The Western Conference race is going to be tight all season, and goalie play will be key. How does it impact the Nashville Predators and our Power Rankings?
The race for Western Conference supremacy is as tight as it can be. While the Nashville Predators remain in the lead in the standings, 9 teams sit within 10 points. Two teams are surging while others are treading water. Still, ten teams vying for position at this point in the season makes for exciting games.
Making the strongest play for the top of our rankings this week is the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs have won five straight games, and are 7-2-1 in their last 10. During their current streak, four of their wins were away from their home, with last night’s victory over the Predators being the most impressive. Nathan MacKinnon‘s line continues to impress, scoring two goals last night.
Another team surging in the standings is Vegas. Winners of four in a row, the Knights outscored their opponents 19-5. Eight of those goals came against the Chicago Blackhawks. We are ever thankful for their service.
The imbalance of the NHL schedule is coming into play as well. Of the top 10 teams, the Vancouver Canuck’s have played the most games, 27. Vegas and Anaheim have competed 26 times, while Dallas, San Jose and Nashville have 25 games under their belt. Colorado, Minnesota, and Calgary have completed 24 games, and Winnipeg 23. With games in hand, any team can make a strong play for the top.
What will help? Goalie play. Can’t win if you can’t stop the puck from going in the net. So, we focus on goalies while ranking the best teams in our power rankings.