Your weekly shot of hockey to go with your afternoon coffee
After a week off for the Super Bowl/All Star Break, we’re back to check in with the coolest sport on Earth. With less than three weeks until the Trade Deadline, teams are starting to emerge as either buyers or sellers. I’m currently preparing to head down to the Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers/Ducks game tonight, but let’s take a look around the league:
Hottest Team: Anaheim Ducks (57 Pts, #3 Pacific, 8-2 in Last 10 Games)
The Pacific Division hasn’t been anything to really write about all season; the leading Kings are 4th in points in the West. However, a month ago the Ducks weren’t even in the conversation. The most stat to me is that the Ducks’ goal differential is -8; scoring a league-low 115 goals but allowing the fourth-least goals in the NHL.
Runner Up: Pittsburgh Penguins (61 Pts) – It pains me to write it, but the Pens seemingly righted the ship. Having gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, if the Pens’ weapons can also get it going (and Malkin heals up), Pittsburgh will be dangerous heading down the stretch.
Coldest Team: Minnesota Wild (55 Pts, #6 Central, 1-8-1 in Last 10 Games)
The runner-up from the previous roundup two weeks ago, the Wild haven’t gained a point since! The Wild have an inability to score ranking 22nd in the NHL in goals per game but 9th in goal against per game. With the forwards they have and a 55.6% chance to make the playoffs, the Wild could still turn around.
Runner Up: Arizona Coyotes (54 Pts) – Call it karma for John Scott. Similar to Minnesota, the Coyotes were in contention about a month ago but have plummeted.
What to Watch For This Week:
Two games on Thursday should be thrillers: Kings at Islanders and Stars at Blackhawks. The Kings step into one of the harder places to win on the road in Brooklyn. Both teams 5-5 over their last ten, but can’t go against the home team: Islanders over Kings. What I just said applies even more in this game. The Stars want to keep the Central race close, but this is the Madhouse on Madison we’re talking about: Blackhawks over Stars. Your “Game of the Week” (Sunday Afternoon Hockey on NBC) is the Bruins at Red Wings. Both teams are tied for 2nd currently in the Atlantic but I’m basing my pick on these two facts: the Bruins are hot and are the best Eastern Conference team on the road. Bruins over Red Wings.
In Case You Missed It:
Connor McDavid is back
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