Welcome back to Hot or Not ladies and gentlemen! Soggi Boi is back to fill you in on some important developments in the hockey world! With the trade deadline right around the corners, some teams have solidified themselves as buyers and sellers. Let’s dive in and see who has the stuff, and who has jack squat.
Boston Bruins – 37-11-12
These bad bois have been playing outstanding hockey. There have been very few points in the season where I have been worried about them. All of these back to back games that have been reering their ugly heads through are going to really show us whether or not they’ve got the stuff. 3-1 in games that are back to back in this recent streak. Not bad. They are also 6th in goals for and 1st in goals against. Their defense is really stepping it up, and because of this, they have been able to generate more chances off of the rush. Look for them to pick up Chris Kreider for Jack Studnicka, a conditional second, and a third round pick. (You heard it here first).
Tampa Bay Lightning – 40-15-5
All I can really say is they are on actual fire. They have shaken off their embarressing first round exit last year against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 11 wins in a row, and the only team with 40 wins on the season. Tough to be any hotter than that. Picking up Blake Coleman from the Devils is huge for a team that should be a Stanley Cup favorite. Obviously adding any forward depth is huge for a playoff run, but it should help them tremendously. Coleman was a lone bright spot on the Devils, posting a 21-10-31 stat line. These guys should go deep in the playoffs.
Colorado Avalanche 33-18-7
Colorado has had its ups and downs during the season, having multiple injuries to top line forwards such as Mikko Rantanen, Matt Calvert, and Nazem Kadri. Phillip Grubauer has been injured multiple times this season, but they are still finding a way to win games. They are sitting in third place in the Central right now, but have 1 game in hand on Dallas, and 2 games in hand on St. Louis. They could take the division if they can get and stay healthy. The top line of McKinnon-Landeskog-Rantanen is lethal, but with no Rantanen, do they have enough depth to keep the train from derailing? My gut says no, but they are have a pretty good opportunity to take the division.
Pittsburgh Penguins – 37-15-6
Can you ever count Sidney Crosbey and the Crosby-ettes out? Yes, yes you can. However, that hasn’t stopped them from jacking the Metropolitan division from the deflated Caps. Pittsburgh has been finding their game, playing sound defensively and getting some stellar goaltending from Tristan Jarry and Matt Murray. It seems as though a lot of teams are trending towards that tandem look for the season, as it helps keep both goalies fresh. Look at Boston. Now look at Pittsburgh, as they have taken the division, and getting really good play from both of their goaltenders. Getting Jason Zucker doesn’t hurt either. He scored 2 goals in his first game as a Penguin. Already paying off for Mike Sullivan.
Detroit Red Wings 15-43-4
If the record isn’t enough for you, here’s a lighting round of stats for you that summarize the Red Wing’s season. -105 goal differential. 5 wins on the road. 43 total losses, more than any team has wins. 27 road losses. 27. They don’t have a single player that has a positive plus/minus. Mostly every player has a double digit plus/minus. Oh, and they are, for some odd reason, holding onto Jimmy Fucking Howard. Dude is hot trash. They are one of the worst teams is have ever seen. I have to say though, they know how to beat Montreal.
Arizona Coyotes – 30-24-8
4-3-3 in their last 10. After aquiring Hall, I thought it would give them a spark. Instead, they stayed the same, and have been hovering around the second wildcard spot for weeks. They have a chance in a week Pacific division, but they haven’t been able to play to their game. They only hold a 1 point lead on that second wildcard spot, and are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. I think they miss. They are going to fall apart even more than they already have. Kessel and Hall don’t last another year.
St. Louis Blues – 33-17-10
The Blues are an interesting team to watch this year. They started the year off really hot, and then Tarasanko went down. This team has seen better days, only 3-5-2 in their last 10, getting questionable goaltending from Binnington. They aren’t healthy, and aren’t playing good hockey. They have a slim lead in the Central Division, having the point advantage against Dallas and Colorado, but both teams have games in hand. The Blues are in trouble. They need some players back, and they should be active at the trade deadline. No questions about that.
Los Angeles Kings – 21-34-5
Last place in the West? Check. 3-7 in their last 10? Yup. Traded/Trading most of their key pieces, like Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli? Yepperz. All this team needs to do is get rid of Quick. They need to start building for the future. They’ve had too many failed veteran experements that usually ended up biting them in the ass (See Jeff Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk). They are definitely stocking up on draft picks, and their prospect pool has been ranked 1st in the NHL, so they should see some success in the near future. But for now, they suuuuuuuuuuuuck.