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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Top 10 Teams After the NHL Trade Deadline

NHL+Logo.

NHL Logo.

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and with relatively little drama. This year’s deadline came, with the feeling that all the drama had come to pass in the days leading up to the deadline itself.

That being said, there was definitely enough that occurred in the week leading up to the deadline to really shake up the balance of power, or in some cases, solidify teams as the top contenders.

Here are the NHL’s top 10 best teams after the trade deadline:

1.    Washington Capitals: The Capitals solidified their place as the league’s best team. After landing the top prize, Kevin Shattenkirk, an already stacked team becomes even more talented by getting a top pairing defenseman that consistently puts up over 40 points.

2.    Minnesota Wild: The Wild have been on a tear all season long. They are second in points behind Washington, trailing them by only three. They have a collection of talented forwards in Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, and Eric Staal. The team’s youth movement on defense has been doing very well, with Matthew Dumba finally coming into his role. The difference maker is Devan Dubnyk in net, who looks like he will be taking home Vezina honors at this season’s end. They also added Martin Hanzal before the deadline, making their forward line-up even stronger.

3.    Chicago Blackhawks: It’s impossible to leave the Blackhawks outside the top 10 on a list of the best teams in the NHL. They have guys like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, and Duncan Keith. The Hawks even increased their depth on defense by bringing back Johnny Oduya, who won two championships with the team in 2013 and 2015.

4.    Pittsburgh Penguins: Although Columbus may be ahead of them in the standings, the Penguins have Sidney Crosby and a healthy Evgeni Malkin. They are the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and shouldn’t be taken lightly come playoff time. Mark Streit and Frank Corrado add depth, which you can never have too much of.

5.    Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus was the hottest team in the NHL at one time, and with 84 points they are still in a good position to make it into the playoffs within the Metropolitan Division’s three seeds. Adding Lauri Korpikoski should help out the speed game in their bottom two lines.

6.    San Jose Sharks: San Jose had already been in a good position to win their division, but they added even more scoring depth. The Sharks acquired Jannik Hansen, a quality winger who can contribute 15-20 goals a season. Those type of players often come in handy for the playoffs, which will come in handy for the Sharks.

7.    New York Rangers: The Rangers added Brendan Smith before the deadline to add depth on defense, which was an area of need for them. They have the unfortunate situation of playing in the deep Metropolitan Division, putting them in the top Wild Card spot. The Rangers have improved a little, but they aren’t a major threat in the playoffs.

8.    Edmonton Oilers: Years of building up a youthful roster is finally starting to pay off for the Oilers. Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring, and Leon Draisaitl has over 20 goals. Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle have also been putting up solid numbers. Cam Talbot has been excellent in net all season, really being the difference-maker for where they are in the standings this season. Their weakness lies on defense, which they failed to improve at the deadline. The acquisition of David Desharnais won’t help much, but we will still most likely see Edmonton in the playoffs.

9.    Montreal Canadiens: The Canadiens added size at the deadline. By acquiring Steve Ott, Dwight King, and Andreas Martinsen, the team certainly got bigger. However, their problem as of late has been with scoring, which none of their newly acquired players were able to help. Montreal is lucky enough to have a strong defensive unit and one of the league’s best goalies. They will be in the playoffs, but won’t make it far.
10.    Boston Bruins: One of the NHL’s hottest teams, they have only lost one game since the firing of Claude Julien. They made a small acquisition of Drew Stafford at the trade deadline, which will benefit the bottom six forward depth. However, the team needed help on defense, and that was not addressed. The Bruins will be in the playoffs after riding this hot streak, but I wouldn’t expect them to make it past the second round.