalie in Dallas which is why the Stars’ have found success recently.

 

7. New York Rangers (22-15-5) Previous Rank: N/A
Last Game: Lost to the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1
Next Game: Saturday against the New York Islanders
Henrik Lundqvist continues to dominate in net for the Rangers and is now 8th in all time wins with 424.

 

6. Toronto Maple Leafs (25-16-3) Previous Rank: 7
Last Game: Lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in OT
Next Game: Tonight against the Ottawa Senators
Toronto has a young squad with a good mix of veterans if they can steer down the correct path going forward the future looks bright for this team.

 

5. Winnipeg Jets (26-11-7) Previous Rank: 3
Last Game: Defeated the Buffalo Sabres 7-4
Next Game: Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks
Hellebuyck is the real deal in 35 games this season he won 23 of them with a .923 save percentage.

 

4. Boston Bruins (23-10-7) Previous Rank: N/A
Last Game: Lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 in OT
Next Game: Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens
Boston continues to find success this season earning points in 11 straight games and haven’t lost in regulation since December.

 

3. Washington Capitals (27-13-3) Previous Rank: 10
Last Game: Defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1
Next Game: Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes
The Capitals are dominating in the Metropolitan and while they continue to find success the teams behind them continue to trend downwards.

 

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (31-9-3) Previous Rank: 1
Last Game: Defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 in OT
Next Game: Thursday against the Calgary Flames
Tampa went on a rough patch during a three game road trip only earning 3 points when they could have earned more.

 

1. Las Vegas Golden Knights (29-10-2) Previous Rank: 2
Last Game: Defeated the New York Rangers 2-1
Next Game: Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers
Subban was an amazing pick up for the Golden Knights this season. He has won his last seven starts this season with the Knights.

Duelly Noted: Can the Blues Recover From Their Slump?

The 2017-2018 season started out well for the St. Louis Blues. As time has gone on they have struggled to get anything consistent going. Their recent losses in Philadelphia and Washington have some fans worried that the team will waste their best start in a while. They sit in 2nd place with a 26-16-3 record so there is still plenty of time to improve.Image result for brayden schenn blues

The penalties that the Blues have taken as of late have opened the door for opponents to score many goals against them. The Blues need more discipline behind their play to stay out of the box. The penalty kill was one of the best in the league in December but has relaxed too much to start the month of January. The Blues also need to get their power play moving again. Brayden Schenn helped them snap a scoreless streak during Sunday’s game against the Capitals but the special teams of the Blues still have plenty of work to do.

A recurring problem for the Blues is that nearly any time they manage to get a lead, they cannot keep it long enough to get a win. Case in point, the Blues took a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period in Sunday’s game only to have it taken from them by a late goal from Alex Ovechkin. The Blues ended up losing after a strong overtime start because they could not capitalize and the Capitals got the win with 45 seconds left. The lack of killer instinct on the part of the Blues is a huge obstacle they need to overcome. Every player from Vladimir Tarasenko to Alexander Steen must do whatever they can to increase their goal totals. The Blues are a little too fancy at times. Balancing that out and shooting when an opportunity arises instead of waiting for the highlight reel plays will help.

The goalies are doing all they can to keep the Blues in games. Carter Hutton has done well in his starts. He has a 1.81 goals against average so far and has made a strong case for the Blues’ starting goalie spot when compared with Jake Allen’s 2.64 goals against average. While there is plenty of time for this to change, Carter Hutton is the best starting option for the Blues going forward as he is their hottest goalie so far.

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As hard and frustrating as it is to watch at times, the Blues are capable of getting out of their slump. They are not as dominant as they were at the beginning but they can fix that by creating more opportunities on the power play, killing penalties like they were for most of December and playing for the full 60 minutes and overtime if need be. As long as the Blues stay healthy, stay out of the box and focus on getting wins, their fans have nothing to fear.

Top Ten Thursday; NHL Hockey

Week 12 of the NHL season is behind us and many teams continue to dominate but some continue to fall shy of success. Here are our top ten as 2017 comes to a close and the All-Star break is coming fast.

10. Washington Capitals (25-13-3) Previous Rank: 6
Last Game: Defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 in OT
Next Game: Sunday against the St. Louis Blues
Alex Ovechkin has been unbelievable this season and continues to help power the Capitals to the success they have been looking for going forward.

 

9. Columbus Blue Jackets (23-15-3) Previous Rank: 9
Last Game: Defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1
Next Game: Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche
The Blue Jackets currently hit a bump in the road but still look like a force to be reckoned with going forward.

 

8. Los Angeles Kings (24-11-5) Previous Rank: 7
Last Game: Defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-0
Next Game: Thursday against the Calgary Flames
Brown, Doughty and Kopitar have been exciting to watch this season and if Carter can rejoin the group imagine how much success the Kings woud be able to find going forward.

 

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (23-16-2) Previous Rank: N/A
Last Game: Lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0
Next Game: Thursday against the San Jose Sharks
Auston Matthews is about to hit his stride and once he does the Maple Leafs will find the momentum they need for the future.

 

6. New Jersey Devils (22-10-7) Previous Rank: 8
Last Game: Lost to the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in SO
Next Game: Thursday against the Dallas Stars
Butcher has been great for the Devils offensively as he has 23 points in 35 games.

 

5. St. Louis Blues (25-15-2) Previous Rank: 4
Last Game: Defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in SO
Next Game: Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights
Losing Jalen Schwartz hurt the team but with the team getting Berguld back after injury they could find some much needed success going forward.

 

4. Nashville Predators (23-11-5) Previous Rank: 3
Last Game: Lost to the Golden Knights 3-0
Next Game: Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes
The Predators have been able to clean up some of the holes offensively and continue to find success moving forward.

 

3. Winnipeg Jets (23-11-7) Previous Rank: 5
Last Game: Lost to the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in SO
Next Game: Friday against the Buffalo Sabres
Mathieu Perreault has been exciting to watch and with his success so far with the Jets he could find himself permanently promoted.

 

2. Vegas Golden Knights (27-9-2) Previous Rank: 2
Last Game: Defeated the Nashville Predators 3-0
Next Game: Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues
The Golden Knights found more success than expected this season and if this continues the GM may have to extend contracts rather than trade them away.

 

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (29-8-2) Previous Rank: 1
Last Game: Defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0
Next Game: Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens
The goal differential is plus-45 this season for the Lightning and if nobody can catch them moving forward the team could play well into the Spring.

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