31) Arizona Coyotes – At the very least, Calyton Keller looks like the real deal, and Anthony Duclair might be able to fetch this team something interesting on the trade market.
30) Buffalo Sabres – Maybe the eventual return for Evander Kane helps Buffalo strengthen their rebuild.
29) Ottawa Senators – One game away from the Stanley Cup Final not even a year ago, Ottawa is now considering trading Erik Karlsson. That’s a shocking turn of events, to say the least.
28) Detroit Red Wings – Much like the aforementioned teams, Detroit will be a seller at the trade deadline. One of Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek may be on their way out.
27) Vancouver Canucks – Early season optimism has quickly turned into mid-season melancholy.
26) Florida Panthers – The Cats have been better as of late, yet they still lag behind in the Eastern Conference standings.
25) Philadelphia Flyers – Philly’s top-end talent has been dominant; it’s the supporting cast that needs a boost.
24) Montreal Canadiens – With a big win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at home, perhaps the Canadiens find a way to turn things around. Seems like a tall task.
23) Edmonton Oilers – Todd McLellan’s men have gotten a few big wins under their belt in the last week, and could potentially be buyers at the trade deadline.
22) Calgary Flames – It doesn’t feel like Calgary is righting the ship anytime soon.
21) Chicago Blackhawks – Lagging behind Anaheim, Colorado, and Minnesota for the final Wild Card spot, Chicago still has the talent to push through and eventually claim that spot.
20) Minnesota Wild – Badly out-shot at five-on five, Minnesota has found a way to remain firmly in the playoff picture.
19) Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson is putting out Vezina-level goaltending, while Ryan Getzlaf is racking up points at a torrid rate. The Ducks are on the rise, for now.
18) Colorado Avalanche – Nathan MacKinnon’s revenge tour de force has Colorado pushing for a playoff spot.
17) New York Islanders – With only three wins in their last ten games, the Islanders are now in a crowded dogfight for a playoff spot.
16) Pittsburgh Penguins – Will Pittsburgh be buyers at the deadline? It could make the difference in their season.
15) Dallas Stars – Sound defensively under Ken Hitchcock’s regime, Dallas remains a dangerous offensive force.
14) San Jose Sharks – Beard pulling aside, the Sharks are comfortable in their playoff positioning for now.
13) Los Angeles Kings – Potent on the offensive end, LA has been just as stingy in their own zone.
12) Carolina Hurricanes – Even though their goaltending has been generally bad, the Hurricanes are forcing their way into the playoff picture.
11) Columbus Blue Jackets – Columbus’ once cushiony playoff spot has slipped away, but the talent is still there for a strong run.
10) New Jersey Devils – The good times just keep rolling at “the Rock”.
9) New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist once again dragging the Rangers all the way up the standings.
8) Washington Capitals – All Ovechkin, all the time in the U.S capital.
7) Nashville Predators – Unlike Ottawa, Nashville has absolutely thrived since the Matt Duchene trade.
6) Toronto Maple Leafs – One of only four clubs with 140-plus goals scored, there’s no question Toronto is an offensive machine.
5) St. Louis Blues – Mike Hoffman would look great on this team, no?
4) Winnipeg Jets – Talent is king in the NHL, and the Jets have it in spades.
3) Vegas Golden Knights – The Golden Knights are a legitimately good team, and could be huge players in a much different way than expected at the trade deadline.
2) Tamp Bay Lightning – Head coach John Cooper has been none too pleased by his team’s recent play, but they’re still on the league’s elite clubs.
1) Boston Bruins – Winners of eight of their last ten, Boston’s been a sneakily dominant team this season, and deserves the top spot for this week.
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