The St. Louis Blues are the reigning champions of the Stanley Cup, beating the Boston Bruins in a 4-1 win in Game 7 back in 2019. This is the Blues first Stanley Cup title ever, making history for this 52 year old NHL franchise. The St. Louis Blues also won a Blues record-breaking 11 consecutive games in 2019 after being ranked the last spot in the league, pushing themselves into a spot for the playoffs. Playing in true underdog fashion, the St. Louis Blues scored the wild card spot for the Stanley Cup Final and defeated the Winnipeg Jets, the Dallas Stars, and the San Jose Sharks, before claiming the victory in Game 7 against the Bruins. The St. Louis Blues continues their winning streak in the 2019-2020 season, winning 42 of the 71 games played, landing the #2 rank in most wins below the Bruins. After the tough games that they miraculously won this season, the St. Louis Blues definitely deserve the number one spot on the Top 10 NHL teams.
Boston is highly reputable in many different sports, and hockey is no exception. The Boston Bruins currently hold the greatest number of wins for the paused 2019-2020 season, winning 44 games out of 70 played and being awarded the Presidents' Trophy, a trophy awarded to the team with the most wins. The Bruins were the top contenders for the Stanley Cup Final, even before the regular season ended. This NHL franchise also has 3 players that are ranked in the Top 25 Players by ESPN of this season - Brad Marchand (Left Wing), David Pastrnak (Right Wing), and Patrice Bergeron (Center). The Bruins also played very well throughout the 2018-2019 season, and made it to the Final Game 7, before losing to the St. Louis Blues. Before then, the Bruins made it into the playoffs both in 2018 and in 2017, confirming their spot as a Top 10 NHL team.
The Washington Capitals are a newly well-regarded team, winning their first Stanley Cup Final in 2018 and defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Though this is the 'Caps' first Stanley Cup for the franchise, the Capitals have been showing their strength and teamwork on the ice by making it into the playoffs every year since the 2014-2015 season. Additionally, the Washington Capitals have come in first place in the Metropolitan Division for the past four years, and first place in the Eastern Conference in the 2015-16 season and the 2016-17 season. The Capitals also have some players to watch out for including Alex Ovechkin (Left Wing), John Carlson (Defense), and Braden Holtby (Goalie). The Washington Capitals must not be underestimated anymore and the team stands tall amongst top competitors.
Winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Final titles in 2016 and 2017 deserves a spot in the Top 10 NHL Teams for the Pittsburgh Penguins. This NHL franchise reigned supreme those two years, defeating the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of 2016 and the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of 2017. The Penguins have won with great leadership from Captain Sidney Crosby, who is the third player in NHL history to have been awarded the Conn Smythe trophy in consecutive years. The Conn Smythe trophy is given to players who the National Hockey League believes to be its MVP - Most Valuable Player. The Penguins' standing for the paused 2019-2020 season was also promising, landing themselves in 7th place in the League based on Total Points. The 'Pens' also rank up high with great players including Evgeni Malkin (Center), Bryan Rust (Right Wing), and Patric Hörnqvist (Left Wing).
The Tampa Bay Lightning has made a name for themselves in the past few years, earning the position of number five in the list of Top 10 NHL Teams. The Lightning was awarded the Presidents' Trophy for the 2018-2019 season, totaling 62 wins at the end of the regular season. The Tampa Bay Lightning did not make it past the first round of the playoffs that season, however, they showed their abilities coming in first overall in the League. The Lightning also have shown great potential this paused season with scoring 243 times, the greatest number of times of any team this season so far. Additionally, the Tampa Bay Lightning have secured very promising players, with five of them being ranked on ESPN's Top 50 Players, including the reigning MVP Nikita Kucherov (Right Wing), Andrei Vasilevskiy (Goalie), Victor Hedman (Defense), Captain Steven Stamkos (Center), and Brayden Point (Center).
Despite their current standings in the 2019-2020 season, the Nashville Predators earn a place in the Top 10 NHL teams for their overall performance in the past three seasons. The Predators competed aggressively against the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, and although the Predators lost, it showed them where to improve for next season. In 2018, the Predators earned the top rank for the best team finishing in the League, before the playoffs started. The last two full seasons, the Predators have made it into the playoffs, but have yet to make it back in the Stanley Cup Final since 2017. The Predators have made great strides in the past 10 years to improve the team's abilities and have their status rise. The team is also highly sought after with players like Roman Josi (Defense) and Filip Forsberg (Center).
The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the two Canadian teams on this list, ranks on the Top 10 NHL teams because of their consistency in performance over the past few years. The Maple Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup recently nor have made it to the Stanley Cup Final since 2004, but they have made it into the playoffs for the past three seasons in a row. Before the playoffs, the Maple Leafs have improved their standings from 14th in the 2016-2017 season, to finishing seventh in both the 2017-2018 season and the 2018-2019 seasons. Looking at this current season, the Maple Leafs were staying consistent in their performance, trailing behind the Tampa Bay Lightnings in the number of goals scored this season, and placed currently in seventh in the Eastern Conference. Notable players for the Toronto Maple Leafs include Auston Matthews (Center) and Mitch Marner (Right Wing).
The Las Vegas Golden Knights is the newest team franchise in the NHL and they have quickly garnered a positive reputation in the NHL. The Golden Knights played exceptionally well in their first-ever season in 2017, finishing first in the Pacific Division and third in the Eastern Conference, before making their way through the playoffs into the Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals. Although they did not take home the Stanley Cup, the Golden Knights proved to be a highly competitive team. The Las Vegas Golden Knights continued to show their new abilities last season, ranking third in the Pacific Division, but was eliminated in the first round of playoffs. They were a top ranked contender in the 2019-2020 season, with their total points tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Some players that have helped move the Golden Knights to victory are William Karlsson (Center) and Jonathan Marchessault (Left Wing).
The Winnipeg Jets is the only other Canadian team to make the Top 10 NHL teams list due to their performance on the ice in the past few years. The Jets have played consistently, earning second place in the Central Division in the last two completed seasons, and making it to the playoffs both times. They did, however, lose in the Conference Final, and round one, respectively. The Jets were also doing fairly well in this current season, and were expected to make the playoffs for the third time in a row. Popular players that have brought strength to the team in recent years are Mark Scheifele (Center) and Blake Wheeler (Right Wing). As a newer franchise, the Jets are really starting to make a name for themselves and be competitive with the other teams.
The Colorado Avalanche earns a spot on the Top 10 NHL Teams list because they have made it to the playoffs for the past two years, and was a worthy contender in the 2019-2020 season. The Avalanche had the fourth greatest number of points scored in all of the games played so far, ranking below other Top 10 teams, including the Bruins, the Blues, and the Lightning. The Avalanche's last big win was in 2014 at the end of the regular season when they placed first in their Central Division finish. This improvement on the ice this year is showing great promise for the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche also have top-ranked players helping them to victory, including Nathan MacKinnon (Center), Patrik Laine (Right Wing) and Mikko Rantanen (Right Wing).
No! The 2019-2020 season for the NHL was paused on March 12th due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, completing approximately 85% of its total season, and will resume on August 1st in an adjusted format to continue the postseason playoffs and to adhere to safety protocols. The top twelve teams from each conference will return to compete for this year's Stanley Cup Final.
There are four different rosters to consider for the number of NHL hockey players. The "dressed roster" is the list of 20 players in each team geared up and ready to play a day's game, totaling 620 players in the NHL. The "active roster" includes three additional players on the dressed roster list, in case someone is injured, resulting in 713 players. Franchises can legally sign a maximum of 50 players under the Standard Player Contract, which makes SPC players eligible to play, totaling 1,550 players under the SPC list. Lastly, each franchise can draft an additional 40 players on top of the SPC list, resulting in a grand total of 2,790 players associated with a franchise in the NHL.
The 7 NHL teams that represent Canadian cities are the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Winnipeg Jets, the Toronto Maple Leafs,the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers. The Canadian teams in the NHL are very well-regarded with the Montreal Canadiens winning the greatest number of Stanley Cups in the NHL, 23 Stanley Cups, and the Toronto Maple Leafs following behind with 13.