The first half of 2019-2020 NHL Season has ended. The contenders and pretenders are starting to become clear, and the playoff race is starting to heat up. Here’s how all 31 teams stack up after the All-Star Break.
31: Detroit Red Wings (12-36-4)
The NHL’s worst team has its eyes set on next year. The Red Wings are tanking for the position to land the overall consensus number one pick, Alexis Lafreniere.
30: Los Angeles Kings (19-28-5)
The Kings are in full rebuild mode, moving on from big contracts and veterans. Watch for the Kings to be an active seller at the deadline this year.
29: New Jersey Devils (18-24-8)
The Devils have endured a crazy and disappointing season. They have not lived up to expectations, have fired their head coach and general manager, and traded their star player. A rebuild is in the future for the Devils.
28: Ottawa Senators (18-24-5)
The Senators have found the biggest component to turning a struggling team into a contending team, a head coach. D.J. Smith has changed the culture in Ottawa, however they still lack talent enough talent to become a contending team.
27: Anaheim Ducks (20-25-5)
The Ducks are in the midst of a rebuild, they have moved on from veteran players to younger players. Those younger players still need time to develop, before the Ducks are fighting for a playoff berth.
26: San Jose Sharks (22-26-4)
The Sharks have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL this year. They have plenty of talent to compete in the playoffs. However there goaltending has been one of the worst units in the league this year. Coach Peter DeBoer was fired early on, but that move has not sparked anything in San Jose.
25. Minnesota Wild (23-21-6)
The Wild had one of their franchise’s worst starts, then they turned it around. But, they have been mediocre ever since. Look for the Wild to be sellers at the deadline, especially with the lead of their new GM Bill Guerin.
24: Buffalo Sabres (22-22-7)
Another superb year of Jack Eichel is on the verge of being wasted again. The Sabres started the year as one of the hottest teams, then fell to one of the worst teams in the league. Ever since they have been extremely streaky.
23. Montreal Canadiens (23-22-7)
The Canadiens have played better as of late, and are on the verge of getting key players back to their lineup. It certainly will be an uphill climb for the Canadiens to make the playoffs.
22. New York Rangers (24-21-4)
The Rangers are still one more season away from completing their rebuild. They have managed to stay competitive throughout the process. They need to figure out their goaltender of the future sooner rather than later.
21. Winnipeg Jets (25-23-4)
The Jets have endured severe turnaround on the blue line. They somehow made it work for a short period of time, but the wheels have fallen off and the Jets barely look like a playoff team.
20. Nashville Predators (24-19-7)
The Predators have been one of the league’s most inconsistent teams so far. Their stellar duo of Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros has underperformed, which is not helping the Preds. They are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
19. Chicago Blackhawks (24-21-6)
The Blackhawks are gearing up for a second-half run. The question will be do they have enough left in the tank? Their goaltending has kept them in many games this season. Look for the Blackhawks to add another piece at the deadline to guide their second-half run.
18. Las Vegas Golden Knights (26-20-7)
The biggest surprise with the Golden Knights this season was the firing of Gerard Gallant followed by the hiring of Peter DeBoer. Before coming to the Golden Knights, DeBoer was the coach of the rival San Jose Sharks. The Golden Knights are hoping that the hiring of DeBoer propels them to the postseason.
17. Arizona Coyotes (26-21-6)
The organization finally put an emphasis on making it to the postseason this year. The acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel have the Coyotes in the midst of the postseason mix.
16. Edmonton Oilers (26-18-6)
The duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are electrifying to watch. Only time will tell to see if the duo can carry the Oilers to there first postseason appearance since the 2017 season.
15. Dallas Stars (28-18-4)
Offseason acquisition Joe Pavelski has not turned pit the way the Stars thought it would. But the Stars look stingy defensively and their goaltending has performed flawlessly again this year.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (27-17-7)
The Flyers escaped one of the toughest two-week schedules with wins against the Capitals, Bruins, and Blues all without the help of starting goalie Carter Hart along with Claude Giroux in a slump. The Flyers aren’t dominant in any one aspect but they consistently find ways to win and stay in the mix of the playoffs.
13. Toronto Maple Leafs (27-17-7)
The Leafs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. There horrific start under Mike Babcock has them sitting on the outside of the playoffs. The Leafs should be in the market for a backup goaltender or another defenseman at the deadline to shore up their team.
12. Calgary Flames (27-19-6)
The best team in the west from a year ago started the 2019 campaign underperforming. Their head coach resigned after being involved in a scandal. Interim head coach Geoff Ward has the Flames back on track and poised for another deep playoff run.
11. Carolina Hurricanes (29-19-3)
The Hurricanes had a great start to the year, then slumped going into the break. The loss of Dougie Hamilton is going to be a big problem for this team. They are still in the midst of the playoffs and are definitely a team nobody wants to play come playoff time.
10. Vancouver Canucks (29-18-4)
The Canucks entered the break at the top of the Pacific Division. The Canucks are young, fast, and a very entertaining team to watch with key players such as Elias Petterson, Jacob Markstrom, Quinn Hughes, and J.T. Miller.
9. Florida Panthers (28-16-5)
Joel Quenneville has jumpstarted the Panthers this season. Florida sits in a playoff position, and are a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference. If they improve the goaltending and defense they will be a tough team to play when the playoffs start.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (27-16-8)
This season was supposed to be the start of the collapse for the Blue Jackets after going having an all-in season last year. Instead, the Blue Jackets have overachieved and are in the playoff hunt. Their goaltending has been a big part of the success in Columbus.
7. Colorado Avalanche (28-15-6)
The Avalanche are positioned nicely for a deep playoff run due in part to the offseason acquisitions by GM Joe Sakic. There are still some weak spots on this team, but they are positioned for success in the future as well as this year.
6. New York Islanders (29-15-5)
After starting the year on an insane 15-0-2 run the Islanders have certainly cooled off. They are led by their goaltending and defense. Expect the Islanders to look to add an offensive piece at the trade deadline.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (32-14-5)
The Penguins have endured injury after injury, but have persevered throughout the season. As they get healthier and healthier, the Penguins become more dangerous. They have high expectations for the rest of the season and playoffs.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (30-15-5)
The Lightning started off extremely slow but have picked up momentum ever since. With one of the most talented and potent teams in the league, the Lightning are looking to break through years of disappointment.
3. St.Louis Blues (31-12-8)
The reigning Stanley Cup Champions have not skipped a beat this year. They have survived multiple key inures throughout the year. The Blues have a complete roster that looks ready to defend their championship.
2. Boston Bruins (30-10-12)
This year’s Bruins team looks very similar to last year’s Stanley Cup Finalist team. The Bruins have one of the best lines in the league along with one of the best goaltending duos. The Bruins look poised for another deep run in the playoffs.
1. Washington Capitals (35-12-5)
The Capitals have been the best team in the league all year. The Capitals, led by Alexander Ovechkin, are talented and deep. The only concern for this team would be their goaltending, but that has not derailed anything yet.