Hot, Hot, Hot!!!!
The Washington Capitals have had their fair share of struggles (well, mediocre play really, but struggles compared to the Capitals recent history) this season. Right now is they're firing on all cylinders and as we close in on the playoffs it actually has people wondering, is it really the Washington Capitals' year? They're 7-2-1 in their last 10 games which includes an active three game winning streak and they lead the Metropolitan Division with 78 points.
Just like the Capitals, the Penguins are on a three game winning streak. They've won seven of their last 10 games. Sidney Crosby is just THREE points away from 1,000 career points and just recorded his 30th goal on the season which leads the NHL. The Pens are looking to be in good position. They still trail the Capitals by seven points which two game in hand on the Capitals but I doubt that's too much of a concern for the Penguins.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games which is the best in the NHL. This recent run has put them into first place in the Pacific Division after mediocre play for much of the season. I've always been of the though process that the teams that are clicking on all cylinders going into the playoffs are the biggest Stanley Cup favorites.
For whatever reason, the Panthers fired their head coach earlier this season when they were in a playoff position and their General Manager took over as head coach. It came across like Tom Rowe just wanted to get back into coaching again. The Cats dropped off for awhile and struggled but maybe Rowe is finally getting to his players. They're playing above average hockey at 5-3-2 in their last 10 and have won three straight games.
The Islanders recently fired Jack Capuano as head coach, which, was long overdue. The Barclays Center drama has taken on a whole other level but somehow, the Islanders are silencing all the noise in their heads and playing great hockey. They're 6-2-2 in their last 10 games.
The Clock Is Running Out
The Colorado Avalanche suck. They continue to suck as they have all season and there is no foreseeable future for the Avalanche not being the worst on this list. 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. Worst in the NHL by 10 points. They'll be major sellers as the trade deadline approaches, one would have to imagine. What's even more remarkable is the Avalanche's goal differential is -69. Nice.
The Canucks are on the coldest streak in the NHL right now losing three straight. It could be worse but they're in position to fight for a playoff spot so this is the wrong time to be struggling. They need to right the ship soon. How they are even in playoff contention with a -27 goal differential is baffling. The Western Conference is an abomination this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Injuries have taken a major toll on the Lightning and they are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Granted the Lightning are still only seven points out of a playoff spot. This could prevent them from being sellers at the trade deadline. If they do want to sell, they have plenty of interesting pieces to sell that should gain a pretty good return.
St. Louis Blues
I hate to drive home the point one more time but it still applies. A -15 goal differential and the Blues are just two points out of a Wild Card playoff spot? Really Western Conference? BE BETTER. Anyways, St. Louis needs to get their act together on the road. 8-13-1. Yikes.
The Bruins are another team that is getting cold at the wrong time. 4-5-1 in their last 10 games which includes losing it's last two games. Their latest loss was to the Toronto Maple Leafs who are just one point behind the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. That's going to be an interesting race the rest of the season. Too bad they don't face each other the rest of the season.