The NHL is well underway and there are a number of teams vying for the top spot. Who is leading the pack so far?
The NHL is currently in its lockout, which began on September 15, 2012. The lockout has caused the cancellation of all games through December 14, and there is a real possibility that the entire season will be lost. The NHL has been in a lockout before, in 1994-95, which caused the cancellation of the entire season.
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926. The Blackhawks are one of the “Original Six” NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. The team has an intense rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings.
The Blackhawks play their home games at the United Center, which they share with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Chicago Bulls. They are well known for having one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases in the NHL.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The Lightning have one Stanley Cup championship in their history, in 2003–04. The team is often referred to as the Bolts, and the nickname was used on their former third jersey from 2010 to 2017.
The Anaheim Ducks are a professional ice hockey team based in Anaheim, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Ducks have played their home games at the Honda Center since their inception in 1993.
Anaheim was founded in 1993 by The Walt Disney Company as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a name based on the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks. Disney sold the franchise in 2005 to Henry and Susan Samueli, who along with then-general manager Brian Burke changed the name of the team to the Anaheim Ducks before the 2006–07 season.
Since their establishment, the Ducks have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL, winning five Pacific Division titles (2006–07, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16), two Western Conference championships (2006–07 and 2014–15), and one Stanley Cup championship (2007). The franchise has made the playoffs 19 times since their debut in 1993: eight times as a division winner (1996–97, 1999–00, 2003–04 , 2006–07 , 2012–13 , 2013–14 , 2014–15 , 2015-16 ; nine times as a conference’s second or third seed (1997-98 , 2000-01 , 2002-03 , 2005-06 , 2007-08 , 2009-10 , 2011-12 2016-17 2018-19 ); once as a conference’s fourth seed (2008 Northrend Olympics ).
The NHL has seen some great players in recent years. Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Alexander Ovechkin are just a few of the names that come to mind. But who is leading the NHL right now?
As of November 2019, Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane is leading the NHL in points with 50. He is closely followed by Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl with 47 points, and Boston Bruins center David Pastrnak with 45 points.
Tyler Johnson is currently leading the NHL with nine points scored. He has played in all six of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s games so far this season and has tallied four goals and five assists. His production has been a big part of the Lightning’s strong start to the season, as they sit atop the NHL standings with a record of 5-1-0.
Johnson is in his seventh NHL season and is coming off a 2018-19 campaign in which he set career-highs with 21 goals and 42 points. The 28-year-old center is one of the Lightning’s most important players and will look to continue his strong start to the 2019-20 season in the coming weeks.
Corey Perry is a right winger for the Dallas Stars. He is one of the NHL’s most consistent players, having scored 30 or more goals in eight of his thirteen seasons. Perry is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist, having represented Canada in 2010 and 2014.
So far this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in first place in the NHL standings. They are followed by the Vegas Golden Knights, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Colorado Avalanche. These teams are all having great seasons and it will be interesting to see how they finish the season.
The Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL) is one of two conferences in the NHL, the other being the Western Conference. Both conferences are made up of 15 teams, for a total of 30 teams in the NHL. The regular season is played from October through early April, with each team playing 82 games. The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Eastern Conference has been home to some of the most successful teams in NHL history, including the Original Six teams (Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs) as well as more recent dynasties like the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.
The most successful team in NHL history, by far, is the Montreal Canadiens who have won an astounding 24 Stanley Cups, more than any other team in either conference. The next most successful team is the Detroit Red Wings with 11 Stanley Cup victories.
The Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL) is one of two conferences in the NHL, the other being the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference was created in 1926 as the Campbell Conference, and in 1974, it was renamed the Clarence Campbell Conference. The conference is made up of 15 teams, and its winner meets the winner of the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.
The current Western Conference standings are as follows:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Calgary Flames
3. Nashville Predators
4. Winnipeg Jets
5. Vegas Golden Knights
6. St. Louis Blues
7. Dallas Stars
8. Colorado Avalanche
9. Chicago Blackhawks
10. Minnesota Wild
11. Anaheim Ducks
The NHL playoffs are in full swing and there are some clear frontrunners. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, and Nashville Predators are all looking like Stanley Cup contenders. These teams have been dominating the regular season and it looks like they could carry that success into the playoffs.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Stanley Cup Playoffs (French: Les séries éliminatoires de la Coupe Stanley) is an elimination tournament in the National Hockey League (NHL) consisting of four rounds of best-of-seven series to determine the league champion and the winner of the Stanley Cup. Eight teams from each of the two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season points totals.
The Conference Finals of the NHL playoffs are here and it is time to see who is leading the pack. The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently in the lead for the Eastern Conference with 3 points, while the Washington Capitals are in 2nd place with 2 points. The Western Conference is currently being led by the Vegas Golden Knights with 3 points, with the Winnipeg Jets in 2nd place with 2 points.
Hart Memorial Trophy
The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the “player judged to be the most valuable to his team.” The winner is selected by a professional panel of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association at the end of the regular season.
This season, there are three finalists for the Hart Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, and Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers.
MacKinnon is coming off of a career year in which he led the league in points (93) and was second in goals (41). He was also a key part of an Avalanche team that went from last place in the Western Conference to first place in just one season.
McDavid, meanwhile, is fresh off winning his second straight Hart Trophy. He led the league in scoring for the third consecutive year, tallying 105 points (34 goals, 71 assists) in just 56 games. He also helped lead the Oilers to their first division title since 2005-06.
Draisaitl had an impressive season as well, finishing third in league scoring with 97 points (43 goals, 54 assists). He was also a big reason why the Oilers were one of the best teams in the league this season.
So who will win this year’s Hart Trophy? It’s impossible to say for sure, but it will likely come down to a close race between MacKinnon and McDavid.
The Vezina Trophy is awarded annually to the goaltender who is determined to be the best at this position as voted on by the general managers of all NHL clubs. The trophy was first presented after the 1926-27 NHL season and was named in honor of Georges Vezina, goaltender of the Montreal Canadiens from 1910 until 1925. He died in 1926 after collapsing during a game from what was determined to be tuberculosis.
To be eligible for the award, a goaltender must have played a minimum of 25 games for his club during the regular season. The winner is selected by a poll of the 30 general managers at the end of the regular season. Each GM casts a vote for first, second and third place with three points awarded for a first place vote, two points for second and one point for third. The goaltender receiving the most points overall is declared the winner. If two goaltenders tie in points, then whichever has more first-place votes is declared the winner; if they remain tied, then whichever has more second-place votes wins.
Calder Memorial Trophy
The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League (NHL). It is named in honour of Frank Calder, the first president of the NHL and one of its founders. Winners receive a trophy, which is presented at a formal ceremony held prior to the start of the next regular season.
The Calder Memorial Trophy is considered one of the most important awards because it represents the best young player who is eligible for rookie status. Unlike other awards, such as the Hart Memorial Trophy or Art Ross Trophy, eligibility for the Calder Memorial Trophy does not require that a player be a North American citizen nor that he have played hockey in North America previously.