The last time the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, they topped the Vancouver Canucks. If the playoffs began today, both the Bruins and Canucks would have home-ice advantage in the conference playoffs. They also lead the way in the weekly NHL power rankings.
The Edmonton Oilers, winners of 16 games in a row, are closing fast as four of the seven Canadian teams would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today.
When looking at NHL odds predictions, Montreal, Vancouver and Winnipeg are among the six teams with winning records against the spread both on the road and at home.
The NHL All-Star festivities will be coming up next weekend.
When looking at NHL futures odds, the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are priced at +800 in the odds of winning the Stanley Cup. They are followed by the Boston Bruins at +900 while the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers are both at +1000 in the championship odds.
Here’s a look at the top five teams in the NHL as most of the teams are off until the NHL All-Star break comes to an end.
1. Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver has points in 11 straight games after posting back-to-back overtime games against St. Louis and Columbus.
The only regulation loss in January came against St. Louis as the Canucks have better results against teams currently in playoff position than against St. Louis (0-1-1) and Columbus (1-0-1) in January.
Elias Pettersson has led the way with 14 goals over his last 13 games. Goalie Thatcher Demko has won his last eight starts as the Canucks have opened up a seven-point lead on defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas going into the NHL All-Star break.
Vancouver leads the NHL by covering against the NHL’s latest line 32 times this season.
2. Boston Bruins
Boston went into the break in impressive fashion as the Bruins went on the road and jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the Philadelphia Flyers before cruising to the 6-2 win.
It was the third win in January by at least four goals for the Bruins, who lead the Eastern Conference by five points.
The Bruins are the only team with five or fewer regulation losses both at home and on the road.
CC makes it 6️⃣ pic.twitter.com/r2Eo3fyI7z
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 27, 2024
David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand lead the way on offense. Charlie Coyle is already within three goals of his career high of 21 with 33 games remaining. Trent Frederic has almost as many goals and points in 49 games this season as he managed in 79 appearances a season ago.
Although Jeremy Swayman and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark split time in goal. Swayman has been the more effective of the two goalies. He has won five straight starts. Swayman has surrendered two goals or less in five of his last six games.
The Bruins have been the best team in the Eastern Conference even though just three players have appeared in all 49 games.
3. Edmonton Oilers
It could be argued that Edmonton could be a spot or two higher on this list considering its current 16-game winning streak. However, that still leaves Edmonton 12 points behind Vancouver in the Pacific Division standings.
Edmonton is going to have to wait until after the All-Star game to try to tie the NHL record with its 17th straight victory. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 17 games in a row during the 1992-93 season.
People tend to think of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatil and the high-flying offense when the subject turns to the Oilers. However, the Oilers haven’t allowed more than two goals in each of the last 14 games.
The @EdmontonOilers Stuart Skinner during EDM’s 16-game winning streak:
SVP: .950 pic.twitter.com/Quu9A8Tcxi
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) January 29, 2024
Edmonton’s last loss came on Dec. 19 to the New York Islanders. Since that time, Edmonton has picked up seven points on Vancouver and 15 points on Vegas.
Draisaitl has 10 goals and 13 assists while Connor McDavid has nine goals and 17 assists during the winning streak. Both of them are also +18 during that stretch.
Stuart Skinner is 12-0 with a 1.41 goals-against average and a save percentage of .950 during the streak.
Edmonton has been favored according to the Las Vegas NHL odds in 14 of the 16 games during the winning streak.
4. Florida Panthers
It has been all or nothing for the Panthers in recent games as Florida won nine games in a row before dropping four in a row. That was followed by the Panthers’ current four-game winning streak.
Sam Reinhart scored in 11 of Florida’s 12 games in January while Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers with 13 assists and 24 points during January.
Anthony Stolarz has stepped in as a solid No. 2 goalie behind Sergei Bobrovsky as Florida is tied with Boston for the most wins among Eastern Conference teams. Florida’s 17 road wins are the most in the NHL.
Our goalies are the best 🥰 pic.twitter.com/ReH6khss3g
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) January 28, 2024
Just seven of Florida’s 26 road games this season have landed over the total.
5. Colorado Avalanche
Colorado is back in first place in the hotly contested Central Division with the top three teams separated by a total of two points.
Colorado hasn’t lost back-to-back games since Dec. 7-9. The Avalanche are 6-0-1 in the last six games against the Western Conference.
Nathan MacKinnon had seven goals and four assists as Colorado ended January on a three-game winning streak.
MacKinnon is among the front-runners according to the NHL betting lines in the Hart Memorial Trophy. He is battling Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead.
Game of the Week
Los Angeles Kings at Nashville Predators
- Wednesday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
There’s not much to choose from with many of the teams off until the NHL All-Star break ends.
The only matchup this week featuring teams with winning records has a struggling Los Angeles team hitting the road to meet up with Nashville.
The Kings have lost four games in a row and are 2-5-3 over the last 10 games while Nashville has split its last 10 games.
Nashville has won six of the last eight games against the Kings. The Predators won the first game between the teams this season 2-1 with all the scoring coming in the second period.
Player of the Week
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning: The NHL’s leading scorer had four goals and six assists with a +7 defensive rating over the last four games. He has three straight multi-point games as the Lightning won the last three games, all by 6-3 scores.
Rookie of the Week
Logan Cooley, Arizona Coyotes: Cooley is starting to heat up again with points in each of his last four games. He has posted a negative plus/minus rating in just one of his last 11 games even though Arizona is just 4-6-1 in those games.
Goalie of the Week
Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs: This has not been the best of seasons for Samsonov. However, he is 3-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average over his last three games and has stopped 72 of his last 75 shots.
Questions Of The Day
Which team is favored to win the Stanley Cup?
The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are both priced at +800 in the odds of winning the Stanley Cup.
Which team has the best record against the spread this season?
Vancouver’s 32-17 record against the spread is the best mark in the NHL followed by Philadelphia at 31-19 and Montreal at 30-19