It has been the case of the rich getting richer with the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils continuing their sizzling starts to the season while the star-studded Toronto Maple Leafs are making a run at the Bruins in the Atlantic Division.
It’s been a different deal with St. Louis as points have been hard to come by. They are joined by some familiar names at the bottom of the weekly NHL power ratings.
When looking at the sportsbook, Boston (+600) trails only defending champion Colorado in the odds to win the StanleyCup.Arizona is at +50000 in the championship odds and fading fast.
Here’s a look at the top five and bottom five teams in the NHL as of now.
One of these days the Boston Bruins will lose a game at home. It hasn’t happened yet as Boston has set the NHL record by opening the season with 14 straight home wins. A 6-3 road record is nothing to apologize for. The Bruins lead the NHL with a +44 goal differential.
Boston is coming off a 5-1 win against reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado with third-line winger Trent Frederic joining team scoring leader David Pastrnak with two goals each. The Bruins outshot the Avalanche 40-25 and completely dominated in the faceoff department, winning 40 of 64 draws.
2️⃣0️⃣ of 2️⃣3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/3Dh0uLfmaS
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 5, 2022
The one area in need of improvement is killing penalties. Boston is allowing opponents to score on 32% of its power plays over the last eight games.
Boston leads the NHL with an 18-5 record against the Las Vegas odds this season.
- Championship odds: +600
Those waiting for the Devils to come down to earth might need to keep waiting.
Over the last 10 games, New Jersey has the best goals-against average in the NHL as the Devils are allowing 1.9 goals per game during that stretch.
Three different goalies have at least four wins with Vitek Vanecek (11-2, 2.24 goals-against average) emerging as a Vezina Trophy candidate.
The Devils’ perfect mark in overtime games ended with a recent 4-3 loss to Nashville. Still, with three of the next five games against teams outside the playoffs at the current time, there will be a chance to build on the eight-point lead in the Metropolitan Division.
Something to consider for those who bet online, New Jersey is 11-1 on the road.
- Championship odds: +1400
3. Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs have points in each of the last 11 games and the only thing keeping Toronto from getting more attention is the torrid pace being set by division rival Boston.
Mitchell Marner set a franchise record by extending his point-scoring streak to 19 games with two goals in an overtime loss to Tampa Bay.
If Toronto hadn’t dropped its last six overtime games, the Maple Leafs might be the team with the most points in the NHL.
One negative is that Morgan Reilly, who leads Toronto defensemen with 16 points, has been placed on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury. More is being asked of 22-year-old Rasmus Sandin and 23-year-old Timothy Liljegren in the absence of Reilly.
After playing in Dallas on Tuesday, five of the next six Toronto games are at home where the Maple Leafs are 8-2-3.
- Championship odds: +500
Not even a 5-1 loss to Florida the last time out can knock the surprising Kraken off this list.
When it comes to pure excitement, it is hard to top what is going on in Seattle, with recent wins featuring 13, nine and 17 goals.
Seattle already has 12 players with more than 10 points, led by Andre Burakovsky with 16 assists and 25 points. The 20-year-old Matty Beniers has five of his team-leading 10 goals in the last six games.
Other defensemen might get more attention, but it is hard to argue with the seven goals, 25 assists and +13 defensive rating that Vince Dunn and Justin Schultz are combining for.
- Championship odds: +6000
Carolina is another team that needs better results in overtime. Still, one regulation loss in the last 10 games is good enough for Carolina to move onto the list of the five hottest teams in the NHL.
Carolina also got Teuvo Teravainen back after he missed more than three weeks. Teravainen has scored more than 20 goals in three of the last four seasons, so even though he has no goals in 15 games, his return adds depth to an already talented group of forwards.
Carolina has lost four overtime games in its last seven games. The Hurricanes nearly ended Boston’s record home winning streak during that stretch of hard-luck losses.
- Championship odds: +1000
If not for St. Louis digging out of an early three-goal deficit before rallying for an overtime win at Florida, the Blues would be dealing with a six-game losing streak.
This has been a wild season in St. Louis with the Blues exchanging hot and cold streaks, and they are most certainly trending in the wrong direction these days. The Blues have been outscored 31-16 over the last six games.
Seeing the defensive ratings of -20 for Torey Krug, -17 for Jordan Kyrou and -16 for Ryan O’Reilly speaks volumes about how this season is going for the Blues.
Starting goalie Jordan Binnington has allowed 21 goals in his last five games and was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots in just over a period in a loss to Pittsburgh.
- Championship odds: +20000
Even after picking up points in a recent three-game stretch, Arizona is tied for the second-fewest points in the Western Conference.
Arizona has played just four of its first 22 games at home. After wrapping up a road trip with games in Calgary and Edmonton, eight of the final 10 games in December will be played in Arizona.
A pleasant surprise has been the production from Matias Maccelli. He is not only second on the team with 16 points, he is also one of six Arizona forwards not to have a minus rating this season.
Defenseman Jakob Chychrun has added some offense since he returned to the ice with two goals and two assists in six games this season. A recent highlight was Karel Vajmelka’s 36-save shutout against Carolina. More efforts like that will be needed moving forward.
The Coyotes do have a 13-9 record against the NHL betting lines.
- Championship odds: +12500
Chicago opened December with a road win against the New York Rangers to move up a couple of spots in the NHL power rankings. A forgettable 6½-minute stretch against the Islanders kept Chicago from winning back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 23 and 25.
The Blackhawks ended November by allowing at least five goals in five of the last six games. The defense has looked better in the last two games. However, having the top eight scorers with defensive ratings of -6 or worse is not a good look.
Rumors are flying about where longtime winger Patrick Kane will finish this season and that can’t be a comforting thought to Blackhawks fans.
- Championship odds: +25000
Philadelphia ended November with a win over the New York Islanders to end a 10-game losing streak. That momentum did not carry over into December.
The Flyers dropped home games to Tampa Bay and New Jersey and are now 1-9-3 over the last 13 games.
James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson have combined to play a total of just six games and that is leaving huge holes to fill in the scoring department. Travis Konecny recently joined them on the injured list.
- Championship odds: +20000
The Ducks probably deserve better than their current six-game losing streak, with three of those games being decided by one goal and two of them requiring overtime.
Anaheim has the fewest points (15) in the NHL and is just 2-11-3 on the road.
Anaheim’s -19 goal differential is 19 more than any other team in the NHL. At what point do the Ducks part ways with veterans Adam Henrique, Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk as the rebuilding process kicks into high gear?
Goalie John Gibson is another player who could be on the trading block. Other than a tough outing against Seattle, his play has improved in recent weeks.
- Championship odds: +25000