NHL: Top Five Power Rankings as of February 12
The NHL is still early into the 2020-21 season. This has been a crazy year because the teams in each division only play the others in the division. For example, due to Covid 19, the teams that are based in Canada cannot cross the border and the teams based in the US cannot cross over either. That means this is the first year that all the Canadian teams are in their own division. The Stanley Cup was handed out last year in Canada. The NHL had a bubble to make sure Covid did not ruin the playoff season. This season has had many goals so far. I read an article the other day on why goaltenders are struggling. There are some new teams at the top of the league. Some of the teams that struggled last year are still in rebuilding mode.
Toronto Maple Leafs
This is a team that has been trying to win a Stanley Cup for a long time. They are playing in the all Canadian division. The reason why is they have a few players that are off to hot starts. One of them is Auston Matthews. Matthews leads the NHL with 11 goals in 12 games. But he is not the only one Mitch Marner is also off to a hot start. Marner has 21 points in 13 games. These two have been the reason why the Maple Leafs are one of the top teams in the NHL.
The Boston Bruins are a veteran team. Many thought that would be the biggest issue this year with them. They have built a good culture and no matter what they seem to still find a way to win. Up to this point, age has not caught up with them. The Bruins have been one of the more aggressive teams in the NHL. It shows that it will be hard to tear down what the Bruins have done to build a winning culture.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights have been a great team since entering the league. The Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first year. The one issue the Knights have had is the second period. How they solve that is they are one of the better third-period teams in the NHL. Vegas has outscored teams 15-8 during that period. That is how good teams accumulate wins. If this continues look for them to be one of the teams that could be playing for the Stanley Cup.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup champions. They were the team that survived the bubble and took home the greatest prize in the NHL. The Bolts have built a winning culture for a while. The team has scored many goals the last one scoring six. They are doing all of this with Nikita Kucherov who had hip surgery and may not be back until the postseason. The Lightning has that mentality of next man up and it has worked for years.
This is a team that was a surprise early in the playoffs last year. The Habs were on top of the NHL. They are in the same division that I have on top of my power ranking the Toronto Maple Leafs. They have to keep focused they took a loss last week to the Ottawa Senators who are on the bottom of the NHL. Their coach came out and said those games keep us humble. Look for them to be right there in the end as well.
It is still early in the season to say who the best team is. It could be one of these five or someone that I did not mention. The NHL has had games canceled due to Covid-19. Still in the end just like last year most likely we will see a bubble come playoff time. I believe that all five of these teams will be that bubble trying to win the Stanley Cup. Other than the Canadiens and Leafs the other three will not play each other until the postseason.
Did I get the right five teams for the NHL power rankings? Leave a comment below.
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