Statistics updated on the morning of 11/20/2019
1) Washington Capitals
When talking about the Washington Capitals, all I have to say is that the team is unbelievable on offense. Being best in the league at scoring goals is nothing to ignore. In addition to this the Capitals are leading the NHL in wins. Alex Ovechkin could get another Stanley Cup, although the Caps have a bad time in the playoffs typically. This season the Caps have come up when it matters. The typical may be broken for the second time come the start of the playoffs.
2) New York Islanders
That’s right, an organization that was irrelevant just two years ago is all the way to the #2 spot. The Islanders are creeping up on the Capitals for the number 1 spot even! With great defense and goaltending this franchise is a serious Stanley Cup contender.
3) Boston Bruins
Boston has been and will be exceptional until one of three things happen. Father time starts catching up with the older players who form the better part of the team, most of the starters get injured, or those players start retiring. Until one of these things comes to pass you can expect the Bruins to keep playing great as they have all year.
4) St. Louis Blues
Clutch is what kept the Blues alive last season. This year is looking to be more of the same. After a slow start the Blues have proceeded to come out and play very well. They are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and lead the Central Division.
5) Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers are a machine. Nothing can seem to stop them. Connor McDavid is going off this season and had 6 points in one game! However my concern of Mike Smith stays the same.
6) Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes were underrated coming into the 2019-20 season and have so far proven their doubters wrong. They are one of the few teams to have beaten the Washington Capitals. A first place defense has propelled the team to second place in the Pacific Division.
7) Colorado Avalanche
Goalies dread the night they hear that they have to play against the Avalanche. Why? Colorado has been particularly amazing in one specific area, offense. To put just how good their attack is in perspective, their goals for average is 3.62. If Colorado gets to the playoffs this will undoubtedly be their greatest tool of success.
8) Carolina Hurricanes
Another story of offense in the Hurricanes. The Canes are loaded with talent. The team is very talented on the attacking side of things. Even with their accomplishments a problem remains, the division Carolina is in. With both the Capitals and the Islanders in their division it will be hard to crack into a number 2 or 1 spot. Considering what they did last year Carolina can overcome in the playoffs. The only thing left to do is wait and see.
9) Montreal Canadiens
It has been hard to understand what the Canadiens are this year. It has been up and down in the standings this year. Montreal does have a shot at the playoffs but because of the inconsistency it is hard to tell if they will make it or not.
10) Winnipeg Jets
Another Central team making a name for themselves. The Jest have the most important position set above all else, goalie. Conner Hellebuyck continues to flash his talents and should start coming into the conversation for the Vezina Trophy. As for their season, the Jets are doing well however, it would be unfortunate to end up having to play the Blues in the playoffs again.
11) Florida Panthers
The Panthers, like the Canadiens, have been full of ups and downs this season. This being the dominant narrative has made it hard to get a good read on exactly what the Panthers are and where they are headed. Florida has had a great offense though so there is an upside to all of this.
12) Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights, despite not fulfilling expectations, have been solid. Between Marc-Andrea Fleury having a spectacular season and the offense doing its part the Knights are a fearsome opponent. There is one concern in the area of consistency. Even so Vegas has excellent coaching so this problem will likely be solved at some point this season.
13) Dallas Stars
The Stars had a terrible start to the season. Perhaps they are going down the tube again? Wrong. The Stars found the last piece of the puzzle to success. That is consistency. If they can keep that up there is no reason to think the Stars couldn’t make a run for the Stanley Cup. Just look at how they played last postseason and then add Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry to the equation. It will be very hard to stop the Stars if they make it to the postseason.
14) Vancouver Canucks
After a rough stretch of two 3-0s the Canucks haven’t gotten much better. The team’s recent stretch has been pretty bad. This squad has a long way to go and with the Pacific Division being what it is, it will be a hard fight for Vancouver.
15) Philadelphia Flyers
Decent. If there was one describing word I could use for the Flyers that would be it. They aren’t great, they aren’t bad. The team is just, okay. The Flyers do have one facet that stands out though and that is the penalty kill. It is sitting around 85% right now. Besides that I am neither impressed nor disappointed.
16) Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are on the top 16 they must be going further this season right? Don’t count on it. Sidney Crosby is out for a decent portion of time and the team was already struggling so this is a huge blow. They could still make the playoffs yes but it is far less likely with Sidney out.