As most teams near the 1/5th mark of the season in this COVID shortened year, we can start to see how the league is taking shape. I, being the hockey fanatic I am have utilized my fraternity house living room and created a space where I am capable of watching not one, not two, but four hockey games at once. A puck paradise if you will. But watching all these games I have gathered a plethora of knowledge that I feel I need to share. In this new segment, i will be highlighting my indisputable top 5 for any given category depending on the day.
*It is called an indisputable list, meaning it cannot be disputed and the information in the blog is 100% correct and cannot be proven otherwise*
5. Montreal Canadiens
Through 123 games this season the Canadiens sit 8-3-2 which is good for 2nd in the North division. The goal-scoring is led by offseason acquisitions Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli who have eight and nine goals respectively. Pair that with the Jeff Petry show on the blueline. Petry has six goals and eight assists which is good for 14 points which leads the team. The tendy situation isn’t too shabby either. The duo of Carey Price and Jake Allen boasts a combined 2.50 goals allowed average which sits 7th in the league. They would sit higher on this list for me but they did lose to low-life Ottawa. Maybe try again in a couple of weeks.
4. Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas had a couple of games postponed due to COVID. Amidst all the chaos they still sit at 8-1-1. They sit 3rd in the league in goals for per game at 3.70. Mark Stone is leading the team in points with 15 apples. And you know things are going well for you when Chandler Stephenson is tied for 2nd on the team in goals with 4. The D-core lead by Shea Theodore looks really solid along with the young rookie Zach Whitecloud who is impressing early. Then the duo of Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury in the net are starting to look like the best duo in the league.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs look really good this year, winning 11 of their first 14 games. Auston Matthews has found the back of the net 11 times in 12 games and the rest of the offense continues to roll. Freddy Anderson looks great between the pipes and the defense is holding solid. This Leafs team is better than teams in years past. And this year they may make it past the first round since they won’t have to play the Bruins, so that’s something else to feel good about if you’re a Leafs fan.
2. Boston Bruins
After a few rough games to start the season, the Bruins kicked it into high gear and have not looked back. Sitting at 9-1-2 through 12 games, they look great. Now that Pasta is back in the lineup things are just going to get better for them. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are leaving their stamps on the stat sheet, combining for 30 points so far. Charlie McAvoy is trying to make his case for the Norris trophy. Tuuka Rask and Jaroslav Halak continue to be a top 3 tendy duo. And maybe the B’s have found a solution to the secondary scoring issue with Nick Ritchie who has 4 goals and 5 assists. I thought the Bruins were burnt toast after three games, but good thing the season is 56 games instead of 3.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Now let’s be real with ourselves: there’s no other correct answer to the best team in the league.
The defending Stanley Cup Champions are putting on clinics day in and day out to the tune of 9-1-1. They hold 3.82 goals per game average. Andrei Vasilevskiy is making a strong case for the Vezina front runner with 8 wins and a .936 Sv%. Even with Nikita Kucherov out for the regular season, this team is rolling over opponents. Steven Stamkos is back and healthy and leading the team with 14 points. Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev are doing it on both sides of the ice. Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli are piling up the points.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best team in the NHL at this point in time. Could be different a few weeks down the line but as of right now, the city of Tampa has the top team in two professional sports leagues.