Your weekly shot of hockey to go with your afternoon coffee
The Trade Deadline is approaching. With only six days left, teams have either made the decision to be buyers/sellers or are about to make that decision soon. Let’s look at the Heat Check:
Hottest Team: Washington Capitals (92 Pts, #1 Metropolitan, 9-1 in Last 10 Games)
The Caps are certainly hot. Having won four in-a-row and going 16-5 since the new year started, Alex Ovechkin and company are inching closer and closer to another President’s Trophy. Washington leads that race by 11 points over the Blackhawks and are on pace for 130 points, which would be the record for a full 82-game season. Ovi’s league-leading 39 goals leads the top scoring offense and top power play. If the do buy more at the deadline, it could put them over the edge in the East.
Runner Up: Anaheim Ducks (70 Pts) – And again, the Ducks are on among the hottest team in the NHL. Riding a five-game winning streak, Anaheim has closed the gap to two points behind the Kings in the Pacific Division. Buying for certain on Monday.
Coldest Team: New Jersey Devils (65 Pts, #5 Metropolitan, 4-4-2 in Last 10 Games)
New Jersey was in a great spot. In fact up until their game against the Flyers a week ago, the Devils looked like they were starting to get hot at the right time. While they’re still only three points out of the second wild card spot, it’s troubling to see the Devils hit a big bump in the road. I’m not slapping a buy or sell on these guys yet or really any team in the Met aside from the Caps and Rangers. Spots three through seven in the division can and probably will rotate around and around until the final day of the season.
Runner Up: Detroit Red Wings (69 Pts) – With the bottom half of the division where it is, it’s not panic time in Motown just yet. Detroit is only A POINT out of second after all. They make this spot due to a four-game losing streak that puts them in a strange spot coming into the deadline; BUYERS.
What to Watch For This Week:
Tomorrow the Penguins visit the Bruins for NBCSN’s Wednesday Night
Rivalry Hockey. Two teams jockeying for position desperately in need of wins, sign me up. Surprisingly, Boston hasn’t been very good at home this season but I’ll still pull for them and the third-best scoring offense in the NHL: Bruins over Pens. Thursday night (also on NBCSN), we’ve got the Preds in Chicago. Nashville has had an up-and-down 2016 as they face the Blackhawks for the fifth and final time this regular season. However, the analysis of this game is simple: it’s in Chicago: Blackhawks over Preds.
In Case You Missed It:
GHOOOOOOOOST! The Flyers won two of their three games last week, dropping only the game in Montreal in a shootout. Shayne Gostisbehere has extended his point-streak to 15 games, the longest by an NHL defenseman since Chris Chelios twenty years ago. The Orange and Black finish their road-trip tonight for a crucial matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes and then return home for a six-game homestand. They host Minnesota on Thursday, Arizona on Saturday, and Calgary on Monday. The biggest news you’ll need to know this week (well at least as of today) is that Sean Couturier returns to the lineup tonight after missing nine games; the Flyers have gone 3-6 (3 OT losses) in his absence.
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